Rhun ap Iorwerth MS plants a tree as part of NFU’s #GrowingTogether campaign

A new report detailing a strategy for sustainable woodland expansion in Wales has been launched by NFU Cymru.

Against the background of ambitious targets to increase tree cover in Wales to help mitigate and adapt to the challenges presented by climate change, the #GrowingTogether initiative promotes a philosophy to future tree planting in Wales that advocates more trees integrated into farming systems – rather than replacing farming systems, allowing food production, farming, trees, nature, landscapes, and rural communities to thrive.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said : “This is an important campaign led by NFU Cymru to promote tree-planting in Wales. I was delighted to join Brian Bown at his farm in Maenaddwyn today to plant this beautiful oak. It’s vital, as we plant more trees for the sake of our environment, that we work closely with farmers to ensure that our land can be as productive as possible and used as effectively as possible in the battle against climate change.”

NFU Cymru launched the #GrowingTogether report in September. The document is a blueprint identifying the barriers and opportunities that exist to deliver on these objectives while safeguarding thriving rural communities and ensuring the continued production of high quality, affordable food in Wales.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS responds to damning ‘Coronavirus: lessons learned to date’ report

Responding to the “Coronavirus: lessons learned to date” report published today, which examined the initial UK response to the covid pandemic and calls the UK’s early Covid-19 plans “one of the worse public health failures in UK history”, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS has called once again for Welsh Government to launch a Wales-specific inquiry.

Spokesperson for Health and Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,

“This damning report details just how damaging the Prime Minister’s failure to take early action was in shaping the UK’s response to the pandemic. That ultimately led to huge losses of life, of freedoms, education and had a devastating economic impact, and is confirmed today as one of the worst public health failures in history.


“Wales rightly acted independently in so many areas during the pandemic but we cannot forget that the initial response was led by UK Government. Now, we must have a Wales-specific inquiry to look at what happened in detail, and in public, to learn lessons for the future.


“The Welsh Government must take responsibility for its actions – good and bad, and there should be no avoidance of detailed scrutiny. I, and many others have consistently insisted that the people of Wales are owed that.”



Rhun ap Iorwerth calls on Welsh and UK Governments to develop Holyhead as the servicing port for large scale green energy wind project.

Following a recent meeting with BP and Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) regarding their Irish Sea offshore wind project – Mona and Morgan windfarms – in the Irish Sea, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS has called on both Welsh and UK Governments to ensure that Holyhead is the port to service the Mona windfarm.

When complete, Morgan and Mona will have a combined potential generating capacity of 3GW, sufficient to power the equivalent of approximately 3.4 million UK households with clean electricity.

The Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn urged Welsh Government to commit to supporting the development in the port of Holyhead, emphasising that project would be of great economic benefit for both the local and Welsh economy.

In order to facilitate the servicing work in Holyhead, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS stressed the importance of investment in the port, stating that whilst BP have confirmed that their development would not be reliant on a freeport status to deliver the project, they have expressed that it could be of benefit. In response to his question, Vaughan Gething, Economy Minister put on record his disappointment with the current lack of clarity offered by UK Government on their freeport proposals around the UK. He agreed with Rhun ap Iorwerth that support and investment in the port is needed from the UK Government’s £160m funding pot to develop ports for energy projects.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:


“There’s a very real economic opportunity for Ynys Môn from proposed the BP developments in the Irish seathe Mona and Morgan windfarms. I’m very eager to ensure that Holyhead will be the port to service the Mona development. It would create jobs and provide long-term assurances. But we also need investment in the port for that to happen. BP have said that whilst they don’t have to have free-port status to deliver the project, but if it could be useful, it would be good to see the UK Government providing the same funding to free ports in Wales as they give to those in England.


“More importantly, the UK Government needs to contribute from the £160 million pot that they have to develop ports for energy projects. I’m pleased that the Minister agreed with me that a fair share of that funding should go to Holyhead, and I will keep making the case for that to happen.”


“Responsibility must lie with Welsh Government” says Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, as whistle blower reveals top managers have been removed following patient death

A letter from an anonymous whistle blower reveals that senior staff have been moved from posts following the death of a patient from suicide in April of this year.

The death happened at the controversial Hergest Unit, a specialised mental health hospital situated within the grounds of Ysbyty Gwynedd run by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB).

These allegations have been confirmed by Jo Whitehead, the Chief Executive of BCUHB, who was subsequently alerted to the anonymous letter by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW).

In a letter dated 21st June 2021, Ms Whitehead confirmed to HIW that the West Head of Operations and the West Head of Nursing had been “relocated” to take up “alternative” duties, and that an external investigation would commence following the death of a patient by suicide in the Hergest Unit.

