YOUR MP WRITES: Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith

As 2013 draws to a close, it was important we didn’t leave the families of Operation Jasmine facing another Christmas without the hope of justice being done.

Though their campaign for answers began at the steps of Cardiff Crown Court in March, their need for justice stretches back years.

I fear the harrowing images I and fellow MPs were shown were just a glimpse into the “culture of neglect” at care homes across the Gwent area.

The First Minister’s announcement of an independent review took a lot of work from key figures across the political structure. On my part I am proud to have worked for months on this issue, and will continue to work on Care Bill reform in Parliament.

But this was all down to the families who would not take no for an answer. They deserve their story to be told.

Turning towards other matters, it was interesting to be told of the Argus’s story on the RAC Authority figures abut car usage.

It revealed Blaenau Gwent has the largest percentage of workers who use a car or van as a driver or a passenger to get to and from their workplace.

I will always campaign hard for infrastructure improvements for the area, because I believe road and rail are the arteries for any future economic success.

This story proved we are dependent on these roads, are willing to commute and need the best transport links possible.

This is why I asked the Chief Secretary of the Treasury if the electrification of the South Wales Valleys line could be brought forward, giving us the best opportunities sooner rather than later.

Instead of a rebuttal, the Chief Secretary has pledged to ask Network Rail if this can be done.

I hope everyone involved sees the benefits of giving this region the networks and service it deserves.

Finally, being reselected by the local members of the Labour party to fight for my seat has been welcome news.

It is now up to me to continue to represent not only the Labour party, but the community’s best interests regardless of politics.

In recent months I have campaigned on everything from payday loans and Mephedrone use in Blaenau Gwent to the battle to save Blaina Fire Station and the borough’s food bank explosion.

It is my job to not take this responsibility for granted, and to keep campaigning for the borough every day until the election.

Comments (3)

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2:14pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

Yes, it's important that society gets as much 'clued up' to the dangers of elder abuse as it is to child abuse. Whilst it's also important to recognise that there are many good carers who are not only highly competent medical professionals, but also do wonderful, although often woefully low-paid work out of love and a higher moral purpose - there are also some uncaring people who manage to get into these jobs who are not only totally unsuited to them but are also sadists who deliberately seek out work with vulnerable people so that they can abuse them. Many elderly people in care homes suffer from dementia and this is a condition in which some effectively become very childlike and as trusting as little toddlers again - which is something that abusers who infiltrate the care home system know full well and are there precisely to prey on these defenceless people. Sadly, one of the many heart-breaking aspects of dementia is that it has a tendency to make sufferers paranoid (along with the anti-psychotic medications that are prescribed) and it can often be very difficult to ascertain whether or not ill-treatment and also sexual abuse it taking place. This makes it crucial that the relatives of those in care homes are vigilant and pro-actively advocate for their loved ones. There are many older people in care homes who have absolutely no-one left, though and are completely reliant on ending up being cared for during their last days on this earth upon good, professionally competent, decent, loving strangers. This issue is so important and I'm pleased that you are taking an active interest in this, Nick Smith.
Yes, it's important that society gets as much 'clued up' to the dangers of elder abuse as it is to child abuse. Whilst it's also important to recognise that there are many good carers who are not only highly competent medical professionals, but also do wonderful, although often woefully low-paid work out of love and a higher moral purpose - there are also some uncaring people who manage to get into these jobs who are not only totally unsuited to them but are also sadists who deliberately seek out work with vulnerable people so that they can abuse them. Many elderly people in care homes suffer from dementia and this is a condition in which some effectively become very childlike and as trusting as little toddlers again - which is something that abusers who infiltrate the care home system know full well and are there precisely to prey on these defenceless people. Sadly, one of the many heart-breaking aspects of dementia is that it has a tendency to make sufferers paranoid (along with the anti-psychotic medications that are prescribed) and it can often be very difficult to ascertain whether or not ill-treatment and also sexual abuse it taking place. This makes it crucial that the relatives of those in care homes are vigilant and pro-actively advocate for their loved ones. There are many older people in care homes who have absolutely no-one left, though and are completely reliant on ending up being cared for during their last days on this earth upon good, professionally competent, decent, loving strangers. This issue is so important and I'm pleased that you are taking an active interest in this, Nick Smith. Katie Re-Registered

4:37pm Sun 8 Dec 13

rockape2001 says...

Any improvement to the rail service would be heaven, in three weeks out of 30 train journeys I have taken - 18 have been late 6 have resulted in missed connections. So long as the improvements dont delay it any further.
Any improvement to the rail service would be heaven, in three weeks out of 30 train journeys I have taken - 18 have been late 6 have resulted in missed connections. So long as the improvements dont delay it any further. rockape2001

5:38pm Sun 8 Dec 13

blackandamber says...

rockape2001 wrote:
Any improvement to the rail service would be heaven, in three weeks out of 30 train journeys I have taken - 18 have been late 6 have resulted in missed connections. So long as the improvements dont delay it any further.
And if you want to get from Rogerstone to Newport you still have to catch the bus.
[quote][p][bold]rockape2001[/bold] wrote: Any improvement to the rail service would be heaven, in three weeks out of 30 train journeys I have taken - 18 have been late 6 have resulted in missed connections. So long as the improvements dont delay it any further.[/p][/quote]And if you want to get from Rogerstone to Newport you still have to catch the bus. blackandamber

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