We were joined by Donna Ockenden, author of the sobering Ockenden Report, and other expert guest speakers to drive forward an agenda for change in maternity care. Turnout for the meeting was brilliant, showing widespread support both in Parliament and from across the country for reforming maternity services and making Britain the safest place in the world to have a baby.
Also last week, 17,500 low-income households in Hartlepool received an initial payment of £365 to help with the rising cost of living. This is one of several cost-of-living payments that will provide at least £1,200 to the eight million lowest-income households by Christmas.
But we are not just helping those on the lowest incomes. We understand that these are exceptionally difficult times for everyone, and our £37bn cost-of-living support package reflects that. If you are unsure what support you are entitled to, contact my office at [email protected]
On Friday, I spoke in support of three very important Private Members’ Bills in the House of Commons. First up was the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill, backed by the Government, which will ensure that mums and dads in Hartlepool and across the country receive even more support when their baby is admitted to a neonatal care unit after birth.
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No parent should feel forced back into the workplace when their baby is still in hospital, and making this a reality was a key pledge of our 2019 manifesto. I am delighted that the first steps are now being taken.
I then spoke in favour of the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill, also backed by the Government, which will make it a legal requirement for all tips paid to hospitality businesses to be passed on to employees and divided fairly.
I know that our small businesses in Hartlepool are already doing this, and it was great to mention some of our fabulous hospitality venues.
Next up was the Shark Fins Bill, which will shore up the UK’s reputation as a world leader in environmental sustainability and animal welfare. Shark finning is a vile and cruel practice, rightly outlawed in the UK, and we must now work with our global partners to ensure that other countries follow where we lead.