Thanks for reading my November 2022 newsletter. It’s a bit later
than usual as this weekend was Small Business Saturday so I wanted to
wait to send it out until today so I could include information about
As the Conservative cost-of-living crisis continues, I know that many
households across Cardiff Central are finding coping with utility
bills, food shopping and debt management more and more difficult.
I want to make it as easy as possible for residents to access any help
you may be entitled to, so I’ve put together a cost-of-living advice
hub. This includes links to support for gas, electricity and water
bills, and any benefits or discounts you may be entitled to – and
some links to support agencies who will be able to provide tailored
advice and assist you if needed.
Cost-of-Living Advice Hub
IN CARDIFF CENTRAL
A LIVING WAGE CITY
It was great to see the Living Wage flag flying above Cardiff Castle
earlier this month to celebrate the news that Cardiff has retained its
status as a Living Wage city. This is thanks in part to Cardiff Labour
Council’s successful Living Wage accreditation scheme which pays
small local businesses accreditation fees for the first three years.
Around 67,500 people work for an accredited Living Wage employer and
over 11,000 of those have had a pay rise to the real Living Wage, the
second highest number of uplifts of any UK city just behind Edinburgh.
Cardiff University has calculated that since 2012 almost £50 million
more has gone into the Cardiff economy as a result of these uplifts.
Cardiff Labour Council has set an ambitious new 3 year target for 300
accredited Living Wage employers in Cardiff, employing over 95,000
You can find out more about the scheme here
BUS STATION UPDATE
It's great news that Cardiff Bus Interchange will be open to the
public in Summer 2023.
The Interchange will include 14 bus bays, a number of retail units,
public toilets and refreshment points for passengers.
The new centralised facility will promote the use of public transport
and enable seamless connections to and between different transport
modes, including rail, walking and cycling, within the city and across
the wider South Wales region.
Find out more here
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
This weekend saw the 10th annual Small Business Saturday. Throughout
the year, I visit and meet with small business owners across Cardiff
Central but in my role as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, I also
do the same throughout Wales.
Small businesses are a critical part of our economy and our
communities; they are the heart of our high streets and our local
employers. They create 16 million jobs across the UK and represent 99%
of the business population.
If you own or run a business in Cardiff Central, I’d love to visit
you and hear your views about what you would like to see from a UK
Labour government. Email me at [email protected]
THE BOY WITH TWO HEARTS
It was a really proud moment to attend the first night of the National
Theatre production of The Boy With Two Hearts at London’s Southbank
and meet Hamed Amiri, whose story the play tells, based on his book
about his incredible journey, with his mum, dad and two brothers, from
Afghanistan to Cardiff. The story is a race against time to save his
brother, Hussein, who has a serious heart condition.
It was a real privilege to meet and get to know Hamed, a past pupil of
Cathays High School. Cardiff Central features heavily in the play,
which premiered at the Wales Millennium Centre. Hamed regularly goes
back to Cathays High School and inspires the students there. He
certainly inspired me.
BUTE PARK COMMUNITY ORCHARD
Earlier this month, volunteers came together to plant the first of
many trees which will make up Bute Park's Community Orchard.
Following the devastating vandalism of Bute Park's trees in 2021, I am
proud to have given my support to community campaigners to make this
I have now confirmed my surgery dates for December. These are an
opportunity for any resident living in Cardiff Central to come and
chat to me about any issue you might need assistance with or, to ask
any question you have about my work in Parliament and here, on your
You can see my full plan of surgeries dates online using the link
below – please call my office on 029 2132 9736 – or email me at
to make an appointment.
• Friday 9th December - Adamsdown
• Friday 16th December - Plasnewydd
The main event this month was the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. We
haven’t just had Boris Johnson’s 2 years of sleaze, corruption and
lies and Liz Truss’s 12 weeks of chaos, the current economic
situation is a result of 12 years of Conservative government
Labour set out two tests for the government – will they make fairer
choices, and will they grow the economy? They have failed on both and
households and businesses across the country are paying the price.
