Galw am ddatblygiad ar gynlluniau gorsaf Bow Street

elin gorsaf 3

Yr wythnos hon, cwestiynais Lywodraeth Cymru ar eu cynlluniau hir eu trafod i ailagor gorsaf trenau yn Bow Street.

Cafodd gynllun ei greu tair mlynedd yn ôl, sy’n cynnwys gorsaf tuag at ben de’r pentref, a hefyd cynlluniau ar gyfer gwasanaeth parcio a theithio. Er hynny, hyd yn hyn, does yna ddim cynydd wedi bod wrth fynd ati i wireddu’r syniad.

Codais y mater mewn sesiwn cwestiynnu’r Gweinidog Trafnidiaeth yn y Cynulliad. Roeddwn i’n falch i glywed bod Llywodraeth Cymru dal yn barod i gynnig arian cyfatebol i’r prosiect, a’u bod yn pwyso ar Lywodraeth y DG a Network Rail i gynnig cyllid.

Mae’r gwasanaeth tren bob awr, sy’n cychwyn o’r gwanwyn nesaf, yn cynnig mwy o reswm dros ail-ystyried gwasanaethau i deithwyr yn ôl ac ymlaen i’r gwaith ar hyd y llinell – yn arbennig yn Bow Street, pentref sydd wedi tyfu’n sylweddol yn y blynyddoedd diwethaf.

Os bydd datganoli o’r pwerau rhwydwaith trenau yng Nghymru yn y dyfodol agos, fel y gobeithiwn ni, mae’r prosiect hwn yn un sydd wedi’i crefftio’n dda, ac yn ymgeisydd cryf iawn ar gyfer buddsoddant.

Gall orsaf drenau adferedig yn Bow Street lleihau’r traffig i mewn i Aberystwyth a hefyd lleihau’r broblem parcio yn y dref. Bydd y prosiect hefyd yn costio ffracsiwn o’r pris mae Llywodraeth Cymru’n bwriadu ei gwario ar estyniad byr i’r M4.

Calling for progress on Bow Street station

elin gorsaf 3

This week I have challenged the Welsh Government on the long-discussed idea of reopening a railway station in Bow Street.

Detailed plans were drawn up some three years ago, which included a station at the southern end of the village together with park and ride facilities. But no progress has been made on bringing the project to fruition.

I personally raised the issue in this week’s questions to the Transport Minister in the National Assembly. I was pleased to hear that the Welsh Government is still willing to commit match funding to this project, and were pressing the UK Government and Network Rail to provide investment.

The more frequent service that we’ll see on the line from next spring gives an even stronger reason to look at commuter services along the line – particularly at Bow Street, a village which has grown substantially in population in recent years.

If, as we hope, progress is made on devolving rail infrastructure powers to Wales in the near future, this is a project that’s well-developed, and a prime candidate for investment.

A restored railway station in Bow Street could reduce the traffic into Aberystwyth and help ease parking problems in the town. It would also cost a tiny fraction of the amount which the Welsh Government is planning to spend on a short stretch of the M4.

 

Positive report on Rhiannon Ward after spot-check inspection

elin bronglais (2)

I would like to offer my biggest congratulations to the staff at Bronglais Hospital following an unannounced inspection by Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW).

The ‘Dignity and Essential Care’ inspection of Rhiannon Ward concluded that the staff were friendly, approachable and organised, and sought at all times to ensure a positive experience for patients.

While some areas for improvement were identified, mainly around better arrangements for keeping records, the report was generally very positive, and noted good leadership and standards of cleanliness.

This report shows a real dedication to high standards in patient care. Staff in our NHS are often stretched, and the areas identified as needing further work in this report – such as cumbersome record-keeping – are reflective of this.

But the overall conclusion is that the ward is maintained to high standards of cleanliness, that patients are well cared-for even if they have complex needs, with some truly exemplary aspects of good practice.

I hope that the Hospital and the Health Board will respond positively to the minor issues raised, but we can be proud of the standards shown by this inspection.

This shows that a stronger system of inspection by Health Inspectorate Wales, which I have called for for some time, can be a very positive force in maintaining and improving standards. It also strengthens the argument for moving in the longer term to a paperless NHS, so that staff can be freed to care for patients and record-keeping is less of a burden.

Adroddiad cadarnhaol ar Ward Rhiannon yn dilyn archwiliad

elin bronglais (2)

Hoffwn longyfarch staff Ysbyty Bronglais yn dilyn hapwiriad (spot-check) gan Arolygiaeth Gofal Iechyd Cymru (AGIG).

Canlyniad yr arolygiad ‘Urddas mewn Gofal Hanfodol’ ar Ward Rhiannon oedd bod staff yn gyfeillgar, yn hawdd mynd atynt ac yn drefnus, ac yn ceisio, ar bob adeg, i gynnig profiad cadarnhaol i’w cleifion.

Er bod nodyn i wella mewn rhai meysydd, yn bennaf  ynglŷn â threfnu a chadw cofnodion, roedd yr adroddiad yn gyffredinol yn gadarnhaol iawn, a nododd fod arweinyddiaeth y ward yn dda, a bod safonau glendid yn uchel.

Mae’r adroddiad hwn yn dangos ymroddiad gwirioneddol at gadw safonau uchel mewn gofal i gleifion. Gan amlaf, mae staff ein Gwasanaeth Iechyd wedi’i gorymestyn, ac mae’r nodau yn yr adroddiad, sy’n cyfeirio at yr angen i wella, yn arwydd o hwn.

