Working to raise awareness of Pension Credit
Over the past few weeks I have been continuing my campaign to increase take-up of Pension Credit, the means-tested benefit designed to help pensioners living in poverty, by speaking to senior citizen groups and retirement homes across Merthyr Tydfil and the Upper Rhymney Valley, such as Darran Valley 55s Club in Deri, to raise awareness of the benefit.
Take-up of Pension Credit in Wales is at less than 70%, with over 3,000 households in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney missing out on £5.9 million in benefits, and I’m working to ensure all those in our area who can claim it are aware of their entitlement, and don’t miss out.
The UK Government must do more to improve take-up, and should launch an awareness campaign immediately.
Campaign to improve access to cash in the Upper Rhymney Valley continues
Earlier this month I met with Nick Quin, head of financial inclusion at Link, the UK’s cash machine network operator, to continue my joint campaign with Dawn Bowden AM to secure more free-to-use ATMs in our area.
In August this year, after holding meetings with Link the ATM in Fochriw was made free-to-use, and Dawn and I are continuing to work with Link to secure free machines for some of the more isolated communities in our area, which have very limited access to cash, or even none whatsoever.
In the meeting this month I also heard about Link’s new delivery fund, which allows people to request a free ATM in their area through their local MP or council if it’s needed. If you’re a constituent and you feel you’re in need of better free access to cash, please contact me directly to take this forward.
At Idris Davies School to welcome new Heddlu Bach officers
It was great to be at Bryn Awel Primary School in Rhymney last week, with Gwent Police Rhymney Officers and others to welcome new officers of the Heddlu Bach ‘Mini Police’ scheme, in an excellent passing out parade.
The Heddlu Bach scheme is a great opportunity for young people to make a difference in their community, with Bryn Awel and Idris Davies joining other local schools such as Fochriw, White Rose and Phillipstown already taking part, and last Friday it was a pleasure to welcome new officers from both schools – congratulations to you all, and thanks to the pupils, staff and parents for making the day possible.