Senedd Bites #96: Wales set to lose MPs in revised Westminster boundary plans

(Title Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Wales still set to lose MPs despite cancelled House of Commons reduction plans

Wales is set to lose 8-9 MPs despite plans to cut the number of MPs to 650 being dropped by the UK Government.

Instead, the current number of constituencies will be “equalised” and with Wales proportionally over-represented in the UK Parliament compared to our population size, it will mean Wales will still lose MPs even if the overall number of MPs remains the same.

The original plans would’ve seen the number of Welsh MPs reduced to 29. A new review is set to take place in 2021.

Plaid Cymru calls for extra funding for council tax “holiday”

Plaid Cymru has called for the Welsh Government to provide additional funding to local government to enable them to offer a council tax break and expand council tax benefit to anyone with an underlying health condition that would force them to self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic.

The party’s public services spokesperson, Delyth Jewell AM (Plaid, South Wales East), said: “Local authorities are on the front line of fighting this virus, they need the confidence that they can invest in the services and support people in need. The only people that can give them that confidence is the Welsh Government.”

A package of £30million has been made available to councils with £17million of that earmarked for rough-sleepers and free school meals.

Welsh Government reveals single-use plastic ban plan for 2021

Several single-use plastics are set to be banned in Wales by mid-2021 as part of Welsh Government plans.

Some of the most commonly used single-use plastics, such as cotton buds, straws, balloon sticks, stirrers, plastic cutlery and polystyrene food and drinks containers are set to be included in the ban.

A consultation on the plans will be launched “soon”. Deputy Minister for Local Government & Housing, Hannah Blythyn (Lab, Delyn) said: “The measures I am announcing today are part of a range of potential solutions to the plastic problem. I am committed to working with stakeholders to understand the impact of this proposal, particularly on any citizens who may be reliant on some of the items we have included, to make sure we get it right.”

Coal Authority to create a database and safety rating for former coal tips

Following concerns about the stability of coal tips as a result of Storms Ciara and Dennis earlier this year, the Coal Authority has agreed with the Welsh Government and Wales Office to set up a single database of coal tips as well as a standardised coal tip safety rating.

A new helpline (0800 021 9230) will enable the public to report any concerns about coal tips in their area.

The database will include an estimated 400 sites on privately-owned land.

  • 2