Emails

Keep the track running

Dear friend,

It’s been another busy week for me, starting with my regular advice surgery at Balham Community Centre, lots of meetings in Parliament and in Tooting, including an event with staff from St George's, Springfield Hospital, the Town Hall and other public servants  in Parliament last night. 

But first of all, I promised I would tell you about my coffee morning last Friday. For those of you who have attended my annual community coffee mornings before, or came along last week, you’ll know what I mean when I say the event was extremely lively! The room was filled with more than one hundred local residents as well as over twenty local health and wellbeing organisations, from Wandsworth Age UK, to the local Citizens Advice Bureau, to the local police and fire service teams, and not forgetting the team from St George’s. This event really is unique in the way it brings so many different advice and wellbeing services together, in one room, like a one stop shop for such a wide variety of concerns. This year’s really was the best yet, as residents were treated to a cup of coffee, biscuits, free blood pressure checks and healthchecks aboard the NHS health check bus. 

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Time for the council to clean up its act

Dear friend,

How’s your week been? Mine seems to have gone in a flash – I can’t believe it’s Friday already. It seems like yesterday (when it was in fact last Sunday) that I had the pleasure of visiting Balham Community Church for a lively seminar with members of the congregation on the power of communities to bring about change before heading to Earlsfield Baptist Church to celebrate their 117th birthday.

Our local churches do such a fantastic job, often supporting those most vulnerable in our community and I always enjoy meeting the congregation. You can see some photos from my visits at the weekend here. If you attend a church in the area, I would love to visit. Why not get in touch and we can arrange for me to attend a service in the future?

 

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What will you be up to in two weeks’ time?

Dear friend,

Shout it from the rooftops 

You may have caught the recent news headlines regarding the Conservatives’ pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act and leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). I have been working tirelessly to object to these plans, not just as the Shadow Justice Secretary, but also as a former lawyer, and a strong believer in our rights. 

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A walk in the park

Dear friend,

Last Friday MPs from all sides debated whether to approve limited air strikes by UK armed forces against ISIL in Iraq. 

I understand that there is deep unease about the UK committing military force once again to the Middle East and I was personally very critical of military action in Iraq in 2003, and voted against military involvement in Syria last year. 

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United we stand

Dear friend,

Today we have woken to the fantastic news that the Scottish people have voted to stay a part of the United Kingdom. Over two million people voted to stay together, to work through our problems together and come to a solution that works in everyone’s interests. This is not the end, but the beginning. 84 per cent of those registered to vote had their voice heard yesterday; the highest turnout in Scottish history. This is a referendum that has engaged not just the people of Scotland, but the rest of the United Kingdom too. Over the last few weeks the referendum has been discussed at dinner tables, in offices and at school gates all over the UK.

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We're Better Together

Dear friend,

The last week has been jam-packed; from the People’s March for the NHS to my regular advice surgery, from the Furzedown Project AGM to Justice Questions in the House of Commons chamber, to name just a few. And tomorrow I’m off to the Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA) Fun Day, which is always one of the highlights of my year. I hope to see you there! 

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People's march for the NHS

Dear friend,

78 years ago over people marched 300 miles, from Jarrow, in the North East of England, all the way to Westminster, to lobby the government to tackle unemployment and poverty in their area. Inspired by the Jarrow March and worried about the future of the NHS, the ‘Darlo Mums’ are currently en route from Jarrow again to lead the ‘People's march for the NHS’ all the way to Parliament. 

On Saturday the march reaches London, for the last leg of the month-long journey and I’ll be joining campaigners in Trafalgar Square to welcome them to London and show my support. 

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We need your help!

Dear friend,

First of all I would like say a huge well done to all the students in Wandsworth, who have worked incredibly hard to achieve impressive GCSE results this week. It doesn’t seem two minutes since I was collecting my results from Ernest Bevin College, (although they were O’Levels back then!) These results are a credit to your hard work, and the valuable support provided by our fantastic schools in the area. 

Whether you decide to study for A Levels at one of the local sixth form colleges, or learn important skills through a vocational course or apprenticeship with a great local business or college, I wish you all the best on whatever path you choose to take. Please feel free to share with me how you or a family member got on!  If you didn't get the results you wanted, please do not be too disheartened. There are still lots of options available to you and if you have any concerns you can call the Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000.

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We must not remain silent

Dear friend,

I am afraid a dark cloud looms over Wandsworth as this week comes to an end, following the awful events which took place on Wednesday night, when a young man was tragically murdered on the Henry Prince Estate in Earlsfield, where I grew up. I know how close knit the residents are on the estate, and I join them in feeling incredibly shocked and saddened by this news. My thoughts are with the victim’s family at this difficult time.  

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Lights Out

Dear friend,

#LightsOut

At 10pm on Monday evening, I joined thousands of people across the country in turning the ‘lights out’ in our home - lighting a single candle to commemorate the beginning of the First World War exactly one hundred years ago. This was an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by the generations before us in the name of our country, especially the local Wandsworth soldiers who lost their lives. I look forward to continuing to support the many local initiatives to commemorate the centenary over the coming months – please do let me know of any that you are involved in.

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