Rhun ap Iorwerth welcomes funding for hydrogen potential on Anglesey

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn, has welcomed the announcement that £4.8 million has been earmarked for the Holyhead Hydrogen Hub in the UK Government’s budget this week.

Mr ap Iorwerth said:

“I’m very pleased to hear that additional funding has been made available for this project. This is great news for Ynys Môn. Almost exactly a year after I led a Senedd debate, setting out my vision of the real potential of Hydrogen energy, we see those benefits being realised on Anglesey.

“Welsh Government supported that Plaid Cymru motion I presented last year, and subsequently provided support and funding to take the Holyhead project forward.

“I’m delighted to see this significant move forward having supported and encouraged this project from the outset. My thanks goes to the work of hydrogen energy innovator Guto Owen and the Menter Môn team for making this happen.

“It’s good to see energy innovation in action, and we in Plaid Cymru are committed to setting up the headquarters of a new national energy company, Ynni Cymru, here on the island, giving Anglesey a key role in green energy rollout Wales-wide for years to come. This hydrogen project in Holyhead is about offering greener and longer-term jobs for generations to come.”

ENDS

Wales Air Ambulance marks 20 years of service.

Wales Air Ambulance marks 20 years of service.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS celebrates St David’s day by thanking 20 years of service from the Welsh Air Ambulance.

Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “This St David’s day is a very historic one for the Welsh Air Ambulance service, as they reach a very special milestone. This vital service has saved so many lives over the years, and is a service that means a lot to many. ”

Y Wygyr Chip Shop in Cemaes is one of the many businesses that has been raising money for the charity for years and is encouraging anyone to donate, to show their appreciation for the charity’s hard work during this difficult time .

Rhun ap Iorwerth added “I am extremely proud of all the work that the Air Ambulance is doing, we thank them very much, especially over the challenging times of the pandemic. If you can contribute anything to the charity, It would be highly appreciated”

VACCINATION CENTRE ‘GOOD NEWS’ FOR HOLYHEAD

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS welcomes Holyhead vaccination development.

After calling in recent weeks for the setting up of mass vaccination facilites at Holyhead, the MS for Ynys Môn has welcomed the news that a local vaccination centre will open at Ysbyty Penrhos Stanley to vaccinate 2,000 people in the top four priority groups by mid-February.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said: “With no mass vaccination centre earmarked for Anglesey’s largest town, I asked the health board to take into consideration the challenges faced by primary care in the town over recent months. I was pleased that the Board responded positively to the case I put forward, and I’m glad this is being set up as an initial effort to bring mass vaccination into the Holyhead community, I look forward to seeing this being developed into a regular vaccination facility. This is good news for the local population.”

RESPONSE TO WYLFA NEWYDD ANNOUNCEMENT

Hitachi/Horizon’s decision to withdraw their planning application for Wylfa Newydd marks the end of the road for their project. The UK Government ultimatly failed to deliver, and there’s a real cost to that in terms of long-term job opportunities.

We have to concentrate in the immediate future on growing other employment opportunities – new projects and those already in the pipeline. Many are in the energy sector – offshore tidal, wave and wind, creating green jobs, developing new technologies that can be exported to the world, and bringing investment to the port of Holyhead.

The M-Sparc science park, and our School of Ocean Sciences can and will be a hub for research and development for that and other technology and digital ventures. I’m looking forward to Plaid Cymru being given a chance to establish its Ynni Cymru/Energy Wales body here on the island.
And of course the Wylfa site itself and the skills developed there over many years remain very valuable, potentially for a smaller development that could ultimately be more sustainable for our communities. I’ve already spoken with potential developers. But we can’t build up hopes until we know there’s a realistic deliverable plan.

Of course, we have much more than energy to offer. We have exciting businesses across many sectors. We can do so much more in food production, and there are opportunities to develop homegrown and locally-driven tourism and hospitality ventures.

I know Wylfa divided opinion in many ways, and I’ve always respected the different views held. Today’s announcement will be welcomed by some, but it is a real blow to others, many of whom I know well, who had hoped for speedy progress on the Wylfa plan for the opportunities it represented. Now we must all focus on all those new and existing opportunities than can and will give hope to them and generations to come here on Ynys Môn.

