By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

It is an honour to have been returned as a Member of the Senedd representing North Wales for a fifth consecutive term and I thank the 67,544 people across our region who voted Welsh Conservative on the 6th May, representing an increase of almost 50% on 2016. I also thank those who voted for me as my Party’s local candidate in Delyn, where our vote share increased by 9%.

Although the result across Wales means we now have our strongest ever Welsh Conservative team ready for action as the Official Opposition, including two new MSs for North Wales, Conwy County Council Leader Sam Rowlands for our region and Gareth Davies for the Vale of Clwyd, it is worrying that over half the electorate in Wales still did not vote at all.

Overall turnout in Wales was 20% below the 2019 UK General Election, suggesting that many still do not appreciate the amount of power the Welsh Government now has in key areas over which Westminster has no say in Wales, or the real problems after 22 years of continuous Labour Welsh Government.

Waiting lists in NHS Wales had doubled before coronavirus hit.

Wales still has the lowest prosperity amongst the UK nations, measured by the value of goods and services produced.

As Joseph Rowntree Foundation reported last year, Wales still “has lower pay for people in every sector than in the rest of the UK” and has retained the highest poverty rate of all the UK nations throughout devolution since 1999.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board languished in special measures for nearly six years, longer than any health board in the UK, and the Labour Welsh Government is the only Government in the UK to have ever reduced NHS spending in real terms.

As the Official Opposition, Welsh Conservatives will scrutinise and hold Ministers to account, but will also offer the hand of cooperation where possible to ensure Wales bounces back from the huge challenges we face as we move out of the pandemic.

Following the Welsh Government’s announcement that it is to trial 9 sport and mass gathering events in Wales, several concerned constituents in North Wales contacted me with comments such as “I’d like to ask why events have not been considered for North Wales”, and “What about Wrexham Football Club?”.

I have therefore written to the First Minister urging him to reconsider his decision and act on the concerns of people here in North Wales.

If you need my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.