By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Questioning the First Minister, I referred to a Flintshire-based charity providing professional high-quality mental health support and recovery in the community, which told me that School leaders they have spoken to in Flintshire ‘are facing a significant increase in the numbers of young people in their care presenting with Mental Health issues and concerns’, and asked him to respond to the charity’s call for the Welsh Government to ensure that Estyn and other regulatory bodies are fit for post-pandemic purposes, with an emphasis on the well-being and welfare of pandemic-affected pupils and staff.

Questioning the Minister for Social Justice as Shadow Minister for Social Justice, I noted that I am working with National Energy Action (NEA) Cymru to re-establish the Cross-Party Group on Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency in the sixth Senedd. I also referred to the connection between fuel poverty and health, asking what specific year-round Cold Weather Resilience planning the Welsh Government is undertaking to address this, and to the increased energy price cap set by energy regulator Ofgem, asking how she will respond to NEA Cymru’s call on the Welsh Government “to expand the financial support available to assist those struggling to meet growing energy bills; as well as longer term investment in home energy efficiency, prioritising the poorest households in the least efficient homes”.

Responding to the ‘Update on the Metro’ Statement by the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, I noted that the North Wales Growth Deal began as a UK Government offer, that the Welsh Government signed Heads of Terms with the UK Government, and that the UK Government must therefore be involved in the ‘North Wales Metro’; and that many of the ‘North Wales Metro’ proposals predated its announcement by the Welsh Government.

Speaking in the Debate on ‘An Employee Ownership Bill’, I stated that I was proud to work in the mutual sector for more than two decades, but warned that unless mutuals and co-operatives make a surplus, they won't thrive and survive, and that a surplus is dependent upon customer service, competitiveness and financial prudence.

Senedd engagements included Chairing the Cross-Party Group on Deaf Issues.

I also visited the excellent Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Backford to learn more about their future plans and discuss the essential support they provide for patients in Deeside, and had an online Meeting with Industrie Cartarie Tronchetti (ICT) Group, to discuss their proposals for a new Paper Mill at the Northern Gateway, Deeside.

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