Tag Archives: kirsty williams

Williams, Farron and Lamb condemn Welsh Government’s plan to ban on e-cigarettes in public places

The Welsh government has put forward plans to ban the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces. The BBC reports:

People will be banned from using e-cigarettes in enclosed places such as restaurants, pubs and at work in Wales, under a new public health law.

The plan, likely to come into force in 2017 and the first in the UK, has already divided opinion among health and medical groups, including some anti-smoking campaigners.

But ministers say it is a “balance of risk” and will stop children smoking.

This does not seem to be in any way evidence based.

Liberals really don’t like banning things unless there is a very good reason to do so. It’s therefore not really a surprise to see that Welsh Liberal Democrat leader and both federal leadership candidates have totally condemned the government’s plans:

Kirsty said:

The evidence for this decision is wafer thin.  Banning things just for the sake of it isn’t a position any Government should take.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe all decisions should be evidence based, which is why we are opposed to this ban.  There is very little evidence to date that e-cigs emit anything more harmful than water vapour. Therefore any ban on e-cigs is completely unjustifiable.

We often hear how people are using e-cigarettes to help them give up smoking.  There is a high chance this heavy handed approach from the Welsh Labour Government could actually be counter-productive.

And here’s what the leadership candidates had to say:

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In pictures – the conference so far #ldconf

Scroll down to view. Firstly, Paddy declares that the parrot is not dead:

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Open Doors: The Sequel – All four versions of the second Lib Dem PPB of 2015

We brought you the first in the Open Doors series of broadcasts at the end of January. Here is the second in which Willie Rennie’s scarf tying doesn’t improve, Kirsty Williams speaks Welsh and there are lots of good reasons to vote Liberal Democrat with much more policy detail.

Feedback about lack of appropriate accents has clearly been listened to and they have slotted in different comments from each person to each version so you really do have to watch them all.

England

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LibLink: Kirsty Williams on more power to Wales

Kirsty WilliamsKirsty Williams would ‘”be very happy” to see a Lib Dem Secretary of State for Wales. As she says in an interview with Wales Online, under the Coalition the party has produced three Scottish Secretaries.

Having Liberal Democrats as secretaries of state gives us the best possible chance of wrestling power out of Whitehall and giving it to Wales.

She reflects on the devolution of the NHS Budget to Manchester.

You know, the fact that that kind of responsibility can be passed down without any referendum at all and here in Wales each step of the devolution pathway we have to have a referendum… The irony of that is not lost on me.

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Kirsty Williams: Liberal Democrats have been the positive story of this Coalition

rally kirsty williams 1It’s Welsh conference today and Kirsty Williams is giving her keynote leader’s speech. In it she will emphasise what the Liberal Democrats have done within the coalition, saying that we have been the good news story of the last five years. She will say:

We have been the good news story, the positive story, the shining light that has come from this Coalition

It is Liberal Democrat policies that are making the difference.  Whether it is raising the tax threshold, revolutionising the pensions system, or introducing equal marriage, we have

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Opinion: Open doors and open minds

yellow door ppb

So then, we all saw it, did we? The starting gun for the Liberal Democrats election campaign was well and truly fired on Wednesday with the airing of three different versions of a very similar Party Political Broadcast.

‘Open Doors’ puts a focus on the LibDems as a campaigning force, but importantly for me, it also makes a very clear point about how we operate as a party – we listen to our communities, and we work with them to achieve change. Rather than it being Nick standing around …

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Cadan ap Tomos selected to fight Cardiff West in the General Election

Cadan ap ThomasWelsh Liberal Democrat Cadan ap Tomos has been selected to fight the seat of Cardiff West at the General Election.

Wales Online has the details:

Fluent Welsh speaker Cadan grew up in Ceredigion and now works in the National Assembly for the party.

The University of York graduate said: “I’m delighted to have been selected to fight Cardiff West for the Welsh Lib Dems. Labour has been taking our communities for granted for far too long, and I look forward to running a strong campaign in the run up to next May.”

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams congratulated Cadan on his selection.

She said: “He is a terrific candidate with a breadth of experience who I know will work tirelessly for the people of Cardiff.”

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Kirsty Williams’ Christmas Message 2014

rally kirsty williams 1In her Christmas and New Year message, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams has challenged the other parties to make a “strong commitment” to bringing more powers closer to the people of Wales.

Kirsty also spoke of her hope for the passing of her More Nurses Bill, which will go through the Welsh Assembly scrutiny process in 2015, saying that it has the potential to be the “good news story” that the Welsh NHS needs.

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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”.

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Kirsty Williams named Welsh assembly member of the year

rally kirsty williams 1Many congratulations to Kirsty Williams, who has been named AM of the Year as part of the Welsh Political awards. The award, given to Kirsty last night at Cardiff City Hall, was “for exercising her political skills to enable the First Minister to achieve his budget, but also allow the Lib Dems to claim significant policy gains in the areas of health and education.”

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Welsh Liberal Democrats to hold Assembly debate on Transgender awareness

Transgender pride flagThis week, as well as being Anti-Bullying Week, is Transgender Awareness Week. Thursday marks the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, a memorial to all those transgender people who have been injured and killed as a result of hate crime.

Tomorrow, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are holding a debate in the Welsh Assembly that aims to make life better for Wales’ 31,300 transgender citizen. The idea is to persuade the Welsh Government to actually put some walk to the talk. For those 31,300 people, there is no Gender Clinic in Wales. While violence against transgender people is a hate crime, there’s been little done to actually make people safer.

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It’s been a really good week for Kirsty Williams

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams gives her keynote speech to the Welsh Conference today. She’s had a barnstormer of a week.

First of all, on Monday, she gave a speech to the Electoral Reform Society in Wales in which she called for more Assembly Members and for Assembly Members to be subject to recall, resulting in this very on message headline:

More AMs for stronger economy

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Kirsty Williams: For Labour and the Tories, Welsh patients are just collateral damage in NHS War

rally kirsty williams 1Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams emailed Welsh members yesterday about the current war of words over the Welsh NHS. Here’s what she said:

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Kirsty Williams questions Welsh First Minister on “lack of ambition” for young people

Kirsty WilliamsKirsty Williams seemed choked with the cold when she questioned First Minister Carwyn Jones yesterday but her fighting spirit was undiminished as she took him to task for what she called his government’s aspiration towards mediocrity rather than excellence in the wake of the annual Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission report which said that poorer children in Wales were significantly less likely to obtain 5 GCSE’s including Maths and English. Even at the age of 3, children in Wales were falling behind those in England and Scotland in terms of vocabulary. While children in England caught up with those in Scotland by the age of 5, children in Wales fell further behind.

In his response, Mr Jones had to point to the “Pupil Deprivation Grant” as being part of the solution.

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Conference speeches: Kirsty Williams: Liberal Democrats are the radical, positive choice

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams gave her keynote speech to Conference this morning. Full of passion, radicalism and determination to fight the divisive, dog-whistle politics we are seeing more and more of these days. I don’t think I have ever wanted to run out of the hall and get a speech up on here quite so much. I have to say to Paddy that if he doesn’t make sure Kirsty is on telly every single day of the short election campaign and as much as possible between now and then, I will actually challenge him to a fight. And I will win.

Here it is in full. I particularly loved the section on why Scots voted yes. She was realistic and shows the sort of attitude that I felt that we needed to see more of during the campaign. And she said it straight, that complacency in Westminster allowed nationalism to thrive in Scotland.

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Senior Liberal Democrats react as Scots vote to stay in UK

The sovereign will of the Scottish people, by a margin of, give or take a bit, 55%-45 %, is to stay in the UK. In voting No, they put their trust in David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg to deliver more powers to the Scottish Parliament.

Here’s how senior Liberal Democrats reacted. First,  Nick Clegg:

I’m absolutely delighted the Scottish people have taken this momentous decision to safeguard our family of nations for future generations.

In a dangerous and uncertain world I have no doubt we are stronger, safer, and more prosperous together than we ever could be apart.

But a vote against independence was clearly not a vote against change and we must now deliver on time and in full the radical package of newly devolved powers to Scotland.

At the same time, this referendum north of the border has led to a demand for constitutional reform across the United Kingdom as people south of the border also want more control and freedom in their own hands rather than power being hoarded in Westminster.

So this referendum marks not only a new chapter for Scotland within the UK but also a new chapter of constitutional renewal across the UK.

Willie Rennie:

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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.

Posted in Scotland and Wales | 23 Comments

Kirsty Williams says Carwyn Jones’ devolution comments will confuse Welsh voters

Carwyn Jones and Alistair DarlingYesterday, I saw Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones speak at  a Better Together event in Edinburgh. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting that much. Most of what I’ve heard about him comes from the Welsh Liberal Democrats who aren’t, shall we say, completely enamoured at his record in office.

Having said that, he did have some useful things to say. He was very clear that he as Wales’ leader wanted Scotland to stay in the UK:

We want you to stay to work with you to build socially just

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Let Kirsty Williams know your views on nursing levels in Wales

Kirsty Williams and Peter Black visit nursesWelsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams has been on a mission for some time to ensure minimum nursing levels in Welsh hospitals. She explained on this site why this was important in a post in March this year.

Evidence is increasing from across the world on the positive impact that nurse staffing levels have on patient care and the recruitment and retention of staff. Nurses who have fewer patients to tend are able to spend a greater amount of time with each patient and as a result can provide better care. If they are more easily able to identify potential problems with a patient’s care, then they are able to play a preventative, rather than a simply reactive, role and consequently reduce the level of treatment needed and the cost of this care to the NHS. It also means better support for staff which leads to more manageable workloads, increased job satisfaction and reduced levels of stress or burnout.

