Summer Adjournment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:00 pm on 25th July 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Madeleine Moon Madeleine Moon Chair, Defence Sub-Committee 3:00 pm, 25th July 2019

People who have watched this House during this Session might think that all we do is talk about Brexit, but we have also been addressing the absolute disaster that universal credit is proving to be and the devastating effect it has had on too many families. We have also been very engaged with the issue of many seriously ill people receiving the wrong personal independence payment assessments. Many of these people are terminally ill and some have got zero points at assessment. I am still battling against failed assessments and it is totally unacceptable. My Access to Welfare (Terminal Illness Definition) Bill has not been able to move forward because we have not had ongoing sitting Fridays. That is really frustrating.

Another issue we face is that of the bereavement benefits lost by children and their parent when the person they lost was not married to the child’s mother or father. It is absolutely shocking. We were promised that that would be resolved, but we are still waiting. There is also the matter of child trust funds, some 2,700 of which are dormant in my Bridgend constituency, with claimants who did not even know they had a trust fund waiting for money that could change their life. What are we going to do to make that possible?

The devastation of Brexit has led to the closure of the Ford plant in my constituency, with the loss of 1,700 jobs there and 12,000 job losses at Ford across Europe. I am not involved in the meetings between Westminster Ministers and Welsh Assembly Ministers, yet it is to me that people come to know what is happening. Can we have access to the relevant people for my constituents and those of my colleagues in the south Wales region whose families are terribly worried about their future? Those who work in small and medium-sized enterprises are also devastated. We need to know what is going on, with regular feedback.

Earlier today, the Leader of the House talked about the important role the Foreign Office plays in protecting British citizens when they are abroad. My constituent John Tossell left his hotel on 17 June wearing a T-shirt, shorts and open-toed sandals, with €10 in his pocket. He disappeared. He was last seen going for a swim near the Windmill hotel in Argassi on the island of Zante. Can anyone who is going to Argassi on holiday please look out for this man? Will they look at their holiday photographs and let his family know if they have seen him? Also, will the Foreign and Commonwealth Office agree to keep the family aware of what is happening in the investigation throughout the summer?

Bridgend is a great place with great people, great hospitality and the best further education college in the United Kingdom. If anyone is wandering into Wales, I suggest they visit Porthcawl, where we have sea, sun, surfing, sandcastles, strolling on the prom and probably the best Italian ice cream in the whole of Wales. Our lifeboat, which is one of the busiest in the UK, keeps people safe in the water; hon. Members would be amazed at how many people on this island nation have no understanding of the risks of going into the sea. Our National Coastwatch Institution is absolutely superb. It is possible to walk from Newton bay down the River Ogmore, along a local nature reserve and right around the coast to the site of special scientific interest at Kenfig. It is an amazing opportunity to visit Wales and see the wonderful life that we are determined to protect and to ensure remains a part of the European Union. I will certainly be doing my best, when the House comes back, to ensure that that continues.

We all have to thank all the staff of the House—especially the catering staff who keep us going, the Doorkeepers who keep us informed and the security staff who keep us safe, but also the guides who show our visitors around the place. I also want to thank my staff, both in my Bridgend office and my Westminster office, because none of us would get through the volume of work without them.