The week just gone was another busy one, both here at home and back down in Cardiff Bay. It was my monthly turn to take questions in the Senedd Siambr as part of the social justice portfolio and there were lots of important points and questions raised, from support for our veterans and the Royal British Legion’s ‘Credit their Service’ campaign to reflecting on Living Wage Week and the importance of the Real Living Wage being part of a wider package of fair work that brings longer term benefits for both workers and workplaces.
Last week was also Anti-Bullying Week – something that was raised during questions – with the theme this year to ‘make a noise about bullying’ and have a discussion about what bullying means to us. In my answer, I reflected on my own experiences as well as reaffirming the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackling any form of bullying – it is only right that we all make a stand on this and take responsibility to both talk about and tackle bullying.
While working in the Senedd, it was good to be able to have the chance to catch up with members of our local Flintshire County Unison Branch – thanks to modern technology and being able to meet up online from my desk in the Welsh Parliament. We know that our public services face many challenges on the back of well over a decade of austerity driven by the UK Government, but our many public servants continue to work hard day in, day out to provide our public services. As a proud trade unionist, I am committed to continuing to work with Unison, including spending some time in different workplaces alongside branch members in order to collectively raise awareness of all that they do to support our communities.
Towards the end of last week, I enjoyed a visit to Ysgol Merllyn in Bagillt to see for myself the excellent work that the school has been doing as part of their ‘community kindness day’ – World Kindness Day was also last week – and learnt how different classes took responsibility for a ‘kind act’ and then went off into the community to carry it out. The school not only encouraged other schools to get involved but also local police and community support officers. In addition, they’ve teamed up with Bagillt Community Councillor Bryn Gittins and Keep Wales Tidy to put planters and improve bio-diversity in the school grounds and in the wider community. It was wonderful to see everyone mucking in to make a difference and how much the children and recipients of their kindness enjoyed it.
Finally, last week a consultation was launched in Wales on possible approaches to changing Wales’ council tax system. The consultation asks for views on how to make council tax fairer, including potentially adding new council tax bands and changing the tax-rates. It will also ask about the pace of change people would like to see. It is important that people from communities across our area have a say and share views as part of the consultation process. What would you want to see happen? And when would you want that to happen? The consultation closes on February 6, 2024, and you can take part by visiting https://www.gov.wales/fairer-council-tax-phase-2. To make sure your voice is heard about how government can make council tax fairer, please do take part in this consultation.
As always, 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.