- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Categories: Feature, Media
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Storm Ciarán dampened Bonfire Night, with displays in Meifod, Welshpool and elsewhere cancelled last weekend. I suppose, as a parliamentarian, I should be wary of 5 November, but I do enjoy the spectacle! We are all aware, though, that fireworks can be frightening for animals and some people – so if you are hosting or attending an event, please enjoy it in a safe, considerate way.
This weekend our thoughts turn to those affected by war. I will be attending the National Service of Remembrance at the Wales War Memorial in Cardiff on Sunday. I will also lay a wreath there next week to commemorate minority ethnic and Commonwealth servicemen and women. Having represented the Senedd at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association for many years, I am mindful of the sacrifices others have made for our freedom. And as the daughter of a soldier, I am mindful and proud of Wales’ support for our armed services. The Welsh Government continues to help personnel and veterans, and their families, in several ways – including funding community liaison officers, Veterans NHS Wales and employment support for ex-servicemen and women. This year’s Remembrance events take place against the backdrop of the heartbreaking situation in the Middle East. I endorse Keir Starmer’s call for humanitarian pauses in Gaza – the international community must renew its commitment and action to achieve a two-state solution and lasting peace.
At the Senedd on Wednesday I put forward a question on the Hunting Act. It is nearly 20 years since fox hunting was banned by the UK Labour government. But evidence suggests the law is being ignored or exploited behind the smokescreen of trail hunting. Wales banned it on land managed by Natural Resources Wales two years ago. We now need the UK government to finally end hunting with hounds for good. We need more wildlife, not less. So, I am excited about the new Wilder Marches project. The initiative aims to protect and restore habitats on the Welsh-English border for species like freshwater pearl mussels, pine marten and curlew. Fantastic – that is how we should celebrate and enjoy our natural heritage.
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