Category Archives: Wales

Video – Kirsty Williams bonus

As a follow on to our earlier post, this was the video played last night at Cardiff City hall just before Kirsty Williams received her award as Welsh Assembly Member of the year. It’s worth watching. Kirsty can certainly “kick arse”.

Tagged and | Leave a comment

LibLink: Kirsty Williams – Scottish independence result will have ‘colossal impact’ on Wales and UK

rally kirsty williams 1Kirsty Wiliams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has added her voice to those calling for Scotland to remain within the United Kingdom. Here’s an excerpt of what she had to say at BBC Online:

I firmly believe that Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom. We all benefit from a stronger economy, greater national security and a powerful international voice that would be hard to match as separate states.

However, Scotland must have more powers to determine its future. To simply do nothing in the event of a No vote cannot be an option. It’s clear that the constitutional make-up of the entire UK will have to change even if the No side wins.

Also posted in Scotland | Tagged | 23 Comments

Fairer funding for Wales: “Lib Dems will actually do something about it,” vows Kirsty Williams

rally kirsty williams 1Yesterday we reported plans from Lib Dem home office minister Norman Baker to restore the public’s trust in the police. Another policy within the party’s ‘pre-manifesto’ is reported by BBC News Online – to reform the funding arrangement that has long been criticised for short-changing Wales:

Wales could benefit from hundreds of millions of pounds under Lib Dem plans to change the way funds are allocated to devolved nations, it has been claimed. The current system, known as the Barnett formula, is based on population levels and has long been criticised for short-changing Wales. Suggestions to re-draw the formula have been fiercely resisted in Scotland.

Also posted in News | Tagged | 8 Comments

Kirsty Williams condemns sacked Welsh Labour environment minister’s “smear campaign”

Kirsty WilliamsKirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Lib Dems, has condemned Labour’s environment minister Alun Davies – sacked today by First Minister Carwyn Jones – for mounting a smear campaign. Mr Davies had asked for details of farm subsidies paid to five opposition AMs: Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies and Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams, Conservative AM Antoinette Sandbach, Liberal Democrat William Powell and Plaid Cymru’s Llyr Gruffydd.

Here’s Kirsty Williams’ response:

The actions of Alun Davies as a Minister are atrocious and completely unacceptable for anyone serving in public

Also posted in News | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

‘The Welsh Liberals': new book published this month

welsh liberalsPublished this month: The Welsh Liberals: The History of the Liberal and Liberal Democrat parties in Wales.

Despite being Wales’ oldest political party this is the first published history of the Welsh Liberal Party or its successor, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Party.

The Welsh Liberals: The History of the Liberal and Liberal Democrat parties in Wales charts the highs and lows of an extraordinary party.

This comprehensive study includes over 40 interviews with senior figures from within the Welsh Liberal Party, the Welsh SDP and Welsh Liberal Democrat Party.

You can order it from …

Also posted in Books | Leave a comment

Kirsty Williams and Danny Alexander write… Wales offered tax raising powers

Welsh Dragon Swag BagToday, the Coalition Government has committed to reaching the next great milestone in Welsh devolution by taking forward the key recommendations of the Silk Commission.

As a party that believes in devolution and has campaigned for decades to deliver more power for Wales, this is a huge win for the Liberal Democrats. Can you imagine a Tory or Labour Government devolving these powers from London?

Currently the National Assembly of Wales is unique amongst the rest of the world. It can make laws, spend money, but it can’t control how much it raises through tax. For over a decade, Labour refused to let go of the purse strings. But where Labour failed, the Liberal Democrats have acted.

Also posted in News | Tagged and | 4 Comments

Kirsty Williams writes… Welsh Lib Dems more than double Welsh Pupil Premium

nick clegg kirsty williams - 1The Welsh Liberal Democrats were delighted to announce yesterday that we are more than doubling the Welsh Pupil Premium.

Two years ago, in a similar situation, we worked with the Welsh Government to ensure that Wales would have our own Welsh Pupil Premium. This meant that each school would get £450 per child on free school meals. This was an achievement we were rightly very proud of. However, while Liberal Democrats in England continued to increase the Pupil Premium, the unambitious Welsh Labour Government refused to do the same in Wales.

We have now changed that. Thanks to the Welsh Liberal Democrats we have more than doubled the value of the Welsh Pupil Premium, increasing funding to £918 per pupil.

Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 8 Comments

Kirsty Williams AM writes: Why Welsh Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru have joined forces

welsh-liberal-democratsThis week, and much to the surprise of many political commentators in Wales, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and I held a joint press conference announcing that we are to join forces to negotiate with the Welsh Labour Government on next year’s budget settlement.

