Posted: Tue 24th Jan 2023

A view from Carolyn Thomas – Welsh Labour’s North Wales Member of the Senedd for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jan 24th, 2023 has invited the four North Wales Members of the Senedd to write a monthly column with updates on their work. You can find their updates – along with contributions from the Wrexham and Clwyd South MPs and MSs – here. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In her first monthly column for, Welsh Labour MS Carolyn Thomas writes…

Over the Christmas period, I have spent time talking and listening to workers striking for fair pay and working conditions. I visited picket lines to show my support for our amazing nurses, our university staff and our Royal Mail postal workers.

Before I was elected to the Senedd, I worked as a postie for Royal Mail, so I experienced first-hand the hugely negative impact privatisation has had on working conditions.

We are hearing selective information from Royal Mail, not the reality and truth, so I organised for the Communications Workers Union representing the workforce to visit the Senedd and speak with MSs so they could hear first-hand what is happening regarding the workforce. I also spoke with the Chair of the Select Committee Darren Jones MP before he interviewed the CEO of Royal Mail in Parliament.

Many of the people striking at the moment, from nurses and paramedics through to teachers and postal workers, were people we rightly called ‘keyworkers’ throughout the pandemic and have been left behind as public sector pay has been cut in real terms during a decade of austerity then rising inflationary pressures.

Privatised companies have been in a race to the bottom to increase profit for its shareholders through poor working conditions.

Covid showed to us whose work our country really relied on to keep moving – and it wasn’t the bankers or the hedge fund managers, it was many of the workers who are now striking for fair pay and working conditions. We should do everything within our power to treat them like the heroes they are and give them a decent wage.

In the Senedd, I am the Chair of the Cross-Party Group on Animal Welfare. These groups are really useful because they provide us with the opportunity to work with members of other parties, as well as experts and campaign groups, to come together and influence the Welsh Government’s policy on animal welfare issues.

We have been working on the ongoing campaign in Wales to ban greyhound racing, as well as looking to persuade the Welsh Government to ban private landlords from issuing blanket bans on pets within tenancy agreements in Wales.

This is such an important issue as it is linked to the housing and homelessness crises. I’ve had multiple cases of constituents in North Wales being on the brink of homelessness because they are unable to find a private rented property that will allow them to have their pet with them. Many are left in the horrible situation whereby the choice is either homelessness or giving their pet up and handing it into a rescue.

I have also been campaigning for Wales to be granted prudential borrowing powers – these are powers which allow countries to invest in transformational projects. Most countries in the world can access prudential borrowing, even councils across the UK can, but Wales is restricted from doing so because of UK rules.

This heavily restricts Wales’ ability to transform the country for the better – prudential borrowing could be used to fund new zero carbon social houses, publicly-owned renewable energy, or new rail infrastructure.

Back in North Wales, I had the opportunity to visit the new Health Education Innovation Quarter at Wrexham Glyndŵr University – an excellent expanded facility offering Nursing and Health degrees.

The new courses are proving very popular, so much so that the university has announced an extra intake for this January. It is here that Wrexham will be training up the next generation of Welsh nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists and more.

As a Member of the Senedd for North Wales, I’m here to help you with any issues that you might have. Please email me on [email protected], call my office on 0300 110 0176, or visit my website:

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