September 2023 Newsletter
Welcome to my September 2023 Newsletter
Congratulations to all students who received their GCSE and A level results in August. I hope that they stand you in good stead for the future.
If I can help you with an issue or concern, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me by email - email@example.com
I attended the last of the local Summer Shows on Saturday in Llanfair Caereinion. It has been great to meet countless people and discuss issues for individual communities across Montgomeryshire.
People raised a variety of concerns with me such as 20mph default speed legislation and broadband. I've picked up on both of these issues in this newsletter. I was also able to update people on the campaign to save Welshpool's Air Ambulance base.
The shows are a real celebration of our area and our traditions so I would like to put on record my thanks to all the committees and individuals who make them possible.
Air Ambulance Proposals - One Year On
When the original proposals to close the Welshpool Air Ambulance base leaked a year ago, they were met with very widescale concern across Mid Wales.
In August, Craig Williams MP and I wrote to Stephen Harrhy who is leading the formal engagement process on the service's future to ask him how the service could be improved with Welsh Government funding.
Communities know just how vital the services of the Wales Air Ambulance are and have fundraised in good faith for many years to support the service.
People in Montgomeryshire and across other rural parts of Wales are absolutely committed to the Air Ambulance service. Our letter made that very clear. We want to see the Welsh Government match the strength of feeling across rural Wales with funding to protect the service.
We understand that the Welsh Government has a range of spending priorities, but it is clear to us from countless correspondence that local people in Mid Wales view this service as a high priority. We know this is the sentiment expressed commonly in public meetings.
Ultimately, it is for Ministers, and politicians to make decisions on the prioritisation of spending resources between different areas. We feel that for such an essential service it is right that every effort is made to provide the maximum possible Welsh Government assistance.
Mobile Signal Masts
It is always positive to see progress towards better broadband and mobile signal. They are essential service today, particularly for rural areas. I regularly meet with providers, and Craig Williams MP and I have met UK Government Ministers easier this year to press for and ask for updates in regard to Mid Wales.
I'm pleased to see that the following mobile phone masts are due to be operational by the end of this year.
Esgair Maen Y-Fan - Llandidloes (SY18 6NT)
Land at Llwyn y Gog Farm - Staylittle Llanbrynmair (SY19 7DB)
Revolution Bike Park - Llangynog (SY10 0HE)
Tyn Y Celyn Rhiw Fawr - Llanfyllin (SY22 5JQ)
Pwllan Farm - Tregynon (SY16 3ER)
Tyn-y-Wern Commins - Llanrhaedr ym Mochnant (SY10 0BZ)
Bron Felin Old Hall - Llanidloes
There are a number of other masts going through the planning process and construction which you can read about in my full update.
Views on 20mph Speed Limits
The Welsh Government will be introducing blanket 20mph speed restrictions (for what are now 30mph limits) this month. There are some areas that can remain 30mph under the criteria. You may have noticed changes already taken place as the Council prepares for the changes.
I believe that each community’s needs should be assessed and decided individually. A “one-size fits all” approach means that 20mph limits will be imposed in locations where it is wholly inappropriate. There have been concerns that the new one size fits all approach will impact on emergency response times.
In my view, with a price tag of more than £32 million, this is not money well spent at a time when Government should be focused on tackling the big issues at hand such as the cost-of-living, Wales Air Ambulance and our NHS. The Welsh Government's own analysis also points to a potential £4.5bn hit to the Welsh economy.
And while the Welsh Government may hope that a lower speed limit will encourage a change in behaviour and prompt people to cycle more or use public transport, there is little infrastructure in place to support such a change.
In many places, 20mph is appropriate. Lower speed limits outside schools, and hospitals are necessary. I have actively campaigned for slower speed limits in many places where there is a need for a lower speed and where there is community support. Blanket changes, however, seem unreasonable.
A few weeks ago, I launched a survey on my website to gauge the views of people about the Welsh Government's new regulations. If you have not already completed the survey, it would be good to hear from you. You can complete the survey using the link below.
A few weeks ago I visited Dyfi Bridge to see how the project is progressing. It will make a major difference to people in Machynlleth and the surrounding areas and I'm looking forward to seeing it completed. The Minister responsible has confirmed to me that the scheme should be completed by the end of the year. My full update also reports on a number of other transport related issues, such as potential work in Caersws.