Jo Stevens

A strong voice for Cardiff Central

News

Along with over 100 of my Parliamentary colleagues, I have co-signed a letter to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson calling for the referral of the Myanmar military to the International Criminal Court for their actions against the Rohingya

The appalling ‘security operations’ against the Rohingya have been described as ethnic cleansing and possibly genocide by OHCHR. I’ve previously raised it in Parliamentary debates, via questions & correspondence. Now it's time for the Government to act.

Here is the letter in full:

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Joint Letter to the Foreign Secretary RE Myanmar Military and the ICC

Along with over 100 of my Parliamentary colleagues, I have co-signed a letter to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson calling for the referral of the Myanmar military to the International Criminal Court for... Read more

The second annual of Great Get Together is taking place 22nd – 24th June 2018 with hopefully even more fun and friendly events in Cardiff Central than last year.

The Great Get Together is inspired by my friend and colleague Jo Cox, who was killed on 16 June 2016. We believe there is a groundswell of people who reject divisive politics and simply want to bring our communities together and celebrate all that unites us. This is our chance.

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Great Get Together Events 2018

The second annual of Great Get Together is taking place 22nd – 24th June 2018 with hopefully even more fun and friendly events in Cardiff Central than last year. The... Read more

Universal Credit is being phased into Cardiff, starting this month. It is a new, single monthly payment to replace the following benefits and tax credits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits

It will not replace Child Benefit, and it will not replace Contribution-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Contribution-Based Employment and Support Allowance, unless you receive one of these benefits and have housing costs. Then, you will also claim Universal Credit to help with these costs instead of Housing Benefit.

To begin with, only single unemployed working age people will be affected by this change. 

If you are already claiming one or more of the benefits listed above, you will not be affected until the Department of Work and Pensions contacts you.

However, if you are claiming them and your partner moves in with you and she/he is claiming Universal Credit, you will have to claim Universal Credit together. 
You will not be able to claim Universal Credit during this initial stage if you:
  • are part of a couple
  • are responsible for any children 
  • have caring responsibilities
  • are not fit for work 
  • are homeless or live in supported or temporary accommodation 
  • are a homeowner 
  • are in education or on a training course

 

How to apply

You apply for Universal Credit online, and you will need an email address. You will also need to attend a meeting with your Job Centre work coach to complete your claim and provide any evidence requested. Click here for Cardiff Council's Universal Credit Checklist.

If you can't get online at home, you can use a computer at the Central Library Hub, your local Job Centre Plus or your local library.

If you need help, phone the Universal Credit Helpline for free on 0800 328 5644 or 0800 328 9344.

Universal Credit - What You Need To Know

Universal Credit is being phased into Cardiff, starting this month. It is a new, single monthly payment to replace the following benefits and tax credits: Housing Benefit Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance...

Dates for my February advice surgeries have now been confirmed. 

Friday 2nd February 4pm - 6pm, Roath

Constituency Office, 116 Albany Road, Roath, CF24 3RU

Friday 16th February 4pm - 6pm, Roath

Constituency Office, 116 Albany Road, Roath, CF24 3RU

Friday 23rd February 2pm - 3pm, Llanedeyrn

Powerhouse Hub, Roundwood, Llanedeyrn CF23 9PN

Saturday 24th February 10am - 11am, Advice Surgery with Plasnewydd Labour Councillors

Penylan Library, Penylan Road, Penylan, CF23 5HW

Saturday 24th February 11am - 12 noon, Advice Surgery with Cathays Labour Councillors

Cathays Library, Fairoak Road, Cathays, CF24 4PW

Friday 2nd March, 11am - 12 noon, Adamsdown

St German's Church Hall (Adamsdown Day Centre), Star Street, Adamsdown, CF24 0JY 

Advice Surgeries in February

Dates for my February advice surgeries have now been confirmed.  Friday 2nd February 4pm - 6pm, Roath Constituency Office, 116 Albany Road, Roath, CF24 3RU Friday 16th February 4pm -... Read more

I was proud this week to be among over 160 cross-party MPs, led by my colleague Carolyn Harris MP, to sign a letter to the Prime Minister imploring her to end child funeral fees.

