What a year 2022 was!
3 Prime Ministers, several Cabinet reshuffles, and a Tory Party in crisis.
As the MP for the Jarrow constituency, I have been working hard helping constituents locally and in Parliament, asking questions, and holding the Government to account.
It has been brilliant to be able to see so many schools, businesses, and local organisations in the Jarrow constituency.
Here are just some highlights from me and the team.
In 2022 we:
- Dealt with 3116 individual cases achieving significant results on housing, bills and many other issues.
- Held drop in events, street stalls, cost of living roadshows with 21+ local organisations taking part offering constituents assistance with any issues they have.
- Supported local campaigns including the campaign to save our Green Space in Boldon. Disco Field is a wonderful green open space with an abundance of wildlife that needs to be protected.
- Had a significant victory when BT apologised to me after it attempted to claim late payment fees from those who hadn’t got their bills and payments in the post in time due to the postal strikes. Ofcom has also apologised, confirming BT should not have done this. This means people on paper bills – not just in Jarrow but across the UK – will not now be charged extra.
- Launched a summer survey for constituents to tell me how they think I am doing as their MP.
- Made a joint bid with South Tyneside Council to the Levelling Up Fund.
- Met with the local driving test community to fight against plans for the DVSA to close the centre on the Bede Industrial Estate.
- Supported residents in bringing their concerns about the South Tyneside local plan to the attention of the Leader of South Tyneside Council and the Secretary of State.
- Attended the Remembrance Day service at the war memorial in Jarrow.
- Sent letter packs to all primary schools and others across the constituency which included my cost-of-living leaflets, and how my office can help staff, parents and carers with any issues they may be having.
- Supported the food banks in the constituency.
- Carried out over 150 visits to local organisations, businesses, schools and colleges.
- Visited A&P Tyne after the government announcement on the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
- Attended the annual Jarrow Rebel Town Festival.
- Supported constituents on the picket lines on recent strikes.
- Held my third annual Christmas card competition for primary schools in the constituency.
- Attended Christmas events across the constituency including Jarrow and Boldon Christmas tree lights switch on.
- Chaired several sessions of the Women and Equalities Select Committee.
- Been lucky enough to be selected 3 times this year to ask a PMQ.
- Asked many other questions in Parliament, from the cost-of-living crisis, the Budget, LGBTQ+ rights, housing, BT charges and asking the Government to commit to ending the scandal of child poverty by providing free school meals to 800,000 children from families in receipt of Universal Credit who currently don’t receive them.
- Led a Westminster Hall debate on the recruitment and retention of foster carers.
- Continued raising the issue of the Post Office Horizon scandal. The investigation that came about after my PMQ has now finished but many are still waiting for compensation and no one has yet been held to account.
- I wrote to the Secretary of State for BEIS to raise concerns around the Post Office Horizon Scandal compensation scheme and that it excluded the 555 litigants who sued the Post Office, from claiming. This had support from 93 other cross party MPs.
- Took part in Westminster Hall debates on the Leamside Line arguing for the benefits of it to be reopened; International Women’s Day; human rights in Colombia; trans conversion therapy ban; and waiting times for ambulances, emergency department care and many more.
- Signed the Ukrainian book of solidarity in Parliament on behalf of the Jarrow constituency.
- Represented the Jarrow constituency in addresses made to the Houses of Parliament around the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the reign of King Charles III.
- Met with Baroness Vere, the Minister responsible for the DVSA at the time of the meeting, and put forward the case for retaining the driving test centre in Jarrow.
- Met with several charities and campaign groups at drop in events in Parliament throughout the year.
- Joined Ian Byrne MP and others at Downing St to deliver an open letter to the Chancellor calling for a Right to Food to be enshrined in law.
- Attended Council of Europe meetings in Strasbourg and Paris.
- Graduated from the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme after spending time visiting and speaking with those in the RAF.
- Lobbied the Government at every opportunity for support for constituents and local businesses affected by the cost of living crisis.
- Met with frontline NHS workers after they handed in the Keep our NHS Public petition to Downing Street, spoke at many NHS rallies and events.
Here’s to keeping up the fight in 2023!