Delyth Jewell, who represents Plaid Cymru, is one of four regional Senedd Members serving the South Wales East region.
Residents of Caerphilly County Borough were the first in Wales to have to face a local lockdown, following a decision by the Welsh Government based on the rise in cases in the area.
I know that the people that I represent take their responsibilities very seriously when it comes to keeping each other safe and attempting to minimise the spread of the virus.
But in order to be able to follow the rules, there is a duty on the Welsh Government to be absolutely clear about what those rules are.
This didn’t happen when the Caerphilly lockdown was announced. I received hundreds of queries from concerned residents who felt extremely anxious due to the lack of clear guidance.
• A constituent not knowing whether children living outside the borough would be allowed to attend their deceased parent’s funeral
• Many queries about whether vulnerable people had to resume shielding
• People in the dark about whether children would be able to attend school outside the Borough
• Numerous constituents not knowing whether they would be able to go on holiday and whether they’d be able to claim compensation if not
• Businesses not knowing whether to open and what measures to implement
I raised this with the Labour First Minister in the Senedd on Tuesday, expecting him to apologise to the people of Caerphilly and promise to issue guidance at the same time as lockdown announcements in future.
But he responded with a bizarre and unjustified personal attack against me. You can watch the exchange by clicking here.
What he couldn’t see was that it wasn’t me he was criticising in doing this; it was the people of Caerphilly who simply wanted to know what the rules were.
The Welsh Government have got some things right during the crisis, for example keeping restrictions in place for longer in order to keep the rates of transmission as low as possible.
I will continue to represent the interests of the residents of Caerphilly Borough Council and the whole of the South East region to the best of my abilities, and will not be intimidated by a First Minister who was clearly feeling the pressure. If you have any problems you’d like me to help you with, my inbox is always open, so just email me at Delyth.Jewell@Senedd.Wales.
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