By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Responding to the Statement by the Social Justice Minister on the Welsh Government’s new Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy, I emphasised the need for the strategy to be financially sustainable and raised concerns over the lack of clarity about how true collaboration and accountability across sectors and society will work.

Having earlier raised the need for Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programmes with the First Minister, I also questioned the Social Justice Minister over Perpetrator Programmes, including pre-custodial programmes, and asked how she will “engage, for example, with North Wales Police’s domestic abuse perpetrator programme, ADAPT”.

As Chair of the Welsh Parliament’s Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee, I made a formal Statement in the Senedd to place on the public record the Committee’s concerns that the Welsh Government have missed the statutory deadline for their 2020-21 Annual Accounts and “ensure that the wider Senedd is aware of the issue”.

I stressed that we anticipate these to be a more complex set of Accounts, with several important issues, and said that as a Committee “we will not rush or be pressurised into curtailing our scrutiny once the Accounts have been published”.

Questioning the Finance Minister, I warned that Welsh Government plans for taxes on legitimate self-catering accommodation businesses will hit women hardest, quoting a survey by the Wales Tourism Alliance, UK Hospitality Cymru and the Professional Association of Self Caterers UK on the Welsh Government's proposals and how they affect women and/or unpaid carers, to which 83 per cent of respondents were women. This found that 94 per cent would find it difficult or challenging to run their self-catering accommodation business if the proposed increases in the number of nights required to be available to rent and to be actually let come into force. In most cases, women are the driving force in these businesses.

Engagements included Chairing the Welsh Parliament’s Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee , Marie Curie and MNDA “Don't let the plan run out for dying people in Wales” event, Parkinson’s UK Cymru event, Cancer Research UK's Annual Senedd Reception, and the 'Campaign for a National Poetry Library for Wales' event.

I also Chaired a meeting of the Cross-Party Group for North Wales, visited Richards, Moorehead and Laing Ltd, Planning, Landscape Design, Ecology and Environmental Consultancy, at their Ruthin office, and attended a Link International and Haven of Light BBQ for Ukrainian families now living in Conwy and other North Wales Counties.

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