We need extra trains at peak times on the Rhymney to Cardiff line, which runs through Bargoed to Caerphilly. We’ve long had overcrowding on a daily basis. Coming home at peak time on the Cardiff to Rhymney line is not a good experience.
I’m glad to say that I’ve persuaded Transport for Wales to prioritise this service. We will have extra refurbished trains from this May, increasing the number of seats on each train from the current 212 to 292, which is a 38% increase.
This is a welcome step forward, but I will keep pressing for further improvements. I’m arranging meetings with Transport for Wales again this month and will keep you updated as to progress.
For a long time, the UK Government has been cutting spending on public services. In practice, this means that we see less money for the Caerphilly area.
I wrote to the council in January to suggest a number of areas where services should be retained and suggestions for those cuts that would have less public impact.
I called for the civic amenity site at Penallta Industrial Estate to be retained as it is central to the borough.
I asked for the withdrawal of proposals to end funding for community centres and for the Meals on Wheels service to be retained. I value the work of volunteers who keep the centres operating but they can’t do so without support from the council. Ending the Meals on Wheels service would hit vulnerable people.
I also said it makes no sense to cut funds to very small projects such the Senghenydd Splash Pad that runs in the Summer. Savings from these are small and the impact of their removal huge.
I’m pleased that each and every savings proposal was withdrawn from consideration by the Council when the budget was set on Thursday 22nd February and these cuts will not be made this year.