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Eluned Morgan AM’s #DiolchDoc Campaign

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screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-14-30-58REGIONAL Assembly Member Eluned Morgan paid a visit to Bronglais Hospital to see maternity and paediatric facilities, as part of a tour of hospitals across Mid and west Wales. 

Eluned Morgan also took the opportunity to meet with patients to talk about her latest campaign, which has received the backing of the Welsh Government. #DiolchDoc is a campaign to thank EU and overseas staff working in the NHS.

Finance and Local Government Cabinet Secretary, Mark Drakeford, said: “Eluned Morgan has developed a campaign to demonstrate loud and clear that EU nationals and others are not simply treated with tolerance here in Wales, but that they are welcome to be here and that the decision they have made to make their future part of our future is a decision that is hugely appreciated and recognised.”

Eluned Morgan AM explained: “One of the biggest challenges the NHS faces, especially in rural areas like Mid and West Wales, is attracting staff. At the same time we’re dealing with the turmoil caused by our decision to leave the EU. I think it’s important to make clear the incredible contribution made by doctors, nurses and other staff who come from the EU and elsewhere overseas to work in our NHS.

“Several EU doctors have told me that they feel slightly less welcome since the vote and so it is essential that we, the public, take time to reassure them, and make them understand that we do appreciate all that they do for us. We also need to ensure that we explain this carefully to the hundreds of thousands in Wales who did have concerns about immigration.

“Over the summer I have been asking the public across Wales to support me in a campaign to ensure that our doctors, nurses, health professionals and care workers from the EU or overseas feel welcome by saying thank you to them.”

Following her visit to Bronglais, meeting staff and speaking to patients about her campaign, she said: “The response to this campaign was incredible. All patients grasped immediately, irrespective of the way they had voted, that these expert professionals need to be supported and made to feel at home.”

Doctors and nurses from outside of the UK support the delivery of NHS services across Wales. Eluned Morgan added: “We also have a recruitment problem in specific specialist areas. We need the experts already here to stay. We need more skilled health workers to come. The success of the services in our hospitals is utterly dependent on their expertise, as well as on the expertise of British staff.”

A flyer in support of the campaign to cut out and give to show appreciation to health professionals is available on www.Facebook.com/ ElunedMorganAM and thanks can be tweeted using #DiolchDoc.

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Proposed work on dangerous Dorglwyd Junction set to be delayed

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ELIN JONES AM and Ben Lake MP have expressed their frustration following a recent statement from the Welsh Government noting that work on the A487 Dorglwyd junction from Comins Coch, would be delayed.

The junction has witnessed several crashes and close-calls over recent years, with local residents calling for the development of a roundabout or similar traffic-calming measures.

The Welsh Government announced in September 2016 that a feasibility study would be undertaken by the following Summer as to consider potential options to improve the junction.

However, a recent letter from Ken Skates AM, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport to Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP noted: “We are aware of the issues at the junction and an improvement scheme has been within our upgrades programme for some time. Unfortunately, due to limited financial resources and competing priorities, it has progressed slowly.”

“We are currently reviewing the scope of a possible improvement and considering solutions which are affordable and minimise environmental impact. When we are in a position to present outline solutions, a workshop with local stakeholders will be held. This is likely to be in early 2019.”

Elin Jones AM said: “Whilst I do welcome such clarification from the Cabinet Secretary on the next steps for Dorglwyd junction, it is disappointing to read that no major works for the transformation will happen due to the expense of the project. It is positive however to see that a smaller scale improvement is now to be pursued, with consultation likely to be undertaken in early 2019.”

John Roberts, local Ceredigion County Councillor for Faenor ward, added: “I share both Elin Jones’ and Ben Lake’s disappointment at the response from Ken Skates AM. The original plan was to encapsulate a more global project including the Llanbadarn bypass therefore we need to be more realistic in our aspirations for Dorglwyd corner. Having discussed the project on site with both Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP last week we were of the opinion that a much smaller project which could solve the Dorglwyd issue was feasible and be much cheaper than the present scheme. We will wait for the consultation period in 2019.”

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Museum lights up the past

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CEREDIGION MUSEUM has had a full refurbishment of its lighting thanks to £116,558 of grants from Welsh Governments Museums Archives and Libraries Division and the Rural Community Development Fund.

Museum Curator, Carrie Canham, said: “Lighting has been a problem for us for some time; the system was so old that we couldn’t get new bulbs for some of the fittings. Also, we love to put on theatrical and musical performances at the museum but we couldn’t create an atmosphere with just strip lights and footlights. We’ve now got great stage and display lighting and it’s transformed the whole experience for our audiences.

“The new lighting system is all LED, so not only does it look much better it is also more suitable for the more delicate exhibits and it saves us money on our lighting bill.”

The lighting was designed and installed by DBNAudile, who specialise in museum lighting.

The team managed to install the system with minimal disruption to visitors.

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KeolisAmey awarded Wales and Borders Rail contract

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KEOLISAMEY is pleased that the Welsh Government has announced its intention to award the contract to operate the Wales and Borders rail service and the South Wales Metro to KeolisAmey.

Upon successful completion of a 10-day standstill period, the contract will run from June 4, 2018, to October 14, 2033, with rail services transferring on October 14, 2018.

This standstill period is normal procurement practice.

KeolisAmey is a joint venture partnership of international public transport operator Keolis, and infrastructure asset management specialist Amey.

KeolisAmey currently runs the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London, which has one of the best records in UK rail – consistently better than 99% reliability. Additionally, we operate and maintain Greater Manchester’s Metrolink – the largest tram network in the UK.

Alistair Gordon, Chief Executive of Keolis UK, said: “This will be a transformative new rail service for Wales and its borders which will see Keolis once more combine its worldwide expertise in passenger operations with Amey’s engineering excellence.

“We look forward to the successful completion of the procurement process – this exciting contract will deliver for all of Wales. The procurement process was rigorous, resulting in transformative solutions for the benefit of all in Wales, and indeed, future generations.

“While the proposed changes won’t happen overnight, the railway will be unrecognisable in five years thanks to the vision of the Welsh Government.”

Andy Milner, Amey’s Chief Executive, said: “Building on our successful partnership with Keolis, which already sees us deliver two high performing services – the Greater Manchester Metrolink and London’s DLR – we are honoured to be asked to operate the Wales and Borders service.

“This is a great opportunity for us to use our joint capabilities to deliver a first-rate service for Wales. We will be focused on working with Transport for Wales to transform the existing infrastructure and introduce new trains to significantly improve the passenger experience, as well as creating hundreds of new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.”

KeolisAmey is unable to make any further comment until the procurement process has concluded and the contract has been awarded.

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