Posted: Sat 13th Apr 2024

A view from Clwyd South’s Member of the Senedd for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 13th, 2024 has invited Wrexham & Clwyd South Members of Parliament and Assembly Members to write a monthly article with updates on their work in their respective Parliaments and closer to home – you can find them all here. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌​​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌‌​​‌‌​‌‍‌‌​​‌‌​​

In this month’s column Clwyd South’s Member of the Senedd, Ken Skates writes:

I was delighted to watch Wales’ women’s football team at Wrexham on Friday night, and it was fantastic to see new manager Rhian Wilkinson’s reign kick off with a thumping 4-0 win.

As plans for the redevelopment of the Racecourse and Wrexham progress, with support from the Welsh Government, I hope we will all get many more opportunities to see international football in our hometown.

After writing to the Cabinet Secretary for Health on behalf of local parents, I was pleased to be told that the Welsh Government hopes to introduce baby loss certificates later this year.

The UK Government launched a voluntary scheme in England in February to allow parents whose baby died before 24 weeks of pregnancy to apply for a free certificate in recognition of their loss, and a number of constituents contacted me to ask whether there were plans in place for a similar scheme in Wales.

I subsequently raised the issue with Eluned Morgan, and was told that the wheels are already in motion.

In her response, the Minister said: “Baby loss at any stage of pregnancy is distressing and I recognise the impact it can have on the entire family.

“The Welsh Government is committed to ensuring every family is appropriately and compassionately supported and understands the importance for parents to have their pregnancy loss formally recognised.

“Officials are working closely with UK Government counterparts to extend the certification process across Wales later this year.”

Baby loss at any stage of pregnancy is traumatic, and I believe something recognising their child’s life can provide much-needed comfort to parents. I welcome the Health Minister’s confirmation that her officials are already working with the UK Government and look forward to these certificates being made available to Welsh parents.

In the Senedd recently, I also asked the Cabinet Secretary for a progress report on the North Wales Medical School – a key Welsh Labour manifesto pledge ahead of the last election.

The school will train hundreds of medical students in its first decade and help ensure increased training opportunities for qualified doctors to stay and work within NHS Wales.

The Cabinet Secretary said: “The North Wales medical school is progressing well, with students due to commence their studies this September. The General Medical Council are satisfied with progress following their quality assurance visit in July of last year, allowing the school to proceed with student recruitment which took place in December and January.

“I’m really delighted with this, and to see people now being recruited directly to that North Wales medical school is really heartening. The direct intake will start this autumn and will increase to get to its maximum capacity so, by 2029, there’ll be 140 students per year. It’s exactly the kind of outcome we were looking for.”

The North Wales Medical School is a partnership between the Welsh Government, Bangor University, Cardiff University, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Primary Care providers across North Wales.

Around 50% of students so far placed in North Wales have not only stayed in the region but stayed in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, and I believe this pledge delivered by the Welsh Government will make a huge difference to our region.

I recently raised the long-running issues of car parking problems at Wrexham Maelor with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

I was told by the health board that an extra 250 spaces will be created this month when the Plas Gororau building near the Ramada Hotel begins delivering services currently provided at the main hospital site.

BCUHB added: “We will soon be progressing work with specialist car parking consultants RTA Associates Ltd to explore solutions for car parking pressures at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Wrexham Maelor.”

Ken Skates MS pictured with local historian and Partnership member Dylan Jones in front of the hotel (Picture credit: Ceidiog Communication/Rick Matthews)

I’m delighted that the team behind plans to take over the Owain Glyndwr Hotel in Corwen has secured funding of £452,700 to buy and refurbish the venue.

I met with some of the team when the campaign was launched and was pleased to write to UK Government in support of the bid to the Community Ownership Fund.

If you need support or advice, please email [email protected] or call my office on 01978 869058. You can also follow me on Facebook and subscribe to my e-newsletters.

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