By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Challenging the First Minister over the huge sums of taxpayers’ money that the Labour Welsh Government has spent, and continues to spend, on Communications Campaigns, I referred to the £1.6m allocated to promoting “selective evidence” about its 20mph default speed limit policy.

I called on the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, who is responsible for Transport policy in Wales, to respond to Arriva Bus’s statement that they “do not want to change services” in North Wales, but are being forced to do so because of the 20mph default speed limit. These bus services are a lifeline for many and everything must be done to protect them.

Questioning the Health Minister, I referred to challenges relating to the recruitment and retention of Speech and Language Therapy staff in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists has been calling for an increase in the commissioning number for Speech and Language Therapists in Wales in 2024-25, and better workforce planning for the profession in Wales as part of an Allied Health Professional workforce plan. They stated last year that their ‘membership data reveals that there are fewer speech and language therapists per head of the population in Wales than in any other part of the UK’.

In the Debate on ‘Child Poverty and Educational Attainment’, I noted that 28 per cent of children in Wales are living in poverty, that child poverty in Wales had reached the highest level of any UK nation in 2008, at 32%, and that Welsh schools suffer a wider disadvantage gap than English schools. I called on the Welsh Government to take a series of actions, including “to tackle the economic underperformance which is driving child poverty in Wales”.

I spoke at and sponsored a Senedd event with The Migraine Trust, ‘People with migraine deserve better!’, and attended both the Less Survivable Cancers Awareness Day event and the Wales YFC (Young Farmers' Clubs) Impact Report launch.

I also met Breast Cancer Now (Wales); Calor; and Energy company RWE, for an update on their proposed Gaerwen Wind Farm south-west of Corwen and north-east of Bala; and visited Ysgol Pen Coch in Flint, the Primary Special School for disabled children in Flintshire, for a “round table” meeting with Governors, the Headteacher, other MSs, Flintshire County Council Officers and Health Board representatives, to open discussions on how cross-agency collaboration can create a robust support programme for children and families with special needs living across Flintshire.

For my help, email or call 0300 200 7219