On Monday the Public Accounts Committee examined "Pay modernisation in the NHS: The impact of the new consultants' contract". Consultants are highly trained doctors working primarily in NHS Acute, Mental Health and Foundation Trusts. In 2005-06 there were around 32,000 consultants, delivering approximately 14 million cases of consultant-led care costing the NHS a total of £3.8 billion a year in salary costs (4% of total NHS budget). The number of consultants has increased by 13% but there are concerns that productivity gains have not been as high. You can see a transcript of the questions I asked by clicking HERE.
In the evening I met with representatives and staff from the Job Centre plus in Balham, who are concerned about reorganisations taking place in their Job Centre and South London generally. I have agreed to make enquiries with the relevant Minister and will update the website with further information when it is available.
Most of Tuesday was spent undertaking routine parliamentary work and PPS duties. The highlight of the day was, off course the victory of the Mighty Reds against Chelsea, to reach the final of the European Cup (as I still call it) for the second time in 3 years. Due to the Finance Bill, I only caught bits and pieces of the game. The end of the game, after the penalty shoot out coincided with the last vote at around 10.30pm.
On Wednesday I appeared on the Simon Mayo Show on Radio 5. Other panellists were Cheryl Gillian MP for the Tory's and Bob Russell MP from the Liberal Democrats.
In the afternoon, I took part in the important Debate on the floor of the House of Commons on Sri Lanka. This is the first ever debate on this issue and I am pleased that we had the opportunity to discuss recent developments. I raised a number of issues that are of concern to Tooting's Tamils. You can find a copy of my speech by clicking HERE.
In the evening I held a Reception to celebrate two years as a MP and ten years of a Labour Government. In addition to the more than 100 local residents, Church, Mosque and Temple leaders were also present as were former teachers and local activists. In between campaigning in the local elections a number of colleagues popped in to say a few words; Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP (Chief Secretary to the Treasury), Rt Hon Hazel Blears (Chairwoman of the Labour Party), Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP (Minister for Justice), Minister for London Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Minister for Culture David Lammy MP, Barry Gardiner MP (Minister in the Department for the Environment), MP for Battersea Martin Linton and my good mates Dawn Butler MP for Brent South and Emily Thornberry MP for Islington South. It was a great evening and provided a good opportunity to say thank you to local community activists; 3 of whom were given special awards; Former Councillor Burt Luthers, Barbara Berryman and Winston Gordon. Click HERE to see a photo of one of the presentations.
On Thursday I was busy with my PPS duties in helping the Leader of the House, Jack Straw MP, prepare for Business Questions.
In the afternoon I took part in a Debate on Policing in London. You can see my speech by clicking HERE. You can see the entire debate by clicking HERE. In addition to my speech I made a number of interventions to other speakers.
On Friday, I had a meeting at Gatton Primary School.
I also had a chance to meet up with Wandsworth Cycling Campaign (WCC) to congratulate them on their recent award from the Mayor of London for their ‘Movers and Shakers’ campaign to get adults to cycle more to work. I took part in the scheme and had a lesson on how to cycle on the roads from one of WCC’s professional instructors. To find out more about WCC visit their website www.wandsworthcyclists.org.uk you can see a photo of the trophy and certificate by clicking HERE
On Saturday I held my normal advice surgery at Tooting Library.
On Sunday, I was on the BBC Politics Show