Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Mid Wales Connection - A deadly threat or a dead duck?

Expecting a flurry of interest about onshore wind farms in Mid Wales over the next few days/weeks.Currently  having a few emails asking me what the position is. As politicians are wont to say with great force when they have absolutely no idea, "Let me be absolutely clear about this!" Well I'll try. At least I'll be clear as I can about what I do know. I know I've written about this before, since this blog is in its infancy (having been recently reborn) I should sketch out a bit of background on this most controversial of issues. And all from my perspective of course.

First a bit of historical context. Up to 2005, there was only limited opposition to wind farms in Mid Wales. A few of them were being built, and like most inhabitants of this most wonderful corner of the world, I was not much bothered about them. The scale and impact of what was happening was not overly significant. The Welsh Labour Government ended all that in 2005, when it outlined its future plans to transform Mid Wales into a wind farm landscape. It took only a day or two to fully grasp the horror of it and the underlying deceit behind what was being publicly proposed. My good friend Peter Ogden, Director of CPRW opened my eyes to the impending desecration. There would have to be a new massive 400kv power line from the Grid somewhere in England into the heart of the Welsh Uplands to take the power out. And because it would be a dedicated line, it would mean around another 500 turbines, far more than we were then being told about. I was transformed into an angry implacable opponent. Have remained in the same condition ever since.

Enter National Grid with rousing fanfare in 2010 (I think) and with it's inbuilt supreme, ruthless cunning. Firstly, they tried to turn the people of Montgomeryshire against each other by putting up options. But the people saw through this attempt to create a local war. A protest movement was born. And its strength has been that it's a 'Peoples Protest'. Their elected representatives, Powys County Council refused planning for the wind farms that started to roll in for the mega bucks being offered (the costs being added onto our power bills). All this protest seen by the developers and National Grid as no more than a mere hindrance to be brushed aside. Seen it all before blah blah. So the developers appealed, and sat back to await their lucrative permissions. There was a monster conjoined public inquiry into 5 of them. The 'People's Protest' didn't go away. It grew and grew - and spread across the land. The Conservative Party listened, responded and promised in its manifesto to end subsidies for onshore wind farms.

Move forward to last Wed.. At PMQs I asked the Prime Minister if he agreed with my view that any onshore wind proposal without planning permission (on that day) should not receive any public subsidy. He agreed. Seems to me that this is a big deal. DECC will try to undermine it - under pressure from the mighty developers. They are like a herd of Darth Vadars.


Now there are three distinct though linked issues confronting the people of mid Wales today. Firstly the conjoined public inquiry. We know the Inspector handed his report to the Department of Energy and Climate Change on Dec 8th 2014. We read a Sunday Telegraph 'leak' in March that 3 of the 5 applications had been approved and 2 had been refused, and that the decision was to be deferred until after the election. We do not know if this was true, but it might have been. Anyway, it is now after the election! So I suppose we can expect a decision soon, even if I'd prefer it to be deferred til 2020!! 

Secondly, and in my opinion much more importantly, there's the subsidy position. These proposals did not have planning approval last Wednesday when the Prime Minister spoke. In my view, they cannot now expect to receive any subsidy. Nor can any of the other wind farms that might sign up to National Grid's power line. On the face of it, they are stuffed, and so is the line. But the champagne is on ice. I've been around too long, and had too many defeats snatched from the jaws of victory. DECC and the developers will do everything possible to defeat the people, and the Government. Lets just wait a while and see.

And thirdly there is 'localism' as a principle. In England, the Government will shortly announce that decisions about onshore wind are in future going to be decided at local level - Power to the people. In Wales, the Labour Government is taking powers over planning away from the Local Planning Authority level - Power to the State. Now for a bit of personal opinion. Let next May's Conservative Assembly Election Campaign be - Power to the People. Let's be done with these centralising people-bashing philistines that run Wales as a one-party state. We have demonstrated in Mid Wales what an aroused people can achieve.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Count

'A View from Rural Wales' is springing back to life. Like those amazing plants which emerge from an arid landscape following the first rain after a ten year drought. Rather like the plant, which will normally never be seen, it may be that no-one will be drawn to read my blog. They used to. I'm returning to this strange activity to indulge my pleasure of writing for its own sake. It will be a periodic commentary on Westminster activities and reflection on issues that catch my attention. So read or not read as you wish. I will not be adulated or offended, whatever your response.

