Welcome to my February update, here’s a snapshot of how I’ve been representing you in Parliament and Luton South this month.

Tell me your views
Tell me your views

I Want to Hear From You!
This Month, I launched my Spring 2024 Survey! In my short survey you can tell me which issues are most important to you, it takes just a few minutes to fill out, click the button below.

Electric Vans at Luton’s Vauxhall Plant
Last week we received the brilliant news that electric vans will be built at Luton’s Vauxhall plant. This will safeguard good local jobs and mean the plant continues to have a positive impact on our local economy. I’m proud to work closely with Vauxhall and the Unite workplace representatives, standing up for good, skilled, manufacturing jobs in Luton South.

Last week, I spoke about this on BBC Politics East, watch my video below. A Labour government would help drive the automotive industry into the future, read our plan.

Pressing for a Ceasefire and Surge of Aid into Gaza
I continue to pursue every parliamentary avenue to push the Conservative Government to shift their position to supporting a ceasefire. Following Israeli airstrikes on Rafah, where over a million forcibly displaced Palestinians are sheltering, Sarah Owen MP and I wrote to the Foreign Secretary calling for urgent action from the UK government, read our letter here.

Earlier this month, I spoke in a debate on humanitarian aid and children in Gaza. The horrors of recent months in Israel and Gaza have been intolerable, and there has been no let-up in the suffering in Gaza. In the debate, I raised questions about the Government’s recent decision to pause funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA).

With 50% less aid entering Gaza this month, I once again pressed the government on the need for an immediate ceasefire and surge of humanitarian aid on Tuesday. Parliament passed Labour’s call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

"Parliament just passed Labour
"Parliament just passed Labour's call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire"

Tackling the Rising Epidemic of Knife Crime
Since 2015, Knife crime has risen 77% nationally under the Tories. Sadly, it is towns like Luton where we have seen the tragic consequences. This month, I spoke about the excellent work of local organisations in Luton working to tackle this rising scourge of knife crime, and Labour’s Action Plan, in the House of Commons. 

I wrote about this in my February Luton News article here.

Rachel's February Luton News Article

Standing up for Local Bus Services
People in Luton South have raised with me their concerns about proposed cuts to the 78, 79, and 200 bus routes. This month, I raised this issue in the Parliament. To give communities back the power to run bus services that serve them properly, Labour would overturn the Conservatives’ ideological ban on municipal bus companies.

Kashmir Solidarity Day
Events in Kashmir are felt in our communities in Luton. I spoke at the Kashmir APPG’s Kashmir Solidarity Day Conference in Parliament, calling for the international community to uphold Kashmir’s right to self-determination promised to them 75 years ago.

Rachel speaking at the Kashmir Solidarity Day conference
Rachel speaking at the Kashmir Solidarity Day conference

Pressing the Government on SEND provision in Schools
11-year-old Ffion, from Luton South’s, ‘dream school’ was displayed in Parliament at the launch of the National Autistic Society’s Education Report. I wrote to the Education Secretary on how to help children like Ffion feel more supported at school. Read my letter here.

Schools in Luton South have raised with me their frustrations with the lack of Government funding to meet the increasing need for SEND provision in schools.  Every child with special educational needs should receive the high-quality support they deserve.

I raised this with the Education Secretary, watch my video here.

Supporting Luton Swab Week
Earlier this Month, it was Luton Swab Week, a campaign to encourage Luton’s students to step up and save lives by joining the stem cell donor register. Anthony Nolan held stalls at Barnfield College, Luton Sixth Form College, and the University of Bedfordshire, recruiting young people from across Luton’s diverse communities.

If you’re from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, you’re more likely to have a rare tissue type, so you’re less likely to find a perfect matching donor on the stem cell register. The more potential lifesavers on the stem cell register – from as many different backgrounds as possible – the better chance there is of those in need finding a lifesaving match.

I was pleased to meet Anthony Nolan’s and student ambassador Zoubair to discuss this vital campaign.

If you’re aged 16-30, you could be a lifesaver too! find out more here.

Rachel at Luton Swab Week
Rachel at Luton Swab Week

Luton 2040 Conference
And finally, this month, I was privileged to deliver the final keynote speech at Luton Council’s Luton 2040 Conference. Leaders and community organisations from across our town came together to discuss delivering the shared Luton 2040 vision for a healthy, fair, and sustainable town where everyone can thrive, and no one has to live in poverty.

Rachel speaking at Luton 2040 conference
Rachel speaking at Luton 2040 conference
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