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FEBRUARY SURGERIES

If you have an issue you need assistance with, you can come along to my February surgeries.

Or there are other ways to get in touch:
📞 01698 337 191
📧 marion.fellows.mp@parliament.uk
✍️ Dalziel Building, 7 Scott Street, Motherwell, ML1 1PN

For more info on whether to speak to your MP, MSP or Councillor, follow this link:
www.parliament.scot/visitandlearn/24331.aspx

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This Week #8 (2018)

Monday 29th October

On Monday, Marion was back in London working hard for the constituents of Motherwell and Wishaw. Amongst a busy day of meetings and parliamentary duties, Marion was able to quiz Caroline Nokes MP, Minister for Immigration, on the effect on Scotland of the ending of free movement of people within the EU:

Scottish Government analysis published in February estimates that real GDP in Scotland will be 4.5% lower by 2040 than it would otherwise have been, as a result of lower migration. Does the Minister agree that this is why immigration powers must be devolved to Scotland, so that Scotland can create a system that is fair and that meets our needs and values?

The Minister failed to answer the question adequately:

The Government have been repeatedly clear that immigration policy remains a reserved matter. Four years ago the people of Scotland confirmed in a referendum that they wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom and we will deliver an immigration policy for every part of the UK.



Tuesday 30th October



Wednesday 31st October



Thursday 1st November



Friday 2nd November

On Friday, Marion was back in the constituency as usual, hosting meetings, catching up on correspondence, and hosting her monthly constituency office surgery in the Dalziel Building in Motherwell.

To make an appointment for next month’s surgery, telephone Marion’s office on 01698 337191.



Saturday 3rd Saturday



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Universal Credit & WASPI Surgeries

👣 Out and about with upcoming surgeries!

A wee reminder of the details of my surgeries this week regarding Universal Credit and women’s state pension age increase. If you need assistance or advice with another matter however, please feel free to come along also or get in touch.

The UK Government is rolling out Universal Credit. This is vastly different from the old welfare system and includes Housing Benefit, JSA, ESA Child and Working Tax Credit and Income Support. Come to the UC surgery for advice or assistance.

Likewise, if you are affected by the women’s state pension age increase and need advice or want to take action, please come along to the WASPI surgery.

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This Week (2018): #4

Monday 5th February

It was back to work for Marion on Monday, as she continues to work hard for the people of the Motherwell & Wishaw constituency.



Tuesday 6th January



Wednesday 7th February



Thursday 8th February

Thursday saw Marion quizzing the Cabinet Office on the Carillion debacle, receiving responses to a number of tabled questions which you can view here.



Friday 9th February

On Friday, Marion held her monthly surgery in the Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre in Bellshill. As always, the MP and her staff were on hand to talk to local people, give advice, and provide assistance on a number of issues.



 Saturday 10th February

Saturday marked the beginning of the UK Government’s February Recess, with MPs due to return to Westminster on the 20th of February.



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This Week #56

Monday 10th July 2017



Tuesday 11th July 2017

On Tuesday, Marion had a busy day of parliamentary duties, meetings, and briefings in London as she continued to work hard for the people of Motherwell & Wishaw.



Wednesday 12th July 2017



Thursday 13th July 2017



Friday 14th July 2017

On Friday, Marion was back home in the constituency meeting local organisations, catching up on casework, and assisting constituents at this month’s Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre surgery.

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This Week #55

Monday 3rd July 2017

On Monday, Marion received an answer from Caroline Dinenage, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to the following question:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the cost was to the public purse of legal fees in relation to defending the benefit cap in the High Court; and how much his Department estimates the cost of appealing the High Court’s decision on that case will be.

Ms Dinenage’s response was:

Legal fees of defending the case in the High Court are £67,690. This figure includes VAT where payable (for example on Counsel’s fees) and disbursements but does not include costs attributable to time spent by Government advisory lawyers, as time spent by such advisory lawyers is not recorded in a manner that allows it to be attributable to individual court cases.

DWP has also paid £125,000 (plus VAT) towards the Claimants’ costs.

DWP’s legal costs for appealing the case in the Court of Appeal are estimated to be between £25,000 and £40,000 (this includes our best estimate of external Counsel fees).



Tuesday 4th July 2017

On Tuesday, Marion had a busy day of parliamentary duties, meetings, and briefings in London as she continued to work hard for the people of Motherwell & Wishaw.



Wednesday 5th July 2017

Wednesday brought with it another written question response, with Caroline Dinenage dodging Marion’s question on the Child Maintenance Service:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will implement the recommendations in the Work and Pensions Select Committee report, Child Maintenance Service, HC587, published on 2 May 2017; and if he will make a statement.

