On Saturday I met with Shirley residents at our coffee morning.
I want to say thanks to everyone who came. There was a great turnout and we talked about a diverse range of issues including the challenges in the NHS because of Government policies and space shortages in care homes. If the people of Southampton re-elect me (as I hope they will) I will continue to help Labour lead the fight to protect an NHS that puts people ahead of profits and brings together health and social care to make a single system of whole-person care.
People also shared their concerns about the poor quality of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and dodgy landlord practices. I've been working hard on these issues for some time now and have used a number of Parliamentary procedures to try and force the government to bring in legislation to improve housing standards and protect renters in the private rented sector. I've currently got a Private Members' Bill going through Parliament which is trying to force HMO landlords to make their properties less cold and draughty. I also challenged the Prime Minister directly on what he is doing to help people who rent privately.
We also spoke about transport issues in the city - people at the coffee morning really want to see a park and ride scheme in operation in the city as the congestion is sometimes very bad in the centre of town and along the docks. Attendees at the coffee morning also told me that they are concerned about the speed of vehicles on residential streets in Shirley (particularly Jenson rd). These are two issues which I will certainly raise directly with the council.