Firstly, I’d like to wish all my constituents a very happy Easter and I hope we all get some well-earned spring sunshine! Easter is a great time for families to get together and if you’re planning time off work or a family do, don’t forget your four-legged friends and make sure all chocolate is kept out of reach – chocolate is toxic to dogs and all Easter eggs and their packaging need to kept away from our furry friends. If your dog does swallow some chocolate, make sure you seek veterinary advice immediately.

The cost-of-living crisis is still at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds and there are some updates I’d like to share with you on the help that’s available. The UK Government’s Winter Fuel Payment has come to an end as has the support for household bills, plus the Welsh Government’s Fuel Support Scheme also ended in February, so if you’re still feeling the pinch, there’s a very useful helpline available where operators will be able to help guide you through the process to claim further help. Advicelink Cymru is a free helpline on 0808 250 5700 and it’s open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm so do make sure you ask for help to ‘claim what’s yours’. The line is also available in Welsh.

Also as part of the Welsh Government’s ‘claim what’s yours’ campaign, it’s been revealed that many households which are eligible for Council Tax reductions are not claiming them and they could be a real help to people and families in Flintshire – to find out more about this and whether your household is eligible, go to

On the subject of energy bills, it was announced last week that Ofgem has launched a detailed market review into the energy sector and, specifically, the use of prepayment meters. Residents in North Wales pay the highest bills in the UK, according to charity National Energy Action, and much of that is due to the hike in standing charges last year plus energy firms insisting on the installation of  prepayment meters, often using the law to force these meters onto vulnerable people. The Welsh Government has put in place various helpful schemes to mitigate this, so please call the Advicelink Cymru helpline above to get more information on what’s available.

Many Flintshire residents will have heard the news that the Welsh Government’s Bus Emergency Scheme (BES) will come to an end, something which I’ve mentioned before in this column. The BES kept many vital services running during the Covid pandemic, but it’s simply not sustainable to keep this emergency funding in place indefinitely and the government is looking to develop new ways to fund vital bus routes across the country. Many routes are operated by private companies, so it’s unclear what effect this will have on passengers, but the Welsh Government is committed to finding the best way to keep these routes open and running as normal. Initially, it was announced that the BES scheme was due to close in June, but the Welsh Government last week extended that until July 24 so as to include the full school year and take us up to the summer holidays.

Last week, I met with Inspector Wesley Williams of the North Flintshire policing team to talk about local issues and his role. As the new District Inspector for the area, he has been keen to highlight areas of policing which need improvement and he’s been proactive in boosting engagement and visibility in the area. It was good to talk to him about his priorities and to see how he plans to make our communities safer.

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  You can also keep up to date via my Facebook page –  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.


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