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- 06 December 2017
It is fantastic to see that Time Magazine has named ‘the silence breakers’ – those who spoke out against sexual abuse and harassment – as its Person of the Year, despite Donald Trump’s false claim on Twitter that he would ‘probably’ receive the accolade for the second year running. Breaking the silence around sexual abuse and harassment, challenging it and holding perpetrators to account for their unacceptable behaviour, makes our society safer and more welcoming for everyone. Although I appreciate those on the receiving end of unwanted attention, abuse or violence may not always wish to speak out, it is a very positive sign that more women (and men) are coming forward. The change in culture around sexual abuse and harassment is long overdue, but it has been heartening to see so much progress on this front in recent months. Speaking up is just the first step: perpetrators must be held to account to make clear that sexual abuse and harassment will not be tolerated in any walk of life.
- 06 December 2017
I was astounded to hear David Davis tell the Eu Exit Select Committee this morning that the Brexit impact assessments by sector do not exist. This is despite the Brexit Secretary saying in December 2016 that 57 sector analyses were being carried out, covering 85% of the UK economy, and as recently as October this year, he told the Brexit Committee that these impact assessments exist in “excruciating detail”. Only David Davis will know what the truth is, but as the matter stands it appears the Government has done no sector-by-sector impact assessments on what is undoubtedly the biggest change to our economy and our society since the Second World War. There’s no Government assessment on the impact of Brexit on our aerospace industry, no assessment of the impact on our car industry, no assessment of the impact on agriculture, to name but three. Brexit would be challenge enough even for a government that was, to quote the Prime Minister, “strong and stable”. With Liam Fox, David Davis, Bo
- 05 December 2017
Yesterday the Government published a green paper setting out plans to help support children and young people with their mental health. Mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and conduct disorders, affect about 1 in 10 people within this group, Shockingly, however, 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. The Government is now asking people for their views on the green paper. I encourage anyone who has experienced mental health problems, either themselves or through their friends or family, to submit their views as part of the consultation, which is open until 2nd March 2018. Together we can let the Government know what they must do to ensure those who need it are able to access the right help for their mental health, in the right place and at the right time.
- 05 December 2017
Yesterday the Government published a green paper setting out plans to help support children and young people with their mental health. Mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and conduct disorders, affect about 1 in 10 people within this group, Shockingly, however, 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. The Government is now asking people for their views on the green paper. I encourage anyone who has experienced mental health problems, either themselves or through their friends or family, to submit their views as part of the consultation, which is open until 2nd March 2018. Together we can let the Government know what they must do to ensure those who need it are able to access the right help for their mental health, in the right place and at the right time.
- 05 December 2017
When Theresa May first came to power, she promised to deliver a “country that works for everyone, and not just a privileged few”. But a shock report published yesterday has shown that 400,000 more children are living in poverty than 4 years ago. And the resignation this weekend of all four board members of the government's Social Mobility Commission – with Chair, Alan Milburn speaking of "indecision, dysfunctionality and a lack of leadership" at the heart of her Government - has revealed just how hollow the Prime Minister’s words on the steps of No. 10 Downing Street were. Some people might have been taken in by Theresa May back then, but now she has been exposed. Warm words about improving social mobility and reducing child poverty, while cutting investment and continuing with austerity, won’t fool anyone. We need to do much more to raise the aspirations and life chances of all young people, regardless of background.
- 05 December 2017
Yesterday in Communities and Local Government questions I also asked the Housing Minister if the Government would act on Viability Assessments. Currently developers are guaranteed in planning law a right to make a “competitive” return, and they are able to use these Viability Assessments as a means of avoiding building their quota of affordable houses. In the last year Shelter's research revealed over 2,500 affordable homes have been lost due to this practice, 200 of which were in Bristol, and this loophole clearly needs to be closed.
- 04 December 2017
Please follow the link below to find out what environmentally-related work I’ve been doing in both Parliament and my constituency since the election. This has ranged from amendments to the Brexit bill, to improving recycling rates and marine conservation! If you would like to receive future instalments of my environmental newsletter you can sign up here - https://kerrymccarthymp.us16.list-manage.com/subscribe…
- 04 December 2017
In Communities and Local Government (CLG) questions today I raised the case of The Surrey Vaults, the Bristol music venue which was recently forced into closure following noise complaints from a recent development nearby. An increasing number of venues are under threat, and the Culture Secretary has told campaigners that she is in discussions with her CLG colleagues about introducing an ‘Agents of Change’ principle into planning law, to ensure developers have to take into account pre-existing businesses. The Ministers didn’t seem aware of any such discussions, but I am pleased to have been promised a meeting with the Planning Minister so that I can convince him of the need for action.
- 03 December 2017
I’m in the Bristol Cable talking about what we must do to protect music venues from closure. The ‘Agents of Change’ principle will make developers, instead of the pre-existing businesses, responsible for dealing with noise pollution and soundproofing, and I hope we can get it made into law soon. I’ve been in close touch with the Mayor regarding this issue, and we are both committed to ensuring that Bristol’s diverse and vibrant live music scene not only survives, but thrives.
- 02 December 2017
Avon and Somerset Police have said time after time that the cuts they are being forced to make are simply unsustainable, and I’m in the Bristol Post alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable to raise awareness of this. It is clear that cuts are going to have consequences. Crime will rise and criminals will not be caught. I am deeply disappointed that the Autumn Budget contained no new money for policing, but that doesn’t mean the fight stops here. Please sign my petition calling for more money for Avon and Somerset Police - https://www.change.org/p/the-house-of-commons-increased-fun…
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