Putting Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney at the heart of Parliament
I was first elected to represent Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney in Parliament on May 7th 2015 and was subsequently re-elected in the snap General Election on 8th June 2017.
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney is my home, I’ve lived here all my life. Being raised in the village of New Tredegar where I still live to this day, I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else. I believe strongly that wherever you go in the world, you still won’t get a warmer welcome than Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney.
I’m a passionate advocate of these Valleys; we live in the beating heart of Wales. Since the constituency elected Keir Hardie over 100 years ago our constituency has been at the centre of British Politics. We’ve led the debate for better wage, we were the first people across the world to raise the red flag of social justice, and our representatives have included two leaders of the Labour party as well as the Minister responsible for founding the NHS. We have been at the forefront of building a better Britain.
In my time as MP, I've tried to fairly represent our communities and values, putting them at the forefront of the British political debate as my predecessors have done. As a Labour representative I've put the values of fairness and justice at the heart of everything I do. I promise to stand up and speak out for equality of opportunity, and for all the people across the constituency. I
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Putting Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney at the heart of Parliament I was first elected to represent Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney in Parliament on May 7th 2015 and was subsequently re-elected in the snap...
Since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, there have been fewer avenues for small and medium sized community groups and charities to apply for funding. 8 years of Tory-led austerity has left many community groups and charities starved of investment and lacking capital to expand and maintain their ongoing work.
With this in mind, the Labour representatives for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney hosted a Funding Information Event in Merthyr Town Football Club today where local charities and community groups were be able to meet and see what the funding organisations could offer them.
Funders included the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Big Lottery Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund as well as many others. The event gave community groups a chance to speak to funders individually, so they could discuss individual funding applications and concerns.
Gerald Jones MP said:
“It’s really important that small community groups can get access to funding, so we’re keen to try and provide local groups with different avenues for funding.
“This is the third Funding Information Event Dawn Bowden AM and I have organised, and the previous events were well attended and received very positive feedback, so it was important to us that we offered community groups and charities another opportunity to engage with funders. We’ve also invited a few new funders this year so that groups have more options when looking for funding”.
Dawn Bowden AM said:
“I know from meeting community groups from around the constituency that people are always looking for advice and ideas about fresh funding opportunities. This Information Event is a good way to bring people together and to see the opportunities that exist.
“I am really happy to be working alongside Gerald Jones to make sure we help as many people as possible to try and find the funds they need.”
Since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, there have been fewer avenues for small and medium sized community groups and charities to apply for funding. 8 years of Tory-led...
On Monday, I questioned the Defence Secretary on the Future Accommodation model:
Gerald Jones MP: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The affordability of the future accommodation model relies heavily on the present rent adjustment on the Annington Homes estate. As we know, that is due to be renegotiated for 2021, with expectations that rents will rise significantly. The Tories were warned in 1996 that the sell-off of married quarters was a mistake, and that is exactly hot it has transpired. What urgent steps has the Department taken to ensure that the rent renegotiation does not further cripple the MOD budget?
Tobias Ellwood MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence): The hon. Gentleman raises a number of matters. I agree with that there is a question mark over what happened in the past, but it did happen, and we now need to move forward to provide the necessary offering for our armed forces personnel. As I mentioned, we are working with the families federations to ensure that we get the deal necessary to make accommodation affordable for our troops.
On Monday, I questioned the Defence Secretary on the Future Accommodation model: Gerald Jones MP: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The affordability of the future accommodation model relies heavily on the present...
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney MP, Gerald Jones, is backing a life-saving appeal from Cancer Research UK for more NHS cancer staff.
He attended a special event in Westminster recently to launch the charity’s new campaign - ‘Shoulder to Shoulder Against Cancer’.
It encourages everyone to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS by calling on the UK Government to tackle the chronic shortage of staff who diagnose and treat the disease.
For 70 years the NHS has been at the forefront of fighting cancer, but with a growing and ageing population cancer services are struggling to cope with the increased number of diagnoses.
This means more staff are urgently needed to keep up with the demand for life-saving tests and treatments, yet already 1 in 10 NHS diagnostic posts are unfilled.
To help save more lives, Cancer Research UK is now urging the UK Government to commit to training and employing more NHS staff to diagnose and treat cancer earlier.
Gerald Jones MP said: “More people are surviving cancer than ever before, thanks to the fantastic work of the NHS staff who turn breakthroughs in research into vital tests and treatments.
“But as the health service reaches its 70th birthday, it’s facing unprecedented challenges.
