Alan Whitehead MP

Member of Parliament for Southampton Test

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The Chancellor has promised support for working families struggling under the weight of in work benefits but in some cases they will get only £150 back after initial cuts of £2500. This will do nothing to help working families in Southampton struggling to make ends meet in minimum wage jobs. 

As the cost of living continues to rise after the referendum result the increase in minimum wage barely scratches the surface of what is needed to actually live day to day and it does nothing to address the needs of low paid workers under 25.

These measures also do nothing to disguise the fact that overall the economy has stagnated which will hit my constituents in Southampton hard in the coming months and years.  The policies announced today are designed to temporarily mask what is a continuing mismanagement of our economy and a chaotic approach to Brexit and I doubt whether they will even do that.  The numbers on growth, productivity and the deficit announced today were incredibly worrying.  

I welcome the government’s u-turn on their policy of not borrowing to invest as this is necessary to guide us out of the current downturn we are facing. However the investment level announced today is woefully short of what we need to ensure the security of much needed infrastructure and jobs.  

There are however some highlights in an otherwise worrying budget. I welcome the ban on letting agent fees as this is something that I, along with Labour colleagues, have been campaigning for since it appeared in our 2015 manifesto. I’m glad the Chancellor has heard our concerns and taken action.

I also welcome the £1.6 million investment to the Guildhall arts quarter in Southampton. The arts quarter will bring an added boost to our city whose regeneration is going from strength to strength under the stewardship of the Labour led Southampton City Council.   

Worrying Economic Mismanagement: My response to the Autumn Statement

The Chancellor has promised support for working families struggling under the weight of in work benefits but in some cases they will get only £150 back after initial cuts of...

This was an exciting, interesting week, full of all sorts of events on a wide range of issues including solar power and new, clean energy sources.

Monday

I started the week at a meeting with the Redbridge Resident’s Association about developing the Redbridge roundabout before a meeting with the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy team. Then I went to a meeting of the Channel Islands Parliamentary Group to talk about what’s happening to the relationship between the Islands and the UK after Brexit.

Tuesday

Today was full of important meetings about sustainable energy, starting with meeting North Star Solar to discuss local solar energy projects. I then went to a First Utility event to discuss how the Labour Party can help to stop consumers from being over-charged by energy companies.

Afterwards, I met with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, before ending the day by attending an exciting event held by the APPG for British Sikhs to celebrate Guru Nanak Dev JI’s birthday.

Wednesday

Today, I co-chaired a meeting on low carbon gas held by Carbon Connect to discuss new ways we can reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and help make the environment safer and cleaner. After Prime Minister’s Questions, I went to Carbon Connect’s roundtable meeting on efficient energy and was able to discuss clean energy sources, and why they’re so important, in more detail. That evening, I went to a fascinating discussion at the Italian Embassy about Europe’s energy strategy.

Thursday

I went to a meeting with the company Vivergo Fuels to talk about decarbonising transport, which would be a huge step forward in improving the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Afterwards, I was very happy to come home and attend the Southampton Labour Party meeting.

Friday

I went to the second reading of a Parliamentary bill on assistance dog owners being refused entry to taxis and businesses, a very important issue as I’m committed to making Southampton safe and accessible for everyone.

Saturday

I spent Saturday holding my third advice surgery of the month, and enjoyed being able to meet some of my constituents.

Solar power and assistance dogs

This was an exciting, interesting week, full of all sorts of events on a wide range of issues including solar power and new, clean energy sources.

This was a very busy week full of interesting meetings, film screenings and conferences. I was able to discuss important climate issues like renewable energy at several meetings and events, as well as being able to meet with teachers and talk about the importance of special educational needs schools and facilities. I’ve also been working hard on sustainable energy plans and policies. 

Monday

I began the day with a fascinating discussion about the democratisation of Southampton’s energy supply, which was a great way to start off a busy week. Afterwards, I caught the train to London for a shadow BEIS team meeting and then went to a very productive PLP meeting. I was also honoured to chair a screening of “High Hopes”, a film about the Bedouin in Khan Al Ahmar; it was a fantastic film that raised all sorts of interesting questions and ideas. I ended the day with a meeting about our country’s resource management policies, including strategies for ending waste crime and meeting crucial recycling targets, which are very important to me.

Tuesday

I spent today with the shadow BEIS team discussing green strategies for industry and business, and the challenges we should set ourselves to meet our goals for a sustainable industry.

Wednesday

Today I spoke at the Dulwich and West Norwood Speaks up for the Climate event, and discussed Labour’s visions for renewable energy policies, which is an issue that’s incredibly important and an issue I feel very strongly about. It was great to be able to meet locals who are also passionate about sustainability and find out about what they’ve been doing locally to help with improving and maintain the environment.

Thursday

I started off a busy Thursday at the Energy and Utilities Alliance’s Speak Gas 2016 event with a talk about decarbonising heating and a question and answer session about green gas and environmentally friendly energy sources. Then I went to the Energy UK Annual Conference to present a talk on sustainable energy and take part in a Q&A. It was wonderful to be able to speak to so many different people on something I consider such a crucial issue.

After this, I ended the day by speaking at the UNITE Distribution Working Party Shop Stewards Committee meeting about the Labour Party’s view on the UK’s transmission structure.

Friday

Friday was brilliant as I was able to spend the morning in Southampton, starting the day by attending a meeting about immigration at Shirley Parish Church. Afterwards, I was able to meet with the head of Vermont School to talk about the future of special educational needs schools. Then I went to a very productive meeting about Southern Water’s plans for a brand new heat and power plant in Millbrook and how we can work together to make sure it’s sustainable.  

In the afternoon, I drove up to Sussex to visit the Ford Materials Recycling Facility in Arundel, before heading home for an evening in Southampton.

Saturday

On Saturday afternoon, I chaired a session at Labour’s South East Regional Conference about environmental policy. 

Sustainable energy and special needs schools in Southampton

This was a very busy week full of interesting meetings, film screenings and conferences. I was able to discuss important climate issues like renewable energy at several meetings and events,...


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