Last week, the UN praised the Welsh Government’s LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales, saying it’s an ‘example of good practice in human rights policymaking’. The Action Plan, which I announced earlier this year, aims to make Wales the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe and two of the key aims of the plan are to strengthen understanding of LGBTQ+ people’s human rights and improve their understanding of how to assert their rights. I want to see a Wales where everyone is able to live their lives as their authentic selves, free from fear and discrimination, and the UN praise for our LGBTQ+ Action Plan is humbling, but I very much recognise there remains work to be done.
I was able to celebrate the UN’s announcement with the First Minister at last weekend’s colourful Pride Cymru event held at Cardiff Castle. It’s such an important event for LGBTQ+ people in Wales – as are all the Prides across the nation – and it’s great to see the diversity and vibrance of people in our our LGBTQ+ community come together to celebrate our achievements and to be proud of the society we want to live and work in.
Last week also saw the Welsh Government announce the new Bus Transition Fund, developed in conjunction with local authorities, Transport for Wales and the industry, which will replace the Bus Emergency Scheme – brought in during the pandemic – which comes to an end on July 24. The scheme, worth £46m, will provide immediate financial support to bus operators in Wales so that vital services can continue and the Welsh Government is hoping that the majority of bus services will be protected going into next year. This is positive news in the back of a worrying period as there were warnings of a ‘cliff edge’ in funding which might have seen some services cut altogether and I welcome this new plan to go some way in bridging the gap from emergency support to when we legislate in Wales for better buses.
Primary schools in Flintshire have signed up to a new pilot scheme, run by Cardiff University, which aims to boost reading and literacy by partnering with university students who have volunteered to be reading mentors. The pilot will focus on years five and six, helping to get the children ready for secondary school, and reading in Welsh will also be part of the scheme. In Delyn, Ysgol Bryn Gwalia in Mold and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Flint have chosen to take part in the scheme.
To celebrate Refugee Week, Mayor of Mold Councillor Teresa Carberry has organised a fundraising concert at Bethesda Chapel on New Street on Friday and the event, United by Music, will feature music performances and speakers from Wales, Iran, Pakistan and West Africa. I’ll be there to enjoy some of the music and it’s a great event to get people from all backgrounds together to celebrate our rich diversity in Flintshire. The evening kicks off at 6pm and for tickets you need to contact Mold Town Council on 01352 758532 or email email@example.com.
It’s also Cervical Screening Awareness Week and I urge all women to think about booking an appointment to have a screening test, especially if it’s been some time since your last one. Going for your cervical screening isn’t always easy and everyone’s experience is different, but this week I join with charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in asking all women to #LetsTalkScreening.
I was very sad to hear of the death of Mary Beatrice Clarke, known by everyone as Bea, at the weekend. Bea was an incredible and committed member of the community and I always enjoyed the time I got to spend in her company at Cafe Isa, whether that was through her volunteering for the credit union or coming along to one of my advice sessions to put the world to rights. Bea made a difference to many and will be missed by many and I’d like to extend my condolences to her family.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.