By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Taking part in the ‘Remembrance’ Debate in the Senedd, I noted that 2023 marks 70 years since the Korean War ended, 60 years since National Service officially ended and 75 years since arrival of people from the Caribbean on the Empire Windrush, many themselves Veterans of the Second World War.

I also referred to the Royal British Legion’s ‘Credit their Service’ Campaign, calling for an end to the treatment of military compensation as income across welfare benefit means tests, and to the Armed Forces Covenant Duty in the devolved fields of healthcare, education and housing.

Responding to the Statement by the Minister for Social Justice, ‘Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV) Annual Report 2022-23’, I said Welsh Women’s Aid “strongly believe that the Renting Homes (Wales) Act may break the Welsh VAWDASV refuge system”, with concerns raised “on issues such as safeguarding risk, complexity of residents ‘tenancy status’ and additional administration burden on refuge provision, which are already dealing with high demand”.

I also highlighted the identified challenges in the ability of domestic abuse and sexual violence victims and survivors in Wales to access counselling support, and the poor support in Wales for perpetrators to change behaviour.

Questioning the Finance Minister, I noted that although the UK Government has announced funding from existing budgets to help flooded households in England recover from Storm Babet, the Welsh Government hasn't announced any equivalent funding for Wales.

Referring to flooded communities in Flintshire, I then asked the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales what discussions she has had with the Climate Change Minister regarding how timely and promptly the Welsh Government will respond to Council bids for Flood Alleviation Schemes, and the sufficiency of funding for them.

Senedd engagements included Disability Wales’ report 'Barely Surviving: The Impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis on Disabled People in Wales', Natural Resources Wales 'Flooding' Drop-in, Cross-Party Group on Faith, Qualifications Wales, Social Care Wales, and Books Council of Wales.

I also Chaired the Cross-Party Group for North Wales; visited Rhosnesni High School for a question-and-answer session with students taking part in charity Leonard Cheshire's ‘My Voice, My Choice’ project, on matters concerning young disabled people; visited Wrexham University for a catch-up with Vice Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar; attended an Eat Game Event hosted by Rossett-based British Association for Shooting and Conservation; visited Llangollen Railway; and took part in the Annual Service of Remembrance at the R.W.F. Memorial, Wrexham, where I laid a wreath.

For my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.