I’m standing up for our local newspapers this week, meeting industry representatives in Cardiff Bay. I’m grateful that the Herald offers me and other Assembly Members the opportunity to contribute and share. Local newspapers are an important part of how we politicians engage with those we represent. With a growing change to people reading much of their news online, the future of Welsh print news becomes even more challenging. Quality local journalism means local communities know what’s happening, whether it’s real-time reporting on a road closure, or an appeal for much-needed money towards a local cause.
Against the backdrop of further spending cuts by the Tories in Westminster, the Welsh Labour Government continues to stand up for our communities earmarking £20 million for social care. We don’t have to look far to see the impact of social care cuts in England. Cuts that force care homes to close, families unable to plan for the care of their loved ones, and the huge strains put on the NHS.
There’s also to be an increase in funding to help Wales’ most disadvantaged pupils. The extra money for the re-named Pupil Development Grant will go towards helping children in nursery and reception, as well as children in local authority care.
The National Integrated Autism Service will also receive additional funds. Wales is the first part of the UK to create a national service to provide lifetime support to children and adults with autism, and their families. The extra money will ensure all regions in Wales are able to provide consistent, high quality, and sustainable autism support, something I know people in west Wales have been worried about.
So it’s that two way communication that is so important in getting things done. Right now, the Welsh Government is consulting on a wide range of issues from local bus transport, rail services, to professional teaching standards, and a national draft dementia strategy. One advantage of devolution is that we can all have a greater say in how we plan for our future. To share your views direct visit www.gov.wales/consultation
Meanwhile, if you have a comment or would like to get in touch about what matters to you, I hope you’ll contact my regional office on 01437 765588 or find me at www.facebook.com/ElunedMorganAM