Friday, February 23, 2007

Yn Cyflwyno Eich Ymgeiswyr Plaid Cymru

Eich Plaid Leol Your Local Party

Introducing Your Plaid Cymru Candidates


Cefais fy ngeni a fy magu yn Hwlffordd a symudais i Lanwddyn yn 1986 lle rydym wedi mwynhau profi Mwynder Maldwyn. Rydw i’n mynychu rhai gweithgareddau diwylliannol fel yr Eisteddfod, Steddfod yr Urdd, Steddfod Powys (rwyf yn Is-gadeirydd Pwyllgor y Dysgwyr 2007), Gwyl Maldwyn, Y Mari Lwyd a’r plygeiniau.

I have lived in Llanwddyn since 1986 and am Chair of Governors at Ysgol Efyrnwy, Chair of the Lake Vyrnwy Marathon Committee and Vice-Chair of the Learners Committee for Eisteddfod Powys 2007. I am also a member of the Powys Citizens Panel. I have worked for Powys County Council as a Youth Training Officer and as a teacher in Llanfyllin High School.


Cefais fy ngeni yn Llangain, Caerfyrddin a fy addysg ym mhrifysgolion Manceinion a Chaerdydd. Rwyf i’n gweithio fel swyddog gwleidyddol i aelodau Plaid Cymru y Cynulliad.

I am a PCS union official in the Assembly and have a special interest in workers’ rights, rural affairs and the Welsh language.

Labour has had 8 years to make a difference in Montgomeryshire, but instead its urban agenda and obsession with Cardiff have resulted in threats to most of our local services – including our hospitals, schools, libraries and post offices.


I was born in Welshpool and educated in Oxford, Newtown and the Universities of Wales and Kent. I am a Plaid Cymru Councillor on Welshpool Town Council. I have a strong interest in the sustainable economic development of our market towns and offering young people a chance to remain in our communities.

Rydw i’n dysgu mewn ysgol breswyl ar gyfer bechgyn efo anghenion arbenning. Roeddwn i’n un o aelodau gwreiddiol Cyfeillion y Ddaear Y Drenewydd ar rydw i’n aelod o’r Sefydliad Materion Cymreig.

Mae’n amser Newid er Gwell . Mae’n Bryd Gwneud Gwahaniaeth.
Pleidleisiwch dros Plaid Cymru – Dwywaith!

Mae Plaid yn llawn ystyried nad yw pawb yng Nghymru yn byw ar goridor yr M4 na’r A55, ac rydym eisiau gweld pob rhan o Gymru yn ffynnu. Nawr yw’r amser i wneud gwahaniaeth trwy roi eich ffydd ym Mhlaid Cymru i wneud gwahaniaeth ym Maldwyn.

Only one member of Rhodri Morgan’s cabinet represents a seat outside South Wales. It’s time we made the Government in Cardiff sit up and take notice that Montgomeryshire is part of Wales too! Only Plaid can form an alternative government to Labour in the Assembly and put the issues of hospitals, schools, farming and transport at the top of the agenda.

What can Plaid Cymru do for us in Montgomeryshire?

Plaid has put a cap on student fees, won extra money for every school in Wales, secured the future of Tir Mynydd, won extra council tax relief for pensioners and set up an inquiry into the Welsh Ambulance Service.

IN GOVERNMENT Plaid intends to replace council tax with a local income tax, provide grants for reducing home energy consumption, create affordable housing, double spending on childcare, move three government departments out of Cardiff, develop, not downgrade, community hospitals, develop the Post Office as a service of government, appoint a Language Commissioner, purchase food for hospitals and schools locally and hold a referendum on the Constitution by 2011.

It doesn’t matter where you come from – Welshpool, Wolverhampton or Warsaw – if you think that what happens in Wales should be decided by the people who live in Wales then Plaid Cymru is the party for you. Two of our presidents, Saunders Lewis and Dafydd Wigley, weren’t born in Wales.

