Saturday, June 03, 2006

Labour is failing Montgomeryshire on Health and Transport

Health and Transport were the main issues raised at the latest meeting of the Plaid Montgomeryshire Constituency Committee.

Members were distressed to hear of Rhianwen Emberton and Jessica Regan, two local cases of patients who seem to have been discriminated against because they live in Wales.

Brian Gibbons, the Health Minister for Wales, has a lot to answer for. No patient in Wales should struggle to obtain a drug or wait longer than strictly necessary for treatment just because they live a mile or so this side of the border. Powys is unique in Wales in not having a District General Hospital and Brian Gibbons needs to make sure that money is available to treat those patients who have to travel to England for treatment.

Members also discussed a paper received from transport expert Angus Eikhoff concerning a direct rail link between Newtown and Cardiff. This may not be a flight of fancy as the Assembly is looking to develop new rail links and members decided to press the Assembly to fund a feasibility study into the project.

It may be some time away but we must look at ways of increasing sustainable energy consumption as well as increasing non-road traffic through the county. We have the highest proportion of second-car owners in Wales here, not because it’s a luxury but of necessity and any way in which we can encourage cheaper alternatives in the long run must be justified. In addition we desperately need better North-South links in Wales and this could provide a real solution to both passenger and light freight needs.

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