During the Business Statement at the Senedd today, Neil Hamilton, UKIP Wales Leader and Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, raised the neglected health services of Newtown, which he described as a “Cinderella town”.
In his question to Leader of the House Julie James, Neil Hamilton said: “There are towns in various parts of Wales which feel they haven’t had a fair share of resources. Last week the Welsh Government announced a redevelopment of facilities in Machynlleth and a new primary healthcare centre in Llanfair Caereinion, both of which are to be warmly welcomed. But Newtown feels very neglected and overlooked. There has been a massive hospital redevelopment project in Llandrindod Wells, again very much welcomed, but there remain what we might call ‘Cinderella’ towns like Newtown. Blaenau Ffestiniog is another sadly neglected area which I’ve raised many times in this Chamber. Can we please have a debate on the subject of these ‘Cinderella’ towns which feel they’ve not received their fair share of resources from the NHS?”
In response, Neil Hamilton’s request for a debate was dismissed and ignored by the Leader of the House, Julie James AM, who merely objected to his use of the phrase ‘Cinderella’ saying: “I don’t share the Member’s definition of any town in Wales as a Cinderella town. I’m sure all the towns in Wales are equally important, both to Wales as a whole, all of its communities and to the people who live therein. I don’t see any reason why we should allow the Member to continue with such a description.”
Outside the chamber, Neil Hamilton commented: “I have been contacted by local people in Newtown, notably County Councillor Joy Jones, who told me that people in Newtown are waiting weeks for an appointment at the local surgery, and some emergency appointments are being taken by junior staff who are not doctors. Councillor Jones told me: “the GP’s surgery is at an all-time low……..if we don’t get help soon the whole thing will implode.
“The lack of response by Julie James was an insult to the people of Newtown. I will challenge the Welsh Government to pay attention to Newtown and put health services in the town on a par with Llandrindod Wells and Machynlleth.”