Politicians representing Cefn Mawr have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deliver on his promise of extra money for the Welsh NHS.
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates and county councillor Derek Wright have been pushing for a new health centre in Cefn Mawr for a number of years and launched a petition with Ken Bathers, the late chairman of Cefn Community Council, in 2015.
Community stalwart Cllr Bathers passed away last year and Mr Skates and Cllr Wright vowed to continue the campaign in his memory. They say they share local people’s frustrations.
“I get asked what is happening with the proposed new facility for Cefn on a regular basis and I know Derek does too,” said Mr Skates.
“We have met with the health board a number of times and there is an genuine enthusiasm for this project from all involved. The Welsh Government’s Health Minister Vaughan Gething has also visited Cefn and knows we need investment here.”
Mr Skates said Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has identified a preferred site for a new facility and produced a cost estimate, but doesn’t currently have a budget for new projects because of well-publicised financial pressures on the NHS.
The Welsh Government says ‘there is certainly scope for a further pipeline of projects to support the delivery of community based healthcare’ in the region. But Mr Skates says plans cannot be made until the Welsh Government knows what its settlement from Westminster will be – and that won’t be until the Prime Minister’s Comprehensive Spending Review is announced.
Cllr Wright said: “Plans for Cefn cannot move forward while the Welsh Government is kept in the dark about its next settlement. Until we know what hand we will get dealt from Westminster, we are hamstrung.”
Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones added: “We are used to seeing Wales not get its fair share from the Tories at Westminster – as a country we’re more than £1.4bn worse off now than when they came to power in 2010.
“The Prime Minister is making empty pledges of extra cash for this and that on what seems to be a daily basis in an attempt to woo sceptical voters, but people are already tired of his promises. We need to see action and we need a commitment to helping the Welsh NHS.”
Responding to a recent letter from Mr Skates, Health Minister Mr Gething said Cefn Mawr remains on the agenda. “There is certainly scope for a further pipeline of projects to support the delivery of community based healthcare,” said Mr Gething.
“As you recognise, however, considerations around a further pipeline will dependent on the UK Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review and securing funding to take this forward. My officials will discuss Cefn Mawr in more detail with the Health Board through their regular capital review meetings.”
Cllr Wright added: “I can assure people this hasn’t been forgotten and that we are working hard to make it happen. We have promised we won’t stop pushing for this.”