To all in Newport West, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year. At the risk of having this quoted back at me when I write next year, let us all hope this year is better than the last.
The most hopeful start to this new year is the arrival of a vaccine for coronavirus, bringing with it the gradual return to something like a normal way of life. I was immensely relieved to be able to take my Mum for her first dose of the vaccine last week and I am so proud of the work of our dedicated health professionals. We must all ensure that when we get invited to receive our vaccination, we take up the offer and do so. The NHS has done its duty in saving lives, now it is our turn.
Last week, I joined colleagues from across all political parties in calling on this Tory government to scrap their plans to slash universal credit by £20 a week: over £1000 a year. There are nearly 10,000 people in Newport West who claim Universal Credit. Most are in work, using Universal Credit to top up wages which are far too low. Others have lost their jobs during the pandemic. Universal Credit is a vital lifeline for growing numbers of our families, friends and neighbours. The idea that now is the right time to cut this money for millions of families, during a pandemic, is callous and it must be stopped.
Keeping our communities safe is a key priority of mine. Many have contacted me about fly-tipping and community safety. I have organised several multi-agency meetings to see how various public bodies and community groups can work together to improve local safety and end the problem of fly-tipping and littering. I have also spent time walking around our neighbourhoods with our local police, and I am grateful to them for the work that they do keeping us safe.
These are tough times for all of us and my office continues to support people across Newport West during the crisis. So, if you have a query or need assistance, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07423 277979. I continue to hold regular virtual surgeries; if you want an appointment, please do get in touch.