It’s been another busy week for me in Westminster. Having met with Shelter Cymru last Friday, I was raring to go at DWP Questions on Monday morning. I raised Shelter Cymru’s concern that tenants threatened with eviction who are dependent on Universal Credit payments are not able to meet the deadlines to settle arrears claims, and asked the Minister to consider fast tracking these claims. The botched rollout of Universal Credit has affected so many families, in Swansea East and across Wales. It’s a stain on the conscience of this Tory Government and I’ll continue to do all I can to support those families affected.
On Tuesday, I was delighted to highlight the work of my recently set up All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, during a debate on the regulation of the beauty industry. The APPG was set up to support the beauty industry but also to campaign for better regulation and policy in important – but often neglected – areas like cosmetic procedures, period poverty, self-image and body confidence.
We’ll also be supporting beauty banks to ensure that those most in need can access beauty and health products. Many of us take things like shower gel, toothpaste and make up for granted, but access to these seemingly tiny things can make such a difference to people living in poverty. You can find out more about beauty banks and how to help at https://www.facebook.com/thebeautybanks/.
On Wednesday, in my role as Shadow Minister for Equalities, I spoke in the debate on the minimum age for marriage and civil partnership, focusing on equality – not just on age limits for marriage and civil partnerships, but on access. Gay or straight, couples should have the same access to marriage or civil partnerships at the same age limits.
It was nice to get out of London on Thursday and head for Oxford, to attend an event for the Birth Companions charity. The charity supports pregnant women in the prison service, before and after they give birth, and it was incredibly enlightening to hear not just from health and social workers, and experts from the criminal justice system, but also from women with lived experience about how we can improve care for perinatal women in prison. In all of my work, I try to hear as many different views and perspectives as possible. Not only is it so important to speak to those people most affected by the decisions made in Westminster, it’s also one of the things I’ve always enjoyed the most – the chance to get out and speak to people from my constituency and beyond about their real lives, and to hear their ideas about how I can work to make things better.
I’ve had a busy afternoon in the constituency office today after holding an advice surgery. As usual, the issues of PIP reassessments, income sanctions and housing were brought up and I will do all that I can to resolve these problems for constituents.
I hope you all enjoy your weekends. As ever, please do get in touch with me if there are any issues or concerns you would like to raise with me. You can email me via Carolyn.firstname.lastname@example.org or call my constituency office on 01792 462054.