The Welsh Labour Government has taken the lead on this issue, and ended fees for child funerals here in Wales, but it's time for this to be policy for the whole of the UK.

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Ending Child Funeral Fees - Letter to the Prime Minister

I was proud this week to be among over 160 cross-party MPs, led by my colleague Carolyn Harris MP, to sign a letter to the Prime Minister imploring her to... Read more

This morning I attended Cardiff Airport's annual report briefing to Members of Parliament. Cardiff Airport, which is publically owned by the Welsh Labour Government, has gone from strength to strength, showing a nearly 50% growth since it was taken into public ownership, along with new airlines and routes every year.

Jo Stevens MP speaking in the House of Commons

Allowing the rates of Air Passenger Duty (the tax applied to the price of flight tickets) to be decided here in Wales, for Wales, rather than controlled centrally is a fantastic opportunity for the Welsh Labour Government to incentivise new and longer-haul airlines to fly from Cardiff. This in turn would add to the Cardiff and South Wales economy, bringing tourism to the region and enabling more Welsh passengers to jet off abroad straight from Wales.

The recently-passed Wales Act 2017 was a missed opportunity to devolve responsibility for Air Passenger Duty to Wales but I am continuing to campaign for this as it will bring huge benefits to us here.

As usual, the Leader of the House responded to my question with a suggestion that I ask again in Treasury Questions. I'll keep standing up for Wales on this issue, even when the Secretary of State doesn't seem to want to, and my Labour colleagues and I won't be letting the UK Government off the hook.

Business Questions - Air Passenger Duty

This morning I attended Cardiff Airport's annual report briefing to Members of Parliament. Cardiff Airport, which is publically owned by the Welsh Labour Government, has gone from strength to strength,... Read more

A number of constituents have written in to me over the last few months expressing concerns about both the Murdoch takeover bid of BskyB and the family's corporate conduct.

Jo Stevens speaking in the House of Commons chamber

BskyB and Leveson Inquiry Update

A number of constituents have written in to me over the last few months expressing concerns about both the Murdoch takeover bid of BskyB and the family's corporate conduct. Read more

I have today signed my Labour colleague Carolyn Harris's open letter to the Government, asking for the maximum stake to be reduced from the current £100 to £2.

Here is the letter in full:

 

 

Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP 

Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport

100 Parliament St

London

SW1A 2BQ

 

 23 January 2018

 

Dear Secretary of State,

 

Government Policy on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

On the day that the Government’s consultation on ‘Proposals to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures’ closes, we the undersigned are calling on the Government to take decisive action and reduce the stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to £2.

The case for a stake reduction to £2 is now overwhelming.

There are over 33,000 FOBTs in betting shops across the UK in easily accessible locations, providing hard, high stakes gambling across Britain’s high streets.

The current FOBT stake maximum of £100 is fifty times higher than that of other widely available gaming machines. In 2015/6, there were over 230,000 individual sessions in which a user lost over £1,000.

FOBTs have come under widespread criticism for encouraging high-stakes gambling and exposing people to the risk of gambling harm. Problem gambling affects 430,000 people in the UK annually. As well as this being a tragedy for gamblers themselves and their families, a recent report by the well-respected economics think tank, the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), showed that problem gambling is also a huge cost to the Government. It estimates that this cost to the UK is £1.5bn a year when its impact on wider social welfare is taken into account – including areas such as employment, mental health and financial stability

This Government has stated its commitment to social justice. These machines are creating social injustice. They are having a direct impact on people and families across the country. They are harming the young and vulnerable in our society, whom we have a duty to protect. Those, who often can least afford it, are losing vast sums of money. Indeed, the Cebr notes that the main beneficiaries of a reduction to a £2 stake would be those from deprived areas or on lower incomes, particularly as there are twice as many betting shops in the poorest 55 boroughs of the UK.

