The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today (14 October) used a Welsh Conservatives Senedd debate to urge the Welsh Government to review the Local Lockdown Business Fund, as she speaks of her concern about the mental wellbeing of local entrepreneurs.
Mrs Finch-Saunders also urged the Welsh Government to reconsider its approach to lockdown restrictions, calling for the administration to frequently publish data on a local authority ward basis. Coronavirus restrictions were recently imposed on a hyper-local basis in Bangor and Llanelli, whilst County-wide measures remain in Conwy.
Commenting on her speech, Janet said:
“Almost two weeks on from the launch of the local lockdown of Conwy County, I am asking the Welsh Government to think about the long term negative mental health impact that the current restrictions are having on local business owners who are currently fighting for their very existence.
“Urgent financial support is necessary whilst restrictions remain for Conwy. The already late Local Lockdown Fund Grant does not go far enough. Jobs and livelihoods are on the line, evidenced by a recent Centre for Towns report which found that Llandudno had 40.9% of employees in shut down sectors.
“The 21-day rule of the Local Lockdown Business Fund proves that this administration is out of touch with reality. To allow this fund to operate on a first come first serve basis means it also degenerates into a race. This is an insult to all businesses affected.
“I have repeatedly urged for a hyper-local approach which would be less disruptive. How have we reached the point in which the Welsh Government holds local data for Bangor, Bridgend, Llanelli, Merthyr Tydfil, and Rhondda Cynon Taff, but not wards in Conwy County?
“I can see no justification for the Welsh Government not to frequently publish data on the number of positive tests on a local authority ward basis. Rural communities deserve to know if there is a record of COVID-19 in the village, rather than operating on a County wide basis.”