Bell’s Regular Newsletter – Easter Recess Roundup 2022

Apr 19, 2022 | News

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Bell’s Newsletter – Recess Roundup

Dear *|FNAME|*

Parliament rose for Easter Recess on the 31st March but there’s been no let up in government corruption stories. Even as the Chancellor defended his murky tax arrangements, the Tories were delivering the biggest real terms cut to welfare in fifty years. And last week, the Prime Minister joined the Chancellor in the stocks as both were slapped with fixed penalty notices. But a ÂŁ50 fine is a drop in the ocean when the 200 others fined for gatherings of more than 30 received ÂŁ10,000 fines. It’s important that they’re fined the full amount but it’s even more important that they’re fired.

It’s no coincidence that last week’s Rwanda deportation deal came at a time when the Tories were under fire for Partygate, tax avoidance and forcing people into poverty. The Government’s plans to deport asylum seekers to camps in Rwanda are deranged. They are modelled on an Australian system which has been condemned by the UN for violating international laws against torture and killed twelve people – at a cost of ÂŁ1.7m per person detained. Mired in scandal and failure, this Government is sinking deeper into its last redoubt: anti-migrant policies and racism.

In Streatham

Little Village Donation Drive

I’m really excited to announce that I’m partnering with Little Village to organise a collection of baby clothes and equipment at the end of the month:

📍 St Margaret’s Church (SW2 3BH)

đź“… Saturday 23rd of April

đź•™ 10am-12pm

Spread the news and bring your pre-loved baby kit for another family who needs it.

Helping Residents with Housing

With St Martin’s TRA head Saleha Jaffer and Christina, a longstanding Gwynne House resident

It was good to check in with Gwynne House residents, whose lift was broken for six weeks last year. This forced people living there to use the stairs, which caused real difficulty to those with mobility issues. I’m working with Saleha Jaffer and St Martin’s Tenants and Residents Association to push for compensation.

In other housing news, I met with Wates, Lambeth Council’s repair contractors after longstanding complaints from residents on the Leigham Court Estate. I raised the chronic disrepair issues faced by residents, including damp problems, rotting windows, shoddy insulation, dangerous electrics, and one property whose ceiling is being held up with metal clamps. I also highlighted the company’s poor communication with constituents and contractors’ poor treatment of residents who just want to know when repairs are taking place.

Wates took over the contract from Mears in July, who left them a major backlog of cases. They have cited teething issues as a major reason for the continuation of this backlog but they are making a lot of money off these contracts. It was a productive meeting, with the company promising to address disrepair issues within Lambeth in the next four months, including for people on the Leigham Court Estate.

Out on the Valley Road Estate with Councillor Marianna Masters

I was also glad to join Councillor Marianna Masters on the Valley Road Estate for a day of action repairing potholes, clearing gardens and fixing fences. Improving housing conditions for local residents is a top priority for me. If you have a housing issue, you can always reach out to my office.

A New Sports Facility for Roupell Park Estate

At the grand opening of the new Roupell Park Estate multi-sports facility

It was great to attend the opening event of Lambeth Council’s new Roupell Park Estate multi-sports facility last Tuesday, delivered in partnership with Fulham Football Club Foundation. A whole range of local sports clubs are going to benefit from this upgrade, including the St Matthew’s Project, CEF Lyncx and Netball UK, with a big effort to increase local participation and meet increased demand. I was particularly glad to see the project’s focus on getting more girls into sport as well as broadening access to our whole community. Sport is integral to health, wellbeing and community cohesion. It should be for everyone.

AsiaOne Magazine Covid Commitment Award

Celebrating my Covid Commitment Award

Every year, the AsiaOne awards bring people from around the world together to celebrate cultural exchange, collaboration and good leadership. I was proud to pick up a Covid Commitment award for “exceptional work in Streatham during the pandemic” last week.

US Trip

My recess started with a visit to the USA to see how American political activists, campaigners and legislators are addressing some of the major issues both our countries face.

National Action Network Convention

I was honoured to speak at this year’s National Action Network Convention, where I spoke on a panel alongside Reverend Al Sharpton and family members of George Floyd and Eric Garner. I reported back on UK Government attacks on people of colour and the need for global unity in the fight against racism.

Rainbow Push Coalition

It was a privilege to meet with Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition to discuss parallels between UK and US voter suppression legislation and discuss how we can work together in the international fight for equality, peace and justice.

Congressional Black Caucus

I was grateful for the Congressional Black Caucus’s warm welcome at the Capitol. It was great to talk about their work advancing racial equality and discuss our plans to put racial justice at the heart of any future UK-US trade deal.

Discussing the Momnibus Bill

Like the UK, Black women in the USA are four times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth. I met with Representatives Lauren Underwood and Alma Adams in April Advocacy Month to discuss the Black Maternal Health bill they are currently steering through Congress. This offers a blueprint for similar action here where our Government are yet to commit to specific action to address the fourfold difference in mortality.

National Football League Players Association

I also had the chance to meet with Joe Briggs, the National Football League Players’ Association General Counsel to talk about the history of race and segregation in American football and the great advances the union has made in labour relations and getting the best deals for their players.

Justice for George Floyd

I had a valuable meeting with Jasmine Esquire, one of the lawyers for George Floyd’s family to discuss her work securing accountability for the murder of George Floyd.

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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