Hannah Blythyn MS
Hannah Blythyn MS

Last week the focus was very much on the Chancellor’s spring Budget and what that means for Wales and it’s a shame that Jeremy Hunt chose to ignore calls to focus on the cost-of-living crisis and the most vulnerable in our society – 14 years of Tory economic failure has left us with high prices for food and fuel, the largest tax burden since 1948 and a UK economy that’s stagnant.

The Chancellor’s statement has failed to present a convincing plan for growth that backs Wales’ economic potential in a fairer UK economy. More short-term schemes have been announced, along with tax cuts that don’t target those most in need, while income tax thresholds are frozen – the Chancellor has chosen to cut employee National Insurance contributions by 2p and research from the Institute for Public Policy Research has calculated that nearly half the benefit of this measure would go to the richest 20% of households, while just 3% would end up in the pockets of those already hardest hit in our communities.

One thing that Jeremy Hunt did announce last week was an extra £1.6m for the Theatr Clwyd project, adding to the £22m the Welsh Government has given to the theatre’s redevelopment. The Welsh Government is committed to Theatr Clwyd, the cultural jewel in the crown of North Wales, and it’s positive to see that the UK Government is finally recognising the importance of this institution. Theatr Clwyd is the biggest producing theatre in Wales and like so many others here I’ve grown up with Theatr Clwyd and benefitted from it being on our doorstep. It attracts more than 200,000 paying visitors annually and it has a strong outreach programme, bringing culture to a range of diverse audiences.

Last week also saw the 40th anniversary of start of the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike. The wounds of the strike still run deep across Wales. Like many of my generation, I was politicised by the decimation of our traditional industries from the Point of Ayr where my taid and uncle worked to Shotton Steelworks where my grandad worked. It was my grandad’s talk of trade unions and the importance of solidarity that lit the fuse that led to me later working in the trade union movement.

Back in the Senedd, I responded to questions on misogyny and abuse and how words matter last week – from encouraging positive actions to inciting hate crimes, every word spoken holds weight. Far too many of us have been in situations where we have experienced misogyny and hate speech, especially online where others feel there is no need to filter language because of anonymity or because they are miles away at the other end of a keyboard. When it comes to what actions we can do, I don’t think it’s the sisters that need sorting, it’s society and the system. As it was International Women’s Day last week, I wanted to celebrate inclusion and inspire the next generation to be part of positive change, not just for our Senedd but society too. You can see my response in the Senedd on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HannahBlythynForDelyn.

Back in Flintshire, on Friday I attended the Chair of Flintshire County Council Councillor Gladys Healey’s annual charity dinner at the Beaufort Park Hotel, New Brighton. The event was all about fundraising for the Chairman’s Charity Fund, which supports North East Wales Mind and the Lymphoma Research Trust, and there was a raffle and charity auction to raise vital cash for these charities – both these causes are very worthwhile and do a lot of good work in Flintshire and I’m proud to lend my support.

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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