October 2019: News from your local MP
The upside of Parliament's closure: more time to spend in Bristol West
I’m pleased to say that, after a great deal of pressure from me and other MPs, the government has announced extra funding for schools. All schools will receive some extra funding in line with inflation, and some receive more on top, to reach a per pupil minimum funding per year of £3,750 for primary age and £5,000 for secondary schools in 2020-21. Of course I welcome this. I’m disappointed, however, that it doesn’t anywhere near reverse the cuts and the impact of increased costs imposed over the last ten years on our schools; and doesn’t deal with the additional needs that many pupils have.
The UK and the EU
You all know I don’t want Brexit and I’m trying everything I can to stop it, but many of you will be affected if we leave the EU – and particularly if we leave on bad terms or no arrangement at all. So I do need to remind you about preparation.
Anyone who lives in the UK but has the nationality of another EU country: please apply for your settled or pre-settled status as soon as possible. The official deadline for applications is the end of 2020 but, because of the risk that the Prime Minister will take us out of the EU with no withdrawal agreement, I strongly advise everyone not to wait. If you have problems, I want to help.
If you run a business, please look at the government website https://www.gov.uk/business-uk-leaving-eu and consult suppliers and regular clients about the impact on them of leaving the EU.
You may need to comply with customs rules from 1 November if you export or import to or from other EU countries. Your supply chain may depend on parts or maintenance from a company in another EU country. Even if you don’t trade directly with the EU, you may be affected, so please prepare.
The Prime Minister has prorogued Parliament. Many of you know this means shutting us down for five weeks and ending that session of Parliament, starting a new session with a new Queen’s Speech on 14 October. I’m proud that record number of people in Bristol West signed the petition opposing this – at a time of national crisis with major decisions taking place, I want to be in Parliament representing you and scrutinising government as you expect me to.
The upside to this is more time in the constituency. I’m able to do more visits to schools and businesses; and speak to more of you on the doorstep than usual. At the time of writing, the Supreme Court is hearing evidence about whether the Prime Minister’s decision was legal, so it’s possible that I’ll be back in Parliament before the 14th. Rest assured that I’m still working and I’m doing my best to represent you from here; and as soon as possible I’ll be back to scrutinising the government in person.