Week 20 to 25 April
The Silk Commission recommended that teachers’ pay and conditions should be devolved to the Welsh Government they are currently made by the UK Government despite education being a devolved matter. Education Minister Huw Lewis said in the Senedd earlier this month that he broadly welcomed the recommendation. Previously Carwyn Jones’s cabinet opposed any move in this direction. Maybe the decision of the NUT to take strike action might make the Welsh Government more proactive on the matter.
The European election campaign of the parties are underway. Voting for the four MEPs that Wales is allowed will take place on 22 May. In 2009 David Cameron turned up outside the Senedd to celebrate because the Tories had topped the poll at Labour’s expense. The result last time -Conservative, Labour, Plaid Cymru and UKIP each won a seat. (see http://welshpolitics.co.uk/results/european-parliament-election-results-2009/) But if the polls are to be believed its doubtful that we’ll see the PM outside the Senedd this May.
An independent investigation into Ann Clwyd’s complaints about the care her late husband received whilst in hospital concluded that 20 out of 31 allegations were not upheld. But they did find he died of hospital-induced pneumonia. Now a second independent review is to take place to examine the findings. The political row stemming from Ms Clwyd’s allegations is unlikely to go away, anytime soon.
The Public Accounts Committee wants the Welsh Government and local health boards to end the uncertainty surrounding emergency departments. They also raised concerns about inconsistencies in the way performance-related data is collected by the NHS and recommends that information gathered on service delivery and patient experience is clear. The Committee held an inquiry following a report from the Auditor General for Wales which found that unscheduled care services in some areas were getting worse – particularly around patient waiting times. The Committee concludes that radical solutions are required and an end to uncertainty. Oh dear, a case of stating the bleeding obvious again , me thinks.
Gordon Brown comes to the aid of the struggling Better Together campaign by trying to persuade Scottish pensioners that they will be better off staying part of the UK. Apparently staying in the UK means the Treasury will cough up for the escalating cost of retirement in Scotland. Oh he’s such a vote winner.
It’s just not Brown that’s in Scotland making pro-union declarations, but the whole of the shadow-cabinet to listen to their leader launch Labour’s proposals on zero hour contracts of which according to Ed Miliband there are “epidemic” of such. The Labour leader will say workers with irregular shifts and pay should have rights, including a contract with fixed hours, if they work regularly for the same employer for a year. Then he astonishly says tackling the issue would be “harder” in an independent Scotland. Quite why is not clear.
Populus CON 35%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%.
YouGov/Sun CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%
See the blog http://welshpolitics.co.uk/2014/04/a-new-poll/
European voting intentions
YouGov/Sun CON 22%, LAB 30%, LD 10%, UKIP 27%, GREEN 6%.
Populus CON 33%, LAB 36%, LD 10%, UKIP 13%.
YouGov/Sun CON 34%, LAB 37%, LD 10%, UKIP 12%
European voting intentions
ICM/Telegraph CON 22%, LAB 30%, LD 8%, UKIP 27%.
ICM/Scotland on Sunday YES 39%(nc), NO 42%(-4). Getting rid of the don’t knows YES 48%, NO 52%
Survation/Sunday Post YES 38%(+1), NO 46%(-1). Without don’t knows YES vote is at 45%.