It has been eight years since concerns raised by staff at the Hergest Unit were first documented, and eight years since Robin Holden was commissioned to undertake an investigation into the mental health unit.

The findings from Holden’s report preceded another damning report at another mental health unit in the BCUHB, which led to the health board being placed in special measures in June 2015.

BCUHB was taken out of special measures in the run up to the Senedd elections, but Health spokesperson, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS says “questions must be asked” over this decision.

Mr ap Iorwerth says “enough is enough” and that Welsh Government must be held accountable for the “premature” decision to take BCUHB out of special measures.

The Holden Report has never been published in full.

Spokesperson for health, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,

“The continued scandals must be urgently addressed, and my heart goes out to all the families that continue to be affected by these tragedies. Questions must be asked how Betsi Cadwaladr was able to come out of special measures when serious problems within mental health units clearly persist.


“Staff members have told me in recent days that problems of underinvestment and under resourcing still haven’t been addressed. Enough is enough. Leadership arrangements have once again been highlighted as a weakness – both by the staff that I’ve been speaking to, and in the letter from the Chief Executive.


“Welsh Government must accept responsibility for addressing these long running and deep rooted issues. If no decisive action is taken, these tragic episodes will continue, leaving an ever growing list of bereaved families with unanswered questions.”

Mr ap Iorwerth also repeated previous concerns about the structure of health delivery in the north of Wales:

“The actions taken in response to this tragedy may be seen by BCUHB as a sign of new determination to address issues in mental health care, but the that fact we’re talking about a huge board split into East, Centre and West indicates another continuing problem. That issues can get so out of hand in different parts, suggests once again that this is a board that is too big and unwieldy, and that a fresh start may be the only answer.”

“Address NHS pay concerns immediately!” – Rhun ap Iorwerth MS

Following a consultation, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has today announced that the vast majority of its members believe that the 3% pay rise is unacceptable.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for Health, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,

“Truly valuing the skills and commitment of the workforce has never been as important, and today’s overwhelming rejection of the 3% pay rise is very significant from the RCN.


“In the meantime, I am still waiting for a response to my question of whether all NHS staff in Wales would receive a 3% pay rise at all. I urge the Health Minister to address all these concerns immediately.”

“Another blow to already waning confidence” – Rhun ap Iorwerth MS reacts to further Betsi failures


Plaid Cymru’s health spokesperson Rhun ap Iorwerth MS has expressed “grave concern” at recent findings of maladministration in relation to patients on Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board waiting lists.


On Thursday 9 September an own initiative public interest report was issued under the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019, following an investigation into a complaint against Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.


The investigation looked into “possible incidents of service failure and maladministration” in relation to 16 patients waiting for urgent prostate cancer treatment in August 2019.


It was found that referring patients for treatment in England, meant that these patients were then not included in breach reports if they exceeded waiting time targets, nor were assessments completed to see whether harm had been caused to these patients as a result of the long wait.


The Welsh Government confirmed that its expectation was that the health board should have policies in place with English providers to mirror Welsh standards such as breach reports and harm reviews.


In August 2019, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was under special measures, which meant that Welsh Ministers had formal intervening powers over the health board.


The health board was taken out of special measures in November 2020, at move which, at the time, Mr ap Iorwerth met with “scepticism” saying that “the board’s problems are chronic and structural, and that major changes are still required.”


Mr ap Iorwerth has previously called for a “new health and care landscape in the north”, and says that today’s report adds to his view that the health board is “too big and cumbersome, with standards suffering as a result of Labour mis-management.”


Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Plaid Cymru’s health spokesperson said,


“Yet again we hear reports of service failure within Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board while it was in special measures, and receiving additional support from the Labour Welsh Government.


“It is of grave concern to learn that the practice of referring patients to treatment providers outside of Wales, meant that these patients did not receive the standards set out in Welsh health policy, nor were they included in missed target time reporting.


“Wider, equally serious questions remain about capacity and succession planning in the urology department.


“While we can take some comfort that the health board has accepted the recommendations made in this report, the fact remains that this is another blow to the already waning confidence the people of north Wales have in their health board.


“It adds to concerns that Betsi Cadwaladr has long been unfit for purpose – that it is too big and cumbersome, its agenda is too centralised for the remote communities it is meant to serve. How much more evidence do we need of slipping standards as a result of a maladministration and lack of strategic direction?”

