Local Member of the Welsh Parliament for Monmouth, Nick Ramsay, contributed to a debate held in the Senedd on 10th March which discussed long term plans for recovery from the pandemic in Wales.
Speaking during the debate Nick said: “We talk a lot about building back better, but we've got to make sure that that happens in practice. I've raised this on a number of occasions, and yes, we all agree we need to build back better, build back fairer, grow back greener, and I'm the first person at the front of the queue to say that those things are necessary, but let's make sure that does happen in practice, and we don't just lapse back into the old ways of doing things.
“We've seen some enormous changes, in terms of road traffic, for instance, over the last several months. I know that the road traffic on the trunk road network is 60 per cent higher at the moment compared with what it was in the previous lockdown, but it's still way down on where it was, and those normal pinch points, such as the M4, which was mentioned in questions earlier—well, you can drive on there at rush hour now, and it doesn't seem to be causing half the problems it did.”
Nick continued: “So, there are ways to build back in a way that we don't really need to put the investment into the actual physical infrastructure as much as we used to. Broadband is going to be key to this—let's make sure that as many people can work from home as possible. Let's get that broadband infrastructure in place. In terms of the road network, developing electric vehicles, great for the environment, great for solving the problems of climate change—let's get that charging infrastructure in place and let's all move forward with the plan.
“ Yes, we all have different views here, from our different parties and our different ideological beliefs, but I think all of us share a common aim that we want to come out of this with Wales being in a stronger and better position than it was before. There are not just challenges here, there are opportunities as well, and thank you very much Chair, Russ George, for bringing forward this excellent report. I'd urge everyone to read it because I think it does contain within it the seeds of how we are going to grow back and make Wales a better place in the future.”