Author Archives: Kirsty Williams AM

Kirsty Williams writes… Welsh Lib Dems to deliver key election pledge

Time and time again parents and teachers tell us that they are concerned about class sizes.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have listened to these concerns, looked at the international evidence, and in Government can today announce a new £36m fund to address infant class sizes.

Evidence shows a positive connection between smaller class sizes and attainment, particularly for pupils from poorer backgrounds. We want to create the space for teachers to teach, pupils to learn and better support all of our students.

This investment, linked to our other reforms, will:

  • Improve early years’ attainment;
  • Have a significant impact for poorer and disadvantaged pupils; and
  • Support teachers to be innovative and increase pupil engagement.
Posted in Op-eds | 5 Comments

Kirsty Williams’ New Year message: Welsh Lib Dems are “united, growing and up for the fight”

2016 will be a big year for Wales.  With the Assembly elections just around the corner, people will soon decide who they want representing them in Cardiff Bay.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats head into these elections with our heads held high and a record to be proud of.  During this Assembly, we have used our influence in budget negotiations to secure, amongst other things, over £200 million extra investment in schools through our Welsh Pupil Premium.  This policy, directed at pupils that need it most, is central to what we believe in: ensuring that everyone, no matter their background, will get a fair start in life.  Despite being a small group in the Assembly, we have made a big difference to the communities we represent.

We combine this dedication to fairness with a pro-enterprise agenda.  We believe in supporting people who have ambition and ideas.  We understand that it’s not just government that creates jobs, but business too.  We recognise that in the real world, even our brightest need support to create and innovate.

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Kirsty Williams’ speech to Welsh Lib Dem conference

It was with initial disbelief and then horror as I watched the events in Paris last night unfold
Our thoughts are of course with the families and communities who have been affected by this tragedy.
But we mustn’t forget that the whole point of terrorism is to intimidate and terrify
And the horrors of last night were indeed terrifying

Posted in Op-eds | 4 Comments

Kirsty Williams AM writes… An ambitious Liberal Democrat plan for the NHS Welsh people need

Today at the Royal Welsh Show I launched our party’s 3 point-plan for Wales’ NHS that puts patients first.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have a wide range of policies and proposals for reforms to improve our health service, but today I wanted to highlight the three key parts of our plans for the NHS ahead of next year’s Assembly elections.

The 3-point plan is as follows:

Guaranteed access to your GP: People are fed up of finding it a real struggle to make an appointment and to access their GP.  In this day and age, everyone should be able to make an appointment easily – that is what the Welsh Liberal Democrats will deliver. We would properly invest in an ‘Access to GPs’ scheme to guarantee a prompt appointment and extend GP opening hours.

End mental health discrimination: I am proud that our party has led on this issue across the UK. Only last month the Welsh Liberal Democrats revealed that in just two years there has been a 472% increase in young people waiting over 14 weeks to receive mental health services. That is a disgrace, which is why we would oversee a culture change to ensure mental health is treated on a par with physical health. We would ensure that patients with mental health issues have an equal right to access treatments as those requiring physical care.

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Kirsty Williams AM writes… Welsh Liberal Democrats oppose Labour’s e-cigarette ban

Electronic Cigarette InhalationAs a liberal I’m deeply sceptical of knee-jerk reactions to issues of public importance, especially when there’s a severe lack of evidence to support your claim. This was a view I thought I shared with the Welsh Labour Health Minister, Mark Drakeford, after he said in the debate on my minimum nurse staffing levels bill that “in pursuing public policy, legislation should almost always be a last, rather than a first resort.”

You can imagine my surprise, therefore, when the Welsh Labour Government announced plans to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places, along the same lines as the current smoking ban.

I called Welsh Labour’s plans into question as I led a debate in the Senedd on this matter earlier this month, asking the Health Minister to produce the evidence that he had to support this ban. Despite assuring me and other Assembly Members that there was “mounting evidence” which he’d make available to me “immediately after the debate”, it was two weeks until I received anything from him. This amounted to one single paper.

I’d hardly call that “mounting evidence”.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 42 Comments

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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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.

Posted in Op-eds and Wales | Tagged , , and | 8 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRoland 19th Mar - 11:25pm
    I see this agreement more in terms of "simply inevitable". It is only a win for the EU in the sense that the UK has...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 19th Mar - 10:54pm
    Reuters Tonight : "Brexit transition deal which failed to deliver full control over fishing rights, with Conservatives suggesting they could not support a final agreement...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 19th Mar - 9:43pm
    @ Arnold Kiel "A complete win for the EU". No need to seem so pleased about it, Mr. Kiel.
  • User AvatarGraham Evans 19th Mar - 9:20pm
    Conservative Home is currently a joy to read. Even JRM has been accused of being a traitor to the Brexit cause😀.
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 19th Mar - 9:10pm
    A complete win for the EU (and, unwillingly, the UK). Most importantly: Fox can start failing right away for everybody to see, hopefully in time....
  • User AvatarSimon Banks 19th Mar - 8:52pm
    Was "Tory" one of the profanities?