MP Neil Coyle’s month in Parliament: moped gangs, foodbanks, and help for Borough Market traders after terror attack

News Desk (19 October, 2017)

"It took 40,000 volunteers last year to run the national foodbank network - that's half the UK army!"

2163MP Neil Coyle

This week I’ve pressed the Home Office over the poor prosecution rates this Government have overseen for moped enabled crime.

Rotherhithe and Bermondsey have put up with a steep rise in mobile phone thefts in particular from people on mopeds which are also often stolen locally.

Coalition cuts to our police have exacerbated their ability to tackle this problem, but despite a year on year increase in moped and motorcycle related crime, and over 20,000 incidents recorded in the last twelve months, the prosecution rate is shockingly low (only 2% in Southwark).

This is the same for violent and knife crimes. The Government has lost control as it flounders over disastrous Brexit divisions and the hopeless collapse in negotiations.

Last week I hosted ‘Foodbank As It Is’ in Parliament; a play written and performed by foodbank volunteers based on real experiences. Foodbank use has rocketed from 30,000 in 2010 when Labour left office to 1.4 million packages of support last year, largely due to benefit delays, chaos and cuts affecting people in and out of work.

It took 40,000 volunteers last year to run the national foodbank network – that’s half the UK army! Over 7,000 parcels of support were distributed to people in Southwark, including hundreds of working people and families with young children. Many families who I see in my weekly surgeries need not just food, but nappies and soap for example. This week, I launched an All Party Parliamentary Group on Foodbanks to highlight the rise and help tackle the underlying problems, including Lib Dem/Tory coalition policies like the Universal Credit and Bedroom Tax.

I also hosted London South Bank University’s 125th anniversary celebrations last week. It was a fantastic to celebrate the incredible contribution this local institution has made, although higher tuition fees and Brexit are affecting its student numbers.

I took Borough Market traders affected by the terror attack to meet a Treasury Minister last week. It has been five months since the attack. The public, other local businesses, Southwark Council and Sadiq Khan have all helped, but the Government has not provided a penny. I am determined to improve what support is available to employers after terror attacks and to improve the publicly-funded ‘Pool Reinsurance’ system to ensure terrorists cannot cost UK jobs or force small traders out of business. The Government must act before another atrocity occurs.

A highlight of the week was seeing Globe Academy and City of London Academy students in Westminster. I encourage all local schools to visit and look forward to welcoming many more!

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