This is my first Southwark News column since being re-elected as MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark in June, so I will start it with a massive thank you!
It is a privilege and an honour to serve the best constituency, in the best city, in the best country in the world! I am determined to use this Parliament to get the best deal for our community on affordable housing; more police; good funding for our schools and councils; and pushing for local infrastructure like the Rotherhithe Bridge and faster broadband.
It has been a very busy return to Parliament. I have spent a lot of time working with traders and businesses in Borough Market and London Bridge, who have been affected by the horrific terrorist attack on 3rd June. After the 8 minute attack, the market and businesses in the cordon were closed for 10 days. Many have lost tens of thousands of pounds in income from loss of trade, stock and customers. Unfortunately many insurers have delayed paying out as some of the smaller businesses in particular were not covered for terrorist attacks.
I invited the Prime Minister to visit Borough Market to meet emergency services and traders, and was grateful she attended a couple of weeks ago with the Australian Prime Minister. I also hosted a meeting with the Business Minister and Borough Market traders and representatives to see what compensation and support the Government will offer. The Government has done little to help so far and been overshadowed by the council, Mayor of London, the public donations and other local businesses. I hope they will now listen to traders and come back with a suitable offer of support.
I have also been elected co-chair of the APPG for Ending Homelessness. This is a huge problem in our area, which has doubled in the last 7 years due to Lib Dem/Tory cuts. I have also been re-elected onto the Work and Pensions Select Committee. I ran a charity helping 500,000 disabled people and carers every year before being your MP and look forward to holding the Government to account. Parliament has now gone into recess but that doesn’t mean that things are any quieter for me! I am still picking up hundreds of pieces of new casework for local people every month and am running a number of roaming surgeries as well as my regular weekly advice surgery which runs 4-6pm every Friday at 149-151 Jamaica Road SE16 4SH. If you want a surgery in your area – or would like me to attend any local events or meetings – then please drop me a line on Neil.Coyle.MP@Parliament.UK; 020 7232 4640.