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    13 September, 2006

    Rhodri in the Rhondda

    I was pleased to welcome Wales’s First Minister Rhodri Morgan back to the Rhondda last week to see the major Assembly-funded construction projects currently taking place in the Valleys.

    Rhodri started his trip at the Costain site in Pontygwaith before being driven in a mini-bus down the length of the new Relief Road to the Rheola Bridge. He was welcomed by Costain’s Community Lliason Manager Brian Greaves, and RCT Cabinet Member for Transport Cllr Eudine Hanagan. Costain’s works manager George Black and Project Manager Wyn Daniels escorted us on our tour of the site. Ian Walsh from the Glamorgan Engineering consultancy explained the engineering challenges of the scheme.

    Local Councillors Robert Bevan and Mark Adams (Tylorstown) and Margaret Davies (Porth) also attended the visit.

    We then visited the site of the new hospital being built by the Pontypridd and Rhondda NHS Trust in Llwynypia. We were welcomed to the site by Trust Chief Executive Margaret Foster and Director of Estates Jim English. Rhodri also met local Labour Party members on the visit.

    Rhodri said after his visit ‘It is inspiring to see how public money is being used to change the face of the Rhondda. The new hospital will improve the quality of care to patients. The new road development will speed journeys within the Valley. I was particularly impressed with the new Rheola Bridge, which will be an iconic symbol for the Rhondda.’

    Many millions of Assembly money are being invested in the Rhondda. These two schemes alone cost £120 million. It’s important that the First Minister gets to see the investment going in on the ground.

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