I feel an appropriate point to restart this is from 'The Count'. Approaching midnight on 7th May, the Davies family, including candidate, spouse and four children set forth from Cil Farm to the desperately non-atmospheric Flash Leisure Centre in Welshpool to discover what the voters of Montgomeryshire had decided that day. I'd warned the family this could be a humiliating night. We had seen the Exit Poll, which I had dismissed as ludicrous. Lord Paddy Ashdown was entirely justified in promising to eat a marzipan hat! To lose my seat to a Lib Dem when they were being obliterated across the UK could not be spun as anything but humiliation. But I also said, I thought "I would be elected, though not shocked to lose". In fact first time I'd ever gone to a count in Montgomeryshire with any optimism. The once I'd won came as a total shock!

Arrived to mixed reactions from my team. Some headshaking from the office pessimist (he knows who he is) but thumbs up from the remainder. There was a huddle of Lib Dems sitting to one side looking rather downcast which told the story. Rather sympathised. I've been there!! Anyway it was soon clear to all that I was heading to Westminster for another 5 yrs. Did the formalities and some good photos for the family album on stage. Then a few interviews - before heading up to the office uptown Welshoool for a quiet celebratory glass.

Then there was the penis. No commentary on the 'The Count' in Montgomeryshire can be complete without its inclusion. One voter had drawn an anatomically correct representation of a penis in the box next to my name. On the basis that it was completely confined within the box, and more importantly had a 'smiley face' the Returning Officer adjudged that it should a valid vote cast in my favour. Just imagine the hoo-hah if I'd won by one vote - which I did when first elected to Montgomeryshire District Council a long time ago.

I'm not sure this is a very dignified end to the resurrection of A View from Rural Wales. But it does establish a style.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wales Bill

Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire)

I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on the occasion of the Bill’s return from the House of Lords in much improved form, if I may say so. In general, I welcome the Bill although I am concerned about some elements. Perhaps it is a Welsh trait that we can never completely agree on things, and I want to touch on one issue where I am not in agreement.

What I welcome in particular is the new reality of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition shaping the process and future of devolution and driving forward, leaving—if I may say so to the shadow Secretary of State—Labour languishing in its wake. He may describe that as a U-turn, but that is the reality today. I want to make just one important point, which is very much a personal view. I disagree with one specific aspect of the Bill, but I would like to emphasise my overall support: it is a very good and welcome Bill.

I would like to put my point in context by painting some background to my personal journey in the devolution debate. I was not in favour of the form of devolution on offer in the referendum on 18 September 1997. It seemed to me to be creating a permanently unstable constitutional settlement. A settlement is the last thing it was. I attended the count in Llandrindod Wells leisure centre, watching the TV coverage as the decision of the voters of Wales came through and they decided in favour of establishing a national assembly for Wales. I drove home knowing that there was no going back. The people had spoken, albeit by a tiny margin of 0.6%. We were now facing an entirely new question: how would devolution work in practice? I concluded immediately that the new Welsh Assembly would eventually become a law-making, tax-raising Parliament based in Wales. That has influenced my thinking on the issue ever since. I did not want to be dragged, kicking and screaming, and trying to refight the 1997 devolution referendum. I preferred to get ahead of the curve and identify where we were going to get to, and move towards that in a positive and smooth way. That was not a change of mind, but a recognition of a new reality.

Jonathan Evans (Cardiff North)

My hon. Friend, through his service in the Assembly, has been one of the individuals who has encapsulated the position adopted by the Conservative party. Although the party battled against establishing the Assembly in the first place, and although the margin was only 4,000 in a million, nobody could claim other than that my hon. Friend and the party in Wales have since not been dragged back to the previous debate, but have moved forward and sought to make a success of the devolution settlement.

Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire)

Nowhere has that been more obvious than in the contribution from those on the Front Bench when we started today’s debate.

The Government of Wales Act 2006, introduced by the Labour party, moved things forward quite a lot, as did the 2011 referendum in relation to tax-raising powers. The Wales Bill takes us further down the road to what I consider to be the inevitable conclusion, but not far enough for me on tax levying responsibility. I will be blunt about my view: it is a mistake that the Bill requires a referendum before devolving responsibility for levying part of income tax collection to the Welsh Government. That is properly an issue for a general election. The Welsh Government are not financially accountable to the people of Wales until they are responsible for levying a degree of income tax. It is also my personal view that financial accountability through responsibility for income tax is so fundamental to a proper, grown-up National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Government that we should not devolve extra responsibility until this principle is accepted—no financial accountability, no new powers.

