Tag Archives: peter black

Lib Dems condemn “betrayal” of Swansea Tidal Lagoon cancellation

It was a project which would power 150,000 households for 120 year, a program of lagoons at Swansea, Newport, Cardiff and Colwyn Bay which would create over 34,000 jobs in Wales alone. And Wales does need jobs. It was championed by the Lib Dems in Government, but, as has happened with so many Lib Dem ideas, it’s been cancelled today by the Tories.

Coming on the same day as the the vote on Heathrow expansion, you would be forgiven that the Tories really didn’t give a hoot about what David Cameron is alleged to have once described as “green crap” – and he was one of the more progressive ones.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have condemned the decision as a huge missed opportunity and another example of the Conservatives’ neglect of Wales.

The lagoon was strongly backed by the government commissioned Hendry review in January 2017 and is supported by businesses, councils, MPs and AMs from all parties. The lagoon would have acted as a pathfinder project for other lagoons across Wales including Newport, Cardiff and Colwyn Bay.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds was furious that the opportunity to make Wales a world leader in green energy had been thrown away:

The Conservatives’ rejection of the Swansea Tidal Lagoon is a disgrace. The Swansea Tidal Lagoon would be a vital first step in making Wales a world leader in green energy, bringing untold environmental and economic benefits to the community, Wales and the UK.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have consistently supported the Swansea Tidal Lagoon as a key part of our plans to develop an innovative, radical and ambitious green economy in Wales. It is deeply disappointing the Conservatives do not share our ambition.

When Ed Davey was Secretary of State for Climate Change he was totally behind the project. He called the cancellation an “historic mistake.”

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Lib Dems honoured

We have spotted a couple of Lib Dems in the Birthday Honours list – congratulations to them! If we have missed anyone please add in the comments and we will include them in the post.

Peter Black has been awarded the CBE for services to Politics and Public Life in Wales. Peter was an inaugural member of the Welsh Assembly and held his seat, representing South Wales West, until last year. He is currently a Councillor for Cwmbwrla Ward, Swansea City Council and the Welsh Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Local Government, Heritage and Housing. Peter has been writing a substantial blog since 2003. Read more about Peter here.

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Lib Dems call for Welsh Assembly to be reconvened over Port Talbot steel decision

Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrat Finance Minister, has e-mailed First Minister Carwyn Jones calling on him to ask the Presiding Officer to reconvene the Assembly over the announcement that Tata Steel is to sell its UK interests including the plant at Port Talbot. 5,500 jobs are at risk in Wales.

The Assembly’s Standing Order 12.3 states:

If no plenary meeting is timetabled for a particular date or time, the Presiding Officer may, at the request of the First Minister, summon the Assembly to consider a matter of urgent public importance.

Peter Black AM said late last night before Tata confirmed their plans:

If true, these reports are truly devastating and our thoughts go out to Tata employees and their families.

This is clearly a matter of urgent public importance and therefore it is inconceivable that the Assembly doesn’t reconvene.

Ministers in both governments need to act fast. Simply holding up their hands and saying they are out of ideas is simply not good enough.

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Big wins for Welsh Lib Dems in budget negotiations

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 09.39.40It’s annual budget time and the Welsh Liberal Democrats have secured some substantial investment in young people in the Welsh budget including 5000 new apprenticeships, increase in and extension of the Pupil Premium and a young person’s bus pass.

The full list of Liberal Democrat policies to be implemented is:

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Peter Black AM’s speech to Welsh Lib Dem Conference: Ambition and fairness at heart of Lib Dem housing plans

On Sunday, Peter Black, AM for South Wales West, a man with almost as many portfolios as there are days of Christmas, gave his keynote speech to Welsh Conference. He called on both Wales’ Labour Government and the UK’s Conservative Government to do more to help the Tata steel workers set to lose their jobs. He also unveiled the Welsh Lib Dems’ plan to tackle the housing crisis by building 20,000 more houses and implementing a rent to buy scheme. He also touched on political reform, devolution of power, the arts, broadcasting and sport. That’s quite something in just 15 minutes. Here is his speech in full:

Chair, I have been privileged to have served as a Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for nearly 17 years, representing my adoptive City of Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot and Bridgend.

There are some key issues for me as a local representative, which also go to the heart of Liberal Democrats policy. These include the future of the Tata steel plant in Port Talbot, where job losses will have a devastating impact on the local community and on the economy of South Wales.

I have been pushing the Welsh Government to set up an urban regeneration company for the area, to work within the proposed enterprise zone, and also to cut the business rate burden for the plant.

But we also need the UK Government to step up to the plate and to reduce energy costs, and to take action within the European Community to prevent the dumping of cheap steel from China and Russia.

