It was announced over the weekend that the UK Government has declared that Whirlpool must recall all their faulty tumble dryers after they were found to have been the cause of a number of fires.
The Government is working off estimates that there are 500,000 unmodified and faulty machines in the UK. That equates to roughly 700 units in Delyn. I wanted to know how the UK Government was going to contact everyone who owned one of these machines and how they would be kept safe.
The Minister stated that anyone with a faulty machine should unplug it now and stop using it. She went on to note that Whirlpool is responsible for the recall and that anyone who buys electrical items should register it with the manufacturer to ensure that it can be recalled in events such as this.
Although I welcome the decision to recall these dangerous appliances the UK Government seem to be placing a lot of onus on consumers when they have done nothing wrong. I hope that following this Urgent Question they will listen to what concerned MPs have said and take swift action.
You can check your model of tumble dryer here.
The rising in violent crime in North Wales should concern us all. It is happening under a backdrop of cuts to our policing budgets and the number of police officers on our streets.
This week, Labour secured an Urgent Question on the rise in violent crime following the devastating deaths on the streets of London. We are struggling with similar problems in North East Wales as County Lines have spread from Liverpool to Cheshire and Flintshire. The only way to tackle this in the long-term is through Neighbourhood Policing.
I pointed out to the Minister that even her own boss, the Home Secretary, has said that he wants to recruit 20,000 more police officers if he becomes Prime Minister. That happens to be the number of police officers cut since I was Policing Minister for Labour in 2009-10. Cuts that I said at the time would have dire consequences.
The Minister tried to sing the praises of the additional 3,000 officers. It doesn’t take complex mathematics to figure out that still means we have 17,000 officers fewer than 2009-10. She then mentioned that I voted down the Policing Grant last year. This is true. But what the Minister did not mention was this is due to the fact that it was still a cut from previous budgets.
The Government need to listen to communities and police officers. We need more police and we need them now.
It was a pleasure to attend the opening of the new improvements to Holywell Town FC today with Cllr. Paul Johnson, Mayor of Holywell, Hannah Blythyn AM and Sean Elliot, Chair of Holywell Town FC. These improvements could only be secured by the community investment of Anwyl, the National Lottery Community Fund and Aura.
The improvements will allow children access to community engagement and education resources at the football club and bring added benefits to the local community.
The new Minister of State for Prisons was before the Justice Select Committee this week and I wanted to grill him on wasted taxpayer money through the privatisation of probation services.
The National Audit Office undertook a review into this failed experiment – started by the current Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP – and concluded that the Ministry of Justice has had to pump £467 million into the failed project to try and stabilise them.
You can see from my questioning that the Minister and his civil servants were very uncomfortable with these questions. There is obviously still more to learn on this. The Minister tried to hide behind his belief that the taxpayer has saved money because the services are being renationalised again. But this is a completely false way of looking at things. To make a comparison, if you moved out of your house you would stop paying the rent – meaning you make a saving – but you will still need to find somewhere else to live which will cost you rent. The same can be said for rehabilitation. We may no longer be paying the private companies to undertake the work, but we will still have to undertake it ourselves. But we lose the money we spent on private firms prior to renationalisation.
This has been a failed experiment that I voted against when it was first proposed in the 2010-15 Parliament. Our money has been wasted for dogma of private good, public bad. The UK Government should be ashamed.