Monday began another busy week with Oral Questions to the Secretary of State for the Department of Levelling Up. I highlighted recent analysis which showed the negative impact that inflation is having on funds allocated for levelling up and asked how this might affect complex bids and funding opportunities for projects such as Shawfield, in my constituency. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
Wednesday began with questions to the Secretary of State for Scotland following the Supreme Court Decision regarding a second Scottish referendum. Here I asked how the UK Government plan to work with the Scottish Government going forward to ensure that the voices of the Scottish people are heard, particularly given the impact that decisions made in Westminster have on Scottish citizens. You can read a transcript of my contribution here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
This was followed by a Westminster Hall debate about Social Security Support for children, where I made several interventions. Firstly, to draw attention to the number of working families that have needed to use food bank services in the last six months and to ask if a lack of support is transferring the burden from the Government to charitable organisations. Then, to address the need for the Government to urgently review the requirement for long term support, given that the majority of the measures announced in the Autumn Statement were short term. I also highlighted that even with the energy cap, many families will be spending a significant portion of their budget on energy this Christmas and the need for a review of all support for families, rather than just single benefit changes. And finally, to point out the additional financial challenges faced by lone parents raising their families. You can watch the entire debate here on ParliamentTv.
Thursday kicked off with Business Question to the Speaker of the House. I took the opportunity to draw attention to the Rutherglen and Cambuslang “Give a Gift of Joy” campaign, organised by the Healthy n’ Happy community trust in my constituency. I asked the Leader of the House to join me in thanking the trust and asked for a debate to be scheduled to discuss the pressures faced by families this Christmas. You can read a transcript of my comment here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
This was followed by a Commons debate on the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Here I made several interventions, beginning with raising concerns about how to ensure that equality duties in the public sector don’t just become a box ticking exercise. Then to draw attention to the ongoing issue of taxi drivers turning away those with sight loss who travel with guide dogs and how all Governments across the UK should work together to tackle this. And finally, to ask for some priority time within the Governments legislative programme to address the issues faced by disabled communities, rather than relying on the introduction of Private Members’ Bills to create these important policies. You can read a transcript of my interventions here, here and here in Hansard, or you can watch here, here and here on ParliamentTv
On Friday, I took part in a debate for the second reading of the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill and gave a speech to show my support and highlight the positive impact that banning such a practice can have on wildlife populations, local communities and tourism. You can read a transcript of my speech in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.