JILL MORTIMER: My work on combating health inequality is not seen on TV
When people tune into BBC Parliament and see that the chamber isn’t very full, many will think that their MP isn’t doing all that much.
But in reality most of the work I do as your MP takes place off camera and isn’t always broadcast on television. And as I said shortly after being elected, what’s important to me isn’t media appearances but getting results for our town.
One important example of this is the work I’ve been doing on healthcare services in Hartlepool. Although I’ve raised this issue at every available opportunity in the Chamber, Health Oral Questions unfortunately only take place once every five weeks. That means most of the work I do combatting health inequity in Hartlepool is done in letters to ministers, meetings with NHS staff and the Secretary of State, or by resolving constituency casework – in other words, not on television!
And don’t just take my word for it. In a recent debate in Westminster Hall, the Health Minister, Edward Argar, told colleagues that “within just one day” of me arriving in Parliament, I’d “pinned him down” for a meeting on healthcare services in our town. And he’s absolutely right: I’m here to make a real difference, and it’s not always done in front of a camera.
Another example of this is the work I’ve been doing with Fairer Share this week, a campaign group looking to replace Council Tax and Stamp Duty with a Proportional Property Tax. If introduced, these reforms would bring savings of an average of £950 to every household in Hartlepool. I look forward to continuing my work with Fairer Share and other MPs to lower the unfair tax burden on my constituents.
I also had the opportunity to sit on another Public Bill Committee this week, examining the new Leasehold Reform Bill, which will put an end to ground rents for new, long residential leasehold properties. This is just one of the ways I’ve been working to bring about fairer and more transparent homeownership for my constituents.
I’ve also had some very encouraging – and exciting – discussions in Parliament this week about the future of our power station. I am committed to making sure that our nuclear power station – which currently powers over two million homes in the UK – can continue its brilliant work beyond the planned decommissioning in 2024. Watch this space!
As the nights draw in and the festive season begins in Hartlepool, I’m not about to take my foot off the pedal. I will work tirelessly to maintain the momentum that my campaign for positive change in Hartlepool has gained in the short time since being elected.