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02/02/06 Excerpt from Parliamentary Notes

Aberavon’s Tribune in Parliament

Parliamentary Notes

By Dr Hywel Francis MP for Aberavon

February 2006

... I have identified myself as the local Member of Parliament with two campaigns in my Constituency which are attempting to preserve our environment. I was impressed by the recent BBC Wales television series entitled ‘Valleys’ which featured the Upper Afan Valley. Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre was identified as an excellent new leisure and tourism initiative which harmonises with the beautiful surrounding landscape, unlike the proposed wind farms above the village.

That development alongside the proposed opencast extension, at Pen-y-Bryn, near Margam is an unwelcome desecration of mountain and valley landscapes. At Pen-y-Bryn there is a threat to an ancient woodland and according to a new local study, a general deep concern about the health of local inhabitants. The Margam Opencast and Health Steering Group has commissioned the Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Ethics to undertake a health impact assessment of the proposed extension, and its recently published study has emphasized the importance of individual health and well-being, basic human rights and sustainable development in arriving at planning decisions.

I am proud to be associated with these two environmental campaigns, as I am with families who come to me with their concerns over noise and air pollution from the Steel Works. I am having meetings in relation to these important matters locally and nationally in the coming weeks.

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