Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The AM for where was it again Slick?

Newport resident Mick Antoniw was elected in 2011 as Assembly Member for Pontypridd, the constituency he claimed to be living in at the time. 

Yet it is sometimes difficult to tell looking at his twitter feed and press releases which seem to be almost solely concerned with union issues and his asbestos Bill.  Even his website has little to say about his constituency.

Take a look at his news page. Asbestos Bill, Agricultural Wages Board, and article about a Statement of Opinion he tabled on the “injustices suffered by Welsh miners following events at Orgreave Coke Plant, South Yorkshire, during June 1984.”

There are a couple of pats on the back for RCT Council, and only one article which really addresses any of the major issues of concern on his patch – the appalling ambulance response times in RCT.  Bottom of the league yet again according to the latest stats.  They have been way off target for some time, but this is the first mention he has made of them, coincidentally immediately following a series of direct challenges I made via twitter to him about it.

Under the Pontypridd tab is a direct lift form Wikipedia which is solely about Pontypridd town, not the constituency.  His ‘campaigns’ show a similar disregard for the area – a report about Tonyrefail which is 18 months old and about which nothing seems to have been done since.

What about the disgraceful state of our town centres, what about a reduction in business rates for traders there, what about car parking charges, what about health waiting lists, what about the paddling pool, what about the disgraceful Estyn report RCT received last year? What about the proposed new town centre for Talbot Green? Does the Pontypridd AM have any comments or concerns about any of the things his constituents are talking about?  Or is he too busy pursuing his union interests?

Each week in the Assembly AMs get to put questions to Ministers.  Many use this opportunity to bring up subjects that are important in their constituency / region.  Today was their opportunity to question the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage.  So what would it be?  A question about empty homes which affects wards such as Treforest and The Graig in particular.  Or about  regeneration – how would the new town in Talbot Green, if it gets the go ahead affect existing town centres, should more be done to regenerate existing centres?  Heritage – maybe a question about the paddling pool?

"What plans does the Minister have to recognise the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Hughes next year?”

A nineteenth century industrialist who founded an ironworks and mining town in imperial Russia, named Hughesovka in his honour. Little is known about his early life, but John Hughes was born in Merthyr Tydfil where his father was an engineer at Cyfarthfa ironworks.”

Although reading on you can see where Slick’s interest may spark from

“It is thought Hughes also learnt his trade there before moving to Ebbw Vale and then the Uskside Foundry in Newport in the 1840s.

There he married Elizabeth Lewis, and had eight children, six boys and two girls, all born in Newport.”

I rest my case.

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