Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Caroline Spelman is brave to speak out.

Caroline Spelman is right to point out that Parliament is going back to the 19th Centuary in the article quoted here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10967149/Strict-expenses-rules-driving-Parliament-back-to-the-19th-century-former-minister-says.html

It is an unpopular thing to say, but the problems are no less severe in the Welsh Assembly.  When elected in 2011 as a lone parent, there were, and remain no policies in place that in any way recognised the position that I was in and the difficulties this caused for me personally. 

The way that things currently work in Wales, I dont believe a lone parent from North Wales, who did not have the support given to me by my family, could actually do the job.  If a child is of school age then it is not possible to move them to Cardiff for three days a week, and back to North Wales.  It is my view that standing for election should be open to all, and not just the wealthy few, and that we need a diversity of voices in the Assembly, including those of lone parents.

The failure of the remuneration board to deal with this issue is wrong, particularly when it means that the unelected board is in effect failing to consider the barriers for lone carers both in standing for election, and also once elected, from actually being able to do the job.

Needless to say I have tried to improve it for lone parents who might follow me, so far with  spectacular failure, although I might finally have prompted the paid commissioner for Equalities Sandy Mewies AM to put in a response to the next consultation, something she has spectacularly failed to do to date.