Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has urged the Welsh Labour Government to sort out the delays in Basic Payment Scheme payments to farmers which is causing great distress.
Kirsty has been contacted by volunteers for the Farming Community Network (formerly the Farm Crisis Network) who have seen a large number of farmers in significant distress as a result of delays in Basic Payment Scheme payments.
BPS payments were due in early December yet many farmers in Brecon and Radnorshire are yet to receive them.
Following Kirsty Williams AM being inundated by constituents, Kirsty has written to the Chief Executive of Powys Health Board asking bring back local ear syringing services.
Ear syringing can be crucial to allow people to hear, yet patients in Powys are having to resort to paying for the service privately or face along round trip to out of county hospitals for the treatment.
Kirsty Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, said:
“This is not right. Patients are having to face long journeys or paying expensive private fees to get a – relatively straight forward - procedure that was previously provided by local GP practices.
“Judging by the sheer number of people who have contacted me on this issue there is a clear need for these services to be retained locally, so I have asked the Chief Executive of Powys Health Board to return the services to the communities.”
Kirsty Williams AM has called for urgent action to retain GP services in Coelbren following the news that Dulais Valley General Practice in Seven Sisters is losing two of its four doctors and is concerned it will struggle to find replacements.
Dulais Valley General Practice provides a branch clinic in Coelbren, but have announced that with immediate effect the number of GP sessions in Coelbren will reduce from four a week to two. There will also be no GP clinics in Coelbren this week and will be none again during the fortnight beginning Monday 30th November.
The Coelbren branch remains open every weekday as normal for appointments with the nurse and to collect medication.
Kirsty Williams AM this week voted against the huge £10,000 pay rise for Assembly Members.
Despite urging all parties in the Assembly to join forces to fight the pay rise, the Welsh Liberal Democrats were the only party to vote against the rise. The Tories, Labour and Plaid all voted in support of the increase.
On Wednesday Assembly Members were asked to vote on the Assembly Commission’s Budget which is set to rise by around £1.1m. This huge increase in the budget is, in part, required to pay for the salary hike proposed for AMs by the Remuneration Board.
Assembly Members’ £54,000 pay is proposed to increase to £64,000 in May 2016. This 18% rise will cost taxpayers around £700,000 more per year.
Ambulance response times in Powys are in desperate need of improvement, Kirsty Williams AM has said today in response to newly published figures.
Figures published for August show that just 54.8% of emergency responses to Category A (immediately life-threatening) calls in Powys arrived at the scene within 8 minutes. This is down from 57.6% in July 2015. The all-Wales target is 65%.
Powys is the second worst performing area in Wales, with only patients in Ceredigion receiving a slower response service.
After failing to meet its ‘urgent’ emergency 8 minute target for over 21 months, the Labour Government in Wales has announced that from October it will now classify fewer calls as needing an 8 minute response.
People with hearing loss in the Brecon area could be at risk of loneliness and isolation, should an essential hearing clinic close next year, as planned.
Action on Hearing Loss Cymru’s free hearing aid clinics change lives every day across Wales, by helping people to manage their hearing loss in local communities. But funding ends and the clinics will have to close in 2016, putting 6,000 people in Wales at risk of loneliness and other problems.
Jackie Poley, an Action on Hearing Loss Cymru volunteer at a clinic in Brecon, said: “Hear to Help is an invaluable service for many people who wear hearing aids, particularly those who live in rural communities. We carry out maintenance such as fitting new batteries or replacing tubing, as well as providing advice and support. As a hearing aid user myself I understand the issues people face.”
Kirsty Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, and John Morris, Welsh Lib Dem Cllr for Crickhowell have vowed to campaign against the closure of the NatWest Branch in Crickhowell following today’s announcement that the branch is to close in November.
If it goes ahead, the closure will leave the town without an out-of-hours cashpoint.
Kirsty and Cllr Morris have been in touch with the bank asking for an urgent meeting with NatWest officials to ask them to rethink the closure.
Today, Kirsty Williams, AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, supported the NFU Cymru stall in Cardiff City centre. The idea was to bring a ‘taste’ of the countryside to Wales’ capital city to help explain to shoppers why it’s more important than ever to #backWelshfarming
In what is an extremely challenging time for the Welsh agricultural industry, with lamb producers and dairy farmers in particular facing severe price pressures, NFU Cymru organised a promotional event in Cardiff city centre to showcase the quality and versatility of Welsh produce first hand to consumers.
Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and AM for Brecon & Radnorshire said:
“When Powys announced its ill-conceived plans back in 2013, I expressed grave concerns about the effect the changes would have on my constituents. I take absolutely no pleasure in reading this report which confirms those concerns were realised.
“We must not forget the people and families behind this report. This process left people vulnerable, carers at their wits end and a financial black hole.
Kirsty Williams, AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, has expressed her disappointment at the news that Barclays is going to close its Llanwrtyd Wells Branch.
If the closure goes ahead it will mean the town is left without a bank. Residents will have to rely on the Post Office located at Llanwrtyd Wells Auto Services for their financial transactions.