Robert’s Weekly Column – 20th June 2019

This week I had the pleasure of returning to Lydiard Park Academy, one of our excellent local secondary schools. Although I discussed many things with the students, one of the key points of discussion was climate change and environmental issues. I was extremely pleased that earlier this week, the Prime Minister announced that the UK will eradicate its net contribution to climate change by 2050. She committed the UK to achieving ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions, leaving the environment in a better state for the next generation. This will make us the first major economy in the world to legislate to end our contribution to global warming.

The commitment also attracted international praise – architect of the Paris climate agreement Laurence Tubiana hailed it is ‘historic’, and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on all countries to follow our example.

On top of this, Michael Gove announced that the Government’s next steps in protecting England’s precious marine environment with a review to examine whether Highly Protected Marine Areas could be introduced. On top of this he welcomed new legislation coming into force that will prevent those who attack or injure service animals from claiming their actions were in self-defence. This is wonderful news that will finally see our amazing service animals, including police dogs and horses, had protection in law.

I was very pleased to hear that the he Hidden Disabilities Lanyard has been agreed for use at almost every GP surgery in Swindon. The lanyard, which is entirely voluntary for people with hidden disabilities and their families, acts as a discreet sign for staff that additional support or help may be required. Please keep an eye out for it – it’s green with sunflowers all over it. Great Western Hospital is set to be the first NHS provider in the country to pilot the scheme.  You, or your child, can obtain it at the Atrium Reception, if you wish.

In other news, Swindon and North Wilshire Deaf Children’s Society are looking for volunteers. This amazing group was established by parents who have children with a hearing loss over 25 years ago. It is still run by volunteer parents today.

Swindon and North Wiltshire Deaf Children’s Society organise fun events, provide a great network of families, hold fund raisers and offer information and support, to children who are deaf or have a hearing loss and their families in the Swindon & North Wiltshire area through our free membership scheme. ​

If you are interested in supporting this hard-working local group, please get in touch with them via their website.