I hope you all enjoyed a bit of time off work and school last week during half term and the lovely summer weather was very much welcome! I’m now back in the Senedd, working both on your behalf as your member and as a government minister.

Last week I enjoyed the chance to call in at the Dancing World Festival in Holywell – a celebration of some of the diverse cultures living in our corner of Wales and an attempt by organisers Transition Holywell and District to help refugees now resettled in Flintshire to feel more ‘included’ and to give them the chance to share some of their cultures with others. The sun was shining on the wonderful performances in the town centre, which included Ukrainian singers as well as Afghan and Chinese dancing. It was lovely to catch up with Carolyn Thomas MS and Becky Gittins, Labour’s new candidate for Parliament, too – thanks to everyone involved in organising and taking part!

June is Pride Month, a celebration and commemoration of LGBTQ+ pride and culture which aims to highlight the history, achievements and the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ equality as well as celebrate the progress made towards a more inclusive society. Pride Month is a joyful and colourful display of love, unity and resilience, with many events and activities that promote inclusivity and I’m proud of how, here in Wales, we have celebrated diversity and helped to make Welsh society a place for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

As part of my role as Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, I’ve been instrumental in bringing forward the Welsh Government’s LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales, announced in February, which aims to strengthen protections for LGBTQ+ people, promote equality for all and co-ordinate actions across government, communities and the country in order to achieve our ambition of making Wales the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe. This plan is part of our collective commitment to create a Wales where we feel free to live our lives as our authentic selves – a Wales where people like me don’t need to wonder whether it’s safe to hold our partner’s hand in public, a Wales where slurs and snide remarks, whether online or on the streets, are no longer commonplace and a Wales where hate is consigned to history.

It’s also worth mentioning that this week is Carer’s Week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges that unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities in Wales. Here in north east Wales, care services provider NEWCIS is providing extra support to carers in many of our local hospitals and, to highlight this year’s theme – recognising and supporting carers in the community – their officers will be out and about in the community throughout the week providing information, advice and support. If you are a carer, paid or unpaid, it’s worth dropping in to one of the sessions for support – you can find out when and where at www.newcis.org.uk/carers-week-2023.

Finally, Flintshire residents are being asked to have their say on proposed dog control measures which could be extended across the whole county. The proposals include extending current dog control measures for another three years, measures which include issuing fixed penalty notices for failing to remove dog waste in all public places, ensuring dogs remain on leads at a number of locations and failing to adhere to new rules banning dogs from children’s play areas and sports fields. Have your say at www.flintshire.gov.uk, scroll down to the ‘news’ section.

As usual, if you would like advice and/or support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on any of the following contact details – 52 High Street, Mold, Flintshire, on 01352 753464 or by email hannah.blythyn@senedd.wales  You can also keep up to date via my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/HannahBlythynForDelyn. Constituents are, of course, welcome to contact my office to arrange an appointment to see me, you don’t need to wait until an advice surgery.


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