Parliamentary business was wound up on Tuesday ahead of the Queen’s Speech next week, but I managed to squeeze in a few important meetings before heading home to Swansea.
On Monday my Co-Chair for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality for Women Tim Loughton MP was successful in securing a meeting with the Department for Work and Pension Secretary of State, Thérèse Coffey MP. I look forward to meeting with the Secretary of State to discuss the work of the APPG and how we can progress to help all women effected by pension injustice and discussing the solutions which came about following consultation with the group.
These possible solutions included a non means-tested payment for all women age 63 and over, an equalisation of women’s pensions so that everyone receives a full state pension regardless of the number of years of NI contributions, and extended pension credit for those women worst affected who have no other income or private pension available or who are suffering financial hardship. It is an issue that I care passionately about, and will campaign on come what may. And while we continue to fight for justice for 1950s-born women, I hope we can do so with respect. I know the terrible impact these changes have had on so many women, but we must remember that we are stronger when we stand together.
On Tuesday, I spoke in Parliament during the Baby Loss Awareness Week debate, and joined colleagues from across all parties to pay our respects to the baby who lost their life, in HMP Bronzeworth last week. It was a tragedy as terrible as it was avoidable, and while it is right that we wait for the findings from the reviews that have been established, we must ensure that from this most heartbreaking of losses changes are made to prevent such a thing happening again.
I met with the wonderful staff at Ty Hafan in Cardiff on Wednesday and saw once again the amazing work they do. I was also able to drop off some Beauty Banks bits for the young adults there, and speak with the staff about Hospice Care Week. The difference that these unsung heroes make to young people and their families day in, day out, is immense.
Back in the patch, I hosted my latest ‘Cuppa with Carolyn’ in the Ivy Bush Court assisted living complex. We enjoyed a fab chat over plenty of tea and I got the chance to hear first hand some of their concerns – and also hear a joke or two! It’s the part of my job I love the most – meeting with people across Swansea East and seeing how we can make a difference together. If you would like to book in to the next advice surgery at my constituency office, just call the office to make an appointment.
There was more tea – and even more cake – at the Macmillan Coffee Morning in the Pavilion Jersey Park. There was a brilliant turnout, and I had time for a chat with some of the fantastic people raising funds for the charity. Macmillan do such great work with people suffering from cancer and their families and it was a real treat to be able to support their work. If you want to host your own Macmillan Coffee Morning, take a look at the information on their website, https://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/, where you can also read some testimonials about where and who your fundraising helps.
I also joined Welsh Labour and Trade Union colleagues on the panel at the Unison Fair Funding Event in Port Talbot. The UK Government’s austerity has meant that too many local services have had their budgets and funding slashed. I will continue to demand fair funding for Swansea and Wales and fight against the unfairness that austerity imposes on our communities.
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.
Have a great weekend!