THE Health Board response to the petition for a Health in Llantwit Major is a smokescreen. They are not “drawing up plans” but have dug out old pre-Covid plans for ‘Wellbeing Hubs’.

The “health and wellbeing centre” is just a re-named Barry Hospital; the only new diagnostic service being proposed is a CT-scanner, not the X-ray facility they removed years ago. The nine “wellbeing hubs” are for the whole Cardiff and Vale, one supposedly at Cogan, one on the Barry Waterfront and the third to serve all the western Vale. Rhoose, Llantwit, Cowbridge and Ogmore-Ewenny can fight for it, but this concept does not bring services close to people as was claimed for their plan.

So many towns in the Vale have seen big housing expansion, but no health services to go with it. These days GPs are not ready to invest in premises - premises used for clinics and various health board services - rather retiring GPs are withdrawing their investments.

The Wellbeing hubs are costly, judging by the one proposed at Cogan. The £12-15 million on a site that is difficult to reach would much better go towards several health centres in Sully, Llantwit and other of the Vales’s overgrown villages. Other Health Boards are funding replacement surgeries in communities, as needs and opportunities arise, not a grand plan based on GP “clusters” that deprives most of the Vale’s towns.

Cardiff and Vale asked if they’d like a site in the Cosmeston housing plus school plans, just turned it down flat, telling us that Cogan was the only option. Neither works on the close-to-people principle. The Cogan “wellbeing hub” is in trouble, symptomatic of bad Health Board planning. Let them (the Health Board) now regain some credibility by agreeing to the Llantwit proposal.

Max Wallis,