By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Questioning the Social Justice Minister in the week of International Day of Disabled People (December 3rd) , I said despite legislation being in place to ensure disabled people can access the support and services they need, “I continue to receive a never-ending stream of constituent casework, particularly involving certain Public Bodies which repeatedly feign ignorance of all of this legislation, telling people what they can or cannot have and focusing on interventions based on behaviour, not what is driving that behaviour, rather than asking people are they in pain and what do they want to achieve.”

I also criticised the “Welsh Government's reactive response to the needs of disabled people in the first several months of the pandemic” and called on the Minister to ensure such a response is never seen again.

Speaking in the Opposition Debate on Household Debt, I quoted from the Bevan Foundation’s Report ‘Debt in the Pandemic’ which states “Thousands of people across Wales were living in problem debt long before the pandemic”.

I called for the Welsh Government to work with public bodies, including schools and colleges, to explore measures to prevent problem debt, and to take immediate action to tackle fuel poverty, expressing concern that there is still not a Cold Weather Plan in place in Wales.

Questioning the Health Minister, I highlighted issues with the Welsh Covid vaccine phone line after being contacted by a frustrated constituent who may not be able to travel to France as planned because she has been unable to change the date for her Covid Booster jab despite several attempts.

She told me “I am going around in circles with the Welsh Covid vaccine line, please can you help. It takes hours to get through and then no one is able to change it…?”

In her response the Minister said that the Welsh Government advice is “don’t travel abroad” and that the constituent will therefore “have to remain in line”.

Following my visit to Denbighshire Music Co-operative last month, speaking in the Business Statement I referred to the quality music tuition they are providing in the Denbighshire and Wrexham areas and highlighted their concerns that the National Music Service being developed by the Welsh Government could take their service back in-house.

Engagements included a meeting to discuss research showing the gap between demand and capacity for ADHD services in Wales, ‘World AIDS Day’ Senedd Reception and Chairing the Welsh Parliament’s Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee,

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