NAME OF FEATURE
Danielle Rowley Mp
Universal credit summit
As your MP it is important to me that you are aware of what I do in Parliament and within Midlothian on your behalf.
If you have any suggestions for additional content that you would like to see in the newsletter, then please let me know using the contact details listed at the end.
Last month I attended a universal credit summit alongside various charities, community groups, and public-sector organisations.
Following extensive research, I wish to recommend that Universal Credit payments are “automatically split” as a means of helping women that have experienced domestic abuse.
I wanted to bring together the communities within Midlothian that have experienced the impact Universal Credit has had on real people. I aspired to build a clear and comprehensive picture of the human impact of the government's welfare approach.
In May I will be meeting with Alok Sharma, Tory Employment Minister, to present our findings, warnings, and solutions. It is not too late for the government to admit that they got this one wrong. Holyrood voted in favour of Scottish Labour's amendment that will lead to payments being automatically split, and Labour will fight tooth and nail to see this implemented in Midlothian as soon as possible.
As your Westminster MP I am determined to see vulnerable women across the whole of the UK receive the same levels of support that the Labour MSP’s are working tirelessly to secure for Scottish women. The Government isn’t listening to the voices of people suffering under this service or the voices of organisations who are supporting people.
I hope to keep you informed through this monthly newsletter which will be published within the first week of every month.
(The Windrush generation arrived upon HMT Empire Windrush (left) having been invited to help rebuild Britain after the second world war)
The Windrush Scandal
Since my last newsletter, we have seen the Windrush Scandal propel itself into newsrooms up and down the country. Some British citizens of Caribbean origin who arrived in the UK from the 1950’s onwards, many of them just children, are now in danger of deportation from the country they call home. 50,000 people remain in limbo over whether life as they know it will change at a moment’s notice as the government's “hostile environment” continues to stir up insecurity amongst British citizens.
As a result, Amber Rudd resigned as Home Secretary. It was good to see her take responsibility for her department’s catastrophic failures. However, Theresa May is also culpable. As former Home Secretary we must investigate her involvement, and as Prime Minister, we must push her on how she intends to ensure we never see a repeat of this. This is why Labour brought a motion to the house that would demand transparency and allow a clear look into the inner workings of this scandal. However, the Government were victorious in blocking access to documents laying out the policies behind the Windrush crisis.
It was fantastic to attend the unveiling of the Millicent Fawcett statue. As the first woman elected to represent my constituency, it was a proud moment to be present as the first statue of a woman in parliament square was presented to the public.
My pride was overshadowed by frustration as Theresa May presented a tone-deaf grasp of the reality that her government's policies hit women the hardest.
Tragically, when it comes to Universal Credit, despite her platitudes when talking about gender equality, the Prime Minister and her Government have consistently refused to apply split payments to the new benefit. Therefore destroying hard-fought gains by women regarding financial independence from men.
This is a move condemned by women’s charities and those fighting against domestic abuse.
Yes, we must celebrate this fantastic public art. However, the achievements of women are best celebrated by continuing their fight and speaking up until all women are equal.
I am therefore organising a women’s conference. ‘Women’s Matters’ will be held at Edinburgh College Midlothian Campus on 19/05/18 and will provide free childcare, discussions, workshops, and special guest speakers.
The event is completely free although you must register through my Facebook page (\daniellerowley4midlothian).
Unveiling of the Millicent Fawcett statue in Parliament Square
I am awaiting confirmation from the chief executive that the restaurant will be clear of any litter, and that the amount of plastic used on site will be reduced. I will be sure to feedback to the community any assurances received from McDonalds.
I welcome the job opportunities that will be created in Midlothian as a result of the new restaurant, and as an advocate of fair pay, I pressed the issue of the £10 an hour salary that is currently being fought valiantly by striking staff supported by the BFAWU.
Following many conversations with worried constituents regarding the new McDonald’s at Hardengreen, Dalkeith.
I contacted the Chief Executive of the company in order to present your concerns and seek assurances that necessary steps will be taken to ensure the surrounding area is kept clean and free of discarded paper, cardboard, and plastics.
I also raised the issue of the amount of plastic packaging that McDonald’s restaurants currently use. I have requested that their UK trial of paper straws is extended to the new store in Hardengreen with plastic straws only being available upon request.
This would not only severely dampen any environmental impact locally, but could allow the new Midlothian store to play a part in rolling out revolutionary environmental practice across the whole of the UK.
out and about in april
I was very proud to chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Votes at 16. This month, the group had its first meeting and began exploring public attitudes to lowering the voting age.
I believe that 16 and 17-year-olds contribute so much to our society, and are very often politically informed and engaged. Although much of their lives are affected by Parliament, they have no say in who represents them. This APPG will make the compelling case for votes at 16.
I was pleased to meet with Women's Aid East & Midlothian to hear about the fantastic work they are doing to provide support and temporary accommodation to women in Midlothian.
This is an invaluable service to women and their families in Midlothian and I am proud to support the work they do.
asking the right questions on
behalf of my constituents:
Mcdonald's - Hardengreen
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Penicuik High School to hear from pupils and teachers about their school and see what they're learning about.
It was great to hear about the school's focus on mental health and positivity.
My constituency office is always open to the public, in April we have been very busy with people in need of help or advice. I like to provide an overview of the types of issues that we are facing in Midlothian to the readers of my newsletter.
We commonly see issues around: housing and planning, social security and pensions, local government and asylum, as well as immigration and nationality. This continued to be the case throughout April.
Below I have provided you with a more detailed breakdown of the types of cases we have been working on across the month.
If you need any help or advice please contact me or my office and we will do our best to help.
I hold surgeries on Fridays at various venues across Midlothian.
Please see the final page for more information regarding ways to contact me regarding my surgery dates and venues.
In April 2018, most enquiries received by my office were in relation to housing & planning, with the majority stemming from homelessness. We also received a large number of cases relating to temporary accommodation and unsuitable accommodation. Local Government issues were also quite high over this past month with problems related to footpaths, roads and gritting inconveniencing many.
0131 663 9675
Ways to get in touch
97 High Street, Dalkeith, Midlothian, EH22 1AX