Thank you for placing your trust in me again and re-electing me to represent you in Parliament. I have already made progress on many of the issues that concern you. No-one could have imagined we would end up with a Government in chaos without a serious programme to address the needs of our nation. Neither could we imagine they would pay the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for their votes to cling onto power, rather than giving our hard working public sector workers a pay rise.
The authority of this Tory ‘coalition of chaos’ to remain in charge is falling away as Labour’s plans to regenerate and repair the nation resonate stronger.
I intervened in last week’s debate about the injustice suffered by women born in the 1950s. They are being forced to work years longer than they were originally promised without being given proper notification. During the debate the Tory Minister shocked many people, including other Tory MPs, by suggesting women should take up an apprenticeship at the age of 64. It is wrong that women are having to make amends for a Government administrative error. It is not the fault of these women, but the Ministers who failed them.
York Theatre Royal’s play ‘Everything is Possible’ reminded us that the Suffragette’s had to fight and win their rights a 100 years ago. I believe WASPI women will also win their fight in an era where poverty for women in retirement far exceeds that of men. With MPs across the parties now coming round to Labour’s call to sort this out, I believe a resolution can be reached.
It is no secret that we have some very serious problems in York. In the last few weeks I have had a large number of discussions about how our local economy is failing, how the botched Local Plan does not address the social and truly affordable housing crisis in the city and so continues to fail local people and how the finances of our NHS are being cut by unprecedented levels. This cannot continue.
In addition to all the work I am doing on health and housing, I am also partnering with the Industrial and Parliament Trust, to work on regenerating York’s economy.
I am honoured to have been appointed Shadow Rail Minister. I will make the case that York’s rail heritage must form the foundation for York being at the hub of the industry in the future.