Happy New Year
Although we’re now well into January, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all readers a very happy New Year. In the old Welsh tradition of the Mari Lwyd, the new year actually began on January 6 (or the ‘hen galan’), so it would still be early in the year if we lived in the nineteenth century!
So happy New Year – and what a year it’s set to be. 2020 looks sure to be a highly eventful year in the political world, now that we know that we will be beginning the process of leaving the EU at the end of this month. The December election has focused many minds, and whatever we think about the outcome of that election, we know that we have a set dynamic in Westminster for the coming months. My focus in the Senedd will be to ensure that Wales gets the best possible deal when we leave the EU and that the interests of people in the south east of Wales are given a fair hearing in future trade negotiations.
My new role
Last week, Plaid Cymru’s leader, Adam Price, announced that he was promoting me to a new role in the shadow cabinet. My new role is Shadow Minister for Public Service Transformation and the Future. As part of this role, I will be looking at how we can improve working between different public services, so that the people who use those services get the best treatment possible. I’ll be looking to improve referral pathways between health, social services, advice services, housing, local government, and other services, and I’d like to hear your views and your stories about why we need to see improvement. I’m also keen to hear about where you think we can find best practice amongst our public services so that we can learn from those examples. I’m looking forward to taking on this new role in earnest.
As part of my new role, I will continue in my work as Plaid’s shadow minister for the future, which involves me taking a long-term view about how our policy decisions now can impact on the lives of our children and grandchildren, as well as what steps we can take to help those future generations. I’m keen to hear your views on this too, so please get in touch if you have any ideas you’d like me to consider.
More than 3,000 people have signed Plaid’s petition calling on Caerphilly Council to turn street lights back on across the borough. I’m really concerned about the effect that this widespread street lighting switch-off is having on older and more vulnerable people, who may be disinclined to leave their homes after dark. I’ll continue to find ways of raising my concerns with the council and the Welsh Government.