The response was:

The Government welcomes the Work and Pensions Select Committee report and is carefully considering its recommendations. We will submit the Government response in due course.



Thursday 6th July 2017

MP Alison Thewliss urges DWP to drop appeal against court ruling that benefits cap is unlawful

Following a written question from myself to the DWP, it has been revealed that the legal bill to appeal the High Court’s decision that the ‘benefit cap’ is unlawful could rise to more than £100,000.

Many families are unable to make up the shortfall – that is why it has been deemed illegal. The UK Government is therefore hounding families in need for the scraps that have been given to them.

Rather than go after the poor, the Tories should go after their friends in the city, their donors and the wealthy who do not pay their fair share while the rest of us do.



Friday 7th July 2017

On Friday, Marion was back home in the constituency meeting local organisations, catching up on casework, and assisting constituents at this month’s Dalziel Building surgery.

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This Week #49

27th March – 2nd April 2017



On Monday, it was back to London for Marion as the Member of Parliament travelled south for another busy week at Wesminster.



Marion was in London on Tuesday, with a busy day of parliamentary duties and briefings within the House of Commons.

Marion also appeared in a Westminster Hall debate on Preventing Avoidable Sight Loss, providing an excellent contribution:

A really important point is that free eye tests, which we have in Scotland, encourage people to attend regularly to have their eyesight checked, which, as I said, leads to better treatment earlier. We really do not want a postcode lottery anywhere in the UK but, as hon. Members said, there is a postcode lottery in England: people need to live in the best place to get the best treatment.

You can read Marion’s contribution in full here.



On Wednesday, Marion had her usual Education Select Committee commitments prior to her appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions.

The Motherwell and Wishaw MP took the opportunity to highlight the ludicrous hypocrisy shown by Theresa May in her attitude to a second independence referendum, given her handling of Brexit:

The people expect the Prime Minister to follow her party’s manifesto, and to abide by a majority vote of this Parliament, so why does she say that the First Minister of Scotland should do the opposite?

The Prime Minister’s response was as dismissive and irrelevant to the question as usual:

What I say is that as we face this historic moment of invoking article 50 and setting in process the negotiations for the future of this country and its relationship with the European Union, now is the time to pull together and not try to hang apart.

Later in the day, during the debate on Article 50, Marion took the opportunity to again quiz the Prime Minister on the prospect of a second independence referendum:

The stated position of the UK Government was that “the UK is a family of nations, a partnership of equals”.

Why then, are the UK Prime Minister and her Secretary of State for Scotland so disrespectful of the people and Parliament of Scotland, and why are they running so scared of a Scottish referendum 18 months to two years down the line?

Theresa May’s unconvincing response was:

There is no disrespect for anybody. What there is is respect for putting into place the vote that was taken by the people of the United Kingdom on 23 June last year.



Thursday saw another busy day of parliamentary duties, including appearing in the backbench business debate on Local and Regional News:

It is important, as many Members have said, that local media are prevalent, as they are a bastion for local democracy. Local media really understand what is going on locally and can be a good force for local campaigning and fundraising. How many of us look at our children and our grandchildren in the weekly newspaper and sigh and feel very proud? I am really proud of my local papers. Last week, there was a local rally welcoming refugees to Wishaw, and the Wishaw Press turned up in force and had it on the front page. That is local democracy in action. The paper will also cover the proposed Scottish Defence League rally, and I hope it gives that the same amount of coverage, because we have to be balanced in what we say.

I may not agree with what local newspapers write, but their right to write it has to be preserved. The NUJ has highlighted that in its mapping exercise. We need to preserve and protect what we have. The Government should consider an inquiry into local media. I hope the Minister will listen to the calls that Members have made. I am not going to stand here and repeat everything that everyone has said, because although these things bear repetition, I do not think it would advance what has already been said this afternoon. This industry is vital for all of us and all our constituents, and we have to look at it in that light.

Later in the day, Marion made the long journey back home for Easter Recess, ahead of a busy couple of weeks working in the constituency.



On Friday, Marion was back home working from her constituency office in the Dalziel Building, Motherwell, dealing with casework, discussing matters with constituents and local organisations, and continuing to work hard for the people of Motherwell and Wishaw.



Marion was at Wishaw Library on Saturday hosting her monthly surgery in the venue.

Surgeries provide a platform for local people to raise their issues, ask questions, and seek assistance from their elected MP, and both Marion and her staff strive to ensure all those seeking support are adequately assisted.

