Caerphilly Gas Works – The Lesson to be Learnt
Thank goodness the main street in Caerphilly is open again. As we all know, the gas works were completed two weeks ahead of the schedule agreed by the council.
Local businesses are finding it tough these days and they can certainly do with the extra ‘footfall’ which will occur as a result of these two extra shopping weeks before Christmas.
However, before the dust settles on this issue, I think it is just worth reflecting for a moment on one of the key lessons which everyone might learn. That is ‘people power’ cannot be ignored!
Make no mistake about it, if the traders and local people of Caerphilly had not said loudly and clearly ‘we are not having this’, then the likelihood is that the gas works would still be winding their sweet way down Cardiff Road.
In my discussions with Wales and West Utilities, as well as at the public meeting which they attended, it was clear that they were concerned about public opinion and the ‘good image of the company’. That is how it should be. They are a commercial company and they need to have a positive reputation.
The same cannot be said for Caerphilly County Borough Council whose attitude towards the genuine predicament of the people of Caerphilly was beyond belief. No doubt, people will come to their own conclusions over this in next year’s council elections.
I make no apologies for becoming involved in this issue. The role of a Member of Parliament is not simply to be active in Westminster, representing his/her constituents; it is also about being in touch with people’s concerns and everyday realities within the constituency that MP represents. That is why, when people are in difficulty and facing hardships, I consider it my responsibility to become involved. This is what I believe and this is what I will continue to do.
Labour MP for Caerphilly