Assembly Voice: 8 February 2017

Working with RCT Council to help deliver the Cross Valley Link was one of my election pledges. I’ve pressed the issue with the First Minister and the Economy Secretary and I’m delighted that the Welsh Government have now doubled their funding for this crucial project.

1 in 4 people experience a mental health condition at some point in their lives. 2nd February was Time to Talk Day, a national campaign encouraging people to talk about their mental health and help tackle stigma. There are a lot of groups out there offering advice and support, such as New Horizons and Friends R Us, but I recently visited the new Abercynon-based project Valley Steps, which helps people manage mental wellbeing by improving emotional literacy and resilience. Founded in October 2015 with support from Cwm Taf Health Board, Valleys Steps delivers courses free of charge on an open access basis from leisure centres, libraries, church halls and community centres across Cynon Valley. Local GPs have welcomed Valleys Steps as an alternative to medication and counselling, and initial results show that the participants who indicated an increase in their levels of mental well-being – from low to medium or high – after attending a course had more than doubled. I also arranged for Welsh Government Health Secretary Vaughan Gething to arrange the project, to find out more about their work. For more information on Valley Steps, go to

The use of contaminated blood to treat haemophilia in the 1970s and ’80s led to people all around the world, including many thousands here in the UK, being infected with Hepatitis C and HIV. I spoke in a debate supporting cross-party calls for a full public inquiry into this scandal, as those affected and their families have never had a full explanation from the UK Government of what went wrong.

My proposal for a new law on accessible play was not drawn in the Welsh Assembly ballot giving backbench AMs the chance to bring forward ideas for fresh legislation. I will continue to campaign to improve play opportunities for all children, especially those with disabilities.