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”.
Gower’s Member of Parliament Tonia Antoniazzi has called for environmental protections to be strengthened in a joint event with the National Trust in Rhossili.
The newly-elected Member of Parliament signed Greener UK’s pledge for the environment, promising to fight for a list of environmental measures in Parliament.
Greener UK is a coalition of 13 major environmental organisations, of which the National Trust is a member.
The coming Parliamentary term is a critical time for environmental legislation, as the Great Repeal Bill removes European Laws, they will need to be replaced with British laws. This provides both an opportunity and a threat to environmental protection.
“Protecting our environment has never been such a high priority. I’ll be standing up for Gower’s environment in the coming years”.
Ms Antoniazzi said “The Brexit process will mean that all environmental legislation from the European Union will be scrapped. We need to make sure the protections that are in place for Gower remain as they are at a minimum. Protecting our environment has never been such a high priority. I’ll be standing up for Gower’s environment in the coming years.”
“I also look forward to supporting the National Trust’s work in protecting the local environment in Gower, such as their five-year programme at the vile Rhossili.” 
 The National Trust Gower have just started a five-year programme at the vile Rhossili on the medieval field system leading out to Wormshead. This field system has suffered soil loss and compaction over the post war years and many of the medieval boundaries have been lost due to demands of larger agricultural machinery. They have recently taken many of these fields back in-hand and are restoring the soil conditions, and replacing the missing banks with help from the National Trust’s archaeologists’. They have planted extensive arable barley, wheat, linseed with wide buffer zones to enable the arable flowers to flourish. In that short time that they have been restoring the vile, there have already been large increases in bird, mammals and butterflies sightings.
Firstly - to all A level students in Gower, please remember this is just another milestone in your life. How you move forward in your career and life will be down to you.
Be positive and believe that you can do and you can be whoever you want to be. Success is measured in many ways. Be happy, smile and never let anyone or anything stop you because ambition is critical.
Here are a few helpful links to help those getting their results today and their parents guide their way through what can be a stressful and confusing process:
Careers Wales - A Level Results FAQs - http://www.careerswales.com/server.php?show=nav.9890
The Student Room - Guide to Clearing 2017 - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/university/apply/clearing/introduction-to-clearing-2017
Complete University Guide - Clearing - https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/clearing/
Free Nandos chicken wings for those getting their A Level results - http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/level-students-can-free-meal-13449651
Please get in touch with my office if you're a constituent and you think there's anything we can do to help. My office number is 01792 899 025 or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7408 broadband connections in Gower are not getting the proposed minimum broadband download speed, according to a new report from the British Infrastructure Group of MPs (BIG) co-signed by Tonia Antoniazzi MP.
Tonia has joined 55 colleagues from across political parties to co-sign the British Infrastructure Group of MPs’ (BIG) latest report, ‘Broadbad 2.0’.
7408 broadband connections in Gower without fast broadband make up at total of as many as 6.7 million broadband connections across the UK that do not receive speeds above the proposed minimum standard.
The report criticises the fact that data is not available to know whether poor broadband speeds are due to homeowners being unable to order a faster service or whether the nationally mandated faster Internet is simply not available to their property.
The report also investigates broadband customer services to find a worrying lack of minimum standards. Of the major broadband providers in a voluntary agreement with Ofcom, none could provide BIG with any clear information about their complaints procedures, or any amount of compensation that they currently pay to their customers.
Tonia and 55 colleagues therefore call on the government, Ofcom and broadband providers to urgently improve the quality of broadband customer services through the following recommendations:
Progress secondary legislation setting out the terms of a broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO): The Digital Economy Act 2017 sets out provisions for a USO that defines a minimum broadband download speed of 10 Mb/s. In order to set the terms and scope of this USO, secondary legislation to the Digital Economy Act must be progressed by the government.
