Steve reports back to Constituents

Steve McCabe held his most recent parliamentary Report Back for Selly Oak constituents at Monyhull Church, St Francis Drive on the evening of Wednesday 11 April.

 

The Report Back is an opportunity for Steve to update constituents and answer questions on his parliamentary and constituency activities as well as discuss local issues.

There was considerable concern from residents who live in Monyhull Grange about the poor level of services they are still experiencing years after moving into their homes. Roads have still not been adopted by the council and the absence of street nameplates is still posing a problem for emergency services, mail deliveries and visitors. Cllr Barry Henley, who was also present, explained that he had been working hard to try and persuade the contractors to give residents a better deal and had already secured a refund for them. He acknowledged, however, that more needs to be done and that street signs, traffic speeds, refuse collection and the adoption of roads are all outstanding problems.

It was agreed that the Member of Parliament and local councillors should hold a special surgery after the local elections in a determined effort to identify the outstanding issues and secure a better deal for local residents. Cllr Henley contacted the contractors later that evening with a list of all the issues raised at the meeting.

Steve McCabe said, ‘I’m not surprised people are angry about this situation. I think it’s really important that we try to separate their concerns from the local election campaign because I don’t want anyone accusing me playing party politics over these matters. I know that local Councillors Barry Henley and Mike Leddy have been working hard in the area and I hope Barry’s recent efforts will pay dividends but it seems sensible to me that we go back after the elections and make a determined effort to resolve these issues.’

The rest of the session concentrated on the likely local impact of government actions.

There was considerable interest in the Health and Social Care Act which is now law. Steve told residents that 76% of those who responded to his local consultation opposed the Bill. People are particularly concerned about plans to raise the cap on the number of private patients and the money being used to pay for the reorganisation which is being diverted from patient care. There is a great worry that this will lead to a rise in waiting lists. Steve pointed out that recent evidence, based on advice cases; suggested waiting lists were once again rising.

Not surprisingly the budget also figured large in the discussions with several people questioning the overall fairness and the particular impact on pensioners. Steve said he would be working with colleagues in Parliament to establish the full impact of the budget proposals on various groups and he gave a commitment that he would oppose the ‘granny tax’.

Other issues included: unemployment and particularly youth unemployment. Steve outlined some work he is doing with small businesses and local schools to help them work more closely together so that youngsters are better prepared; police cuts and privatising of police functions; schools, forced academies and the treatment of teachers, petrol crisis, the ‘pasty tax’ and cuts in Tax Credit- particularly for pensioners and working families.

Many of those present thanked Steve for providing the Report Back sessions which give them a chance to make sure their voice is heard and that their Member of Parliament will raise their concerns at Westminster.

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