Weekly Parliamentary Diary
Ford Bridgend plant closure
The Chair of Ford Europe, Mr Steven Armstrong, gave evidence at an emergency session of the Welsh Affairs Committee about their decision to close their Bridgend plant after 40 years. He failed to answer any of my questions over why Ford had decided to shut the plant. They have shafted their workers and will do so in the future. I urged them to overturn their disastrous decision which will have such a large impact on the community.
Ford had not event considered the carbon footprint of moving their production to Mexico and shipping the engines back across to the U.K. also had no idea of the environmental impact of moving the manufacture of engines for the European market from Bridgend to Mexico. This despite Ford making a number of grandiose claims to being a 'green' vehicle manufacturer. No environmentally and socially responsible business would make such a decision.
I also had the opportunity to hear from Huw David, Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, Jeff Beck of GMB Union and Peter Hughes, Regional Secretary of Unite Wales. They are doing all they can to advocate for the interests of the community and the workers who have been affected. They all outlined their despair at Ford's decision and the poor manner in which Ford implemented their decision, misleading their workers at every turn.
The workers have been loyal to Ford for over 40 years - they built it. They won't be bribed and I will continue to stand with the workers and the unions in solidarity.
Challenging the Government on Climate Change
I have questioned the Government many times in Parliament on how they aim to tackle the climate emergency. The Committee on Climate Change argue that we need to go further and faster than the Net Zero targets set by the Government. Setting a target is not enough, we need the radical action required to reach the targets now.
I also contributed in the General Debate on Climate Change where again I urged the Government to enact the urgent and radical reform needed across all departments and levels of Government in order to avert a climate catastrophe.
20 Years of devolution debate
Last week Parliament debated twenty years of devolution. This debate was deeply personal to me. I have campaigned all my life for devolution and was part of the cross-party campaign back in 1997 to secure that yes vote in the referendum. I am hugely proud to have played a part in the journey of the Welsh Assembly begun by the father of devolution Rhodri Morgan. The Welsh Parliament is now embedded firmly in the hearts and minds of the Welsh people.
Wales has trodden its own course, challenging anti-trade union laws, tackling zero-hour contracts, increasing and improving the rights of tenants, protecting people from the worst of austerity and genuinely leading the world in legislation on the environment, with the second best recycling rates in the world.
The future promises more powers to Wales with decisions taken closer to the communities on which they have a real impact. I am proud that last week Members of the Assembly voted to change the name to Senedd - to Parliament - and lowering the voting age at the next election to 16.
Succesfully blocking a Parliamentary shutdown
This Thursday MPs voted to block the next UK Prime Minister from shutting down Parliament in order to push through a No-Deal Brexit. The motion was passed by 315 votes to 274. I am delighted that we managed to inflict a defeat for Boris even before he's made Prime Minister. Shutting down Parliament would have been an outrageous subversion of our democracy.
Labour's Brexit policy change
As you will know, I have long been an advocate for a final say and campaigning to remain as part of the European Union. I’m pleased that after consultation with members and unions, The Labour Party is unequivocal that whatever Brexit outcome put forward should be put to a referendum – and in that referendum Labour will campaign for Remain.
It was also great to hear Labour Shadow frontbenchers including Diane Abbott, Emily Thornberry and Sir Keir Starmer set out the case for this at the Love Socialism, Hate Brexit event earlier this week.
This is not only the best way to stop Brexit, it’s the best way to win a Labour Government.
TV Licences debate
Parliament debated the decision to take away free TV licences for the over 75's in a move that saw the Tory Party abandon their 2017 manifesto pledge to protect pensioner's benefits.
It is estimated that nearly 5,000 households in Cardiff North will be affected by this change, at an estimated cost of nearly £24 million across Wales.
This comes at a time when millions of pounds of Pension Credit remain unclaimed and when our older people are having to choose between paying for food or fuel. We must stand up to the callous and careless attitude the Tory Party are treating our older people. I will continue to campaign to reverse this decision.
Abortion rights and same-sex marriage enshrined
With power-sharing failing in Northern Ireland leaving Stormont in standstill, the House of Commons has the ability to propose new legislation in the next six months. Hugely proud to have supported a Bill to liberalise abortion laws in Northern Ireland to bring them into line with the rest of the U.K. and support the legalisation same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. These changes will be hopefully enacted unless Stormont reconvenes in the next 6 months.
I am delighted that we have finally extended abortion rights and same-sex marriage rights across the whole of the U.K. Labour continues to lead the way in bringing forward policy that gives equality to citizens.
Carbon Monoxide safety competition winner
I was delighted to present Emilia Chichester, a student from St Joseph's Primary School, with the Carbon Monoxide Safety Competition Award for the Wales region. The national competition received over 1,500 entries from primary school-aged children across the UK. Entrants submitted any form of media that informed about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
I was there to present Emilia with the award in Parliament and it was lovely to show Emilia and her family around Parliament as well!
Macmillan costs of cancer campaign
I met with Macmillan to discuss their new report called "A Costly Diagnosis" and to find out more about the financial implications of living with cancer.
The report focussed on people's individual experiences of the financial impact of cancer and highlights three particular policy areas; the implementation of Universal Credit, the support banks and building societies give to people living with cancer and the cost of travel insurance. We should be providing support to those suffering with cancer, not burdening them with costs.
You can read Macmillan's full report here ([link removed]) .
As a long-term supporter of Lucy's law and a passionate animal lover, I am delighted that Welsh Government and Welsh Labour is going to ban the third-party sale of cats and dogs.
The ban will improve animal welfare conditions and help the public to make more informed choices when buying a pet.
Dementia Friends session
Pleased that Janine and Rebecca at the Whitchurch branch of Viney Hearing Care became Dementia Friends with us this morning.
Viney Hearing Care have been working hard raise awareness of the increased risk of dementia in those with hearing loss. For someone living with dementia, hearing loss can also cause additional problems with communication, isolation and a loss of independence.
I'm looking forward to working with Viney Hearing Centre and the Alzheimer's Society towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Business.
Party in the Park 4 at Llwynfedw Gardens Park this summer
Friends of Llwynfedw Gardens will once again be hosting their annual Party in the Park event this August. The event promises to be a great afternoon for all the ages with live bands, great food and entertainment for all ages. Please come along and support this brilliant event where all funds raised will go towards improving the facilities.
As always, please get in touch with your feedback!
MP for Cardiff North
Promoted by Anna McMorrin MP, on behalf of herself, at Unit 2 Codas House, Merthyr Road, Cardiff, CF14 1DJ.
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Member of Parliament . 2 Codas House . 52-60 Merthyr Road . Cardiff, CF14 1DG . United Kingdom
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