Whitchurch, Llandaff and Llandaff North
In January, I visited the newly-opened Hyb and revamped library in Llandaff North on the site of the old library. I have been working closely with Councillor Dilwar Ali to press for the much-needed facility. The library space is bright and welcoming – and there is a quiet area as well as space for children’s events. The housing and benefits advice available at the Hyb will be invaluable as well as facilities including meeting rooms for community groups, a community café, free access to the internet and computers to access online services (training help is on hand). This is becoming increasingly important as there are moves to make benefit claims paperless.
At the station in Llandaff North, work is still ongoing to improve the station facilities. The lifts were finally in service at the end of the year and a new ticket office is planned, along with improved parking facilities. I continue to keep in regular touch with Network Rail over the improvements which are scheduled to finish this spring.
Velindre Hospital is set for a transformation as the new £200m cancer centre moves a step closer. The project planners have worked closely with local groups, including the Friends of Forest Farm, as new plans look set to include land at the top meadows to give access to the new hospital via Coryton roundabout. This will offer better access to patients who come from all over South East Wales and will also alleviate problems from hospital traffic at the current site in Whitchurch Village. It is expected that the team will put in for planning permission this spring. I have also kept in close touch with the team at Maggie’s, which offers a patient-centred cancer support service. It has funding in place and work will start on a Maggie’s building for Cardiff in the grounds of the existing Velindre hospital.
March 10th was the first anniversary of the NatWest mobile banking service in Rhiwbina. I lobbied hard to stop the closure of the NatWest branch in the village and met with bank officials to keep up pressure on the bank about this. They agreed to provide a weekly mobile service, which I would encourage as many people to use as possible so that it remains viable in the future. The bank is outside Nest on Thursday mornings from 10.40am for two hours.
In the Senedd
It has been a very busy time in the Senedd and I’ve contributed to debates including on Brexit, the Wales Bill, dementia and higher education.
I also held a debate on behalf of constituents and the many families around Wales who have been affected by the contaminated blood scandal of the 1970s and 80s. I received cross-party support in calling on the UK Government to hold a public inquiry into the scandal.
I have attended a variety of events in the Senedd including the launch of a report which brings the setting up of a Youth Parliament for Wales a step closer.
I was also pleased to support the LGBT history and icons event. One of my constituents helped set up a support group for parents in 2001 and I was able to mention her in the Senedd debate on this. I was also pleased to meet a founder of Stonewall Cymru, Gloria Jenkins, at the event.
Last, but not least, I was thrilled to be invited to tour the BBC’s Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff Bay in January and see the sets of Casualty, Pobl y Cwm and Doctor Who.
The success of the studios has created more jobs for people from Cardiff and the surrounding area, and the BBC has a good track record of taking on local apprentices who have found work at the studios afterwards. And of course it was a thrill to go into the Tardis and onto the set of Casualty (I’m a fan). The studios open occasionally to the public for one-off events for fans – keep an eye on my social media as I will post about this when I hear the next date.