Mark Isherwood AM's column - 16th March 2020

Speaking in the Debate on the Police Settlement 2020/21, I said the £1.12 billion increase announced by the UK Government takes the total settlement for the policing system to £15.2 billion, including £700m for the recruitment of 6,000 additional Officers by the end of March 2021 as the first wave of 20,000 new Officers across England and Wales.

I challenged the Deputy Health Minister over Welsh Government action to develop a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) in North East Wales, which could serve both sides of the border, stating that “only last month, BBC Wales reported that ‘Mothers in Wales are suffering due to the lack of a specialist in-patient mental health support unit - two years after the Welsh Government promised to develop one’.

Speaking during the Stage 3 Debate of the Health and Social Care (Wales) Bill,  which will abolish Community Health Councils in Wales, I said a new Citizen Voice Body needs to have teeth if it's to be truly independent.

I questioned the First Minister over his Health Minister’s bland response to the independent review which found that Psychological Therapy Services in North Wales are failing in many areas.

Calling for a Welsh Government Statement on Forestry and Biodiversity, I expressed concern that widespread planting has resulted in massive habitat loss and called for biodiversity to be genuinely protected going forward.

I also called for a Statement on the extent of Prostate mpMRI scans before biopsy across Wales and urged the Welsh Government to listen to Prostate Cancer UK’s calls for radiology units to receive the resources they need to ensure every man who could benefit gets access now and in the future.

Speaking at Mencap Cymru’s launch event for the ‘Safeguarding You, Safeguarding Me!’ safeguarding people with a learning disability Report, part of a wider UK research project undertaken by Queens University Belfast, I highlighted the problems currently faced by people with a learning disability and said action is needed to give them real voice, choice, control and independence.

Assembly engagements included Chairing the Cross Party Group on Hospices and Palliative Care, Women in Transport in Wales event, and World Kidney Day.

North Wales engagements included a tour of the excellent new St Kentigern Hospice, a site visit in Gwespyr with North Wales Wildlife Trust, and the Charity Dinner in aid of Nightingale House Hospice and North West Cancer Research held by the Chair of Flintshire County Council, Councillor Marion Bateman.

If you need my help, please email mark.isherwood@assembly.wales or call 0300 200 7219.