THE MEMBER of the Senedd for the Rhondda has published an ambitious post-Covid recovery plan.

The Rhondda’s Next Step by Leanne Wood contains policies that cover the economy, education, health and climate change which are all brought together with the single aim of improving the Rhondda.

Leanne Wood said a Plaid Cymru government would implement the policies as soon as possible to begin the recovery after the Covid pandemic.

The policy document proposes boosting the NHS workforce with an extra 1,000 doctors and 5,000 nurses, establishing a cancer diagnosis centre in the Rhondda to cut down waiting times and save lives, and the setting up of a network of Youth Mental Wellbeing centres for young people who may not require advanced psychiatric treatment but still may need help.

A Plaid Cymru Government would create 1,500 new jobs in the Rhondda through a Green New Deal, set up a Valleys Development Corporation – headquartered in the Rhondda – to encourage business growth as well as establish the Rhondda as a hub for electric biking with a new manufacturing facility and the promotion of cycling, linking in with plans for the Rhondda Tunnel.

Leanne said: “There were many challenges and inequalities in the Rhondda before the coronavirus pandemic but the last twelve months has exacerbated those.

“Our valleys have been neglected by the government for too long. We now need a solid plan with clear goals and targets if we are to turn around the situation we are in. The Rhondda needs investment, opportunities and, above all, the political will to implement a radical Covid recovery plan.

” ‘The Rhondda’s Next Step’ is a comprehensive and ambitious plan to improve our communities through improvements to health, the economy and climate change resilience and more. There is nothing inevitable about poverty. It is a choice and we can choose to stop it.

“We can turn things around but we need the political will to do that. Both the Tories and Labour have had plenty of opportunities to do this but governments of red and blues shades have failed to do that.

“The time has come for change and the time has come for a Plaid Cymru government so we can begin the task of rebuilding our communities from the bottom up and instigating a recovery that leaves no one behind.”