I gave my maiden speech to the House last Wednesday (July 12th) in the Grenfell tower debate. A maiden speech is a chance for a new Member of Parliament to introduce themselves to the House. Convention dictates that the speech includes a tribute to the previous MP and general remarks about the constituency whilst still relating to the business under discussion.
I spoke about the lessons of the tragedy of Grenfell Tower and called for a swift and full enquiry. I also spoke about my pledge to fight for our schools and workplace rights and told the House about Lewisham West & Penge and my experiences growing up here, as well as paying tribute to my predecessor Jim Dowd.
This is the letter which I sent to the Secretary of State for Education requesting her to fully assist Forest Hill School with its £1.3 million deficit.
The Tory cuts since 2015 and proposed future cuts mean the School is now having to restructure so as not to overspend. This restructuring means the school is reducing the number of teaching posts and is likely to have to withdraw a number of services upon which the school’s great reputation is built.
I raised the case of Forest Hill School and education cuts in my first question to the House in ‘Business Questions’ on June the 29th. I called for there to be an urgent debate on school funding ahead of the Summer recess.
Here is my letter to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State requesting that Sydenham High Street Crown Post Office does not get downgraded.
Proposals have been put forward to downgrade Sydenham Crown Post Office to a regular Post Office. This would mean handover of the operation from Post Office Limited to a franchise partner or sub-postmaster, to be run as an independent business.
I am concerned that this would lead to good quality, skilled jobs on decent pay being replaced by insecure and low-paid work. Furthermore, research shows that franchised Post Offices offer poorer disabled access, longer queuing times, worse customer service and fewer staff. This would have a big impact on the local economy.
My letter to the minister responsible for the Post Office requests for an update to the offices future status and requests that it stays as a Crown Post Office.
Last Thursday I raised my first question to the house in ‘Business Questions’. ‘Business Questions’ takes place every Thursday after the Leader of the House has announced the week’s upcoming business. It is a period where MPs are allowed to ask the Leader of the House any question and request the Government to make time for debates on specific issues.
I raised the issue of the current education cuts and called for there to be an urgent debate on school funding ahead of the Summer recess. I remember being a pupil at Cator Park Secondary School (now Harris Academy Bromley) in the early 90s. We were taught in class sizes of over 35 with not enough text books to go around, as well as lessons in huts. I don’t want to see our amazing schools go back to these standards because of the current cuts to education.
Since 2010 School budgets have been squeezed such that schools now have to cut their services to the bare bones. In my question, I raised the specific case of Forest Hill School, which has a deficit of £1.3 million and is having to make significant cuts. Without the proper funding, our schools will struggle to continue giving the amazing service that they do. We need to fight to ensure that all our schools get the funding that they require.