Thanks to Anglesey covid heroes

Ynys Môn MS Rhun ap Iorwerth had the opportunity to pay tribute to some of our local covid champions, as nominated by people from Anglesey, in the Senedd this week.

The opportunity came about as the Welsh Parliament decided they wanted to recognise some of the extraordinary things done by individuals, groups, key workers or businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic to help the most vulnerable and keep communities together, by showcasing them in an online portrait gallery.

Members of the Senedd were invited to nominate up to three champions from their constituency.

Speaking at the Senedd, Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

“I was pleased to be able to nominate covid champions from Ynys Môn for the Welsh Parliament’s gallery. The biggest challenge was to try and choose three out of so many who have given their time and energy to help others during this period, so I put the decision in the hands of the people of Anglesey and invited nominations from constituents via my facebook page.

“The response I received was incredible, with more than 40 nominations for individuals, groups and businesses across the island. And it was so heartening to hear the different stories of all the great work that has been done. So many people have gone above and beyond with their jobs, or volunteered their time, but all have played their part in creating a real community spirit. And their efforts are clearly truly, truly appreciated.

“That is why I sought an opportunity not only to nominate the three with the most nominations for the Senedd’s online gallery, but also to try and say a public thank you to all of those who were nominated. From the octogenarian still volunteering with the food bank to the 7-year-old who walked over 87,000 steps to fundraise. From individuals who organised scrubs, masks, ear defenders and more, to the Llanddeusant postie who did his round in fancy dress to cheer children (and adults!) up during lockdown.

“A huge thank you to you, and all the other covid champions across the island. Please know that you are appreciated.”

The three that received the most nominations from Anglesey were Chippy Chippy (for building true community spirit whilst providing children with free meals), the Gwalchmai Hotel (who fed the vulnerable and organised activities for children as well as setting up a food bank) and Caru Amlwch (for making sure that no one went without in the Amlwch area). The portraits will be displayed as social media posts on the ‘Visiting the Senedd’ social media accounts (Senedd Instagram, Senedd Facebook, Pierhead Twitter) in November – December 2020.

Rhun has also produced a video which he has shared on his social media pages to say a big thank you to our local covid heroes, which can be viewed here:

Rhun ap Iorwerth secures Welsh Government commitment to help reinstate Llangefni Railway Bridge

?Welsh Government has committed to support me and the campaign to have Llangefni Railway Bridge reinstated by Network Rail, which would be a significant boost to the plans to reopen the railway line from Amlwch to Gaerwen and reconnect with the mainline in the future.

?Watch the video below for more information.

Rhun ap Iorwerth calls for livestock protection legislation debate

I fully support calls for new legislation giving more protection for livestock.

The police need more powers to respond to attacks more effectively and today I asked Welsh Government to make time for a debate on this very important matter.

Rhun ap Iorwerth welcomes devolution of taxation powers

This is a historic moment for our Senedd. The people of Wales will now get to see in real terms, on their payslip, the importance of this Senedd and of Welsh Government, and how our institutions have a direct effect on the everyday lives of Wales’ people.

We as a Senedd are strengthening, and by doing so we as a nation are strengthening and maturing as well. Let us use these new taxation powers to create a tax system that will be fairer for the people of Wales than what we have at present.

Video: Questioning Welsh Government regarding Llangefni Railway Bridge

With Welsh Government today confirming that Llangefni Railway station has taken a step closer towards being reopened in the future, it is now more imperative than ever that the bridge is reinstalled across Ffordd Glanhwfa to complete the line, if we are to see it reopen in the future.

Such a development would be hugely beneficial to the economy of Anglesey. Today I raised the matter of installing a new bridge in the Assembly chamber and asked Welsh Government to pledge their support to help this project move forward.

Grid and PINS should respect democratic views of Wales when it comes to pylons, says AM

Ynys Môn Assembly Member Rhun ap Iorwerth this week asked the First Minister to make sure that those looking at National Grid’s plans for new pylons across Anglesey were aware of the Assembly vote in favour of undergrounding cables.

During this week’s FMQs, the Anglesey AM called on Welsh Government to push as much as possible to ensure that the UK Planning Inspectorate respects the democratic views of the Assembly in favour of undergrounding.

He also said it would be a scandal if money Grid have suggested would go towards a tunnel to carry cables wasn’t spent on a new bridge instead, with the rest being invested in undergrounding.

Speaking in the chamber, Mr ap Iorwerth said:

“The DCO application has been submitted, but the grid, since the beginning of this process, haven’t given an inch in response to the pressure from me, the Member of Parliament, the council or, more importantly, the unanimity of the people of Anglesey that we need to underground these cables.

“And let’s recall that this Chamber favoured undergrounding rather than pylons and voted for that. You said in January that you’d remind the grid of that. So, what was their response? But, more importantly, will you give a commitment to push as much as possible as Welsh Government to ensure that the UK Planning Inspectorate realises that the democratic views of this Parliament have been expressed, and that they must respect that?

