South Wales East AM Lindsay Whittle’s blog: May 30
This was an once-in-a-lifetime experience and tens of thousands of people took the opportunity to salute the flame. It was great that so many parents also brought their children along and there was huge excitement.
Caerphilly was firmly on the Olympic map and, of course, the weather was fantastic. It was fantastic to have the flower festival and food festival on the same day.
Arriva Trains Wales
I’ve written to the rail company following a letter from a constituent about overcrowding on an early morning service from the Rhymney Valley through to Cardiff.
The rail company runs a two-car train when a four-carriage train is really necessary.
When the train arrives at Aber station at 7.22am, it is nearly full and the constituent tells me by the time it gets to Cardiff Queen Street it is jam-packed.
Apparently at Heath High Level passengers sometimes cannot board the train and as result, presumably, arrive late at work.
I hope Arriva Trains Wales will look at ways of making the journey for its customers a bit more comfortable by boosting capacity.
Council Tax Benefit
More than 20,000 of Caerphilly’s poorest households could face cuts in their council tax benefits after the Welsh Labour Government’s refusal to bridge a shortfall in funding from next year.
Council tax benefit is being devolved to the Welsh Government in April 2013 –but with a 10 per cent cut in funding.
But the Welsh Government will not make up the difference which means that thousands of the poorest people could be worse off. Almost 28% of households in the county borough receive council tax benefit.
Only last year Labour promised to protect people from the Tory-Lib Dem government in Westminster but they are failing them.
In Scotland the SNP government is working with local authorities to look at ways of making up this deficit. The failure to do this in Wales means that £23.4m could be taken from people, many of whom are pensioners.
The Welsh Government will receive £80m in Barnett consequential money next year, and Plaid Assembly Members suggested that Labour could use some of this to pay for the deficit for one year, until a restructure is looked at in detail. Labour said it could not afford to.
Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales East