Alan Whitehead

Labour MP for Southampton Test

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Coffee Morning in Shirley


I hold monthly coffee mornings across the constituency to which I invite constituents. These meetings are an opportunity for residents to ask me any questions they like about any issue that is of concern to them. This month I invited the residents of Shirley to meet me.

We had a great turn-out at this months coffee morning in Shirley. I always enjoy hearing from my constituents and this month was no different as I heard about a range of issues, from local to national to international. 

Many of my constituents echoed my concerns on the Tories newest cuts to tax credits. Last week the Tories voted through a bill that will drastically cut Tax Credit allowance for the majority of families in Southampton Test. Because of this 3 million people in work across the UK,  will be on average £1000 a year worse off as this government has stripped their tax credits after promising that they would not. This is not only a desperate act of political duplicity but very real blow for thousands of families in Southampton working hard to make ends meet which they will find  harder to do so after this bill. An attendee who worked full time at Solent Uni said this very thing, I am worried about constituents who this will affect and will continue to work with them as any issues from these cuts arise. 

Also on the agenda was an issue that has been the forefront of many people's minds, TV screens and newspapers over the last month, the refugee crisis. Although people were worried more generally about what was going to happen in Syria in the long run, the majority of residents were happy that Southampton was fulfilling its obligation and taking in some refugees. 

Issues regarding the NHS have been popping up at these meetings a since a couple of years after the Tories took power. People are still finding it more and more difficult to get a doctors appointment. An issue was also raised about care after people have left hospital not being up to scratch. I promise that I will continue to fight the Tories on their mismanagement of the NHS at every opportunity that arises. 

There were many local issues raised from parking, to litter to overgrown gardens which the local councillors present picked up and will try and resolve.  

I look forward to next months coffee morning. 

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