- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Categories: Feature, Media
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My inbox has been pinging with messages about the new 20mph speed limit. Not everyone is in favour. But many people, especially those living on and around restricted roads, are delighted. I agree – it will make our towns and villages safer, more pleasant places. It’s not appropriate everywhere, of course, and local authorities are responsible for these decisions. You can find the proposed exemptions here.
As with any big change, there are costs and benefits. Driving at 20mph can feel slow. But the new limit will save up to 100 lives and 20,000 casualties over the next decade. At the end of the day, those are the costs and benefits that matter.
At Senedd question time on Tuesday, I spoke about violence against women and girls (VAWG) within the police. Research by the charity Refuge has uncovered widespread failure to tackle misogyny by officers and police staff. Figures show that Dyfed Powys suspended all 4 of those accused of VAWG related misconduct or gross misconduct last year.
Last week I asked about energy bills, ahead of the introduction of the new price cap in October. Energy prices have doubled in the past three years and research by the Warm Winter Campaign shows how this is affecting households. 13 million adults in the UK are falling behind on bills or struggling to afford payments. The Welsh Government is doing what it can to help. Its support package includes the Warm Homes programme, to improve home energy efficiency in the long run, and short-term financial relief through the discretionary assistance fund and Fuel Bank Foundation. Between May and August, 672 payments totalling £135,000 were made to off-grid households in Wales, for example. Welsh Ministers are calling on the UK Government to help those hit hardest with permanent support for low-income households. So far, no response.
Elsewhere, however, Welsh and UK minister are working constructively. The proposed ban on disposable single-use vapes has our full support. Look around your local playpark and I’m sure you will agree – they are a blight on young people’s health and the environment. Let’s bin them permanently.
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