I’m really enjoying being invited to more and more activities in my constituency as local organisations are returning to holding events as we recover from the pandemic. Last Saturday, I had the great pleasure of going to Urmston library to present medals and certificates to young readers who’d completed the summer reading challenge by reading at least six books over the summer holidays (that’s definitely more than I managed!). This year’s theme was ‘Wild World Heroes’, and the children told me about the books they’d read about the plants and animals on our planet. As a special treat, Trafford Libraries staff had arranged for the marvellous Zoolab to bring along some of their animals for the children to meet –including Gary the snail, Rosie the tarantula and Millie the millipede. We all had a fantastic time.
On Sunday – albeit one year late, thanks to covid – Trafford marked the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, remembering the brave RAF pilots who saved our country from disaster in 1940, with many losing their lives in order that we can live in safety and peace today. This is always a moving ceremony, and while I was very sorry we couldn’t hold it last year, the event last Sunday was very special. The pride and dignity of the young servicemen and women on parade were very impressive.
Back in parliament this week, the rising cost of living and pressure on families has been a running theme. Problems in supply chains leading to supermarket shortages and food price rises, failures in the energy market and the collapse of energy companies, the impending cut to universal credit, and the imminent end of furlough make this a worrying time for many in my constituency. The Conservatives’ lack of empathy with what people are going through, and their complacency about how their own failures have brought us to this point, are shocking. It’s all very well for Boris Johnson to go to Washington and New York to talk about the importance of tackling the climate emergency, but his failure to invest in decarbonisation and green energy sources are part of the problems we face today.
I know that the climate challenge is of deep importance to many of my constituents, and I’ve been very appreciative of the canaries which have been sent to me by the ladies of Urmston WI, which they’ve knitted in recognition of the canaries which were taken into coalmines to act as an early warning of polluted air. With the so-called COP26 meeting in Glasgow, when world leaders will discuss the commitments they’ll make to protect our planet for future generations, only weeks away, the canaries couldn’t be a more timely reminder. I pledge to do all I can to press the government to go further and faster to tackle the climate emergency and to lead the world in making bold commitments at COP26. Nothing could be more important.