Cat Smith

Working for Lancaster and Fleetwood

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Labour wins vote to Keep Sunday Special

Last Wednesday in Westminster the Government suffered a serious defeat in the House of Commons as I, along with the majority of other MPs, stood up for working people. The Government had planned to give councils the power to relax Sunday trading laws. But I’m proud to have stood in solidarity with small businesses, workers, trade unions and faith groups which have long been campaigning against this proposal, to defeat the Government. Continue reading

Happy Mother's Day

On Sunday many readers will have been celebrating Mother’s Day, it’s a day many families get together to say thank you to our mums, or maybe it was you who was being appreciated by your children or grandchildren. This left me reflecting on the way in which I believe this Government is letting down working mums through its thoughtless policy agenda and lack of action. I’m calling on the government to take tougher action on tackling soaring levels of maternity discrimination at work as well as reveal the impact of its policies on women. Continue reading

Protecting Policing Over-Wyre

Crime is something which many constituents raise with me. Living in the more rural parts of Lancashire we can feel more isolated from police presence but often need the support of police just as in urban areas. Where individual concerns have been raised I have taken up cases on behalf of constituents with Lancashire Constabulary but there is also a bigger picture to look at too. Continue reading

Government U-Turn on EU Flood Funds

After recent calls by myself and many of my colleagues demanding that the government apply for EU flood funds, I am very pleased to say that the Prime Minister has finally caved in to this demand. I had sent a letter to the Prime minister last month and received letter back which neither confirmed or denied whether the government would apply for the fund. After such indecision by the government, I am glad that the government have now applied for these funds after so much pressure. It is great news that those devastated by the floods will now receive the support they have needed for such a long time. These funds will help rebuild the lives, homes, infrastructure and communities of the people hit hardest by the December flooding.  Continue reading

Welcoming Fleetwood's NOW card travellers back to the trams

This week we have learnt that the hard work has paid off and soon NOW card holders will be able to access the trams into Blackpool once again! This time last year I was campaigning to be your MP and I said one of my top priorities was campaigning to get pensioners and people with disabilities back on the trams with the NOW cards – so I am delighted that it’s down to Fleetwood Labour that this has been possible. Continue reading

Supporting Junior Doctors and the NHS

I am appalled at the Government's decision to impose changes to the junior doctors' contract. I believe these changes will harm our NHS with many junior doctors opting to work either overseas or in the private sector. I am also concerned that they will jeopardise patient safety. I agree that statistics have been manipulated for political purposes. We already have a seven days a week NHS with junior doctors playing an essential role in this. If the Government is serious about running all services on a 24-7 basis to then they need be prepared to provide the additional resources in order to achieve this. I share your concerns over the long term future of the NHS under the Tories. Continue reading

Demanding EU Flood Relief Funds

I've written to the Prime Minister demanding to know why he has not accessed the EU Solidarity Fund to support those who have been flooded across the North of England. A demand reinforced by the MEPs from the North West. These funds could help local people rebuild their lives, infrastructure and help clean up after the floods.   Continue reading

Protecting the Emergency Response to Natural Disaster

In a debate about the recent flooding I held the Government to account over their weak response that have devastated communities across the North of England. The emergency services and military have done a sterling job in their response to the floods ensuring swift and safe rescues for those affected. However, the Government has failed to adequately prepare our country for the effects of climate change and the impacts that flooding has on our communities. Since 2011 Lancashire Fire and Rescue has lost 241 firefighters because of cuts. I asked the Environment Minister to consider making response to flooding a statutory requirement of the Fire Service, and to bring with it the funding they need, in order to equip our emergency services to respond in the way we all hope they will if we were to be flooded. Continue reading

The Government is Cutting our Local Services - Not Councils

I have had a full mail bag from many constituents writing to me about threats to funding for local services. I don’t want to see us lose any services, be that buses, museums, libraries or the social services. Continue reading

Thoughts on 2015

 The past year has been a busy one for me finding my feet as your new local MP. I've found myself working flat out to get around the huge and diverse constituency. From the Yorkshire border, through the lower Lune Valley, and the city of Lancaster (but only south of the river), across Over Wyre villages to Fleetwood; it's been a joy to get to spend time with all the varied communities, although with the many issues that come up I've learned a lot too. It's given me a huge variety of issues to raise in Parliament. Since September I've also been doing this alongside being on the front bench for my party as Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, which has given my a good platform for the many equalities issues that I'm passionate about. Continue reading