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This Week #45

27th February – 5th March 2017




On Monday, Marion was back to London for another busy week as the Member of Parliament for Motherwell and Wishaw.



On Tuesday, Marion undertook a busy day of parliamentary duties, meetings, and briefings, as well as speaking during the debate on Intergenerational Fairness in the Chamber:



Wednesday brought with it the usual Education Select Committee and Prime Minister’s Questions, as well as a chance for Marion to meet Harry Potter actor Jason Isaacs as part of the Marie Curie ‘Make Every Daffodil Count’ campaign – helping provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness.

The Motherwell and Wishaw MP encourages local people to help the charity raise more money than ever before by simply giving a donation and wearing a Marie Curie daffodil pin, available from volunteers across the country, or Superdrug, Spar and Poundworld stores, during March. Morrisons supermarkets will also be holding GDA fundraising collections on 10, 11 & 12 March.

The charity is also calling on more people to help with local collections. Volunteering a couple hours of your time will make such a difference to the care and support that Marie Curie can provide.” For more information about volunteering for a local collection call 0800 304 7025 or visitwww.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil.



On Thursday, Marion delivered a fantastic speech for International Women’s Day, drawing both laughter and reflection:

I have been absolutely inspired by what I have heard this afternoon. In fact, I have rewritten my speech a good deal as I have been sitting here, but I am going to do the one that I originally started with. When I was asked to take part in the debate, I was also asked whether I could give the perspective of an older woman. I resisted for all of about 10 seconds, because I have now fully embraced my age.

A mother gives her child the best future she possibly can. She teaches her children what her mother taught her. My mother was born in 1919 and was an intelligent, caring woman who only wanted what was best for her three daughters, but she was raised in a time when men ruled. One of her favourite expressions to me was, “Marion, hen, don’t argue with your father. Just know that you’re right.” I could never take that advice and I frequently argued with my father, but I could only actually do that when only he and I were there, because he still had to be seen as the man of the house, and as untouchable and unarguable with it.

My husband was raised by his mother and four older sisters, although women are still a complete mystery to him. His mother insisted that George did not have to do any housework. Why should he? He had four sisters; I have heard frequently over the past 46 years how they felt about that. Many years later, he actually said to our daughter, “Rachel, why haven’t you tidied up?” My daughter said, “Why haven’t you asked my brothers that?” And he said, “Because you’re a girl.” I am not denigrating my husband—I actually asked him whether it was alright to tell these stories, because he knew I was going to do it anyway—but I just want to point out how much progress has been made in this regard. My husband would be horrified and absolutely heartbroken if his granddaughters did not receive equal opportunities and pay, and equality across the board. This is how progress has been made. It has not been easy and it is still ongoing work, but we have made progress in the Fellows household.

I have personally been discriminated against in my lifetime. I secured an exciting new job setting up jobcentres across the east coast of Scotland in 1974. When I phoned to confirm the final arrangements for starting, I mentioned I was pregnant and was told, “Goodbye.” I never started that job. It is vital that the kinds of tests that I had to face are never, ever revisited. Although there are laws to protect us, it is attitudes that matter, and attitudes have to change.

When I started working, I actually got equal pay with the men I worked alongside in Midlothian County Council. However, when I was a councillor in 2012, before I entered this place, I found myself on a member-officer working group on equal pay. The women on North Lanarkshire Council who did the best and worst jobs—home support assistants, lollipop women and all that—had fought for 10 years, but only when they went to a woman lawyer, Carol Fox, was their claim finally made. That should not happen.

I realise that I do not have much time left, but the one thing I want to say is that this is not about me, my family or the UK. I went to one.org last night, and I want to say, here and now, that I fully support its “Poverty is Sexist” campaign. It is vital that we educate women across the world. I quote the African proverb:

“If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family” and a nation. Let us do that. Please Minister, let us make sure that there is absolutely no cut to what we give to women internationally.



Marion was back in the constituency on Friday, hosting her monthly surgeries in her Dalziel Building office. Beforehand, though, Marion attended the Dementia Friends Training session at Alzheimer Scotland to meet the volunteers and trainers helping those suffering from Dementia in our local communities.

Marion was also able to take the opportunity on Friday to announce her newest initiative – joining the Lanarkshire Big Lottery Team to host a Funding Event later in the month.



On Saturday, Marion was present at Wishaw Library for another drop-in surgery, before heading to Edinburgh for the Scottish Government’s International Women’s Day celebrations.

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This Week #38

5th – 11th December


ThisWeekMon

On Monday, as a member of the Education Select Committee, Marion was keen to contribute to the debate on the Children & Social Work Bill, providing an excellent speech.

