Hannah Blythyn MS
Hannah Blythyn MS

As we get closer to Christmas, one of my favourite jobs is to judge my annual Christmas card competition with local schools in Flintshire. This year, 12 schools took part ­– more than ever before – and the theme was ‘kindness and supporting one another’. This year’s entries from the children were all excellent – so it was a really difficult task to find an overall winner! – but I’d like to say thanks to all the children who entered the competition and all the staff at the schools who made it happen.

The overall winner this year was Bethan Catherine Edwards, who is in Year 6 at Ysgol Y Foel, Cilcain, who received cards and a framed copy of her design. Bethan’s design was so lovely and it was clear that she spent a lot of time on it. I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Nice-Pak International in Flint for their sponsorship and the chocolate Santa gifts and PG Framing Ltd in Mold, who kindly framed all the winning designs for the schools.

Staying in festive mood, last week saw Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day, a fundraising day which helps to highlight the need to support children across the globe by encouraging people to wear a Christmas jumper. It was good to pop into an event in the Senedd to show support and learn more about how the charity wanted to make this Christmas Jumper Day the most sustainable and ‘green’ one yet – Save the Children urged everyone to dig out an old jumper and decorate it with festive trimmings, instead of buying a new one, and many schools and organisations held a Christmas Jumper ‘swap shop’ to help save the environment, save money and save lives. Part of the money raised will also go towards supporting Save the Children Cymru’s work in providing grants to buy food and essential household items and making sure children can thrive within their communities.

Last week I also met with representatives of British Gas at the Senedd to discuss the household energy support available through the British Gas Energy Trust this winter, alongside some small changes we can all make around the house to help improve energy efficiency and save costs. The energy price cap has recently been lowered, but this just doesn’t go far enough to support many households with the cost of living, especially in the colder months. There are a number of changes that can be made around the house to improve energy efficiency and save costs, such as bleeding your radiators to remove any air gaps, turning off radiators in rooms you’re not using or checking your thermostat settings to keep your rooms between 18°C and 21°C. Support grants of up to £1,500 are available from the British Gas Energy Trust – even if you’re not a British Gas customer – and you can find out more and get some hints and tips on my website at www.hannahblythyn.cymru/hannah-blythyn-ms-highlights-household-energy-support-this-winter.

Last week, Flintshire County Council launched a public consultation on its draft Resource and Waste Strategy, which aims to improve recycling rates in Flintshire from 61% to 70% and help the council to become net carbon zero by 2030. Reducing the consumption of raw materials and increasing reuse and recycling to save precious resources is a key part of reaching net zero. The consultation is open until January 12 and the council is running a series of drop-in events too – I urge all local residents to get involved and give their views as it’s something which affects all of us. You can read more and take part in the consultation at www.flintshire.gov.uk/en/Resident/Bins-Recycling-and-Waste/Resource-and-Waste-Strategy-for-Flintshire.aspx.

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 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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