Burnley MP Julie Cooper column: Conservative leadership race a real worry

Burnley MP Julie Cooper
Burnley MP Julie Cooper
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We currently have a national stalemate.

Theresa May is now just a caretaker prime minister, left merely holding the reins whilst the Conservative Party goes through a lengthy process to choose their next leader.

It will likely be the end of July before we know who the next prime minister will be.

Whilst there are 11 contenders it seems at this point that Boris Johnson will become Theresa May’s successor, but there is no certainty about any of it. It is all very worrying and I have to say, that I was disgusted to hear Boris promising tax cuts for high earners.

At a time when schools and the NHS are underfunded; when the elderly and disabled are struggling to access social care; when over four million children are growing up in poverty in the UK it really is obscene that the main contender thinks tax cuts for the richest in society should be a top priority.

This proposal would cost the country £9.8 billion in lost revenue! None of this bodes well if he does go on to become Prime Minister.

Meanwhile all Parliamentary business is delayed and crucial work relating to Brexit has been put on hold.

On Tuesday I was pleased to meet with the Chief Executive Officer of the Pennine Community Credit Union in Westminster to celebrate their excellent work.

PCCU in Burnley offers a range of affordable savings and loan facilities to local people.

The staff at the office located on St James’ Street provide a friendly and efficient financial service and are always happy to offer advice.

The Credit Union is continuing to grow both the number of members and also the range of products.

The new family loan, whereby loans of up to £500 are available for those in receipt of Child Benefit with no need for any additional financial checks, is proving to be very popular.

On Wednesday I was invited to attend a parliamentary reception organised by the Times Educational Supplement to celebrate excellence in education.

I was delighted that Burnley’s Holly Grove School has been shortlisted in the alternative provision category.

I have previously visited Holly Grove School and I have seen first-hand the fantastic provision that is on offer to support children who have special educational needs.

The dedication of head teacher Karen Alty and her team is clear for all to see.

I was pleased to be able to welcome Karen and her deputy, Eve Taylor to Westminster and sincerely hope that they go on to win the award.

This week is Carers Week and I believe that it is important to take a moment to pay tribute to the thousands of men, women and yes, sometimes child carers in Burnley and Padiham who give so much of their own lives to provide vital care for a loved one.

This can be a lonely role that often involves giving up paid employment, any chance of a social life and in the case of child carers can be detrimental to school work.

I am pleased to work with organisations such as Carers UK., the Carers’ Trust and Age UK that provide support to carers.

I know that these organisations together with many across the country are calling for the Government to ensure full and affordable access to adult social care for all those who need it.

The Government’s Green paper on this subject has been delayed over and over again and meanwhile so many are left to struggle unsupported.

My next MP’s surgery will be on 22nd June from 10am – noon at my office at Sainsburys’ Café in Burnley.

No appointments are necessary as people will be seen on a first come first served basis.

Alternatively you can email me on julie.cooper.mp@parliament.uk or phone my constituency office on 01282 425744.

The constituency office opens Mon-Fri from 10am - 4pm (half day Tuesday) where my staff will do their best to assist you and keep me informed of the issues you raise.