Last month, Jayne Bryant MS and I hosted our first joint Macmillan Coffee Morning at Stow Park Community Centre. We had a wonderful morning talking to residents in Newport West over tea and cake. I want to personally thank everyone who joined us for our Macmillan Coffee Morning, and to those who couldn’t make it, but donated instead. It is thanks to you that Jayne Bryant MS and I raised a total of £388 for Macmillan Cymru.
We are now coming to the end of Conference Recess. It was good to catch up with old friends at the Labour Party Conference and listen to Keir Starmer set out our plan to win the next General Election.
It was fantastic to see Mark Drakeford, our First Minister being applauded for the work he has done to keep people here in Newport West and across Wales safe throughout the pandemic, in stark contrast to the reckless behaviour of the Tory government in Westminster.
The Welsh Labour Government was commended at Conference because Labour in power is leading the way when it comes to building a stronger, fairer and greener Wales for everyone.
This is what Labour, under Keir, wants to deliver right across the United Kingdom, so that no one in the UK is forced to choose between feeding their families or heating their homes.
Since Conference, news headlines have projected crisis after crisis caused by Tory incompetence. Millions of families are being plunged into further poverty, including around 9000 households in Newport West who have had their Universal Credit cut by the Tories. This was a political decision that should not have been made.
The price of food, fuel and energy is increasing across the country. People are facing, not only job insecurities from the pandemic, but a full-blown cost-of-living crisis.
Rest assured; I will continue holding Ministers to account and will be fighting for change.
The Environment Bill
Parliament returns on Monday 18th October and the Environment Bill will be back in the Commons.
I look forward to making the case for action to tackle toxic air and for the strongest environmental protections, next Wednesday.
The UK Government was defeated on a number of key issues in the House of Lords with a cross-party coalition, supported by Labour Peers. Our colleagues in the Lords voted through amendments that will make this Bill fit for purpose. These amendments include setting air quality targets, declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency, the independence of the Office for Environment Protection, protecting pollinators, reducing single-use items, ending harm to the environment from discharging untreated sewage into rivers and protecting ancient woodland.
I am clear that the UK should be following Wales. The UK Government should be looking to the Welsh Government’s Environment (Wales) Act and the upcoming Clean Air (Wales) Act, to mitigate; the loss of biodiversity, illegal levels of air pollution, further global warming, and the single-use plastic crisis.
With just days until COP26, we need real leadership, as the host nation, from the UK Government. If we don’t act, how can we possibly encourage countries across the world to take action against climate change?
That’s why we need an Environment Bill that can set a leading example for the rest of the world to follow suit – and importantly – deliver real results.
As Shadow Minister for Air Quality, I wrote an opinion piece in the Indy Climate which you can read here: https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/opinion/air-quality-pollution-environment-bill-who-b1924940.html
Air pollution is a national health emergency resulting in an estimated 40,000 early deaths each year and costing the UK £20 billion annually. Not only is it a national health emergency, but it is a social justice issue, with our poorest communities hardest hit. This is why Labour will deliver a Clean Air Act if we win the next General Election.
The World Health Organisation states that “clean air should be a fundamental human right” and the Labour Party couldn’t agree more.
This month constituents have mostly been in touch with my office about:
– Energy, Utilities and Environment
– Parliament, Government and Politics
My office continues to support people across Newport West so if you have a query or need assistance please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01633 256268.