February 2023 Newsletter
Many thanks for taking the time to look at my latest newsletter for February 2023.
I hope you enjoy this update on some of the work I have been doing in Erith and Thamesmead and in Parliament over the last month.
As ever, if you want to get in touch, don’t hesitate to contact me using the email address: email@example.com
Shooting in Pembroke Road
First of all, I want to say how devasted I was to hear the news of the shooting that took place in Pembroke road, Erith, on Thursday, 9 February. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victim.
Although gun violence in our community is extremely rare, I understand the concern this incident has caused locally.
I want to extend my thanks to the police and ambulance staff, especially those who were first on scene and those currently working round the clock to find out what happened.
I know that the people of Erith are shocked by these events however, I also know that we can and will come together as one in support of the families and against all forms of violence.
I would urge anyone with information about the incident to make contact with the Police by calling 101 or by tweet @MetCC and quoting CAD 7135 of 9 Feb.
It has been another important month in Parliament when I have spoken on a number of topics and challenged the Government on much of their current agenda and legislation.
In my role as Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, I closed the Opposition Day debate on non-dom tax loopholes; I spoke on the establishment of the UK Infrastructure Bank; I supported the uprating of benefits in line with inflation; I challenged the Government on the forced installation of prepayment meters; and I spoke on the potential role of a Digital Pound.
On non-dom tax loopholes, I made clear that the Government’s inaction on this is costing working people more. I stated that Labour would end this practice now. Our plan would raise much needed resources by abolishing this non-dom tax loophole, ending tax breaks for private equity bosses, and ending tax breaks for private schools. As I stated in my speech, I believe this is about fairness in the tax system. You can read my speech here or watch a clip here.
On Wednesday 1st February, I also spoke on the Opposition’s continued support of the establishment and strengthening of the UK Infrastructure Bank. We agree that the bank is an important tool to invest in net zero projects and contribute to local and regional economic growth. However, in my speech I made clear that the Government needed to go further with their legislation to harness the full potential of the bank, including through more ambitious and stronger objectives. I also highlighted that a Labour Government will use our Green Prosperity Plan to invest in wind, solar and nuclear power, insulate 19 million homes, and get Britain winning the race to net zero. You can read my speech here or watch a clip here.
Furthermore, as we face a worrying period of high inflation and a cost-of-living crisis, in the Delegated Legislation Committee I spoke on the important issue of uprating benefits in line with inflation. You can read my intervention here.
Many in the constituency may have also heard the appalling stories regarding the forced installation of prepayment meters. Last month, I challenged the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury on this issue, stating that Labour had called for a ban on this shocking practice. The Government eventually intervened and have said suppliers are halting forced installations. You can read my question to the Minister here.
Finally, I spoke in a debate on the possible introduction of a Digital Pound. The Opposition welcomes the potential benefits of a central bank digital currency, while acknowledging that any risks involved need to be seriously addressed. You can read my speech on the Digital Pound here.
Launch of Befriending Café in Thamesmead
I was pleased to join the launch of Age UK’s Befriending Café in Thamesmead and was pleased to see so many having a good time and join for tea, bingo and other games.
You can find out more about Age UK Bexley’s Befriending Café through the following link: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/bexley/activities-and-events/befriending-cafes/.
Re-opening of Hawksmoor Youth Hub in Thamesmead
It was great to attend the re-opening of Hawksmoor Youth Hub last week. The Hub has long delivered fantastic services to the young people and wider community of Thamesmead but has also faced considerable challenges with the state of its facilities.
Check out the Hawksmoor Youth Hub here: https://www.young-greenwich.org.uk/.
Many thanks to Erith Town Football Club for their initiative to support Bexley Foodbank. They do incredible work in the community and I was pleased to join Erith Town FC’s ‘Foodbank Day’, where there was free admission to the match if you donated a bag of food.
As mentioned by Erith Town FC, the items most needed by Bexley Foodbank are Long Life Milk, Fruit Juice, Soup, Custard, Rice Pudding, Noodles, Jam, Sugar, Toothpaste, Deodrant and Shower Gel. Anything that you, your friends and family can do to help will always be appreciated.
I also enjoyed the match and presented a 100 appearance trophy to Dockers Captain Jason Goodchild and a 100 goals framed jersey to Steadman Callender. #UpTheDockers
Visit to the University of Kent
Thank you to the School of Politics at the University of Kent for hosting me for an ‘In Conversation’ event. As my former university, it was a pleasure to return to the school to discuss the current political climate and to engage with the enthusiastic politics students attending.
Many thanks to the Head of Politics and International Relations, Dr Nadine Ansong, for chairing and hosting the event.
- Drop the Knives Community Meeting – I want to thank Nicola and Sian for organising the Drop the Knives, Save Lives event in Thamesmead. It was great to meet everyone and discuss how we rid our community of this epidemic.
- Act of Remembrance with Nepalese Community – I want to again send my sympathies to all in the Nepalese community as we remember the tragic recent events.
- Diversity in Business event with Zurich – It was a pleasure to join Zurich Insurance and other activists to discuss the importance of Diversity and Inclusion in business to ensure that everyone has a fair opportunity to get ahead in the workplace.
- Labour’s International Trade Reception – Spoke with businesses across the country to celebrate the contribution businesses and international trade play in generating jobs and economic growth both here and abroad. It is so important to discuss the future challenges and opportunities for the sector to make sure we have good jobs and strong economy in the future.
- Time to Talk Day – It was important to recognise Time to Talk Day as we discuss the issues surrounding mental health more deeply and encourage everyone to speak up to reduce the stigma of the topic.
- Meeting with the Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK – It was a pleasure to meet with the Ukrainian Ambassador especially as we reflect on the one-year anniversary of the illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. While the illegal war started by Russia continues, it is important that our support for the Ukrainian people remains.
- LGBTQ+ Veterans Reception with Stonewall and Fighting with Pride – Great to join this event as we reflected on the Government’s Independent Review into the impacts of the historic ban on LGBTQ+ veterans serving before 2000, which is still ongoing and has impacted many veterans and their families.
Sign up to my Coffee Morning
If you are interested in coming along to a future Coffee Morning, I’ve just launched my webpage where you, your family and friends can sign up to register your interest in attending a meeting.
Sign up: https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/upcoming-events/coffeemorning/
Stay updated on social media
For regular updates on my activities, follow me on Twitter (@abenaopp), Facebook (Abena Oppong-Asare MP, Erith and Thamesmead), and Instagram (abena.oppongasare.mp).
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