Provide statutory footing to the Voluntary Codes of Practice for broadband speeds: Some of the largest UK broadband providers operate according to Voluntary Codes of Practice regulated by Ofcom. The codes of practice entail an agreement on the part of providers to share clear information about their broadband speeds, and provide redress for customers when speeds are poor. However, the voluntary nature of these codes is insufficient in a rapidly developing telecoms sector. BIG therefore calls on the government to provide Ofcom with the mandate to legalise these codes of practice, in order to make broadband providers accountable to the law.
Lead on the improvement of data collection: Broadband download speed data recorded by Ofcom fails to differentiate between superfast connections that do not reach speeds above the proposed minimum standard of 10 Mb/s, and those connections whereby customers have actively chosen not to purchase superfast broadband. It is therefore almost impossible to determine the exact number of UK broadband customers that do not receive the speeds that they pay for. BIG calls on Ofcom to lead on the improvement of collecting broadband speed data that distinguishes between the take-up and availability of superfast broadband speeds.
Consider fixed broadband speeds in a new automatic compensation scheme: It is unacceptable that Ofcom has not considered whether broadband customers should be automatically compensated for consistently failing to receive the speeds that they pay for. Broadband speeds are a key indicator for whether customers are receiving a satisfactory service.
Take responsibility for making customers aware of their complaints and compensation procedures: BIG calls on broadband providers to take responsibility for communicating future changes to their customer services in a clear and concise manner, in order to improve accountability and transparency in the sector.
For further information about BIG, and to read the report in full, visit www.britishinfrastructuregroup.uk and follow BIG on Twitter at @BIG_MPs
You may have seen in the press my colleague Carolyn Harris doing an excellent job raising awareness about the plight of Swansea Foodbanks. For the first time ever, Foodbanks across Swansea have begun to run out of food. This is due to the school holidays and many parents struggling to feed their children.
Many concerned constituents have got in touch and asked what the situation in Gower is and how they can help. After liaising with Swansea Foodbank, I can confirm that the situation is the same in this constituency and food is running low across the board.
I am therefore issuing an urgent appeal to everyone who is able to donate food. You will be able to drop off food at my office at Ty Newydd Community Centre, 17 West Street, Gorseinon, SA4 4AA for the next week. We will then deliver it to the Foodbank.
As supplies are running so low they require anything and everything you can spare, however if you are stuck for ideas please buy the following:
UHT & Powdered Milk
Tinned & dried potatoes
The Tories want us to think that bi-mode trains are a good for Wales, but here’s the truth about the benefits of electrification.
Having a positive can-do attitude is essential as a new MP. I have made my disappointment very clear in the media about the Tories letting us down. They have failed to deliver electrification any further west than the capital city and instead of being branded a ‘Welsh whinger’ I just want to highlight WHY electrification is good for Gower, Swansea and further West.
This week, I pressed Sam Hadley from Network Rail on electrification and services to Swansea considering the Tory U turn on electrification. Welsh MPs and AMs now need to look forward and seek out ways to fund electrification. Having read the report by lead economist Gerry Haltham, we need to consider the options will deliver for Wales despite the Tory resistance to invest.
So why is electrification better? Electric trains offer the best train performance and lowest journey times compared to bi-mode trains. They give a low noise passenger environment, when the bi-mode train uses its diesel engine there will be increased noise for those in the train and those living along the railway. Currently the HST (High Speed Trains) have a diesel engine at both ends of the train unlike the diesel/electric bi-mode trains. So, the noise of the proposed bi-mode trains will be worse for passengers.
The Welsh Government has a low carbon transition delivery plan in which electrification would be a key feature. We should therefore be focused on leading the transition to low carbon – to lay the foundations for a better future and maximise the long-term benefits to Wales along the way. Therefore, electrification is part of reducing Wales’s dependency on oil and future oil variation.
We need to be looking at a more joined up approach to energy and our transport infrastructure in Wales. Electricity from renewable energy such as solar and tidal can provide for electric trains and cars across Wales. More significantly in my opinion for Wales, electrification opens potential for additional regional electric services to integrate not only Swansea and Cardiff but the rest of Wales.