Kirsty’s attempts to put staffing levels on a statutory footing has now reached the next stage. She has published a draft Bill and is currently running a consultation on it. You can access the Bill and the Consultation Document here.

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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.

Posted in News and Wales | 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

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Kirsty Williams calls for anti-extremism strategy for Wales

Kirsty WilliamsKirsty Williams, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has spoken in the National Assembly today calling for an anti-extremism strategy for Wales. This was in response to the news that two men from Cardiff had appeared in a video designed for recruiting jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

She said:

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Lib Dems pay tribute to Oliver Thomas

logo_lg new Liberal Democrat logoFive people lost their lives in the helicopter crash in Afghanistan last week.  Amongst them, sadly, was 26 year old Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas from Brecon, who had worked as a researcher for Roger Williams in his Westminster office.

Tributes have been paid by a number of leading Liberal Democrats.

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In full: Nick Clegg’s speech to Welsh Conference

Nick Clegg speaking York Some rights reserved by Liberal Democrats“We meet on the eve of a new tax year” is no conventional beginning to a political speech. However, Nick Clegg spoke to Welsh Liberal Democrats as taxpayers were about to get a Liberal Democrat tax cut which they’ll notice in their pay packets in 3 weeks’ time. He went on about it for quite some time, as you would expect, given that it was a major pledge on the front of OUR manifesto. He said that Cameron and Osborne, who are …

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In Full: Kirsty Williams’ speech to Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference – Proud, passionate and “hungry for Welsh success”

rally kirsty williams 1This weekend, Welsh Liberal Democats have held their conference in Newport. One of these years, I must try and get there because it sounds great fun.

Kirsty Williams closed Conference this afternoon with her leader’s speech. A few weeks ago, I linked to an article she wrote for St David’s Day which expressed her pride in her nation with such positivity that I suggested that those in the pro-UK campaign in Scotland should take note. She was every bit as proud and passionate today. She outlined the Labour governments …

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Liberal Democrats put mental health on the agenda in Holyrood and Cardiff

Phrenology head - mental health - Some rights reserved by evansvilleWe know that mental health has always been one of Nick Clegg’s top priorities. His first major speech as Liberal Democrat leader was on the subject. In the coalition, he, Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb have been pushing forward improvements to mental health care from making sure people in crisis see health professionals and not the inside of a Police cell, to a massive expansion of talking therapies to action to tackle the stigma that still exists.

A friend of mine has recently had some time off work for Depression. She wrote on Facebook, and asked people to share, the following:

What I do want to say is that until being off work for eight weeks with depression is regarded on equal footing with the same period of time off with a physical ailment of any kind ( from a hip replacement, to heart attack,stroke, badly broken limb, severe diabetes, or any of countless medical conditions ) then we will all suffer individually and as a society.

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Kirsty Williams AM writes… An important step towards minimum nurse staffing levels in Wales

Today, the National Assembly for Wales voted to give me permission to bring forward a Private Members Bill to set minimum nurse staffing levels in law.

I believe this is necessary in Wales because we currently have the highest number of patients per nurse in the UK, which means that all too often our nurses are unable to give the time to perform their role to their highest caring ability.

Evidence is increasing from across the world on the positive impact that nurse staffing levels have on patient care and the recruitment and retention of staff. Nurses who have fewer patients to …

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LibLink: Kirsty Williams: St David’s Day – Wales has every right to be up there with the best

I actually got goosebumps reading this St David’s Day piece Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams wrote for Endeavour Public Affairs. It’s brimming with passion, expressing pride in and love for Wales. It’s a real uplifting read, and folk on both sides of Scotland’s independence referendum should note that this is how you inspire people.

She grabs you right from the start:

 Identity isn’t a fixed status; it is a feeling.  Personally, first and foremost, I feel Welsh; then British; then European.  Being Welsh is always the overriding sense of who I am.  I believe a reason for this is how comfortable

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Kirsty Williams AM’s Christmas Message

From mybrecon.co.uk

nick clegg kirsty williams - 1FOR me part of the Christmas period is about reflecting on the year that has been and looking forward to the year coming up.

2013 has been an interesting year here in Wales. There have been ups, with strong signs of the UK’s economy improving and unemployment falling in the constituency. There have also been downs, with Wales falling further behind England and Scotland in both education and health standards.

Next year is set to be even busier for me. I recently won a ballot to bring

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Kirsty Williams interview: “Scary” Paddy, women in the Cabinet and the reality of a Labour government

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams has given a lively and often funny interview to Total Politics magazine in which she talks about everything from her success in persuading the minority  Labour government in Wales to implement the Pupil Premium.

What happened to the last person who said no to Paddy?

Anyone who knows Kirsty will know how down to earth she is and that comes across very much in the interview. She’s asked about whether she would move to Westminster and said that Paddy Ashdown has already asked that question:

Paddy says I should think about going to London,” Williams reveals. “He’s

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