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Peter Black wins Assembly Member of the Year award

At the time of writing, Peter Black, Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, has been way too modest to tell us on his blog that he was awarded Assembly Member of the Year at the Welsh Political Awards. He is the first member of the Assembly to get an Act onto the statute book, giving residents of mobile homes parks more protection. You can watch his speech at the Report stage of that bill here.

Thankfully, the awards ceremony has been recorded for posterity. You can see him accept his award here at around 19 minutes.

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Opinion: Standing up for the rights of mobile home owners

A recent survey by a consumer watchdog has found that more than 40 per cent of park homes residents have said that they feel unable to sell or buy their home freely due to a fear of site operators blocking sales. Consumer Focus Wales has discovered that almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of park home residents in Wales who were interviewed have experienced problems on their site in the past five years, while 29 per cent have experienced problems with site maintenance, security or safety standards.

Local councils have also told the consumer watchdog that penalties are not severe enough for rogue site operators, while it is almost impossible to revoke a licence. The high costs of potential court cases against rogue site operators means that local authorities are reluctant to take action which might affect vulnerable residents.

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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

Posted in News and Wales | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Update on the latest twists and turns in the contest to become the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London

It’s been a fascinating — and characteristicaly bizarre — last 48 hours in the contest to become the Lib Dems’ London mayoral candidate.

There was the first hustings, reported here on LDV by Simon McGrath, which attracted comments from Brian Paddick, and some robust thoughts from Lembit Opik’s campaign manager Ed Joyce.

Further controversy was sparked by Peter Black’s blog-post yesterday, Lembit Öpik and the rewriting of history, highlighting a paragraph in Lembit’s manifesto which attributes his defeat in Montgomeryshire ‘to the incident in which Mick Bates drunkenly assaulted a paramedic in January 2010, which became …

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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.

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Daily View 2×2: 25 May 2010

Don’t panic! Today is Towel Day.

Seventy years ago today, the Battle of Dunkirk began. On this day in 1967, Celtic FC became the first British team to win the European Cup, beating Inter Milan 2–1 in Lisbon.

Perfect Housewife Anthea Turner is 50 today, joining birthday boys Julian Clary (51) and Paul Weller (52) in a sixth decade.

2 big news stories

Poll shows broad support for coalition
The Guardian reports its ICM poll,  which shows broad support for the coalition government.

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Daily View 2×2: 23 February 2010

Today the people of Guyana celebrate the country becoming a Republic in 1970. Mashramani, often abbreviated to  ‘Mash’, is an annual festival that celebrates the nation and people of Guyana with a carnival parade, music, games and food.

On this day in 1945, the Stars and Stripes was raised over the Japanese-held volcanic island of Iwo Jima, rather than the flag of a trade union.

This morning the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable is in Canary Wharf, delivering a keynote speech, which will outline the Liberal Democrats plan for the banking and financial services industries.

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Daily View 2×2: 16 February 2010

Welcome to today’s numerically challenged Daily View – a bit like a Conservative policy paper.

On this day 51 years ago, Fidel Castro was sworn in as Cuban Prime Minister. Twenty five years ago Clive Ponting resigned from his post at the MoD over the Belgrano affair, despite having been acquitted of breaching the Official Secrets Act a week previously. Just five years ago, the Kyoto Protocol came into force.

Today is of course Shrove Tuesday, so get ready for pancakes tonight. But don’t rely on your opponents giving up campaigning for Lent. I’m off to spend the night setting the budget for the good residents of Three Rivers.

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Empty homes policy launch

Details arrive at the Voice of a launch of our General Election housing policy:

The Liberal Democrats today set out plans to bring a quarter of a million empty homes back into use, making homes available for people who need them and creating 65,000 jobs.

There are over 760,000 empty properties across England which are no longer used as homes but can be brought back into use with some investment. People who own these homes will get a grant or a cheap loan to renovate them so they can be used: grants if the home is for social housing, loans for

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Daily View 2×2: 5 January 2010

With the thought that there are only 353 days to Christmas and considerably fewer until the General Election, we launch into today’s Daily View.

On this day in 1918, the Free Committee for a German Workers Peace, which would become the Nazi party, was founded. In 1941, the aviator Amy Johnson, disappeared over the Thames Estuary and was never found. And 28 years ago today, Peter Sutcliffe, a 35-year-old lorry driver from Bradford appeared in court, charged with 13 murders of women in West Yorkshire.

Happy birthday to the second most famous son of Abbots Langley, footballer, actor and current Celebrity Big Brother ‘inmate’ Vinnie Jones, who is 45 today and to former US Vice President Walter F. Mondale, who is 82.

