Llanelli AM under pressure to break silence over Prince Philip Hospital stance
LLANELLI AM Keith Davies is coming under growing pressure to "nail his colours to the mast" on where he stands in the fight to protect Prince Philip Hospital.
Mr Davies will attend an extraordinary meeting of Llanelli Town Council to discuss Llanelli's hospital on Monday. Members hope the AM will take firm action in backing the campaign.
With the Welsh Labour Government and the opposition holding the same number of seats in the Assembly, councillors believe Mr Davies should use his position to tip the balance in favour of protecting services at Prince Philip Hospital.
They have called for the AM to declare his support for people over party politics.
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At the latest Llanelli Town Council meeting, Councillor Jeff Owen said: "What we need is for Keith Davies to take a stance in front of us at the meeting on Monday.
"We want to know where he stands and how he is going to vote, and also whether he has put any pressure on Lesley Griffiths (Health Minister)."
Councillor Bill Thomas suggested Mr Davies would be breaching the code of conduct as an Assembly member if he made his feelings clear before the issue was decided upon.
Mr Thomas said: "They are meant to vote with their minds closed and by only what is presented in front of them. By telling us his views he would predetermine his position — that is the position he is in."
But Mr Owen insisted Mr Davies's views were needed immediately.
He said: "The time for talking has gone, if we wait until it reaches the final decision on the future of the hospital it will be too late. He needs to make his intentions clear to us now — even if it is confidentially.
"I would expect him to stand up in front of us and nail his colours to the mast on Monday."
Responding to the comments at the meeting, Mr Davies said: "I look forward to meeting members of the town council on Monday, along with regional AMs Rebecca Evans and Joyce Watson. I, like the majority of people in Llanelli, value our hospital and the service its staff provides to patients.
"My priority is to ensure that Llanelli people continue to have access to accident and emergency at Prince Philip. We need more than a nurse-led urgent care centre.
"That is the message I have relayed to the First Minister and to the Health Minister and it is the message I will be sharing with councillors on Monday."