New hospital can be built despite cuts – Torfaen AM
TORFAEN AM Lynne Neagle says she is positive about the development of a £300million Specialist and Critical Care Centre in the area despite news that the project was going to be delayed due to spending cuts.
The Argus reported yesterday that the Assembly Government had said the proposed care centre at the former Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital had been hit following the UK Government’s spending review.
But after meeting Health Minister Edwina Hart yesterday, the Torfaen AM said she had been assured that the project was being looked at positively and that preliminary work on the SCCC would be funded during the 2011-12 financial year.
"I held a meeting with the minister and she assured me that she’s looking positively at the proposal for the Critical Care Centre and that she is hoping to make an announcement by the end of March," said Ms Neagle.
"I’ve campaigned long and hard to see this hospital delivered and I will not rest until the last digger has left the site and local people have the fantastic new hospital they deserve."
Torfaen MP Paul Murphy added: "With Lynne's determination, I’m confident that the project will go ahead, despite the Tory cuts that are hitting this area hard."
The SCCC will deal with the treatment and care of Gwent’s sickest patients, with 350 to 400 beds and a range of specialist surgical and emergency facilities.
Other Assembly Government news that infrastructure improvements to the Royal Gwent Hospital would also be funded during the next financial year delighted Newport AMs.
Newport West AM, Rosemary Butler said: "This is excellent news for the people of Newport.
"It means that the minister has committed to developing a quality service in Newport and we look forward to seeing further details."
Newport East AM, John Griffiths added: "It is important to continue investing into the building, its services and providing a quality environment for patients and staff.
New station delay is 'disappointing'
Blaenau Gwent AMs, MPs and councillors expressed their disappointment at Assembly Government news that the planned train station for Ebbw Vale town is another project to be delayed.
The £6.5 million proposal would see a station built on the Works regeneration site, next to the grade II listed former British Steel General Office.
Blaenau Gwent AM, Trish Law said: "This is a very short-sighted decision and I hope it will be reversed, for I maintain that projects in deprived areas like Blaenau Gwent should not form part of the Assembly government’s spending review."
Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith said: "Any delay is disappointing. The new railway station would support the development of the Works which is encouraging for jobs in Blaenau Gwent.
Leader of the council, Des Hillman said he understood the difficult situation the Assembly Government faced but said they would continue to push for further work.
Leader of the opposition for Blaneau Gwent council, Cllr Hedley McCarthy, said: "Every delay is damaging to the local economy."