Posted on 10:21am Thursday 10th February 2011
Recently we’ve seen Plaid’s Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, responding to the European Commission’s proposals for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which delivers £280million to farmers in Wales through the Single Payment Scheme. The Welsh Government’s position differs dramatically from that outlined by the Westminster Conservative Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman, who during a recent speech on CAP said that “Now is the time to make very significant progress towards reducing our reliance on direct payments” and to “plan for their abolition”. Within the last few weeks Elin Jones presented a written statement on this issue calling for direct payments to farmers to continue. I want to make it quite clear that we are against any major reduction in the CAP budget.
Posted on 10:52am Wednesday 5th January 2011
I very much welcome the news that as a party in Government we’ve exceeded our target of delivering 6,500 new affordable homes during the term of this government, one year ahead of schedule. A total of 6,707 affordable homes have been delivered in Wales since Plaid went into Government in 2007. Two hundred and seventy two of those homes have been provided in Pembrokeshire, with a plan to deliver a further 180 homes in the county over the next two years. I’m very proud that Plaid Cymru’s Housing Minister Jocelyn Davies has exceeded the target to deliver the One Wales Government’s promise on affordable housing. In the 2007 elections, Plaid Cymru proposed a number of measures to tackle this problem, and we ensured that these ideas were incorporated into the One Wales agreement when we went into Government.
Posted on 11:39am Friday 13th August 2010
Following the abolition of the IPC (Infrastructure Planning Commission) I believe it’s the perfect opportunity to devolve the powers for large energy projects, over 50MW to Wales. Pembrokeshire has many large energy projects located within the county and it’s vital that decisions are made locally for the benefit of the local people. I’ve recently written to the Tory Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan MP for Chesham and Amersham, urging her to press for these powers on Wales’ behalf in Westminster.
Posted on 11:36am Friday 13th August 2010
A new scheme to help bring broadband services to rural communities like Pembrokeshire has been announced by Plaid’s Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones. The new Broadband Support Scheme is up and running to complement the Assembly’s current Regional Innovative Broadband Support (RIBS) project.
Posted on 9:59am Tuesday 20th July 2010
Last week Plaid Cymru leader and Welsh Economy Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones unveiled new radical plans that will transform our economy and allow us to aspire to a Wales that is one of the best places in the world to live, to work and to thrive.
Posted on 4:56pm Wednesday 23rd June 2010
This week's emergency budget is an attack on public services, an attack on front line workers and an attack on the economy of Pembrokeshire. We currently have a fragile economic recovery and inflicting savage cuts now will have a negative influence on that. Labour were proposing cuts that would have seen 45,000 people put out of work and now thanks to the Conservatives that figure could be closer to 60,000. It is clear that the 2 Tory MPs representing Pembrokeshire have given little to no consideration for how their actions will impact on local jobs and local businesses. This is the worst budget we have seen in living history, our local MPs are clearly not on the side of ordinary working people in West Wales. Labour had already planned deep cuts but the Tory-Lib Dem plans will put even more jobs at risk. What is very worrying is whilst the Tories and Lib Dems spoke with relish of the cuts they are making to public services in Wales; they made no mention of looking at the way Wales is funded. We currently lose out on around £300m every year and under this government will only lose even more.
Posted on 12:14pm Thursday 27th May 2010
The recent announcement that tourism in Pembrokeshire is to benefit from a £4,242,500 investment is very welcoming. This money will help provide top-class, environmentally friendly facilities for people to enjoy the coast by foot or water as well experience water sports. Plaid’s Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones revealed that the One Wales Government will be investing a total of £17.5m on four projects all over Wales in an effort to improve visitors’ experience of Wales’ unique coastline.
Posted on 11:06am Friday 21st May 2010
It was very welcoming to see the recent publication of the One Wales government’s strategy for dealing with violence against women. I have been campaigning for a publicity campaign to challenge attitudes to violence against women for many years now. I am extremely pleased that the Welsh government is now delivering this. It is clear from the strategy that has been published that the Welsh government has listened to the responses to the consultation stage and have taken these on board and have made several appropriate changes to the draft strategy. There is a massive amount of work to be done on this issue. We know that one in four women will suffer domestic abuse, but we also know that many women still do not report abuse and this is a huge issue. The other problem that we need to overcome is that so many women accept what is happening to them. We need to challenge the attitudes that prevent women from coming forward and that allow people to think that this violence is acceptable. A publicity campaign to challenge attitudes is a big step forward in this direction. The budget that has been announced for the strategy is also to be welcomed. It is vital that all the different government departments involved work together effectively. This is not just a matter for the social justice Minister and his department; the education, health and housing departments also have a fundamental role to play. Furthermore it is essential that the Welsh government works closely with non-devolved, Westminster departments such as the CPS, courts, police, immigration and Work and Pensions. Local Government will also have a key role; councils will need to be given targets and clear policy direction from the Welsh government. All of us in society have a responsibility to challenge violence against women, but government must lead the way.
Posted on 2:05pm Wednesday 19th May 2010
This week’s announcement that the new Tory Chancellor of Exchequer will deliver an emergency budget on June 22 is something we all should be worried about as the reality of having a Tory government in London is beginning to emerge. Their proposed £6 billion budget cuts and the effect the size of these cuts will have on Wales demonstrates how far removed the Conservative party is from our communities in Pembrokeshire.
Posted on 2:43pm Thursday 13th May 2010
Farmers and all who have an interest in the environment and the countryside will be aware that Wales is soon to have a new sustainable land management scheme, Glastir. Meetings have been held all over Wales to explain the new Glastir scheme and if you attended one of those meeting I’m sure many of your questions were answered. However, I know that many people were unable to attend and some people still have their concerns. Glastir will be in place from 2012 through to 2020 and beyond and will replace the existing Tir Mynydd, Tir Gofal, Tir Cynnal and Organic Farming schemes.
Posted on 10:46am Monday 19th April 2010
During a debate in the Senedd recently the Economic Development Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, confirmed that he has not ruled out improving railway services to Fishguard as has been claimed by some local elected members recently. He confirmed that he had rejected the initial recommendation in the committee’s report because he was unhappy that the Enterprise and Learning committee wished him to place one of the recommendations of the south–west Wales integrated transport consortium above some of the others. What he will be doing is looking at all the recommendations for the south west Wales area in their entirety alongside the schemes for every region across Wales and then making a decision. As a committee we heard evidence about the need to improve train services to Fishguard and we have also seen local campaigns and a petition being submitted to the Assembly calling for these improvements. If we want to see more people using our railways then we need to ensure that the appropriate services are available in the first place and there is no doubt that we do need to see an improvement.