News from Hilary

Last week in the House of Commons we held a debate about the private rented sector. 9 million people now rent privately including over 1.3 million families with children.  Almost 50% of private rented households are over the age of 35 and many of this group struggle with the growing cost of renting and with the insecurity and uncertainty built into the rental market. That’s why Labour has proposed making 3 year long term tenancies with predictable rents the norm. We will also stop lettings agents from charging fees to tenants.

Hiary's Blog - 30th June 2014

Last week in the House of Commons we held a debate about the private rented sector. 9 million people now rent privately including over 1.3 million families with children.  Almost... Read more

Last Friday, I attended a wonderful event in the Civic Centre council chamber organised by the Leeds learning Disability Forum. It was part of Learning Disability Week and it gave many of the disabled people attending the chance to express their opinions on benefits, health, jobs and transport. It was really impressive and it was good to see representatives there from the NHS and First Bus who were willing to listen and respond.BqAXIjdIYAACBNR.jpg

Hilary's Blog - 16th June 2014

Last Friday, I attended a wonderful event in the Civic Centre council chamber organised by the Leeds learning Disability Forum. It was part of Learning Disability Week and it gave... Read more

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Hilary recently attended the opening of the newly refurbished St Mark's Church in Woodhouse.  Gateway Church has brought life back to the once redundant St Mark’s, as it hosted its Civic Opening on Friday 6th June with Hilary and the Lord Mayor of Leeds who with Gateway member Olivia Evans pulled the ribbon from the accessibility lift.

Hilary attends the opening of the new Gateway Church

Hilary recently attended the opening of the newly refurbished St Mark's Church in Woodhouse.  Gateway Church has brought life back to the once redundant St Mark’s, as it hosted its... Read more

Last Friday’s D-Day 70th anniversary commemorations were extremely moving. It is hard for us of this generation to imagine what it was like for those young men who, in wave after wave, poured onto the beaches of Normandy on 6th June 1944. What we do know is that it was a decisive turning point in the defeat of Hitler, but all those veterans still remember their comrades who sadly did not make it. The flower of a generation lie in those immaculately-tended cemeteries across northern France, and in honouring their memory we must never forget the true cost of war, even if sometimes it is necessary.  

 

Congratulations to Kim Groves (Middleton Park), Mohammed Iqbal (City and Hunslet), Ron Grahame (Burmantofts and Richmond Hill), Javaid Akhtar (Hyde Park and Woodhouse) and David Congreve (Beeston and Holbeck) on all being re-elected to represent us on Leeds City Council and to Richard Corbett on winning a second European seat for Labour in Yorkshire and the Humber to join Linda McAvan.

 

However, what was also evident in these elections across the UK was alienation in many of our communities. A lot of people feel left behind. Traditional industries have gone, the world has moved on and the deal in which you worked hard, and you and your children did better, has broken down. And some people see a pace of change in their communities that they are uncomfortable with. Our task is tackle the exploitation of zero hour contracts, give private tenants a bit more peace of mind with longer-term tenancies and crack down on the employment agencies that only hire workers from other countries.

 

We also need to point out that UKIP has only one priority to get out of Europe. As well as being bad for jobs, trade and the economy, how would that help us to see our GP quicker, establish more high quality apprenticeships, build the homes we need so that Generation Rent can realise their dream of owning a home, or create an economy that is sustainable in the long-term rather than built on short-term sand ?

 

The National Audit Office (NAO) has released a damning report into the botched fire sale of Royal Mail. The report revealed that the taxpayer was short-changed by hundreds of millions of pounds after the share price rose by 38 per cent on the first day of trading, and 70 per cent over the following six months. We opposed the privatisation and warned the government that it was drastically undervaluing Royal Mail’s property assets.

 

And finally, if you live in Woodhouse, please come along to my next Big Conversation event at the Oblong (Woodhouse Community Centre) 197 Woodhouse Street, Leeds LS6 2NY at 6pm this Friday 13th June. Everyone is welcome !

News from Hilary - 9th June 2014

Last Friday’s D-Day 70th anniversary commemorations were extremely moving. It is hard for us of this generation to imagine what it was like for those young men who, in wave...

