I’m starting a series of weekly updates to keep constituents across Swansea East up to speed with my work in Parliament and across the constituency on your behalf. I hope you find it interesting!
Like most weeks recently, the last week in Parliament has been an extremely hectic one. Ridiculously, the Tory Government’s total paralysis over Brexit meant that on Wednesday – normally one of the busiest days of the week – Parliament sat for fewer than 4 hours. When there are so many issues – aside from Brexit – affecting the lives of people across Swansea East, it’s a scandal that Theresa May is unable to turn the attention of the government machine onto any other issue.
Despite this, I’ve been campaigning on a range of important issues, which matter to me and to people across Wales, if not to the Tories. As Labour’s Shadow Home Office Minister, I responded to a debate in Westminster Hall on the misery that anti-social behaviour continues to cause for too many communities. It’s shocking that 36% of people questioned in the most recent Crime Survey for England and Wales had experienced or witnessed incidents of anti-social behaviour. This is a 5% rise on the previous year – and the highest level observed since 2012. With 22,000 police having been cut by the Tories since 2010, the impact this is having on our community policing provision is really hitting home. And while the Welsh Government funding Community Support Officers is a real help, on its own, it cannot make up for the Tory policing slash and burn. My emails are full of people concerned about this, and I’ll keep working with the Police and Crime Commissioner and South Wales Police Officers.
At Prime Minister’s Questions this week I was proud that my Labour colleague, Jim McMahon MP, pressed the government on when they are going to deliver on the Children’s Funeral Fund. Theresa May promised me that she would scrap funeral costs for children in response to my longstanding campaign on this issue. The Welsh Government have delivered on this, the Scottish Government have delivered on this and local councils in Northern Ireland are delivering on this. It is time for Theresa May to show that her promise to me was genuine – she must deliver “Martin’s Fund” as soon as possible.
This week also saw the latest session of Women and Equalities Questions in the House of Commons chamber. I’m proud to be a Labour Shadow Minister in this department and on Thursday I demanded the government ensure migrant women who are victims of domestic violence have adequate support. It’s essential that Tory ministers do not allow these people – who often find it difficult to speak out – to be forgotten. I’ll be taking this forward as we work to ensure the government’s forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill is fit for purpose and delivers for those who need it most.
As ever, my campaigning on behalf of the 1950s-born women who have been affected by the changes to the State Pension Age (SPA) has continued this week. I received a letter from the Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman MP, who confirmed that the DWP have temporarily suspended action on current and future complaints until the final court decision in the judicial review. It also shares that the Independent Case Examiner has for now, closed all live State Pension age complaints. I am pressing the Minister for a meeting to discuss this further.
If you’d like to get in touch with me to raise any issues or concerns, get in touch by emailing email@example.com or by calling my constituency office on 01792 462054.