In his regular blog for Caerphilly Observer South Wales East AM Lindsay Whittle gives his take on recent news.
Many local authorities in England are looking to reduce new library services in the wake of savage spending cuts from the Westminster Coalition Government.
So I’m delighted that the multi-million pound refurbishment of the Hanbury Chapel in Bargoed to create a library and customer services centre has been completed. At the same time the congregation can continue to meet and worship.
This £3.4m scheme is part of a major transformation with regeneration work taking place throughout the town centre, where footfall has arisen despite the ongoing work.
A number of organisations have been involved in this scheme apart from the council, including the Heads of the Valleys Programme, Cadw and the Welsh Government’s libraries division. Everyone pulling together for Bargoed, which is great.
The Morrison’s supermarket development is due to start in 2012, so the future is looking a lot brighter for Bargoed.
Town centres have had a tough time across Wales, particularly because of the competition from out-of-town developments. So, it is great that with the regeneration of Bargoed that town centres are fighting back. They are the lifeblood of communities and I hope that regeneration investment will continue.
Commissioner for the Disabled
I’ve asked the Welsh Government to consider establishing a Commissioner for the Disabled, a champion for the disabled community.
As Plaid’s spokesperson on Equalities, I asked First Minister Carwyn Jones what action he was taking to ensure disabled people in Wales did not suffer from discrimination.
We already have a Commissioner for Older People and a Children’s Commissioner and I believe it is important, as do a number of third sector organisations, that we strongly combat discrimination against disabled people.
The First Minister accepted that the discrimination of the disabled was a serious problem which had been highlighted and, he described, the idea of a Commissioner was interesting.
Wales led the way with the creation of a Children’s Commissioner and I’d like to see our nation leading the way on a Commissioner for the Disabled. I will be watching closely to see what action the Welsh Government takes on this important issue.
Plaid Cymru South Wales East AM