Please find below my monthly newsletter to update you on my work on your behalf in the Senedd and around Montgomeryshire. If you would prefer to receive this newsletter in the Welsh language, please let me know.
As always, if you have any comments or if you would like to raise other matters with me on which you require my support, please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone by calling 01686 610887.
Russell George MS
Member of the Welsh Parliament for Montgomeryshire
Update on Covid-19
The final set of Covid-19 restrictions involving businesses were scaled back in mid-April, with the Welsh Government launching a transition plan for tackling Covid in the long term. While face coverings remain in place in health and social care settings, if the current public health situation remains stable, the remaining restriction will be removed on May 9th.
The number of Covid patients is now starting to fall and over three quarters of patients in hospital are being treated primarily for other conditions and then happen to test positive when admitted to hospital.
For more information on the Spring vaccination programme, please visit the Powys Teaching Health Board website here.
Levelling Up Funding for Powys
While some areas of Wales did receive substantial amounts of EU funding, Mid Wales was not particularly well served by EU funding and I have been working with my colleague, Craig Williams MP and Powys County Council to maximise the funding for Powys from the UK Government's levelling up fund which replaces EU funding.
I therefore welcome the announcement that Powys will receive over £27 million of funding from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), to help level up communities across the county. This will allow local communities to invest in local priorities from regenerating high streets, tackling economic decline, providing training and helping young people into good jobs, and will help reverse geographical inequalities.
Rail Works on the Cambrian Line
I was delighted to meet with John Rogers and Sir Peter Hendy to travel on an inspection saloon to view and chat about the Welshpool restoration and resilience works following Storm Franklin, and also last year’s project to raise Black Bridge near Machynlleth from floodwater. Sir Peter is the Chair of Network Rail and takes a keen interest in the Cambrian line. Thanks go to John from Machynlleth who operated the inspection saloon ‘Caroline’. I was also able to discuss a number of other issues with Transport for Wales and Network Rail staff.
Some facts on the Welshpool works:
Closed on 21st February following storm Franklin.
Over 10,000 hours worked.
4000t of material replaced.
3000t of additional debris material removed.
1/2 mile of double track replaced.
Back in operation on 1st April.
Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
Last month, I helped highlight Bowel Cancer Awareness Month at the Senedd, at an event hosted by Bowel Cancer UK, the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity.
Bowel cancer remains the second biggest cancer killer in Wales, despite being treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed at an early stage. 2,300 people are diagnosed a year in Wales, with 900 sadly losing their life.
Early diagnosis is essential to improving bowel cancer outcomes and being able to recognise the symptoms and speaking to your GP when you feel something isn’t right, could save your life.
Some of the symptoms include bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo, persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness for no obvious reason and a pain or lump in your tummy.
It’s important to note that these symptoms may be caused by something else, but it is vital to seek advice from your GP should you have any of these issues.