While Parliament was in recess, I took the opportunity to spend some quality time with my family. However, I want you to know that even during this break, I remained committed to working hard for the people of Manchester Central and continued to lead on matters related to Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports. Please read my August monthly update in full below and if there are any issues, questions or you need my help, please get in touch.
Lucy Powell MP
Manchester Pride 2023
One of the highlights of August was witnessing the success of MCR Pride in Manchester over the bank holiday weekend. It was heart-warming to see so many fantastic community groups and organizations taking part in the parade on Saturday. Notably, this year’s event showcased a commitment to inclusivity in performances and acts, reflecting the diverse tapestry of our community.
The Gay Village is currently undergoing a review by the local Council, focusing on areas where we can provide better support to the community. This review aims to improve accessibility, safety, signage, and the overall identity of the area. When this review enters the consultation phase, I will ensure you are informed and have the opportunity to contribute your thoughts.
Learning from the Lionesses
The success of the Lionesses on the field was another highlight. Their performance inspired a generation of young women and girls to pursue football and brought women’s football into the spotlight as a major sporting event. However, it is disheartening to see the Conservative Government reduce funding for sports in schools, resulting in a 12% decrease in PE and sports hours since the 2012 Olympics hosted in the UK. This negligence toward young people’s health and wellbeing is unacceptable.
To address this issue, I have pledged to conduct a Curriculum and Assessment review when Labour is in Government. Our goal is to ensure that girls and boys do not miss out on sports in school. This commitment is part of Labour’s Five Missions for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Leaseholders and Renters Survey
Thank you to the 300+ people who’ve already filled in my survey regarding leaseholders and renters and the pressures they are facing with rising rents and fees. Your responses are crucial as we advocate for reforms that empower renters and leaseholders. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to complete the survey and consider sharing it within your building’s Facebook or WhatsApp group to ensure we have a diverse sample. Here is the link to fill in the survey and share it: https://bit.ly/3QrgemL
Co-Op Live: Opening in April 2024
In early August, I had the opportunity to visit the Co-Op Live Arena under construction in East Manchester. This impressive arena is set to open in April 2024 with a seating capacity of 24,000. Already, renowned acts like the Jonas Brothers are lined up to perform. Beyond the entertainment it will offer, this investment has brought new jobs during both the construction phase and when the arena becomes operational. Additionally, it will contribute to the local community’s growth.
Campaigning in Rutherglen and Hamilton West
During my visit to Scotland, I campaigned alongside our Labour candidate Michael Shanks and Anas Sarwar, the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party. Winning back Scotland from the divisive SNP is crucial to our path to Government. Whilst the constituency is too far for many Labour members to reach, any kind of support to the campaign would be appreciated. For those that can, donations can be made here. Your support in this campaign is greatly appreciated.
Sure Start Centres: Manchester Leading The Way
Despite the cuts to local Government funding and essential services since the Conservatives and Lib Dems came to power in 2010, Manchester has led the way in protecting essential services like Sure Start Centres. These centers, a Labour initiative promised in 1997, provide vital support for families, offering childcare, parenting advice, support networks, and more under one roof.
I recently visited the Clayton Sure Start Centre, where I had the opportunity to meet with families and staff. It was inspiring to see the work they are doing to support soon-to-be parents, new parents, and children with activities and care during the school holidays. Plans to expand provision into older age groups were also discussed, ensuring continued education, learning, and engagement for young people as they grow older.
Visiting the UCI Championships in Glasgow
This year, Glasgow hosted the first-ever UCI World Championships in Scotland, where the world’s greatest riders competed across 13 UCI World Championships. I attended the British Cycling reception in Glasgow, providing an opportunity to meet some of the athletes, both current and past, alongside the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Anas Sarwar. This event showcased the potential of the UK to lead the world in sports and host international championships, boosting local and national economies. However, it underscores the importance of investing in sports and our facilities.
Children at Risk over Summer Holidays
One pressing issue that remains unaddressed is the Online Safety Bill. The failure to pass this legislation poses a risk to children and young people during the summer holidays, when they are most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation on social media and the internet. The bill, which has been watered down, removes protections for young people. It is crucial that this legislation returns to the House of Commons without further delay. To learn more about how this is impacting young people, read more here.
Putting Culture at the heart of our Government
During my visit to Scotland, I had the opportunity to meet with arts and creative industry leaders and businesses. We discussed how Labour can and will prioritize this sector, placing it at the heart of our growth and education plan. Additionally, we discussed ways to address challenges such as touring in Europe, which has restricted artists from coming to the UK and UK artists from working in Europe. By putting culture at the centre of our Government, we can support this vital industry and overcome these challenges.
Thank you for your continued support and engagement. Together, we can work toward a brighter future for our community and our country.