I am sure Leader readers will agree that litter and fly-tipping are a blight on our communities, not just impacting our physical environment, but also our perspective on the areas which we live in.

Our communities are playing an incredible part in the battle against unnecessary waste, achieving plastic free community status in Mold, trialling “Naked Takeaways” in Caerwys, and encouraging the reuse of school uniform and other clothing in Holywell. I have also offered my personal, as well as political, support locally by joining in with litter picks – both on my own and organised, when allowed – to play my parts. These are just some examples of how our corner of the country is doing their bit, in leading the way on Wales becoming a greener, more sustainable nation.

In government, I have helped to shape the Welsh Government’s new plan to tackle litter and fly-tipping, which is now out for consultation. I am keen to ensure that as many residents as possible respond to the survey, so that the voices of our communities who have led the way with practical action are heard.

A link to the consultation is shared on my Facebook page – Hannah Blythyn MS – and on my website – www.hannahblythyn.cymru.

This week I want to pay tribute to the teachers and support staff in our schools, who have continued to support children and young people across Flintshire, either remotely or in some circumstances, in person. As schools begin to welcome our youngest learners back, I want to thank them for all their efforts to make learning – whether at home or in the classroom – as effective as possible.

I share the concerns of learners, parents and carers, who want to not just make sure that children and young people are accessing good quality education, but that it is done safely.  The Welsh Government has already committed to twice weekly testing for staff in childcare and education settings, in order to help identify and isolate the virus, to keep our education settings as safe as possible. From mid-March, the intention is to extend this offer to upper secondary school age pupils (Years 11 to 13) to further help prevent the spread of the virus.

Getting children and young people back to school, safely and quickly, is extremely important, however we must ensure that this is done in a way which protects both children and their families, and our staff.

Betsi Cadwaladr UHB are progressing well through the agreed priority list, earlier this week passing another milestone, as the first health board to administer over 200,000 vaccines. Due to delays with the manufacturers of the vaccine, there will be a dip in supply over the next few weeks, however this is something which has been planned for, and is affecting all nations of the UK.

There are still enough supplies of vaccines to continue administering both first and second doses of the vaccine, to those who are eligible. It is important that we continue to be as patient as possible and wait until we are offered an appointment, based on our priority group. Again, I will continue to share factual and up to date information, both here in my Leader column and on my Facebook page – Hannah Blythyn MS.

As always if I can be of any help to any Leader reader or their family, then please get in touch on 01352 762 102 or at Hannah.Blythyn@senedd.wales

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