News that His Majesty The King is being treated for cancer will be worrying to us all. While I know we will all wish The King a very speedy recovery, the very fact of his announcement says a huge amount about him as an individual. He could have chosen to be treated privately without disclosing his illness. Instead, he deliberately chose to raise awareness of his condition in a way which will encourage others. Men of a certain age rarely prioritise their health and they certainly do not talk about it. His Majesty’s decision is another example of his selflessness and leadership. If you have had any concerns, now is the perfect time to contact your GP – following in His Majesty’s footsteps.
The turn of the year is often the moment we think about our health. I am certainly struggling to shift the ‘honeymoon half stone’ which has crept on since I relaxed my pre-wedding diet. However, one of the best ways to get fit and improve both your physical and mental health is through a team sport. That’s why I’m delighted to have played a small part in securing some government funding for two sports clubs across the constituency. Hay St Mary’s Football Club will receive around £300,000 towards new changing facilities at their ground, Pharos Field. As well as this, Llandrindod Wells FC has secured £20,000 for better pitch maintenance. We are so lucky in Wales to have a strong tradition of grassroots sports and so this funding will go right to the heart of community groups in the constituency. Exactly what is needed at this time of the year.
More widely, my current focus is on banking. With the Chancellor due to announce his Budget next month, I am looking to the Treasury to take action on our disappearing banks. After the disappointing news that Barclays is due to close in Builth Wells, I am more worried than ever about my constituents being able to access their cash. There are many in rural areas who simply cannot use digital means to do their banking so I am lobbying the Chancellor to find ways to make sure people can use High Street banking facilities. Don’t forget – after the banking crisis in 2008, the government stepped in with tax payer funding to help the banks. It’s time that support was repaid