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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

'Dance on' (as The Shadows played)


Buy your Come Dine with MP ballot ticket here 

Get your tickets for the ballot for dinner on Wednesday 22nd February 2017 at a Top London restaurant with Labour's sign writer extraordinaire and fantastic London MEP Seb Dance.
  
This ballot is open to supporters as well as members of the Labour Party and all funds raised will go towards Walthamstow Labour Party's campaigning.

Where, this week, to find Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow

  • Tuesday 21st February- returning to parliament for the Criminal Finances Bill 
  • Wednesday 22nd February- meeting with the CMA to discuss concerns about PFI financing 
  • Thursday 23rd February - running a women's leadership project for the Citybridge community youth charity in Tower Hamlets and then taking part in the parliamentary debate on the treatment of refugee children before campaigning in the Copeland by-election
  • Friday 24th February - attending parliament to ensure the Istanbul Convention Bill receives a report reading 
  • Saturday 25th February- speaking at Student Pride in support of the provision of inclusive sex and relationship education in all schools
  • Sunday 26th February- supporting the Haymarket Theatre refugee charities fundraiser

Monday, 13 February 2017

Burgers for Burghers - Labour Ward selections sponsored by MacDonalds?




























Across London, borough Labour parties are beginning the process to select their candidates for the local elections in 2018. There will be interviews, and the inevitable wait . . .

Friday, 10 February 2017

"Stopping the Dubs scheme for child refugees is shameful and heartless"

Responding to yesterday's developments Stella Creasy MP writes in The Guardian:

"Less than a year ago, parliament passed the Dubs amendment with support across all political parties. Proudly we agreed that Britain should take its fair share of unaccompanied child refugees. Throughout the debates the number repeatedly mentioned was 3,000 – a fraction of the estimated 95,000 unaccompanied children in Europe seeking asylum. Now the government has announced they will cap this at 350 – shamefully claiming this is in the spirit of the amendment. Little wonder that Lord Dubs – himself a beneficiary of the Kindertransport programme in the 1930s to help children fleeing persecution from Nazi Germany – is rightly furious at such a betrayal.

Little wonder that on Wednesday the government attempted to hide the closure of this scheme by slipping out the details on the day of the Brexit vote in a written statement. Forced to come to parliament to explain herself by Yvette Cooper’s urgent question today, the home secretary angrily stated that the French government had asked for this scheme to end because it created a “pull” factor.

Yet having met with the French authorities this seems far-fetched at best. They were both adamant about the shared responsibility of each nation to these children and the need for Britain to take at least 1,000 as a result. So, too, it does nothing to explain why this change of policy is in the best interests of the thousands of children stuck in camps in Italy and Greece. Not a single child has come from these countries under this scheme to the UK, but many are eligible and all are at risk in their current locations.

Stopping the Dubs scheme will not end the stream of unaccompanied child refugees arriving in Europe from conflict-stricken nations. It will simply stop them travelling legally – and crucially safely – to a haven. The perceived pull factor of any such scheme is no match for the brutal push factors of the rape, war and political persecution that have made so many of them leave the comfort of home for the danger of the sea.

Perhaps those of us who have fought for the rights of these children should not be surprised at this move by Theresa May’s government. Already they had been trying to restrict the Dubs scheme by nationality, limiting it to those who are Syrian or Sudanese, and thus abandoning the many Afghan, Eritrean, Oromo or Ethiopian children stuck in Europe alone. So, too, when we attempted to amend legislation to ensure the UN convention on the rights of the child covered how these children were treated by Britain, the government voted it down.

Yet the despair many feel today isn’t just about the premature abolition of this scheme, it’s at our continued failure to treat these children with the decency and humanity we would wish for our own. In October last year, many of these orphaned children went willingly with officials to French reception centres in good faith, having been told they would be assessed for transfer to the UK.

Now they find out there is no hope of any such safety. Many are losing faith all together of any kind of future. Some have attempted suicide, others are back again jumping lorries in the dark to try to get to Britain. A damning indictment of the approach taken, charities estimate that 50 children a day are now arriving back in Calais, sleeping in the mud and vulnerable to the people traffickers and exploitation gangs which see them as an easy target.