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The last two weeks have been heavily occupied for me with campaigning for the European and local elections taking place this Thursday (22 May). Don’t forget to cast your vote!  I have been to Exeter, Deal, Croydon, Lincoln and Brighouse - among other places - as well as campaigning in Leeds for our excellent council candidates - Kim Groves (Middleton Park), Mohammed Iqbal (City and Hunslet), Ron Grahame (Burmantofts and Richmond Hill), Javaid Akhtar (Hyde Park and Woodhouse), and David Congreve (Beeston and Holbeck) – and our Yorkshire and Humberside Labour team for the European Parliament.

There’s also been a fair amount of media interviews, although when I did the Sunday Politics from the BBC Leeds studio on Sunday I was cut off just before the end by electronic gremlins ! 

This morning I opened the new Asda store in Middleton. The staff are really enthusiastic and there were big crowds waiting for the ribbon cutting at 10am. But the really exciting thing about this is that thanks to the work of our ward councillors – Kim Groves, Judith Blake and Paul Truswell – Asda agreed to recruit locally for over 300 new jobs. As Kim Groves said today: “The majority of jobs have gone to local people, many who were out of work. The training is great which Asda offers. It is wonderful to see people living around here being inspired and motivated.

There was a really troubling story in the YEP today about loneliness amongst pensioners in Leeds. A new report by the Leeds Community Foundation says that nearly 15,000 people aged over 65 in the city are “intensely lonely” and have lost their family, friends, mobility or income. Nearly four in ten single pensioner households experience fuel poverty and many are forced to choose between spending money on food or heating their homes. With the number of people over 65 living alone in Leeds predicted to rise by more than a third over the next 15 years, this is the biggest social issue we face.

The organisations that are doing something about this include a large number of community groups working around the city. Last Friday I had the privilege of attending the 20th birthday party of Burmantofts Senior Action. Wendy Davies [pictured above with Hilary] and her team of staff and volunteers do a terrific job in bringing older residents together and combatting loneliness.

The problems of low incomes is a big issue locally, so today’s announcement by Ed Miliband about the minimum wage is really important. The minimum wage was originally designed to prevent extreme low pay and abuse, but today the challenge is to help hardworking people who earn above the minimum wage but are still living in poverty or dependent on benefits. Over five million people, or one in five employees, are low paid, and families are on average £1,600 a year worse off since David Cameron became Prime Minister, with the value of the national minimum wage having declined by five per cent over the same period.

That’s why in September last year Ed Miliband asked Alan Buckle, former‎ Deputy Chairman at KPMG, to investigate how to strengthen the minimum wage, as part of a plan to ensure that those who do a hard day’s work are rewarded for doing so. The report recommends that the next Labour Government should set an ambitious target to increase the minimum wage, bringing it closer to median earnings over a five-year period. This will ensure that there is a bond between the wealth we earn as a nation and the wages that people earn for a hard day’s work.

News from Hilary - 19th May 2014

  The last two weeks have been heavily occupied for me with campaigning for the European and local elections taking place this Thursday (22 May). Don’t forget to cast your...

Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) (Lab):


May I begin by joining my hon. Friend the Member for Garston and Halewood (Maria Eagle) and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in sending good wishes to the right hon. Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson) for a speedy recovery? We really do look forward to seeing him back in his place.

Hilary's speech in the debate on the recent flooding

Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) (Lab): May I begin by joining my hon. Friend the Member for Garston and Halewood (Maria Eagle) and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local... Read more

Hilary's speech to Labour Party Conference setting out Labour's plans for new homes and a new politics for Britain.

 

 

 

 

Hilary's speech to Labour Party Conference 2013

Hilary's speech to Labour Party Conference setting out Labour's plans for new homes and a new politics for Britain.        

Devolution is unfinished business - we should trust the English people, says Hilary Benn

Hilary Benn MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government secretary, in an article published on Telegraph.co.uk, wrote:


Many families will have a collection of England football shirts worn with pride by different generations over the decades. Shirts that tell tales of triumph and disappointment. And whether red or white (or even the odd blue one), what has remained consistent is the badge – the famous three lions.

Hilary's article for The Telegraph on devolution

Devolution is unfinished business - we should trust the English people, says Hilary Benn Hilary Benn MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government secretary, in an article published on Telegraph.co.uk,... Read more

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