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A quiet half term week in politics


Week 28 October to 1 November


Stroke death rates in Wales still lag behind other European nations said Dr Ruth Hussey the chief medical officer in her first annual report on the condition. About 11,000 people have a stroke each year in Wales, making it the fourth biggest health killer after cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease. But Dr Hussey’s report shows progress in key areas, including both a fall in the death rate from strokes and emergency hospital admissions for the condition.

The Welsh Government have outlined plans to commemorate the centenary of World War I. £850,000 would be available for educational projects. An additional £1,000 will be given to every secondary school to develop creative and innovative projects to commemorate the war and to encourage debate and discussion. £25,000 will be used to set up a Wales Memorial in Flanders.

photoA year after the recommendations first saw the light of day, Cameron and Clegg have decided to implement parts of Silk 1 or to give its proper title “Empowerment and Responsibility: Financial Powers to Strengthen Wales.” Now that the Welsh government can borrow to build much needed infrastructure to “strengthen Wales.” Concrete in Gwent as M4 relief road comes a little nearer. What about the north is the cry?  Another bridge over the Menai, perhaps David, to compensate for the lot in Cardiff Bay having yet more powers. And some thoughts  on David Jones, the poor man will have responsibility for getting the bill through the Commons, oh happy days. Can’t see Carwyn Jones rushing to get a referendum on income tax powers.


The culture of delay and denial over NHS complaints in England must come to an end, according to Labour MP Ann Clwyd who led a government inquiry. She said too many patients found the current approach unresponsive and confusing. It said it was putting the health service on a year’s notice to improve accountability and transparency. Welsh Opposition parties were quick off the mark asking for a similar inquiry into the Welsh NHS.

The government’s latest business case for the HS2 high-speed rail link gives a lower benefit than previously predicted. The ration for cost-benefit has fallen the expected benefit-cost ratio (BRC) has fallen by about 9% from £2.50 to £2.30 in benefits for every pound spent. This has happened because of a £10 billion increase in the costs. It’s now going to cost the taxpayer £42.6 billion. Politically it looks increasingly like the cross party consensus behind the scheme is shaky. Without consensus, it is as alive as the Monty Python parrot. See also

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says households’ true disposable income has flatlined since the end of the recession, in the autumn of 2009, even though national output has expanded by 4.2% over the same period. Young Ed may be on to a winner by going on and on about the cost of living.



YouGov/Sun         CON 31%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%.


YouGov/Times         CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%

Scottish independence and Scottish Poll

Panelbase/Herald (commissioned by Wings over Scotland) YES 35%, NO 43%, Undecided 20%.

Lord Ashcroft poll on voting intentions in Scotland CON 18%(+1), LAB 40%(-2), LDEM 6%(-13), SNP 31%(+11), UKIP 2%(+1). Changes are from the 2010 election and reflect a big swing from the Lib Dems to the SNP.



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