I’m a Labour politician but I’m also a politician elected to represent people living in a vast constituency. Sometimes that calls for setting aside political differences.
Last week, I started a debate in the Assembly calling for a National Care Service for Wales. With more of us living longer, it’s absolutely time now to look at both where older people want to live, and be cared for should they need it, and how we pay for this when there’s less of the younger generation – many of whom are also cash-strapped in these times of UK Government spending cuts.
A National Care Service for Wales, like the National Health Service, is one of those areas where, with a political will, there’s a way. That’s why, in my debate in the National Assembly last week, I said it is essential that we work cross party and cross departmentally, and that we develop a consensus between generations. Amongst other things, we have an opportunity to rethink our building policies to provide for the elderly, something that could promote economic development, and create apprenticeships and new jobs in our communities for the younger generation.
Last week in the Assembly I also launched a new Cross-Party Group on Arts and Health. The purpose of the group is to promote and encourage the arts because of the benefit they can have on health and wellbeing. Artists and organisations working in this field need training, support and investment, and the care sector needs encouragement and respect. This group is in a unique position to bring these two professional worlds together, and make a lasting impact to vulnerable people and broken communities around Wales.
As I travel round the constituency I hear plenty of new ideas, many of which lead the way in their field. I’ll be looking to share best practice where I can across our county “borders” in the Mid and West Wales region. You can take part in the discussion on my website www.elunedmorgan.wales or for more regular updates find me on facebook.com/ElunedMorganAM