Mary Kelly Foy’s Newsletter – April 19th

St Leonard’s Update

You’ll recall that I have been collecting signatures on a Parliamentary petition asking the Secretary of State to put in place special exam considerations for the pupils at St Leonard’s school, and I will be handing this in Parliament next week!

The text of the petition reads:

“Declares that the Department for Education is not doing enough to mitigate the anxieties and stress of the parents, pupils and teachers at St. Leonard’s Catholic School in City of Durham following on from the disruption caused by RAAC; further declares that pupils at St. Leonard’s Catholic School have not been offered mitigating circumstances for the disruption to their education caused by RAAC.

“The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to bring forward legislation to ensure that the Secretary of State for Education can provide the pupils at St. Leonard’s Catholic School mitigating circumstances for their exams this year, and all those who suffer similar circumstances.”

I’ll be trying to get into Parliamentary questions this week as well.


SEND Update

This week, my team visited the Laurel’s Primary School to discuss the funding issues the school is facing with SEND provision. As the demand for services increases, the school is having to use more and more of it’s usual budget to meet the needs of children in the school.

It’s pretty clear that the Laurel’s will not be the only school affected by the shortfall of SEND funding from the council and central Government, so I’ll be taking this issue up with both the local authority and the government at the earliest opportunity.


Leazes Bridge

You’ll remember that in recent weeks, I have been asking people to sign the petition demanding the council replace Leazes Footbridge. If you haven’t signed it yet, please do so here

You can imagine my surprise when I saw a leaflet from the local Lib Dem councillors suggesting that this was Labour’s issue! As I said on social media, they will be stunned when they find out who runs the council!

In the meantime, residents have been trying to get more information from the council on the actual structural survey that has been carried out, costings for a replacement and what discussions have taken place between officers and councillors. It is proving rather tricky to get to the bottom of this, as there seems a real reluctance on the part of the council to share information.

I will be making contact with the council again next week to let them know that this lack of information is not acceptable.


Durham Easter Egg Run

I was shocked to be tagged into a Facebook post this week, where volunteers taking part in the Durham Easter Egg Run had been fined by a parking company for staying too long in Tesco’s car park.

I immediately reached out to Horizon Parking to challenge this. It’s totally wrong that people were fined simply for organising a charity event. I’m pleased to say that those who were fined and now receiving word that these charges have been dropped!


In Parliament

It’ll be good to be back in the House of Commons representing the City of Durham. This week, I would’ve participated in the smoking debate, where the Tories nicked some of my amendments. I’m glad the Bill passed Second Reading – although they could’ve done this years ago when I put my amendments forward. I would’ve also spoken in the Rwanda Bill and the Gaza statement as well as hammer the government on their disgraceful social security proposals which I’ve highlighted now for a while.

As ever, please let me know if there is an issue you’d like me to raise in the House of Commons.


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