I hope you had a lovely Christmas. I spent the morning at Bacon’s College serving tea and coffee to older and other disadvantaged people and then joined volunteers at Guy’s providing Christmas meal to local people who would otherwise not get a full turkey dinner.
This year was extra special: it was the 40th event led by Coral Newell, who is now handing over the reins.
Anyone wishing to volunteer to organise the 2017 event please get in touch. After 40 years, Coral deserves a massive thank you from Southwark for all the time and effort she has given – and all her family – to ensure no one need be alone or isolated on Christmas day.
From one formidable woman to another: I’ve now joined the Mayor of Southwark’s Common Good Trust – after the current Mayor, Cllr Kath Whittham, asked me to get involved. No one says no to Kath! The Trust helps disadvantaged people in Southwark and aims to support more people this year.
2017 looks to be as challenging as last year, but I will continue to campaign hard on local issues and ensure Southwark’s voice is heard in Parliament. With the Labour Mayor of London we are at least beginning to see how the new Rotherhithe pedestrian and cycle bridge will be delivered and I have met TfL about the Bakerloo Line extension. But problems like homelessness and poverty continue to dominate my surgery sessions (every Friday from 4pm at my Jamaica Road office). The legacy of Lib Dem-Tory Coalition policies continue to wreak havoc in local people’s lives, including the bedroom tax and fees to access justice, as well as cuts to policing which has seen a rise in robberies and anti-social behaviour sadly, which I take up with our over-stretched police.
The NHS is also experiencing huge challenges. The Coalition wasted £3 billion ‘reorganising’ services and further divided health and social care. It is local people paying the price. If you’re experiencing difficulty accessing health services please let me know; people often raise delays to see a G
I look forward to helping even more people this year and wish you all the best for 2017. Please keep in touch by calling 020 7232 4640 or by emailing Neil.Coyle.MP@parliament.uk.