Ond y casgliad, yn gyffredinol, yw bod y ward yn cael ei gynnal i safon uchel o lendid, bod gofal o safon yn cael ei gynnig i’r cleifion, hyd yn oed os oes yna ofynion arbennig neu gymhleth ganddynt. Mae yna enghreifftiau  yno o arferion gofal gwirioneddol dda.

Gobeithiaf y bydd yr Ysbyty a’r Bwrdd Iechyd yn ymateb yn gadarnhaol i’r man faterion a gododd, ond mae yna dal reswm i ymfalchïo yn y safonau sydd wedi dod i’r golwg yn yr arolygiad hwn.

Mae hwn yn dangos sut gall trefniant arolygu cryfach gan Arolygiaeth Gofal Iechyd Cymru, yn gallu fod yn gadarnhaol wrth gynnal a gwella safonau, fel rydw i wedi nodi sawl gwaith. Mae hi hefyd yn cryfhau’r ddadl dros symud, yn yr hirdymor, at Wasanaeth Iechyd di-bapur, fel bod staff yn medru canolbwyntio ar gynnig gofal i’w cleifion, a bod cadw cofnodion yn llai o faich.

Prif Weinidog yn cefnogi’r syniad o ail-agor llinell rheilffordd Aberystwyth i Gaerfyrddin

With local councillor Alun Williams at Aberystwyth station

Gyda’r cynghorydd Alun Williams yng ngorsaf Aberystwyth

 

Roeddwn yn falch iawn o glywed datganiad diweddar gan Brif Weinidog Cymru, lle y mynegodd ei gefnogaeth dros ailagor cyswllt rheilffordd i’r de o Aberystwyth trwy Dregaron a Llanbed.

Mewn sesiwn craffu ddiweddar yn Hendy Gwyn ar Dâf, dywedodd y Prif Weinidog mewn ymateb i gwestiwn gen i ei fod yn cefnogi’r egwyddor o ailagor y linell.

Dyma’r datganiad mwyaf cadarnhaol y cawsom hyd yn hyn gan Lywodraeth Cymru ar y pwnc yma.

Ry’n ni’n gwybod, ac fe nododd y Prif Weinidog, na fydd hyn yn brosiect tymor-byr, ac fod yna anawsterau peirianyddol yn ogystal â’r angen i ddatganoli pwerau llawn dros isadeiledd rheilffordd i Gymru.

Ond mae ei gefnogaeth i’r egwyddor, a’i ddatganiad ei fod yn gweld manteision y fath brosiect i’n hardal, yn newyddion da. Mae’r Prif Weinidog yn cydnabod y byddai rheilffordd o fudd i nifer o gymunedau, gan gynnwys Llanilar, Tregaron a Llanbed.

Mae ymgyrch Traws-Link Cymru i ailagor y lein yn amlwg yn cael effaith, ac edrychaf ymlaen at barhau i weithio gyda nhw i bwysleisio’r achos dros fuddsoddi mewn rheilffyrdd yn y gorllewin ar bob cyfle. Mae achos gref iawn dros gynnal astudiaeth lawn o’r posibiliadau.

Cliciwch yma i weld clip o’r cyfarfod.

 

First Minister expresses support for reopening rail line

With local councillor Alun Williams at Aberystwyth station

With local councillor Alun Williams at Aberystwyth station

I’m really pleased at the recent statement by the Welsh First Minister, in which he expressed his support for the reopening of a rail link southwards from Aberystwyth through Tregaron and Lampeter.
At the recent First Minister’s scrutiny event held in Whitland, in response to a question from me the First Minister stated that he supported the principle of reopening the line.
This is the most positive response we have yet received from the Welsh Government on this issue.
We all know, and the First Minister noted, that this will not be a short-term project, and that there are engineering obstacles to be overcome as well as the need to devolve rail infrastructure fully to Wales.
However, his statement that he supports the move in principle, and sees important benefits for the economy of our area from such a move, is good news. The First Minister recognises that many communities, such as Llanilar, Tregaron and Lampeter, would gain from the project.
The Traws-Link Cymru campaign to reopen the line is clearly making an impact, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to press the case for investment in rail infrastructure in the west at every opportunity. There’s a strong case for a full feasibility study to be undertaken.

You can see a clip of the meeting by clicking here.

Funding cut a huge challenge for Ceredigion

IMG_20141009_143756

The local government funding settlement, announced by the Welsh Government yesterday, poses serious challenges to public services in Ceredigion.

Having faced a funding cut of 4.5% this year, Ceredigion will now have to cope with a further 4.5% reduction for 2015-16, the severest cut of any local authority in Wales.

We know that the cuts come mainly as a result of the reduction in the money coming to Wales from Westminster, and the refusal of the current Westminster government to countenance a fairer settlement for Wales in the wake of promises made during the Scottish referendum.

But it’s important to ensure that the Welsh Government operates fairly in deciding how much each local authority should receive. There are particular challenges with providing services in a rural area, and this is an issue I will continue to press.

There’s a risk that these cuts will be a brutal blow to our local public services. Very difficult choices will have to be made. This budget, supported by the Labour Government and the Liberal Democrats, is a huge challenge for Ceredigion.