Hundreds of constituents have contacted me in difficulty since COVID-19 took hold, and I thought it would be useful for me to report to you on action that I have taken.
On many of the issues raised, I have written to the government to make them aware of specific issues and to urge them to rectify these. There have also been points that have been raised by the Labour Shadow Teams and by groups of Labour MPs.
Early on, I hosted a live video Q&A session for constituents with the Leader of Nottingham City Council and local health, voluntary sector, and trade union representatives, which you can watch clips of here or in full here. I also wrote to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, asking the government to provide more support for constituents stranded overseas and to negotiate their quick return.
I have written to the Chancellor about the many constituents who fall through gaps in financial provision, urging him to ensure that nobody is left unsupported. I suggested that a Universal Basic Income would be a simpler and more effective way of ensuring that everybody receives adequate financial support and quickly.
I have written to the Business Secretary on behalf of constituents who either own or are employed by Small or Medium Enterprises, urging him to provide the additional support that they need and to work with leaders across different sectors to ensure that industry is in the strongest possible position after COVID-19. I have also written to the Education Secretary regarding support that apprentices and their training providers need, as apprenticeship training providers have not been supported in the same way as Further Education colleges.
This week, I wrote to the Justice Secretary about the support that legal aid centres need. Law centres provide legal advice in the community for those who cannot afford lawyers, and while they have been underfunded for many years, for Nottingham Law Centre COVID-19 has been the final straw.
There has also been an array of letters to the government organised by my colleagues which I have added my name to, including: ensuring adequate PPE for care workers (link); access to healthcare for migrants (link); ensuring adequate support for Students (link).