'Independent Community News Service of the Year'
Wales Media Awards 2016

South Wales East AM Lindsay Whittle’s blog: September 5

Published in News at 13:22, Thursday September 5th, 2013. Last updated at 13:22, Thursday September 5th, 2013


Lindsay Whittle, South Wales East Assembly Member

Cervical Screening
I’ve raised the issue of cervical screening tests with the Welsh Health Minister Mark Drakeford.
Two constituents contacted me over changes that mean from this month the starting age for smear tests for women has risen from 20 to 25 while the frequency of screening for the over 50s increases from three to five years.

One of the women received treatment as a result of screening when under 25 years of age and the other was a constituent whose daughter was affected. Many will also recall the case of reality TV star Jade Goody.

I have grave concerns that this decision will lead to more cases of cervical cancer laying undetected for longer.

I’m told that the evidence shows that screening women aged 20-24 causes more harm than good and might cause problems in any subsequent pregnancy.

I’ve stated my view that information could be given to women under 25 and then they have a choice of turning down or accepting the offer of a test.

I was not sure most women age under 25 or over 50 will agree with the experts who think the changes are a good idea.

New Caerphilly Library
I’ve been hugely impressed with the look of the state-of-the-art new library and customer service at the Twyn in Caerphilly.

When I was council leader I insisted that the design should be in keeping with Caerphilly and was shown the plans at a meeting with the architect.

I’m pleased to see the end product. A new library was needed and the former Plaid administration wanted to ensure that library facilities across the county borough were improved – and they have been – with Bargoed, Newbridge and Risca among the areas to benefit.

Work on Caerphilly’s new library is due to be completed later this year and will open to the public early in 2014.

Proms in the Park
I’m at a wedding on Saturday so I’ll miss the BBC Proms in the Park. It should be a very good night – another great event for the town with the backdrop of Caerphilly Castle. I hope this wonderful summer holds up and it stays nice and dry for all those going.

Lindsay Whittle
Plaid Cymru South Wales East AM


Have your say below

Related Links

Please review our commenting guidelines before posting a comment.

  • Nicola Rees

    I agree the age should stay at 20 and girls given the choice. My daughter is 20 and has just had treatment. She was initially told by her doctors that she wasnt entitled to a smear back in April as the age was changing. Luckily she insisted on having one. What would have happened if she was made to wait until she was 25? they should be entitled to make their own decision.

  • Dean

    Just to be technical, "…while the frequency of screening for the over 50s increases from three to five years." frequency is how often things occur. So having things happen every 5 years rather than 3 years is a decrease in frequency.

    Otherwise I think it's terrible. Cutting tests to save a few pounds in unacceptable. Cut welfare to cover the cost of the tests.

    I shall too be at Proms in the Park. I just hope that his year's live link to London lasts longer than two songs and that Jerusalem, God Save the Queen, Land of Hope and Glory and Auld Lang Syne are sung instead of Welsh folk songs. Welsh songs may be great but it's not the time nor place to sing them. Cut the fireworks display too, it was blooming awful. Spend the money on something else.

  • Cllr. Richard Willia

    I am with Dean on the fireworks, I like them but we get far too many displays, Proms, Cheesy weekend, November, etc. I get a lot of complaints from pet owners whose animals are regularly frightened. We expect fireworks in November and can look after our animals welfare. At other times of the year the loud bangs are often totally unexpected.

  • Cheryl

    I agree also! Tworks in November aren't exactly decent. Pool the money and have one kick ass display.

  • Cllr Gez Kirby

    If "the former Plaid administration wanted to ensure that library facilities across the county borough were improved", why did they close Aberbargoed Library? Thankfully, the Labour-led Council has now re-opened it.

  • Phil

    Perhaps because there was a state-of-the-art library in Bargoed. Hardly a hike for those from Aberbargoed who go regularly to Bargoed.

  • Cllr Gez Kirby

    So you think closing the Aberbargoed community's library and making them travel across the valley was "improving" their library facilities, Phil?

  • Cheryl

    I'm with Phil, instead of having two average libraries nearby, close one and invest the saved money into a newer, more modern, better stocked library.

  • Gethin

    I wonder if 'Phil' is a Plaid councillor and had influence over the Aberbargoed closure? I have my suspiciouns.

  • Jeff

    Caerphilly Library: First proposed by Plaid Cymru – Delivered by Labour.

    Now we`ve got that out the way, can someone, preferably an elected County Councillor, inform us, the ratepayers, how this facility is being funded?

    Who is paying for it to be built? ( We`ve heard it is not the CCBC)

    Who will own the building?

    Will it be in the `ownership of the ratepayers? or will the person who owns old building, this one replaces, own it and charge the ratepayers of the Borough a huge rental for the benefit of his bank account?.

    Will there be in place a Tony Blair type rent back arrangement?

    Which Labour Councillor, or, Plaid Councillor for that matter, will have the backbone to answer these questions, and prove their responses? perhaps Lindsay could address them, after all he is still a Caerphilly Councillor.

  • Margaret

    The new building is being funded by a private investor. Plaid Cymru wanted CCBC to fund the development and then own the building but Labour decided to allow it to fall to private hands and rent is being charged at roughly 15% above 'typical market conditions.' The reason given for the overcharge is that the private investor needs to recoup the money spent on the building and to cover the unforeseen 'minor complications' that occurred during the building process.

  • Jeff

    Margaret- Thank you for this information it is very interesting, it is also at veriance with what the public have been told already, but, as you do not speak for the council it would be necessary to hear from an elected Councillor on this subject, a subject that will, I predict, haunt Plaid Cymru, and, the current council when the information eventually comes out.

    What cost to the local ratepayers? of the PFI monster.

  • Margaret

    I work in the financial department at CCBC. I see the papers. I think history will show that this project will haunt Labour more than it will Plaid.