I have spent some time over the last few days discussing Ceredigion and Dwyfor Meirionnydd issues with Lisa Francis. She is, of course, very well known and respected in the patch and very familiar with the area.
The Aberystwyth Holiday Village remains an issue that concerns me greatly. There are many planning issues in Ceredigion and sometimes it seems that enforcement is not the strong suit of the County Council. Currently there are many people on the site concerned about their future because of the lack of planning permission on the site for all the mobile homes that are there. The issue remains unresolved. We have written to the County Council about this issue, of course. The Minister is aware of the situation though, for understandable reasons, cannot get involved.
Health issues too are very important in the area. The importance of CHCs and continuing local input is one that Lisa and I have discussed at length. The ambulance service, again, though it has shown some signs of improvement, is a real concern in rural Wales. It is not just response times that cause concern but, of course,non emergency ambulance transport and the fact that keeping an early morning (9.00 am) hospital appointment at Ysbty Gwynedd is impossible when you need to travel from Dolgellau (two hours away by road) and the ambulance service doesn't actually start until 9.00 am! Too many of our erlderly citizens are having to rely on the good will and kindness of their family and friends because this service fails to provide them with transport theyneed at the relevant time.
Another vital issue relates to school closures. This is currently a massive issue in Gwynedd. It is also an issue in Ceredigion and, indeed, in Powys. In rural Wales the importance of small, tightly knit communities and, of course, importance of our Welsh language, is also very much at the forefront of our campaigners minds.
Lisa has recently met with the excellent Louise Hughes who is doing very good work on this issue in Gwynedd, and we spent sometime discussing this too.
Business rate problems, large wind farms, farm payments also feature.