Monmouth's Member of the Welsh Parliament, Nick Ramsay, during yesterday’s debate on Covid 19 entitled “Unlocking our Society and Economy; Continuing the Conversation” raised a number of issues of particular concern to his constituents, and called for a four nations approach as far as possible as a Member of the Senedd for a border constituency.
Nick said:” Can I back those calls that have been made already for, as much as possible, a four-nations approach to this pandemic? I come from a border constituency, like a number of other AMs, and the virus doesn't recognise borders, so it's important, as was recognised, in fact, by the Welsh Government recently, that we do have a cross-border—as much of an integrated approach as possible.”
Raising concerns about local tourism in Monmouthshire Nick said: “It's important that we actually see action on the ground and we see incentives in place that really do move things forward. We need to see a particular support for our tourism industry, which has taken a massive hit. By its very nature, the tourism industry is seasonal, so, even if there's a lessening of the lockdown over the weeks and months to come, the season that delivers the revenue has been effectively lost, and the industry will not have the usual financial resources to invest over the winter period. So I'd like to see greater clarity in the framework being set forward by the Government of how the tourism industry is going to be supported. In my constituency, the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal is a major part of the tourism economy—not just the canal, but also the businesses along it, which are going to be affected. And a large number of people who use that canal are from overseas.”
Nick also called for more financial support for our overstretched local authorities stating:” We know there's going to be a supplementary budget in the near future, and this budget will be extremely important in making the relevant spending priorities and providing transparency. Those financial allocations must be sufficient to meet the needs of businesses and public service providers through this period of great uncertainty. I wonder if, in rounding up, the First Minister can update us on his discussions with local authorities at this time. We know that council budgets are stretched at the best of times, and the current pandemic has put them under massive pressure. As we now look towards greater community testing, that burden will increase, so they need to know where they stand.”