I was glad to meet with The Wallich to discuss rough sleeping and provisions for homeless people in Newport.
The number of people sleeping rough in our city is on the increase. It is vital that we aim to help the most vulnerable in society.
The Wallich provided the statistics below outlining figures surrounding rough sleeping in Newport.
The Wallich recommended contacting Streetlink if you are concerned about a rough sleeper.
Streetlink can then let the agencies that can help know that someone may need assistance and advice.
Streetlink can be contacted on 0300 500 0914
I had the opportunity to speak this morning on BBC Wales’s ‘Good Morning Wales’ programme about ensuring that our country is a nation of sanctuary for refugees and asylum seekers.
The Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee, which I chair, have heard that one in every 113 people is either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. While we already give vulnerable people a warm welcome in Wales, the Committee’s findings propose improvements in the support, advice and services we offer those who have been displaced through no fault of their own.
We can help repair the damage done by war and conflict and help displaced refugees rebuild their lives again.
For the full interview please listen from 43 minutes into the programme which is available here:
Here is the Wales Online article on the Committee’s proposals:
I was pleased to attend Rainbow Newport’s Transgender Day of Visibility event on March 31st.
Rainbow Newport working in partnership with SEWREC, Newport Mind and Gwent Victim Support held an informal drop-in session to offer support and advice but also to send a clear message of support to the Trans* community in Newport.
This year has seen Rainbow Newport grow from strength to strength.
In January, the group held the first LGBT*+ conference in the city at the Riverfront Arts Centre which was a great success. The event included workshops, panel discussions and a political election debate.
For more information on Rainbow Newport, please visit their Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/LGBTIQnewport or follow them on Twitter @RainbowNewport
You will be aware of the Assembly election on 5th May. I am standing for re-election as Assembly Member for Newport East and hope to be re-elected.
From April 6th there will officially be no Assembly Members as the Assembly will be dissolved until after the election. However, if you have any outstanding casework with my office, my staff will continue to be able to work on that during the election period.
As there will be no Assembly Members officially from April 6th until after the election, I will not be able to offer surgeries as an Assembly Member during the period April 6th to May 5th.
If you wish to get in touch, please contact the campaign office, Ringland Labour Club, NP19 9AA, or phone 07821 476171.
Newport East AM John Griffiths has praised the Welsh Government for its ‘proactive’ response to an independent review of local museum provision in Wales. Among the recommendations of the review – published by an expert panel of curators and trustees of the National Museum Wales – are calls for Wales-wide clarity on museum charges, and the creation of three regional bodies to support museum management.
The Welsh Government was the first in the UK to develop a national strategy for museums, and it is good to see full engagement with the recommendations of this independent review, which presents stimulating ideas on how we can continue to support the excellent network of local museums we have in Wales. I wholly agree with the Welsh Government Minister for Culture Ken Skates that local museums across Wales are custodians of our nation’s most iconic and fragile heritage, and we need to do all we can to protect these institutions for the benefit of current and future generations.
I have voiced my support for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’s campaign to eradicate cervical cancer in the UK.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the UK’s only charity dedicated to women, their families and friends affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. The charity raises awareness about how cervical cancer can be prevented, campaigns for the best care and treatment and provides support for those affected.
Every day in the UK eight women are given a diagnosis of cervical cancer and three women lose their lives to this largely preventable disease. The UK has a cervical screening programme that saves approximately 5,000 lives a year. However, over 22% of women still do not attend their cervical screening when invited, with greater variances amongst older and younger women.
It is worrying that the number of women attending screening is at its lowest since 1998 and we are seeing increasing numbers of those diagnosed with cervical cancer. As a result, raising public awareness of cervical cancer prevention must be a priority.
I have stressed the need for ‘urgent action’ by all relevant parties in response to the crisis in the steel industry.
Jessica Morden and I met with workers at Llanwern yesterday, and the Tata sale has caused a great deal of anxiety about the future of Llanwern and Orb. Jessica and I have written to the UK Government to ask for assurances that Llanwern and Orb are fully included in any UK Government plans to protect the steel industry. I have written to Edwina Hart AM to ask for the same assurances from the Welsh Government, and intend to raise this issue with the First Minister when the Assembly is recalled next week.
I have also voiced my support for a petition calling on David Cameron to recall parliament in response to the crisis. The petition has already garnered over 110,000 signatures. David Cameron is resisting the recall of MPs, but we need the voice of the public to make him think again. We must do whatever it takes to save this strategically vital industry which lies at the heart of British manufacturing.
The petition can be signed online at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/126128
I have hailed the success of the Welsh Government’s homelessness strategy amid growing criticism of rising numbers of families being made homeless in England.
Research from Shelter shows a 33% rise in homelessness levels in England since 2010, with a 6% year-on-year rise in total number of households in England accepted as homeless during 2015; including an 8% rise in homeless households with dependent children.
Meanwhile in Wales – where Welsh Government legislation places a legal requirement on councils to provide support to those who are homeless or at risk of losing their home – there has been a 67% fall in the rate of homelessness since the introduction of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of homelessness charity Crisis, has urged UK Government Ministers to follow the ‘considerable success’ of policies in Wales which ‘could show the way forward for England’.
I believe the Welsh Labour Government has led the way in legislation to prevent homelessness, and the Conservative UK Government should re-think its strategy as a matter of urgency.
I have welcomed a new financial boost for road safety and active travel programmes in Monmouthshire. The Welsh Government has provided the local authority with £300,000 for the delivery of walking and cycling schemes across the county, and an additional £60,000 for road safety education and training projects.
I hope to see my constituents in Caldicot, Rogiet, Magor and Undy benefitting from this funding.