Best wishes for the year ahead
At the start of a New Year can I offer my best wishes to constituents for the year ahead. Can I also thank the many public service and emergency workers who have helped to keep us safe over the Christmas period and those who worked long hours in retail, hospitality and other parts of our local economy.
At this time of year we often find a lot of pressure on our Accident and Emergency services so it is important that we all “Choose Well”, and that we get the advice and the help that we might need in the most appropriate place. Remember that your local pharmacy can often help with advice and medication for a wide range of common ailments, and the minor injuries unit can deal with issues that don’t need a visit to A+E.
You can find good advice on the Choose Well website: http://www.choosewellwales.org.uk/home;
The year ahead
Of course we enter 2019 faced with a huge amount of uncertainty. We are only a matter of weeks away from the huge issues related to our membership of the European Union. I am sure none of us voted for such disruption in our economy, the fear of job losses and the upset in our communities. If nothing else we have learnt how complex these matters are and the time we may still need to consider all the issues involved.
I try to keep my focus on important local issues. I hope for good news on the new bus station for Merthyr Tydfil soon. During the year we will hopefully deliver a fresh economic action plan for communities along the Heads of the Valleys road which includes the Upper Rhymney valley. The new investment for both our local rail lines will be rolled out, and while engineering changes do not happen overnight, this is good news in the months and years ahead.
Local health and care services
The health board, local authority and other partners are looking to strengthen the health and care services provided in the Upper Rhymney valley. So with new money being allocated by the Welsh Government I look forwards to further news about these plans in the months ahead.
Just before Christmas it was confirmed that for those people who need to enter residential care in Wales they will be able to keep £50,000 of their own money before care costs have to be met. This was a promise we made at the 2016 election and it is good to see the promise being delivered in full by April this year. In the same way the election promise we made on childcare for the working parent of three and four year olds will be fully implemented this year.
Advice and support
As always my office is open to receive queries or any request for help from constituents. You can write to the office at 110 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8AP or ring 01685 386672. You can email [email protected] .I also hold regular surgeries around the constituency. Details can be found on my website.