Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Year honours

Congratulations to Welsh Liberal Democrats who appear in the New Year’s Honours list:
  • Roger Williams, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire and founder member of the former Social Democratic Party: CBE
  • Rodney Berman, former leader of Cardiff council: OBE
There were also OBEs for Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, and Andrew Wiseman, one of the party's legal eagles, specialising in environmental law.

Fiona Hall, MEP for the North East and leader of Liberal Democrat MEPs, and Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat Leader on the London Assembly, are awarded MBEs.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Welsh LibDems win battle on regioanl pay

The Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement that the Government no longer intends to expand regional and local pay – a policy that would have had a detrimental effect on Wales.

Kirsty Williams commented, “I am delighted that the Liberal Democrats have put a brake on George Osborne’s plans for regional or local pay. Yes, we need to rebalance the economy, but regional or local pay isn’t the answer.

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats have always believed that moves towards regional or local pay would further ingrain regional inequalities. That is why we took our campaign against regional pay to our Party Conference, which not only secured our party’s position on the matter, but also gave our Ministers in Government a clear direction. I am immensely proud that the Welsh Lib Dems played such a key part in this campaign.”

Friday, December 07, 2012

Kirsty wins another award

In a ceremony shown on TV last night, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Kirsty Williams was presented with the Welsh Politician of the Year award.

Labour holds Neath South ward

Labour's Andrew Jenkins won the by-election in the Neath South ward left vacant by the death of Mal Gunter. (pdf of the declaration here) We congratulate him and trust that he will serve the residents well.

Liberal Democrat candidate Charlotte Cross polled 130 votes to Labour's 399, a creditable performance for a first-time candidate in a campaign where we were not able to put out as much literature as we had hoped and in a ward which we had not previously contested since the county borough came into being.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Welsh NHS is a laughing-stock in Westminster

An £82m contingency fund to help struggling health boards with their finances has been announced by Health Minister Lesley Griffiths. But Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said: "The minister is predictably denying that this is a bailout."

Griffiths had "plugged a hole in the NHS’ finances by raiding its capital budget. I struggle to see how this can be described as anything other than a bailout."

Kirsty added: “The basic fact is that this Welsh Labour Government has completely mismanaged our health service and has left the finances of the NHS in complete ruins. Simply rejigging money around is not going to solve all of the problems in our NHS.”

Conservative health ministers and David Cameron find the financial cuts in the Welsh NHS an all too convenient comparison with what is happening in England. For all the botched reorganisation in England, it cannot be denied that more cash is being put into the NHS there.

Yesterday's reply (column 860) by the Prime Minister to Ed Miliband was typical: "People do not have to look at manifestos for a contrast; they can look at what Labour is doing in Wales. The Labour party is in charge in Wales, and it has cut the NHS in Wales by 8%. As a result, waiting times are up, waiting lists are down, quality is down. That is what you get with Labour and the NHS."

Lack of care

Ann Clwyd, MP for Cynon Valley, felt that she had to take her distress over the treatment of her dying husband in a Welsh hospital to the national stage by asking a question of the Prime Minister yesterday. David Cameron was too diplomatic to point out the brutal truth which Karen Roberts has not shrunk from.

Frank Little

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Wales gets £227m capital windfall

BBC-Wales reports that under the coalition government's autumn statement, £227 million extra capital funding, which pays for spending on buildings and infrastructure, is coming to Wales as its share of a squeeze on UK government departments.

Coalition government takes more low-paid workers out of tax

Neath South polling day Thursday 6th December

Vote Charlotte Cross, Welsh Liberal Democrat, for a fresh voice on Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council