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David is a true native of Port Talbot and continues to live in the constituency. He is married to Marie, a superintendant…
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David Rees AM challenges government on Junction 41

David Rees AM for Aberavon has once again today challenged the Welsh Government on the reasons for the trial closure and the evidence being considered for the decision on the future of Junction 41, prior to the minister making her decision at the end of the month.

Mr Rees has previously questioned the Welsh Government on the impact on retailers in the town centre, the traffic chaos experienced by many people travelling west and in particular in Baglan at Sunny Croft roundabout and has now today raised concerns over discussions held with the emergency services and the impacts they have experienced as a result of the closure.

David Rees said: “During the trial closure the people of Port Talbot have had to contend with traffic chaos on our local roads, which on occasion have resulted in long queues at which we see cars at a standstill. I have also been made aware of emergency vehicles trying to join the motorway during the closure periods and having to take additional time as they follow the diversions. It is vital that our emergency services are able to access the fastest route possible and this must be taken into account as part of the decision making process of the minister.”

 ***ENDS***

***For further information please contact Angharad Thomas

on 02920 898 751 or

angharad.thomas@assembly.wales ***

 

Labour AMs call for a Moratorium on Open Cast Mining in Wales

Three Labour AMs in South Wales West- David Rees, Gwenda Thomas and Mike Hedges- have today supported the call for a moratorium on Open Cast Mining in Wales. The debate at the Assembly highlighted the many examples where open cast mining has taken place and the local communities have been left with a blight on the landscape and dangers to their health and safety.

They also called for fully funded restoration work to be carried out at both Parc Slip, Margam and East Pit, Cwmllynfell. Since the 1994 transfer of these open cast sites from British Coal, there has been little investment into restoration schemes to ensure that after mining the land can be returned to its natural habitat. The fund for this work is a currently at a fraction of the necessary level required to fully restore the sites and it is important that this is addressed as a matter of urgency.

David Rees AM said: “Mining at the Parc Slip site in Margam ceased in 2008 and we have been left with a huge void and many dangers. The site has been left derelict and as a result the void has filled with water to unacceptable levels which pose a threat to local communities. Restoration has been ignored and these dangers have been left to the public to face on a daily basis. This is something that we cannot allow to continue. Local communities suffer the pollution and the blight, dangers and fears, we need to act now to support our communities.”

Gwenda Thomas AM said: “In Margam, a vast and accidental lake is the problem. In East Pit we are told that it is the solution. The only difference I can see between the two cases is a reinforced eastern wall at the Cwmllynfell end of the site. A wall that will need to hold back tens of thousands of cubic litres of water, and in whose integrity residents will have to place their faith for generation after generation.”

Referring to previous restoration plans, Mrs Thomas added: “The first opencast on this site opened in 1948. We were promised then that, when it was complete, the land would be restored. That promise has been repeated to three generations, it has grown weighty with the years.

Mike Hedges AM added: “Too often open cast leaves parts of Wales looking like the moon. It also discourages new, clean and technological industries relocating in the area. Opencast is not part of the vision I have for 21st century Wales”

David Rees AM supports WWF Cymru Earth Hour Event

On Wednesday 18th March, David Rees, AM for Aberavon, was delighted to attend the WWF Cymru event to show support for Earth Hour 2015. WWF’s Earth Hour is the world’s biggest celebration for our amazing planet, with hundreds of millions of people coming together in a symbolic and spectacular light outs display. During the event, a ‘Planet’ cake was shared to say thank you for helping Wales contribute to moving towards a better planet in 2015, including the passing of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill.

WWF sees 2015 as a critical year for tackling sustainability issues, both within Wales and internationally. There are two major international opportunities to help our planet and people before the end of this year. The UN post-2015 international development framework should reinforce the international community’s commitment to poverty eradication and sustainable development. This will include a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be agreed in September, 2015.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference aims to develop a global agreement to tackle the causes and impacts of climate change and bring strong international action from 2020.

The Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill includes embedded action on the developing SDGs. Wales is the first country in the world to have achieved this. The Senedd event was a chance to celebrate what we are doing in Wales towards sustainability, raise awareness of opportunities internationally and our potential contribution to the global decisions in 2015.

Earth Hour itself will take place at 8.30pm on Saturday 28 March. This year supporters in Wales are encouraged to mark the hour with a candlelit dinner either at home or in a participating restaurant.