Call for “long-term post Covid plan” to tackle backlog as waiting lists hit record levels in Wales – again

Responding to new statistics that show numbers on waiting lists for non-urgent hospital treatment in Wales have again hit record levels, Plaid Cymru spokesperson for health and care Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,

“These statistics paint a bleak picture and expose just how frail our NHS is now.


“Our NHS was already suffering from chronic underinvestment and mismanagement prior to the pandemic. Now, health boards and health and care staff across Wales are crumbling under additional pressure caused by Covid.


“Targets continue to be missed. Waiting times are now the worst they have ever been. And behind these figures are real people – patients – in pain or under unbearable stress waiting unjustifiably long for treatment or diagnosis.


“While any additional funding is welcome, there’s very little clarity on how the £551m will be used. And hand in hand with any short-term plan to deal with the developing situation as we head into winter, we need to see from Government a long-term post-Covid plan to tackle long waiting times, prioritise services like cancer diagnostic and treatment, and approach investing in our NHS with the innovation it requires.


“We cannot be trapped in an endless cycle where waiting times are getting increasingly worse and the only solution the Government can come up with is to provide short term fixes which change very little in the long run.  


“We owe it to health and care workers to relieve the pressure, to repay them for their commitment in our hour of need, and to give them the support they need to do what they are trained to do.

‘Sioe Fach Môn’ a huge success.

Today, the Anglesey Show’s alternative – ‘Sioe Fach Môn’ was being held at the Mona Showground.

As a result of the pandemic it was not possible to hold the Anglesey Show as usual this year. The show usually attracts thousands of people annually to the show site in Mona. This year, the show crew decided to set up ‘Sioe Fach Môn’.

The event featured limited classes including competitions in the Horse and Poultry Section, plus a Dog Show today, followed by the Horse Jumping tomorrow on the 11th of August.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS visited the event today.

He said – “It was really nice to visit today’s show site for ‘Sioe Fach Môn’. Although it was a bit different from the usual, the atmosphere and competing was just as great. It’s wonderful to see everyone enjoying and getting back to a bit of normality as people come from all over Ynys Môn and beyond to compete. ”

“I am delighted that ‘Sioe Fach Môn’ has been a huge success, and I thank the staff for organising the event for everyone. We really hope that that the show can be held as usual next year, and congratulations to everyone who won!”


“Labour Ministers must honour original publicly announced pay rise” – Rhun ap Iorwerth MS


Rhun ap Iorwerth has accused the Labour government of conducting “a botched pay review” after they wrongly announced the Welsh NHS’s lowest paid will get a pay rise.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said last week the starting pay for Welsh health workers would rise to £10.18 an hour however today she corrected that to £9.50 an hour – equivalent to the real living wage – and offered “sincere apologies for any confusion”.

Health Spokesperson Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said the news would be a “real blow” to the lowest paid workers in the NHS.

Mr ap Iorwerth called on Labour Ministers to “urgently address the confusion” and to honour the original, publicly announced pay rise as a first step in truly valuing the NHS workforce.

Health Spokesperson Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,


“The news that the Labour Welsh Government gave with one hand and took away with the other in July is a real blow to the lowest paid workers in the NHS. During the pandemic these workers have gone above and beyond the call of duty by providing exemplary care and in some instances doing so without adequate personal protective equipment.


“Ministers must urgently address the confusion surrounding this botched pay review and honour the original, publicly announced pay rise as a first step in truly valuing the NHS workforce.”

Rhun’s Week – 19-23/7/21

Interview for Dros Frecwast

I was interviewed on BBC Radio Cymru’s Dros Frecwast to discuss the Welsh Government’s announcement that all NHS staff in Wales will receive a 3% pay rise. We’ve seen year on year real wage cuts within the health service, and we need some way of bringing levels back to what they were.

Farm Visits

I had talks with the Island’s Agricultural Unions – an opportunity to discuss topical agriculture issues with Union members at Trewyn farm and Tregynrig Farm. Some of the points discussed were NVZs, Broadband, TB on Anglesey. Talks about Solar Panels and Freeports were also discussed and I will act on these conversations.

Marie Curie event

I chaired the ‘Dying Well in Wales Lecture & Discussion Series’ event for Marie Curie. Kings College London was there and we had an update on the Marie Curie End of Life Program.


I recorded my weekly bulletin which is broadcast on MônFM weekly, every Friday at 8pm – tune in!


Like every week, I held my surgery to give people the opportunity to voice their problems or concerns and to offer them a solution or help.


With the help of my team, I answered many emails and phone calls of several constituents throughout the week.


The sun has been shining throughout the week, but I reminded people on social media to enjoy Anglesey and Wales safely! Although the rules are relaxed in England, rules here in Wales are different.