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Welcome to my April news update, which covers some of the work I've been working on here in Newport East and in the House of Commons as your Member of Parliament over the last month.

As always, if there's anything I can help or assist with, please do get in touch. Tap here to go straight through to my contact form. 

Here's to a wonderful May!
Pressing the government for much-needed rail investment
Both the Burns Commission and the UK Government's UK Connectivity Review recommended the need for new stations in South East Wales, incorporating the excellent proposal for a new station for Magor.

In Transport Questions last month, I pressed the minister on ensuring that the UK Government now makes funding available to Network Rail to finally deliver this much-needed investment. You can watch my question and the response in the clip above. 

I was pleased to join my Gwent colleague Wayne David’s reception on reforming the Dangerous Dogs Act. It was an honour to meet the inspiring Emma Whitfield, who lost her 10 year old son Jack to a dangerous dog attack in 2021. Having heard from constituents, I know there are residents with concerns about dangerous dogs in Newport East, and I agree - the Government must look to strengthen existing legislation.
Responding to the government in the Adjournment Debate
I responded on behalf of the Labour Party in the pre-recess adjournment debate in Westminster Hall. The debate provided an opportunity to raise a host of different issues - from the treatment of former Afghan interpreters to government cuts to neighbourhood policing, as well as the poor response times of government departments to enquiries by MPs on behalf of constituents. The session also gave me a chance to thank some of the community groups who are making a difference in Newport East, including our local churches and the Sanctuary Project. You can watch my speech in full here.
Taking Business Questions

As Shadow Deputy Leader of the House, I stood in for the Shadow Leader of the House, Thangam Debbonaire, at the last Business Questions before Easter. In my speech at the dispatch box, I raised concerns around the government's Illegal Migration Bill - including those relayed to me by Year 5 pupils at Lliswerry Primary School - and highlighted the government's failure to provide accurate information on issues around asylum and police numbers. I also took the time to congratulate the government on making it through a full parliamentary term with the same Prime Minister in office - quite an achievement for the Tories! You can watch my speech above.

No more delays for families effected by the contaminated blood scandal.

Victims of the contaminated blood scandal, like the Smiths from Newport East, have already had to wait far too long for recognition and redress. My message to the Paymaster General this month: no more delays.
Home Office Visa Backlogs

I am grateful that constituents were airlifted from Sudan to safety, but the government still needs to do more to help those impacted by visa delays to get out of the country. Currently, they are being forced into taking unsafe routes to flee the country to other unsafe countries. 
I took the opportunity to ask the Foreign Secretary what was being done - click above to what I had to say. 
  • In Attorney General questions I highlighted issues with ongoing IPP sentences. You can read my question on Hansard here
  • Attended meetings with Guide Dogs, GWR, as well as Shadow Cabinet, and the Shadow Leader of the House team. 
  • Tabled written questions on issues including: the 1982 attack on Welsh Guardsmen aboard the RFA Sir Galahad; the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy; support for civil servants with dyslexia; the government's delayed publication of the Gambling White Paper; and more.
Anything I can help with? Get in touch! Tap here to send me an email.
Super Schools!

Over the last month, I've had the huge pleasure of visiting two of Newport East's amazing schools. 

First up, I headed to St Julians Primary School to join them in planting a blossom tree with the National Trust and Council Leader, Jane Mudd. We were also treated to the most wonderful singing and a glimpse at the children's awesome hand-made racing cars.

At the end of April, I was invited to Maindee Primary School to see the young people officially receive their School of Sanctuary Award. 

As the city's first School of Sanctuary, Maindee really is something very special. 

You can read more about both of these visits on my Instagram page. Hit the button below. 

Earlier in the year, I held a business roundtable with NatWest to hear from small businesses in the constituency about the challenges they're facing currently. After that, Jon Shine - the owner of Newport East's Shine Catering - invited John and me along to the company's manufacturing base to find out more about the business. 

I was amazed to learn that the company works for the likes of Google, some of the UK's top universities and even Premier League football clubs to create bespoke kitchens. 
Employing more than 60 people, the whole set-up was really impressive, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this family business. 
It was great to catch up with Monmouthshire Council Leader Mary-Ann Brocklesbury in Caldicot to hear about the exciting progress that the new Labour council in the country has made over the last year. With lots already accomplished and more in the pipeline, the new Labour administration has been getting on with the job
🎬 Lights. Camera. Action. 

Over Easter, I had the huge privilege of meeting with young people in Newport East at the Netflix and National Theatre-run Ignite project at Urban Myth Studios. I heard about all the exciting film and tv opportunities that are available for young people here in the constituency.

If you didn't know, there are currently lots of brilliant TV and film productions being filmed in the constituency - the industry really is thriving. 

Watch the video above to hear what the young people I met had to say. 
Did you know...

Did you know that some of the steel used in many of the UK's most impressive infrastructure and building projects is cut and prepared here in Newport East? 

Over the Easter recess, I popped in to visit BRC at Leeway to hear about the work they've done on projects such as Wembley Stadium and even HS2. 
Is your passport holiday-ready? Tap here to find out more
Some of my  activity in the constituency over the last month:
  • Llanvaches WI
  • Visited Rogiet Community Cafe
  • Resident advice surgeries in Underwood and Somerton
  • Newport RFC Hall of Fame Awards
  • Dragons Awards dinner 
  • Speaking to residents on the doorstep in St Julians, Beechwood and Caldicot
  • Muslim Doctors Cymru Ramadan health check event
  • Meeting with Young Carers with Barnardos
  • Iftar at Iqra Mosque and with the Kid Care 4 U group
  • Met with Nexperia staff with Ruth and John to find out progress with the government
  • Met with Llanmartin Community Pharmacy to find out about how pharmacists can ease backlogs at doctors' surgeries 

Over the last month, my office has helped residents with hundreds of issues, including housing, cowboy lenders, dangerous dogs, asylum and immigration and so many more.

Casework continues to rise, with the team closing almost 15% more cases during April 2023 than for the same period last year. 

The pie-chart above gives you an indication of the types of issues people get in touch for help with. 
Jessica Morden is promoted by Deborah Davies, on behalf of Newport Labour, both at Ringland Labour Club, Ringland Circle, Newport, NP19 9PS.
Copyright © 2023 Jessica Morden MP, All rights reserved.

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