The First Minister, and perhaps Labour Members here on the Opposition Benches, do not want financial accountability. How convenient it is to bask in the credit of every spend that the people of Wales approve of and blame the UK Government for every difficult decision needed to bring order to the United Kingdom’s finances. We see the First Minister in Wales scrabbling around for any reason he can come up with to avoid committing to a referendum. First, it was lockstep, which is removed by the Bill. Then it was the Barnett deficit, until it became clear that it is a rather smaller Barnett deficit than we thought. I hear now that air passenger duty might be another reason, and if that is resolved, there will be another one. The reality is that Welsh Labour in Cardiff is desperate to avoid financial accountability. It does not want to be properly financially accountable to the Welsh people.

Elfyn Llwyd (Dwyfor Meirionnydd)

I am following the hon. Gentleman’s argument and thinking about what the Labour spokesman said. When the Silk proposals were being discussed, the First Minister of Wales was adamant he did not want air passenger duty devolved, but suddenly he has woken up and is desperately keen on it. It depends what day of the week we are in.

Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire)

I would be more encouraged if I thought the day of the week was the reason. I think it is a desperate attempt to find one more hurdle to prevent us from moving towards financial accountability.

During the passage of the Bill, I accepted it would include a commitment to a referendum on devolution of income tax levying powers. It was a recommendation of the all-party Silk commission, and in 1997 there was a referendum on this issue in Scotland. In my view, however, the Silk commission was wrong, and weak in its recommendation on this point. Devolving income tax powers is not as big a change as is being made out, and it is entirely appropriate that it be decided at a general election; it does not need a referendum. If a Welsh Labour Government acted irresponsibility, which they might well do, they would quickly be turfed out of office. It is much easier to sit in blissful impotence, complaining.

I would like to see manifesto commitments by my party, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru to revisit this issue, perhaps in a Wales Bill early next Parliament

and before the Assembly elections in 2016, and to devolve income tax. We should put an end to Labour’s easy ride in Wales and make the Welsh Government properly fiscally accountable to the Welsh people. Only then will devolution grow up and reach its inevitable, logical conclusion.

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Motion before MPs tomorrow about action to confront ISIL

Tomorrow, Parliament is recalled to debate a motion tabled by Her Majesty's Government supported limited action against the brutal terrorist organisation, ISIL. It reads as follows;

That this House;

Condemns the barbaric acts of ISIL against the peoples of Iraq, including the Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Christian and Yazidi and the humanitarian crisis it is causing;

Recognises the clear threat that ISIL pose to the territorial integrity of Iraq, and the request from the Government of Iraq for military support from the international community and the specific request to the UK Government for such support;

Further recognises the threat ISIL pose to wider international security, and the UK directly through its sponsorship of terrorist attacks and it's murder of a British hostage;

Acknowledges the broad coalition contributing to military support of the Government of Iraq, including countries throughout the Middle East;

Further acknowledges the request of the Government of Iraq for international support to defend itself against the threat that ISIL poses to Iraq and it's citizens, and the clear legal basis that this provides for action in Iraq;

Notes that this motion does not endorse UK air strikes in Syria as part of this campaign, and any proposal to do so would be subject to a separate vote in Parliament;

Accordingly supports Her Majesty's Government, working with allies, in supporting the Government of Iraq in protecting civilians and restoring its territorial integrity, including use of UK air strikes to support Iraq, including Kurdish security force's efforts against ISIL in Iraq;

Notes that Her Majesty's Government will not deploy UK troops in ground combat operations;

Offers it's wholehearted support to the men and women of Her Majesty's Armed Forces.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Military Action on ISIL

This is an email I sent to those constituents whose email addresses I have. Well over a hundred responded, with around 90% leaning towards accepting that UK involvement in air strikes against ISIL may be inevitable. Very few were totally opposed. We all have concerns of course. Unfortunately three responders were so offensive that I must ensure I do not email them again - and that is a pity. It's a few days late but here it is;



Last summer, the House of Commons was recalled following the gassing of innocent civilians by the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. At the time, I anticipated being asked by the Prime Minister to support a military strike on Damascus. I emailed those constituents I was able to, inviting opinions on what they considered to be the best way forward. Most of the replies reinforced my personal view that the case for military action had not been made. I could not see how it would improve the position. I and many other like-minded Conservatives informed the government of our opinion and the motion finally put to the recalled House of Commons after much negotiation did not sanction a military strike. I considered the final motion to be acceptable and was very disappointed when it was defeated. It felt to me that the UK, a leading NATO country was turning its back on the world, an act that would only encourage those with evil intent. The reality was that the UK and the US did stand back, and have allowed events in the Middle East to play out as they have done. The current position is far more worrying than it was last year.


