Cat Smith

Working for Lancaster and Fleetwood

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Commitment from Government on autism training

  Today, I won a commitment from the Government after I asked a question about autism in today’s session of Prime Minister’s Questions. After receiving dozens of emails from local parents of autistic children and young people in the past few weeks, I wanted to raise one aspect of the many challenges that come with raising an autistic child.   Continue reading

U-turn on schools policy

If David Cameron and his Education Secretary could be marked for their work on education this week they would be getting a U for U-turn. Following weeks of mounting pressure from teachers, parents and Labour MPs, the Tories have finally conceded that their proposed academisation of schools, was indeed a costly reorganisation of schools, which nobody wanted and schools really did not need.  Continue reading

What I'll be looking out for from the Queen's Speech

    The State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech was a spectacle as ever. There’s the tradition, and then there is those who try and sabotage tradition; like the engineers who had been sent into the chamber to turn Dennis Skinner’s microphone around to muffle his heckle on the television broadcast. The House of Commons microphones dangle from the ceiling and pick up the sound from above your head – so not immediately noticeable. However, Dennis had noticed and projected his heckle, “Hands off the BBC”, towards a neighbouring microphone and was picked up on the television broadcast no problem at all. A victory for a more modern Queen’s Speech tradition! Continue reading

Cat Smith MP becomes founding member of new Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality

I joined MPs from across the House of Commons to form a new Parliamentary group on the State Pension Age. The new group will support those women hit by the acceleration of the equalisation of the State Pension Age, first in 1995 and then in 2011. In Lancaster and Fleetwood, according to the independent House of Commons Library, around 3,370 women are directly affected by the 2011 Pensions Act alone. 308 local residents signed the e-petition calling for transitional arrangements, which received almost 200,000 signatures nationwide. Continue reading

Keep the ban on bee harming pesticides

As ministers prepare to make decision on application to lift the ban, pressure builds to keep neonicotinoids off our fields this summer Cat Smith MP has added her name to a growing list of MPs who are opposed to lifting of the ban on bee harming pesticides. Continue reading

My first year as your MP

As I approach my first year anniversary serving as Member of Parliament for Lancaster and Fleetwood I’m taking this opportunity to reflect on the events of the past twelve months. My first contribution in the House of Commons chamber, which happened to be the first contribution by any of the 2015 intake, was on the 28th May when I asked the Leader of the House for a debate on the issue of fracking in Lancashire. Throughout the election campaign this had been a widely felt issue, with the majority of my constituents opposing the moves by fracking company Cuadrilla to drill on the Fylde Coast. Continue reading

Education policy should be about quality, not structure

This week I have had many constituents, parents and teachers, contact me about the Government’s plans to force all schools to become academies in a top down, costly reorganisation of our schools, which nobody wants and schools don’t need. Continue reading

Tax Havens Play No Positive Role

Looking through recent pages of the local paper you can read all about local campaigns to save libraries, the museum, keep the ferry to Knott End running, cuts to policing budgets and bus services etc. One thing all these issues have in common is a root cause stemming from government cuts to public services and local councils. Why should I say this? Because if everyone and every company in this country paid the tax they were meant to we wouldn’t be talking about which service to cut. Continue reading

Academies

  I believe the local schools in the Lancaster and Fleetwood Constituency are fantastic with strong leadership and local support. Parents must have a say in the future of local schools, and it is wrong for this Government to impose academies on all schools. That will weaken the standards of the national curriculum, lessen accountability to local people through councils, and restrict access to freedom of information requests. It is also a hugely hypocritical act from a Government that claims to champion localism. As you may be aware Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has condemned this appalling proposal as asset-stripping and a step towards privatisation. I challenged the Ministers on this in the House of Commons during the debate on the budget and alongside Labour colleagues will continue to look for opportunities to raise this matter in Parliament Continue reading

A Budget that Fails Lancaster & Fleetwood

The budget was nothing short of a fiasco. While the media have focused on George Osborne’s future the sad reality it is the future of our communities that will be hardest hit by the shambolic events of the last week. Continue reading