It doesn’t matter what the colour of your skin is, how rich or poor you are, how young or old you are or what languages you speak or don’t speak Plaid Cymru is the party for ALL the people who live in Wales.
Beth ydy polisiau Plaid Cymru?
What are Plaid’s policies?

Get involved! 02920 646000 Ymunwch รข ni!

Plaid Cymru ym Maldwyn Plaid in Montgomeryshire

It’s Time for a Change for the Better. It’s Time to Make a Difference. Vote Plaid – Twice!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Don Rhodri Rides Again!

Why on earth is Rhodri Morgan bringing David Cameron into the Assembly election debate? Most of the things he blames the Tories for are out of the hands of the Assembly anyway and, if Wales is still suffering, as he suggests, it is Labour's fault as they have had 10 years to sort it out!

Rhodri is well and truly in Don Quixote mode, tilting at imaginary foes, afraid to confront the real enemies in his own party. His truest statement is that the Tories have never won a majority in Wales but without a proper Parliament, which Rhodri resolutely opposes, the same thing could happen again and Wales would be defenceless in the face of an unsympathetic government in London - Labour or Tory.

Come on Rhodri, attacking the Tory record in Westminster is so last century. Give us a proper fight based on Labour's record in Wales, not on some bogeyman hiding under the stairs.

Monday, February 19, 2007

PCS Workers Deserve Our Support

The PCS workers who recently went on strike at Revenue and Customs offices in Welshpool and Newtown derserve our support if only because we shall all lose out if, as the Labour government proposes, they are all but closed by 2008.

The loss of 47 posts will take around £1.8m out of the local economy and with jobs in adjacent offices like Oswestry and Aberystwyth also being cut the chances of the workers finding similar jobs is slim indeed.

Also as the nearest manned Tax Office will be in Telford or Wrexham anybody who depends on a face-to-face interview to sort out their tax affairs will be faced with a long journey or will have to use the phone or internet.

With tax evasion and VAT fraud conservatively estimated at no less than a staggering £30bn it would make sense for staff to be retained to recoup these losses which are robbing us all of due revenue.

It is hypocritical of Labour AMs to pretend to support the PCS officers when it is their own government which is cutting their jobs!

A Good Day on the Campaign Trail!

Nerys Evans, Mid and West Wales list candidate, and I spent a very useful day in Welshpool today starting with an hour in the market with Montgomeryshire's farmers. Following that we met with Clive Faulkener of the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust and shared some thoughts about sustainable farming, especially in the uplands, which Clive thinks will be particularly at risk from climate change.

We had a very pleasant working lunch with Nick Knight, Mark Lingard and Anwen Evans of the County Times and then spent an hour with Oldford Commiuniites First and heard about some of the very interesting developments there from Mandy and Hannah. We then met with Dave Morris, PCS union convenor in HMRC Welshpool, who had done some research on the economic consequences of the proposed job losses and had calculated that the impact on the economy would be about £1.8m per year - an awful lot for an area like Welshpool.

Our final visit was to Derwen Farm Shop in Guilsfield where we met Rachel Joseph, the owner, and Zoe (see photo above with [l to r] me, Zoe, Nerys and Rachel) The shop is full of superb and mostly Welsh produce and is a shining example of what can be achieved by local sourcing of food - something Plaid Cymru will be treating as a priority in the new Assembly after 3 May.

I should like to thank all the above for taking time to meet with us today and also to Arwyn Groe, Mike Allen and Sion Powys for accompanying us during parts of the day.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Labour in Westminster keeps ignoring Labour in Cardiff

The past two weeks have offered us vivid illustrations of the political imbalance which exists between Westminster and Cardiff.

First we heard Sue Essex apparently supporting PCS workers against the action of her own government in London and then we had Rhodri Morgan calling for 0% interest rates in Wales. Both of these Assembly politicians will be routinely ignored by their counterparts in Westminster and what London wants (job losses in the public sector and punitively high interest rates for manufacturing industries) it will no doubt get.