After Rishi Sunak boasted over the summer that he had moved money from
deprived areas to wealthy ones and we know that his own family avoided
paying tax in the UK, he then instructed he Chancellor to increase
taxes for every other family.
It’s astonishing that after 24 different tax rises this parliament,
the Tories continue to protect their vested interests by shielding
from a proper windfall tax, the excessive profits of fossil fuel
giants, cutting taxes for banks and cancelling the cap on investment
The Tories have no plan to tackle inflation and the cost of living. As
well as the record tax burden, living standards will be worse at the
end of this parliament than at the start.
Labour knows that there are fairer choices to make, and that what our
country needs is a serious long-term plan to get our economy growing
again – powered by the talent and effort of millions of working
people and thousands of businesses.
We’ll invest for the country’s long-term needs, through our Green
Prosperity Plan and National Wealth Fund. As well as creating new jobs
and driving up skills, we will build energy security and resilience at
the same time as tackling the climate emergency and aiming for
completely clean electricity by 2030.
We will abolish non-dom tax status, using the proceeds to train more
healthcare professionals for the NHS and by abolishing the charitable
status of private schools and closing their tax loopholes, there will
be more money to give every child the brilliant state education they
You can read more about Labour's Industrial Stragegy here
RISHI SUNAK'S GRUBBY DEAL TO GET INTO NUMBER 10
Rishi Sunak’s decision to reappoint Suella Braverman as Home
Secretary, just six days after she admitted to breaching the
Ministerial Code and undermining security procedures was totally
irresponsible and reckless.
Security is too important for a grubby political deal which puts
personal ambition before the country. Labour challenged the Prime
Minister with a binding vote in the Commons to reveal whether he was
warned about these breaches of security and why he disregarded
security advice when re-appointing her.
Conservative MPs voted it down.
REFORM OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS
As the Tories continue to stuff the House of Lords full of their
donors and cronies, Labour has published its plans to reform the House
of Lords. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown chaired a Commission on
the future of the UK and his report, includes proposals for giving
powers to towns, cities, regions and nations as well as setting out
the reform of the House of Lords. Mark Drakeford, Carwyn Jones and
former Secretary of Stare for Wales, Baron Murphy of Torfaen were
involved in producing the Commission report and I was pleased to work
with them and Gordon Brown on the final recommendations for Wales.
Keir Starmer commissioned this report because we want to see power
pushed closer to people and standards in politics driven up – the
start of showing how politics can once again be a force for good and
the whole of the UK can become a fairer, greener, more dynamic
Find out more here
PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed members of the House
of Commons and House of Lords in the Royal Gallery in Parliament. It
was a very grand occasion and happened before news of the allegations
of corruption broke this week.
WELCOMING COLUMBIAN SENATORS TO PARLIAMENT
Regular newsletter readers will know of my longstanding interest in
Colombia and I was lucky enough this month to meet a delegation of
Colombian Senators who were visiting Parliament before heading to
Belfast to learn more about the success of the Good Friday Agreement
We discussed the programme of President Petro’s new government, the
Colombian Peace Agreement implementation, human rights, tackling the
climate crisis and strengthening UK and Colombian ties.
This month’s Welsh Questions were the first for my new government
Serving in government under his third Prime Minister since September,
the Conservative Welsh Secretary has the dubious honour of collective
responsibility for all the dreadful decisions made.
With families across Wales facing a 7% fall in living standards, I
asked the Secretary of State which of the 24 tax rises he had opposed.
The truth is, he supported every single one of them.
Wales and the UK cannot afford the Tories. It is time for a UK Labour
Government which will spend wisely and tax fairly.
You can watch my contributions here.
MARKING REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY
I was honoured to lay a wreath at the Remembrance and Peace Garden at
Airbus, Broughton during a Remembrance Day service with
representatives of our armed forces and Airbus staff.
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