Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place on 27 January each year and is a time for us to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or persecuted during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. On HMD we honour the survivors of these atrocities and challenge ourselves to learn the lessons of their experiences to create a safer, better future.
A Holocaust Memorial Day Activity Organiser Workshop is taking place on Tuesday 21 October at Leeds Metropolitan University, and people from libraries, churches, schools and community groups from all over Yorkshire who are planning to organise activities for HMD are invited. The link to the event details is here: http://www.hmd.org.uk/events/hmd-2015-workshop-leeds
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place on 27 January each year and is a time for us to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or...
It's been a busy seven days.
First, we had an important victory in Parliament on the bedroom tax on Friday 5 September. Despite Government opposition, we voted through a proposed Bill which would lessen some of the impact of this terribly unfair tax. Then it was back up to Leeds to attend a meeting of the Girl Guides Senior Section who meet in Wrangthorn Church Hall in Hyde Park. There were lots of questions and an excellent discussion.
On Saturday, it was busy surgeries in Middleton and Beeston, followed by our Labour Party garden party. We were full of good cheer despite a touch of moisture – well actually it was heavy rain – so we stood under cover and had a great time.
I have received representations from the residents of the Whitfields in Hunslet about the proposed route of the Trolleybus scheme and the effect it will have on this long pedestrianised street. I have raised this issue with the NGT team before and I will do so again to see whether another route is still possible. The scheme is currently being looked at by a public inquiry and it will be for the Inspector to decide whether it is given the go-ahead.
I support the trolleybus scheme overall. There is no room for any more roads in the centre of Leeds and congestion is a real problem. Leeds aspires to be a major city and if you look around other cities of comparable size elsewhere in the United Kingdom and in Europe, almost all of them have some form of rapid transit system. We don’t, and I think that will be to the long-term economic disadvantage of the city and our ability to create jobs.
On Thursday I was in Scotland to support the No Thanks campaign in the Scottish Referendum. It is, of course, a decision for the people of Scotland, but the result will affect us too and we are entitled to have a view. Mine is that it would be a great mistake to break up such a successful partnership, which has benefitted both Scotland and England, and it would do nothing to advance the cause of social justice across the UK. We all gain from the solidarity that comes with being part of something bigger; unity is strength.
Mind you, with more powers now on offer to Scotland, the case for devolving power in England is now overwhelming, so expect to hear more about it once the result is known.
Today it was back to Westminster to vote in favour of a Bill that will enshrine in law the UK’s commitment to a level of spending (0.7% of national income) to help the poorest countries in the world. As a former International Development Secretary, I know what a difference British aid makes to getting children into school and stopping them from dying of preventable diseases. Gordon Brown, fresh from his efforts on referendum, made a passionate and moving speech.
And finally, tomorrow I will be out knocking on doors and talking to residents in Burmantofts and Richmond Hill. Hope to see you.
It's been a busy seven days. First, we had an important victory in Parliament on the bedroom tax on Friday 5 September. Despite Government opposition, we voted through a proposed...
The bedroom tax is unfair, immoral and undermines family life. Over 2,000 households in my constituency have been affected by it and they are all people on low incomes. Most of them want to stay in their family home – it’s what most people would do if they found themselves in this position – but even for those who want to downsize to a smaller property, there simply aren’t enough of them available. This is why the bedroom tax needs to be scrapped completely.
As you may have seen, we took the first step on the road to abolishing the bedroom tax on 5 September in the House of Commons. We won a crucial vote by 306 votes to 231 on the second reading of a Bill which would exempt from the bedroom tax people whose homes have been specially adapted and those not offered another property. Now that the Bill will go into committee, Labour will try and amend it to abolish the bedroom tax altogether. We have also made it clear that if Labour wins the next general election, the bedroom tax will go.
This result shows that David Cameron is losing his grip and that it is Labour that is providing leadership for a fairer country. A big thank you to everyone who has been campaigning against the bedroom tax so far and for your support to us as Labour MPs as we voted for social justice.
The bedroom tax is unfair, immoral and undermines family life. Over 2,000 households in my constituency have been affected by it and they are all people on low incomes. Most...