Thoughts on the new Welsh Government
Posted Monday 13 June 2011
Following the election on 5 May 2011, the new National Assembly for Wales consists of 30 Labour Assembly Members (AMs), 14 Conservative, 11 Plaid Cymru and 5 Liberal Democrats.
There have been some notable changes made in the past month. Firstly, the name itself: the term ‘Welsh Government’ replaces ‘Welsh Assembly Government’. This has been changed in order to emphasise the difference between the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales, which is the democratically elected body that holds the Welsh Government to account.
There are also some key changes to the people in post:
- Carwyn Jones remains First Minister of Wales, but Lesley Griffiths replaces Edwina Hart as Minister for Health and Social Services.
- Mrs Hart takes over responsibility for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science, while Gwenda Thomas returns with an expanded portfolio of Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services.
- Jane Hutt, Minister for Finance and Leader of the House, has responsibility for equalities issues.
Find out full details of who's who in the new Cabinet.
Since the election results, Mind Cymru has been busy contacting AMs and ministers, many of whom are already familiar, to arrange meetings and make sure that mental health remains at the top of the agenda. We’re building on the issues raised in our manifesto and we’ve already had some notable success: the initial session of questions to First Minister, Carwyn Jones AM, on 25 May included a question on mental health and employment in which support for Mind’s ‘Taking care of business’ campaign was mentioned. Read the transcript in full.
It’s important to remember that over a third of current Assembly Members have been elected for the first time. Newly elected and re-elected Members are all keen to meet the people they represent and find out their concerns and key issues.
Now is a great time to contact your local AM to encourage them to make sure that mental health is a top priority. For help or support in contacting your AM, feel free to email me and let me know how I can help.
What mental health issues do you think need to be tackled first in Wales? We announced this morning that Mind Cymru, Gofal and Hafal have secured funding to bring national anti-stigma programme Time to Change, to Wales. Great news! So what's next? Post your suggestions below, or drop me an email.
Rachel Bowen, Mind Cymru Policy and Social Inclusion Officer
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