The news last week from Airbus was clearly a devastating hit for its workforce and their families, but I want those affected to know that I am here to support them and I will do all I can in the coming weeks. I have already written to the Chancellor calling for the UK Government to offer a strong financial support package for the entire aviation industry to protect the 230,00 strong workforce from collapse. Since writing I have joined with colleagues across Flintshire and North East Wales in writing to the Prime Minister to press the urgent need for support. I am also in regular contact with colleagues at Unite the Union, both on site and on a Wales wide level, to ensure we are working together as best as we can. If any constituents are affected by this announcement I would urge them to get in touch so that I am able to keep them updated and offer any support I can to them during these worrying times. We all know that Airbus Broughton is not only an anchor in our local economy but in our community.
Earlier this week saw the stay local guidance lifted, the introduction of extended households and outdoor attractions able to open to the public with appropriate safety measures. We are still making good progress in tackling the virus and saving lives in Wales, but recent outbreaks of coronavirus on our doorstep should remind us all that it has not gone away and we still need to be cautious. So if you choose to visit one of the many beauty spots that North East Wales has to offer, or to see friends and loved ones in an outdoor space, please remember the need to keep a safe distance and practice regular hand hygiene to help us stop the spread of the virus as much as possible. Later this week the First Minister will announce further easements and more positive news for our hospitality and tourism sector, but this can only happen if people continue to play their part.
During Plastic Free July I will be playing my part in continuing to promote a reduction in single-use plastics by sharing achievements from across Flintshire and Wales, but also the small steps I’ve taken to help make a difference. We have much to be proud of locally with amazing initiatives like Plastic Reduction Mold, Holywell Town Council committing to become “plastic free” and businesses who have received awards from Surfers Against Sewage. Flintshire County Council also have fantastic recycling rates which put them in the top three local authorities in Wales, helping us to become one of the best recycling nations worldwide. I’m proud to have supported local projects in their efforts, as well as leading on the Welsh Government’s response to the climate emergency in bringing the Refill scheme to Wales working with City to Sea, and our efforts to establish a Circular Economy. We can all play our part in protecting the environment, through even the smallest of steps. Follow my Facebook page – Hannah Blythyn MS – this July to hear more of my thoughts.
Sustainable, renewable energy sources are also vital to protecting our environment and now is the time where we need to invest in them, establishing a “green recovery” from the impacts of coronavirus. I have welcomed the announcement by Mostyn SeaPower Ltd of their plans to develop a tidal lagoon across the Dee estuary, generating enough energy to power around 80,000 Welsh homes per year. Innogy, the company behind the Awel Y Môr offshore wind farm, also briefed me on their progress last week. Both projects have the potential of creating hundreds of short-term and long-term jobs in the region, as well as huge environmental benefits and I will continue to do all I can to support them as they progress.
I am continuing to run my Community Champion and Love Local campaigns, promoting the amazing responses from our community to the coronavirus and our local independent shops who need our support now more than ever. If you would like to get involved or nominate someone who deserves some public praise, please get in touch with me on 01352 762102 or at Hannah.Blythyn@senedd.wales.