I remain concerned about the resources available to Southwark police to tackle local crime.
Knife crime remains problematic and, sadly, I’ve learnt that the police are no closer to convicting the killer of 16 year old Mohammed Dura-Ray, who was murdered so brutally in Walworth last September. The CPS have handled the case badly and let Mo’s mum, Mariama, down. I’ve taken Mariama to meet Ministers and have raised Mo’s death in the Commons – including yesterday directly to the Prime Minister. I hope the Government will roll back on police cuts and ensure our local police force has the resources needed to keep our community safe.
It has been an incredibly busy time. My first question to the Prime Minister was an experience, especially as the Commons is so much busier for PMQs. Last week also saw the Government publish new regulations to deliver an amendment I tabled to the Welfare Bill. This legislative change will help dying people get extra help from the Department for Work and Pensions and will be implemented from April. It is incredible to think I have helped change the law within a year of entering Parliament despite being in Opposition. I thank everyone in Bermondsey and Old Southwark once again for giving me the opportunity to represent you in the Commons to try and make a difference.
I should also be responding at the Despatch Box for Labour for the first time on Friday. I help cover the Leader of the House (parliamentary business) brief and should speak on a Private Members’ Bill. I hope one day to be able to speak at the Despatch Box for our community from the Government benches for Labour. It would give me far greater chance to make a positive difference.
It has also been a busy time making final preparations to open the new constituency office. Seb Dance MEP and I will share 149-151 Jamaica Road, SE16 4SH – opposite the Gregorian pub near Bermondsey tube station. You can write to me here, email: Neil.Coyle.MP@parliament.uk or call: 020 7219 8733. My weekly surgery sessions will be in the new office every Friday, 5-7pm from 11th March. I hold other surgeries in different venues, including shopping centres and tenants’ halls – please let me know if you’d like one near you!