Madeleine Moon

Labour Candidate for Bridgend

This Week in Parliament 15th - 19th June

This_week_in_Parliament_heading.jpg15th - 19th June

This was another busy week in Parliament. A wide variety of business was discussed in the Commons and I attended events and meetings on a number of different issues. If there was one recurring theme to my engagements this week, it was the threat posed by climate change and the destruction of the natural environment.

MONDAY

On Monday I chaired the first meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Reserves and Cadets of this parliament. I am looking forward to promoting the extraordinary and essential work that they do for their country and within their local communities. On Monday June 29th I will have the pleasure of hosting a reception for Reservists, Employers, Cadet Forces adult instructors and cadets. This will be a great opportunity for volunteers to meet their MPs to discuss how they can support the Reserve and Cadet forces. 

I recently asked the Secretary of State for Defence, how many people were recruited to each reserve force in each nation and region of the UK in each month of the last two years. In 2012, the Tory-led Coalition argued that their drastic cuts to army funding and personnel would be mitigated by a greater reliance on reserve forces. The figures that the Minister supplied in answer to my question do not fully reassure me that the government is doing enough to expand reserve forces. This could have serious implications for our international security.

On Monday afternoon MPs were joined by the singer Lionel Richie, seated in the public gallery, to discuss to the new Scotland Bill. The Bill is now at the Committee Stage; members were considering amendments that had been put forward by their colleagues. The attempts of SNP MPs and the Tory grandee Sir Edward Leigh to guarantee full fiscal autonomy for Scotland was voted down. 

See the clip below from the speech delivered by the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Murray. 
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TUESDAY

On Tuesday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer  took questions from MPs in the Chamber. The Northern Irish MP Margaret Ritchie put pressure on the government over rumours in the press that they were preparing to break their promise on a fuel duty freeze. As you will see from the clip below, the minister's response was less than satisfactory.

Over the past couple of weeks I have received a good deal of mail about this issue. The Chancellor has been over-promising and under-delivering. In addition to promising to freeze fuel duty, the he has also announced a further freeze of income tax and national insurance. At a time when 
Public services in this country are under extraordinary pressure, we need a Chancellor who is frank about the scale of the challenge that we face and honest about the difficult choices that we have to make. Deceiving motorists and families for short-term party-political gain is no way to run an economy.

On Tuesday afternoon I met with the Citizens Advice Bureau to discuss the important work they do in the constituency. As the Conservative government renews its attempts to dismantle public services in this country, organisations such as Citizens Advice are essential sources of information and support in the local community. 

 

 
Me enjoying the Citizens Advice reception on Tuesday afternoon
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WEDNESDAY

A particular highlight of my week was meeting Mike Perkins and Robin and Janet Samuel at the climate change lobby in Parliament. The event was organised by the Climate Change Coalition, in anticipation of a series of important summits this autumn.

Man-made climate change is at the centre of so many of the world’s social and environmental challenges. The world faces a ‘perfect storm’ combining growing pressure on limited resources with ever-widening gender and economic inequality.  I want the government to commit to a low-carbon infrastructure plan and to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed in the upcoming summit in September are sufficiently ambitious to meet the challenge we are facing. Mike, Robin, Janet and I also call on the government to work to reduce global temperature rises to below 2% of the pre-industrial average. This will be the subject of a conference in Paris at the end of November.

On Wednesday afternoon I spoke at a Westminster Hall debate, organised by Graham Stuart MP, to discuss the government's failure to deliver its Personal Independence Payments scheme. The almost unbearable heartache, anxiety and expence that families have to endure as a consequence of this disease has recently been deepened and compounded by the appalling incompetence of the Department for Work and Pensions. In the coming weeks I will meet with the Minister for Disabled People to discuss at greater length the failure of his Department and what can be done to alleviate the suffering it has caused. See the clip below for the full debate.

On Wednesday evening I attended a Friends of the Earth reception to raise awareness about the plight of Britain's bee population. I have received a number of letters about this issue and it is a serious concern of my constituents. There are 26
0 species of bee in Britain, but 1 in 10 are now at risk from extinction. Due to the vital role that bees play in pollinating crops, their decline would have serious economic as well as environmental consequences.

Later on in the evening I also attended the RSPCA reception for the launch of a new animal welfare advice guide. A substantial proportion of the mail I receive from my constituents is concerned with animal rights and it is an issue that is close to my heart.

 
 
An easy tip to save the bees: be sure to leave part of your garden unmown this summer to allow wild-flowers to grow. I will be a beautiful sight in early summer and help to tackle the decline in the bee population.
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THURSDAY

On Thursday, the Speaker announced the list of newly elected Select Committee Chairs. After many hard-fought contests this was an eagerly anticipated moment and there was an excitable atmosphere in the Commons. See the link below for the full list of chairpersons. Having served on the Defence Select Committee I offer my warm congratulations to Julian Lewis who has been elected to the chair. I also welcome the election of Dr Sarah Wollaston MP to chair of the Health Select Committee. We share an interest in continence care and I hope that her committee will do more to address the issue under her guidance. I am also pleased to see Huw Irranca Davies, MP for Ogmore, elected to chair of the environment Select Committee. He brings a wealth of experience and energy to the role.

Following the Speaker's statement, the Leader of the House Chris Grayling delivered his weekly business statement. In the question time that followed Pete Wishart, the Nationalist MP for Perth and North-Perthshire, brought attention to the government's decision to end subsidies for onshore wind farms. This is a deeply regrettable decision that brings into question the government's commitment to tackling climate change.

 
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