January 2023 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Many thanks for taking the time to look at my latest newsletter for January 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: abena.oppongasare.mp@parliament.uk


New Year’s Update

I want to wish everyone in Erith and Thamesmead a Happy New Year – I hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas break and has had a good start to 2023.

This January has been a busy month in the constituency and in Parliament.

I continue to hear from constituents about the important and difficult issues they are facing. These include housing insecurity and disrepair, anti-social behaviour, Home Office delays and challenges caused by the rising cost of living. My team of dedicated Caseworkers and I continue to assist constituents on these issues and my office can be contacted using the following channels:

Unfortunately, we are still facing a devastating cost of living crisis for families across the country. This winter, it has been especially difficult, and it is important that we all do as much as we can to help those who are most vulnerable.

As I announced last year, I have recently put together a cost of living booklet that will be able to assist constituents in these difficult times. I have gathered information about many of the agencies, organisations and charities that are out there and can provide help, information and support for managing your bills.

The booklet is available on my website and I will be providing the information directly to constituents who have recently been contacting me about their need for additional support. 

The link to the booklet is here: https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/cost-of-living/

I’ve also been looking closely at the impact of the Southeastern timetable changes – a change which I campaigned against last year. It is clear that these changes are causing significant problems, including overcrowding and the trains running late. I have heard from many in Erith and Thamesmead who are affected by the new timetable and it is important that we continue to press Southeastern and the Government on this issue.

For further information about this campaign, please visit this page on my website: https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/campaign-to-reverse-the-cuts-to-southeastern-trains/.

Abena in Parliament

It has been a busy start to the New Year in Parliament, with lots to hold the Government to account for. Over the last month, as Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, I led Labour’s scrutiny of the Government’s announcement to strip back energy support for businesses facing crippling energy bills and their announcement of a stamp duty freeze. I also spoke in the debate on the Retained EU Law Bill, arguing that we need to protect and promote worker, consumer, and environmental protections.

As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, I know businesses across Erith and Thamesmead will be concerned that the Government are winding down the business energy support scheme. For first-time buyers, renters, and those facing soaring mortgage costs, the stamp duty freeze announcement will do nothing to help their living costs. Labour pushed to amend this announcement so that the freeze does not benefit second home owners or landlords – the Government shut this down.

Lots of constituents wrote to me concerned about the watering down of worker, consumer, and environmental protections via the Retained EU Law Bill. I spoke in the debate to echo these concerns and remain disappointed that the Government hasn’t got a grip on properly scrutinising EU-era laws.

Moorings Neighbourhood Forum Visit to Parliament

I was pleased to be able to arrange a Tour of Parliament for the Moorings Neighbourhood Forum, who visited on Tuesday 10th January.

It was great to meet them in Westminster Hall after their tour and discuss issues like the Southeastern cuts and the cost of living crisis.

If you live in Erith & Thamesmead and would like me to arrange a tour, email me at: abena.oppongasare.mp@parliament.uk.


Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day is an important moment each year when we remind ourselves of the horrors that occurred last century and honour the six million Jewish men, women, and children who were murdered during the Holocaust.

Racism shouldn’t be tolerated and we all have the responsibility to make sure rising hate is eradicated.

I was pleased to sign the Holocaust Education Trust Book of Commitment.


  • Launch of the Befriending Café in Thamesmead – Joined for 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.
  • Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) – I met with the FSB this month and discussed the impact of the Government rolling back their business energy support scheme. We discussed our concerns about these changes and how this will negatively effect small businesses in Erith and Thamesmead and across the country.
  • Scotch Whisky Association – I met with the Scotch Whisky Association to discuss the new alcohol tax system and how we can support British Whisky drinkers.
  • Women’s Lobby Reception – It was great to join the Women’s Lobby Reception this month where we discussed the important role of women in journalism, and making progress in a traditionally male dominated industry.
  • Mastercard Meeting – Was pleased to meet with Mastercard to discuss their Strive project and how to support ethnic minority business leaders.
  • Thai Pongal and Tamil Heritage Month – I would like to send best wishes to all those in Erith and Thamesmead celebrating Thai Pongal, and many thanks to all the Tamil people, who do so much across our community.
  • Lunar New Year – Wishing everyone celebrating in Erith and Thamesmead and around the world a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year!

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).

You can also sign up to my digital newsletter at www.abenaoppongasare.com/get_in_touch