Liz Collis's blog

Raising questions about post Pride problems

It already felt like it would be an exceptional Pride when it was announced in January that Britney Spears would be headlining. Britney fan or not, there was no denying that this was big news.

When tickets went on sale in February and systems crashed because of demand, it reinforced the fact that this year Pride was going to be huge.

With the promise of good weather, and the draw of brilliant Brighton on a sunny day, people from outside of Brighton were always going to come – in the thousands.

And it was an exceptional Pride.

Support for Mortgage Interest changes risk increasing repossessions

In recent weeks a number of constituents have contacted me about changes the Government is making to the support it offers to people on low incomes to help maintain the interest element of their mortgage.

Since 2010, the Government has already more tightly targeted Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) on a number of occasions, for example by introducing an upper cap on the interest payable, and increasing the waiting time from 13 weeks to 39 weeks.

Caroline joins UCU members striking at the University of Sussex

Earlier today I visited the University of Sussex to support University College Union (UCU) members taking strike action about proposed changes to their pensions.

All staff working in universities should have access to a secure and decent pension, and it’s wrong that their pensions are under attack.

Supporting those affected by the collapse of DMB Solutions

At one of my recent surgeries a constituent came to talk to me about the local building firm, DMB Solutions, who went into voluntary liquidation over the New Year.

The fallout from the DMB collapse has gained national media attention, both due to the number of people affected, and the scale of the financial losses they’ve suffered. It was shocking to hear first-hand just how devastating the situation has been for those left in the lurch by the company folding.

Brighton and Hove's Low Vision service

Over the last few weeks a number of constituents have written to me about the Low Vision service in Brighton and Hove. It’s currently funded by Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), but they have made the decision to no longer commission the service.

Constituents have told me about the incredible support they have received from the Low Vision service, which has been invaluable when they’ve had to face the fear and trauma that a diagnosis of sight loss can bring.

Personal Independence Payments found to be “blatantly discriminatory” against people with mental health conditions in the high court

The Government has doggedly, and consistently, dug in its heels when accused of discriminating against people with mental health conditions in the assessment process for disability benefits.

Male suicide - the silent public health crisis

At one of my recent surgeries, a constituent came to talk to me about male suicide. With figures showing that men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women, and with suicide being the biggest killer of men under the age of 45, it paints a bleak picture.

It’s vital that more is done to support those at risk, and those managing a difficult situation alone.

Tackling litter in Brighton and Hove

Litter in Brighton and Hove is a serious issue, and I do of course understand that the Council has a responsibility to tackle the problem. However, I am increasingly concerned that by awarding the contract to a private company, profit is now the key motivator behind the Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) being issued in some circumstances.

Save Madeira Terrace

As residents in Brighton and Hove will know, Madeira Terrace is an iconic part of the city’s history. I know that many of my constituents have fond memories of the elegant Grade II-listed arches, which have been the backdrop to many events and occasions over the years.

Sadly, Madeira Terrace has fallen into disrepair. Like much of the seafront, years of under-investment has taken its toll.


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