Victoria Groulef

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Victoria today joined Councillor Jo Lovelock to have fun at the Dee Park Carnival.

The Carnival, organised by The Pride of Dee Park, had street dancers, carnival hat making, face painting and a steel band.

Victoria said "I had a great time at the carnival and always look forward to Pride of Dee Park events. The jerk chicken was a s wonderful as ever and it was a great opportunity to bring the community together."

Victoria joins in the fun at Dee Park Carnival

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Victoria has given her support to parliamentary moves to enshrine the UK’s investment in the world’s poorest people in law.

On Friday (September 12) MPs will vote on a Private Member’s Bill to guarantee that the UK honours its promise to invest 0.7% of national income in foreign aid – in line with promises made forty years ago.

By relying on a percentage, this Bill pegs our aid to the performance of our economy. When our economy is doing well, we would give more of our increased income; when times are hard, we give less.

The importance of UK aid is clear. Our aid saves a child’s life every two minutes. No less importantly, we help to build better futures with access to cleaner water, more effective medical care, and life-saving education.

The last Labour Government gave the UK a leadership role in development issues. Helping to drop the debt, gain a global consensus on the Millennium Development Goals, and set the UK on course to meet its commitment to spend 0.7% of income are all landmark achievements. That’s why this debate and Friday’s vote matters so much.

Victoria said, “I know from my work in international development the huge difference that our aid makes to the lives of the poorest people in the world. Once we cement our aid commitment in law, we will be in a better position to give clearer focus to monitoring and measuring our aid, so that we invest in the highest quality education, healthcare, and other facilities and ensure that it is tightly tailored to the needs of the people accessing it. I call on Alok Sharma to pledge his support for this important Bill, in line with the large number of MPs who have already done so. I would do as Reading West's MP.”

Victoria Groulef backs Aid bill for the world's poorest people

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Following a campaign by Pupaid and celebrity vet Marc Abraham, Parliament has this week been debating an e-petition calling for a ban on puppies and kittens being sold without their mothers present, seeing an end to the UK's puppy farming industry.

Thousands of puppies and kittens are separated from their mothers early every year, many come from puppy farms and are sold online, in pet shops and in garden centres. Pupaid report that puppies often become seriously ill shortly after arriving in their new homes.

Along with the 111,000 signers of Pupaid's e-petition, Victoria is calling on the Government to reform the laws on the origins of puppies to meet the highest animal welfare standards.

The Dogs Trust, RSPCA, Kennel Club, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and Blue Cross all advise that puppies and kittens should be seen with their mothers.

Victoria said: "Like Harvey the King Charles puppy (pictured), my two dogs were bought from a breeder and we were able to see them with their mothers. Until we get a change in the law animal welfare orgainisations advise that anyone choosing a dog should always consider adopting from a reputable rescue shelter, or should get in touch with the Kennel Club for their assured breeders list. This enables people to see puppies interacting with their mother and helps put puppy farms out of business."

Victoria supports an urgent shake up of laws governing the breeding and sale of puppies

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Victoria Groulef is inviting local people to join her at a public meeting to discuss the future of Circuit Lane Doctors surgery in Southcote and health provision in the area.

Residents have been contacting Victoria concerned about information they have heard and read on social media which states that the surgery will close.  Victoria and Southcote Councillors are keen to stress that the surgery, which has over 10 thousand patients locally, will remain open, despite changes to the way it will be structured and run.

Victoria said: “Many, many residents have contacted me to say they’ve heard the surgery is closing.  It’s important that we share with local people that this is not the case and chat through possible changes.  That’s why alongside the Southcote Councillors I have called a public meeting for the 25th September to be held at 7.30pm at The Grange.  The aim is to bring together patients, local people, representatives from the local NHS and members of the patient partnership to reassure local people and to answer any questions.”

Public meeting about the future of Southcote’s, Circuit Lane Doctors Surgery

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Victoria Groulef welcomed news that today Labour MPs won a vote against the Bedroom Tax during a debate in parliament and called for it to be dropped now.

The Bedroom Tax has caused hardship for hundreds of people across Reading, costing low-income families an average of £700 a year. Nationally two thirds of those hit by the Bedroom Tax have disabilities and 60,000 are carers.

The Private Member's Bill, brought forward by a Lib Dem MP would exempt people from the bedroom tax if smaller accommodation could not be found. It would also exempt disabled people whose home has been adapted.

Victoria said: "The Bedroom Tax has hit the poorest and most vulnerable in our community, with over 1000 families in Reading affected. Yet despite the clear evidence that the Bedroom Tax is causing hardship to many people today our local Tory MP voted against the proposals. Thanks to the support of Labour MPs the vote was won. Unfortunately this vote will not abolish the bedroom tax and the bill is unlikely to make it to the statute book, as private members' legislation often struggles to gain enough time to fulfil all the required stages without government backing.

"The Government and our MP need to recognise the strength of feeling against the Bedroom Tax and to get rid of it now. Put simply if his government won't ditch the Bedroom Tax, then the next Labour government will."

Time to scrap the Bedroom Tax


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