Ruth Cadbury Makes Her Maiden Speech In House Of Commons

Wide-ranging speech outlining the issues she will work on in the constituency

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Newly-elected MP for Brentford & Isleworth, Ruth Cadbury, has made her Maiden Speech in the House of Commons in which she said that her forebears in the Cadbury chocolate family, famous for its work on social issues, would be shocked to see the steady erosion of the welfare state over the past five years.

Ruth Cadbury

Watched by her family, she gave a wide-ranging speech to the Chamber outlining the main issues she would be working on in her constituency, ranging from inequalities in income and health, to housing and the current situation with A& E services and Heathrow Airport.

She also described the economic and cultural diversity of the area, the pleasure she gets from kayaking down the Thames and she praised the work of her prececessor, Mary Macleod.

She referred to her family, the Cadbury chocolate dynasty which was recognised for its work for social values, instilled through the Quaker faith, and said her forebears would be shocked to see the steady erosion of the welfare state which had taken place over the past five years.

"The Cadburys of the first half of the 20th century knew that we could not expect working people to be productive, healthy and fulfilled unless the whole person and their family are supported with good pay, good training, decent housing and adequate welfare support. They recognised that for the businesses to maintain their prosperity, their employees needed security too. They provided these services for their staff but they also advocated that the state should provide these, for universal health and social services—the hallmark of a civilised society. They provided for their employees until the foundation of the welfare state and the NHS following the success of the Attlee Government in 1945.

"My forebears would therefore be shocked to see the steady erosion of that welfare state over the past five years. They would be asking why there was nothing in the Gracious Speech about increasing the supply of adequate affordable housing, about reducing child poverty or about ensuring that local authorities have adequate funding to provide good quality social care and public health services sufficient for the needs of their communities."

read the full speech

Ruth Cadbury recently resigned as a councillor for the Brentford ward of Hounslow Council. A by-election will follow in July in the ward in which Labour took all three seats comfortably last time.

Last week, she was sworn in as a Member of Parliament

June 3, 2015

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December 25, 2015