Saturday, May 13, 2006

What is Peter Hain for?

What is Peter Hain for exactly?

It was reported in the media last weekend that Peter Hain had kept his two jobs in the cabinet because Tony Blair believed he "had done a good job in Northern Ireland". Exactly. No mention of how well or otherwise he was doing in Wales.

Why is it that we in Wales suffer such a man solely because of the quality of the job he is doing in another country? And why is it that Peter Hain is so keen to reconvene a NI Assembly which will have a huge range of devolved powers when he will not even offer them to us "for a generation at least"?

Closer inspection also reveals that his success in NI has been very limited. His failure to reconvene the Assembly even while the infrastructure of government has continued in place (including paying the members their salaries for doing nothing) has cost us, the taxpayers, millions of pounds.

Sooner or later Hain will have his promotion and will leave us behind. He ought now to pay more attention to the views of people such as Bishop Barry Morgan and Cymru Yfory/Wales Tomorrow who are here for the long run, who have a sympathy for the past which is not confined to petty politics and who have a real vision for the future of Wales, a country which is well able to determine its own affairs.

Monday, May 01, 2006


David Thomas, Plaid’s Montgomeryshire Assembly candidate, called today for help for Montgomeryshire businesses hit by the latest round of increases in fuel prices. Speaking in Llanwddyn on a visit to Glyn Roberts, a local haulage contractor, David Thomas said “Many of us have no option but to travel long distances to work and businesses have to spend a lot of money on fuel before they can start making a profit. Public transport in Montgomeryshire is not too good and many families have to run two cars as a necessity not a luxury. Although the present rise is caused by fears of a shortage the Chancellor could reduce the tax on fuel (currently about 63% and the highest in the EU) or give a rebate on, for example, road fund tax at least to all businesses registered in Montgomeryshire and he could do this without affecting any of his public spending plans.”

Is the Health Service in Montgomeryshire healthy? That was the question asked by Plaid’s Commission on Wellbeing (Health and Social Care) when it took evidence from members of the public in a special meeting in the Royal Oak, Welshpool, recently the same week that the Labour Government in Wales announced that it had “nearly” reached the targets it had set itself for hospital waiting times but that 69,000 more people were on hospital waiting lists than when it took over responsibility for Health in 1999.

Chaired by Helen Mary Jones, Shadow Minister for Health and Social Services and Mid and West Wales AM, the Commission heard that cooperation on the ground between GPs, local hospitals and the general hospitals in Shrewsbury and Gobowen was generally good but wondered why patients had to travel out of Powys to receive treatment which could, and should, be provided by local hospitals and Health Centres. A lot of money and expertise was being taken out of Powys and was effectively subsidising the Health Service in England which was already better funded.

The meeting also heard from Rhianwen Emberton from Berriew who has faced difficulties in obtaining the drug Copaxone even though it is generally available in England for those who suffer from MS.

Ydy’r Gwasanaeth Iechyd ym Maldwyn yn iach? Dyna’r cwestiwn a ofynnwyd gan Gomisiwn Daioni (Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol) Plaid Cymru wrth iddo dderbyn tystiolaeth gan aelodau’r cyhoedd mewn cyfarfod arbennig yng ngwesty’r Royal Oak, Y Trallwng, yn ddiweddar a hynny yn yr un wythnos y cyhoeddodd Llywodraeth Lafur Cymru ei bod “bron” wedi cyrraedd y targedau a osododd iddi ei hun ar gyfer amseroedd aros ysbytai ond bod bron i 69,000 mwy o bobl ar restri aros ysbytai nag yr oedd pan gymrodd y Llywodraeth y cyfrifoldeb am Iechyd drosodd yn 1999.

O dan gadeiryddiaeth Helen Mary Jones, Gweinidog yr Wrthblaid dros Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol ac Aelod Cynulliad Canolbarth a Gorllewin Cymru, clywodd y Comisiwn fod Meddygon Teulu, ysbytai lleol a’r ysbytai cyffredinol yn Amwythig a Gobowen yn cydweithio’n dda ar y cyfan, ar lawr gwlad. Fodd bynnag, holwyd pam fod rhaid i gleifion deithio allan o Bowys i dderbyn triniaeth y gellid, ac y dylid, ei rhoi mewn ysbytai lleol a Chanolfannau Iechyd. Roedd llawer o arian ac arbenigedd yn mynd allan o Bowys ac mewn gwirionedd, roedd yn rhoi cymhorthdal i’r Gwasanaeth iechyd yn Lloegr, a oedd eisoes yn derbyn mwy o arian.

Clywodd y cyfarfod gan Rhianwen Emberton o Aberriw, hefyd, a oedd wedi wynebu anawsterau wrth geisio cael y cyffur Copaxone er bod hwnnw ar gael yn Lloegr, yn gyffredinol, i’r rhai oedd yn dioddef o MS.

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