Following last week’s resignation announcement from the Prime Minister, there will no doubt be a robust leadership contest, and from my perspective a strong leader needs to emerge out of this process to take on the role of Prime Minister and build a strong Cabinet around them.
The Senedd will break for the Summer this week, which will allow me to spend more time in Montgomeryshire. I look forward to spending time visiting summer events and shows and speaking to many of you to talk about the issues that matter to you.
If I can help you with an issue of concern, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me by email - firstname.lastname@example.org
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Barclays Bank Closures in Newtown & Welshpool
Following the disappointing recent announcement from Barclays bank that it will close their Newtown and Welshpool branches, the bank has claimed they remain committed to Mid Wales.
Whilst banks have pointed out the use of online banking, in my view, there remains a strong need for the presence of high street banks and in a meeting with them last month, I stressed the importance of their ongoing presence in the community and the support it provides for local people.
You can read more on this matter following my meeting with the bank here.
Following the announcement by Barclays, I have also created a public survey. Please click here to contribute your views.
Tourism Tax & Recruitment concerning for Mid Wales Tourism
My colleague, Craig Williams MP, and I met with Mid Wales Tourism to discuss the potential investment projects, ongoing staff recruitment issues, a proposed tourism tax, planning decision delays and opportunities to bid for government funding.
New investments include the £4 million at Meadow Springs Country and Leisure Park, Trefeglwys, where a further £1m is to be spent on a 60-metre indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym later this year.
The Centre of Alternative Technology near Machynlleth is also proposing a £40m redevelopment project which is seeking support from the Mid Wales Growth Deal.
To read more here, please click here.
Opposition to Large Pylon Infrastructure
My colleague, Craig Williams MP, and I recently met with local campaigners, who are, as we are, in opposition to large pylon infrastructure in Mid Wales following several pre-application plans for large scale windfarm developments within Montgomeryshire.
This includes proposals at Garn Fach south of Newtown, as well as initial plans for a similarly large development south of Llanfair Caereinion.
Read more here.
Dentistry Crisis in North Powys
As Shadow Minister for Health, I questioned the Welsh Government on the accessibility of dentists in north Powys and the throughout Wales.
According to the British Dentistry Association “access to services for new patients in Wales has more than halved since 2012, dropping to just 15% of practices accepting new adult patients.”
I've also received a rising number of concerns from constituents who cannot access dental services with some being put onto a waiting list and could be waiting up to three years to be seen and others who are offered a dentist away from the local area. For many, this could be up to a two hour round trip. This is simply not acceptable.
Read more here.
Calls to change School Transport Policy
Both parents and I have expressed concerns about the inflexibility of the current Powys County Council policy for free home to school transport.
Younger siblings are set to be denied access to free Home to School Transport to a particular school when an older sibling has existing free home to school transport to that school.
In my view, Powys County Council has a duty to provide pupils with free transport to their nearest suitable school if they live over a certain distance from the school and I have written to Powys County Council, outlining several measures that I think are fair and reasonable.
To read more, please click here.