By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Closing the Welsh Conservatives Debate on Homelessness, I referred to the record levels of rough-sleepers and those in temporary accommodation in Wales, noting that the Labour Welsh Government cut the Housing Support Grant, ignoring the sector's warnings, creating a mismatch between the goal to end homelessness and the availability of services to support this, piling greater costs on statutory providers and perpetuating a revolving door of homelessness.

But even if this wasn't the case, the homes just aren't there, with almost 200,000 people on social housing waiting lists. By 2010 the Welsh Government had by far the lowest proportional level of housing expenditure of any of the four UK countries. Only 4,556 new dwellings were started in Wales last year, down 19 per cent. The Welsh Government's only housing target is 20,000 new social homes for rent over five years, but fewer than 1,200 of these were completed last year.

Speaking on scheduled monuments at risk, I highlighted the Enbarr Foundation’s work rescuing for community benefit the Grade II-listed John Summers Clock Tower site and Registered Gardens at the old Steelworks in Deeside, yet “despite concerns being raised with Flintshire County Council, the Welsh Government and Cadw, the landlord has been allowed to rip the site apart”.

I called for Welsh Government Statements on road safety for horses and riders in Wales, and on ‘Support for the Iranian People in their Struggle for a Secular and Democratic Republic’ after Chairing a meeting in the Senedd with the Iranian Academics Association earlier this month. A majority of MSs had supported a Statement which included: 'We stand in solidarity with the people of Iran in their desire for a secular and democratic republic'.

During the Debate on the Children’s Commissioner for Wales’ Annual Report, I highlighted concern that Autistic pupils are being denied Individual Development Plans because they're bright and mask well, despite the needs they still have.

Speaking on World Menopause Day 2023, I welcomed signature by all Further Education Colleges in Wales of the Menopause Workplace Pledge.

I had a catch-up meeting with ‘Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru’ ahead of Chairing Wednesday’s joint meeting of the Cross-Party Group for Hospices & Palliative Care and the Cross-Party Group for Funerals & Bereavement.

Other engagements included Leukaemia Care UK, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Retailers Charitable Giving, and Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

North Wales engagements included the Official Opening of ‘Wicked Wales International Youth Film Festival 2023’.

For my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.