It was a busy week at the Senedd last week, not least as the Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Bill reached the committee scrutiny stage and suggested amendments were discussed in great detail. This Bill, brought forward by me in my role as Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, will provide a statutory framework to enhance the wellbeing of the people of Wales by improving public services through social partnership working, promoting fair work and socially responsible public procurement. It’s a landmark piece of legislation and I’m proud to put my name to such a ground-breaking approach to improving public services and promoting sustainable and fair working practices.
Last week the Welsh Government also announced the creation of new North Wales Medical School and the funding of 140 medical student places each year, starting from 2024. We all know that our NHS is facing many pressures and this plan will help Wales to train more medical students and ensure that training opportunities and the provision of qualified doctors are spread across Wales and it’s a real boost for north Wales, for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and for Bangor University. The week also saw the North Wales Transport Commission release its progress report and it makes for interesting reading – from the North Wales Metro scheme to the Welsh Government’s active travel programme, the final report is likely to suggest a number of recommendations which will help to improve our area’s often challenging transport network and provide better, more sustainable methods of travel – something I’ve been pushing hard for on behalf of Flintshire residents.
It was busy back home in the constituency too as I had the chance to spend some time back at the Airbus Broughton site on Friday, taking in a tour of the A320 single aisle factory to see the difference the step change programme has made since I was last there and how the company and its dedicated workforce are committed to ongoing innovation. Prior to and since being elected, I have worked closely with major manufacturing employers and their trade unions both across the constituency and country and I look forward to continuing to support the sustainability of the Airbus site and the sector as whole both in my role locally and within Welsh Government.
Later that evening, I enjoyed the opportunity to go along to one of Treffynnon Cyntaf Scout Group’s regular meetings and talk to them about the work of the Senedd and my role as Senedd Member. Working with schools and groups like the Scouts is really important to me – I know what it’s like to feel that politics isn’t for you, so I’m committed to doing what I can to open up politics to young people.
February is LGBT+ History Month and last week I spoke at the Fighting With Pride conference in Cardiff. January 12 marked the 23rd anniversary of the lifting of the ban on LGBTQ+ people serving in the armed forces – Fighting With Pride is a charity which helps to support LGBTQ+ veterans, serving personnel and their families, particularly those who were affected by the ‘gay ban’. I’m proud that, here in Wales, LGBTQ+ rights are embedded in Welsh Government policy and that we’re committed to enabling people to live their lives as their authentic selves.
I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Clare Drakeford, the First Minister’s wife, who died suddenly last week. My thoughts are with Mark’s family at this difficult time and, like many of us in Wales, I’d like to offer my sincere condolences.
As always, if you would like advice and/or support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on any of the following contact details – 52 High Street, Mold, Flintshire, on 01352 753464 or by email email@example.com You can also keep up to date via my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/hannahblythynMS. Constituents are, of course, welcome to contact my office to arrange an appointment to see me, you don’t need to wait until an advice surgery.