In his regular blog for Caerphilly Observer, Caerphilly Council leader Lindsay Whittle gives his take on recent news.
CLAIM HELP WITH YOUR HEATING BILLS
With weather bitterly cold, I wanted to draw attention to a study carried out by the Home Heat which shows that millions of people in the UK don’t know or believe that they are eligible for help with their heating bills. Among the top ten areas in the UK is Caerphilly.
These people could be eligible for social tariff, if they are on a low income, on benefits for example, or help with loft and cavity wall insulation.
Fuel poverty figures released last month revealed that 26% of people in Wales were experiencing fuel poverty – spending more than 10% of income on fuel.
The Home Heat Helpline, launched by the Electricity Retail Association, have specialist teams that can offer advice on 0800 33 66 99. If you think you may not qualify it is worth a call, particularly with the cost of gas and electricity these days.
THE FUTURE OF RAILWAYS IN WALES
I wanted to support the idea from Plaid’s Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones of a not-for-profit company to operate rail services in Wales once the Arriva Trains franchise ends.
It would mean that profits could be ploughed into improving local services, such as those in Caerphilly County Borough, rather than going to Arriva’s shareholders.
Although the franchise continues until 2018 it is right that the idea should be discussed well in advance.
The idea of a not-for-profit company is not new because Glas Cymru has been running Welsh Water, Dwr Cymru successfully for many years.
This weekend my cabinet colleague Ron Davies launches his campaign his campaign for next year’s Assembly elections.
Ron, who is recognised as the architect of Welsh devolution, will be supported at the launch by former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley, who served both at Westminster and in Cardiff Bay.
By electing Ron people in Caerphilly would be guaranteed a powerful and respected voice fighting for them in the Assembly.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
I was delighted to attend the Little Shop of Horrors production put on by pupils of Pontllanfraith Comprehensive.
It was superb and I gather there have been standing ovations every night. Definitely a superb show and up to West End class!
Plaid Cymru leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council