Boundary commission proposals, designed to equalise the size of all Westminster constituencies, were published this week and have a particularly major impact on South Belfast, slicing and dicing it into four constituencies.
My overwhelming feelings this morning are still shock and anxiety, but despair is going to get us nowhere. I felt for days and months that this referendum wasn’t won but never really allowed myself think of the emotional consequences and real complexities – we warned about a carnival of reaction that would follow Brexit and the best we can do now is try to put some decent shape on what follows.
Nichola Mallon and I have proposed a costed increase in the basic free allowance of pre-school childcare from 12.5 hours to 20 hours per week, with a view to further increasing it to 30 hours – it makes sense economically and socially.
I’m delighted to have been elected to represent South Belfast and was overwhelmed at the First Preference vote I received, polling second in the highly competitive South Belfast race, and the support and goodwill of so many people.
I spoke in the Assembly this week on the second stage of the Employment Bill, which aims to strike the right balance between flexibility for employers and the protection of workers’ rights.