Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

for Streatham (and parts of Balham, Clapham Common, Tulse Hill and Brixton Hill)

Bell’s Regular Newsletter – 20th May

May 20, 2023 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

20th May 2023

Dear *|FNAME|*,

This week, we heard that there is an overwhelming likelihood that our overheating world will breach the 1.5C global warming threshold agreed at Paris in 2015 by 2027. This confirms what climate activists around the world have been arguing for a long time: that the promises made by wealthy countries with the power to tackle climate breakdown are not being met. When we have a Prime Minister whose swimming pool requires the local energy grid to be upgraded and who sees fit to take helicopters to make 1-hour train journeys, is this any surprise? The richest 1% are on course to emit 70x the emissions of the poorest 50% by 2030.

Labour Graphic: 'Under the Tories, energy giants are taking ÂŁ60 million in profits every day but Rishi Sunak refuses to implement a proper windfall tax to help working people.'

The carbon-intensive lifestyles of the super rich, with their super yachts, private jets and space travel, are fuelling climate breakdown. We cannot tackle the climate crisis without tackling inequality. Our green transition must be a just one, which leaves nobody behind and gives everyone a stake in the planet we’re working to protect. Instead of licencing new fossil fuels, the UK needs to show genuine leadership on the climate emergency. That means insulating millions of homes, ending domestic fossil fuel licenses, using our unique position to cancel debts for the global south, and cleaning up our energy system.

Attending the Streatham Kite Festival

Bell stands on Streatham Common in front of the Streatham Kite Festival

It was lovely to see so many people out in the sun on Streatham Common enjoying London’s premier kite festival last weekend. It was a fantastic day out for all the family with kite display teams, food and craft beer stalls, kite shops, a bouncy castle, trampolines, facepainting and other great activities. I would like to say a huge thank you to the fantastic Friends of Streatham Common volunteers who work so hard to make this such a soaring success every year for our community.

Two Long Overdue Reforms

This week saw the publication of two important reforming pieces of legislation: the Renters’ Reform Bill and the Police Reform Bill. My colleague the Right Honourable Harriet Harman MP presented her Police Reform Bill to Parliament on Friday, proposing long overdue reforms to help remove officers involved in criminality and misconduct from the Met Police. The current procedures for disciplining and dismissing Met Police officers involved in misconduct and criminality are not fit for purpose. The Government must not stand in the way of efforts to improve London’s police by getting rid of some of the worst offenders.

After almost four years, the Government has also finally published legislation to end Section 21 evictions. With average monthly rents in London have risen above ÂŁ2,500 for the first time and the UK witnessing a 50% rise in homelessness last year because of no fault evictions, this is long overdue. However, without measures to cap rent increases and proper funding for local authorities to enforce legislation, renters still face being priced out of their homes through no fault of their own. Action will still be needed to truly protect renters from unfair hikes and give them the security they deserve.  

Appearing on LBC’s Cross Question

Iain Dale hosts Cross Question 16/05 | Watch again

I was invited onto LBC’s Cross Question with Iain Dale on Tuesday. In this format, panelists answer questions called in by members of the public. We discussed a range of issues: from Brexit to the cost-of-living crisis, Tory migration policies and this week’s unhinged National Conservatism Conference. You can watch the full segment above.

Saving Babies’ Lives Progress Report

Bell stands in front of a banner for Sands and Tommy's Policy Unit holding a sign that says "I am committed to saving babies' lives through... Campaigning for continuity of care".

On Monday, I supported the launch of a very important joint report from two pregnancy and baby loss charities, Sands and Tommy’s entitled Saving Babies’ Lives Progress Report. This report pulls together data on the impact of pregnancy and baby loss across the UK for the first time, painting a concerning picture of stalled progress and a serious risk of regression. In England, the Government’s target to halve stillbirths and neonatal deaths by 2025 compared to 2010 levels is not on target. The report makes some vital recommendations to address this: targets to save babies’ lives in every UK nation, tackling staffing shortages in maternity services, more investment in research, improved data collection, and ensuring lessons are learned from baby deaths.We must keep working to ensure every mother and every baby receives the standard of care they deserve. Black babies are almost two times more likely to be stillborn. Stillbirths are nearly two times more common in the most deprived areas of the UK. As well as working to improve maternity care across the board, we need binding government targets to address persistent inequalities like these.  