“Every year, around 1,800 people are diagnosed with cancer in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney. With this number set to rise, it’s vital that we have an NHS which is fit to deliver world-class care for all cancer patients now and in the future.
“That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s call to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against cancer, so that everyone has the best possible chance of surviving this devastating disease.”
To speed up and improve cancer diagnosis and treatment investment is needed in key professions, including radiographers and radiologists who carry out and interpret scans such as MRIs, endoscopists who look inside the body by inserting a tiny camera and pathologists who look for abnormal cells, as well as oncologists (cancer specialists), nurses and surgeons.
Shaun Walsh, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re grateful to Gerald Jones MP for his support. It’s up to all of us to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against the disease.
“Without increased investment in NHS staff, we could see the death toll from cancer rising. But by acting right now and investing in the early diagnostic workforce, we could help prevent a crisis in the future and save many more lives.
“Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer. It’s our ambition for this to be 3 in 4 by 2034. That’s why we hope MPs, patients and the public get behind this vitally important campaign to help make our cancer services among the best in the world.”
To take action visit cruk.org/shouldertoshoulder or join the conversation on twitter #ShouldertoShoulder.
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney MP, Gerald Jones, is backing a life-saving appeal from Cancer Research UK for more NHS cancer staff. He attended a special event in Westminster recently to...
Gerald Jones has welcomed the launch of the consultation by Britain’s rail companies, working with independent passenger watchdog Transport Focus, for customers, businesses, passenger groups, employees and the public to have their say about what the fares system should look like.
The consultation follows a survey of rail customers carried out by KPMG on behalf of the rail industry. The report finds that in Wales only 35% of customers are very confident that they have the best value rail ticket.
Fare regulations have remained largely unchanged since they were first introduced in 1995 and assume that all customers will buy their ticket by visiting a ticket office. Further layers of requirements have been added through individual franchise agreements, with little or nothing taken away.
This means that long-standing anomalies are becoming locked in, resulting in bigger problems for customers, and there are now around 55 million different fares. Regulations have also failed to keep pace with the rise of smartphone technology or how people work and travel today, with part-time working and self-employment having increased by over a third in 22 years.
Responding to the launch of the consultation Gerald Jones said:
“With 55 million different fares options, buying rail tickets can be a confusing process often leaving my constituents wondering if they’ve got value for money. It is great to see the rail industry grasping the nettle and tackling this issue head on. We need to ensure that customers have confidence that they are buying the tickets that are right for them, which is why I am encouraging my constituents to have their say in reforming the fares and ticketing system.”
Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said:
“This consultation will ensure the views of passengers, communities and businesses will be represented when we present our proposals to governments later this year. Reforming the rules about how tickets are sold and bought has the potential to transform the buying experience for customers, making it easier for people to be confident they are getting the right ticket. These reforms support what the industry is already doing to make improvements to fares alongside record investment in new train carriages, upgraded stations and extra services.”
Gerald Jones has welcomed the launch of the consultation by Britain’s rail companies, working with independent passenger watchdog Transport Focus, for customers, businesses, passenger groups, employees and the public to...
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney MP, Gerald Jones, recently attended an event hosted by The Wildlife Trusts in Parliament to show his support for the creation of a Nature Recovery Network. A well-designed network of places for nature which links ups green spaces and protected areas in our towns, cities and countryside would have positive benefits for both people and our wildlife.
Research across the globe shows that a healthy, wildlife-rich natural world is essential for our wellbeing and prosperity. But wildlife has been getting less and less common, on land and at sea, for decades. Wild places are scarcer, smaller and more isolated. There is also less nature and greenery in the places where we live and work. And not everyone has equal access to nature or the health benefits that research shows this brings.
To address these problems we need a new national effort to protect important places for wildlife, link up green spaces across our towns, cities and countryside and build nature into our daily lives. During the event, The Wildlife Trusts launched a new report Towards a wilder Britain – creating a Nature Recovery Network showing how this can be achieved. The idea of a Nature Recovery Network is set out in official plans for the environment over the next 25 Years and now needs to be progressed as a matter of urgency. With rules on planning and farming currently under review now is a key to time to take the necessary steps to build such a network.
Gerald Jones MP said: “I’m proud to support a Nature Recovery Network. We all enjoy being in wild places and we know that spending time in nature can make us happier and healthier. I support The Wildlife Trusts’ vision where contact with wildlife is part of our everyday lives and local communities can enjoy the benefits of an improved natural environment.”
Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts, says:
“Nature is valuable for its own sake and is the foundation of our society and of our economy. Yet our wildlife has declined over the years and urgently needs our support in order to recover. By building a Nature Recovery Network, supported by wildlife-friendly farming and planning policies, we will guarantee future generations the benefits that a nature-rich environment brings and they deserve.”
You can read a copy of Towards a wilder Britain – creating a Nature Recovery Network here.
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney MP, Gerald Jones, recently attended an event hosted by The Wildlife Trusts in Parliament to show his support for the creation of a Nature Recovery Network. ...
During the Business Statement today, I asked the Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons:
"The Department for Work and Pensionsrecently announced the closure of its offices inMerthyr Tydfil, which will have a massively serious impact on the town centre economy. That is also happening in other areas of Wales and theUK. Can we have a debate on the Government policy of removing jobs where more jobs are needed, not fewer, so that the Government can understand the implications of their actions for town centres such as the one in my constituency?"
In her response, Andrea Leadsom MP said:
"The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that many of the Government’s measures to consolidate the delivery of public services are to improve the service by focusing on better advice for people who are claiming benefits, looking for a job and so on. Much of that recasting of physical spaces is to improve the services. Nevertheless, he is right to raise the issue of a potential reduction in jobs. I am aware that the Government seek to redeploy people wherever possible right across the public sector, but he might want to raise the particular case in his constituency at Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy questions, which are soon after the recess."
During the Business Statement today, I asked the Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons: "The Department for Work and Pensionsrecently announced the closure of...
Earlier this morning during an Urgent Question debate on the closure of Marks and Spencer stores, I asked the Minister from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:
"As we know, the retail sector predominantly employs women. What can the Government do to support them during this process and to ensure that they are not disproportionately affected by the closures?"
Minister Claire Perry MP responded:
"The hon. Gentleman is right—retail is very much a female employment sector, often because women are working part time—but he and I should celebrate the fact that there are more women in work than at any time since records began and that the gender pay gap is at its lowest-ever level."
Earlier this morning during an Urgent Question debate on the closure of Marks and Spencer stores, I asked the Minister from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: "As...
Circuses are wholly unsuitable environments for wild animals, with repeated studies showing that circus life is likely to have a significantly harmful impact on the welfare of many types of animals1. An increasing number of countries have now introduced bans on the use of wild animals in circuses, leaving the UK lagging behind on this important issue of animal welfare2.
A total ban is long overdue and is supported by the public. With the existing regulations due to expire in January 2020, now is the time for the Government to take action to cement the UK’s position as a world leader in animal welfare3.
Gerald Jones MP said:
“I’m proud to support the RSPCA in campaigning to bring an end to the use of wild animals in circuses. We are a nation of animal lovers, so I find it shocking that this practice is still happening in the UK today.
“It is encouraging to see that the Welsh Labour Government are exploring their own legislation to outlaw this barbaric practice in Wales. It is high time for the Tory UK Government to follow the lead of Scottish and Welsh Governments and support the calls for a ban in England.”
Ros Clubb, Senior Scientific Manager for Captive Wild Animals, said:
“Wild animals do not belong in the circus. We continue to push the Westminster Government to bring in its manifesto promise to ban the outdated practice of using wild animals in circuses in England as we believe these animals cannot be cared for adequately within the current level of regulations. Circuses touring with wild animals need to be finally consigned to the history books. In 2018, there's simply no excuse for it.”
Circuses are wholly unsuitable environments for wild animals, with repeated studies showing that circus life is likely to have a significantly harmful impact on the welfare of many types of...
I have today received answers to the following Written Parliamentary Questions:
Gerald Jones MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of each branch of the armed services work at the National Cyber Security Centre.
Guto Bebb MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence): The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) was established in October 2016. Since then, the Ministry of Defence has developed a close collaborative relationship with the NCSC. Members of the Armed Forces are employed in a number of roles within the NCSC, but I am withholding further details as their disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Ministry of Defence.
Gerald Jones MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of each branch of the services are employed in the national offensive cyber programme.
Guto Bebb MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence): As a partnership between the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ, the National Offensive Cyber Programme is designed to harness the skills and talents of both organisations to deliver the tools, techniques and tradecraft required for the UK to establish a world-class offensive cyber capability. I am withholding specific information of the number of personnel from the armed forces employed in the programme as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Ministry of Defence.
I have today received answers to the following Written Parliamentary Questions: Gerald Jones MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of each branch of the armed services work...