I am pleased to start a new monthly blog and, as this is the first of 2019, can I wish all constituents a Happy New Year.
Some severe weather has recently returned so can I thank the many public service and emergency workers who help to keep us safe over the winter months, including those who are out gritting roads on the coldest nights to keep us on the move.
Mobile Banking Service -Rhymney
You may be aware that the Lloyds Bank in Rhymney is being replaced by a mobile banking service which starts on Monday, January 28.
The service will be available on Monday (9.30-11am), Wednesday (9.30-11am) and Thursday (9.30-11am). While this is not as good as a permanent local branch we do hope local residents use the new service.
With the cold weather we have seen an increase in demand on our hospitals.
It is frequently the case that at this time of year we often find a lot of pressure on our Accident and Emergency services. So it is important that we all “Choose Well” when we need medical advice.
We can all make sure that we get the help that we might need in the most appropriate place.
Remember that your local pharmacy can often help with advice and medication for a wide range of common ailments, and the minor injuries unit can deal with issues that don’t need a visit to Accident and Emergency.
You can find good advice on the Choose Well website: http://www.choosewellwales.org.uk/home
Health and Social Care in the Upper Rhymney Valley
I am pleased that Caerphilly County Borough Council, the Aneurin Bevan Health Board and other partners are looking at how to improve local health and care services in the Upper Rhymney valley.
The Welsh Government has made money available to see how local community services can be strengthened.
In Rhymney we have the Integrated Centre so it is good to see discussions about how the services available through this centre might be improved going forwards.
Transport and Jobs
During the year the Welsh Government will hopefully deliver a fresh economic action plan for communities along the Heads of the Valleys road which includes the Upper Rhymney valley.
The new investment announced for both our local rail lines (Rhymney/Merthyr) will be rolled out, and while engineering changes do not happen overnight, this is good news in the years ahead.
It is disappointing that Gerald Jones MP and I are back in discussions with the local police and councillors after some recent incidents. We have seen attacks on emergency service personnel and that is unacceptable.
The police will have our full support in identifying those responsible and bringing people to account.
As always effective community policing and safety depends on the local community playing their part. Whenever you have concerns about local crime and safety make sure you log it with the police using the 101 number, or call 999 in an emergency.
Advice and support
As always my office is open to receive queries or any request for help from constituents. You can write to the office at 110 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8AP or ring 01685 386672. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org . I also hold regular surgeries around the constituency. Details can be found on my website.