Before heading back to the Bay….
Next week the National Assembly resumes its cycle of business in the Senedd and as AMs we return to Plenary meetings, questions to Cabinet Secretaries, debates and statements. In addition the Assembly Committees resume their work and it looks like I may have some committee changes afoot – more of which another day.
It will be a big few months in the National Assembly and even before our business formally commences there are already some political changes in one group – membership of some groups has certainly been very fluid in this fifth Assembly term.
Let alone the ongoing deliberations around the Brexit negotiations we will have the UK Treasury delivering an Autumn Budget and that will be paralleled, and followed by, the Welsh Government Budget round. The two events are interlinked as we need the UK Treasury to change their austerity policies if we are to see investment return to our public services, give people the pay rises they deserve and be able to protect many local services. Without a change of direction we all face some very tough decisions.
The political parties across the Assembly have, or are, electing new Leaders. In Welsh Labour’s case we should formally start our election in the near future and then we will know our new Leader by late November. The Assembly itself will then hold the process of nomination and election of a new First Minister before Christmas.
Your local health and care services
Those who follow my social media will know my Summer has been very busy with meetings and discussions about local health and care services. This work will continue until about mid-October when I will reflect and report back on what I have seen and heard.
Thanks to everyone from local support groups (e.g. Parkinson’s and stroke groups) to voluntary sector organisations, providers of mental health services, the Police, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, GPs and their teams in primary care, Prince Charles hospital, dentists, optometrists, volunteering, exercise and fit and fed classes – and so on – who have given of their time and their views.
I have several weeks more of such meetings as I want to learn about the commissioning of social care from the two local authorities, make visits to residential care homes, visit to a local pharmacy as we think about the ‘Choose Well’ campaign and a roundtable discussion with colleagues from the local housing sector. I have also posted a number discussion pieces to my social media and website.
Last year you told me that the NHS was your number one priority. With this ‘drill down’ in to local health and care services I have learnt a lot more about the challenges we all face in moving services in to the community, in making our local services ever more responsive to patients and users, and the difficulties in meeting ever rising demands for services and treatments.
I have promised to report back in November and December and that process will start with a report to the AGM of Merthyr Tydfil Voluntary Action in November.
As ever my casework team continue to work hard in trying to resolve cases and the individual problems that come in to the constituency office. I know that yet again they have had a number of successes over the Summer so my thanks to them.
As always you can get in touch with the office at 110 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil – phone number 01685386672 or email [email protected] Please remember that while I am active on facebook and twitter I cannot take up personal cases in that way due to confidentiality and data protection rules so please contact the office.