Unfortunately we can expect much more of this after 3 May. The Government of Wales Act ensures that Peter Hain and his Westminster pals will have no fewer than five opportunities to overturn any measure proposed by the Assembly. This is a direct consequence of Rhodri Morgan's obsequious capitulation to his MPs when he chose the ridiculous Orders in Council over the sensible recommendations of the Richard Commission.

With the weakest legislature in Europe on offer it will be no surprise if participation in the Assembly elections on 3 May falls below 40% and Morgan and Hain will have only themselves to blame.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ambulance Response Times Put Residents At Risk

Last year a footballer with a broken leg had to wait for 40 minutes on a cold pitch in Llanwddyn for an ambulance to arrive. Last month a family near Llanwddyn waited 50 minutes for an ambulance to attend an emergency call. Will the next occasion be 60 minutes or even more?

I have no doubt that the ambulance crews themselves are doing a sterling job but the management of the service leaves much to be desired. It is true that for 360 days of the year perhaps we may only need a routine service but on the other five we expect an emergency response from what is, after all, an emergency service.

The whole of the north-west of Montgomeryshire, including the accident blackspots of Lake Vyrnwy and Pistyll Rhaeadr, is being put at risk because of the down-grading of the Llanfyllin Ambulance Station and this needs to be re-examined urgently.

In 2003 the Labour Assembly Government promsed that ambulances would meet their response time targets in 65% of life-threatening situations by March 2005. Latest figures show it is actually happening on just 54% of such occasions. Something is seriously wrong and it requires immediate action.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Nerys Evans, Plaid Candidate for Mid and West Wales, and I will be visiting Welshpool businesses on Monday 19 February.

Welshpool is typical of many Welsh towns with its historic produce and livestock markets alongside more recently developed light industry and services. Plaid Cymru proposes cutting business rates to support Montgomeryshire’s market towns and also developing both public and private transport links so that goods produced in Montgomeryshire can access wider markets more easily”.

We will also be visiting Welshpool Town Hall to discuss the exciting developments on Welshpool Town Council with Plaid Cymru Town Councillor and Mid and West Wales candidate, Cllr David Senior.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Call for an Inquiry into Ambulance Response Times in Montgomeryshire

Today I am calling on the Powys Local Health Board and the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust to launch a joint inquiry into the ambulance response time of 50 minutes to a fatal accident near Llanwddyn, Lake Vyrnwy, on 18 January.

I know it was an awful night and the ambulance crew certainly did everything they could but 50 minutes to respond to an emergency call does seem unreasonably long. I wrote to the Welsh Ambulance Service in May 2006 warning them that removing the 24-hour staffing from Llanfyllin and requiring its ambulance to provide cover for other stations in Montgomeryshire would leave a large area of the county without adequate provision. Maybe for 360 days a year a routine service is acceptable but, sadly, sometimes an emergency response is required and it has taken this tragic accident to highlight the deficiencies.

I have consistently argued that the north-west corner of Montgomeryshire, characterised as it is by narrow roads and the tourist hotspots of Lake Vyrnwy and Pistyll Rhaeadr , deserve to be served by an ambulance which is stationed permanently in Llanfyllin and which is staffed 24 hours a day.
Rhodri doesn't want a Referendum!

I am sure that all the parties in Wales want the Assembly elections to be fought on the genuine issues affecting us in Wales but Rhodri Morgan is naive if he thinks that some voters at least willl not take it as a referendum on Blair's Britian.

He also seems to have forgotten that the Labour party scandalously and unashamedly used the 2003 Assembly elections as its own referendum on Blair's decision to go to war on Iraq and portrayed those of us who thought it was perhaps not the best option at the time as somehow anti-British.

The fact is whether the 2007 Assembly elections are a referendum on Blair's legacy or on Rhodri's future the result will be the same as the Welsh electors have clearly had enough of both.