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Hundreds of jobs created at electronics firm

Around 138 jobs are to be created at Trojan Electronics in Swansea as part of a £2.1m investment by the Welsh Government.

Work will start today on a new £625,000 headquarters which will see two of the current Trojan sites move into one.

The new jobs will almost double the current workforce. The new offices are expected to be completed next year.

Fresh attempt to settle rail electrification row

New Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb turns to one of the items at the top of his in-tray today -the row between the Welsh and UK governments over who pays for the electrification of the Valley lines. Ministers in Cardiff Bay say Mr Crabb's predecessors, Cheryl Gillan and David Jones, were quick to claim the credit for the giving the multi-million pound project the go ahead, so there's no way that the bill should be passed on.

Today Mr Crabb will hold talks with this cabinet colleague, the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin. The Transport Department argues that as the Welsh Government manages the Wales and Borders rail franchise, it should be responsible for repaying the cost. That would mean either funding a bigger subsidy or putting up the fares.

Only yesterday, the Prime Minister defended what he saw as a done deal but ITV news understands that there might at least be a concession over how quickly the money needs to be repaid. A senior Welsh Government source was also optimistic that the dispute could soon be settled.

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Cameron's Royal Welsh pledge on food

Prime Minister David Cameron, who's visiting the Royal Welsh Show at Llanelwedd, has announced plans for the UK Government to buy locally sourced seasonal food whenever possible. The Welsh Government already has a similar scheme.

In England, it's estimated that the public sector spends £1.2 billion a year on food, half of which is imported. The Prime Minister expects that most of the imported food could be replaced by British produce, much of it locally sourced.

No-one does more or works as hard in Wales and the rest of Britain today than our farmers. By opening up these contracts, we can help them create more jobs, invest in their businesses and make sure people in Wales have a healthier lifestyle. It’s a triple win –and will mean a brighter future for our country.

– Prime Minister David Cameron MP

Carwyn Jones welcomes new investment figures

Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones welcomed today's figures Credit: PA

The First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones, has welcomed figures released this morning showing the best inward investment performance for Wales in almost a quarter of a century.

Official figures from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) show Wales attracted 79 foreign direct inward investment projects in 2013-14, a record result in the past 24 years.

Over 10,000 jobs were also created and safeguarded in this time.

"These are very positive results and a strong indication that our strategies are paying off, creating and safeguarding jobs and providing on-going opportunities for the people of Wales. We continue to focus efforts on increasing the number of well paid new jobs and inward investment projects.

"Today's figures show that Canada is one of the top performing destinations for FDI into the UK - and I will be meeting senior representatives from several hi-tech companies in Montreal later this week to try and secure further investment for Wales."

– Carwyn Jones, First Minister

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Lib Dems say M4 plan makes budget talks difficult

The Welsh Lib Dems are now the only party talking to the Welsh Government about a deal to support the budget. Their leader, Kirsty Willaims, says that following Plaid Cymru's decision to quit the negotiations over the £1 billion Newport motorway announcement says she'll keep negotiating but the plan for the M4 makes it "difficult".

The Welsh Liberal Democrat priority for the next budget continues to be extra support for Wales’ poorest school children through our Pupil Premium. However, it’s very difficult to see how we can support a budget that prioritises the current M4 proposals and that is what we will explain to the Welsh Government in future negotiations.

The M4 announcement yesterday was a huge mistake. It completely flies in the face of the environmental and economic issues. Our proposed alternatives are far less expensive and less likely to damage vast swathes of the environment. A responsible Government wouldn’t spend its entire borrowing powers on one single road, leaving no money left for other transport projects.

– Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams AM

Plaid quit budget talks over "reckless" new M4

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has pulled her party out of budget talks with the Welsh Government in protest at the decision to spend £1 billion on a new motorway around Newport. She claimed it was a reckless and undemocratic decision, arguing that cheaper and more effective solutions to the traffic jams on the existing M4 would have left more money to be spent in other parts of Wales.

The Welsh Government does not have a majority in the Senedd and needs the support of at least one other party to get its budget passed. In the past, it has reached a deal with Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats or both. Plaid and the Welsh Lib Dems has reached an agreement to negotiate jointly in future.

This is a stand that Plaid Cymru has been compelled to make. The Welsh Government acted with complete disregard for the democratic institution when it took this decision without proper scrutiny and with no business case.

Plaid Cymru wants the M4 congestion problem resolved now and resolved properly. There is an option to do this at a more reasonable cost giving us the same answer and that is why Plaid Cymru in government turned down this more expensive and environmentally damaging option.

In budget negotiations, we would have worked hard to ensure the best value for money for the Welsh taxpayer, and yet the Welsh Government has blown a billion pounds on this extravagant project when there are more efficient and more cost-effective alternatives.

– Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood AM

Environmental groups predict £1 billion devastation

Environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth and sustainable transport charity Sustrans have both condemned the decision to go ahead with a new motorway. They claim it will devastate nationally important wildlife sites in the Gwent Levels south of Newport. They also predict that the motorway won't open to traffic for more than a decade and that the billion pound cost will starve more worthwhile transport projects of funds.

This vastly expensive, utterly unnecessary and terribly damaging motorway is the worst possible transport choice for south east Wales. And the billion pound price tag means that, at a time when traffic has actually decreased since 2007, it’s going to come at the cost of the sustainable solutions that could benefit us all. Investment in public transport and some modest road improvements could improve transport in the area at a fraction of the cost, and we could be seeing the benefits almost immediately.

– Gareth Clubb, Friends of the Earth Cymru

£1 billion for a new section of motorway is the wrong transport priority for Wales. Investment in public transport must be the priority for building a sustainable and efficient economy, yet the Welsh Government’s consultation on the need for an M4 relief road scheme didn’t take into account other proposals that will reduce demand, such as the Metro programme, or evidence showing that car use is now in decline.

– Jane Lorimer, Sustrans Cymru
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