“And, with a further suggestion that a tunnel that could put cables under the Menai could cost £300 million, isn’t it clear that it would be a scandal if the money, or part of that money, weren’t spent on a new bridge to carry cables and vehicles, with the rest being invested in undergrounding?”

The First Minister replied that they have told the grid that it’s extremely important to consider a third bridge over the Menai Strait in order to ensure that the cables can go on that bridge and also that grid knows the views of the Assembly and the views of local people. However, Rhun ap Iorwerth said that we need a clear statement to this effect.

Wales CAN – Rhun ap Iorwerth launches Leadership Campaign video

Plaid Cymru leadership candidate Rhun ap Iorwerth AM has launched his official campaign video this week, detailing his vision for the future of the party and Wales and how he would lead the nation forward if elected as leader of the party.

In the video, Mr ap Iorwerth talks about how he would look to build the nation, and make Plaid Cymru the party a natural home for those who want to build Wales into an independent nation.

Mr ap Iorwerth said:

“The Plaid Cymru leadership contest is all about Wales, and the future of our country. I’m standing because I know Wales and the people of Wales are being held back from reaching their potential, and I want to share and lead a new vision about what Wales can be.

“I want to be leader of Plaid Cymru to kickstart that process of building up Wales. I want everyone who wants to focus on that nation-building programme to feel like they have a home in Plaid Cymru. We’re your party, whatever your background, wherever you’re from, whether you were born and bred in Wales or you moved here yesterday.

“We’ve got to look forward, not back, and be clear about what we can be. Wales CAN. We’ve just got to start believing it. Plaid Cymru believes it. I do. But we’ve got to be able to communicate that vision, and the country needs leadership.

“I’m standing to be leader of Plaid Cymru because I want to lead Wales to a more equal, more prosperous, more exciting future, so please, support my campaign, and let’s share that story of what Wales can be.”

You can find the video on YouTube here: or on Rhun’s facebook or twitter pages.

Securing the future of the Prince Madog: The case for having a national maritime research ship for Wales

My Short Debate in the Senedd this week: Securing the future of the Prince Madog: The case for having a national maritime research ship for Wales

The Wales marine area includes valuable and varied natural resources that can provide significant economic and social opportunities and which contribute to the well-being of the nation and of future generations. But, in reality, we know virtually nothing about those resources. It’s staggering how little of our sea bed has been mapped, given the detailed onshore mapping. Mapping of this kind is a priority on an EU level and has been for some time, but there has been no co-ordinated plan for the UK—no plan for Wales. The process of gathering data has been ad hoc. It hasn’t been properly co-ordinated, and that must change. Of course, we have the resource that we need to do that work: the Prince Madog.

Rhun uses Assembly statement to wish happy birthday to Holyhead Centre that has put Anglesey on global sporting map

Ynys Môn AM Rhun ap Iorwerth used a 90 second statement in the National Assembly this week to praise the work of Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting and Fitness Centre.

Rhun had attended the Centre’s 50th Birthday celebrations at the Trearddur Bay Hotel over the weekend, which was also a chance to celebrate the success of star lifters Gareth Evans, Hannah Powell and a host of others, and pay tribute to the club founder and Commonwealth medalist Bob Wrench (who was unfortunately not able to be there, but sent a message read out by Ray Williams).

This week, Rhun made a statement at the Senedd praising the work of the Centre in the local community as well as on a global stage. He said:

“Thank you for the opportunity to wish a happy birthday to an institution that’s made a huge contribution to health and fitness on Anglesey, and which also happens to be a centre of sporting excellence of worldwide renown.

“One of the highlights of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games was Welsh weightlifter Gareth Evans’s stunning gold medal-winning performance. His lifting was immense, but just as impressive was the passion he showed in running over to his coach, Ray Williams, to celebrate. Ray himself had realised a dream as a coach, but before coaching, he himself had won gold for Wales at the 1986 games in Edinburgh. Ray had been introduced to lifting by Bob Wrench, a bronze winner in the Christchurch games in 1974, and it was Bob who had the vision to establish the Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting and Fitness Centre 50 years ago.

“A high-school sports teacher, not only was he hugely talented at weightlifting, he could see what lifting could offer to the area’s young people, many of whom would otherwise not have such opportunities. Ray and Gareth were among thousands to benefit. To give you an idea of HAWFC’s success, Ray himself has coached lifters to 97 gold medals of youth and senior at Welsh and international levels. But it’s the community aspect of the club that’s just as important. This is a centre with its doors open to ALL.

“So, happy birthday Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting and Fitness Centre, and a long life to an institution that’s done so much for its community and, through its excellence, has done so much to put Holyhead and Anglesey on the global sporting map.”