Volunteering with community groups and charities
Charities and community groups in Luton did excellent work helping the most vulnerable over the festive period. I joined Luton Foodbank and Level Trust volunteers to provide Christmas meals and gifts to families in need, as well as helping with Discover Islam’s Curry Kitchen.
Luton Ukrainian Christmas party
It was a pleasure to join Luton’s Ukrainian community at their Christmas celebration. It was humbling to be there, with many poignant speeches and beautiful traditional carols.
Despite the difficult circumstances, it was good to see children continuing to have some normality through enjoying games and small gifts.
Financial sustainability of football clubs
Back in Parliament, it was a pleasure to host an event with the English Football League (EFL) for East of England MPs and Peers on the Fan Led Review. I spoke about the positive social and economic impact clubs like Luton Town have on local communities. It was interesting discussion about the changes that are needed to be implemented, and how, to ensure the financial sustainability of football clubs outside of the Premier League.
Standing up for the right to strike
The Government introduced the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill on 16 January, which will make it easier to sack striking workers. As a trade union member, I fundamentally oppose these plans to restrict workers’ rights and voted against the introduction of such authoritarian measures. I will continue to oppose them as the Bill passes through Parliament.
Supporting arts and culture
In Luton, we have a rich thriving arts and culture sector. It enriches our town’s cultural diversity, encourages investment, and supports social mobility and inclusion. We have plenty of great organisations that are benefitting from Arts Council funding, including Wardown House Museum, Luton Carnival Arts, Tangled Feet theatre, Music 24 and Revoluton Arts.
However, the Arts Council’s recent decision to remove significant funding from the English National Opera (ENO) will have a detrimental impact, particularly on its outreach programme with Luton Schools. I spoke in Parliament about the importance of securing a fairer funding settlement to allow the ENO to continue to thrive.
Watch my video here:
Supporting our postal workers
I was proud to speak in support of our excellent postal workers and the Royal Mail’s Universal Service Obligation in Parliament. Having visited Luton’s delivery office, I know just how much pride postal workers have in their job and how seriously they take the decision to strike.
The postal Universal Service Obligation sets out that post should be delivered to anywhere in the UK for the same cost and standard, so it’s important that we continue to ensure this is protected.
Watch my speech here.
Protecting the automotive industry
Luton is proud of its historic connection with the automotive industry through our Vauxhall plant but uncertainty about the future production of electric vehicle batteries in the UK, and semiconductor supply chain issues, put jobs and the industry’s future at risk. I stood up for automotive workers in Parliament this week by asking the Minister when the Government’s long overdue semiconductor review will be published.
You can watch my video here: