Another busy week in Heywood and Middleton and in parliament included a superb show by the Rochdale Youth Orchestra.
I had the pleasure of watching them perform on Saturday evening at Rochdale Town Hall. They put on a fantastic show and I recommend you keep an eye out for them at future events – they’re definitely worth seeing!
Also on Saturday was the brilliant Darnhill Festival. It was great to see so many different community groups working together and so many people out enjoying the day.
In parliament, last week elections took place among MPs for places on the Select Committees. These are the panels of MPs who have the job of scrutinising policy and holding the government to account. I was delighted to be chosen to sit on the Health Select Committee. As many of you will know, before becoming an MP I worked in the NHS for 33 years and I remain passionate about defending and improving healthcare. Nobody quite knows what the NHS will have to face over the next 5 years under a Conservative government, and so I and the other members of the Health Select Committee have a huge responsibility.
I also took part in a parliamentary debate regarding homelessness, and I challenged the local government minister on the record of the Conservatives since 2010. Across Britain in the last 5 years homelessness has risen by 36% and the number of families forced to live in bed and breakfasts has soared by a staggering 300%. I am contacted regularly by families and individuals in Heywood and Middleton who are faced with the prospect of homelessness, and thankfully I am usually able to help them find a solution. However, the worry and the threat of the situation is very real. There is no doubt that changes to the welfare system are making the problem worse, and I will continue to try to hold the government to account.
As your Member of Parliament, I am always available to help with any issues or concerns you may have. You can find my full contact details and links to help and advice by clicking here.