Kids go back to school, Parliament returns, clean up operation in place in the Loughor Estuary - Weekly Update 4/09/2020
It's been fantastic to see pupils and teachers returning to school across Gower this week. So much work has gone into preparing our schools and colleges for a safe return, and all those involved should be proud of their efforts. It would be remiss of me not to mention those parents and guardians who have taken on the task of homeschooling since March - often juggling it alongside working from home and caring for others. I hope this return to normality gives you all the opportunity to reflect on what a brilliant job you have done.
Many of you have been in touch with me regarding the derailment and diesel spill in Llangennech and the subsequent clean-up operation. On Wednesday, I visited the site of the derailment with shadow Welsh Secretary Nia Griffiths, and met with Network Rail and Natural Resources Wales to discuss next steps. It was shocking to see the damage to the track and the fuel tankers up close and I commend the Fire crews and response teams for their bravery in responding to this incident. I want to thank everyone who is working flat out at the scene and behind the scenes to ensure that the area is protected from further environmental damage. I also want to thank Network Rail and NRW for the job they are doing and how quickly they reacted. If you discover diesel in the Loughor Estuary or off the Gower coast, please contact NRW on 0300 065 3000.
I was pleased this week to sign a letter urging the Chancellor to extend the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) for the aviation sector until March 2021. The UK Government’s ‘one size fits all’ approach to the end of furlough fails to recognise that some industries are struggling more than others, and aviation is one of those sectors worst hit. Unite the Union estimates that some 60,000 jobs are hanging in the balance, and the UK Government must take action to protect them.
With Parliament back in session this week, on Thursday the Welsh Affairs Committee held the first evidence session for our Brexit and Trade: Implications for Wales enquiry. The next round of trade negotiations between the UK and the EU begins on 7 September in what is being billed as a critical period in the talks, and we spoke to panel of economic and trade experts to explores the implications for Wales of the UK’s trade negotiations with the EU as well as those with non-EU states.
I know that since my last roundup, there have been a number of changes to the Covid-19 rules and regulations, and it's been lovely to see friends and families able to meet up and enjoy time together, often for the first time in many months. We’ve also been able to welcome visitors back to our beautiful part of the world, and enjoy some activities that we had previously taken for granted. The changes that the Welsh Government have been able to make are down to your commitment to respecting the guidance, so I would urge everyone to make sure they keep following the rules and stay up to date on regulations at https://gov.wales/coronavirus, so that we can continue to tackle this virus together.
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 team and I are here to help. And remember - observe social distancing, wash your hands regularly and keep Wales safe!