BY Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Speaking in our Opposition Debate on Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, I said “It is more than regrettable that successive Health Ministers, term after term, have failed to address serious issues regarding the Health Board that I and others have raised with them on behalf of constituents”.

I noted that after the Health Board attended the Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee on 9th March, I wrote as Committee Chair to their Chief Executive and Chairman regarding Members’ concerns, and that our letter included “Overall, there appeared to be no firm action plan for securing the improvements required within the Health Board, no sense of the scale of the problems, or urgency to address these” and, in terms of Mental Health Services, “many of these areas of concern remain unaddressed, despite recommendations and conclusions made in various reports over the past decade…..We are also concerned about the ongoing presence of executives and managers at the Health Board who were implicated in the conclusions of these reports and about their ability to deliver the internal change required”.

The Labour Welsh Government rejected our motion.

I called for a Welsh Government Statement after the Wrexham-Bidston Rail Users' Association said that Transport for Wales ‘appears incapable’ of providing passengers with a reliable service and that most of the long-promised service improvements have yet to be realised.

Questioning the Social Justice Minister, I called on her to ensure that the £25 million of Consequential Funding flowing to the Welsh Government from the UK Government’s extension to the Household Support Fund is “targeted in its entirety at households hardest hit by the cost-of-living increases”; asked how the Welsh Government intends to work with the health sector to achieve the Cold Weather Resilience Plan’s aims and establish referral networks between health professionals and advice providers; and asked how the location near Swansea of the new Residential Women’s Centre in Wales will help women offenders in North, Mid and West Wales.

Engagements included meeting pupils and staff from Ysgol Owen Jones in Northop during their Senedd visit; a meeting of the Cross-Party Group for Funerals and Bereavement, at which I was re-elected as Chair; Asthma + Lung UK Cymru; trying out an E-bike with Sustrans Cymru; NFU Cymru’s ‘Celebration of Welsh Food & Farming’; Carers Week event; and meeting NHBC to discuss housing in Wales.

As Wales Species Champion for the Curlew, I also paid another visit to the Curlew Life Project in Conwy County.

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