Author Archives: NewsHound

LibLink: Kirsty Williams’ pitch for Welsh Assembly votes

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams has set out the party’s stall in an article for Wales Online.

First of all, she says that devolution hasn’t delivered what it should have done. She highlights the key problems:

The Labour Welsh Government is the longest surviving government in Europe. It is bankrupt of ideas, tired and with flawed priorities – 17 years in power, yet no vision for Wales’ future.

One needn’t look any further than Labour’s crusade to ban the use of e-cigarettes, all while NHS waiting lists continue to grow and health services are failing.

People, rightly, expect their Welsh Government to deliver effective public services and economic stability. Yet NHS waiting lists in Wales remain the longest in the UK, our schools’ standards have fallen in the international league tables and our economy continues to lag behind that of our counterparts.

She wants a Parliament that listens to people:

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Welsh Lib Dems ask Labour supporters to vote Lib Dem on list to stop UKIP

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are making a big play for Labour supporters to vote Lib Dem on the regional list to stop UKIP candidates like Neil Hamilton and Mark Reckless (really) from getting elected.

From Wales Online:

Jenny Randerson – the former Acting Deputy First Minister who became a Wales Office minister – has intervened in the Assembly election campaign to urge Labour supporters to lend the Liberal Democrats their votes on the regional list in a bid to stop Ukip winning AMs.

The former Cardiff Central AM who is now a member of the House of Lords argues that Labour voters have the power to “stop Ukip”.

Baroness Randerson said: “The truth is that Labour voters can stop Ukip gaining large numbers of Assembly Members. The power, so to speak, is in their hands.

“Even Labour insiders know, in their heart of hearts, that it’s unlikely that they will pick up regional Assembly Members. Therefore, Labour voters must consider lending their regional vote to the Welsh Liberal Democrats to stop Ukip.

“We are confident we can win constituency seats, but in some regions the battle for the fourth seat is between Ukip and the Welsh Liberal Democrats. It’s a clear choice.

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LibLink: Getting real about tackling London’s air pollution

Greenpeace has been asking the London Mayoral candidates about how they would tackle air pollution in London, where air quality is one of the lowest in Europe.

Here is Caroline Pidgeon’s response:

It was not long ago that understanding about air pollution was pitiful, especially amongst MPs. Just 18 months ago a poll of 100 MPs revealed that hardly any recognised that air pollution the second biggest public health risk, with only smoking posing a greater risk.Thankfully things are changing. Yet while the greater recognition of the horrific consequences of air pollution is welcome, the real challenge is to ensure action is actually taken.My manifesto is quite clear that real action is needed straight away.

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What they said about Kirsty in the Welsh Leaders’ Debate

Last night, ITV held a debate for the six Welsh party leaders.

As expected, Kirsty Williams put in a strong performance on education, taking on UKIP’s Nathan Gill on the folly of his education policies, emphasising Liberal Democrat successes such as the Welsh version of the Pupil Premium which was implemented because of Liberal Democrat influence and Kirsty’s More Nurses Bill. She was also keen to emphasise that the stark choice voters face on the list, with key seats being a choice between Kirsty’s Lib Dems and UKIP.

You can see for yourself by watching the whole thing here:

Here’s what commentators in the press and on Twitter had to say about Kirsty’s performance. 

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LibLink: Kirsty Williams: Cancer care in Wales

Kirsty Williams 2All the parties in Wales have been asked to write a blog for the Tenovus Cancer Care charity’s website. This is what Kirsty Williams had to say:

Cancer is something that will touch the life of everyone in Wales at some point. So when it does, the system needs to be ready to step up and give the treatment and care patients, and their families, need.

Yesterday the Welsh Liberal Democrats launched our manifesto for the next Welsh Government which contained a number of commitments that would transform cancer care. Cancer causes more than one in four deaths, yet Wales is the only UK nation without a cancer awareness campaign and there are huge variations in cancer outcomes within Wales, we must address this.

In government we would develop an all-Wales Individual Patient Funding Requests panel and remove the ‘exceptionality’ hurdle which prevents many patients’ access to drugs that their clinician thinks could help them. Your clinician should choose your medication, not your postcode.

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Norman Baker’s Reform Club band plays London

Norman Baker hit the stage in London recently with his band. Buzzfeed, and a whole load of Lib Dems, were there.

“Where are all the Lib Dems?” one bearded fan heckled at him at one point. Baker replied: “He’s over there.” That prompted some wry chuckles from my Lib Dem companions, perhaps tinged with a hint of sadness. Baker didn’t shy away from politics during the gig. “We wrote this one before May 2015 but it’s a good song to play afterwards,” he said, introducing “Never Yesterday”.

“But the road to the past is just another dead end / And so, my friend, think about today, never yesterday,” he sang with feeling. The band also enjoyed belting out “Give War a Chance”, an incredibly unsubtle takedown of Tony Blair. It begins: “I am an envoy for peace / But I’ve got war on my mind.”

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Caroline Pidgeon: With me as Mayor, London would work for everyone

 

Caroline Pidgeon has been talking to London 24 about her plans. Most of the interview is policy stuff that we are all aware of – her plans for more affordable childcare, more houses, better transport and half price tube fares before 7:30 am.

She was asked what London would be like after 4 years of her as Mayor:

London would be a far more family-friendly city, and a city that really works for everyone. We’d have more homes to help deal with the housing crisis, we’d have targeted fare measures to really help get people get around, we’d have more cycling infrastructure and improvements for pedestrians, we’d have cleaner air because I’d bring in electric buses and taxies, and less traffic because I would bring in changes to the congestion charge to get some of those private vehicles off the road. Alongside that, I’d be fighting to improve childcare in London, so more wraparound childcare for parents in the mornings, evenings and school holidays. We’d have a city that just works better for everyone.

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