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News From Westminster- By Michelle Donelan MP- Keynote speaker on plastic

It has been a busy start to September with events and visits across the constituency. 

 Regular readers of this column will be aware of my concern around the volume of plastic waste being produced in the UK, so it was a delight to be one of the keynote speakers at the recent ‘Greener Bradford’ environment and climate forum. 

This was a fantastic community event which brought together charities, local councillors, religious groups, businesses and schools to discuss the issues facing our climate and solutions which we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint and the amount of waste we produce. The issues of climate change and plastic pollution can only be effectively tackled if we all work together and so i was pleased all sections of the community took part. It was particularly interesting to hear a Bishop from South Sudan talk of the environmental challenges from the perspective of a less economically developed country than our own and I certainly have many ideas to take back to Westminster.

I have been contacted recently by schoolchildren from across the constituency concerned with the issue of plastic pollution and so it was a pleasure to conduct the first of a series of school forums on the issue of plastic waste. I was impressed with the positive and innovative approach our youngest generation have towards tackling this issue and preserving our beautiful countryside, wildlife and environment for their future and generations to come. I pledged when first elected to visit every school in the constituency as it is vital as MPs that we are accessible to all residents and not just those of voting age. With environmental concerns top of many younger people’s agenda, I look forward to the many more forums I have booked in this year.

As we celebrate the centenary of the first women to get the vote this year it was a honour to be photographed and take part in the 209 women project, profiling all women who have taken seats in the House of Commons. I had the pleasure of working with Rosemary Despres, a recently graduated photographer who took some beautiful pictures in and around the constituency. I was delighted to be paired with Rosemary for the project and to be able to support her as she grows her portfolio and business and I hope to get the opportunity to work with her again in the future.

 In Parliament I was delighted this month to see two Bills which I have spoken passionately in favour of become law, laws which I believe will make a significant difference to hundreds of workers and their families in the constituency. 

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 will guarantee that parents who lose a child have the time they need to grieve, something which constituents have told me in the past was dependent on the individual employer, something which will no longer be the case. The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 will ensure that those who work tirelessly to ensure that we are kept safe have rights and protection against assault and protect our valued local emergency services heroes.

 I am seeing an increase in demand for my ‘meet your MP’ events and the open surgeries I run. I have increased the number I am running throughout October and November to ensure there is an appointment slot for everyone, so if you would like to come and speak to me face to face on whether a national, local or personal issue you have, then please get in contact with me on 01249 704 465 or michelle.donelan.mp@ parliament.uk for the dates and times.

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