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 – 2nd July

Jul 2, 2022 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter

2nd July 2022

Dear *|FNAME|*,

In the wake of last week’s rail strikes, we’ve seen a further wave of workers voting to take strike action. Last year, BT posted profits of £1.3 billion, paid out £700 million to shareholders, and gave their CEO a 32% pay rise. But the best they could offer BT workers this year was a real terms pay cut. Is it really surprising that workers at the company voted overwhelmingly for strike action? After a decade in which people have seen their pay packets fall in real terms, it’s heartening to see people getting organised to demand better.

While workers are fighting for their livelihoods, Boris Johnson continues to fight fires in Downing Street. His refusal to even investigate the multiple counts of sexual misconduct levelled at a close senior MP should have been surprising. But it’s not anymore because this Government has not just tolerated these kind of disgusting abuses of power but have sought to make them the new normal. They’re not sorry it happened; they’re just sorry it became a story.

In Parliament

I had a busy time in Parliament this week, challenging the Government on: attempts to rip up an international treaty, another inhumane deportation flight, systematically failing London on policing and the enduring injustice of the Windrush scandal.

Stop Tearing Communities and Families Apart

PMQ on the deportation flight to Ghana and Nigeria (29th June 2022)

On Wednesday, I had the chance to question Dominic Raab about the Government’s latest mass deportation flight to Ghana and Nigeria as he deputised at Prime Minister’s Questions. The people onboard this flight included mothers, grandmothers, and an LGBT+ asylum seeker. They are not, as the Deputy Prime Minister insinuated in his answer, dangerous criminals. I will continue to challenge these flights, which tear communities and families apart and fly in the face of human rights and equalities law.

Opposing Another Illegal Bill from the Government

Opposing the Government's Illegal NI Protocol Bill (27th June 2022)

The Government’s illegal Bill to rip up the Northern Ireland Protocol represents another breach of international law, threatening peace in Northern Ireland, bringing more economic disruption and undermining future trade deals. They know full well that the majority of people in Northern Ireland voted against Brexit, by a much bigger margin than the Vote Leave campaign achieved, and they continue to elect a large majority of MPs and MLAs who oppose Brexit and support the protocol—but then this Government and their predecessors have never been over-concerned with democracy in Ireland. I spoke and voted against this Bill on Monday.

The Government are Failing Londoners on Policing

When is the Government going to take responsibility for policing failures (29th June 2022)

This week saw the Metropolitan Police placed in special measures for the first time in its history. In the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, the illegal strip search of Child Q, and a string of other abuses, confidence in the Met is at an all-time low. These issues are particularly pronounced in our own borough, where Sarah’s killing last year and attempts from the Met’s top brass to shut down a vigil in its aftermath were acutely felt and where we continue to see high levels of disproportionality in policing. On Wednesday, I asked the Policing Minister when the Government are going to take responsibility for this and push through the changes Londoners are calling for: from more community policing to reviewing the overuse of stop and search..

Reflecting on the Windrush Scandal: No Lessons Learned

Windrush Review Debate (29th June 2022)

I also took part in my colleague Kate Osamor MP’s Westminster Hall Debate on the Windrush Lessons Learned Review. Eighteen months after this report, it’s important to hold the Government to account for their failures to follow through on their commitments to act on its findings and recommendations. If the Government really wanted to address the injustices of the Windrush scandal, they would move beyond empty commitments and gesture politics by making the compensation scheme independent and dismantling the Hostile Environment.

In and Around Streatham

Granton School Primary Fair

A big thank you to teachers and parents at Granton Primary for their warm welcome to their fantastic summer fair last weekend. It was great to see the local community coming together with some lovely singing from the school choir. Congratulations to everyone on a very successful event to raise funds for the school.

Meeting with St Martin’s Estate Residents

On Thursday evening, I had the opportunity to meet with the St Martin’s Tenants and Residents Association (TRA) to discuss ongoing compensation claims. I’ve been campaigning alongside residents on the estate for proper compensation after their lift was left broken for months. They shared further stories of disrepair and issues with water charges and service charge transparency more generally. I’m currently looking into these issues and will be writing to their housing association about the compensation process again.

Visiting Temporary Accommodation at Stanthorpe Hotel

With more than 36,000 people on the social housing waiting list in Lambeth, it’s important to ensure we have the highest standards in our temporary accommodation. On Thursday morning, I joined our St Leonard’s Councillors to inspect temporary accommodation at the Stanthorpe Hotel, where residents have raised issues about conditions. During our visit, we observed reasonable standards of hygiene but cramped conditions, ongoing damp issues and lack of access to outside space. The building is clearly in need of refurbishment and there are also concerns about how much value for money the contractor is currently providing. I’ll be taking this issue forwards.

Meeting with Serco Refuse Loaders

When Serco took over Lambeth’s Waste Management contract last year there were concerns due to Serco’s poor history with running other contracts – in particular, their asylum accommodation contracts with the Home Office. In a recent meeting with local refuse collectors, workers told me of the awful experiences they had: not being supplied with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), being told to glue boots together, and having to wear their own clothes while collecting waste.

They also talked about issues relating to pay disputes and changes to refuse teams that have resulted in some serious health and safety risks. I will be writing to Serco regarding these issues and have demanded that they take urgent action to rectify the situation. If things don’t improve for workers then I will be calling on Lambeth Council to withdraw their Waste Management contract.

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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