Emma Reynolds, Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East, has been appointed as a member of the House of Commons’ cross-party Health Select Committee. Emma said, “I am delighted to join the Health Select Committee. The NHS is a major priority for people in Wolverhampton, and New Cross is one of the largest hospitals in the region. I know people are concerned by rising A&E waiting times and other issues.

“The Committee plays an important role in holding the government to account on the NHS and other public health issues. In my new role, I will have an opportunity to represent my constituents’ views when questioning Ministers and NHS officials.

“The Select Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into childhood obesity. This is an important issue for Wolverhampton. Obesity is a growing problem amongst children in our city. Over 12% and 26% of children in Reception and Year 6 are obese, while 70% of people aged 16 and over in Wolverhampton are estimated to be either overweight or obese. These figures are all well above the national average.

“I will keep an open mind as to what can be done to best tackle the rise in obesity. However, it is vital that the government encourages people to cut down on their sugar intake and eat healthier foods. Obesity is linked to other health problems such as Type-2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The government should therefore look closely at a sugar tax. David Cameron is wrong to have ruled this out despite evidence that such a tax is backed by the majority of the public.

“I will also take the government to task over its mismanagement of the NHS. My role on the Health Select Committee will enable me to hold the government to account and call for improvements to be made to the National Health Service so that the needs of patients always come first.”

October 2015