Tories backtracking over new Powys Hospitals shows lack of honesty with voters

The admission by the Conservatives that their manifesto pledge to build two new hospitals in Powys won’t be fulfilled has been described as a disappointing breach of trust by the Liberal Democrats.

The Conservative manifesto pledges on both the inside cover and on page two that they will build “five new hospitals.” However Welsh Conservatives have now admitted that only two new hospitals will be built, neither of which will be in Powys and instead that existing hospitals in Newtown and Llandrindod will be upgraded.

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Mid and West Wales Candidate Jane Dodds said:

Any improvements to the local health service should be welcomed but voters need to know what they can expect. There is a big difference between a new hospital and an upgrade.

I’m proud to be standing on a costed and realistic manifesto which is focusing on our recovery.

Welsh Liberal Democrats are being open and honest with voters over our plans. We want to see people receive the right care at the right time, an increased focus on early diagnosis and intervention, more services provided in the community by pharmacists which will take vital pressure off hospitals and A&E departments in particular.

William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire added:

Our NHS has been through so much this last year and I know from personal experience how vital their work is. Political parties owe it not only to the public, but to the NHS staff to be open and honest about their plans and it would seem the Conservatives have been anything but honest with their manifesto.

Alison Alexander, Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for Montgomeryshire added:

The Conservatives need to be honest with voters. One moment they are promising the people of Newtown a new hospital, now it’s an upgrade. We have been honest and realistic in our commitments to improving healthcare in Newtown and not tried to mislead voters into promising something we cannot deliver.

I’m pleased improvements to our health service are being discussed at this election, but the Conservatives appear to be saying one thing and planning another. A new hospital for Newtown and an upgrade to our existing hospital are not the same.

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18 Comments

  • I don’t wish the Welsh Lib Dems to give the Tories and easy ride in Wales, but are the Tories ever likely to be in power in Wales ? …….. and isn’t the NHS a devolved power ?

    No doubt someone will tell me if I am wrong.

  • @David Raw
    Hi David, I don’t quite understand your point. The Conservatives are the challengers on Powys holding both Westminster seats and 1/2 of the Senedd seats.
    Their manifesto spoke of building five new hospitals in Wales two of which would be in Powys. The Welsh Lib Dems have pointed out that this isn’t true and voters in Powys (and the rest of Wales) should think carefully before voting Conservative.
    And yes the NHS is a devolved issue and the devolved elections are this week.

  • @ Paul Given the fact the Tories had 10 out of 60 members in the Senedd last time, I repeat, “are the Tories ever likely to be in power in Wales ?”.

  • @David Raw So the Lib Dems in Powys should not bother attacking the Conservatives even though they are the threat in both Brecon and Radnorshire & Montgomeryshire? Dare I ask what you’d recommend they do?

  • @David Raw

    In power – may be not but they are clearly going to do well in the Welsh Senedd elections – not least because there was a big UKIP vote last time of 12.5% and that has crashed to about 3% (for Reform UK) and that has mostly transferred to the Tories. So trying (at least!) to clip their wings a bit does make sense.

    Indeed Roger Scully of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre provide seats projections based on the Welsh opinion polls and in March that had the Tories on 19 seats to Labour’s 22 and you might say that if they got most Senedd members that they should have the first attempt at trying to form a coalition. They have since slipped back – but it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they could come first.

    My understanding – although ‘m not a close watcher of Welsh politics is that Plaid (and indeed Labour) have said that they won’t form a coalition with the Tories. But strange things happen after elections as regards coalitions….. 🙂 !!!!!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2021_Senedd_election

  • Brad Barrows 3rd May '21 - 5:51pm

    @Michael 1
    It is perfectly possible that the Conservatives could form the Government of Wales after the next election with as few as a third of the AMs, so long as they have more than any other party and no coalition is agreed between other parties. In such a situation, a government can be successful if they push forward legislation on which they believe they can get the support of one other party. This strategy worked well for the SNP in 2007 when they became the government with only 48 out of 129 MSPs.

  • john oundle 3rd May '21 - 8:06pm

    The headline of this article is misleading to say the least.

    Unless the Tories get a majority of seats in Wales they are not able to deliver new hospitals in Powys as Health is a devolved area.

  • @ Paul I said, “I don’t wish the Welsh Lib Dems to give the Tories an easy ride in Wales”. To which you said, “So the Lib Dems in Powys should not bother attacking the Conservatives”. You’re making me feel like Captain Mainwaring when meeting Private Pike, Paul.

    Given I’ve spent the last sixty years attacking the Tories, (much more than Cleggy’s lot ever did), I must say you have a vivid imagination. Would you better understand this ?

    “Dydw i ddim yn dymuno i Ddemocratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru roi taith hawdd i’r Torïaid yng Nghymru”.

  • Helen Dudden 4th May '21 - 9:51am

    We now have massive hospital waiting lists from non treatment other than Covid. It can’t be ignored or forgotten.
    There are many children suffering mental health illnesses, because of the measures implemented.
    Several children, those without garden areas have spent many hours confined to flats, one case I have heard about, is lack of vitamin D.
    There must be more available treatment for the huge queue now having to wait many month’s or even longer.
    I think housing families rather than providing more and more student homes, Bath is full to overflowing with student homes. This is also the case else where.
    The Government has spent millions making things jump to their tune, it’s up to those using their vote as well comments to alter a system that at present head’s the wrong way.

