Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

Member of Parliament for Streatham (and parts of Balham, Clapham Common, Tulse Hill and Brixton Hill)
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Clapham & Brixton Hill

Bell’s Regular Newsletter – 14th May

May 14, 2022 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

14th May 2022

Dear *|FNAME|*

Last week saw the long-awaited local elections, with 22 Labour councillors elected to represent Streatham in Lambeth Town Hall last week alongside two Greens and three Liberal Democrats. Congratulations to all of our newly elected and re-elected councillor candidates in the constituency. I look forwards to working with all of you to build a cleaner, greener, more equal borough.

Back in Parliament

Queen’s Speech

I was in Parliament this week listening to the Queen’s Speech. Listening to some backbench Tories, you’d think people were choosing to be poor. In reality, the party in power has consistently chosen to make people poor over the last decade, facilitating a massive transfer of wealth to the very richest in our society.

And this trend has only accelerated since Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak took the helm. During the first year of the pandemic, we witnessed one of the largest transfers of wealth to the very richest in our society as UK billionaires sat back and increased their wealth by £290,000,000 a day. Instead of announcing a plan to tackle the energy bills crisis and help people facing poverty and financial turmoil, the Government used the Queen’s Speech to set out an agenda to keep things this way and keep wealth and power in the hands of the few, with drastic new measures to curb our right to protest, rip up the Human Rights Act, and rip up some of the other vital legal protections we currently enjoy.

With the number of UK households living in extreme poverty set to rise by 250,000 over the next year on current progress, we need serious concerted action. That means, as a bare minimum, keeping the Triple Lock on the state pension, benefits that keep pace with inflation, an emergency uplift to Universal Credit and a £15 an hour real living wage. With some oil and gas majors seeing profits quadrupling on this time last year, they are profiting whilst everyone else pays. There’s no longer any justification for blocking a Windfall Tax.

Making the case for a Windfall Tax earlier this year

Fighting for an End to Racist Outsourcing

Security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) are the last workers in their NHS trust who are outsourced to a company owned by a Tory donor, Carlisle. As a consequence of this, they don’t get full NHS sick pay or the same paid maternity leave as other hospital workers and missed out on last year’s meagre 3% NHS pay rise. These predominantly black, brown and migrant workers taken over 50 days of strike action so far and made tribunal claims saying that this outsourcing amounts to indirect racial discrimination, with judgement on this imminent.

GOSH hasn’t engaged with the security guards or UVW at all during this dispute. It was moving and inspiring to hear testimony from other trade unionists about how they launched similar actions and managed to win the same terms and conditions of their NHS counterparts. It’s clear that there is a pathway to ending the scandal of outsourcing, which squeezes workers and services to make money for the people who hold these contracts. I was also really proud to join GOSH workers on the picket line recently.

On the picket line outside Great Ormond Street

In and around Streatham

Supporting Residents Seeking Compensation

Gwynne House residents were without lift access for six weeks last year, causing many great pain and difficulty. I’ve been working with St Martin’s Tenants and Residents Association to ensure everyone is properly compensated. This week their landlord, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, has offered residents an insulting £25.

That’s nowhere near good enough. When residents of Williams House were without lift access for a similar length of time, they were given £250. I’m meeting with residents next week to discuss the next steps in our campaign to hold landlords accountable for poor housing conditions and disrepair issues.

Tooting Job Centre

I visited Streatham’s recently opened sister job centre in Tooting on Friday to find out more about how they’re helping people in our area find work. As well as running job fairs, it’s good to see some of the targeted support they’re offering, including dedicated disability-confident employer sessions, and their work partnering up with local NHS trusts to recruit local people into our health service. I’ve agreed to work with them to make links with King’s College and Guy’s & St Thomas’s to this effect.

Eid Party for Refugees

I’m hosting an Eid party for refugee families living in Streatham alongside New Vision 4 Women. We’ve had some great gifts donated this week by the local community and several Streatham Labour members. I’m so grateful to live in an area where we welcome everyone and where the ties of community and activism are so strong.

As ever, if you have any questions about the work I’m doing as MP, please get in touch at this address:

Best wishes,

Bell Ribeiro-Addy,
Labour MP for Streatham

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