[20/05/2021 | No comment]

New figures published yesterday by the End Child Poverty Coalition show that there are over 30,000 children in Leicester living below the poverty line. That’s 6,000 more than there were in 2015. Leicester saw the biggest increase in child poverty in the East Midlands, and one of the highest in the country overall.

This is an appalling indictment of the Government over the last decade. Even before the pandemic hit, we were experiencing high levels of child poverty in the city. Since then, 2,500 more children in Leicester are claiming free school meals, the number of people claiming Universal Credit has doubled, and there has been a 300% increase in the number of people using foodbanks.

Child poverty does not just affect children while they’re growing up, it impacts them throughout their lives and affects us all. If children find it hard to study and work because they’ve gone to bed hungry, or live in overcrowded housing that makes it difficult for them to complete their homework, it makes it harder for them to achieve their full potential. And if they cannot achieve their full potential, then our country as a whole misses out on their talent, throughout their lives.

I chair Feeding Leicester, a partnership that aims to end hunger in the city, and we are doing our best – but we cannot reach everyone who needs help. We cannot build back a better country if children are still growing up in poverty. The Government needs to take action to tackle this serious issue.

[03/05/2021 | No comment]

On Friday I popped along to Beaumont Leys Shopping Centre to catch up with the centre manager, Simon Revill, about how retail is changing what support is needed in future.

Having a thriving retail sector is vital as we emerge from Covid 19 and I will continue to do all I can to support it locally.

[29/04/2021 | No comment]

As part of my speech at the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services Spring Conference, I am today calling for social care to be treated as part of Britain’s infrastructure, treating it the same way we would the roads and railways. If you neglect your country’s physical infrastructure, you get roads full of potholes, and buckling bridges. The same is true if you fail to invest in social infrastructure like care.

We need a ten-year plan of investment and reform to transform the lives of older and disabled people, as part of our plans to make Britain the best country in which to grow old. Our aim isn’t just to fix the crisis in social care, as the Prime Minister has called for. It is to transform support for all those who need social care, and enable older and disabled people to live the life they want to choose. 

Under Labour’s plans for social care, we will:

  • Take a ‘home-first’ approach, increasing the use of early help and technology to ensure people can live in their own home for as long as possible.
  • Empower care users and their families by giving them greater say and control on services.
  • Deliver a new deal for frontline care workers, to transform pay, training and working conditions.
  • Build partnerships with families, where Government backs unpaid carers to look after their loved ones
  • Join up health and social care services, to deliver a ‘one person, one team, one system’ approach.

Read more on LabourList, and in the Telegraph.

You can read my full speech on Labour’s website.


[16/03/2021 | No comment]


Today is Young Carers Action Day, an annual campaign, ran by Carers Trust to raise awareness about the UK’s 800,000+ young carers.  

This year’s focus is on the amazing skills young carers gain through caring – like resilience, time management and empathy – which are so valuable in higher education and the workplace. 

You can read more about the work of young carers here- Facts About Young Carers | The Children’s Society 

Information and support for young carers is available here- Help & Info – Carers Trust



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