It is now almost three months since I was elected as the Member of Parliament for Leeds West. I am proud of what I have managed to achieve so far, and look forward to doing more and more in the future.
n Parliament, I spoke last month against the government’s plans to hike VAT, wrote about the Free School Meals pilot project and asked a number of questions in the Chamber and to government Ministers, particularly about what steps they took to make sure that the budget fulfilled equality requirements. I was also elected onto the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, and had the opportunity to grill Vince Cable about the plans he has for the economy, higher education and regional development. I think the government has come up short and needs to do more to protect jobs and industry in our region and beyond.
I have really enjoyed holding the government to account, and also the summer activities in Leeds West which have been a great success. I had the pleasure of speaking at both the Kirkstall Festival (pictured) and Bramley Carnival, and thought that the organisers of both did a magnificent job. It is great to see community events going from strength to strength, and hope that you will continue to support them as I will in the future. The I Love West Leeds Festival also did our area proud, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s activities!
I’ve also had the chance to visit two schools – the brand new Swallow Hill Community College and Abbey Grange High School. I ate a school meal with the Swallow Hill School Council, and together with the school council we have written to the catering company responsible to make sure that everyone at the school is properly fed at decent prices. At Abbey Grange I talked to sixth formers about their decisions on university and jobs – and took some thoughts from them which I used in questioning Vince Cable on his strategies for young people.
I am looking forward to continuing my hard work in Westminster when Parliament commences again, and pushing the government to protect our community and thousands like it across the country amid the spending cuts to come. I will also be working hard on local projects like the Kirkstall Forge Railway station petition. My office will be open throughout the parliamentary recess – if you need any help or advice please don’t hesitate to get in touch.