In the National Assembly, the Welsh Government has exactly half of the Assembly Members. Therefore, each year the Welsh Government needs the support of at least one of the opposition parties to pass their annual budget. In the past, this has given the …

Also posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 15 Comments

Kirsty Williams on criticism of the Coalition: “It knocked my confidence.”

nick clegg kirsty williams - 1It’s the Welsh Lib Dems’ conference this weekend and Kirsty Williams will take the opportunity to argue that a “crucial turning point” has been reached, reports BBC News:

At the conference in Cardiff, Ms Williams will claim the fact the Lib Dems retained third place in the Cardiff South and Penarth by-election last November, albeit with a much reduced share of the vote, was a “sign post that things were changing” for the party.

“Eastleigh was a turning point,” she will say. “Yes, the criticisms of our

Tagged , and | 3 Comments

What’s on at Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference this weekend?

A public service announcement from the Welsh Liberal Democrats follows…

With record numbers of delegates attending and five Lib Dem Government Ministers taking part, the Welsh Liberal Democrat conference taking place this weekend already looks as if it’s going to be a memorable one.

Highlights on the agenda include:

  • Keynote speeches – Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will be opening Conference, with speeches later on in the weekend also come from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander and Welsh Liberal Democrat party Leader Kirsty Williams.
  • Gala dinner –Vince Cable MP will be guest speaker at the Conference Dinner. Unsurprisingly, tickets for this

Leave a comment

LibLink: Kirsty Williams on taking up the baton from Lloyd George

As Kirsty Williams notes in opening a piece to mark the anniversary yesterday, 17 January would have been David Lloyd George’s 150th birthday, and she took the opportunity to raise the issue of tax varying powers for Wales;

Today seems like an opportune moment to consider how a future Welsh government can continue David Lloyd George’s radical and redistributive legacy.

We must take the opportunity of the Silk Commission to think big. As Lloyd George himself said, “You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” We must take the opportunity to create a new People’s Budget for Wales.

For the first

Also posted in LibLink and News | Tagged , , and | 3 Comments

And now, the award-winning Assembly Member for Brecon and Radnor…

Big congratulations to Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, who was voted ‘Assembly Member of the Year’ at the ITV Wales Welsh Politician of the Year awards ceremony in Cardiff on Tuesday.

Accepting her award, Kirsty Williams quoted Violet Bonham-Carter saying:

I often hear it suggested that women will bring gentleness into politics. I am not altogether sure that this is right.

Kirsty was commended for bringing politicians of all hues together, in Cardiff and in Westminster, for the benefit of Wales.

Earlier on in the year, the Welsh …

Also posted in News | Tagged | 3 Comments

Opinion: more freedom, more responsibility, more accountability for Wales

The launch of the Silk Commission’s first report this week is a real win for liberalism.

The report looks at the financial powers that the National Assembly for Wales should have, how accountable it is for its spending and how we ensure effective economic policy is rewarded. I welcome the report’s declaration that a number of taxes, such as air passenger duty and landfill tax, should be devolved. But more significantly, the report also recommends that by 2020, …

Also posted in News | Tagged and | 1 Comment

High Court orders recount in Denbighshire election mix-up

Previously we reported how a block of votes for Labour candidate Paul Penlington were wrongly counted as being for similarly named Conservative rival Allan Pennington in the Prestatyn North ward count this May.

The High Court has now ordered a recount:

Also posted in Election law and News | Tagged | 4 Comments

New economic think-tank for Wales

Last Thursday saw the launch of a centre-right think tank in Wales called Gorwel (Horizon) chaired by the Conservative Assembly Member, David Melding, and including Lib Dems, such as Russell Deacon, Plaid Cymru members and non-party people.

It’s an attempt to challenge the status quo in Wales try and improve Wales economically.

Also posted in News | Tagged | 2 Comments

Is the end in sight for Returning Officer bonuses?

I’ve written often enough before about the problems with the “bonus” payments that Returning Officers receive for doing their job at election time. One problem is that they receive the bonuses in full even if they have messed up dreadfully, though that is now changing. The other is that the grounds for having the bonuses in the first place are pretty thin:

The role of being Returning Officer goes with having a job – typically council chief executive –  that is usually well paid to begin with (often six figure salaries) and where anyone taking on the job knows

Also posted in Election law and News | 4 Comments

Denbighshire County Council admits votes were counted wrong

Voters had to take some care when voting in Prestatyn North on May 3rd, as the Labour candidate was called Paul Penlington and the Conservative Allan Pennington. But the council’s counting staff did not take the same care when it came to the count, as WalesOnline reports:

Returning officer and council chief executive Mohammed Mehmet said a block of ballot papers which should have been allocated to the Labour candidate Paul Penlington were “inadvertently” allocated to Tory Allan Pennington, who won the last of the three seats available on the ward.

