Here to help - and make the case for change
Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy writes for the Voice
FIRST of all, I would like to wish everyone a very happy New Year!
The election already seems a long time ago, but I would also like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who voted for me to continue as the MP for this area. I really do appreciate it. It was a tough election in many ways but it was the support of people on the doorstep - and in the street, in the shops, everywhere I went - that kept us going, despite the dark nights and the icy rain and the soggy leaflets. (No more December elections, please!)
The national election result was of course hugely disappointing for Labour. We need to learn from this defeat. I will be part of that conversation, and I am keen to hear from you too. And of course, whether you voted Labour or not, I am here to help you with individual problems, to support the local community, and to speak up for you in Parliament.
What is particularly important for me in carrying out my role as your representative in Westminster is to hear personal stories of how you’re being affected by cutbacks to services, and how the people and systems that are supposed to be there to support you are proving obstructive. That could be delays in getting appointments or assessments, or unfairly being denied disability benefits. You could be struggling to get to work on time because of unreliable buses, or your landlord could be refusing to carry out essential repairs. My first course of action would be to take these up as casework, and try get you the help you need. As your MP though, I can also go right to the top, to the people who make the decisions, and I can make the case for systemic improvements and more resources. One example of this would be the law introduced earlier this year by a Labour MP, requiring all homes to be fit for human habitation.
Finally, on a sad note, just before the election two fantastic community projects in this area were hit by burglaries. Elm Tree Farm in Stapleton, which is run by the Brandon Trust and provides work opportunities for people with learning disabilities, in food and flower growing, wood-working and looking after the animals, had its tools and the proceeds from Christmas tree sales stolen. Then the Friends of Eastville Park’s storage facilities by the bowling green were targeted. The group had already, sadly, had to cancel the Santa’s Christmas grotto event planned for Sunday December 9 because of high winds. I’d popped in to visit them the weekend before, and the volunteers had been doing some truly amazing creative work. The callous thieves took 600 wrapped Christmas presents intended for children visiting the grotto. Please do support the Friends of Eastville Park and Elm Tree Farm appeals if you can.
You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call my team on 0117 939 9901 or write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.