BY Mark Isherwood

MP for North Wales

Questioning the First Minister, I noted that the Minister for Social Justice told me in September that the Welsh Government was on track to begin mobilisation of its new Warm Homes Programme this year and asked him when he now expects this to be implemented. He replied that he now expects this to be “by the end of this financial year”, which is April 5th, after winter is over.

Questioning the Minister for Climate Change, I emphasized that without urgent action on issues including afforestation, renewable energy infrastructure and Curlew conservation, and the suite of predators waiting to gobble up Curlew chicks, the Curlew will be gone as a breeding population in Wales within a decade. Curlew recovery would benefit around 70 species.

As Wales Species Champion for the Curlew, I also sponsored the Senedd event “The Conference Of The Birds – Great Auk and Curlew”, joining artist and animator Sean Harris and musician and composer Toby Hay to ask “How do we address the biodiversity crisis that threatens both us and our surroundings?”.

Questioning the Education Minister, I noted that the Welsh Government’s Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Code states that deaf children and young people, alongside those who are blind or sight impaired, ‘are more likely to have ALN by virtue of the fact the impairment is likely to prevent or hinder them from making use of educational or training facilities and is likely to call for Additional Learning Provision’, and therefore asked him to respond to the statement by National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) Cymru that this is not the case on the ground, due to the falling numbers of Teachers of the Deaf alongside the other issues with the roll-out of the Welsh Government’s ALN reforms.

I also met the National Association of Specialist Colleges (Natspec) to discuss concern that statutory guidance in the Welsh Government’s ALN Code will significantly disadvantage learners with complex ALN.

I Chaired meetings of the Senedd/Welsh Parliament Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee and of the Cross-Party Group on Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency (on National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day), and was re-elected as Chair of both the Cross-Party Autism Group and the Cross-Party Group for North Wales at their Annual General Meetings.

Other Senedd engagements included Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Asthma + Lung UK Cymru, Cancer Research UK and World AIDS Day 2023.

I also visited Charity ‘1Compass’ in Old Colwyn, established to tackle the issue of children persistently missing school.

For my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.