Spent yesterday afternoon in Llanidloes, leafleting and generally making myself available. I've always thought of Llanidloes as a very 'political town'. Early in the last century, the Labour Party moved into 'Llani' with manufacturing industry, and the Liberal Democrats became much associated with the town through the Hamer family, which is still very significant today. Lady Hooson is a 'Hamer', and she still lives in the town with the hugely respected Lord Hooson, who as Emlyn Hooson was Lib Dem MP for Montgomeryshire. Shirley's a bit like family to me - we've squabbled a lot over the years, but always managed to stay good friends.
I leafleted George Monbiot's house, without realising. I didn't know he lived in Llanidloes until yesterday. If he'd have been out in the garden, perhaps he's have given me a steer about the new Conservative 'Sustainability Forum' that I'm chairing. Much the biggest issue was the decision by Powys County Council to turn off two thirds of the street lights. While I applaud the Council for wanting to save money and energy, I reckon that this policy has gone much too far, and they'll have to rethink it.
Anyway, back to the subject of Avastin. I took a coffee before setting off home, as did an old friend I hadn't seen for about a year. He was taking a 'pit stop' on his way home to North Wales - with his wife. The last time we spoke his wife was very ill, suffering from Bowel Cancer, and I was very surprised to see her looking so well and buoyant. A year ago her prospects were bleak, but she has been treating herself with the new drug, Avastin. She's had to pay for it herself, because NICE have recommended that it shouldn't be available to her on the NHS. Perhaps I'm a bit too close to this issue, having suffered Bowel Cancer myself, but it does seem outrageous to me that the NHS doesn't allow the use of Avastin, the benefits of which were so obviously apparent to me as I took my tea in Llanidloes yesterday. Her good health put a smile on my face. We Bowel Cancer sufferers enjoy a bit of team spirit.