View from the House: Wera Hobhouse MP
October was a very busy month with many pressing issues in Bath and in Parliament. I launched a petition calling for a school to open on the Culverhay site after plans to shut the Bath Studio School were announced. There is a clear shortage of secondary school places in the south of Bath. It is deeply unfair that parents will now face an even more significant challenge in getting their children into local schools. BANES council announced the longawaited Clean Air Zone proposal. While I support a Clean Air Zone, the Tory-led scheme creates some serious challenges. We need an integrated, holistic transport network with viable alternatives, and I would like to see the Clean Air Zone play a role in this vision. Put simply, there’s too much stick, and not enough carrot. The council’s consultation runs until 26th November; be sure to share your concerns on the plan that will affect all of us. I spoke at a Westminster Hall Debate on the subject of eating disorders and what we can do to reduce the stigma around this issue. It’s been a privilege highlighting the excellent work of, and joining forces, with dedicated campaigners like Hope Virgo. I launched an Early Day Motion in an attempt to provide earlier intervention, bring a focus to mental health and introduce mandatory waiting times for adults as well as children, aiming to keep the subject front and centre in Westminster. I joined Bath College’s chair of governors, Carole Stott MBE, at the House of Commons to explain the urgent need for more investment in further education. Working cross party, I am calling on the Chancellor for increased funding for this crucial part of our education system. Bath College demonstrates that young people don’t have to go to university to advance in their lives. Bath’s businesses need young people who are work-ready, with specific skills. Bath College provides this and are doing an excellent job in spite of the government’s horrific cuts. My team in Bath have closed over 6,000 cases since my election to office in June 2017, an average of 19 per working day. Casework is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. It’s so important for me to understand the challenges Bath residents face and see the impact of this government’s policies. A big thanks to my hardworking and dedicated team, without whom my job of helping constituents would be impossible. If you think we might be able to help you, please do get in touch! The People’s Vote March was an absolute triumph. 700,000 people flooded the streets of the capital to have their voices heard in this peaceful protest and to demand a final say on any Brexit deal. It was the second largest march in modern British history. Nine coaches came from Bath. The will of the people is clear. A People’s Vote is the only option. We must expose the Brexit lie, and make sure that lies will not prevail in a true democracy.