Mr Penlington or Labour now have until May 24 to decide whether

Also posted in Election law and News | Tagged | 6 Comments

The local elections results open thread

The polls have closed, so where are we?

England

Elections have been held for 128 councils. In most cases one third of the seats were being contested. Altogether 6706 seats were up for election, of which 1170 were held by Liberal Democrats.

Ten English cities have been holding referendums on whether to have a directly elected mayor. They are Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield.

Doncaster was voting on whether to abolish its directly elected mayor.

Three cities – London, Salford and Liverpool – have been electing a mayor.

  • London: 7 candidates, with Brian Paddick waving the Lib Dem flag.
  • Salford: 10 candidates, including

Also posted in Local government, London and Scotland | Tagged , , , and | 35 Comments

Cardiff Labour candidate faces police investigation over their home address

Following a referral by Cardiff Council’s Electoral Registration Officer, the police are investigating one of the city’s Labour council candidates over allegations that he provided a false home address for use on the ballot papers.

Luke Holland gave as his address a property that he moved out of last year. However that old address is in the ward where he is standing and his current address is outside the ward. Mr Holland does not deny the crux of the allegations, having told the media:

It is true that I currently rent a flat in a neighbouring ward – a fact that

Also posted in Election law, Local government and News | Tagged , and | 4 Comments

Labour candidate suspended over ‘kill Justin Bieber’ jibe

Via @suttonnick:

Western Mail front page -

Also posted in News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Kirsty Williams launches the 2012 Welsh Liberal Democrat campaign

Under the slogan ‘Wales CAN do better’, Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, launched the campaign for the 2012 local government elections in Cardiff yesterday.

I am extremely proud of our record in local councils all across Wales. When you vote for a Welsh Liberal Democrat councillor on May 3rd, you will be voting for a councillor who will work hard for you and your community and a councillor that will go that extra mile.

When people in a local authority put their trust in Welsh Liberal Democrat councillors,

Also posted in Local government and News | Tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Labour pulp election leaflets over Welsh language comments

From WalesOnline:

Labour has pulped 5,000 copies of a Cardiff council election leaflet because it contains a resident’s comment that they “can’t apply for most jobs in Wales because you need to speak Welsh”…

A Welsh Labour spokesman said: “Following external production of a leaflet for the Ely ward in Cardiff, the local party identified a small paragraph which contained words from a local resident that clearly ran contrary to Welsh Labour’s policy position and core beliefs…

“The leaflet in question – leaked to the South Wales Echo with the claim that it was being distributed – was stolen from a storage

Also posted in News | Tagged | 11 Comments

Emlyn Hooson (1925-2012)

It is with much regret that Liberal Democrat Voice has received word that Lord Hooson, former Liberal MP for Montgomeryshire, passed away peacefully yesterday.

Emlyn Hooson was educated at Denbigh Grammar School and University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, before serving in the Royal Navy in World War II. By 1960, he had become the youngest ever Queen’s Counsel, whilst rising swiftly through the ranks of the Liberal Party, chairing the Welsh Liberal Party from 1955.

When Clement Davies died in 1962, Emlyn was selected to fight the resultant by-election for a Parliamentary seat which had been continuously Liberal since 1880, and he …

Also posted in News, Obituaries and Parliament | Tagged | 1 Comment

Richard Thomas is Welsh Lib Dems’ new Chief Executive

Richard Thomas started today as the Chief Executive of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

The BBC reports:

The Welsh Liberal Democrats’ former head of communications has been appointed as the party’s chief executive.

Richard Thomas takes up the post as the Lib Dems get ready for local elections in all Welsh councils in May.

He takes over from Joanne Foster who now works for Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

As well as his previous job with the party, he has worked for Lib Dem MPs and as a public affairs consultant.

Here’s how Richard shared the news on Twitter:

Also posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged and | Leave a comment

Kirtsy Williams writes… Looking back at 2011 and looking forward to 2012

2011 has most certainly been a year that has kept all of us busy – elections to the Assembly, referenda, journalists following us around making sense of it all and the people of Wales playing an active part in Welsh political life. As the Arab spring was sweeping through the Arab world bringing with it elections and democratic accountability, Wales was also playing its part in making its voice heard.

This time last year, I was a few months away from leading my party into my first Assembly elections as leader. The media was predicting a wipe out for the Welsh …

Also posted in Op-eds | 3 Comments

Kirsty Williams writes… The Welsh Pupil Premium

Last week I announced that the Welsh Liberal Democrats will be voting with the Welsh Labour government for the budget on the 6th December.

