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The week in Wales and beyond


Housing and Regeneration Minister, Carl Sargeant announced that from October, householders would be able to carry out additional changes to their property without the need for planning permission. Owners could build a larger range of extensions and garden buildings, without submitting a planning application. Some real neighbour disputes in the offering, me thinks.

The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board fully accepted the criticisms made by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and the Wales Audit Office and set out an Action Plan to deal with the problems highlighted.

Yet, another critical report on the state of one of our hospitals. This time it’s the University Hospital of Wales, the country’s largest hospital, that’s in the firing line. A report by the Royal College of Surgeons described some of the hospital departments as “dangerous” and patients “dying regularly” while waiting for operations. The most common problem was the inability to admit patients for scheduled, or elective surgery.

Hoping to make political capital in the Royal Welsh show the Conservatives launched a “Taste Towns Wales” initiative to promote local produce. But their initiative wasn’t to the taste of Welsh Government who claimed the Tories were asking the government to back something they were already funding. Blame it all on the hot weather, politicians being tetchy with each other.

Inward investment into Wales reaches a highpoint according to the latest UK Trade and Investment annual report. Wales saw a 191% rise in the number of projects, compared with a 41% increase in Northern Ireland, a 16% rise in Scotland and a 10% increase in England, excluding London.

The Rest

The Prime Minister wants greater regulation of online pornography and is going to pressure the companies that run search lines to do something about it or else he’ll legislate. But says he would not support a ban on topless images such as page 3 of the Sun. That’s up to consumer choice, he reckons.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, decides to wage war on payday loan firms such as Wonga. But unbeknown to the Most Reverend no one told him that his very own church had invested cash in funds that provided cash for Wonga. Red faces all round.

GDP figures were up to 0.6% in the second quarter. Is a recovery underway? The answer is very much a, maybe. (See

 This week’s poll


Polls ending 26 July

This week saw a Welsh poll produced on Tuesday, which has been included as the last entry on the graph. It shows Wales having a very different profile to the rest of the UK. See:

Thur. YouGov/Sun         CON 35%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 11%

Tues. TNS BMRB         CON 28%(+1), LAB 38%(+2), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 16%(-3)

Mon. YouGov/Sun         CON 35%, LAB 38%, LDEM11%, UKIP 10%

Mon. Populus         CON 32%(+1), LAB 39%(nc), LDEM 12%(nc), UKIP 9%(-1)

Sun. YouGov/Sun. Times         CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%,


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