Gloria De Piero: A 44-year-old woman in my constituency suffered from depression and anxiety, and she tells me she is not yet recovered from her illness but is now strong enough to go every day to an amazing place called the Huthwaite Hub, which relies in large part on lottery funding. Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that former coalfield communities do not get their fair share of funding from the...
Gloria De Piero: I thank my hon. Friend for securing the debate. I pay tribute to the citizens advice bureaux, which do fantastic work across my constituency. Their work is set to become even more vital as universal credit is rolled out, particularly given that the Government’s helpline charges 55p a minute. Does my hon. Friend agree that as their role becomes even more important, they must be on a...
Gloria De Piero: May I tell my hon. Friend about Neil Thompson, a district nurse from Eastwood in my constituency? He has told me: “I didn’t expect, after 40 years in the NHS, to be as poor now as when I first started out.” How can that be just?
Gloria De Piero: I was contacted about this debate by the principal of Sutton Community Academy in my constituency, who tells me that the budget is over £1 million less than it was three years ago and that the only way to balance the books would be to shut the sixth form, but it is desperate not to do that. My constituents need a leg up. They cannot afford to see a ladder that enables them to move on and...
Gloria De Piero: Does my hon. Friend agree that, far from being barred from employment, those people in construction who raised health and safety issues and have been blacklisted should be commended and saluted?
Gloria De Piero: May I press the Secretary of State on a publication date for the legal aid review? Will he tell me how many people who have been denied legal aid since the Government changed the criteria the Government have heard from?
Gloria De Piero: Getting kids from ordinary backgrounds to university is a key way of enabling them to move up and get on. Will my hon. Friend join me in congratulating the previous Labour Government on increasing student numbers, while acknowledging that there is still work to be done, particularly in post-industrial towns such as Ashfield, where we send only 21% of 18-year-olds to university, compared with...
Gloria De Piero: I met with the headteacher of Ashfield Comprehensive yesterday. The school faces a budget cut of almost £1 million from last September to this September, and he is facing a choice between bigger class sizes and fewer subjects. Does my hon. Friend agree that that is the sort of thing that hinders social mobility?
Gloria De Piero: Annesley DWP office has 130 workers, three quarters of whom are women. The close proximity of the office to their home enables many of those women to have a career and be a parent. There are no nearby offices to relocate them to, so I ask the Minister to pause the closure and conduct and publish an equality impact assessment in this special case.
Gloria De Piero: Right now, 130 workers at Annesley Department for Work and Pensions office are being told that their place of work will be closed and their jobs relocated up to an hour’s drive away. Have these public sector workers not suffered enough from the seven-year pay cap? Is not the last thing that they need to be told that they need to find more money to pay for their travel to and from work?
Gloria De Piero: In Ashfield, average weekly earnings are below the national and regional average. The Government have made attempts to help to create and protect jobs, such as through the regional growth fund, but not a penny of that money has gone to my constituency. Is it any wonder that so many of my constituents feel that the Government have forgotten them?
Gloria De Piero: May we have a debate in Government time on the injustice of the mineworkers’ pension scheme, which has seen Government coffers swell by billions of pounds due to the unfair 50:50 surplus split? More cash needs to go to ex-miners and their widows.
Gloria De Piero: Ashfield, like many former coalfield constituencies, receives way below the average in lottery funding. Is not it time that the lottery publish not just how much money it spends in each constituency, but how many tickets are purchased in each constituency, so that we can see whether the poorest areas are subsidising the richest?
Gloria De Piero: rose—
Gloria De Piero: I declare an interest, as a vaper. Vaping is healthier and safer, but is this not also an issue of social justice? It is far cheaper to vape than to buy cigarettes and, as we know, it is poorer people who are most likely to smoke.
Gloria De Piero: Last week I was told by Pauline that her mum, 79-year-old Sheila, who has dementia and heart failure, suffers from seizures and is unable to eat, go to the toilet or dress on her own, has been denied a funded place in a care home. Does the hon. Lady agree that that is a scandal that needs to be resolved?
Gloria De Piero: I rise to present a petition opposing the closure of the Department for Work and Pensions office in Annesley, which could result in more than 100 job losses, affecting mainly women workers. The petition states: The Petition of staff of Annesley DWP office, and their families, Declares that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are proposing to close Annesley DWP office within the next...
Gloria De Piero: Since 1994, the Government have received £10 billion of pension cash which could have benefited miners. A Treasury written answers says that a further £153 million will be pocketed in the next three years. Will the Chancellor use the Budget to look again at the injustice of the mineworkers pension scheme?
Gloria De Piero: Nottinghamshire County Council has lost £200 million during the past seven years. Given that 40% of the budget goes to adult social care, is it any wonder that, day after day, all of us across the House are getting the most heartbreaking stories from our constituents who are simply not getting the care that their loved ones need?
Gloria De Piero: My hon. Friend talks about many lives being ruined by the blacklisting of workers. Does he agree that it is time we put on record the work that the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, Unite and the GMB have done in securing settlements for the workers who were treated so badly?