The Welsh Government has decided not to reissue the licence for coal mining at the Nant Helen opencast site near Ystradgynlais, writes Joyce Watson MS.

As a nation, we must be part of the solution to climate change, not the problem.

But Nant Helen and the nearby washery provide good work for around 150 local people, so it is vital that what happens next directly benefits local communities and creates sustainable employment.

The good news is that it is the preferred site for a £100m train-testing facility.

Current employees should be offered work on it, first restoring the land and then at the testing site. As we emerge from lockdown and begin to confront the task of rebuilding our economy, a multi-million pound rail infrastructure project would be just the ticket.

Talking of railways, the Welsh Transport Minister has written to his UK counterpart to ask for money to build four new stations, including at Carno.

The campaign to reopen Carno station was one of the first to lobby me when I was elected in 2007. This significant step forward is reward for years of their dedication.

The plan is for the station to adjoin a new community hub/museum at the former Laura Ashley factory site. Another exciting project that will improve rail connectivity and boost our post-Covid recovery.

For now, though, the priority is preventing the spread of coronavirus.

I am writing before the First Minister announces the next steps on Friday. Recently I have received lots of correspondence from people questioning the disparity between what you can and can’t do in England and Wales. I have also heard from people who are shielding who were overjoyed to leave the house for the first time in months.

Here in Wales the advice is they can take outdoor exercise whenever they choose, adhering to the same rules as everybody else.

In England, those shielding have been advised to go outside only once a day, unlike others. And unlike most people they are only to do so with someone from their own household or one other person if they live alone.

The easing of lockdown in Wales has benefitted some more than others, and I sympathise with those who do not live close to family – I myself have not seen my daughters and grandchildren since lockdown began.

However, overall I think the rules here are not only more sensible, cautious and closer to the scientific evidence than in England, but fairer too.