November 2012 VALERIE PRESSES GOVERNMENT ON ADOPTION INEQUALITY AT PMQs
At Prime Minister’s Questions Valerie raised the issue of equal rights between adoptive parents and parents whose children are born to them. The Deputy Prime Minister responded on behalf of the Prime Minister, who was abroad. Valerie said: “My Ten-Minute Rule Bill in the previous Session called for equalising statutory rights for leave, pay and allowances between adoptive parents and parents whose children are born to them. That can be done by regulations, so will the Deputy Prime Minister ask a Minister or two to meet me to eliminate that unfairness?” The Deputy Prime Minister responded by paying tribute to Valerie on her campaign for equal rights for adoptive parents and indicating his support for Valerie’s proposals. He suggested that the Government would make an announcement on the issue shortly.
WOMEN ON THE BREADLINE Valerie said: “The Women on the Breadline event was organised jointly by the TUC and the Walsall Women’s Forum. I was pleased to speak with a group of women about politics. The women present also had the opportunity to take part in workshops on a variety of issues, seek legal and welfare advice and take part in training opportunities.”
QUESTIONS IN PARLIAMENT This month Valerie questioned Ministers on a range of topics. At Questions to the Leader of the House, Valerie asked why the West Midlands Ambulance Service has had to rely on assistance from St John’s Ambulance and what can be done to have a Pelican Crossing installed on Darlaston Road. The Leader of the House said he would ask his Ministerial colleagues to look at these matters. During a Statement on Health, Valerie asked whether NHS underspends would be retained or returned to the Treasury. The Secretary of State responded that the Government aims to avoid NHS underspends. LIFESAVING SKILLS As part of a Backbench Business Debate, Valerie spoke on the importance of educating children on life-saving skills in schools. Valerie said: “It is crucial that life saving skills are taught in schools. Knowledge of just a few crucial tech- niques can be the difference be- tween life and death for someone suffering cardiac arrest or seriously injured in an accident. I want the Government to make lifesaving skills part of the school curriculum.”
BRAINNAV LAUNCH The West Midlands Launch of the BrainNav online tool for people with brain injuries and their families was attended by Valerie. To visit BrainNav, Valerie said: “BrainNav shows that organisations with a range of expertise can come together and develop services that can improve people’s lives significantly.”
NEW ART GALLERY SUNDAY SUCCESS Valerie said: “I am delighted that the return of Sunday openings has boosted the New Art Gallery’s visitor numbers by 1,400 in a month and that the Gallery expects this figure to reach 20,000 in a year.” “This is exactly what I and the people of Walsall wanted. I made several representations to Walsall MBC, collected an online e-petition and raised the matter with Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey MP. I am pleased that so many families are visiting the Gallery.”
NOOR INAYAT KHAN This month Valerie attended the unveiling by the Princess Royal of a memorial to Noor Inayat Khan. Valerie said: “I became involved in this project when I was elected in 2010. I tabled Early Day Motion 109 which received cross party support. I then wrote to the Vice-Chancellor at the University of London, of which I am an alumna, to request permission for a commemorative memorial to be placed in Gordon Square near to Noor’s London home. Vice-Chancellor Graeme Davies agreed and after his retirement Vice-Chancellor Geoffrey Crossick honoured that commitment.” “The beautiful sculpture by Karen Newman was well received by the guests. It is right that Noor has now been honoured for her extraordinary bravery during the Second World War. She worked as a radio operator in occupied France and was eventually captured and tortured by the Nazis. Despite this she remained silent until her execution at the age of 30.”