Many Leader readers will know that a priority for me is ensuring that our communities and Wales as a whole, builds back not just greener but fairer, following the coronavirus pandemic. Having spent a number of years working for a trade union, which helped give me my values and my voice, ensuring that workers’ voices are not just heard but help shape better work in Wales is extremely important to me.
During the last government I was asked by the First Minister to lead the work on the Social Partnership Bill, which is a piece of legislation which will create a formal partnership between the Welsh Government, trade unions and businesses in Wales. This work continues from the good practice which we saw during the height of the pandemic, to keep those who were unable to work from home, as safe as possible in the workplace. Last Thursday the First Minister announced his new Cabinet and I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue leading on this important piece of work, as well as taking forward fair work in Wales.
At the start of this week we saw Wales move another step further in the recovery as a range of measures were lifted. The changes now permit indoor hospitality and entertainment venues to reopen, and the number of people able to meet for organised activities has increased to up to 30 people indoors and up to 50 outdoors.
The easing of these measures are again thanks to individual efforts in following the guidance in place, as well as the success of our vaccination programme. The small army of NHS staff, volunteers and army personnel, have now administered almost 3 million doses of the vaccines, with 80% of adults having received their first dose, and 1 in 3 having received their second.
There is still a way to go and I would encourage all Leader readers to keep not just themselves safe, but others too, by continuing to follow the guidance in place and taking up vaccine appointments when they are offered. I will continue to share information about the vaccination programme and the coronavirus situation through my Facebook page – Hannah Blythyn MS – as well as in my weekly column here at the Leader.
I also want to take the opportunity this week to praise all the children, families and schools taking part in “Walk to School Week” where possible. Walking, cycling and scooting to school are great ways to keep ourselves healthy and to travel in greener, more sustainable ways.
However, in recent weeks, as well as during the last Senedd term, parents have raised concerns with me about safe routes to schools and improving pedestrian and road safety. I have offered my support to schools, families and communities to help making walking, cycling and scooting to and from school as safe as possible.
If you have concerns about making routes to school safer, please email me at Hannah.Blythyn@senedd.wales