Only a week ago Westminster echoed with condemnation for Donald Trump’s ban on Syrian refugees. Now our own government has announced it is closing the door to vulnerable children on our doorstep fleeing persecution, making a mockery of the claim to be a global Britain.

From Kindertransport to the Dubs amendments, protecting and caring for child refugees has been and must remain a British value. If the government doesn’t rethink this cruel and heartless decision, some of the most helpless children in the world will pay a heavy price for indifference. And if we don’t speak up about it, it won’t just be our international reputation at stake but our national pride too."

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Radical changes in NHS - "STPs and Walthamstow" - 16 Feb



Stella Creasy MP invites Walthamstow residents to a discussion of the impact of proposed STPs locally:

"I pledged to involve patient representatives in any meetings about STP plans for Walthamstow - please join me on Thursday 16th February at 6.30pm in central Walthamstow to discuss proposals to radically change our local NHS. 

We will be joined by the Director for Communications and Engagement for the North East London NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STPs), and members of our local HealthyE17 campaign group and Patient Involvement Chairs. 

STPs are currently being drawn up all around the country to make major changes to the NHS which faces a £30bn shortfall in funding. Walthamstow is part of an STP for North East London where it is estimated our shortfall will £578 million by 2020/21, or 14% of the overall spend on health in this area.

You can read more about these plans here which focus on moving care out of hospital and into the community- at a time of a shortage of social care funding by the Government. 

Despite the potential impact of these plans, only local councils have any formal role in approving these plans. Due to their concerns about the proposals Waltham Forest Council have now refused to support these plans - This event is to enable local residents and patients to learn more about what the STP could mean and let the NHS know how they want to be involved in this process. 

This event is open to all residents of Walthamstow- please email for full details of the venue and to register for your place at this event. 

Please note due to space concerns we will not admit those who have not registered to this event. 
I hope you can join us for this important event about the future of the NHS in Walthamstow, "

Stella Creasy MP
Labour and Cooperative MP for Walthamstow
Don't forget - for full details of the venue:
email to register for this event

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Stella Creasy MP - What's happening with Brexit & article 50?

This week Parliament continues debating the bill to give the Prime Minister the power to trigger Article 50 and so pursue her vision of Brexit – this is to update you on what has been happening and what will happen today. Many residents have written to me about possible changes or additions to this bill. 

Despite hundreds of pages of proposed amendments, given the short time available the Chair of the debate only allowed votes on the following eight amendments.
  • NC3 - Parliamentary oversight of negotiations
  • NC4 - The role of the Joint Ministerial Committee
  • NC26 - The role of the Joint Ministerial Committee
  • NC158 - Funding for Wales after Brexit
  • NC110 - The role of Parliament in approving any final deal
  • NC180 – EU membership if any deal is rejected
  • NC5 - Impact on future trade with EU
  • NC143 - Financial assessment of leaving the single market 

All of these proposals have been defeated by the Government. 

The Government have now agreed Parliament can vote on the final deal before the European Parliament does, but confirmed they will not continue to negotiate with the EU if Parliament votes against their proposals. 

This risks Britain falling back onto World Trade Organisation rules for trading with the EU if the deal falls through -you can watch my debate with Iain Duncan Smith MP on why this could cause problems

This makes such a vote not an opportunity, but an ultimatum. 

Today we expect to vote on measures around the rights of European Nationals currently living in the UK, single market access and security measures. There could also be further votes on issues such as membership of Euratom, visa free travel and ‘grandfathering’ EU trade deals (please note it is not confirmed what has been selected for debate at this point).

There are only five hours allocated for this discussion and at the end of this process there will be another final debate on the text of the bill – so expect the final votes in the House of Commons on this bill to begin around 8pm at the earliest.

Thank you for the thousands of messages I have now received about this bill and amendments – I hope residents can understand in such circumstances that I have chosen to try to keep everyone updated via these emails and that this above information is of interest. 




