My colleague, Louise Haigh MP, secured a much needed debate in Parliament on the fall in life expectancy across the UK. I was able to use this debate to once again tell some hard truths to the Government minister in attendance.
Child poverty in some wards in Delyn is now reaching 50%. Child mortality is also rising across the UK. Action is needed now to stem the tide of growing poverty. If not this Government will have created a lost generation.
The Inspector of Probation gets paid in excess of £140,000 a year. For that she is expected to evaluate the Government’s performance and handling of the probation services. An important job as this is vital in ensuring that ex-offenders are rehabilitated and do not commit crimes again.
I recently discovered that Dame Glenys Stacey, HM Inspector of Probation, is now working two jobs: one for the Ministry of Justice in her current role and the other advising Michael Gove MP in DEFRA. I was informed by the Departments involved that Dame Glenys will be giving up 2 days a week in her role as Inspector and still receive the same pay and conditions.
I was shocked at the responses I got to my questions, as were the whole of the Justice Committee. It is clearly wrong that someone undertaking such an important job is now only working on it 3 days a week. Even the minister, when pressed later on by myself, agreed that this was not the best situation to be in.
As part of my role as Chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Modern Slavery Project I brought together members of Commonwealth parliaments and key stakeholders in the battle against modern slavery. In particular the deeply concerning use of bogus orphanages to syphon money and resources away from the needy.
The meeting was arranged to coincide with the Commonwealth heads of government in London.
An estimated 8 million children live in orphanages and other institutions across the world. More than 80 years of research has demonstrated that children raised in institutions are more likely to suffer life-long physical and psychological harm and experience dramatically reduced life chances.
Over 80 percent of children in institutions are not ‘orphans’ and have at least one living parent. Poverty, disability, and marginalization tear children from their families. Institutions often promise food, shelter and education – yet these promises are rarely delivered. There is a growing body of evidence highlighting how many children are being exploited: trafficked in and out of institutions, becoming victims of modern slavery. Read more “Modern Slavery: Orphanages”
I am supporting ‘The Daily Mile’ campaign being run in partnership between ITV and INEOS.
The Daily Mile is a simple and free initiative that gives children the opportunity to get out of the classroom for fifteen minutes every day to run or jog with their classmates. Academic research that has been undertaken has revealed significant results, with children becoming fitter, healthier and more able to concentrate in the classroom. ‘The Daily Mile’ was first introduced by a headteacher at St Ninians Primary School in Scotland.
A dedicated call centre for teachers and parents has been set up to provide information about the initiative and how they might get involved. Teachers and parents can also find out further details on The Daily Mile website where they can sign up to join the initiative www.thedailymile.co.uk.
‘The Daily Mile’ is encouraging all schools to sign up to this scheme. It already has the formal backing of the Welsh Government.
Physical health is important and I know that schools in Flintshire are working hard to ensure that all children grow up happy and healthy. ‘The Daily Mile’ is an excellent initiative which allows children get to out and active.
I hope that headteachers in Delyn will adopt this scheme and get in contact with ‘The Daily Mile’ to show their support. The Welsh Government have led the way in giving this scheme their backing. I want to work with my colleagues in Westminster to ensure that every child in the UK has access to this scheme and that teachers have the support they need to implement it.