2 Interesting Stories

With the thought that some of you may have already noticed other parties’ pronouncements in the news yesterday, here are two more slants on the coming election.

 We’re being outgunned by slick Tory machine, says Labour’s Andrew Slaughter

The Labour MP for Hammersnith believes that his chances of re-election are being hampered by a lack of funding compared to his Conservative opponent. Slaughter said;

“People should be concerned that money is being poured into seats like this and the consequences of that for democracy,”

Funny how Labour never saw this as a problem when they were the ones bringing in large donations?

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Daily View 2×2: 29 December 2009

May I be the first to wish you, “Happy That Bit Between Christmas and New Year.”

Whether you’re at work, at home, working from home, or none of the above, here’s your Daily View for Tuesday:

Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of William Ewart Gladstone, Liberal statesman and four-times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. (By the way, remember to nominate your Liberal Voice of 2009 here.)

It’s also 34 years since the Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Acts came into force, legislation which now faces overdue modernisation and streamlining by the Equality Bill.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that caught my eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • Cameron’s potted plants underline the difference. Peter Black’s post (a late contender for my favourite blog post title of 2009) features a video of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Tory candidate for North East Somerset, “a key Conservative candidate who reflects the views of many in his party that he is a member of the ruling class with a God-given right to be in Government and that as far as he is concerned the rest of us are just potted plants.”
  • Is photography the new crime? Andrew Reeves takes a photo of the police taking a photo of the protesters.

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Stories

Fury as China executes British drug smuggler

China was this morning condemned for its human rights record after a British man who, his supporters say, had mental health problems, was executed for smuggling drugs.

Akmal Shaikh, 53, was shot dead by a firing squad at 10.30am local time (2.30am British time) after frantic last-minute pleas for clemency by the Foreign Office failed.

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Daily View 2×2: 17 December 2009

Good morning, and welcome to Daily View. Today we’re wishing happy birthday to children’s author Jacqueline Wilson and commemorating the death of Dorothy L Sayers.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

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Daily View 2×2: 26 October 2009

2 Big Stories

Miliband backs Blair as EU President

Well, here’s a turn-up for the books – the man who was Tony Blair’s head of policy is now backing his former boss for the new post of President of the European Union. Who’d have thunk it? The BBC reports:

David Miliband has ruled himself out of taking a senior role within the EU, while endorsing Tony Blair for the new post of European president. … it would be “good for Britain and good for Europe” if Mr Blair became the president of the European Council. Although Mr Blair is seen as frontrunner

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Daily View 2×2: 12 October 2009

2 Big Stories

MPs’ expenses row re-ignites as MPs question findings of independent inquiry

In case you thought the row had blown itself out, here comes the sequel:

Gordon Brown has urged MPs to repay expenses claimed up to five years ago if asked to do so following an audit ordered after the furore. There are reports that some MPs plan to defy calls to repay money and may challenge the request in the courts.

The PM is among hundreds of MPs expected to be asked to repay sums following a review of all claims by former civil servant Sir Thomas Legg. …

The BBC understands he has set retrospective limits for some items and annual limits on what he believes they should have claimed. These are £1,000 a year for gardening, and £2,000 a year for cleaning. It is believed to have angered some MPs who say they will not repay the money.

Saturday’s Telegraph reported the following snippet:

Last night, the Lib Dems, who are confident that they avoided the worst excesses, stepped up pressure on the Conservatives

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Daily View 2×2: 5 October 2009

2 Big Stories


Tory conference opens, and it’s time to party like it’s 1994

A few thousand Tories are converging on Manchester today, with two issues dominating discussion: Europe and welfare cuts. Ah, and there we were thinking The Major Years were but a distant memory.

On a more positive note, the Tories will be singing today from the localism song-book, with Caroline Spelman championing the party’s conversion to local control of local services – an interesting about-turn for an MP who opposed Scottish and Welsh devolution, and believes central government should impose council tax freezes from Whitehall.

Ministerial

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Blog of the Year Awards 2009: The Shortlists

Nominations for the Liberal Democrats’ Blog of the Year Awards 2009 closed on 4 September. Since then, the judges (Tom Brake MP, Ryan Cullen, me, Meral Ece OBE, Lynne Featherstone MP, Alix Mortimer, Stephen Tall, Cat Turner and Paul Waugh) have been poring over the entries for the six categories.

It’s been a big task, and a fun one, to distil so many excellent examples of Lib Dem blogging and e-campaigning into lists of the five best.

Congratulations if you’ve been shortlisted, but if you haven’t: remember that the shortlists are based on the judges’ subjective opinions. The awards are intended to be a fun way to celebrate the talent in the Lib Dem blogosphere, whilst introducing you to some blogs you might not have read before.

