Gerald Jones is the Labour Member of Parliament for the Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney constituency.
Whilst Christmas this year will look different to what it normally would, I hope that people will have an opportunity to enjoy some festive downtime, sparing a thought for those who will be working through the holidays such as those in emergency services, retail and many across the public sector. With a vaccine on the horizon, we can have real hope that 2021 will be a much better year that this one. Happy Christmas.
Statutory Sick Pay: calling for more support for those self-isolating with Covid-19 urgently
Statutory Sick Pay simply is not enough for people to live on, with the Health Secretary Matt Hancock himself even admitting it back in March.
Paid at a rate of £95.85 per week, it leaves millions of workers in our area and right across the UK simply unable to afford self-isolation, and in DWP Questions last week I urged the UK Government to bring forward further support for those self-isolating now, so that nobody is forced to make the impossible choice between following the rules or putting food on the table.
Spending Review 2020: urging the Chancellor to finally deliver promised flood recovery funding for Wales
Last week during the Chancellor’s 2020 Spending Review, I asked him when the UK Government will finally deliver the funding the Prime Minister promised in February to respond to damage caused by flooding in our area and across Wales as a result of Storm Dennis.
It’s now been nine months since the Prime Minister guaranteed the funding our communities desperately need would be passported through to Wales, and our local authorities have yet to receive a single penny of this support.
The Chancellor’s response was predictably disappointing, and I and my colleagues will continue to push the Government on this going forward – this issue is not going away.
Fochriw Shop and Post Office
I’m continuing to work on residents’ behalf with Caerphilly County Borough Council on the future of the shop, Post Office and cash machine in Fochriw. The overwhelming response to my survey over the summer has shown just how important these local facilities are to the village and wider area.
The council is hoping to redevelop the flats at The Grove, which could mean the building being renovated or demolished and rebuilt – which would mean the shop may have to be relocated. I’m holding a socially distanced meeting with council representatives this week to look at possible alternative options. As always, I’ll keep residents updated on developments.
Remembrance Day 2020: remembering those who have fallen
This year’s Remembrance Sunday was unlike any other. While we were unable to commemorate the occasion as we normally would, it was uplifting to see people from across our communities coming together virtually and in spirit to remember all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we all enjoy today.
I joined Dawn Bowden MS and colleagues to attend cenotaphs across the constituency to lay a wreath and pay my respects – remaining socially distanced – and remember our Armed Forces men and women, their families and all our veterans.
- Bid to change flats development branded a “disgrace”
- 18-year-old dealer who advertised drugs on Snapchat jailed
- Savings pot will be a “godsend” for council
- Stricter rules to be put in place in supermarkets
- Negative Covid test needed before travelling to Wales
- Transport for Wales to reduce services due to coronavirus
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