With a new school year about to begin I want to start this week’s column by wishing all our learners, teachers and other school staff, the very best for the academic year ahead. The coronavirus pandemic had an incredible impact on our schools and colleges, like many other aspects of life, but the work carried out by teachers, support staff and parents, to keep our children and young people on track was nothing more than incredible.
I am looking forward to taking some time out in the months ahead to visit our schools and hear more about all the fantastic things which are being offered to give our children and young people the best opportunities in life. Before the summer holidays I had a “virtual visit” with learners from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, speaking to them directly from the Senedd, something I will continue to offer, whilst hopefully inviting learners to visit the building in person.
Following the UK Government’s intention to continue with their plans to cut Universal Credit by £20 a week from next month, the largest overnight cut to benefits in history, the Welsh Government has raised its concerns. The Minister for Social Justice has written to the UK Government, alongside representatives from the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive, to push for the decision to be reversed.
The most recent statistics show that over 13,000 people in Flintshire are in receipt of Universal Credit and will face losing over £1,000 a year if the decision goes ahead. At a time where people still need financial support, as well as support into employment, education and training, this is the last thing the UK Government should be doing.
If any Leader readers are facing financial difficulties then please get in touch and I will do all I can to support you. My office can be contacted on 01352 762102 or by emailing Hannah.Blythyn@senedd.wales.
I’ve continued to make the most of the summer recess to visit different businesses and community groups across the constituency and last week had the chance to catch up with the team at Café Isa. Sara and all involved have been working hard to develop the building into a community hub, with lots of different activities taking place and offer both paid and volunteer opportunities.
Calling in also gave me the chance to chat with Ian, owner of Baked Latitude 53 which is based in the centre and supplies the bread for their delicious menu and a number of other local businesses, as well as being popular with local people (myself included!) It was great to hear how Ian has been able to maximise the centre as a base and of his hopes for the future of the business.
This month I’ll be continuing to reach out for constituents’ views on how we can improve the transport network through my transport survey. Its been great to speak to people face to face about their experiences and to hear their suggestions for how public transport could become more appealing. There is still time to complete the survey on my website – www.HannahBlythyn.cymru/transport-survey.
If I can be of any help or support, then please get in touch on the details above.