First, a reminder that the winner of the Best non-Liberal Democrat politics blog category will be decided by a public vote here on Liberal Democrat Voice, so please have a read of the nominated blogs and then head on over to the sidebar to cast your vote.

Next, a plug for the awards ceremony itself. If you’re coming to party conference in Bournemouth, do head along to Old Harry’s Bar in the Marriott Highcliff Hotel from 9.45pm on Sunday 20th September.

Now, without further ado, here are the shortlists: (Drumroll, please)

Blank

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Daily View 2×2: 7 September 2009

2 Big Stories

Government’s Libya policy: confusion reigns

The mounting government confusion over its policy towards Libya continues today.

First we had the Prime Minister’s refusal to make a comment on the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi; then it emerged that Gordon Brown had let it be known he agreed with the Scottish executive’s decision; over the weekend Justice Secretary Jack Straw acknowledged the obvious – that government policy was strongly influenced by trade and oil.

And now it emerges that Mr Brown is stepping up British attempts to win compensation for the victims of the bombing:

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[email protected]… Peter Black: Wales needs a holistic approach to mental health

Over at Wales Online, Lib Dem Welsh assembly member Peter Black, the party’s health spokesman, explains why an holistic approach to health-care is so vital. Here’s an excerpt:

Mental health and wellbeing services have historically been under-resourced in Wales and throughout the UK. Such a position is surprising given the incidence of debilitating mental health problems among the population. The figures are striking – one in four of us will suffer from a mental illness at some point in our lives, and one in seven will suffer to a sufficient degree to warrant therapeutic intervention at some level.

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Daily View 2×2: 6 July 2009

2 Big Stories

Public sector workers to feel the pinch

From the Guardian, Alistair Darling isn’t ruling out pay freezes for six million public sector workers: “Public sector pay has obviously got to reflect prevailing conditions and in particular inflation has come way down.”
Serious Fraud Office to investigate collapse of car maker MG Rover
From the Daily Mail:

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has been asked to investigate the collapse of MG Rover after a four-year probe into the Midlands car maker’s demise, it was confirmed today.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said in a written statement to Parliament that the SFO had

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The LDV 2×2 Daily View (13/05/09)

2 Big stories

Look, mum, we’re in the papers! And not in a good way. So far, the Lib Dems’ expense revelations in the Telegraph are pretty small beer, on the whole – but we’re not content with that, are we?

Meanwhile, in the blue corner, David Cameron is getting tough on the same issue. What I’d have given to be a fly on the wall in the meetings he had yesterday. Ever seen a man with a moat get a bollocking? Me neither, alas.

2 Must-read blog posts

The new all-singing,

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Peter Black AM writes… Early days

As we move into week three of a new Welsh Assembly term, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are pursuing their distinctive agenda with a renewed vigour and confidence under new leadership. Whilst the Welsh Conservative group remain in disarray over media revelations about their expenses and reported attempted coups against their leadership, our new leader Kirsty Williams has taken the opportunity to make her mark.

So far our profile has been high. We have led the way in exposing increased spending by the Welsh Assembly Government on consultants – nearly double on previous years; we have highlighted poor ambulance response …

Posted in Online politics, Op-eds and Wales | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Is the ‘Curse of Lembit’ back?

A month ago it was announced that the Daily Sport had hired Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik to be the newspaper’s political columnist; today The Guardian notes under the headline, Daily Sport publisher in financial difficulties:

Daily Sport publisher Sport Media Group’s share price plummeted 40% in early trading today after the company revealed it had broken one of its banking covenants. SMG’s share price had fallen by 3.75p, almost 42%, to 5.25p at 11.30am today, a 52-week low.

The company, which is releasing both a trading update and preliminary results for the year to the end of July tomorrow,

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  • User AvatarDennis Wake 17th Oct - 2:40pm
    The by election was for the Scottish Parliament Shetland seat. Mr Carmichael is the Westminster MP for Orkney and Shetland.
  • User Avatarmatt 17th Oct - 2:40pm
    Junker on the BBC Asked if he thought the deal would pass parliament, he said: “It has to.” Then he added: "Anyway, there will be...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 17th Oct - 2:27pm
    Then, of course, there's the possibility of a GNU.
  • User Avatarmatt 17th Oct - 2:22pm
    Junker has just said on BBC news that the EU will not grant any further extensions So I guess it's this deal or no deal
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    I'd quibble with the designation of John Mann as a Labour MP. To use the current in vogue language de jure he is while de...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 17th Oct - 1:29pm
    Johnson is ruling out an extension and saying it is his deal or no deal. He does hold some of the cards. The EU are...