Week 25 to 30 May
The European election results for the Welsh seats saw the same four parties returned to represent Wales in Brussels. It was no change but all change. UKIP running Labour a close second. Full results http://welshpolitics.co.uk/results/european-parliament-election-results-2009/. For a full analysis see http://welshpolitics.co.uk/2014/05/politics-as-usual/
Greater clarity in the remit of Finance Wales and flexibility to alter the interest rates it charges on loans is demanded by the cross-party Finance committee of the Assembly. The report into the workings of the investment bank, made 11 recommendations in total. The ball is now in the court of Finance Minister Edwina Hart will she take heed?
14,500 adults when asked in a national survey conducted by the Welsh Government said they were happy with NHS care and with the education of their children. For more see http://welshpolitics.co.uk/2014/05/what-do-we-think/
The contract to build a super-prison Wrexham was announced by the UK Government. It will be an Australian firm – Lend lease. The cost of building it will be £212 million. Assembly Member Aled Roberts welcomed it as a boost to the Wrexham economy, but it has been opposed by Plaid Cymru who want a smaller prison built to serve North Wales prisoners.
Simon Stevens, the new head of the NHS in England has said that smaller community hospitals is the way ahead and they should be given a bigger role especially in the care of older patients. He wants a shift away from big centralised hospitals and a new models of care built around smaller local hospitals. This at a time when Wales is going down the route of a more centralized hospital service. No bets on how long the opposition will be throwing Stevens’s words at Mark Drakeford the Welsh health minister.
As if fending off calls for his resignation wasn’t enough Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader has now to deal with another thorny issue – what to do about Lord Rennard. Lord Rennard has apologised for ‘encroaching’ on the personal space of four female activists. The woman still want the Lord thrown out of the party. Rennard is determined to stay and has the support of many senior members of the party. What will poor Clegg do, keep the women happy or throw to the wolves a superb election strategist. Watch this space for the answer.
What has Europe ever done for you? Well thanks to the court of justice of the EU Google have been obliged to launch a webpage where European citizens can request that links to information about them be taken off search results, the first step to comply with a court ruling affirming the “right to be forgotten”. There you have it fill a form and you won’t exist.
The Scottish referendum campaign is now officially under way. You might be forgiven for saying it’s being going on for some time, but now the rules kick in about expenditure and balance. This week saw both sides arguing about how better off or worse off the Scots would be on independence. Salmond claiming independence would mean that in 15 years everybody would be a £1000 pounds better off. Danny Alexander sought to outbid him be saying that the dividend for staying in the Union was £1400. Is this what they call balance?
Survation/Sun for Newark by-election with changes from General election in brackets CON 36%(-18) LAB 27%(+5) LDEM 5%(-15) UKIP 28%(+24)
Populus CON 34% LAB 36% LDEM 9% UKIP 14%
Ashcroft CON 29% LAB 31% LDEM 8% UKIP 17%