My Annual Report: 2020-2021

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Jo Stevens MP My annual report to you: 2020-21

www.jostevens.co.uk linktr.ee/jostevenslabour


Hello, I hope you, your family and your friends are safe and well after a year like no other for all of us in Cardiff Central. This is my sixth annual report to you, providing a snapshot of my work on your behalf here and in Parliament. If you need help with an issue, have a query or want to know my view on a local or national issue, please do get in touch. As part of your Labour team in Cardiff Central, working with your local Councillors and Member of the Senedd everyday on your behalf, I am here to provide help and advice. Jo

How to get in touch Phone: 02921 329 736 Email: jo.stevens.mp@parliament.uk Post: Jo Stevens MP, 116 Albany Road, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3RU /JoStevensLabour @JoStevensLabour @JoStevensMP

Sign up to my newsletter Each month I produce a monthly electronic newsletter for constituents with news about my work in Cardiff Central and Parliament. To sign up to receive it direct to your email inbox, please follow the link below or scan the QR code above.

http://bit.ly/JSMPNews Promoted by Ian Bounds on behalf of Cardiff Central Labour Party, both at 116 Albany Road, Cardiff, CF24 3RU. Printed by Spectrum Printing, Unit B3, South Point, Cardiff, CF10 4SP.


Working for You This has been my busiest year yet helping individual constituents across Cardiff Central. Since the start of the Pandemic, enquiries have been at more than double their usual rate. Working with my team in Albany Road, I’ve helped 6034 constituents with a range of issues.

Constituent enquiries by ward:

Over the last year:

6034

Cyncoed 720

Pentwyn 1206

Cathays 1458 Penylan 872

constituents supported

Adamsdown 753 Plasnewydd 1025

This year, the largest number of cases concerned: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

International Issues Crime and Justice Health Agriculture and Food Immigration and Nationality Business Support


Responding to the Pandemic It has been such a difficult year for us all. Thank you to everyone who has worked on the frontline keeping us safe including our amazing vaccinators and to everyone across Cardiff Central who has looked out for others near and far. In the very hardest of times, our city showed us at our best.

Delivering some much needed supplies to Cardiff Foodbank who’ve worked tirelessly to ensure everyone in Cardiff is fed throughout the pandemic.

At the start of the Pandemic, residents were caught up in unprecedented circumstances. I worked to bring constituents home who were stranded in countries across the world. At the same time, many residents who had visa or other Home Office cases were stuck in limbo resulting in multiple requests for urgent help. The Pandemic didn’t just affect our health, but every aspect of our daily lives. With the situation changing daily, new guidance, regulations and laws had to be interpreted, understood and applied to people’s individual circumstances.

On a street surgery speaking to residents with Cllr Norma Mackie, Cllr Dan De’Ath and Cllr Owen Jones.

From the Senedd Research Service: Data correct as of July 14th 2021

Throughout the year my team and I have been helping businesses and individuals to access financial and self-isolation support schemes from the Welsh Labour Government and the UK Treasury including grants, business loans, self-employed income support scheme payments and furlough payments. I’ve been in regular touch with Welsh Labour First Minister Mark Drakeford, Welsh Government Ministers, South Wales Police, Cardiff Council leader Huw Thomas and the local Health Board to raise and resolve issues on behalf of constituents. Sadly, it has not been possible to do in-person advice surgeries because of restrictions but a combination of telephone, email, zoom meetings and good old fashioned paper post has meant that everything was covered. Since May I’ve been able to restart regular street surgeries, knocking doors, chatting to local residents and picking up casework in a covid secure way.


Campaigning in Cardiff Central Campaigning in Cardiff Central Stop Fire and Rehire Throughout the year I have campaigned with workers and trade unions locally against the exploitative practice of fire and rehire. This involves people being sacked and taken back on worse pay, terms and conditions. Labour is demanding that the UK Government outlaws this practice. Employers such as British Gas, Tesco and British Airways have all used the tactic in recent months. In the Autumn we will bring a draft law to Parliament to outlaw fire and rehire and force the Tories to a vote on it.

Guildford Crescent You’ll remember our huge community campaign to save Guildford Crescent. the former site of muchloved music venue Gwdihw and local businesses the Thai House and Maderia. Earlier this year I launched a petition against developers’ plans for a 29 storey tower block on the site. A consultation on the plans has been completed and we wait to see whether the developers’ planning application takes our concerns into account.

Supporting Local Businesses It’s been an extremely challenging year for all our Cardiff Central businesses. Throughout the year I’ve been helping them ensure they have received the financial support they are entitled to from the Welsh Labour Government and the UK Treasury, from grants and loans to business rates freezes. Businesses have shown remarkable resilience and creativity to get through the Pandemic and our community has supported them well by shopping locally.


In Parliament In April last year, Keir Starmer appointed me to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. My brief also covers tourism, heritage and charities. I am Labour’s spokesperson on those areas in the Commons and on the media. With a team of five shadow ministers I lead scrutiny of the work of the UK Government DCMS ministers and their department. All those areas are important and integral to Cardiff Central, and so this also gives me the opportunity to understand in depth and showcase the talent and the organisations we are so lucky to have here.

