Celebration of Nursing event held in the Senedd to thank our nurses.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS paid tribute and met with frontline nurses who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic

In an event held by the Royal College of Nursing in the Senedd last week to thank our nurses, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS met with nurses from north Wales who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic, shown dedication to their patients and continue to provide high quality care day after day.

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn, and  spokesperson for Health and Care said:

“It was a pleasure to attend the event to celebrate and speak with our fantastic nurses who have dedicated their lives to the profession. They have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and continue to provide quality care, day in day out.

 “Our nurses and healthcare workers have made huge sacrifices and they deserve a fair wage and meaningful support to make this an attractive career option for more people, and a robust retention strategy. I led a debate in the Senedd last month calling on Welsh Government to truly show their appreciation by implementing those recommendations and continue to support calls for a real-terms pay rise.”

“I call on all men to pledge never to commit, excuse or remain quiet about violence against women and girls”

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS represents his party at candlelit vigil to mark White Ribbon Day 2021

 Today (25 November) is White Ribbon Day – recognised around the world as the largest global initiative to end male violence against women and girls by calling on men to take action to make a difference. Rhun ap Iorwerth, Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn, attended and spoke at a candlelit vigil held on the steps of the Senedd earlier this week, organised by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes – Wales.

Following the event, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:

“It was an honour to speak as one of the White Ribbon ambassadors in the event outside the Senedd again this year and to reiterate the White Ribbon promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

“In March of this year, the tragic murder of Sarah Everard generated a public conversation around girls and women not feeling safe in our society.  The reaction by some unfortunately showed that too often, as a society we place the onus on women to keep themselves safe, not on men to stop attacking women.  We must be clear that the responsibility to end violence against women and girls does not lie with women altering or modifying their behaviour, restricting their movements, or limiting their freedoms or fun. The onus sits with perpetrators not to commit these criminal offences.”

RESPONDING TO LABOUR MP BACKING WALES SPECIFIC COVID INQUIRY

A response to the news that the Labour Member of Parliament for Islwyn, Chris Evans MP, has backed calls for an independent Welsh Covid Inquiry.

Health Spokesperson, Rhun ap Iorwerth, said:

“We have long-called for a Wales specific Covid enquiry. In fact we called for getting an inquiry framework set up in the early days of the pandemic, so evidence could start to be gathered in ‘real time’.

“Wales rightly acted independently in so many areas during the pandemic and with so many of the relevant policy areas devolved, and so many decisions having been taken in Wales, we need a Wales-specific inquiry. The Welsh Government has got to take responsibility for its actions – good and bad, and there should be no avoidance of detailed scrutiny.

“As positive as it may be to hear one lone Labour voice agreeing with us, what we need is for the Welsh Labour Government to change its mind and do the right thing.”

Local solution offered to port parking problem.

There are fears that the recent closure of the Roadking Lorry park has brought lorry parking troubles to Holyhead once again. 

 

Before the Roadking development, local residents were reporting regular problems with lorries parking and causing nuisance around the town. Now there are calls for help for a local company who have offered one solution to the problem that result from HMRC taking over the roadking site.

 

Kevin Bryant and Paula Goodsir of Goodsir Coaches have opened a Truckstop on the Penrhos industrial estate. Already, they have built a loyal customer base, but the site needs further investment in order to make it a permanent arrangement.

 

Kevin Bryant said – “This is a good business opportunity, creating jobs locally, but it’s a response to a problem that we have here, we need spaces for lorries to park around Holyhead.”

 

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Senedd member for Ynys Môn, who has been supporting Goodsir coaches and their enterprise, and has written to Anglesey County Council and the Welsh Government to seek their support.

 

He said – “I know from past experience the nuisance caused by the lack of proper lorry parking facilities in Holyhead. I’m already hearing reports of lorries parking around the town and as we look for a new solution, here we have what could certainly be a part of the answer and I’m hoping this local company are given the support they deserve – it will not only help them, but also the town of Holyhead.

First Minister agrees to visit Holyhead port to discuss its economic potential

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS will meet with Mark Drakeford to discuss the investment and support needed to unleash the port’s potential.

During questions to the First Minister this week, Rhun ap Iorwerth, Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn took the opportunity to invite Mark Drakeford to Holyhead port to see for himself what investment is needed to ensure that the port’s “future can be a bright one for Holyhead”.

Rhun ap Iorwerth stressed that the Welsh Government must continue to urge the Irish Government to remember the importance, and to promote the direct crossings from Ireland to Wales, through Holyhead – the busiest port in Wales, following the publication of a map by the Irish Government last week celebrating the opening of 44 crossings from Ireland to the European continent.

In his question to the First Minister, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:

“As the impact of Brexit continues to cause major challenges in Holyhead, there are also major opportunities – new opportunities that we could be pursuing, and the most important of those are opportunities to develop Holyhead as the port to service the next development in wind energy in the Irish sea. And in that context, may I invite the First Minister to visit the port of Holyhead to see for himself what investment needs to be secured in that port as soon as possible to ensure that, whatever challenges we face now, the future can be a bright one for Holyhead and the workers there?”

In his response, the First Minister confirmed that Welsh Government have a major meeting later this week with Ministers from the Irish Government, where they will discuss opportunities and the potential for both countries from working collaboratively.

In his response to Rhun ap Iorwerth’s question, the First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS said:

“I am aware, of course, of the challenges facing the port of Holyhead. I would be more than happy to return to Holyhead once again to speak to people there. I agree, and I’ve read an article by the Member this week also, which focused on the opportunities that exist in Holyhead in the context of renewable energy—wind energy—and using the port to help us to create that green economy that we want to see here in Wales. And I’d be more than happy, when the opportunity arises, to come to Holyhead and to discuss the possibilities available.”

ENDS

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.”

YNYS MÔN MS MAKES THE CASE FOR NEW GREEN JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN HOLYHEAD PORT

 

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.”

LATEST SCANDAL AT MENTAL HEALTH UNIT SHOWS MOVE OUT OF SPECIAL MEASURES “PREMATURE” FOR BETSI

“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.”