Constituents get in touch
I’m so pleased to see Bedford this Spring and Summer awash with inclusive events celebrating and embracing Bedford and Kempston’s diversity.
It was a joy to attend the inaugural town centre street Iftar in Harpur Square, where hundreds of people from all backgrounds and faiths came together with the Muslim community to break fast together. I was pleased to say a few words about the community spirit we have here in Bedford.
Over the coming weeks and months, we look forward to many more events, and I hope you all enjoy the extended bank holiday weekend to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Mohammad Yasin MP
In summary, campaigns and policy this month focused on:
- The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, Nationality and Borders Bill and the Health and Care Bill have been recently pushed through Parliament, and many of my constituents are concerned about the impact from these acts.
- Boris Johnson’s failures as Prime Minister, which continue to present a key concern.
- Dementia diagnosis, as well as the changes to the social care cap.
- The Big Plastic Count this week, which my office are taking part in, to assess our use of plastic.
Many of my constituents in Bedford and Kempston are concerned about the multiple bloated Bills that were pushed through Parliament prior to its prorogation.
I have received over 50 emails on these Bills, including the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the Nationality and Borders Bill, and the Health and Care Bill. In the wash-up before Parliament was dissolved, each of these Bills became legislation, and many of my constituents are concerned about the impact that they will have on the right to protest, refugees and asylum seekers, and NHS privatization, respectively.
Health services and medicine has been a key category this month, with over 20 of the emails that I have received regarding support for dementia action week and the continuation of free lateral flow tests for friends and family visiting loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease.
Furthermore, several constituents have contacted me with their opposition to the changing criteria for the cap on social care. Continuing from last month, the ‘Partygate’ scandal has been at the forefront of my inbox, with over 40 emails on the issue. Constituents feel let down and lied to, and many are continuing to call for the resignation of the Prime Minister. I echo these calls, and I will continue to hold the Prime Minister and his Government to account.
I have also been contacted by several constituents regarding this week’s Big Plastic Count. The count is part of a campaign organised by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic to help households understand how much plastic waste they are putting in the bin every week. I am pleased that my constituency office are also taking part in the count, as well as assessing how we can be also greener as an
In the constituency
I met recently with members of the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Local Medical Committee, who represent GPs and their practices in the local area. Many constituents have voiced difficulties getting through on phones to speak to practices, struggling to book appointments to see GPs, and a lack of continuity of care under named GPs. I understand these frustrations, as do GPs – they are battling an ongoing crisis in general practice that the Government is only making worse.
It is clear that GPs are run off their feet. In Bedford, there is now only one GP per 2,500 people, making it one of the worst hit by GP shortages in the whole country. These shortages are leading to staff burnout, poor retention and recruitment and, unfortunately, hitting patients in need of care the hardest. The Government needs to provide a fully costed and resourced plan to tackle these doctor shortages and ensure that patients can access their primary care providers in times of need.
I met with Sharon De Leonardis from SpectaculArts to discuss a programme of exciting events for this summer and beyond, celebrating Bedford’s diversity and caught up with Ian Pryce from Bedford College and heard about the college’s future plans.
I held a meeting with Festus Akinbusoye, PCC, to discuss the future funding for Bedford Women’s Centre, which failed in its last bid for PCC funding despite over delivering on its remit and being successful in previous years.
I’m pleased the OPCC has listened to the outcry at the potential loss of the centre and is now putting together terms and references to conduct a gap analysis for gaps in services across Bedfordshire.
We must not lose the only inclusive women’s service in Bedford that helps victims of domestic abuse – a service his force refers women to. I’ve had the pleasure of attending several events across the constituency this month, with school visits – including a very entertaining talent show at Goldington Academy – and seeing the well-deserved winners and nominees awarded at the Bedford Independent’s Everyday Heroes Award ceremony.
It was a joy to attend the inaugural town centre street Iftar in Harpur Square, where hundreds of people from all backgrounds and faiths came together with the Muslim community to break fast and I was pleased to be able to say a few words about the community spirit we have here in Bedford.
Other highlights from the month include attending: a Mental Health Mates Walk, an excellent initiative to bring people together to socialise and exercise; presenting the 2022 Parliamentary Taxi and Private Hire award to Murtaza Younis, an excellent achievement showing real dedication to the role; the opening of Living It Up Events new shop, The Arty Giraffe, at St Cuthberts Hall; the 131st Anniversary of the birth of Dr. B R. Ambedkar at Guru Ravidass Bhawan Bedford; the Jumble Trail at Harrowden Road; a Centenary service for the Bedford and District branch of the Royal British Legion; and the opening of a new secure cycle hub with secure e-bike charging facilities at Bedford Rail Station.
I made the following representation recorded on the Hansard:
- 26 April: Westminster Hall –Future of Rail – EWR
- 16 May: HOC Chamber – Local Authority Budgets – Revenue Support Grant
- 16 May: HOC Chamber – Shireen Abu Aqla
- 16 May: HOC Chamber – Making Britain the Best Place to Grow and Grow Old