Mercer changes mind on Prime Minister's botched Brexit deal


Commenting on news that the Tory MP for Plymouth Moor View has said he will vote for the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, Charlotte Holloway, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Plymouth Moor View, has commented: 

“Mr Mercer has backed Theresa May’s botched Brexit deal. Many will be left baffled why Mr Mercer is now voting for a deal that he previously voted against.

“Sadly, I fear Mr Mercer’s changeable voting record has more to do with currying favour within the Conservative Party, than about the future of Plymouth. 

“The most disappointing thing about this U-turn from Mr Mercer is that he thinks the people of Plymouth will be hoodwinked by the claim that the deal is somehow better. Not a single word of the Withdrawal Agreement has changed.”

Charlotte listens to Plymouth’s Older Generation on the threat to TV Licences

The clock is ticking on the Free TV licence for the over 75s. At the last General Election the Conservatives promised that they would keep the free TV licence for over 75s – but now it’s at risk. I’m now listening to as many Plymothians as possible to get their views.

The free TV licence was introduced by the Labour Government in 2000, as a recognition that as people get older the TV becomes an ever more important way of keeping in touch with the world. As time has gone on, the need for it has become even greater – more people live on their own nowadays, and a survey for AgeUK found that four in 10 older people said they rely on the TV for company. With rising prices in other areas like food, gas and electricity, having one less thing to have to afford can be a real help – a full TV licence costs £150.50 a year.

Because the Conservative Government has now stopped funding the free licence, the BBC has to find a way to fund it themselves. The BBC say there may have to be changes, and have a consultation that closes in a few days.

I know some over 75s are able to afford a TV licence, but I also know that many can’t – they are on a fixed income, and already often struggle to meet their bills. Money saved by cutting universal free licences may well be swallowed up by the costs of running a more complicated scheme, so I believe that the free TV licence for over 75s should stay.

The Government must step in to guarantee that everyone over 75 gets a free TV licence – as has been the case for nearly twenty years.

Last October I wrote to our local Tory MP to ask him to come clean and tell us what he and his government are going to do to ensure free TV licences aren’t cut and to keep their manifesto pledge. He still hasn't replied. Please get in touch on and let me know your views.

Watch my Facebook video here.

Police cuts have consequences for Plymouth

In recent years, police numbers have fallen and crime has risen, whilst the Conservative Government has slashed policing budgets in Devon and Cornwall by £63m since 2010.

Forcing our dedicated police officers to do more for less just isn’t working. The number of police officers in our area has fallen with official government figures reporting we now have nearly 600 fewer officers since 2010, and a staggering 21,339 fewer in England in Wales in total.

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"Serious and rare": Charlotte comments on expenses probe into Tory MP

Commenting on today’s findings from IPSA following an expenses probe into Johnny Mercer MP, Charlotte Holloway, Labour and Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate for Plymouth Moor View said:

“The findings of this expenses probe are both serious and rare; Mr Mercer has been found to have broken the rules on claiming public money. His dismissive statement today choses to blames everyone but himself.

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Read my latest Plymouth Herald column on being a new mum in politics

My latest column in Plymouth Live on being a new mum in politics talks about why it's not right that Plymouth children don't get their fair share compared to children in other parts of the country, and why too many people have lost faith that the next generation will do better than the last.

That, and my constant struggle trying not to leave the house covered in baby sick.

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Charlotte writes to care company who fine workers £50 for calling in sick

An investigation by the Guardian published today has uncovered evidence of cases in which Newcross Healthcare Solutions has failed to pay its employees if they cancel shifts because of illness without 24 hours’ notice, and has also docked money from their pay. Charlotte Holloway has written to the General Manager of Newcross Health’s Plymouth Office to ask for assurances that Plymouth care workers are not and will not be affected by these fines.

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Over 11,500 households with older people in Plymouth could lose free TV licence

A new analysis by the House of Commons Library for the Labour Party has revealed that over 11,000 households in Plymouth are at risk of losing their free TV licences, 7,000 of them with someone aged 80 or over.

Millions of older people across the country are set to lose their TV licence in 2020 despite the Conservatives promising in their 2017 general election manifesto to protect free TV licences until 2022.

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