We had a great start to May in the locality, returning 22 Streatham Labour councillors to represent us in Town Hall, with Labour winning 58 of 63 seats in Lambeth overall. Among other things, I was delighted to host an Eid Party to bring together our community to meet newly arrived refugees, cut the ribbon on the newly declared Unigate Wood Nature Reserve, meet with key workers in our public sector, secure some good results for local residents with housing issues and launch a campaign to save Streatham’s train station ticket offices.
This month also brought some wins at a national level, with the Government finally caving to Labour’s demand for a Windfall Tax – just days after voting against it. Whilst this measure is deeply flawed, it does represent a forwards stride in the fight for support for people worst affected by twelve years of austerity and the current financial turmoil being inflicted on the country. In another big win for the campaigners fighting to ensure no child is priced out of citizenship, the Government was forced to waive the £1,012 child citizenship fee for children in state care and children whose families who can’t afford it – campaigning for this (and reducing fees to cost price) was one of my earliest electoral pledges and it’s been an honour to deliver on this by pushing it up the agenda.
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 destroy some of the other vital legal protections we currently have. I opposed their Public Order Bill this month, tabling a reasoned amendment to throw it out. Our country’s strong tradition of dissent is the reason we have the rights and freedoms we all enjoy today. We must keep standing up for them.
In other major campaigns, I was proud to give a keynote speech at the official launch of Five X More’s Black Maternal Experience Report. As I told the audience, it can’t be right that we have to re-live our trauma just to be listened to. With fully 43% of the women surveyed reporting facing discrimination in maternity care, the evidence of institutional racism is there for the Government to see. Now they need to act, by setting binding targets to end these disparities once and for all.
Some other highlights from my month include: hosting trade unionists from United Voices of the World and UNISON in Parliament to hear about their campaigns to end outsourcing and institute mandatory pay gap reporting respectively, writing to the Chair of the Government’s Covid inquiry to demand race is put front and centre and campaigning with my constituent to try and get a Parliamentary debate on updating the Road Traffic Act to protect cats.AMM-Report-May-2022