We have agreed to support the 2012-2013 budget on the basis that we will be introducing a Welsh Pupil Premium.  This means that from April 2012, every child in Wales on free schools meals will recieve an extra £450 of funding – no matter where they live, or what school they go to.  This is a total Pupil Premium spending of £32 million, of which £20 million is brand new money for the education budget.

Some …

Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Pupil Premium comes to Wales

The Welsh Liberal Democrats report:

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has welcomed the budget deal between Labour and the Liberal Democrats that will deliver an extra £450 directly to local schools for each child on free school meals.

The total package will mean that schools in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend will have an extra £5.8 million to spend from May next year, targeted on the poorest children, who are already under-achieving. This breaks down as £2.57m for Swansea, £1.53m for Bridgend and £1.71m for Neath Port Talbot.

Commenting on the outcome of the

Also posted in News | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Kirsty Williams AM writes: Getting down to business in Wales

The long running saga of the ‘Welsh Lib Dem two’ has now been resolved but not without some pain. While Aled Roberts was able to re-take his seat as an Assembly Member, it was clear in the National Assembly that John Dixon did not have the same support.

I would like to pay tribute to John Dixon. He has served the public diligently and with distinction on Cardiff Council. He would have been an enormously effective and hard working Assembly Member. He has paid a very high price and I would like to pay tribute to him for the dignity with which he has handled the situation over the past two months.

Aled Roberts too has had a difficult couple of months but he is now back in the Assembly where he belongs and we have wasted no time in getting down to business and I have been able to announce the team that will hold the government to account.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Lib Dem John Dixon will not return to the Welsh Assembly

John Dixon, the Liberal Democrat Welsh Assembly member who was disqualified in May, will not be reinstated after an investigation said he had not read the relevant rules for candidates.

He will be replaced by the next candidate on the party’s regional list: Eluned Parrott.

From the BBC:

Liberal Democrat John Dixon stood down after May’s election when it emerged he was a member of a public body to which AMs cannot belong.

On Wednesday AMs will decide whether to reinstate fellow Lib Dem Aled Roberts who fell victim to out-of-date advice.

Mr Dixon was elected for the South Wales Central region, but had to stand down because he was still a member of the Care Council for Wales, which regulates social care workers.

On Tuesday, a report by assembly standards commissioner Gerard Elias QC said Mr Dixon had not read the regulations on proscribed organisations for candidates.

“Perhaps because he was lulled into a false sense of security by his experiences in earlier elections, he honestly believed that he was eligible to be a member of the National Assembly,” the report says.

Mr Dixon, 46, a graphic and web designer, has been a Cardiff councillor for 12 years and had been an assembly candidate at two previous elections.

The report states:

Also posted in Election law and News | Tagged , , , , and | 3 Comments

Lib Dem Welsh AMs await their fate as report delayed

John Dixon and Aled Roberts (the ‘dangling’ Lib Dem Two) may have to wait until next week to find out whether they will be reinstated following their disqualification in May.

WalesOnline reports:

Members of all parties were due to receive a copy of an Assembly report yesterday afternoon into the case of Aled Roberts and John Dixon, who are accused of breaching rules by remaining affiliated to organisations whose members are barred from standing for office.

The report, by Gerard Elias QC, the Assembly’s Commissioner for Standards, was sent to party leaders over the weekend, and was due to go

Also posted in Election law and News | Tagged , , and | Leave a comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Dean 19th Dec - 9:39pm
    In a world without a society, we must all work to survive. We must all, individually, till the ground and hunt the rabbit. Working to...
  • User AvatarHywel 19th Dec - 9:08pm
    John - in my view the MPs have both gone native and lost any sort of spine. See the Judicial review votes and reports of...
  • User AvatarHywel 19th Dec - 9:05pm
    If you extrapolate the LDs polling 5% has they stood in the in the 1/3 of seats they didn't contest (possibly optimistic but bear with)...
  • User AvatarGlenn 19th Dec - 8:54pm
    Malcolm Blount, I never said the Libs have never given support to Labour governments , I said they have only ever been in full blown...
  • User Avatarsimon 19th Dec - 8:49pm
    This demonstrates ALLthat UKIP says about the failed political elite, in one neat stroke.. An incompetent minister, accepting terrible advice, under sells a precious national...
  • User AvatarSarah Noble 19th Dec - 8:40pm
    I'm a supporter of a basic income because the idea that we must work to, well, survive is an unnatural aberration that's basically an artefact...
Sat 20th Dec 2014
Sat 3rd Jan 2015
Wed 14th Jan 2015
Thu 15th Jan 2015
Fri 16th Jan 2015