Hot on the heels of being crowned best breakfast club in Wales, I had the pleasure of visiting Trellech Primary School on Friday to see how the children begin their mornings.
Following an application by breakfast club leader Tony Webb, the school tasted success in the annual Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Awards and received a £1,000 prize. I heard how the school has spent some of its winnings on new outdoor picnic benches and is investing in resources linked to wellbeing to ensure pupils are able to start their day in a calm and positive way. Trellech may be a small rural school, but it certainly provides a warm welcome and prepares children for learning with a nutritious breakfast. It was great to congratulate everyone, including the cook Melanie Light, and my thanks to acting headteacher Kate Peacock for showing me around the school.
Afterwards, I headed to Abergavenny for a meeting with DWP officials at the Jobcentre. I was told the labour market is buoyant and there are lots of employment opportunities out there. They have done a fantastic job of supporting people facing redundancy at Tillery Valley Foods and the Avara food factory – most of the employees have now found work elsewhere, which is great news. We also discussed how the Jobcentre is further helping those who have the greatest challenges in looking for work. I finished the day with a busy advice surgery at the constituency office in Usk to discuss issues of concern with local residents.
At the heart of the NHS is the core principle that healthcare is available for everybody and free at the point of use, which I will always support. Last week’s landmark 75th birthday saw us celebrate and thank the hardworking staff and volunteers that have supported the health service, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. I want to see the NHS survive and strengthen for the next 75 years, which is why we cannot ignore the problems within our Welsh NHS. Healthcare is devolved in Wales and has been under the control of Welsh Labour for over 25 years. Both BMA Cymru and the Royal College of Nursing have issued dire warnings about the state of NHS Wales, where there is barely a 50/50 chance of an ambulance arriving on time. There are over 30,000 patients still waiting two years for treatment following the pandemic, despite the fact two-year waits have been virtually eliminated elsewhere in the UK. Welsh Health Minister Eluned Morgan urgently needs to get to grips with the situation, instead of firing officials who are running the health boards.