Stella Creasy MP
Labour and Cooperative MP for Walthamstow

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans and Walthamstow - a briefing

This briefing has been produced by the Political Education co-ordinator for 
Walthamstow Labour Party to whom we are very grateful. 
STPs are currently under intense discussion locally.

Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are currently being drawn up all around the country to make major changes to the NHS. Understanding this mechanism is really important if you want to help shape our local NHS in a positive way.

Some background
 
In 2014, NHS England laid out their plans for the NHS until 2020/21 (the ‘Five Year Forward View). They estimated that if current funding and health care provision remain the same, by 2020/21 there will be a £30bn shortfall in NHS funding. NHS England proposed a number of ways to help address this funding gap through the transformation of services:
·         More prevention and public health.
·         More integrated care (physical and mental health; social care and health care; acute and primary care).
·         More community based services.
At the same time, the Government promised to invest £8bn in the NHS in the last Parliament. This still leaves 22bn still missing from the NHS budget by 2020/21.

What are the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs)?
England has been divided up into 44 ‘footprints’, consisting of the health and care authorities in that area. Each of these has to submit an STP, which will outline how these changes will be made in that particular area. Of the overall forecast gap, 15bn of the savings have to be made through these local footprints. This equates to each area spending an average of £341 million less by 2020/21.
  
What about Walthamstow?
Walthamstow is in the North East London footprint. It is estimated that the shortfall in the North East London area will be £578 million by 2020/21, or 14% of the overall spend on health.

You can have a look at our STP here: http://www.nelstp.org.uk/. Like the national strategy, it focusses on moving care out of hospital and into the community. The proposals include:
·         Over a quarter of A&E treatments to be shifted out of hospital into the community.
·      One third reduction in GPs. Compensated for by 200+ lower paid staff: physician assistants (science graduates with 2 year diploma); nurses; pharmacists.
·         Only 240 extra hospital beds by 2025 (projected need: 500).
·         More self care (people looking after themselves).
·         90% of people to access urgent care online or by phone.
·         More home births and mid-wife led units.
The Centre for Public Health have analysed these plans and point out a number of problems. There is little evidence that self-care or prevention will be able to take up the burden of the reduced services, especially as public health budgets have been cut. It is unclear if the new, less qualified workers will be able to cope with increasingly complex cases in the community. The average commute for key workers to Waltham Forest is 15 miles, throwing doubt on our ability to recruit 200+ lower paid public sector workers. We already have problems with turnover and recruitment to nursing roles. Expecting 90% of patients to book appointments for urgent care online or by phone is also testing in an area with high levels of English as a second language, a population turnover of 28% a year, and where only 42% of over-60s have internet access. They recommend three key questions we should be asking:
·         Will this workforce be able to provide care that is equal in coverage and quality to what is provided now - or better, or worse?
·         Is it realistic to expect that this workforce will be available?
·         If it is not realistic, what are the implications for patients in East London?

What can I do?
There are two key concerns about the STP process:
·         Accountability          
The only democratically accountable party in delivering STP plans are local councils, who have limited power in the process. There has been almost no role for patients and users of services.
o   Action! Help to raise the visibility of patients’ voices within this process. As part of the Healthy E17 campaign join your Patient Participation Group at your GP, or create one. Ask about how the STP plans will affect your GP.

·         Can the plans work?
Another concern is how realistic these plans are. They are based on the assumption that people’s health will improve, and people will become better at looking after themselves, and that community services can take over from hospital care. We also have the additional problem of the £58m Whipps’ Cross PFI debt
o   Action! Help out in the ongoing research Healthy E17 campaign are doing to investigate the Whipps Cross PFI debt.
o   Action! Please get in touch with any ideas you have for how we can help shape and improve this process. How can we improve public health in Walthamstow? How can we help to communicate these plans and changes to the local population? How can we help to keep the positive parts of these plans without jeopardising the future quality of our local healthcare? To respond email: 

More information here:

‘Transforming Services Together’: what does East London’s plan for health services imply for East Londoners? – Vivek Kotecha, Colin Leys, CHPI. https://tinyurl.com/jrxhkog
Can Simon Stevens’ Sustainability and Transformation Plans save the NHS? – Colin Leys, CHPI.https://tinyurl.com/hotdmga
North East London’s STP site - http://www.nelstp.org.uk/


Thursday, 2 February 2017

Today's "Brexit redlines" community workshop will be held tonight between 6.30-8pm tonight Thursday 2nd February 2017. 

