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Vicky Foxcroft MP

Member of Parliament for Lewisham Deptford

Latest News

Latest News


You can find out what I have been up to in Parliament and my work in Lewisham, or read my latest blog posts below.

Many of my constituents have been in touch recently over waiting times for Universal Credit. I agree that the handling of this issue by the Government is unacceptable and is of great concern to many people in Lewisham Deptford.

As you will know, it currently takes five to six weeks for claimants to receive their first payment after applying for Universal Credit. The Government considers this waiting and assessment period as fundamental to its policy, designed to mirror the world of work and prevent welfare dependency. However, clearly, the design and management of the Universal Credit system is flawed and is having a disastrous impact.

I understand that waiting times are proving incredibly frustrating and problematic for people in practical terms. Figures from the Government itself show that nearly half of new Universal Credit claimants required an advance on their payment and nearly a quarter did not even receive their first payment in full and on time. Furthermore, they show that 49% of claimants in arrears said they fell behind in their payments after making their claim, highlighting waiting time as a key reason.

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The disastrous terms of the Government’s implantation of Universal Credit is proving counterproductive to its purpose by causing further problems. As stated by Citizens Advice, over half of those helped onto Universal Credit were forced to borrow money while waiting for their first payment. Advances available to those in need must also be paid back. I believe it is unacceptable for people to be unfairly pushed into additional debts in this way.

The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest foodbank network, has said that the waiting time is responsible for a rise in the demand for charity food. Our Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary has condemned the “shambolic roll-out” of Universal Credit which is “pushing so many families into poverty”. Even some Government MPs have argued that the roll-out of Universal Credit must be halted, in order to stop the distress caused by the Government’s mishandling of this programme.

At the June 2017 General Election, I stood on a manifesto that committed to reforming and redesigning Universal Credit. I remain committed to calling for action on this issue and pressuring the Government to end the six week wait. 

 

Universal Credit

Many of my constituents have been in touch recently over waiting times for Universal Credit. I agree that the handling of this issue by the Government is unacceptable and is...

Many of my constituents have contacted me recently about the Capped Expenditure Process (CEP). I share these concerns and believe that the Government should cancel the CEP immediately.

In June this year, various NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups, as well as the Health Service Journal, reported that a number of health regions have been placed into a CEP. The British Medical Association has described the CEP as a new regulatory intervention “designed to radically and rapidly cut spending in geographical areas with the largest budget deficits.”

I am very concerned over the lack of transparency provided by the Government on these plans – despite having been going on since at least April, there has been no announcement from the Health Secretary, and full details remain unpublished. The Government has also confirmed that no consultation has taken place regarding the process.

Worryingly, the CEP appears to be another example of hidden cuts. The House of Commons Library published a report in September discovering that, in addition to reviewing existing financial plans, CEP areas were also asked to consider closing or redesigning services and restricting access.

As we approach winter, I am aware of concerns over how our health service will cope – I wrote previously about this issue here. Further spending reductions will inevitably result in waiting times drawn out, wards closed, staff numbers cut, units shut and treatments rationed or restricted.

However, I can assure that, should our health services come under threat in Lewisham Deptford (as with Lewisham Hospital), I am prepared to fight hard against this.  

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NHS - Capped Expenditure Process

Many of my constituents have contacted me recently about the Capped Expenditure Process (CEP). I share these concerns and believe that the Government should cancel the CEP immediately. In June...

Many people in my constituency have been back in touch with me recently with concerns over the protection of bees and current European ban on neonicotinoids.

Whilst the European Commission is expected to complete its assessment on this issue by November 2017, I’d like to re-affirm my views on this very important issue (stated here).

Draft proposals for a full ban on the three most commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides could be voted on by EU member states as early as May 2017.

This June Conservative MEP, Julie Girling, attempted to block the full ban on neonictinoids – though thankfully, this was rejected by the European Parliament’s environment committee.

I will continue to follow this issue closely and anticipate a full ban is indeed enacted.

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Bees Update - October 2017

Many people in my constituency have been back in touch with me recently with concerns over the protection of bees and current European ban on neonicotinoids. Whilst the European Commission...

While Parliament was in recess over the summer, I had more time to focus on some of the areas I care most about. This summer I have been working with the Youth Violence Commission's (YVC) strategic and academic partners in order to organise our next steps.

