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Living in Wales

Betsan Powys | 11:23 UK time, Monday, 23 November 2009

smile203_203x202.jpgWhat is it like to live in Wales?

Yes, yes, I know. One word answers shouted loudly at the screen are sometimes tempting and even cathartic on a Monday morning but try not to. Instead put down your cup of coffee, stop writing that report you should have finished by Friday, turn the radio down, leave the children in front of the telly a little while longer and think about it.

What's it like, living in Wales? Not a bad quality of life as it goes? Rubbish? Much worse than where you've come from or where you'd like to be? Better than it was a few years ago? You'd say getting worse by the day but it couldn't get much worse? Pretty damn good and anyway what d'you expect when public money's tight?

What do you reckon?

What was it like the last time you went to the doctor or visited hospital? If you use buses (unlike one of my colleagues who claims never to have been on one), what's your local bus service like? Council-run leisure centre (if they haven't had to shut it?) Recycling facilities?

"7,500 citizens" have had their say. You can delve deeper into what exactly they had to say here but let me give you the upshot: ask us about out own experience of, say, the NHS and we tend to be full of praise (note the 'tend' in that sentence). The staff were fantastic. My Mum couldn't have had better care. They need better facilities and more money but they do a wonderful job with what they have.

Ask us about the state of the NHS and we tend to think it's in a mess, or in what headlines always seem to call a 'parlous state' .

So are we surprised that when asked face to face about different aspects of their day to day lives in Wales, the answers given by those 7,500 citizens, whoever they may be, "show that overall, satisfaction levels across a range of public services areas were high, with most commenting particularly positively on the contact they had with public service staff".

No, I didn't think you would be.

Still there are, apparently, "still some aspects which could be improved on".

Right, once again then: living in Wales - what's it like?


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