Letter From Westminster 7th February 2020

This week is Apprenticeship Week which is a great opportunity to celebrate training providers like the YMCA, who I am a parliamentary champion for. I hosted their annual reception and met both apprentices and employers, hearing about how the YMCA works to improve their chances in life in both education and work.

On which subject, this constituency is brilliantly served by some great 6th Form colleges, like Barton Peveril and Peter Symonds. I was elected this week as a Vice Chair of the APPG for Sixth Form Education. This APPG provides an opportunity for cross party working to support our colleges and to improve our education system. Slightly earlier on in the education journey I met pupils from both Wellow and Awbridge primary schools on Wednesday when they visited Parliament. I was impressed with their probing questions and desire to learn more about how Parliament works..

Fifty years on from the Equal Pay Act 1970, I spoke at a Fawcett Society event on how we can make equal pay fit for the 21st century. The Government has done excellent work in introducing mandatory pay reporting for companies with 250 employers or more. We must build on this progress and ensure nobody is discriminated against in the workplace. As the Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee it is my job to scrutinise how well the Government Equalities Office is doing, and I look forward to working with The Fawcett Society over the coming years.

Finally this week, I will be marshalling the ‘LOVE’ run which is being held to protest against the proposed plans for a massive incinerator between Longparish and Barton Stacey. This run is designed to show how many villages in the constituency will be negatively impacted by the incinerator. I hope we see a good turnout on this run and fingers crossed the weather isn’t as terrible as forecast.

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