No one in our communities or indeed across the country could fail to be moved by the recent commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster. For most people outside Aberfan / Merthyr Vale, the scale of the loss suffered in 1966 is unimaginable. This year's anniversary, more than most meant that the media focus was once again on Aberfan. Whilst that is understandable given that people across the country and further afield wanted to show their respect, the intense media focus could not have been easy for bereaved families, survivors and the wider community. Despite the media focus, the dignity and resilience shown by the whole community is something that was deeply humbling to all of us present in the community to commemorate the disaster. The people affected by the Aberfan disaster will always be in our thoughts but we should also be proud of the courage, dignity and sense of community that they have demonstrated.
Speaking at the Concentrix Westminster hall debate earlier this month
In recent weeks I have taken part in 2 parliamentary debates called to discuss the administration of the tax credits system by the private company Concentrix. Along with many other MP's I have been inundated with complaints from parents who have had their income suspended on wrong information forcing many families to struggle and in some cases to use foodbanks. It seems that 95% of cases have been reinstated because the information was found to be incorrect, which begs the question, why were families, including many here in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, forced into a desperate situation in the first place. As many will know,the government have now announced that they will not be renewing this contract when it expires in May. This whole debacle brings into question the role of private companies in administering contracts on behalf of HMRC and DWP, an area on which Labour will continue to press the Government to take action.
Cyfarthfa Park has been nominated in the Fields in Trust UK’s Best Park, 2016 Award as voted by YOU! Fields in Trust have been protecting vital outdoor space for sport and recreation since 1925 when it was founded as the National Playing Fields Association, by King George V. The UK’s Best Park Award gives the public the opportunity to vote for their favourite local green space before the closing date of 9th November. The top park in each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be shortlisted before the winner is announced on 30th November. If you would like to support Cyfarthfa Park, please vote online at www.fieldsintrust.org
If you would like to tweet your support, please consider using the hashtag #Loveyourlocalpark
This article was originally published by the Merthyr Express and the Rhymney Valley Express. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised or would like to know more, feel free to contact Gerald using the contact tab above.