Loneliness Strategy

Part of EU Exit Negotiations – in the House of Commons at 6:13 pm on 15th October 2018.

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Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons) 6:13 pm, 15th October 2018

I know I am shrinking, Mr Speaker, but not quite at that rate.

I thank the Minister most sincerely for her statement. I had only served in this House for six weeks with Jo when she was taken from us, but we had been friends for the preceding three years, when I was a candidate up until I lost in 2015. When I was selected for my constituency, she sent me a text saying, “Better late than never, mate.” In the six weeks as a new Member in which I served with her, there was either a text, a WhatsApp message or a written note asking whether I was okay, so Jo really did practise what she preached.

The Welsh Government are responsible for the loneliness strategy in Wales. The Minister will be aware that the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 requires public bodies to look at issues around loneliness as part of wider public service delivery. Given the extra money that she has announced today, will there be any Barnett consequentials in the form of additional funding for the devolved Administrations?

Finally, if I may beg your indulgence, Mr Speaker, will the Minister join me in paying tribute to the connecting the elderly group in Llanharan that supports pensioners around the Pencoed, Llanharan, Bryncae and Llanharry communities by providing afternoon teas free of charge for up to 20 residents every single month to try to improve their community spirit and get them out of the house?