It is important that children are the focus of and are at the heart of any Bill that is introduced in this Parliament. We need to look at how children are affected by legislation introduced by not just the Department for Education, but Departments across the board.

In Scotland, the First Minister has said that people who have experienced the care system will be the driving force of an independent review of how Scotland treats its looked-after children. That is the mandatory duty in action. In Scotland, we want to move forward and to listen to young people, and we are looking at extending what is happening in Scotland to people who have been in care and are going through the process of becoming adults who stand on their own. It is good that the Bill looks at what happens to children after they leave care, but I ask the Minister to examine what we do in Scotland, because we are moving forward at a far faster pace than England and Wales.

Marion’s contribution can be read in full here.



ThisWeekTue


ThisWeekWed

On Wednesday, Marion had a very busy day of meetings, briefings, and parliamentary duties as she continues to work as hard as possible for the people of Motherwell & Wishaw.



ThisWeekThu

On Thursday, Marion was in the Chamber to quiz the Attorney-General Jeremy Wright MP on the consequences of the UK leaving the EU:

What assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the protection of human rights in the UK.

Mr Wright replied:

The United Kingdom has a proud tradition of respect for human rights that long predates the European Union and that will continue following our withdrawal from it.

The Motherwell & Wishaw MP continued:

What existing human rights enjoyed by UK citizens under EU directives could not or should not be enshrined in UK law, if or when we leave the European Union?

Receiving the response:

As I hope I made clear in my first answer, I do not believe that human rights protections in this country are dependent on EU law. We will certainly look, in the course of the great repeal Bill and other measures that this House will have to consider, at how we transfer those obligations currently under EU law into domestic law where the House believes that it is appropriate to do so. I maintain the view that we will continue to protect human rights in this country. Moreover, we will continue to be leading advocates for human rights around the world.



ThisWeekFri

On Friday morning, Marion visited the Royal Mail Wishaw Delivery Office in Netherton Industrial Estate to meet with and thank staff during what is a very busy Christmas period. Following this, Marion returned to her constituency office to welcome the three winners of her 2016 Christmas Card Competition. Alfie Brown, Kian Oliver, and Morgan Carroll all received framed copies of their designs, a small number of the cards for their own use, and some additional prizes.

In the afternoon, Marion hosted her monthly constituency office surgery, meeting with local people to discuss concerns and assist with any issues.



ThisWeekSat

Marion spent some time at the grand opening of Forgewood Community Centre on Saturday, meeting staff and volunteers at what was a very successful event. In the afternoon, the Motherwell & Wishaw MP was keen to drop by and donate to the Christmas Toy Drive taking place at Fir Park ahead of the Motherwell v Kilmarnock match.

toydrivebThe initiative, organised by the MFC Podcast & the Well Society, was a fantastic success thanks to the great generosity shown by both Motherwell and Kilmarnock fans.

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This Week #34

31st October – 6th November 2016


ThisWeekMon



ThisWeekTue

On Tuesday, Marion was busy with parliamentary duties before participating in the Westminster Hall debate on Apprenticeships Funding (above), providing an excellent speech:

It is very important that Scotland’s share of the funding is used to support the delivery of the 30,000 modern apprenticeships by 2020 that the Scottish Government have mentioned. We have been working hard with employers and have had consultations. We have introduced new types of apprenticeships—a foundation apprenticeship and graduate apprenticeships—because apprenticeships should not be one size fits all. Yes, they should be for school leavers, and yes they should be for older people, but they should also be for graduates and young people still at school. That ties into the idea of careers, and of helping young people into careers in which they will be able to find work for many years to come, which would benefit the economy.



ThisWeekWed



ThisWeekThu

Despite feeling under the weather, Marion was still working hard in London on Thursday, before travelling back home ahead of a busy couple of days of surgeries.



ThisWeekFri

On Friday, Marion was back in the constituency, holding her monthly surgery in the Dalziel Building in the morning. This surgery is an ideal way to seek assistance from your MP and it is almost always fully booked, for more information check out the Surgeries page.

befriend2

Following the morning surgery, Marion was keen to highlight National Befriending Week by joining the Community Champions of Befriend Motherwell at St Andrew’s Church to celebrate their 5th birthday. The MP was also on hand to sign the pledge to tackle loneliness in Scotland



ThisWeekSat

Saturday saw the Motherwell and Wishaw MP attend her surgery at Wishaw Library, in order to discuss issues with local people and provide what support she can. Unlike the surgery of the previous day, Marion’s monthly Wishaw Library surgery is a “drop in”, meaning constituents can turn up without an appointment. Again, for more information, check out the Surgeries page.