Holyhead Waterfront Development – The people of Holyhead need to make their voices heard.

With less than a week to go on the consultation, MS for Ynys Môn is asking the people of Holyhead to make sure their voice is heard and to share their views on the latest proposals for a waterfront development. Many positives could come out of the properly thought out and locally supported development in the inner harbour, but following controversy around the original plans, it’s important that lessons are learnt. I believe Holyhead can benefit from having the right development in place. The loss of the Marina due to storm Emma two years ago has been a blow. But any scheme must be one that is sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the people of Holyhead. They are the most important in this, and I encourage people to have their say. I know for example, that many concerns remain about the impact on the Newry beach area itself. I had argued for shifting westwards, to include renovating the Porthyfelin House and Soldiers Point House, but that is now in addition to the Newry development. I want to ensure that people have their say, so that issues relating to potential overdevelopment, protecting local amenities, the nature of the housing being provided, and impact on the local community are genuinely taken into account.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS stands with British Gas / Centrica strikers

Anglesey MS condemns ‘Fire and Rehire’ scheme

As thousands of British Gas / Centrica employees continue to take industrial action the Senedd Memeber for Ynys Môn has again criticized the company for undermining the workers’ contracts. British Gas is, in effect, undergoing a process of dismissing their staff and re-employing on less favorable contracts.

Anglesey’s Member of the Senedd, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, extended his support to the company employees who will strike again today and next week to press British Gas to change their minds. He has already written to the British Government asking for support for the workforce.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:

“It is totally unacceptable to treat the workforce this way. Many of them have given loyal years of service to the company, treating them this way would not be fair at any time, but especially now in the midst of the uncertainty of the pandemic. This kind of practice should be banned.”

In September last year, Mr ap Iorwerth wrote to the then British Government Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma MP to request his support for British Gas and Centrica employees and called for this practice to be banned from employers.

An employee of British Gas, who serves the Anglesey constituency told Rhun that he and his fellow British Gas engineers were “very angry with the managers who are trying to bully us into accepting new terms, which set targets which are impossible to reach,” adding that they will “put us under extreme pressure”.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS stressed:

“British Gas’s decision to treat its employees in this way is unreasonable, and I extend all support to the striking workers over the coming weeks. There are 15 employees who take responsibility for the Anglesey and North West Wales area, absolutely essential workers who deserve fair play and reasonable contracts from their employers.”

“I really hope British Gas reconsiders their decision which is going to affect thousands of people across the UK. This is a battle for others who may face similar tactics from their employers. ”

“HOLYHEAD NEEDS ITS OWN VACCINATION CENTRE” says Ynys Môn MS

“HOLYHEAD NEEDS ITS OWN VACCINATION CENTRE” says Ynys Môn MS
Disappointment as health board confirms ‘no plans’ for second Anglesey site

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS has expressed his disappointment following confirmation from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board that there are currently no plans for a community vaccination centre in Holyhead.

The Member of the Senedd welcomed the fact that GPs on the island have already been involved in the vaccination programme, but says that community vaccination centres should be provided in areas of higher population to ensure speedy and convenient delivery of the vaccine programme. He has written to BCUHB to make the case for a second centre, and says Anglesey Council is also supportive and is eager to provide a location, as they have done with the leisure centre in Llangefni.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:

“I welcome that a centre has been earmarked for Llangefni, and having a centre in Bangor will make it accessible to people who live in the south of the island too. However, it is clear to me that we also need a vaccination centre for the most populated part on the Island, which is the Holyhead area, especially given recent pressure on primary care services in the town.”

Meanwhile, in his role as Shadow Minister for Health and Care, Mr ap Iorwerth will continue to push for improvements in the rollout of the vaccine Wales-wide, saying that the process started too slowly on a national level.

In the Senedd this week he he tabled an emergency question following suggestions by the First Minister that current stocks of vaccine would be spread out over a period of weeks, rather than be given out as quickly as possible. The First Minister subsequently withrew that suggestion. The Ynys Môn MS called for absolute clarity on vaccination strategy, transparency about the sharing of the vaccine UK-wide and within Wales, and about where problems arise in the system.

Mr ap Iorwerth praised the vaccination teams, adding:

“We have brilliant vaccinating teams are already at work, and others are poised ready to go, but it is crucial now that Welsh Government build the confidence we need in this all important vaccination programme.

