Welcome to my last newsletter of 2022. Here are some highlights of how I’ve been standing up for Luton South over the past month. 

King Charles’ visit to Luton 

On a historical day for Luton, King Charles visited our town on 6 December. King Charles was welcomed to the Town Hall and visited the Guru Nanak Gurdwara and the Luton DART. Follow this link to see photos from the King’s visit.

Supporting veterans over Christmas 

We are all deeply proud of our Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families for the enormous contribution they make to our country. 

This Christmas, tens of thousands of veterans are relying on Universal Credit, as well as many others who are being left to struggle with rising bills and high mortgage costs. If the Government is serious about making the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran, it must support them through the winter. As Shadow Minister for Veterans, watch my question at Defence oral questions below.  

I was also pleased to visit Veterans Aid this month, which provides support to veterans suffering homelessness and periods of crisis. It was great to hear about some of their success stories and how they manage to develop strong relationships with veterans. 

Rachel Hopkins MP and Dr Hugh Milroy
Rachel Hopkins MP and Dr Hugh Milroy

Carols by Candlelight

It was lovely to attend the University of Bedfordshire’s Carols by Candlelight service. Luton Youth Cantores’ singing was beautiful, and there were readings by the university community as well as the wider community followed by a joyful sermon from the University Chaplain. Thank you to everyone who was involved. 

Youth choir singing carols in church
Youth choir singing carols in church

Small Business Saturday 2022  

It was excellent to spend Small Business Saturday visiting the winners of my annual Luton South Small Business Awards. There was a range of winners, with plenty of new small businesses as well as a couple from last year. Read more about it here.

Local Housing Allowance freeze 

The Government froze Local Housing Allowance in 2019 and it has remained frozen since then. However, as rents increase, this could push households further into poverty and even homelessness. I asked the Minister whether he had considered this. Watch my video here. 

Teachers Pay 

Due to pay freezes and pay caps, teachers’ pay has fallen by around a fifth in real terms since 2010. With sky-high inflation and soaring bills, many are concerned about the proposed 8.9% pay award. 

I wrote the Education Secretary about how her department is supporting teachers through the cost of living crisis. Read my letter here. 

UN Day for Disabled People 

I was pleased to support the UN Day for Disabled People. This year’s theme was ‘not all disabilities are visible’ and the importance of giving the same recognition to disabilities like mental health, chronic pain and chronic fatigue. 

Rachel Hopkins MP and Vicky Foxcroft MP holding sign saying
Rachel Hopkins MP and Vicky Foxcroft MP holding sign saying 'I'm supporting UN International Day of Disabled People'
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