Following the announcement of additional restrictions in Flintshire last week, I have done my best to provide advice and guidance to the hundreds of constituents that have been in touch. With queries from childcare and medical appointments, to business support and tourism, I want to ensure that constituents have the correct information.
If any Leader reader has any questions, no matter how trivial it may seem, then please do get in touch and I will signpost you to the correct guidance from the Welsh Government.
Over the weekend we saw the numbers of new infections in the county continue to rise, again demonstrating that coronavirus is circulating within our communities and we need to do more to prevent it’s spread.
The additional restrictions of not meeting indoors and not travelling in or out of the area, along with good hand hygiene, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary contact with others, will hopefully help to stop further infections. However we can only do this together, by following the rules which have been put in place for our own health.
The Welsh Government, along with local authorities and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, will continue to monitor the situation and keep the restrictions under review. The first review is due to take place next week, once the restrictions have been in place for two weeks. I will do my best to keep Leader readers informed of any changes, both through my weekly column, and through my Facebook page – Hannah Blythyn MS.
We all need to think not only about what we can’t do because the law says so, but also about what we shouldn’t do because it could increase the risk of contracting coronavirus and passing it to others.
This week is Challenge Poverty Week and I have joined with other politicians across Wales in pledging to do all I can to bring an end to poverty. We all know that a key factor in tackling poverty is the availability of well-paid, secure employment, something which I have long campaigned for, both whilst working for Unite the Union and as a Member of the Senedd.
This is why, along with colleagues in the Welsh Parliament, UK Parliament and trade union movement, I have been pushing the UK Government to provide sector specific support, to the sectors worst affected by the pandemic, particularly the aviation industry. We must do all we can to support employers to retain their staff, exploring different avenues of support, so that we do not plunge individuals and families further into poverty.
Fuel poverty is another challenge we must overcome. With approximately over 10% of households in Wales in 2018, spending over 10% of their income on heating their homes, it truly is a challenge. Locally we have benefitted from Welsh Government support, through schemes such as Arbed and the Warm Homes Programme, where energy efficiency is improved to save energy and cost.
Although the work which has been done to date, lifting around 177,000 households out of fuel poverty across Wales, is tremendous, we still can do more. I will continue to champion support and investment here in North East Wales and would encourage constituents to get in touch if they are currently having difficulties. Together we can make a difference.
Despite the challenging circumstances we find ourselves in, I am still doing my best to support constituents with issues that are not coronavirus related. Broadband speeds, road safety, access to health care and housing – all important issues which continue to impact our daily lives.
Leader readers would have recently received my update newsletter through their doors, highlighting some of my work in recent months. I also produce a more regular, electronic update for constituents and businesses. If you would like to receive a copy then please get in touch and I will add you to my mailing list.
If you have any questions about my work, or if there is anything which I can be of assistance with, then please do get in touch by emailing Hannah.Blythyn@senedd.wales or calling my office on 01352 762102.