What a wonderful summer it’s been! The Summer Lunch Scheme has once again been a fabulous success – thanks to all the generous people who have donated produce and time. We’ve also had great fun joining in many of the activities across the constituency, bringing along some treats as always! We often focus so much on the need for good education for our young people, and yes, that is incredibly important so that everyone has the chance to find what they’re good at and pursue it. But letting children be children and have fun is also so important. Too often families struggle to afford activities and it’s great to see the Swansea community pulling together so that our children are happy, fed, and having fun!
It was back to Westminster this week and I chaired a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Menopause. We heard from a number of representatives from various support groups for those experiencing the menopause, including Mumsnet, the Latte Lounge, Daisy Network, Perimenopause Support, Menopause Café, and Women in Sport. There are some really excellent support groups out there, but it’s important that we make sure the information and experience that they have is widely available for all the women experiencing the menopause across the UK, but also for all those who will be impacted by the menopause and that is pretty much everyone. From doctors to employers, from family to friends, we need the menopause to be understood and supported throughout society, not just by those who are fortunate enough to find these support groups.
It was great to visit the Blaen-y-maes drop-in centre. They provide food parcels, arts and craft classes, and Bimble About sessions in the woods for local children and residents. They also grow their own vegetables on site. I was delighted to have a look around and see some of the fantastic work that they are doing. This is a great resource to have in the community and it is fab to see things like the Bimble About sessions – helping people take some time out and to reenergise themselves out in the beautiful surroundings that we have here.
This week I voted against the UK Tory Government’s unfair taxation plans for their Health and Social Care Bill. The pandemic has highlighted the great health inequalities that exist in our communities and much of that is down to the lack of access that poverty brings. Taking away the much needed £20 uplift to Universal Credit and adding a tax increase to working people, many of whom are already struggling to pay for the essentials, is simply immoral. The burden should be borne by those with the assets to do so, not by the poorest in society who can ill afford to lose any more income.
Compounding the Tories’ assault on the more marginalised people in our society is their unnecessary plan for Voter ID. Voter fraud simply is not an issue in the UK – in 2019 in an election that saw over 59 million votes cast, there was one conviction for impersonation. You are more likely to be struck by lightning three times. This unnecessary plan comes at a time when the Tories are slashing household finances and while the pandemic is still wreaking havoc on our economy. The voter ID plans would cost a staggering £120 million over 10 years, in comparison to the announced £6 million announced to deal with the 4.5 million annual cases of fraud. This is purely a Tory ploy to disenfranchise the marginalised – those who cannot afford photo ID. This cynical attack on our democracy must be stopped.
This morning, I was thrilled to be able to visit the Welsh Air Ambulance Service in Dafen. Home to Helimed 57, the dedicated team here provide air ambulance emergency cover for the whole of South Wales. Each year, the teams at the Welsh Air Ambulance attend around 2,500 emergencies, covering both the rural countryside and cities and town centres and are within 20 minutes of reaching any emergency. The Air Ambulance isn’t just about bringing people quickly into A&E; the teams of critical care consultants bring A&E to the patient and are able to administer advanced care on route to the hospital. Welsh Air Ambulance are entirely funded through donations. To find out more about the work of the Air Ambulance or to donate if you are able, visit their website.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org – my team and I are here to help.