In these enlightened times of building houses everywhere in an already congested country and that includes Wales, one may well ask who educated the town-planning or indeed any planning, officials? Take my own backyard of the small town of Tonyrefail. Situated in a small river valley once the hive of coal-mining. The mines are all gone now, not even a waste heap is visible. So far, so good but there are questions about proper government that need asking. If mines that used to employ thousands are closing and closing pretty quickly what about the plans for industrial renewal? This is one question that nags me – there were no plans at all. As a result thousands were unemployed, generating sickness and lawlessness. The South Wales valleys are still suffering from that disastrous policy today. Despite wonderful promises about ‘Standing Up..for’ the Labour government of Wales has singularly missed the boat. They might point out that in valley towns such as Tonyrefail there has been and is, development. It is true that hundreds of houses are built and more in the pipeline but yet again, no provision for services to accompany such development. Services like nearby shops, doctor’s surgeries, dentists to name the most important, transport like good bus routes. Again they might point out that not enough students are coming forward to become nurses, dentists and doctors. That is probably true but this situation has been developing for quite a number of years. Demographics has shown without any doubt the aging population with the need for services like hospitals and sheltered accommodation. Nothing much was done except to promise more money which resulted in hefty salary increases for top managers and an increase in administration staff. Due to bad planning a virtually brand new local hospital (Royal Glamorgan) has been denuded of consultants resulting in patients having to travel 20 or so miles to the next hospitals, Cardiff or Merthyr Tydfil. It is about time that politicians have a hard look at all of this, stop the flowery language, stop the sound bites and wield the scythe with abandon. Weeding out the bad and for once, install the good! After all, is this not what I pay my taxes for?
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