“There are real signs that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has been picking up the pace but let’s now see further plans for easing the mammoth task ahead of us, with more vaccination centres in more communities.”

First Minister’s comments on Welsh vaccine rollout “very frustrating”

The First Minister’s comments on the slowness of the Welsh vaccine roll-out is “very frustrating”, Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth MS has said.

The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said one of the reasons more of the supply had not been used at once was to prevent “vaccinators standing around with nothing to do”.

Mark Drakeford also claimed that Wales falling behind England on vaccine rollout “isn’t the most important thing” and that the variation between Welsh and English rollout numbers showed “very marginal differences”

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS for Ynys Môn said,

“Wales appears now to be dramatically behind England in terms of vaccine rollout, so to see the First Minister being relaxed about the slow pace of the vaccine roll-out here is very, very frustrating.

“The most recent data from both NHS England and Public Health Wales demonstrates that Wales is lagging way behind. Figures from January 17 show that more than 3.7 million doses have been administered in England – almost half a million of which being second dose. In Wales figures from 16 January show 126,504 vaccines administered, including only 129 second doses.

“Comparing population sizes, if Wales was vaccinating at the same rate we’d have hit around 190,000. Comparing Wales and England isn’t always useful – for various reasons, we’re ahead on some things, and England ahead on others – it’s swings and roundabouts. But where it’s a four-nations programme, we need to know it’s a level playing field.

“Welsh Government must give an update on vaccines made available for Wales – of each type – plus numbers vaccinated in Wales compared to England, using the different types of vaccine, and on the projected supply of vaccines in the weeks to come. Why are we rationing here?

“Transparency is crucial at this stage so that progress can be measured, and that both governments can be held accountable and questioned on progress where needed.”

STOP “INSURMOUNTABLE” PAYWALL


Rhun ap Iorwerth MS says Welsh rugby fans mustn’t be priced out of watching the game when the Six Nations starts in February.
 
A deal between the Six Nations and CVC Capital partners is said to have been agreed, and it is thought that the majority of games might move behind a paywall. It is not yet clear whether S4C will be able to continue to show any of the games.
 
Member of Senedd for Ynys Môn, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,
 
“There are many in Wales who do not have the luxury of being able to afford to pay to watch sport on television. With current coronavirus regulations, it’s not simply a matter of watching the game in the pub, or popping to a friend’s house to view together – if you can’t afford to pay to view, you will not see it.
 
“Rugby is such an important part of Welsh culture, and the renewal of play during the pandemic has been respite for many. To place a paywall between the Welsh public and their rugby will be a cruel blow at what is already a difficult time. With no indoor mixing between households, pubs remaining closed, and fans banned from live games, this paywall will be an insurmountable barrier to many.”

RHETORIC IS LEVELLING UP, REALITY IS CUTTING DOWN

RHETORIC IS LEVELLING UP, REALITY IS CUTTING DOWN – Rhun ap Iorwerth AS / MS Ynys Môn

Plaid Cymru hits back at Westminster’s failure to fund Wales adequately during “perfect storm” of Covid and austerity

Responding to the draft budget 2021 to 2022, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Plaid Cymru Finance spokesperson said:

“This is a wholly inadequate financial settlement for Wales from the UK Government that in no way reflects the challenge of rebuilding the entire fabric of daily life in the Covid era.

“Wales is being hit hardest by a perfect storm of Covid and austerity, and our ability to invest in growing our economy is being hampered by Westminster’s failure to fund Wales adequately and its punitive borrowing cap.

“The Tory rhetoric of levelling up is betrayed by the reality that they’re cutting the Welsh Government’s capital budget at a time of economic crisis.

“Nothing that we heard from the Labour leader in his speech on devolution today suggests that the Welsh economy would fare better even with a change in government in Westminster.

“Whilst we welcome Welsh Ministers’ small step towards finally addressing the growing problem of second homes, a Plaid Cymru government would go much further and would build ten thousand new social homes every year to address the underlying causes of the housing crisis.

“Building resilience in our economy means spending smarter. A Plaid government’s focus on investing in infrastructure to create high-skilled, well-paid jobs and regionally rebalancing the economy would do just that.”