Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru’s Assembly candidate for Clwyd South, said:
“Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Janet Ryder spearheaded the initial calls for an inquiry into Plas Madoc Communities First and, while I can’t comment on the ongoing criminal investigations and forthcoming trials, I’m very concerned that the minister Carl Sargeant has still not taken decisive action to deal with the problem.
“It’s unforgiveable that the people of Plas Madoc have been forgotten during all the controversy about the scheme’s finances. They have been let down by the Communities First board of trustees, who failed to deal with the financial problems of the scheme, as well as a Labour minister who seems desperate to kick this problem into the long grass until after the Assembly election.
“That’s not good enough. We need some clear answers about what is happening in the future for this Communities First funding. There’s another year to run and we cannot have the same people in charge as during the Miriam Beard era. We need a clean slate and for the community to decide on the best way forward. The whole idea of Communities First was to empower our poorest communities, not dictate to them. If people don’t have their say, then there’s no point in having Communities First.”
Oh dear another politican trying to gain publicity. Where have you been, in the same place as Janet Ryder? It is 16 months on now, what about those who have been left behind to continue a service for the community have you thought about them. I still access their services, we are not a forgotten community, if we were surely those at the programme would have walked away and left us with nothing. You stated yourself “while I can’t comment on the ongoing criminal investigations and forthcoming trials…” well surely this is the same for people working there. Stop using this as an agenda, support the people of our community not just your political aspirations. There are a lot more issues in this deprived area get down here and see for yourself.
Thanks for taking the effort to respond. In that spirit I’m happy to publish your comment.
I can appreciate that you are probably angry at the whole situation and the fact that the situation was allowed to get out of hand with the people of Plas Madoc consequently suffering.
Other than your opening comment, I don’t disagree with what you are trying to convey.
I’ll try and respond the best I can.
My comment was exactly the point you make – in the middle of all this trouble we have to remember those that the project was set up to help initially. The project as a whole has done some terrific work, and continues to do so, with excellent youth work child care services for instance.
It is the people of the community, as you rightly say, that need to be supported. That is why I am concerned that they have not been included in the current discussions.
As you will see from my above quote it states: “It’s unforgiveable that the people of Plas Madoc have been forgotten during all the controversy about the scheme’s finances. They have been let down…” It is a community scheme that should be run for the good of the community.
I understand your anger that it might seem like a ‘political agenda’ and it is unfortunate that these discussions are on-going during an election period. It is therefore inevitable that any comment will be viewed as electioneering. However Communities First is a project funded by the public purse and is entirely political in as much as it is politicians who make the decisions on its future. It is important therefore for all of us to make our voices heard and ensure that the Minister listens to people like yourself and includes you and others in the decision making regarding the final year of the project.
Let me assure you that I am with you on this one.
As a resident of Plas Madoc I agree with your comments about the ‘terrific’ work that has and continues to be done at Plas Madoc, and have admiration for the staff who have been left to ‘pick up the pieces’. You talk about the Miriam Beard era and the fact that we cannot have the same people being in charge, are you forgetting that she is no longer an employee of Communities First??? When you discuss the community being let down I wonder where you have gained this information because as a long term resident with a wide circle of friends we certainly don’t feel let down and continue to access the services that are available.
Thanks for the comment, and sorry for the belated reply!
Yes, I am aware that Miriam Beard is no longer an employee, and I can’t comment on period and the circumstances suround her work because of the ongoing case.
But If I may clarify, my concern is that people like yourself, the local community at Plas Madoc, those that should benefit from the Communities First Scheme seem to be denied the opportunity to have a say in the scheme’s future. That’s why I am concerned that you are being let down.
It seems to me that the answers, or at least parts of the answers, to a Community’s needs, wherever that community may be, lies within the community itself. The jargon used within the business world is ‘stakeholders’, and you, members of the community, are the key stakeholders in the Communities First Project and must have a say on how it is run and where it goes next. That is why I’m saying that you’ve been let down.
It is interesting that you seem to have the community interest and the residents needing support to heart. What a pity that as a potential AM for the Plas Madoc area you could not attend the Open Day this afternoon and evening. There were loads of people present but appeared no one from Plaid- how much do you really want to help the people if you or your Party can’t be bothered to attend. The level of support you have will be clearly measured in the ballot box in a few weeks time.
It is time that Politicians got off their soap boxes and started to meet the people that matter, the residents like me who live on the estate. The residents voted with their feet by attending the event today it was buzzing with loads of comments being put on the walls of the centre.
Yes there have been problems and the courts will meet out justice – hopefully soon so that things can move on. The staff who has been keeping the services running should be praised not pilloried by people who clearly do not have the decency to talk to residents.
I plead with you to go and see for yourself what is going on in Plas Madoc, stop using other people to provide information and find out personally. I presume you will be door knowing in the area soon looking for votes.
What are your views on the lack of GP surgery times?
What is your view on residents from ethnic background living on Plas Madoc?
I trust that this response gets onto your site- if not it will just show yet again politicians and potential politicians don’t like being questioned about their views on difficult issues.
I have noted that the censor has been at it with my last posting being deleted. If you want to be a politician at least have the courtesy of taking crtitsm or defend yourself. All you are now doing is the same as Miriam by cutting the line of communication for someone to question what goes on. Over to you!!!
Good Morning Peter!
They say that Patience is a virtue! As a quick form of explanation I approve each comment personally before allowing them to be published in case someone might say things that might get them – or me – into trouble. You’d be surprised how many ‘spam’ messages about loans and viagra that try to get on these blogs!
But thanks for taking the time to comment – twice! I couldn’t publish it immediately as I was looking after my three year old boy who was ill with fever.
This explanation is also true of why I was not at the Open Day. I appreciate that politicians, and those aspiring to be politicians are not always liked 😉 However please note as a candidate I also have a full time job to do and a family to keep. Unfortunately therefore I cannot be at all places at the same time! We can but try.
As it happens I was at Plas Madoc last week and will visit again soon. If you like please send me your details so that we can meet up when I’m there next (send on e-mail if you prefer firstname.lastname@example.org).
I agree with you that soapbox politics has its place but is not the total some of politics. My politics – indeed Plaids politics – is that of the communities, that’s why we endeavour to come up with answers from our communities. Compare this to the other three parties who’s policies are made up in London and then put at work here in Wales.
In any case. The staff indeed should be praised. Please point out where they have been pilloried by me? I would ask kindly that you re-read my comments above and hopefully see them for what they are, a criticism of the process of dealing with the problems that arose.
I will certainly visit Plas Madoc – several times, and as I said earlier, I am open to meet with you, and Lloyd and Anon above to discuss your ideas.
Regarding your final two questions:
GP Times – I’m concerned that there aren’t enough GPs available to meet with patients when they need to be seen. Far too often patients have to wait a week or so before seeing a GP. Out of hours service has exacerbated this. It needs to improve. That’s why I am calling for increasing the availability of out-of-hours GP services.
Residents of ethnic background – I don’t see this as an issue.
Please stay in touch.