By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

During Friday’s Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Covid Briefing for our region’s Conservative MSs and MPs, we heard that there had been 1,184 reported cases of Omicron in North Wales as at December 30th 2021, mainly impacting on people of working age but starting to move into the over 60s, with updated North Wales figures due which were expected to reflect the subsequent doubling of positive cases across Wales.

I raised a number of issues on behalf of constituents, including ambulance waits outside hospitals and access to lateral flow tests at chemists and distribution centres.

I met online with eating disorder charity ‘Beat’ for an update on their work in Wales and the report they are planning to publish this month examining what progress has been made by the Welsh Government in achieving the recommendations set out in the 2018 Eating Disorder Service Review. Beat played a key role in this Review and have been calling for the full implementation of its recommendations since it was published by the Welsh Government in September 2019.

The First Minister failed to offer pre-briefings to the Welsh Conservative Official Opposition before announcing the outcome of his latest Review of Coronavirus Restrictions. Speaking ahead of the announcement, Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies highlighted the need to financially support the businesses hurt by the latest restrictions and said “It would be foolish to say that the pandemic has gone away and that we do not need any restrictions” but “any limits on our society and economy must constantly be proven to be necessary and evidence should be produced as a matter of course, rather than dragged out of Ministers as we had to do last time”.

As a Mentor under the ‘Equal Power Equal Voice’ cross-equalities mentoring programme to increase diverse representation in public and political life in Wales, I recorded a video talking about my role as a Senedd Member and work on Disability Rights with the ‘Equal Power Equal Voice’ Project Officer for Disability Wales.

Other engagements included being interviewed for ‘EU Rights and Brexit Hub’ research about the work of the Welsh Government and Welsh Parliament on EU citizens’ rights after Brexit. This is a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funded research project investigating obstacles to justice for EU and EEA nationals throughout the UK. UKRI is sponsored by the UK Government.

I was also interviewed by a Masters Student conducting research on criminal justice and devolution in Wales.

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