By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Speaking in the Opposition Debate on the Winter Fuel Support Scheme, in which I called for changes to the scheme to be made before Autumn to ensure the payment reaches as many eligible households as possible, I stressed that the Welsh Government would not have been able to increase its scheme without the consequential funding provided by the UK Government.

I also called on the Welsh Government to widen the eligibility of the payment to reach more low-income households, and to launch a public awareness campaign to boost uptake.

Questioning the Social Justice Minister, I also asked what action the Welsh Government is considering for the scheme’s next round to help tenants who have their gas and electric included in their rent, who are likely to have missed out in the scheme’s last round.

Responding to the Counsel General’s Statement on the new Historic Environment (Wales) Bill, I asked him to ensure that in consolidating Wales’ Historic Environment Legislation, the “often confused, complex and vital Historic record is retained and clarified”.

I also questioned him over the Law Commission's finding that “The (devolved) tribunals service should be operationally independent from the Welsh Government”; and over the Welsh Government’s position on membership of the EU Single Market, stating “Speaking here last week, the First Minister extolled the virtues of Wales and the UK being inside the Single Market, although he appeared to back-pedal on this yesterday”.

As Chair of the Senedd’s Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee, I Chaired a meeting of the Committee, met the Chief Executive of the Association for Project Management (APM) to explore how they can help our work scrutinising programme and project management within the Welsh Parliament and Government, and met the Chair and Members of the Public Accounts Committee of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan in Pakistan during their Senedd visit.

I also Chaired the Cross-Party Group on Hospices and Palliative Care, at which I was re-elected as Chair, attended a Nuclear Industry Association event, and, as Wales Species Champion for the Curlew, joined a meeting of Gylfinir Cymru /Curlew Wales.

Other engagements included a call with TCC (Together Creating Communities), an alliance of groups from across North-East Wales, to discuss the need for more Changing Places Toilets; an online update on Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board with the Minister for Health and Social Services; a visit to Mold JobCentre Plus; and the Mayor of Wrexham’s Civic Service at St Giles Parish Church.

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