By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Speaking in the Welsh Conservatives Debate on ‘GP Practices and Funding’, I said “GP Practices are not only a local lifeline for patients, but also alleviate pressures on Welsh Hospitals, saving costs for Health Boards”, and that it has therefore “been the worst kind of dumb Health economics to progressively cut their share of NHS Wales funding”.

I also referenced warnings by both BMA Cymru and the Royal College of General Practitioners over many years, first that Wales faced a GP crisis and then that they are seeing their fears borne out, and BMA Cymru’s ‘Save our Surgeries’ campaign now.

Questioning the First Minister, I asked how his Government will ensure Energy Security during the years of transition to a carbon-neutral future.

Although the First Minister stated there is a ‘presumption against new fossil- fuel-powered production in Wales’, this is not an ‘either/or’ choice.

Current levels of technology and infrastructure necessitate backup for intermittent renewable energy, which remains dependent upon fossil fuels, predominantly gas, to provide rapid response and balance demand, particularly when wind and solar outputs are low. Current battery technology provides a few hours backup at best.

Failure to plan for this risks leaving people cold, hungry, thirsty and vulnerable to life-threatening instability.

I also questioned the Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs about this the following day.

Having previously warned that legitimate, local self-catering businesses are being forced to close because of the Welsh Government’s ‘182-day rule’, I questioned the Cabinet Secretary for Finance after a new Wales Tourism Alliance survey found that 42% of over 1,500 self-catering businesses responding said they are either putting their property on the market, or considering it, with the likelihood that they will be purchased as second homes.

The Cabinet Secretary refused to review the policy.

Speaking and Chairing the second session at the Policy Forum for Wales Seminar, ‘Priorities for Housing in Wales’, I referred to sector warnings two decades ago that Wales faced an affordable Housing supply crisis, quoted the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru’s recent statement that “We are in the midst of a housing crisis”, and stated only a whole Housing sector approach can deliver the housing that people need.

Meetings included the ALN Reform Wales campaign, to discuss their Petition calling for reform of the Welsh Government’s “Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Code for Wales 2021”, the Cross-party Group on Children in Our Care, and Chairing the Welsh Parliament’s Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee.

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