It’s almost a month since the General Election and things haven’t slowed down in politics, not in Morley or nationally. I have already received thousands of emails and hundreds of letters from constituents asking for help with issues, and now that the first members of my team are in place we’re working hard to give each issue the time it needs. One of the first emails I received after the election was from the parents of Abi Longfellow, a 12-year-old constituent suffering from a rare form of Dense Deposit Disease, a life threatening kidney condition. Abi needs regular dialysis, but the drug Eculizumab could change all of this if she is able to access it. Currently Eculizumab is not available to her on the NHS, so at Health Questions this week I asked Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, if the drug can be obtained for Abi. The Prime Minister has also intervened, asking NHS England and the National Institute for Care and Excellence to undertake a rapid review of the evidence relevant to Abi’s case to ensure that every treatment option is explored. I have also requested a meeting with Alexion, the manufacturer of Eculizumab. At Health Questions I also requested that the Health Secretary look into ensuring that surgical-site infections are also included and made available in all future statistics so we can work on eradicating these as it is a common way to catch an infection.
Following a meeting of staff, and parents of students, from Joseph Priestley Campus I have now met with representatives of Leeds City College to discuss the future of the site. I made it clear to them that we want the campus to remain in Morley in its current state, but did discuss other options for keeping the courses the campus provides in our town. I have now written to residents who contacted me about this with an update, and will continue to do so as the campaign progresses.
I was pleased to see the Government’s announcement that they will bring forward plans to double the free childcare available to working parents. This means that some families will benefit from this as early as next year. Childcare costs can be a burden on family finances that prevents parents from working. We want to make it easier for those parents who do want to work, to do so. In real terms this means up to 30 hours of free childcare per week, worth about £5,000 annually.
I held my first constituency surgeries in Morley and Wrenthorpe last weekend, speaking to residents about a wide variety of issues. This Saturday, June 6, and every two weeks from then, I am holding a street stall at Asda in Morley from 11am-noon where constituents can bring issues to me with no need for an appointment. Details of my surgeries throughout the constituency are available at andreajenkyns.co.uk/surgeries or by calling my office on 0113 345 0380.