Column in the Barry & District News by Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP:
It was amazing to see the incredible turnout, from runners and supporters alike, at the second annual Barry Island 10k on Sunday! I remember, when I ran the inaugural event last year, I was impressed with the amount of people who turned out for it and I also remember struggling with the extreme heat we experienced that day. I’m delighted that this year the attendance was even greater and fortunately the weather was kinder.
It’s no surprise that the event is so popular but it’s important to recognise the real boost it gives to the town. Coffee shops and restaurants were packed, with people attracted from far and wide. It demonstrates the real potential in Barry and the opportunity to maximise our offer locally.
I hope everyone had an enjoyable day and those running were not too sore in the days following. Congratulations to all who took part, including those from our local running groups like Seriously Mad Runners, Major Milers and Penarth & Dinas Runners. It was a really impressive event and it was a pleasure to be a part of it. I hope now that others are inspired to start running and join in next year.
In terms of issues locally, I’m very concerned by the proposed closure of the Sam Davies Ward at Barry Hospital and I’ve met with the Community Health Council and local campaigners to discuss the matter. The proposal has understandably drawn a strong backlash from the community, as we all recognise that when wards close there is an increased risk to the future of the hospital. Barry is growing in size and population and it’s vital that we have access to health services locally.
With this in mind, I’m delighted that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a fresh cash boost of £1.8bn for the NHS which means additional funds for Wales. We now need the Welsh Government to use this extra cash to support Barry Hospital. I, along with others locally, will be making the case for additional funding to be directed to Barry Hospital and I hope that they recognise the urgent need to support Barry.
I’m also really excited about Barry YMCA reaching the final of Persimmon Building Futures Through Sport, with the opportunity to win £100,000 if they claim the First-Place prize. Barry YMCA offers brilliant opportunities to children in Barry and the team works so hard for our community. This money would make a huge difference them.
The competition is decided through votes, so please make sure that you support our local YMCA by voting for them. The competition will close on 27th September 2019.