Showing posts with label Welsh Government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Welsh Government. Show all posts

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The shame of the Welsh Government

I am developing an increasing liking for the columns of Matt Withers who, it seems, hits the nail on the head more often than not these days.
Take his column today in which he looks at Nick Clegg’s criticism of Carwyn Jones and his Welsh Government.  
‘The Welsh Government was guilty of “the politics of grievance, blame and finger-pointing”, he said, with “an increasingly shrill and narrow and ungenerous approach to how the spoils are divided within a increasingly devolved union”.
This, he added had made him a “staunch opponent” of fiscal devolution to Wales until the Welsh Government was prepared to shoulder more accountability and drop its current approach.
The sound in the background was Carwyn Jones’ advisers readying their responses. Angry words for the First Minister to hurl at Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams in the chamber this week. Anonymous briefings against Mr Clegg and his UK Cabinet colleagues, perhaps, to follow’

Mr Withers has certainly got Carwyn pegged

‘Carwyn Jones has cleverly set himself up as the only Minister of the Crown to also be a leader of the opposition. As the most senior elected Labour figure in Britain, to the outsider it can appear his role is to attack the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats first and be First Minister second.
Witness First Minister’s Questions, where he long ago gave up giving proper answers. To the Tories, he “will take no lessons from the party opposite”. To questions on the NHS, and controversial hospital restructuring in particular, come answers on Andrew Lansley’s even more controversial changes in England.
The Lib Dems’ questions are met with answers about propping up the Tories in London, and on supporting regional pay. Even Plaid Cymru, who are not and never will be in government at Westminster, are labelled “human shields” for the UK Government for letting them off the hook and attacking Labour in Cardiff Bay instead.’

The attitude of Carwyn and his followers makes a mockery of devolution.  Playing the blame game helps nobody. With greater powers comes greater responsibility, and those in charge owe it to the people of Wales to ensure those powers are used to best effect.  Or do they?  After all it was the people of Wales who allowed themselves to be duped by the Labour spin and who turned to them for perceived salvation from the dreaded Tories and us evil Lib Dems who are backing them.
As Matt points out
‘Perhaps that is all people want from their devolved government, after all – something to vent their anger and frustration at the administration in London. Mr Clegg may be furious about that. Others may just think it’s a bit of a shame.’
It’s that alright – a real shame, a shame for all the children who are not getting the standard of education they deserve, for those who have to put up with a below standard health service, for those who cannot get jobs because the Labour Welsh Government are too busy blaming the coalition to do anything useful themselves.

 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Edwina needs to get her act together

Here we go again. 
Politicians say they fear minor injury units at two Pembrokeshire hospitals set to temporarily close after Christmas will never reopen again.
Health services managers say nurses at Tenby and South Pembrokeshire hospitals are needed to keep the accident and emergency unit at Withybush running.” (full story here)
This comes just a few weeks after the closure of the MIU at Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda for the exact same reason - to keep A&E at the Royal Glamorgan going.
There are worries over the Unit at Barry, and Chepstow hospital lost its Minor Injuries Unit last year, although the reason given in that case was lack of patents!
It really is an absolute disgrace that people in Wales are getting a second rate health service because of the inadequacies of the Labour Welsh Government. 
And that is what lies behind this.  Despite what the Tories want people to think this is not about money or the lack of it – it is about poor political judgement and bad management of a vital service.
Edwina needs to get her act together

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Well said that man

I know he’s a Tory but I do quite like Boris Johnson, and it seems he surrounds himself with aides who are equally as forthright in their opinions.
As reported by the BBC Guto Harri has put Carwyn Jones firmly in his place with regard to his recent bleating about how Wales is not getting enough benefit from the Olympics with regard to hosting events and businesses cashing in.
As Guto points out devolution is supposed to put responsibility as well as power into the hands of the Welsh Government.  What did the Labour – Plaid coalition do to attract more events to Wales?  What help and advice did they give to businesses?
"Did Carwyn, did the other people around him, do enough to offer Wales as a location for different things…………did Welsh politicians make a proper pitch?"
One may well ask.  He goes on to point out
“The days of sitting in Cardiff complaining about what governments in London are doing to Wales have long gone.  Wales now has a medium to behave like an adult, not like a small child complaining.”
Quite right too. 
It seems to be the Labour response to everything – to blame the evil Westminster Government for anything and everything and to abdicate all responsibility for things that are ultimately the responsibility of their Welsh Government Ministers.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Where’s the talk of savage cuts now then?

Yet another example of the Unions overwhelming political bias.  The Western Mail today reports that the Welsh Government may close some of its regional offices with a possible loss of up to 400 jobs.
How does the PVS react?  Are they threatening to take to the streets, are they raging against the savage cuts being imposed by Labour? Of course not. Instead Peter Harris who is PCS Wales Secretary and the lead negotiator with the Welsh Government said
“I welcome the Welsh Government’s commitment to continue to provide a dispersed presence across Wales. The opening of offices in Merthyr, Aberystwyth and Llandudno Junction were supported by the unions and helped devolve work from Cardiff. The movement of staff to these locations has been underpinned by the principles of no unwelcome compulsory redundancies or enforced transfers.
“Further estate rationalisation should proceed in the same way. We are not opposing any change and indeed a number of small offices have already been merged or closed.”

I think I would feel severely under-changed if I were a member of theirs working in one of these locations.  He went on to say:
“unwelcome compulsory redundancies could result in a dispute with the Welsh Government. Despite the financial squeeze, however, I believe a dispute can be avoided if there is a willingness to protect jobs and services in rural areas.”

Friday, June 24, 2011

Room for improvement Mick

Recently elected AM for Pontypridd Mick Antoniw has certainly got a bee in his bonnet about the Council Cabinet system as demonstrated in his question to the Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant on June 15th (below).
Sarge seemed a little peeved by the question. Perhaps Mick and / or his researcher should put a little more thought into future questions.

Mick Antoniw:What consideration has the Welsh Government given to the possibility of re-evaluating the systems of governance for local authorities in Wales. OAQ(4)0011(LGC)
Carl Sargeant: The political structure options available to local government in Wales were addressed in the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011. The elected mayor and council manager option and the alternative arrangements—or the fourth option, as it was known—were removed, leaving a choice between leader and cabinet and elected mayor and cabinet.
Mick Antoniw: One problem is that there is a limited choice of governance for local authorities—just the mayoral system or the cabinet system—and there seems to be a growing concern about the way in which the cabinet system operates. Is it not appropriate to review how the cabinet system is working? There may be opportunities to give local government, possibly through Welsh legislation, the option of a broader choice of governance systems in future.
Carl Sargeant: I am aware of the concern of the Member for Pontypridd and the papers on this issue. I refer him to the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011, for which we undertook a consultation on the programme. We did not receive any representations about changing from having a cabinet system to the systems to which the Member referred. However, if he would like to write to me with the detail, I would be happy to look at that.