Tag Archives: welsh assembly elections 2016

Kirsty Williams: Vote Lib Dem to make more nurses and smaller class sizes a reality

Kirsty Williams has made her final pitch for Lib Dem votes in Montgomeryshire, supporting candidate Jane Dodds, where she will say that the Welsh Liberal Democrats are the only party to consistently work to achieve results and put narrow party-political interest aside, their leader Kirsty Williams has said today on the eve of the Assembly election.

Tomorrow’s vote is your chance to make a difference for your community. Before you cast it, I want you to ask yourself: who has delivered the most for you and your family?

More often than not, the people I talk to across Wales aren’t interested in the cheap party-political point-scoring. What they always ask me is, ‘What have you done to make my life better?’ As a Welsh Liberal Democrat, I always have a long list of things to tell them about.

When Labour wanted to cut the numbers of apprenticeships in Wales, we used our influence to stop them. When rural councils were getting a raw funding deal, it was us who secured more money. When our poorest pupils were consistently underachieving in our schools, it was us who stepped in and gave them that extra support.

Unlike the other parties, we’re not content with whinging from the sidelines. Welsh Liberal Democrats always roll up our sleeves and get things done for our communities, and for the people of Wales.

If our record over the last five years shows anything, it’s that a vote for the Welsh Liberal Democrats is a vote for our policies being put into action. Tomorrow will be no different – your vote could help make our ideas a reality.

If you support smaller class sizes, if you want more nurses on hospital wards, if you want an Opportunity Economy that enables people to get on life, then you have to vote for it – you have to vote Welsh Liberal Democrat. Only then can we begin to deliver a Wales that works for you.

The last few days of her campaign have been a whirlwind of campaigning that has seen her everywhere from Ceredigion to Cardiff to North Wales to her home patch of Brecon and Radnorshire.

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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 say AM pay rises must be linked to public sector pay

Kirsty Williams on Radio WalesFrom May, AMs in the Welsh Assembly will get a whopping 18% pay rise, awarded by an independent pay review body. Only the Welsh Liberal Democrats voted against that and they have said that it must never happen again.

From the BBC:

Kirsty Williams has promised to peg AMs’ pay to general rises in the public sector.

AMs will get a salary of £64,000 from 5 May, up from £54,000, following an independent remuneration board decision.

The Lib Dems pledge would apply to the Senedd term after the 2021 election.

Ms Williams said: “It’s outrageous that, at a time when public sector workers have had their salaries either frozen or rise only slightly, politicians are getting a salary hike of 18%.

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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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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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Welsh Lib Dems launch manifesto – A Wales that works for you

At a Penarth health centre, Kirsty Williams launched the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ manifesto:

Kirsty talked about its “relentless focus” on public services:

People want good schools, good hospitals and a vibrant economy – a strong future for Wales. After 17 years in office, people recognise that the Labour Government still fails to get the basics right.

We are launching our vision today in a GP surgery to send a clear message: we are relentlessly focused on better public services.

Our manifesto is a roadmap for an ambitious, optimistic and pioneering Wales, based on our values and our nation’s needs. Our priorities are the people of Wales’ priorities: more nurses on hospital wards, smaller class sizes for our children, and an Opportunity Economy so that people can get on in life.

It’s time Wales had a government that actually listened to people – this is a manifesto that will deliver a Wales that works for you.

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Welsh Lib Dems plan £20 million boost for hill farmers

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have announced plans to help hill farmers, recognising the difficulties they face in farming challenging terrain.

They include £20 million package for hill farmers and plans to enable farmers to be able to improve their resilience and competitiveness.

They say they are passionate about protecting Wales’ proud farming tradition and that farmers in Wales produce some of the greatest produce in the world, but too often they are not getting the support they need from an out of touch Labour Government.

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Kirsty Williams: “Lib Dems have used our influence to get investment in schools and more nurses”

 

Kirsty Williams 2Kirsty Williams came out fighting in a BBC Wales pre-election interview at around 15 minutes in.

The introduction contained a very gloomy forecast from an academic. Kirsty pointed out that they same forecasts had been made about our performance 5 years ago in the early days of the Westminster coalition.

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Lib Dems: Lambing here

We’re kind of used to invitations to Lib Dem action days containing a hint of a reward for turning up to help. I’ve seen organisers promising all sorts of things to motivate people to deliver that extra 100 leaflets or knock on more doors. I certainly have some interesting photos of a particular candidate to release as a treat for spectacular action day performance. There have been promises of chilli (Tom Utting’s in Edinburgh Western is legendary), cake and all manner of treats to keep the army marching on its stomach.

I have to say that candidate for the Welsh Assembly seat of Montgomeryshire, Jane Dodds, has come up with the mother of all action day fun: a visit to a hill-top farm for food and frolic with little lambs.

Montgomeryshire Action Weekend

It would be great if you could join us for campaigning (and frolics with lambs) at the Montgomeryshire Action Weekend in Welshpool -On Friday 4th and Saturday 5th March – If you can make it please let me know by RSVP'ing to the event here -https://www.facebook.com/events/769949056466276/Thank you!

Posted by Jane Dodds for Montgomeryshire on Monday, 8 February 2016

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Veronica German to head South Wales East list for Welsh Assembly elections

Former AM Veronica German has been chosen to lead the South Wales East list for the Welsh Assembly elections next May.

From the Welsh Lib Dems website:

A democratic postal ballot of all members in the region chose the following candidates for the regional list in 2016:

1. Veronica German

2. Paul Halliday

3. Bob Griffin

Veronica German is a former Assembly Member for the region who has served as the Welsh Lib Dem spokesperson on health, local government and equalities. She is a former county councillor in both Newport and Torfaen, and worked as a science teacher for over 20 years.

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Opinion: Welsh Liberal Democrats need to be bolder in considering a coalition without Labour

 

This past week in Wales, political ears pricked up after Stephen Crabb (the Conservative Secretary of State for Wales) gave support to the idea of a Conservative, Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrat coalition in the Senedd after the May 2016 elections.

The ‘rainbow coalition’ almost happened in 2007 – but has more recently seen to be off the table, so backing (as it were) from such a prominent politician has sparked off some debate.

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Eluned Parrott selected to fight Welsh Assembly Cardiff Central seat

In 2011, one of the most heartbreaking results in Wales was losing Jenny Randerson’s former constituency of Cardiff Central by just 38 votes Losing by such a small amount is horrible. Welsh Liberal Democrats hope to win it back in 2015. They’ve now chosen their candidate, South Wales Central list AM Eluned Parrott, who has made a significant impact since she was elected in 2011.

In 2012, she wrote about her experience of Post-Natal Depression for Time to Change Wales as one of four AMs who decided to be open about their own experiences. A year later, she followed that up with an article about the impact that decision had had on her life:

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