By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Questioning the First Minister, I noted that North Wales and Mersey continue to have the highest average energy costs in Great Britain, and asked him what discussions he has therefore had with Energy Regulator ‘Ofgem’.

Questioning the Social Justice Minister, I noted that one in 10 children in Wales are behind in language ability by age seven, and, for children living in poverty, this doubles to one in five; and that the Children's Commissioner for Wales has strongly criticised the Welsh Government's plans to tackle child poverty in Wales, stating they lacked ‘ambition, clarity and detail’; and asked her whether the Welsh Government will therefore commit to delivering ‘a coherent, robust child poverty strategy’ which ‘spells out what, how, where, when and who will actually deliver’?

I also noted that although wheelchair users In England have access to personal wheelchair budgets, NHS Wales does not offer this, and asked her what discussions she has had with the Health Minister about implementing a similar policy in Wales, and about practical action to reduce the waiting times for child wheelchair users in Wales.

Speaking during the Welsh Conservatives Debate on Mental Health, I noted that mental health charity Adferiad had told me we need to move away from Police Implementation to the ‘Right Care, Right Person’ operational model developed by Humberside Police, which changes the way the emergency services respond to calls involving concerns about mental health, and said that the Welsh Government should agree to introduce this in Wales.

I Chaired the Welsh Parliament Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee, and a meeting with the Iranian Academics Association, supporting their advocacy of the Iranian people's desire for a democratic republic.

Other Senedd engagements included Hospice Care Week, World Mental Health Day, Cross-Party Groups on Stroke and on Cancer, and Welsh Music Prize 2023,

Llay-based Charity ‘Your Space’ provides vital support for Autistic young people and those with related conditions, and their families, and I was delighted to speak at their 10th Birthday evening celebration in Rossett.

I was also pleased to speak at North Wales-based NWAMI’s International Integration Day Event.

Other North Wales engagements included a visit to Plas Madoc, Wrexham, to meet ‘We Are Plas Madoc’, the Building Communities Trust and AVOW, and discuss the need for their essential work to be supported; a visit to Coleg Cambria Yale, Wrexham, to discuss disabled student Inclusion; and online meetings with both North Wales Housing Associations and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

For my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.