By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

The Counsel General’s responsibilities include provision of legal advice to the Welsh Government. Speaking in Spokesperson’s Questions to him, I highlighted calls for Public Inquiries in several areas and asked what advice he will be providing accordingly.

I referred to calls for North Wales' Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to be the subject of a Public Inquiry after 28 "prevention of future deaths reports" were recorded over a 16-month period, more than the combined number handed to the other six Welsh Health Boards.

I also referred to the Institute for Fiscal Studies ‘Major challenges for Education in Wales’ Report, which not only found that Wales’ latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results were the worst on record and significantly below those seen across the rest of the UK, but also concluded that this was likely to reflect Welsh Government policy and approach. I spoke of the Welsh Conservatives’ motion the following day, calling on the Welsh Government to commission an independent review into its current educational reforms.

Lastly, I spoke of the poor experiences of the health and social care system reported by parents of Autistic children and said that in Flintshire this has resulted in calls for an independent Public Inquiry into the standards of practice in the County Council.

In the Short Debate on ‘Primary care and the Preventative Agenda', I noted that audiology patients continue to face substantial delays and called for a fully-fledged primary care audiology service in Wales providing treatment in the community.

Engagements included Chairing a meeting of the Welsh Parliament Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee; Carers Wales Celebration of the Implementation of the UK Carer’s Leave Act, introduced on 6th April 2024; Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water Welsh Conservative Group Briefing; a meeting with the Head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Wales and the EHRC Policy and Parliamentary Affairs Manager Wales; and a visit to Rydal Penrhos School in Colwyn Bay.

I also attended a meeting of the Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister, where I questioned him on any impact on Tata Steel Shotton of Tata Steel’s announcement that it will proceed with its £1.25 billion investment to build an electric arc furnace in Port Talbot and commence closure of Port Talbot’s two blast furnaces.

I am delighted my proposed British Sign Language (BSL) (Wales) Bill has won the Member Bill Ballot. This can now be debated in the Senedd, seeking Members’ agreement to introduce this Bill.

For my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.