As you may have seen, as a result of a rise in infections across Swansea, there are new restrictions for all Swansea residents coming into place at 6pm on Saturday. This means everyone living in Swansea will not be allowed to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse and not be able to meet indoors with anyone they do not live with – extended households, sometimes called a bubbled, are suspended for the time being. All licensed premises have to stop serving alcohol at 10pm, and everyone must work from home wherever possible.
I know that these changes will be a real challenge to many of us, but I also know that we will pull together and get through this. We need to follow the new restrictions, continue to follow social distancing guidelines and practise good personal hygiene to help get the virus back under control. We can help do this with the NHS Covid-19 app that launched this week, so please do download it to your smartphone from either the App Store or Google Play. The last lockdown brought many difficulties, but also brought out the best in our communities. I know that we will all rise to the challenge again.
This week I was pleased to be able to ask the Ministry of Justice what steps are being taken to improve resettlement for women leaving prison. A recent report found that almost 60% of female prisoners are leaving prison to homelessness, which, inevitably, leads to overwhelming numbers reoffending. Justice in the twenty-first century should not only be about punishment but also rehabilitation. We need to give people a second chance and that means an effective through-the-gate strategy, which includes community support and adequate housing, otherwise we can expect to see the same people returning to prison time and time again. According to the Prison Reform Trust, women entering prison are more likely to have been imprisoned for non-violent offences and over half the female prison population report having suffered from domestic abuse or child abuse. An awareness of this is necessary for providing the correct support for women leaving prison to prevent reoffending.
Although Coronavirus has prevented our usual Labour Party Conference taking place this year, this week saw Labour Connected take place, with our movement coming together online to enjoy four days of speeches, training, rallies, and policy discussions. On Tuesday, Keir Starmer spoke to our virtual conference – and to the country – about his vision for Britain to be the “best place to grow up in and the best place to grow old in,” as he vowed that Labour will be the party of opportunity, family and security. We know that we have to earn the trust of voters who chose not to back us at the last general election – and as Keir said, that means being a credible Opposition. Labour is under new leadership, and I hope that those of you who may not have voted for us last time round will be able to take a fresh look at the Party.
You can keep up to date with Welsh Government announcements and information on their dedicated coronavirus page. As always, if you have any issues or concerns to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing email@example.com – my team and I are here to help. And remember – observe social distancing, wash your hands regularly and keep Wales safe!