Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Making a Difference

Bore Da,

I publish a letter below from Elin Jones A.M. which outlines the way in which the new government of Wales will make a difference, according to the wishes of the general population.

Dear friend,

I’m writing to update you on developments in the National Assembly following the elections on May the 3rd and the formation of the One Wales Government which Plaid Cymru is proud to be a part of.

In the weeks following the election we negotiated with every party as we had promised during the election. Our aim was to secure a stable arrangement for the life time of the Third Assembly and implement progressive policies which would benefit all the people of Wales.

I believe we have achieved these aims with the One Wales agreement.

In health we are already delivering by scrapping the proposed hospital closure and downgrade programme. We will strengthen our health services by creating a distinct Welsh NHS, ending the internal market; eliminating the use of private sector hospitals and ruling out costly PFI schemes.

The One Wales Government will introduce an all Wales approach to economic development, bringing prosperity to every part of our country. In education we will develop a distinctive curriculum that is appropriate for Wales.

The environment will be put at the heart of government, setting reduction targets of 3% per year in areas of devolved competence. In housing the One Wales Government will give Councils the ability to secure 100% affordable housing on development sites to meet local need in areas of high housing pressure. Crucially we will also empower Council’s to control the conversion of full-time dwellings into second homes.

Pensioners will be given added help with Council Tax payments and we will reinstate the Post Office Development Fund to try and curb the effect of Westminster’s closure programme.

In transport the One Wales government will invest over £50m to improve road links, and reduce rail travel times between north and south Wales.

Underpinning all these policies is a commitment to secure a referendum on full law making powers for Wales. For the first time, a new Welsh language Measure will guarantee linguistic rights in the provision of services. Also, a new Welsh-medium Higher Education Network – the Federal College – will be established in order to ensure Welsh-medium provision in our universities.

The people of Wales voted for a change of approach on May the 3rd. This third Government of Wales embodies the progressive traditions of Wales. I ask for your support as we begin to build a new kind of governance in Wales, one in which everyone of us will have an important part to play in building a progressive future for our communities.

Yours sincerely

Elin Jones – Assembly Member for Ceredigion