This email once again shares with you the decision I may face in the near future. It's rumoured that there may be a sudden recall of Parliament this week or next to consider becoming involved in air strikes against ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. At this stage, we do not know what military action would be involved. However I would expect it to involve air strikes against ISIL, though perhaps not in Syria and not involving troops on the ground. This, of course, may change.


This time, I am personally more inclined to support military involvement. The scale of ISIL's advance, its incredible brutality, its mass killings and beheadings, and threat it poses to us here in the UK seem to me to be increasingly serious. At this stage I feel we cannot continue to turn our backs on what is happening. It is important that I keep in touch with my constituents’ views on such an emotive and controversial issue. Entering military conflict is an extremely serious matter, full of uncertainty, and it seems right that I should invite my constituents to share any thoughts they have on the matter.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Reflections on Scotland's Referendum.

In the end, the Scottish voters decided by a more comfortable margin than we expected that they preferred their nation to remain part of the United Kingdom. The canny Scots refused to follow the pied piper over the edge. Not enough of them joined in surfing the wave of emotion. Hopefully the repair work needed to mend the divisions created by such a ferocious debate will not be too difficult. This blog post is an early assessment of where go from here, and written from a Wales perspective.

We have learned that commitment to the United Kingdom by its member nations cannot be taken for granted. Leaders of the three main Westminster parties decided they needed to make a last-minute offer to Scotland before the vote. This 'Vow' must be delivered. No ifs or buts. And we now have to answer the West Lothian Question, which I've always thought best not asked. This all has a significant impact on the future governance arrangements for Wales, even though I expect this to be of only passing interest to the rest of the UK. But it matters to me.

The most concerning part of the 'Vow' was the commitment to an unreformed Barnett Formula, which gives Scotland significantly more than 'needs ' dictate she should have. While Wales receives more per head than England, it does not receive the level of funding justified by her 'needs'. Difficult to know the precise size of Wales underfunding, but a figure of £300 million per annum is usually used. It's very much my view that the Wales Office and the Treasury need to find a satisfactory way of addressing this Barnett deficit. It's not a huge sum of money in the greater scheme of things.

There will be a significant change in the tax arrangements/powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament. In future 100% of income tax will be devolved. A huge change with no referendum, though there was one on the principle of devolved tax-raising in 1997. We are just going to do it. I very much agree with this change. To devolve powers without matching financial accountability is a recipe for division between the Scottish and UK Parliaments. It allowed the Scottish First Minister to play the victim card to great effect. It almost destroyed the United Kingdom. The same situation exists in Wales. My view is that we should transfer responsibility for 50% of income tax to the Welsh Assembly without any referendum. We have seen just how destabilising a devolved  government without fiscal accountability can be. We need to act on this now. If it's decided there must be consultation with the people of a Wales, this should be done through our 2015 manifesto rather than a referendum. I fully expect the Labour Party in Wales to do everything possible to stop this happening, thus retaining the happy position of only taking responsibility for one side of the ledger.

My final observation in this post is the proposal to prevent Scottish MPs voting on laws that apply only to England. Unfortunately, the anti-English tone of the Yes campaign in Scotland has made this inevitable. Personally, I do not like it one bit, believing it to be far more complex (to the point of being unworkable) than is thought. But it is much better than the appalling prospect of an English Parliament. I am not at all sure it can be applied to Wales in the same way, because the level of shared services across the border is so much greater. Again, Labour will do everything possible to prevent this happening. Already we see much discussion about a constitutional convention - a fairly blatant tactic to avoid anything at all happening.