Getting to the root cause of youth violence

While Parliament was in recess over the summer, I had more time to focus on some of the areas I care most about. This summer I have been working with... Read more

Thank you to everyone who emailed me regarding the second reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. As always, I have received hundreds of emails from constituents who voted to remain in the EU and (like me) have major concerns about Brexit.
 
My Labour colleagues and I believe that, as drafted, this bill is fatally flawed. It puts huge and unaccountable power into the hands of government ministers, side-lines Parliament on key decisions and puts crucial rights and protections at risk. Far from bringing control back to Parliament, it would result in a power-grab for Tory Ministers.

As you may already be aware, on Monday evening I voted against allowing the bill to progress to the next stage. Unfortunately, the Tories managed to scrape together enough votes to pass it by 326 votes to 290. We must now seek to amend this deeply flawed bill during the committee stage. MPs (including some senior Tory backbenchers) have already tabled more than 150 amendments.

On Tuesday night the Government attempted another power grab, this time looking to side-line opposition in Parliament by rigging the select committee system so that they are guaranteed a majority on each committee.
 
Previous governments have passed motions to ensure they retain a majority on committees, but they have always been linked to the Government maintaining an overall majority in the House of Commons. As you know, the current Tory Government does not have a majority in the House and is relying on its agreement with the DUP.
 
Despite our best attempts, the Government also won this vote by 320 to 301.
 
The minority Tory Government is fast losing its moral authority and the very people who told us Brexit was about restoring parliamentary sovereignty are now voting through measures that will side-line Parliament and grant ministers unprecedented powers.
  
Labour recognises that legislation is needed to ensure there are no gaps or drop in rights and protections as we leave the EU. But I can assure you that we will not give the Government a blank cheque to drive through this divisive and deficient bill.

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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill Vote

Thank you to everyone who emailed me regarding the second reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. As always, I have received hundreds of emails from constituents who voted to...

We’re looking for someone to join our constituency office team in Deptford full-time. The successful candidate will be a fast learner who is comfortable working independently in a busy and demanding environment.

The closing date for applications is Friday 15th September (5.00pm).

Full details are available here: http://www.w4mpjobs.org/JobDetails.aspx?jobid=62479

To apply, send a covering letter (max 1 side A4) and CV (max 2 sides A4) to vicky.foxcroft.mp@parliament.uk.

If you have any questions, please email the office or call us on 020 8469 4638.

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Caseworker Vacancy

We’re looking for someone to join our constituency office team in Deptford full-time. The successful candidate will be a fast learner who is comfortable working independently in a busy and...

We’ve decided to get Lewisham Station User Group up and going, starting with a meeting on Thursday 21st September at 7pm. The meeting will be held at St Stephen’s Church, Lewisham High St, London SE13 5AF, right by the station.WhatsApp_Image_2017-08-30_at_10.34.09.jpeg

Lewisham Station User Group

We’ve decided to get Lewisham Station User Group up and going, starting with a meeting on Thursday 21st September at 7pm. The meeting will be held at St Stephen’s Church,... Read more

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Puppy Smuggling

Read more

Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust, a local charity for homeless women aged 16-25, is recruiting teams of 2-4 people to join their Fun Relay Run at Hilly Fields on 17th September 2017.

The race starts at 11.00am and is free to enter. The trust is hoping to raise £8000 towards the cost of employing their cook, who provides healthy meals for the hostel residents.

For further details or to register your team, email mpmtrelay@gmail.com or call Rebecca on 020 8691 5911.

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Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust Fun Run

Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust, a local charity for homeless women aged 16-25, is recruiting teams of 2-4 people to join their Fun Relay Run at Hilly Fields on 17th September...

Many constituents have written to me about the inhumane handling of asylum claims involving allegations of torture.

I see the Home Office’s poor treatment of people daily. The Government is leaving people in limbo awaiting decisions and in too many cases making the wrong decisions. This leaves people unable to properly integrate into society as they should be allowed.

The Government’s treatment of people claiming asylum and of refugees is not that of a civilised country. I recently raised this in Parliament, asking what steps the Secretary of State for International Development are taking to protect women refugees against exploitation and sexual violence. Not enough is being done to protect these vulnerable people whilst they are seeking help.
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Torture and Asylum

Many constituents have written to me about the inhumane handling of asylum claims involving allegations of torture. I see the Home Office’s poor treatment of people daily. The Government is... Read more

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