MANY residents of Penarth and Dinas Powys work in Cardiff and commute into the capital each day by train. In my view, the service they have to put up with is nothing short of disgraceful.

Trains are often cancelled or subject to severe delays, and when they aren’t passengers travel on rolling stock almost 40 years old.

The Welsh Assembly have long promised an end to the “pacer” trains that were introduced in the 1980s as a stopgap - actually made of bus parts.When the new Transport for Wales franchise began last year, Welsh transport minister Ken Skates promised us “quick wins”. Sadly, these “wins” have not been quick, yet to become a reality.

Penarth commuters are still being shuttled into work each morning on overcrowded pacers, and this is simply not good enough. The new rolling stock we were promised seems many years away, when the reality is we need it now. Welsh Government need to pull their finger out and sort this out. Transport is their responsibility and they need to get a grip of the situation.

The controversial Barry incinerator is a saga that seems to be rumbling on and on. I have long held deep concerns about the site, with the minister responsible for making the decision indicating almost two years ago she was “minded to” insist an Environmental Impact Assessment be carried out.

This week in the Assembly, I raised these concerns yet again, and the minister confirmed that an Environmental Statement has been submitted by the developer and is currently being reviewed. She claimed NRW are monitoring compliance throughout the testing phase, and that this is the latest position.

Locally, there have been several apparently unconfirmed rumours that the site will be up and running in a matter of days, and I was disappointed the minister failed to give a categorical answer on this. I have always said the site is wholly unsuitable, and the Welsh Assembly have let local people down in their handling of this.

I was very pleased last week to see a statement from Cardiff and the Vale Health Board dropping controversial plans to close the Sam Davies ward at Barry Hospital. Under the proposals, the 23 bed ward was to close, with services transferred to the Heath and Llandough. While I welcome the announcement, they also confirmed new proposals will be brought forward this week. Given the statement did not include explicit commitment to keep the ward open, I fear we will see a rehashed version of the same plans in the near future. It has not been a good month for the Welsh NHS, with recent figures confirming wait times were joint worst on record. I’m calling for a cast iron guarantee from them that under the revised plans, the ward will remain open.