I'd better stop. This post could become a long essay. I have just written as the words tumbled out. It's probably a bit jumbled, and I'll probably edit tomorrow. Inevitably, so soon after the referendum, all of our thoughts are a 'work in progress'. Writing it down helps firm me things up.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My 'Politically Speaking' Column for County Times - 14th Aug

I used the 'Politically Speaking' column in the County Times last week to share my thoughts on the foreign affairs issues causing distress to many of my constituents. In particular I repeated the call I first made two weeks before in my column in the Oswestry and Borders Chronicle that Parliament should be recalled. I accept the case for recall is now lessened because it's only a few days until MPs are back in Westminster anyway. Now I call for House of Commons business to be changed to allow a foreign affairs debate during our first week back. My article follows;

One year ago Parliament was recalled from summer recess to consider what Britain should do in response to the gassing of innocent civilians in Syria by their President, Bashar al-Assad. It was thought that Prime Minister Cameron and President Obama were seriously contemplating military action to punish Assad. It was the most difficult issue I have faced since being elected MP for Montgomeryshire in 2010. After much discussion with, and advice from many constituents, I decided that the case had not been made for a military strike against Damascus. I could not see how it would improve the situation, or what clear purpose dropping bombs and firing missiles would have. But I did agree with David Cameron that we should not completely 'close the door' on intervention if circumstances in Syria changed.


After a long impassioned debate, I was on the losing side of the vote. The House of Commons decided to completely rule out military intervention no matter what. I thought that was the wrong course, and a very bad day for world peace. I felt that forces of evil would have been watching, and realising that the NATO powers were no longer willing to even consider acting to prevent the worst atrocities of evil regimes against innocents. And sadly, that is where we are today.


In Syria, around 200,000 people have been killed, with perhaps another 8million made refugees. It's likely that many of these will have been gassed. Because Western media is banned, this reign of terror hardly features on our news channels - a shocking and disgraceful failure of our free press. On the border of Eastern Ukraine, a Russian war making machine is gathering, almost certainly to invade the free country of Ukraine, no doubt on some trumped up pretext of a peacekeeping or humanitarian mission. Its likely thousands of innocents will die. In Kurdistan in Northern Iraq, whole populations of minorities are being slaughtered simply because they are who they are. Christians are being given the choice of converting to Islam, fleeing the country or being killed. Yazidis are being treated even worse, reported to be being buried alive in their hundreds. The barbaric cruelty of the Islamic State (Isis) knows no limits.


In Britain and the United States, our Governments are waking up to the reality that we cannot turn our backs on the world. For evil to prosper all it needs is for good people to do nothing. President Obama has been forced to act to save the lives of innocents being crushed before the Islamic State. The UK is also sending humanitarian aid to save Christians trapped on Mount Sinjar. The UK is also sending Tornados to help with surveillance work. I fully support all this, but it does seem very little, very late. We must always retain the hope that it turns out not to be too late.


Two weeks ago I called for Parliament to be recalled to debate these issues, alongside the Gaza crisis, which has featured prominently in the British media. Thankfully, as I write this column for the County Times the ceasefire in Gaza is holding. We can only hope the worst of the violence is over. Over the last few days, several news channels have contacted me, asking me to go to London to share my views on recall on national television. But I've left that to other MPs who live nearer, and who now share my opinion. I am desperately keen to return to Westminster though, not for TV interviews, but to take part in a recalled House of Commons debate. We are on the brink of a humanitarian disaster, with innocents being killed on a massive scale. It seems now to be accepted that Parliament would indeed be recalled if Government decided to embark on military action. Personally, I believe MPs should be given the opportunity to represent the views and concerns of their constituents, even without any decision to put "boots on the ground". Because doing nothing could be an even worse option, we should be recalled to Westminster immediately.

Great letter written by John Day, local Chair of Parkinsons UK

For many years now, I've been President of the Montgomeryshire Branch of Parkinson's UK. Although I've not had any direct personal or family brush with this cruel disease, I have known people who have. Invariably I find sufferers to be determined to make the best of life. There was some publicity about Parlinson's last week, following the death of Robin Williams. Our Chair, John Day was inspired to write a letter which I think deserves a wider readership. Here it is;


Parkinson's  - It’s difficult to always look on the bright side of life


“I was very saddened by the news that Robin Williams had died last week, he was a very talented actor and comedian who had the ability put a smile on the faces of people of all ages.  He had been diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson’s.


It has prompted me to pass on some of my thoughts and experiences of Parkinson’s to enable others to gain a better understanding.  Both I and my wife Sue have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for over 10 years.  In some cases diagnosis can be a confusing and uncertain time. Much of the information at that time of our diagnosis came from the internet.  We have always had good support from our fantastic family, great circle of friends and from medical professionals in Powys and Shropshire. 

