I can't believe it's been a year since I was elected as your MP for Gower. Thank you all for the help and support throughout the last 12 months. I've made a short video of some of the things that I've been up to in my first year as your MP. I hope the next 12 months are just as exciting.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP has taken a key step towards helping end the stigma surrounding dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend and supporting Alzheimer's Society Cymru's vision of a dementia-friendly Wales. A Dementia Friend is someone who has gained a basic understanding about what it is like to have dementia and the small ways they can support someone living with the condition.
Dementia Friends was launched in February 2013 by Alzheimer’s Society. It is a trailblazing initiative that aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action.
Tonia took part in a number of exercises aimed at helping participants understand the effect of dementia on people’s everyday lives.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: ‘I've signed up to show my support for Dementia Friends, and am encouraging people in Gower to do the same too. With a growing number of people living with dementia, it's more important than ever we all have a better understanding of the condition.
‘Dementia Friends is about giving people an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia. From helping someone find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia, it can help make our local community a better place to live.’
Cheryl James, Operations Manager for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, said: ‘Dementia is one of the biggest health and care challenges our country faces - one that everyone must respond to. Too many people are not getting the support they deserve and are entitled to. Too many families are struggling to get by. Too many people with dementia live in communities that do not support and include them.
'We all have a part to play in improving the lives of people living with dementia and creating a dementia-friendly UK.
'We are delighted to see Tonia Antoniazzi MP showing her support for Dementia Friends. Less than half of us think we know enough about dementia. Dementia Friends isn’t about creating experts, it’s about helping people understand a little bit more about what it’s like to live with the condition and then turn that understanding into action - anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend.’
Local representatives in Swansea have met to discuss the plans for the proposed Abergelli power plant in Felindre.
Gower MP Tonia Antoniazzi has teamed up with the County Councillors Brigitte Rowlands and Gareth Sullivan to raise awareness of the consultation period for the Power station.
Councillor Rowlands of Mawr and Councillor Sullivan of Llangyfelach met with the Gower MP at Llangyfelach Stores to discuss how local communities can be motivated to express their views effectively before the end of the consultation period.
All three representatives are encouraging residents to contact them by email or post with their views, which will then be fed in directly to the consultation process.
Houses within approximately 2 miles are expected to receive a leaflet from Abergelli Power about the project after the 16th January but Tonia, Gareth and Brigitte will also be distributing leaflets with information for residents.
Tonia Antoniazzi said “I held a public meeting in Llangyfelach in September last year because I felt it was important that residents had an opportunity to have their say on the potential plans for a prison in Felindre.”
“Residents views must be listened to before a decision is made so I’m asking residents in Gower to contact me via email at Tonia.Antoniazzi.firstname.lastname@example.org with their contributions.”
“We must work together to bring positive, sustainable investment to Gower and Swansea.”
Exhibitions about the Abergelli project will be held in Llangyfelach Church Hall on Wednesday 7th February between 4 pm and 7 pm, Forge Fach Resource Centre on Thursday 8th between 3.30 pm and 6.30 pm, Tircoed Village Hall on Friday 9th February between 5 pm and 8 pm, and Felindre Welfare Hall on Saturday between 10 am and 1 pm.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP will be playing darts at the world-famous Alexandra Palace for charity on Thursday 21st December.
The Gower MP will face off against three other MPs at the “Ally Pally” in a competition to score the highest with three darts, with the winner banking £2000 for the charity of their choice.
Tonia won the opportunity to play at the Alexandra Palace after beating sixteen-time World Champion Phil Taylor’s six dart score with only nine darts.
The reception, hosted by William Hill at the House of Commons, allowed MPs to compete for the opportunity to raise money for charity with at least £500 already guaranteed for 4th place.
Tonia said “It’s all for a good cause and I hope I can raise as much money as possible for “Hands 4 Alan” and the Gower Co-responder fund.”
“Hygrove Homes and Gower Brewery have also agreed to sponsor me and match the money I raise which is fantastic.”
“I’ll be walking out to Bonnie Tyler’s Holding out for a Hero, which was decided by voters on twitter and my darts nickname is going to be Tonia “Gower Power” Antoniazzi.
Hannah Jones of Hands for Alan said “Hands for Alan are very honoured to have been chosen as one of Tonia's charities for the darts match. We thank you and wish you the very best of luck. #teamtonia”
Hygrove Homes spokesman Ben Francis said “Tonia has chosen two worthy charities and we feel that its only right to match whatever she wins.”
Gower Brewery spokesman Steve Rees said "Gower brewery are pleased that 'The Gower Power' has reached the finals in what is very much an enjoyable and social game"
Tonia Antoniazzi MP pledged her support for families with disabled children this week at a parliamentary event organised by the Disabled Children’s Partnership - a coalition of more than 50 disability and children’s charities working together to improve health and social care services for families with disabled children. At the event the Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) revealed its 5 step plan, developed to help address the growing crisis in health and social care services for disabled children and their families. The 5 steps includes a reviewing funding of short breaks (respite) provision for disabled children and families. Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: “The event organised by the Disabled Children’s Partnership was a great opportunity to meet with families and learn more about the realities of caring for disabled children - and why good quality health and social care services are so essential for the health and wellbeing of their family. “These services provide a lifeline for many families and often it’s quite basic services such as short breaks or equipment and adaptations to the home, that help them stay together, work and have a quality of life most families take for granted. Families with disabled children give back to our community and economy in so many different ways and that’s why I’m proud to pledge my support to the Disabled Children’s Partnership’s 5 step plan to improve vital health and social care services for families with disabled children.” Amanda Batten, Chief Executive of Contact and chair of the Disabled Children’s Partnership, said: “Families with disabled children face four big challenges: There are not enough services, many of those that exist are not good enough, families cannot access them easily, and services do not always work together and communicate well with each other. “This event and our 5 step plan marks the next phase of the Disabled Children’s Partnership’s Secret Life of Us campaign and pushes for real change while shining a light on the challenges that families with disabled face and the changes we want to see to help overcome them.”
