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News of the week

Labour Conference make Carwyn Jones leader.

Carwyn Jones was elected in 2009 but it has taken until this year’s conference for Mr Jones to became Welsh Labour leader.

 Although everyone described him as Labour leader his official title was leader of the party’s assembly group.YOPYOR7sG2ArOVywksLczJjJZkrT6J6TP9pH4-fyY3w

 The conference formalised Mr Jones’s role as Welsh Labour leader. So its official Carwyn Jones is Labour leader in Wales. It’s only taken 17 years who thought a week was a long time in politics.

According to him he will be leader for a while yet. He has no intention of resigning until after the Brexit negotiations are done.

Meanwhile both he and the new shadow Secretary of State for Wales Christina Rees are down playing the party’s hopes in May’s council elections.

Carwyn Jones admitting it will be difficult to avoid losses and Christina Rees saying 4 May will be “tough”

Currently, Labour rule in 10 of Wales’ 22 councils and run minority administrations in another two.

 

Devolution Task force

More devolution is needed to save the UK is the conclusion of leading Labour politicians who met in Cardiff at the invitation of Carwyn Jones.

Labour’s devolution task force held its first meeting and it included exPM Brown and Labour’s Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale.

Meeting on the day that PM May triggered Brexit Carwyn Jones warned her if she refused to listen to the concerns of Wales, Scotland and Northen Ireland the UK could break up.

This view was echoed by Brown who said there was a need to “rethink the British constitution” giving more power to the nations and regions of the UK.

Labour’s aim is two fold, the Celtic wings of the party want more powers to be devolved from central government and are concerned about the rise of English nationalism and those from the north of England want to see a fairer distribution of resources  from London and the South East.

The group feel that the current constitutional arrangements are “no longer fit for purpose. ” Hinting that a new federal relationship between the UK’s nations and regions is the way ahead.

Considering that the Labour party is languishing in the polls, these ideas may be along way from being implemented and it is entirely possible that the UK would have broken up well before the advent of a Labour government. 

Some staff suspended

Government could take over health boards

 Welsh government are threatening to take over the running of three health boards if they don’t get their financial affairs in order.

The warning came as three health boards are facing big financial deficits.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Cardiff and Vale, and Hywel Dda were placed under an increased level of scrutiny from ministers in September 2016, due to doubts about their ability to tackle the increasing defecit.

It is predicted that the three plus Betsi Cadwaladr in north Wales  which is already controlled by ministers under special measures, will overspend by £146m this year, that’s three times more than the figure for last year.

In answering  Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies description of the Boards  finances as “chronic” during First Ministers Questions Carwyn Jones said “We will look very carefully at what they are doing.12.10.10+mh+positif+politics+Pneumo+Report671

“If they do not come in ‘in-budget’ without harming services then we will have to look carefully at the governance of those boards.”

“We will not shy away from that in the same way as we did not shy away in dealing with Betsi Cadwaladr when that situation arose.”

In another statement to the Assembly the Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said the bills would get paid and there would be no interruption to treatment for patients.

He also warned that pumping more money into the NHS was not a “consequence-free game”, in relation to the impact on the funds available for other public services.

It looks like the direction of travel for health in Wales is a service directly controlled by Ministers in Cathay’s Park.

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