Public and mental health organisations, faith groups including the Church of England (who has been very vocal in their concerns), academics and others have also described the destructive impact which FOBTs can have on families and whole communities. They have underlined that they are driving social and mental health problems. We have even seen young men taking their own lives because of their addiction to these machines. Beyond this, FOBTs are impacting society more widely driving violent crime and money laundering.

The Cebr also finds that the impact of a £2 stake reduction on bookmakers has been exaggerated. The economic impact on bookmakers of lower FOBT stakes could be significantly less than existing estimates have suggested since these do not take account of the range of possible outcomes and behavioural responses that could take place. Their model projects that industry losses from a £2 stake could be up to 47% lower than suggested by the Government’s initial impact assessment.

As you will know, it is rare in Parliament to achieve a consensus across our political divides. Yet, those calling for stake reduction come from across the  political spectrum, in both Houses of Parliament. We speak as one. This call for stake reduction is coming from local government including 93 local authorities, esteemed academics, community groups, the Royal Society for Public Health, from business and the Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for the stake to fall to £2. Even the bookmaker Paddy Power has agreed on the need for dramatic stake reduction citing that this will not adversely impact bookmakers’ businesses.

The Government must not waver in its commitment to help the vulnerable. It must not row back on its determination to take action on FOBTs. It must not bend to the power of the bookmaker lobby. The time has come for the Government to act. The health and wellbeing of our country is at issue. We implore the Government to seize this opportunity and make £2 the FOBT stake.

We look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Carolyn Harris MP

Chair, Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group

 

We are copying this letter to the Prime Minister and Tracey Crouch MP.

Open Letter to the Government on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

I have today signed my Labour colleague Carolyn Harris's open letter to the Government, asking for the maximum stake to be reduced from the current £100 to £2. Here is...

A series of workshops are to be held next week to discuss the Roath Brook flood scheme.

This is an opportunity for residents to discuss the scheme directly with the people who are delivering it and get answers to any questions you may have.

NRW will also provide a brief presentation about:

  • the background to the scheme
  • why it’s needed
  • what different options were considered
  • how contractors are managing the impact of the work on wildlife
  • what NRW is doing to save as many trees in the area as possible

The workshops are being held after talks between NRW and the Roath Brook Trees campaign group.

NRW has paused tree felling to allow discussions with the local community take place.

The sessions are expected to last between an hour to an hour-and-a-half and will be held at Pen-y-Lan Library and Community Centre on:

  • Tuesday 23 January at 10:00, 1:00, 3:00 and 6:00
  • Wednesday 24 January at 10:00, 2:00 and 4:00.

There is capacity for up to 20 people to attend every session and people are asked to register in advance by emailing roath@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk.

Due to the limited number of spaces available, it might not be possible for people who haven’t registered for a specific session to attend.

I would highly recommend any residents with views or concerns about the scheme to register and attend these workshops.

More information on the scheme is available at www.naturalresources.wales/roath.

Roath Brook Flood Scheme: Workshops

A series of workshops are to be held next week to discuss the Roath Brook flood scheme. This is an opportunity for residents to discuss the scheme directly with the... Read more

The Rohingya refugee crisis continues in Bangladesh, with Rohingya people fleeing a genocide at the hands of the Burmese military. Bangladeshi authorities are working hard to support as many refugees as they can, but are reliant on international aid contributions such as those made by the UK. 

Cathays Labour Councillor Ali Ahmed, along with colleagues from the Cardiff Bangladesh Association, has recently travelled to Bangladesh to present a £40,000 cheque for the relief effort, raised by Cardiff business owners and members of the community.

Jo Stevens speaking in the House of Commons

Rohingya Refugee Crisis - Asking for a Debate in Parliament

The Rohingya refugee crisis continues in Bangladesh, with Rohingya people fleeing a genocide at the hands of the Burmese military. Bangladeshi authorities are working hard to support as many refugees... Read more

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