Support for the Excluded I have challenged the UK Government throughout the year for deliberately excluding millions of people during the Pandemic from financial support. There are large numbers of freelancers and self employed in Cardiff Central, particularly in the creative industries. Raising the cases of those left without support saw our Welsh Labour Government step in with several rounds of funds to help plug the gap.

Online Safety For five years I have campaigned for safety online. What happens online often ends up happening offline too. From child grooming, dangerous anti vaccination disinformation and financial scamming, to racist, sexist and homophobic abuse, social media companies need to up their game and

stop both illegal and harmful content being spread and amplified on their platforms. Finally, the UK Government has published draft legislation but its weak and full of loopholes. I am determined to fight improve it so it has real teeth, including criminal sanctions for senior tech executives, where they continually breach the law.

One Rule for Them From Dominic Cummings’ Barnard Castle trip, Matt Hancock breaching Covid rules, the Prime Minister deciding he doesn’t need to self isolate (when we do) and £2 billion of taxpayer funded contracts to Tory friends and donors, the Tories have treated the public with contempt. Contrast that with the careful, reliable and effective response to the Pandemic by our Welsh Labour Government and First Minister, Mark Drakeford. Meeting with Keir Starmer and representatives from the UK nightlife sector about how the Pandemic has affected their industries.


Cancel the Universal Credit Cut

The £20 uplift to Universal Credit has been a lifeline for millions, many of whom lost their jobs during the Pandemic. In Cardiff Central, nearly 4,000 people, including families, rely on Universal Credit to survive. I have opposed the UK Government’s plan to cut it by £20 a week.

Overseas Aid

I voted against the Tory plan to break its 2019 manifesto promise and cut our international commitment on overseas aid. If the Pandemic has taught us anything, its that we cannot be safe here unless people elsewhere in the world are safe too. The cut will leave the very poorest and most vulnerable adults and children on the planet even more exposed to poverty, illness, death and climate change.

Live Events and Venues

Dangerous Cladding

Described as the “the biggest housing crisis in a generation”, thousands of buildings are unsafe because of dangerous cladding and other deadly materials. On top of this, up to a million people are caught up in the wider building safety crisis, as confidence in the industry has been destroyed and mortgage lenders, insurers, risk assessors and others are refusing to sign almost any tall building off as safe. The UK Government has promised over and over again that leaseholders would not bear the cost of the building safety crisis, but the fact is leaseholders are having to pay, and without decisive UK Government action will pay more in future.

Protecting Our Environment

I have voted to protect our environmental, food and animal welfare standards as the UK Government seeks to use them as bargaining chips in new trade deals. Despite its claim to want to maintain standards, the UK Government has sold our farming and fishing industries out.

Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls

One of the first sectors to close and the last to re-open, live performers and the businesses that run venues and festivals have been an afterthought for the UK Government. I’ve challenged ministers on their neglect, contradictory guidance, badly run pilot programmes and for refusing to underwrite insurance. And to add insult to injury, the UK Government’s Brexit deal makes working and touring in the EU almost impossible. I’ll keep challenging for change.

Lockdown saw domestic abuse cases skyrocket. A decade of UK Government cuts to our Police, domestic abuse services, the Crown Prosecution Service and legal aid has led to this shameful situation where too many perpetrators escape justice. Our Labour plan includes increasing sentences for rapists and stalkers, creating new specific offences for street sexual harassment, making misogyny (like racism) a hate crime and reversing the UK Government’s record low conviction rates for rape with a Survivors’ Support Package.


1 Celebrating Independent Book Store Week at Wellfield Book shop.

Getting some miles in on the bike for Oasis Cardiff’s Kabul to Cardiff fundraiser.

Writing in support of Cardiff’s bid for the Levelling Up Fund to redevelop Cardiff Market. At Cycling UK’s pop-up hub for UK Cycling Week in the City Centre.

At the fantastic new Roath Library Hub with Adamsdown Councillor Owen Jones.

9

With the volunteers at St Andrew’s Coffee Court on Wellfield Road who are raising funds for the future of the church.

Speaking to residents in Cathays with Councillors Ali Ahmed, Norma Mackie, Sarah Merry and Chris Weaver.

Visiting the newly refurbished Rhydypennau Library Hub. Litter picking in Shelley Gardens with Plasnewydd Councillor Dan De’Ath, Sue Lent, Mary McGarry and Pete Wong.

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At the Summer of Smiles installation on Churchill Way.

Visiting a new zebra crossing in Pentwyn with Councillor Frank Jacobsen and a young local resident who campaigned for it.

Promoted by Ian Bounds on behalf of Cardiff Central Labour Party, both at 116 Albany Road, Cardiff, CF24 3RU. Printed by Spectrum Printing, Unit B3, South Point, Cardiff, CF10 4SP.