The Menopause Revolution continued apace this week as I joined Community Union on a webinar to discuss how the menopause impacts women in the workplace. Community have been doing some fantastic work to raise awareness of the issues faced by women who are experiencing the menopause and how employers can support them. Many managers and employers do concede that they do not know enough about menopause symptoms and the impacts they can have on the working life of their staff – but that’s why education is such an important part of the Menopause Revolution, and why we need everyone to be included in this conversation, not just women.
I was pleased to be able to contribute to the Opposition Day debate this week on the Cost of Living and the impact of the UK Tory Government’s policies on ordinary working people. And at the moment, by far the biggest issue that the people of Swansea East are facing is the steep rise in the cost of living. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard ‘Have you seen the price of this’ or ‘I can’t afford to buy things like that anymore’ while out and about in the shops in the constituency. Whether it’s the pandemic or Brexit behind rising costs and reduced incomes the consequences are the same – communities are struggling, more than ever before, and this Tory Government needs to take responsibility for that. In Swansea East for the last few years we have run a Summer Lunch Club and Everyone Deserves A Christmas campaign to ensure that everyone in the community is fed over the summer holiday months and that everyone has something to enjoy at Christmas time. It makes no sense to me that in one of the richest countries on earth, we have working people going hungry or cold because they cannot afford the essentials of modern day living. This Tory Government are failing in their basic duty to ensure a decent and dignified standard of living for their citizens. It’s just not good enough.
It was great to chat with Matt Chorley on Times Radio this week and talk about my interests outside Westminster. I told him that I liked to knit and listen to audiobooks – I think he was a bit surprised by that answer, but I do my best thinking when knitting! I don’t like following a pattern – I like making things up as I go along! I also find it very relaxing and it’s so important that everyone has something to do that relaxes them. I made knitted Christmas decorations last year as presents – I like making things for people and I think it’s nice to receive something that someone else has taken the time to make. Every year I try to do something different, and I enjoy coming up with new ideas – perhaps it helps my thinking for new campaigns! But having that time to think I find invaluable, both for my professional work and my mental wellbeing.
We also talked about Keir Starmer and my expectations for Labour conference. I hope that in Brighton he gets the chance to show people who he really is and what he stands for. The pandemic has rather overtaken everything in recent months, but now that people have the time and space to see the real Keir and to get to know him as a person, as well as a politician, I think they will like what they see. I am really looking forward to hearing him speak at the Labour Party Conference.
It was a pleasure to speak to NOS Dutch News this week about the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing, particularly around non-surgical cosmetic procedures. It is clear that this is a growing issue across Europe and that governments need to ensure that clear and safe regulation is in place to protect those seeking non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The market is growing across the world and legislation and regulation simply isn’t keeping up. To protect consumers, we need robust regulation that will ensure an adequate level of training and qualifications for anyone wanting to work in this sector and to carry out these procedures.
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.