Tonia Antoniazzi has today announced her support for a campaign for a new walking and cycling path across Clyne Common. A petition has gained the support of over 1000 local people, who have now formed a GAP (Gower Access Path) group to campaign for a path.
A new path would open up the village, allowing people who do not have transport to easily get in and out of Bishopston. As well as catering for adult cyclists and pedestrians, a route across the Common would provide a safe route to Bishopston Comprehensive for children travelling from West Cross and the Mayals.
Swansea Council and the Welsh Government have announced extensive funding into new safe routes in Gower. Including the Kingsbridge link, which will connect Gowerton and Gorseinon. Along with the new North Gower Trail in Penclawdd.
You can support the campaign by signing the petition is can be signed here.
“I’m delighted to support this campaign”.
Tonia said “I’m delighted to support this campaign. The provision of a safe travel corridor for non-motorists alongside the B4436 is long overdue and would further open Gower to more environmentally friendly travel, benefitting both local residents and visitors.
This would prove invaluable to pedestrians and cyclists who commute on a dangerous road. I’m looking forward to pitching in and doing my bit for the campaign. My late father was the owner of the County Cycle Crosshands and Llanelli so I’ve grown up cycling. I look forward to cycling on this path”.
Adam Gilbert, local Gower Access Path campaigner, said “"It's great to get Tonia on board with the campaign, it's nice to have an MP who listens to the concerns of local people.”
“I've been campaigning for this path for a long time now so I'm delighted to see the campaign picking up steam."
Tonia Antoniazzi MP has called for the UK Government to focus on renewable energy development during a visit to the Mynydd y Gwair wind farm.
Work on the wind farm started in February, and is set to create over 100 jobs for each year of its construction, and to contribute £52 million of investment.
When completed, the wind farm – Swansea’s biggest ever renewables investment – will generate enough power for about 22,000 homes.
“We need a commitment to renewables if we’re going to create the jobs of tomorrow”.
Tonia said “With the UK lagging far behind international standards and failing to hit its unambitious renewables targets, there has to be cause for concern. Renewable energy is the new frontier of industry and one that Wales and my constituency of Gower are well-placed to exploit.”
“The Welsh Government is helping through its Energy Wales plan, but it is being held back by the UK Government scrapping renewables schemes at an alarming rate, when forward-thinking countries are expanding them. The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is a perfect example of this. It’s a huge potential investment and a way for Wales to lead the way on renewables, but the UK Government is refusing to sign it off.”
“We need a commitment to renewables if we’re going to create the jobs of tomorrow”.
Tim James, Project Manager for Mynydd y Gwair Wind Farm at Innogy, said: “It was great to see the local MP take an active interest in renewable energy and witness first-hand the works taking place at Mynydd y Gwair Wind Farm. Construction is progressing well. We will continue to engage with the local stakeholders and work with the local community to minimise disruption where possible throughout the construction of this exciting renewable energy project.”
Tonia raises awareness of Paediatric Lymphoedema
Tonia has attended Lymph Adventure Wales, an event where young people with lymphoedema and their families were invited to a fun event where they had the opportunity to take part in a host of activities, whilst also gaining access to practical advice and guidance.
The event was organised by Lymphoedema Network Wales, which was established to help increase the knowledge and skills of medical practitioners who manage lymphoedema in children and young people.
In Wales, lymphoedema is a growing condition with 140 children and young people receiving care. Lymphoedema is a chronic swelling to parts of the body due to lymphatic failure. It can be the side-effect of surgical and radiotherapy treatment for cancer, but it is also linked to faulty genes or a result of infection of injury. Having the condition affects individuals physically, psychologically and socially.
This condition can affect people of all ages and occur in any part of the body. For children, the physical impact includes pain, swelling, reduced range of movement, skin changes, decrease in muscle strength, difficulty in walking, running, playing, and grip function.
Lymph Adventure Wales follows on from the Welsh Government, who in 2015 created a dedicated national paediatric specialist post for paediatric lymphoedema. This post was the first of its kind in the UK and is helping to ensure that more lymphoedema care for the 54 children with the debilitating condition in Wales are provided closer to home in the future, instead of families facing long journeys to specialist centres in London and Liverpool.
“Wales is setting the bar high in providing services to children and young people”.
Tonia said “It was great to discuss paediatric lymphoedema was the Lymphoedema Network Wales team – in Wales this team are setting the bar high in providing services to children & young people. I want to help raise awareness about this condition and the support people can receive.”
Workers from the 3M factory in Penllergaer have teamed up to donate £500 to the Swansea Foodbank in light of the recent appeals for donations during the pinch-point of summer holidays.
In attendance to present the cheque were Mark Thomas, outgoing Secretary of the Unite branch for 3M workers and his incoming replacement, Chris James. The cheque was presented to David Ward of Swansea Foodbank. Tonia Antoniazzi MP, who has led an appeal across the Gower constituency that resulted in over 1000kg of food being donated to the drop-off point in her office, was also in attendance.
“We shouldn’t need a Foodbank”.
Tonia said “It’s great to see my constituency coming together to help those most in need. We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of people to this cause, and collected over 1000kg of food through our appeal. However, we shouldn’t need a Foodbank in the 21st Century, and they barely existed before the Conservatives came to power in 2010. Their existence is an indictment of the failure of Government policy”.