Saying thank you to DIYSOS in Parliament, big futures for the Boot Room, raising awareness for Breast Cancer this month - Weekly Update 02/10/2020
As you will know, stricter restrictions have come into force here in Gower this week as a result of the spike in infections across South Wales. The main restrictions mean that people can no longer leave the Swansea council area without a reasonable excuse, households can no longer form bubbles, and people must all work from home where possible. All licensed premises must stop serving alcohol at 10pm. These restrictions are of course frustrating, but we have to support the NHS to bring the infection rate back under control. This means that we must also continue the usual regular hand washing, wearing of face coverings, and social distancing. For more detail on the restrictions and answers to the frequently asked questions, visit the Welsh Government website here.
I was pleased to be able to tackle the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis MP, on the discussions that took place with the Northern Irish political parties prior to the publication of the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill. Given that the leading member of the United States Congress, the Democrat nominee for President, the Trump-appointed special envoy to Northern Ireland, the Irish Government, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland and three of the five parties of the Executive have all condemned the Secretary of State’s juvenile law-breaking boasts in the House of Commons, I find it astounding that there has been no realisation from this Government of the damage and harm they have done to relations with Northern Ireland, relations with the EU, and the peace and prosperity of Northern Ireland itself. We need a sensible and responsible Government to negotiate a deal with the EU that protects the economy, and peace across the Irish Sea, and so far, we have seen anything but that.
I was also called to speak in Business Questions this week where I was able to ask the Leader of the House to join me in recognising the amazing work of DIY SOS Big Build and all the people who helped them out in Gower. For Children in Need the DIY SOS team, Ben and Ben of Surfability, with the generosity of trades and businesses in Swansea and South Wales built an incredible, unique facility for Surfability – a group that supports people of all ages with disabilities to surf some waves in Caswell Bay. I asked the Leader to prompt the Secretary of State for DCMS to talk to the new Director-General of the BBC about the importance of shows like DIY SOS for the incredible change that they can help bring about. It’s such a heart-warming, inspirational programme and I hope to see many more of their fantastic builds in the years to come. Congratulations to all the team involved for the wonderful premises they built here in Gower!
Yesterday marked the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year there is a simple message: its never been more important to check your breasts. The Covid-19 pandemic led to the suspension of cancer screening services this spring, with more than 300 women in Wales not having their routine scans as a result. Fortunately, screening services have now resumed, but I cannot say this strongly enough, please check your boobs, and that includes you men as well! Nearly 400 men every year are diagnosed with breast cancer, and, as for women, the earlier a diagnosis is made, the better the chances for recovery. All you have to do is go to your GP at the first sign of any concerning symptoms – your GPs are open, and they are there for you.
I would also like to send huge congratulations this week to the wonderful Carl from the Boot Room in Briton Ferry for the amazing news that he has been nominated for a Pride of Britain Award. What the Boot Room does for the local community is an inspiration and I would love to see more Carls appear across the country to help kids feel confident getting into sport. The Boot Room recycles rugby boots, football boots and sports kit, and takes donations for kit so that teams and individuals who can’t afford the high street prices for sports gear are still able to play sport and feel like they look the part. It’s so important that children are encouraged into sport, we’ve all seen how important it’s been during this pandemic, and it’s important that they are made to feel comfortable playing sport and enjoy it. So, to Carl and your wonderful team, thank you so much for all you do and whatever happens at the Pride of Britain, know that you are the Pride of Gower and the Pride of South Wales.
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 email@example.com 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 increased, but we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Keep well and remember – observe social distancing, wash your hands regularly and keep Wales safe!