Well, we’ve had another week of bluff and bluster from Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister continues to try and hold our country to ransom for nothing other than his own personal gain. He continues to tell us that he wants to deliver on the “people’s priorities”. Frankly, this is another kick in the teeth for communities like ours in Swansea East who have felt the brunt of nearly a decade of Tory austerity. The Prime Minister and his predecessors should have been delivering on the “people’s priorities” for the past nine years rather than endlessly driving more and more people across Wales and the rest of the UK into poverty. Well, while he carries on pitching his pseudo-manifesto to anyone who will listen, I’ve been continuing to seek action on the issues that matter.
Earlier this week, I spoke at the Central and North West London Addictions Conference where we discussed gambling addiction and the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm, which I Chair. The CNWL is a leading provider of addiction and substance misuse treatments and recovery services based in London. CNWL’s treatment of gambling addiction alongside other addictions like alcohol and drugs and the positive results they are seeing demonstrates the clear benefits of treating problem gambling as a public health issue. It was great to see such a wide range of organisations and stakeholders coming together at this conference. There was a real sense in the room that we need to ensure the government isn’t allowed to let this issue get swept under the carpet. The victims of problem gambling and their families deserve nothing less.
Later that afternoon, I chaired the latest meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Children in Wales. This meeting focussed on the implications Brexit could have on children and young people across Wales, something that all-too-often goes overlooked by the UK Government. Members of the APPG heard from a range of interesting points from a variety of speakers including Charles Whitmore, the coordinator of the Brexit Civil Society Forum from the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University, and Catriona Williams OBE, the Chief Executive of Children in Wales. Children in Wales works with their members to make sure that young people and children have a voice in our society and that there are quality services for children and their families. We must make sure that whatever happens with Brexit – and, indeed, many other future challenges, children across Wales must not be left behind in the process. I got into politics to ensure that the next generation will always be better off than the last and that’s a commitment which I will continue to stick to.
Later this week, I joined Women’s Aid in Parliament at their “Law in the Making” event. With the Domestic Abuse Bill having now had its second reading in Parliament, I know how important it is to continue working closely with the victims and survivors of abuse to ensure the finished Bill really delivers the changes they need and deserve. “Law in the Making” is a ground-breaking new project from Women’s Aid which gives survivors key opportunities to influence the Bill as it progresses through Parliament. After nine months of workshops and engagement with MPs, it was great to hear the final recommendations these inspiring survivors had come up with. As somebody who has made tackling domestic abuse a priority since I was first elected, I will continue to campaign hard for the changes the victims and survivors need through my role as Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Home Office and Women and Equalities teams.
This week I also met with Livia France to discuss the benefits and challenges of implementing workplace menopause policies. Livia regularly speaks on menopause exercise and nutrition, and hosts workshops and one-to-one consultations, advising women as to how they can combat the symptoms of the menopause through lifestyle adjustments. Women over the age of 50 are the fastest growing part of the workforce and the UK Government need to do much more to make sure that they are supported so they can continue working in a safe and comfortable environment. Just as policies are rightly in place to protect pregnant women in the workplace, there also should be policies for women going through the menopause. If you would like more information about how you can make sure your workplace is open and supportive for women, you can find lots of useful information here put together by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
As always, if you have any issues or concerns to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01792 462054.
I hope you all have a great weekend!