By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

I met with the Wales Co-operative Centre online to discuss continued working together to support social enterprises and co-operative models, how the Centre can best contribute to the agenda in North Wales, and the re-launch of the Senedd’s Cross Party Group for Co-operatives and Mutuals. We also discussed proposals in the Welsh Conservative manifesto to establish a social enterprise in every Welsh secondary school and to launch a Community Ownership Fund.

As Wales Species Champion for the Curlew I attended an online meeting with Gylfinir Cymru/Curlew Wales to discuss plans for the launch of ‘A Wales Action Plan for the Recovery of Curlew’. The 'State of Birds in Wales' report 2018 indicated that “more than three quarters of the Welsh Curlew population has disappeared over the last 25 years, with no hint of this trend levelling out”. The UK regularly hosts up to one quarter of the global Curlew breeding population and the Curlew is now considered the most pressing bird conservation priority throughout the UK.

I had an online meeting with The charity ‘Genetic Alliance UK’, which works to improve the lives of patients and families affected by genetic, rare and undiagnosed conditions, to discuss the re-establishment of the Cross Party Group on Rare, Genetic and Undiagnosed Conditions in the new (6th) Senedd.

During an online meeting with the CTA/Community Transport Association we caught up on the sector and some of its work in North Wales. CTA support and represent the 100 community transport organisations in Wales, whose staff and volunteers help people to stay independent, participate in their communities and access vital services. With Covid-19 generating a big decrease in journeys, the sector in Wales provided different types of support, including deliveries, befriending and transport to vaccinations. They want to be part of the recovery, but, with revenue down, they need support to deliver key services which reduce resource pressure on health and social services.

I also met up online with Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation Wales to catch up on matters including delivery of a Clean Air Act; smoking cessation; how the pandemic has underlined several diagnostic, treatment, and care concerns; and the establishment of a Cross Party Group on Lung Health for Wales for this 6th Senedd term.

Other engagements included being interviewed online by a Year 12 student studying at Deeside Sixth, answering questions about environmental plans in North Wales, post-Brexit environmental laws, and the ecological plans of different political Parties.

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