By Lesley Griffiths

MS for Wrexham

One of the major national stories this past week has been the revelation there are significant issues with a specific type of concrete in schools and educational settings.

Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) is a material used in the construction of many public buildings between the 1960s and 1990s, predating devolution. Research has shown this material has a far lower structural loading capacity than other generic reinforced concrete products.

UK Governments have worked together on RAAC issues since 2018. However, over the summer, concerns over RAAC intensified. Unfortunately, the UK Government only informed the Welsh Government of the new evidence on 3 September, just as the new school term was starting.

Although the problems appear more widespread in England, two schools on Anglesey temporarily closed last week to allow additional safety inspections to take place.

Further urgent work is underway to verify the position across Wales and review of the latest information held by local authorities. The Welsh Government expects to have the results within the next week.

The safety and welfare of students and staff in Wrexham and throughout Wales is the most important thing and I will monitor the situation and update constituents as soon as I can.

I’m pleased the Welsh Government has confirmed it will extend the NHS Wales Bursary scheme until at least 2025.

Student nurses, midwives and allied healthcare professionals who commit to working in Wales up to two years after qualifying are eligible for the bursary.

The support is non-repayable and covers tuition fees in full, as well as living costs – which is particularly important amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Medical and Dentistry students who usually live in Wales will be able to access the full amount of maintenance loan in their Bursary years regardless of where they study in the UK.

By continuing to fund the bursary scheme, the Welsh Labour Government is demonstrating its ongoing commitment to training the next generation of nurses and midwives, helping safeguard the future of the NHS.

As always, if you’re a constituent in Wrexham and there is something I could help you with, please do not hesitate to contact me via email: or call 01978 355743. You can also keep up to date by following me on Twitter and Facebook, just search @lesley4wrexham.