Posted: Wed 16th Sep 2020

A view from Clwyd South’s Member of the Senedd

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

Wrexham.com has invited Wrexham & Clwyd South constituency Members of Parliament and Members of the Senedd to write a monthly article with updates on their work in Parliament and the Senedd, and closer to home. (You can view an archive here).

Clwyd South MS Ken Skates writes…

The Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund has helped protect more than 100,000 jobs, figures released this week have shown.

The bespoke fund has so far delivered almost £300m of support to more than 13,000 companies in Wales, with hundreds of businesses and social enterprises throughout Wrexham and Denbighshire being helped to safeguard local jobs.

These include Plas Madoc Leisure Centre; F Bender in Gresford; Pat’s Coaches; Charles Owen in Rhostyllen; Read Construction in Brymbo; The Fat Boar and Neatcrown in Corwen, which I visited recently, to name just a handful.

The third phase of the ERF will open soon, with details to be announced very shortly.

A range of support is still available to firms in North Wales which have been hit by the pandemic, with more information available here: https://gov.wales/business-wales-can-help-says-economy-minister

As readers will be aware, First Minister Mark Drakeford recently announced a new limit on the number of people who can meet indoors as evidence shows gatherings within the home are the main source of transmission for the virus in Wales.

People are still encouraged to work from home wherever they can to limit contact and local councils will be given new powers to shut down premises and events on public health grounds.

After many weeks of being in decline and being managed in Wales, coronavirus is on the rise again. As such, the Welsh Government has had to focus on tightening restrictions to prevent cases from rising further and preventing the problem from worsening as we have seen elsewhere in the UK.

This week, another poll of Welsh people – this time for ITV Wales – showed continued support for the Welsh Government’s handling of the pandemic. We have all seen a number of localised lockdowns in Wales and throughout the UK, and is it vital we in Wrexham continue to play our part to prevent a scenario developing here.

The latest Welsh Government guidance can be found here: https://gov.wales/guidance-extended-households-coronavirus and an updated frequently-asked-questions page about face coverings is here: https://gov.wales/face-coverings-guidance-public

Locally, I have held recent meetings via Zoom with the Plas Brymbo Residents Association and the South Denbighshire Community Partnership, who I also visited last month to hear how a £500,000 grant will help them expand their fantastic operation into the Llangollen area to help more local people. I’m always happy to help Margaret Sutherland and her fantastic team and look forward to continuing to work closely together.

I have also held a number of virtual meetings with wedding venues in Clwyd South including Iscoyd Park, Tyn Dwr Hall in Llangollen and Tower Barns in Acrefair, who continue to be concerned about the growing number of celebrations which have been cancelled or postponed because of coronavirus.
What became very clear during these calls is that the UK Government’s furlough scheme must continue past October. The scheme has been vital in enabling large parts of our economy to hibernate and – as I have said previously – it is essential that it is not withdrawn or scaled back before businesses have been able to properly restart their operations.
Many local businesses agree. I am hopeful that the UK Government will listen and again call on them to either extend the furlough scheme or replace it with an equivalent wage subsidy programme, as Airbus have also called for.

I have received a number of emails over the past week about bus services, particularly since the return of students to school and college. The Welsh Government has announced a series of funding packages over the past six months to help the industry through the pandemic, most recently with an additional £10m ahead of the new academic term. This latest multi-million pound support package was to enable operators to increase the number of services available while also helping to cover increased costs, and I have raised constituents’ concerns about services in Brymbo, Johnstown and Rhos, among other areas, with operators.

Although I am unable to hold public surgeries at present, my team and I are still here to help and are continuing to deal with casework as normal. If you need advice or support, please email ken.skates@senedd.wales and include your full home address and contact number. You can also find useful information about coronavirus support on my website www.kenskates.co.uk and Facebook page @KenSkatesMS.

I also put out regular e-newsletters with the latest Welsh Government coronavirus updates and local news, which you can subscribe to here: http://www.kenskates.co.uk/en/newsletter-signup/

 

 

 

 

 

Wrexham.com has invited Wrexham & Clwyd South constituency Members of Parliament and Members of the Senedd to write a monthly article with updates on their work in Parliament and the Senedd, and closer to home. (You can view an archive here).



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