After thirteen years of Tory rule, local businesses in Edmonton have suffered terribly. While big business has been given tax cut after tax cut, the smaller local companies that are so vital to our community have been run into the ground.
That’s why I’m so excited about what Labour’s plan for small business will mean for Edmonton. I know how tough the last thirteen years have been and its time for real change. This plan will breathe new life into our local high streets and invigorate businesses in our community.
Often, small businesses feel overshadowed, their economic weight not duly acknowledged. Labour is determined to change this narrative, pledging to hardwire the voice of small businesses into every aspect of government decision-making.
Beyond the jobs and economic growth generated by small businesses, Labour’s commitment extends further, acknowledging the unique richness they bring to our economy, making them a cornerstone of our economic landscape.
Labour will legislate to address late payments, ensuring small businesses receive payments promptly. The plan also aims to scrap business rates, creating a fairer system that supports high street premises and encourages expansion.
To boost high streets, Labour plans to tackle anti-social behaviour by introducing town centre police patrols, creating a safer environment for businesses. Moreover, a comprehensive strategy is in place to enhance exports, collaborating with the Federation of Small Business on a Small Business Export Taskforce.
Skills development is a key focus, with the creation of Skills England to address shortages and the establishment of Technical Excellence Colleges in collaboration with local industries.
The plan also addresses infrastructure development, aiming to reform the planning system, build 1.5 million homes, and remove barriers hindering business growth.
Labour aims to make Britain a clean energy superpower, cutting energy bills for small businesses and creating jobs in the trades sector. Additionally, the plan seeks to make the UK the best place for startups and scale-ups by unlocking patient capital for technology-intensive businesses.
This comprehensive plan isn’t just rhetoric; it’s a blueprint for long-term success that businesses in Edmonton and across the country have been calling for. By injecting vitality into our local businesses, this plan is poised to foster sustainable growth in our community. As your representative in Parliament, I believe this is a significant step towards a thriving economic landscape in Edmonton.
Hidden homeless must not be ignored
The latest government figures expose yet another significant surge in the number of children living in temporary accommodation in England. The data reveals a startling increase of 7,400 children in temporary accommodation within just three months, bringing the total to a staggering 138,900. This hidden homelessness crisis is being alarmingly overlooked by the government, leaving vulnerable children in precarious living situations.
This isn’t a naturally occurring crisis -it’s a policy choice made by the Conservatives over the last thirteen years. Housing families in suitable, affordable and socially owned homes is far cheaper for taxpayers than forcing those families into homelessness. But for ideological reasons, the Conservatives have allowed the housing crisis to spiral out of control, preferring to protect the profits of rich property developers rather than protect our human right to housing.
However, amid this disheartening news, there is a glimmer of positive action. The government has announced much-needed and much overdue support for rough sleepers, particularly in London, where the homelessness crisis has reached record highs. A substantial £52 million has been allocated to Greater London as part of a £200 million national programme, the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme, aimed at addressing the issue of rough sleeping.
This funding is a step in the right direction, with plans to build almost 350 homes for rough sleepers in London alone. The program prioritises providing housing for homeless adults without dependent children. It’s a crucial initiative that aligns with the government’s broader £2 billion programme to eradicate rough sleeping across the country.
This move is long overdue, especially considering the record number of people recorded sleeping rough in the capital between July and September. Outreach teams identified over 4,000 individuals on the streets during this period, marking a 12% increase from the same period last year. The highest quarterly rough sleeping count since records began outside a pandemic.
While this effort to address the urgent crisis of rough sleeping is welcome, it is crucial to tackle the problem of hidden homelessness. The government must not turn a blind eye to the plight of vulnerable children living in temporary accommodation, and urgent measures are needed to provide stable living conditions for these young lives. It’s time for comprehensive and compassionate action to tackle both visible and hidden homelessness.
Leasehold Reform Failure
I know how many of my constituents across Edmonton are trapped in unfair leasehold agreements. For many years now it is has been clear that leaseholds don’t just need reform, they need to be scrapped. They are unjust, out of date and don’t work for anybody.
That’s why I’m so deeply disappointed at embarrassing failure of the government’s much-anticipated Leasehold Reform Bill. Despite promises to end the feudal leasehold system, the Bill actually contains no provisions to end leaseholds on newly built houses in England and Wales. The key clauses to effect this change were inexplicably omitted in a last-minute rush to draft the Bill.
The Bill, as presented, was supposed to ban developers from selling new houses under leasehold. However, it has come to light that the bill does not deliver on this promise, leaving an entire segment of housing untouched by the proposed reforms.
I know how frustrating and disappointing this news is for leaseholders in Edmonton and I’m absolutely committed to pushing the Government to ensure that as this Bill progresses through Parliament it is amended so that it is fit for purpose and leaseholds are ended, completely once and for all.
Data Protection and Digital Information Bill
On Wednesday this week I voted on a number of amendments to the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill. There is widespread consensus that we need to modernise data protection legislation. The technological landscape is rapidly changing and its important that legislation keeps up.
Nevertheless, this Bill failed to capitalise on the positive opportunities the use of data affords, including making data work for the wider social good and empowering workers. Harnessing the power of data has the potential to revitalise public services, but this Bill does not go far enough to strengthen individual autonomy and trust over handling of their data.
That’s why I voted to block powers that would have allowed the government to make it easier for organisations to use direct email marketing to contact people, even when they have opted out. I also voted for amendment 1, which would have strengthened existing safeguards and amendment 5 that would have extended the data rights of individuals subject to a significant decision in which automated decision making is used.
Lastly, I voted to take the Bill back to the committee stage so that the government’s rushed changed can be properly scrutinised. Unfortunately, the government blocked our amendments, and the Bill is being pushed through as it is.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest update, if you have any issues that you would like to raise directly with me then please do email firstname.lastname@example.org .
I’m always happy to help whenever possible.
Member of Parliament for Edmonton