Alan Whitehead

Labour MP for Southampton Test

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Highfield Coffee Morning

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I spent a recent Saturday morning in Highfield at one of my regular coffee mornings. These coffee mornings are a chance for me to sit down and have a chat with my constituents and have them raise any issues concerning them. Read on to find out what was on the minds of the residents of Highfield this month.

We had a good discussion on Saturday and many issues were raised from the air-strikes in Syria to benefit cuts and the local impact that they are having on people in Southampton.

Syria was first on the agenda, where there was a general but not universal view that the current strategy of air-strikes were not the solution. Many of my constituents wanted to see more of a well thought out and international strategy instead of what they saw as countries acting unilaterally and in a knee jerk fashion. One of them raised the idea of a COPP style summit in which a coherent policy for defeating ISIS was the outcome.

Next we discussed TTIP. Whilst my constituents generally agreed that trade agreements can be great for jobs and the economy, they were worried about power that it would give to large corporations, this is a view that I share with them. I assured them that their Labour MEP  Anneliese Dodds is doing some great work in Europe on TTIP trying to get the best deal possible for the UK. 

On the spending review, my constituents were worried about the effect of further spending cuts on local government and how key local services would be effected. One of them also raised the issue that although Osborne u-turned on the cuts to tax-credits , they fear that money will be taken from the same people that cut would have effected in another way. 

All in all it was a great morning, thank you to everyone who came along. 

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