  • >“We now have massive hospital waiting lists from non treatment other than Covid. It can’t be ignored or forgotten.
    There are many children suffering mental health illnesses, because of the measures implemented. …”
    There must have been a massive backlog after WWII – but then we didn’t have an NHS…
    Whilst there is a problem, I do think we tend to too quickly put our hands up and cry wolf.
    From my perspective – running a youth cycling club, a big benefit has been the resumption of club activities – the kids are just glad to be out with their mates – yes they’ve forgotten much about bike handling (young one’s back to using feet as brakes), but with good coaching and keeping things fun… So whilst there are some youth mental health problems, I suspect many can and will be addressed by the resumption of non-classroom face-to-face peer group activities.

    I, therefore, suggest the best investment that could be made this summer, isn’t more classroom time or more medically prescribed counselling, but funding to enable the provision of – free to the user – youth oriented activities that support pre-established friendship groups to the majority of under 18’s. (By ‘activity’ I don’t just mean sport, I also include things like NCS – the important thing is being together outside of the classroom and applying learning).

    >“I think housing families rather than providing more and more student homes, Bath is full to overflowing with student homes. This is also the case else where.”
    Digressing off the topic of this article, this is an interesting one. Firstly, I anticipate a big downturn in overseas student numbers, thus I expect many universities will have spare capacity in their halls of residence so I doubt there will be many wishing to increase their stock of student accommodation. Secondly, looking back to my uni. days where it was normal to live in ‘digs’ and self-cater etc., I wonder whether today’s Bath’s student population are putting as much money (per head) into the local economy that students 40+ years back did.

  • Peter Hirst 4th May '21 - 1:22pm

    On the face of it the Conservatives should be punished at the polls for reneging on this commitment. But will they? They seem to be creating a culture when honesty is seen as rather old fashioned. It is up to us to revalue this value both by campaigning and example.

  • GWYN Williams 4th May '21 - 1:31pm

    All credit to Bill Powell and Alison Alexander for raising the phoney Tory promises on new hospitals. The Tories have said that Rhyl will have a new hospital. The Labour Party have not bothered to call them out on it as someone might remind them that we are still waiting for the £40million refurbishment of the Royal Alexandra in Rhyl.
    Of course the real issue is that our hospitals in North East Wales and Powys have not had the kind of investment that those on the other side of the border have had. If you need a heart bypass you have travel to Liverpool Broadgreen, a tendon reattached at the wonderful new Whiston Hospital in Liverpool and Welsh patients are still having cataract operations in Gobowen, Shropshire.

  • @ David Raw – I often agree with you, but I do find that a strange comment. The Tories are our main opponents in those seats. Why wouldn’t we attack them?

    All polls predict them gaining seats in Thursday’s election. As Michael points out, one recent poll actually had them almost neck and neck with Labour. It’s unlikely that they’ll end up in government in Wales even if that poll is accurate, largely because they’ve already said they won’t work with Plaid, but depending on the numbers it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility that they do.

    On the same note – are the Welsh Liberal Democrats likely to be in power in Wales after this election? If we take that attitude, there’s no point in us having anything to say about anything at all.

  • @David Raw – I must admit I find your opening comment here a little baffling as well. I’ve read it several times, and also your replies in the thread, and I still don’t really understand what your point is.
    So that’s quite a few of us now who are confused. Maybe – just maybe – you’re not being clear?

  • George Thomas 4th May '21 - 5:20pm

    I don’t know if it’s universal but Tories have attacked Welsh education on their leaflets in my area. May I ask if the Lib Dems have been equally vocal stating that Tories have no plans for education themselves and that Lib Dem reforms haven’t fully come in yet so criticism is out-of-date?

    As others have pointed out, Tories are going to win a good number of seats in Wales. What others haven’t said is that this is because they’re painting themselves as the unionist party in Wales (and Scotland) which is turf I’d expect Lib Dems to go after as well so are direct rivals.

  • Helen Dudden 4th May '21 - 5:53pm

    Roland, I’m talking 5 year olds and 8 year olds with mental health issue’s. I understand youths to be older.
    I paid for dental surgery after having several broken teeth, waiting over a year and I’m not alone. As a Power Wheelchair user I was having more problems due to the damage.
    As I write on International Law and failures with non returns and disputed parental access, I understand fully the subject of great unhappiness in children. I have personally seen some very unhappy 5 year olds and a little older.
    You will also understand the way stress can cause deeper issue’s.
    I never suggested medication, it’s good to read you have the problem under control.

  • …………………Tories backtracking over new Powys Hospitals shows lack of honesty with voters…………..

    When I read that I thought, “Popes, Bears, woods and catholics’…

    Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, Layla Moran of the Liberal Democrats, and the Greens’ Caroline Lucas have challenged Johnson’s ongoing ‘honesty’ in the HoC and have been complaining about being fobbed off with a letter, from Simon Case, “riddled with inaccuracies”…

    Sadly, the Tory mantra of the 1980/90’s of “being economical with the truth” has now escallated into ‘”barefaced lies”..

  • @Helen Dudden
    We take 5~18’s. The groups I currently have coaching responsibility for, span the 5~12 age group. I’m not disputing that there are mental health issues, just that from the context of this article some could assume that the solution requires medical professionals (ie. its someone else’s problem there is nothing I can do) rather than social with some guidance from mental health and wellbeing professionals – which my club is probably fortunate in having access to.

    However, my team are aware that the adult club has little understanding of our problems, to the adult club, it was easy to go out for a ride (on the roads) during lockdown, so overlook the problem that young children and especially those who’s parents didn’t ride, didn’t have the same options available to them. We were a little surprised (but also pleased) at the high turnouts we’ve had since we’ve resumed club sessions – we were expecting many children to have lost their interest in cycling…

    >it’s good to read you have the problem under control.
    Not sure about that, just trying to provide some fun and an outlet for their energy…

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