 

Many people think that it affects only the elderly; unfortunately this is not true it affects people of all ages. Most of the people who are diagnosed are over 50; however one in 20 is under the age of 40. Roughly 127,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s, with over 300 people in Powys.

Actor Michael J Fox, who was himself diagnosed with the condition in 1991, spoke of his shock at learning that his friend Robin Williams had also been suffering from Parkinson’s. In the year 2000 he established the Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research in America.  It is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s and ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's. 

 

In the UK we get outstanding support from Parkinson’s UK, a registered charity, which has a well established support network throughout the country, together with a central help line and online access to a wealth of information on all aspects of Parkinson’s.  They have a number of trainers who run a range of specialist courses for health care professionals in hospitals, care homes and health centres.


I feel honoured to be the Chairman of Montgomeryshire Branch of Parkinson’s UK and always look forward to our monthly meetings with a great bunch of people.  We have guest speakers come along and talk to the group on a variety of interesting topics and have coach trips and a range of other activities. We have many fund raising events throughout the year and much of the money raised goes towards research and making life a little easier for people with Parkinson’s and their families and carers.


We enjoy the support of our Welsh Assembly Members, especially Russell George who supports many of our events.  We have met on several occasions to lobby and create awareness of the needs of Parkinson’s sufferers.  I must express my gratitude to Glyn Davies, MP who is President of our Branch and frequently attends our events, as long as they do not clash with his Westminster duties, he has a good understanding of health related matters and understands the needs of people with Parkinson’s and the various ways it affects patients and their families.


The support we have received from our Medical Practice in Welshpool has been excellent, together with a Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse and a host of other local health care professionals.  Last year I was admitted to Welshpool Hospital, I had never stayed in hospital before and was quite concerned and anxious.  I am so grateful to all the staff for their help and encouragement and getting me on the road back to recovery, they are a very dedicated professional and caring team. 


Parkinson's can be a very difficult condition to diagnose, as no two people with Parkinson's are the same, not everyone will experience all of these symptoms and the order in which they appear and their severity also differs from person to person. The primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease relate to movement.  Rigidity can cause cramps and stiffness of muscles.  There are other functions that are also affected, including dizziness, pain, fatigue, in addition to a number of health problems like depression and anxiety. 


A tremor, or the involuntary shaking of a body part, is sometimes the first sign of Parkinson’s and it can spread from a finger in one hand into the arm or even into the foot on the same side of the body, not all people have tremor.  In my case it started with a small twitching of my left side little finger, followed months later by my toes, some days I have a very visible tremor especially when tired or under stress.   


It can limit facial expressions, make the task of walking extremely difficult, and can make repetitive movements such as brushing teeth also hard.  It means that simple activities such as eating or getting dressed become increasingly difficult.  It can be very frustrating when simple tasks like doing up shirt buttons and belts take so long.  It can take quite some time to get out of bed in the morning.  When I take my medication it takes a while to get “switched on” and get those rigid muscles going again. 

For all Parkinson’s patients it is very important that they take the medication on time.  Where suitable, most hospitals will allow patients to administer their own medication.


Parkinson’s itself does not cause people to die, but symptoms do deteriorate over time.  Though there is no known cure for the condition, treatments to help control the symptoms of Parkinson’s include medications and physical therapies.


Drug treatments can help control some of the problems associated with the condition.  One of the main drugs is Levodopa which is effective at improving mobility and motor function. There is a great deal of ongoing research into a cure and improving medications that will help to replace the reduced dopamine levels.


Neurosurgery is sometimes used to treat those who have had Parkinson’s for a long time and whose condition is not responsive to medication.


We have been referred to the National Exercise Referral Scheme which is funded by Welsh Assembly Government and has been developed over the last few years to target clients who have a chronic disease or are at risk of developing chronic disease.  We attend the one at Maldwyn Sports centre in Newtown, these exercise sessions are available throughout the county.

With the right medication and exercise, many people continue to live a full and active life with Parkinson's.


The Montgomery Branch meet at 2pm on the last Thursday of each month in the Welsh Chapel, Mount Street, Welshpool.


John Day

Chairman Parkinson’s UK, Montgomeryshire Branch

Tynwtra, Bwlchyffridd, Newtown, Powys, SY16 3HX