At this event we will be discussing the second reading of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill which took place in parliament yesterday and the proposed amendments to this legislation. You can find the details of the amendments which have been proposed to date- there are now over 100 of them- online including the 87 that I have already co-signed. 

This event is your opportunity to hold me to account for how I voted yesterday at the second reading and contribute to the work I do at the 'Committee Stage' of this legislation, where due to the limited amount of time that the Government has allocated to this process only a small number of these amendments will be selected for consideration.

All Walthamstow residents and Walthamstow Labour Party members are welcome to attend this event, and please note this event is only for Walthamstow residents so I would be grateful if you could not share these details with non residents. So too, if you wish to bring other residents with you please do let us know so we can ensure we have enough materials for all attendees.

Don't forget - 
RSVP for the full venue details

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Triggering Article 50: Why I Won't Greenlight Theresa May's Destructive Brexit - Thursday 2nd Feb 6.30pm

In a message to party members today Stella Creasy MP writes: 

"Today Parliament began debating the law that will give the Prime Minister the power to trigger Article 50 and so Britain leaving the European Union. 

Given the high volume of correspondence I have been getting on this issue, this email is to update you all on what is happening and how you as a Walthamstow resident can have your say.

Despite asking us to give her the power to trigger Article 50, the Prime Minister still has not published a white paper to set out the details of the deal she will seek for Brexit. 

But what we do know as we debate this bill is that she intends for Britain to leave the single market and has rejected outright negotiations on this matter. 

The Referendum last year determined Britain should leave the EU. This legislation is our only opportunity to shape how this happens. 

Such a hard Brexit approach will not deliver the best or even a good deal for our country. That is why I will be voting against giving Theresa May the power to trigger Article 50 in this way and have joined with other MPs to try to halt the progress of this bill because of our fears for the damage this form of Brexit could do to our economy and our country. 

Tomorrow- Wednesday 1st February –I will be speaking on this in Parliament at the 'Second Reading' of the Bill. With over 100 MPs also seeking to speak in the short time I will set out the priorities Walthamstow residents identified last Sunday at our community workshop. 

The top three areas were as follows: 
  • Securing maximum access to the single market, 
  • The status of EU citizens in the UK and 
  • Protection of employment rights.
If a majority of MPs vote for this bill at this ‘Second Reading’ it will then proceed into 'committee stage' where it can be amended. 

Please note that suggestions being distributed on the internet that voting against a bill at Second Reading means you cannot amend it at Committee Stage are completely false - indeed, as of today I have already co-signed 87 amendments with colleagues on this legislation.

After the Second Reading and ahead of any Committee Stage, I am holding another community workshop on Thursday 2nd February at 6.30-8pm in the Wood Street area to discuss the outcome of tomorrow’s debate and account for my actions to local residents and Labour members, as well as discuss what will happen next. 

If you would like to join this event on Thursday please RSVP for the full venue details to help us with the logistics by Wednesday evening and you will receive these details on Thursday morning. 

All Walthamstow residents are welcome - whether they voted to leave or remain in the EU- but please note these sessions are only for Walthamstow residents.

Thank you to everyone who came on Sunday and I look forward to continuing to work with you on Thursday as Walthamstow responds to this Government's plans for Brexit."


Stella Creasy MP
Labour and Cooperative MP for Walthamstow
Don't forget - 
RSVP for the full venue details

Where, this week, to find Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow

  • Sunday 29th January - hosting a public workshop on Brexit for Walthamstow residents - see below for details. 
  • Monday 30th January- Wednesday 1st February - participating in debates and discussions on Brexit within parliament and in Walthamstow to update residents on this matter. 
  • Thursday 2nd February - holding the first 'accountability session' for Labour Party Members and local residents regarding the Brexit vote 6-8pm.