Action for Race Equality: Windrush Justice Event

Bell with Jacqui McKenzie and Dawn Butler MP in a parliamentary committee room

As we near the 75th anniversary of the first Windrush Generation arrivals in Britain, we must keep fighting for justice for Windrush Scandal survivors. So this week, I was proud to co-chair a packed out Action for Race Equality meeting alongside Dawn Butler, commemorating five years since the scandal broke. As one contributor said: “what has happened to the Windrush Generation is still being done”.  Justice can begin with an independent compensation scheme, implementing Windrush Lessons Learned in full and an end to hostile environment policies which inflicted so much suffering.

Rainbow Honours Awards: Celebrating LGBTQIA+ Champions

Bell with leading LGBT+ campaigner Linda Riley, who founded the awards night, other MPs, and event attendees.

It was lovely to attend this week’s Rainbow Honours Awards on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia alongside other MPs. It’s so important to celebrate the unsung heroes working year-round to stand up for LGBTQIA+ communities and fight for equality. Whilst we have made so much progress, young people from the LGBTQIA+ community are still more likely than heterosexual counterparts to self-harm or attempt suicide. We all have a responsibility to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia wherever we find it. I’m proud to stand with the entire LGBT+ community, today and every day in the ongoing fight for full equality for all.

‘A Large and Liberal Atonement’: Discussing Reparations

Picture of Bell speaking in a Parliamentary committee room alongside reparations experts and event attendees.

This year marked the 200-year anniversary of a major speech by the MP for Weymouth, Thomas Fowell Buxton, who spoke in favour of abolition. He made it clear that freeing the slaves was the bare minimum of what Britain owed the people it profited from: “For all the blood spilt in African wars fomented by English capital […] we owe a large and liberal atonement”. Years later, whilst our prime ministers and members of the Monarchy have expressed “deep regrets” or “deep sorrow”, Britain has never officially apologised for its role in the Transatlantic slave trade. It was great to chair a discussion on reparations this week with panellists from academia, the Church of England, and the African reparations movement. We reflected on what Britain’s institutions, including the Crown, the Church, and the Government, can do to address its ongoing legacy.

Meeting with The Traveller Movement

Traveller Movement Logo

I met with The Traveller Movement in Parliament last week to discuss how we can work together to challenge the structural racism and prejudice that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people face in healthcare, education, housing, and the criminal justice system. These communities are among the most persecuted groups in the world. The Government should be ensuring they have safe places to go and protecting them from hate crimes. Instead, they recently introduced legislation criminalising their way of life. Streatham has one of the largest populations of Roma people in London. We must keep standing up against racism in all its forms.

Meeting with Thames Water

Picture of Thames Water working on a burst water main on Leigham Court Road

I met with Thames Water last week to discuss some of the issues that have been repeatedly raised with me by local residents. Firstly, I expressed their frustration about the frequent works on Leigham Court Road and adjoining streets. Local residents have pointed out how digging up the road constantly has created an issue with potholes and I asked Thames Water how we could work together to deal with these. We also discussed how we can get more people onto the vulnerable people’s register, something they acknowledge is an issue when there are water outages. I also agreed to promote their WaterHelp scheme, which subsidises half the bill for households that earn below £21,749 or whose total bill is more than 5% of total household income.

Last call for the Streatham BID Community Events Award Fund

Streatham BID Graphic: 'Funding Applications now open'

The Streatham Business Improvement District Community Events Award Fund is open for applications. If you’re planning to hold a local event, you can apply for awards worth up to £5,000 now. You have until midnight on Sunday to apply, with awards being made from the 31st of May onwards.

Click here for an application form

As ever, if you have any questions about the work I’m doing as MP, please get in touch at this address: bell.ribeiroaddy.mp@parliament.uk.

Best wishes,

Bell Ribeiro-Addy,
Labour MP for Streatham

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