Justice for Windrush, changing of lockdown rules in Wales, Welsh Affairs committee, bringing Gower Businesses together - Weekly update 26/06/2020
This week the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, spoke to the House of Commons about the work the UK Government are doing to put right the immense wrongs done to the Windrush generation. The injustices that these people, who answered a call to help rebuild Britain after the war, have been forced to endure is nothing less than utterly shameful and the slow response of the UK Government in putting these injustices right and issuing British passports and compensation is criminal. In light of the shocking banner we saw flying over the Etihad football stadium this week, the response of the hard right and even the Foreign Secretary to legitimate Black Lives Matter protests, the disgusting replies to the Conservative Party’s Father’s Day tweet which showed a black father and son, and the Prime Minister’s previous racist comments and the hostile environment created by this UK Government, it is clear that deep cultural reform is needed across the board, not only in the Home Office. I took the opportunity to raise this with the Home Secretary in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Thursday saw the latest meeting of the Welsh Affairs Committee, when I and other members questioned Rebecca Evans in her role as Finance Minister in the Welsh Government, and Ken Skates in his role as Economy Minister. We covered intergovernmental relations in responding to Coronavirus, the economic implications for Wales, and the support available for business during and after the pandemic. There have clearly been some differences in how the Welsh Government and the UK Government have responded to the crisis, but I know that First Minister Mark Drakeford and his team have done everything they can to help keep the people of Wales safe - and that will continue to be their guiding principle as we begin to tentatively end parts of lockdown.
On Friday, along with Gower’s Senedd Member, Rebecca Evans, I hosted a webinar for Gower businesses on digital marketing run by the Google Digital Garage team and attended by the Federation of Small Business. These are very difficult and unusual times and businesses have been remarkable at finding new ways to continue working. It was great to bring together some of our amazing small and medium sized businesses to talk about the innovative ways they’ve kept trading through lockdown.
As you will know, this week, non-essential shops in Wales began to reopen in the biggest changes to Welsh lockdown so far. It's important to note that we still have the 2m social distancing rule here in Wales, despite the changes that have taken place in England. But if we can stick to the guidance, and the virus continues to decline, the Welsh Government will issue guidelines to help the tourism industry to put in place the necessary measures to allow them to reopen, which will be welcome news for many small businesses in Gower who rely on tourism for a large part of their income. I’ve felt incredibly lucky - especially on sunny days! - to live somewhere like Gower, where I could enjoy the most beautiful part of Wales whilst respecting the guidelines and staying local. It's great news that if we can stick to the current guidelines for a few more weeks, we might soon be able to welcome tourists back safely to this fabulous corner of the world.
You can keep up to date with Welsh Government announcements and information on their dedicated coronavirus page. 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 or calling 01792 899025. My office is not open, my staff and I are working from home, but my email and phone are still being monitored and responded to. You may experience a slight delay in receiving a response from us as the demand has increase, but we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Stay local, keep well, and remember – keep washing your hands!