Here you'll find information about how a Plaid Cymru government intends to deliver on behalf of the people of Caerphilly in terms of health, jobs, education and much more. If you'd like to read about our plans in Polish, click here.
Health and Social Care
Caerphilly residents have been let down with local GP provision in recent years, with Gilfach, Lansbury Park and Penyrheol surgeries all closing in the last five years. This is a direct result of Labour’s failures with workforce planning – there simply aren’t enough GPs in the area to sustain the required staffing levels. Under Labour, Wales has one of the lowest rates of GPs-per-head in Europe.
Plaid Cymru has a plan to improve the situation, which includes training and recruiting 1,000 doctors over Wales. On a population basis, this is expected to mean around 60 new doctors to serve the Caerphilly County area. We will also recruit 4,000 extra nurses and 1,000 allied health professionals to further improve the available level of service for local residents.
Plaid Cymru is also the only party going into the election saying that NHS staff, who have sacrificed so much to keep people safe during the pandemic, should receive at least a 4% pay rise.
Our other commitments in relation to health include:
- Creating a National Care Service that would provide free social care for everyone and bring parity of terms and esteem for care staff with NHS staff;
- Establishing Cancer Diagnostic Centres to speed up diagnosis, which will mean that people will begin their cancer treatments sooner, leading to better outcomes;
- Creating Mental Health Hubs, based on a similar scheme in New Zealand, where people can drop in for mental health support. As one of the largest areas of population in Wales, there would be a strong case for locating one of these in Caerphilly;
- Concentrate on preventative health measures to keep people healthier and reduce strain on the NHS, as well as introducing a Clean Air Act to reduce the effects of harmful airborne pollution;
- Improve dentistry provision by recruiting more dentists, establish a centre of excellence, restore mobile dentist unit for rural areas and review the current system of dental charges.
Jobs, the Economy and Money in Your Pocket
In order for Wales to thrive and prosper, it’s essential to get the economy moving, especially in the face of the challenge of post-Covid rebuilding. Plaid Cymru believes that the best way to achieve this is to provide local jobs that pay well – this will increase the amount of money people have to spend in the local economy while also increasing the Welsh tax base, raising more money to spend on essential services. We’ll also bring down the average council tax bill, since it’s the bill that hits the hard-pressed the hardest, whilst also offering more support to those who need it most.
We’ve got a national plan to create 60,000 new jobs through our Green Economic Stimulus package amounting to hundreds of job opportunities in the Caerphilly area. These jobs would include building thousands of new social homes, retrofitting existing homes, expanding and electrifying the rail network, and delivering the fastest broadband to all parts of Wales – delivering wider environmental benefits on top of increasing prosperity.
To support young people to enter the job market or gain access to a better-paid job, we’d provide a job guarantee scheme, with people who sign up receiving the living wage. For people over 25 we’d provide a lifelong personal learning account, with an initial tax-free credit of £5,000, and loans for more expensive courses on the same terms as university tuition fees.
To support people on low income we would cut their council tax bills and provide free school means for everyone in receipt of Universal Credit as well as providing a £35 child payment to the poorest families, as part of our pledge to eradicate child poverty by the end of the next Senedd term.
We would also implement a new 'local first' procurement policy to give preference to small and medium-sized local businesses - setting a target of increasing Welsh firms' share of public procurement from 52% to 75%.
We’d further support local businesses and entrepreneurs by offering long-term zero-interest loans, to help get business back on their feet following the tough pandemic period and encourage economic innovation.
In terms of transport, Plaid Cymru would expand the plans for the Cardiff Metro to create a Valleys Crossrail. This will connect the valleys and will include stations in Nelson, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed, Blackwood, Newbridge, Crumlin and Pontypool.
To deal with M4 congestion we would implement the recommendations of Lord Burns’ South East Wales Transport Commission’s recommendations for upgrading the southern main railway line to provide six new stations and an improved commuter service.
Wales used to be a leading light in terms of educational attainment, but has fallen back in recent years, due in large part to failures of the Labour administration in Cardiff. Plaid Cymru would invest in schools and free up teachers’ time to do what they do best: teach.
This will entail greater investment in school funding while also providing clear, long-term planning to give schools clarity about their budgets and enable them to plan effectively, moving away from the current system of specific grants and last minute allocations. Schools do not currently possess the required resources to carry out their work to the required levels, so we’d employ 4,500 extra teachers and specialist support staff in schools across Wales by the end of our first term.
We would also improve the pay and conditions of teachers as well as raising the esteem of the teaching profession, leading to improved recruitment rates and helping to retain experienced staff.
In terms of the curriculum, we believe that Welsh history, as well as BAME history, should be mandatory aspects and that all children should learn about them in school. We’d also ensure that the components of the new curriculum foster a good understanding of mental health and well-being, healthy relationships, citizenship and children’s rights.
We would also conduct a Ministerial review of post-16 provision, put in place systems to end needless competition in post-16 education, and place vocational education on the same foundations as academic learning in school and university.
In terms of early education, we’d establish world-class early years education and childcare, offering 30 hours a week, free for all children from 24 months to school age.
Complementing these policies will be our flagship policy of providing free school meals for all children in primary school, providing children with a nutritious meal at the start of their school day. As well as this, we would introduce the lifelong learning entitlement for retraining that would be worth £5,000 for everyone over 25, so that people of all ages have the option of continuing their education and increasing their skillset if they would like to do so.
Climate Change and the Environment
A Plaid Cymru government would take strong action to deal with the climate change and biodiversity emergencies.
Plaid Cymru’s Clean Air Act would deliver benefits to Caerphilly given that Wales’ most polluted road in in the county. Houses in Hafodyrynys, which is just outside the boundaries of this constituency, have to be demolished because the quality of the local air was so poor. Our Clean Air Act would also help prevent problems such as lung disease and other illnesses caused by airborne pollution. Our Nature Act would set statutory targets to restore biodiversity by 2050.
A Plaid Cymru government would also clamp down on industrial polluters, such as the issues surrounding the pollution in Gelligaer, which Delyth Jewell has been highlighting in the Senedd, while ensuring that no waste ends up in landfills or is incinerated by the end of the decade.
We would also am to reach zero emissions by 2035 and establish a non-for-profit Welsh energy company that would be responsible for generating 100% of electricity through renewables.
We’d also work to provide local green spaces for all, ban single-use plastics and invest in measures to prevent flooding.
Plaid Cymru believes that having a house to live in should be a human right and would enshrine this right in law and also follow a housing first policy to reduce homelessness. We’d change the law so that local authorities can no longer end their duty of care to people known to be homeless, scrap the failed priority need system and the bedroom tax, subject to receiving the powers to do so.
Locally Plaid Cymru will continue to campaign against overdevelopments which undermine local communities’ ability to access services.
We would increase the stock of housing by creating 50,000 new public homes over the next five years with 30,000 being social housing, 15,000 affordable homes to buy and 5,000 cost-rental at intermediate rent.
We’d use tax and planning powers to tackle the second homes crisis and make it easier for relevant authorities to bring empty properties back into use.