Presented by our Political Editor Adrian Masters, Sharp End brings you reports, interviews and analysis every Thursday
A series of articles looking at how changes in the way Wales is run affect England and the rest of the United Kingdom
Adrian Masters talks to political leaders, public figures and extraordinary people in this series of one-to-one interviews.
Plaid Cymru has criticised Welsh Government plans to impose fines on parents whose children repeatedly play truant as a 'retrograde step.' The party's Education spokesman, Simon Thomas, said about the fixed penalty notices.
– Simon Thomas AM, Plaid Cymru Education spokesman
They have not worked when they were introduced in England. The Education Minister needs to state where any money raised will go.
A Plaid Cymru Government would consider approaches such as the use of home school liaison officers to tackle absenteeism, so policies support pupils and their families, rather than penalise them by fining them. There is a correlation between areas of high deprivation and high levels of absenteeism.
A £1.3m engineering facility has officially opened in Bridgend following investment from the Welsh Government.
Aircraft Maintenance Support Services has seen a 60% increase in turnover in the last three years.
Megan Boot reports.
Housing Minister, Carl Sargeant will today set out the Welsh Government's plans to improve the legal framework governing rented housing in Wales. His report will be based on recommendations outlined by the Law Commission that the many different forms of rental contract should be simplified .
– Minister for Housing , Carl Sargeant
These proposals will provide a fair,simple and efficient legal base for renting a home in Wales.
The Welsh Government will take forward the recommendations with the aim of making the law easier for tenants and landlords to understand. Doing this will create a more effective rented housing system in Wales
The UK Government says plans to encourage more competition in the water industry will not be imposed on Wales against the wishes of the Welsh Government. Legislation was announced in the Queen's Speech to reduce water companies' monopolies in an attempt to encourage more investment in the industry.
– Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP
We are working closely with the Welsh Government in finalising the Water Bill and have no intention of forcing competition on Wales. However making sure we have enough water is one of the major challenges we face in coming years. The changes we are making to the water industry will encourage economic growth and build resilience for the future.
The Welsh Natural Resources Minister Alun Davies had said that any intervention by UK ministers would be an "affront to democracy". He vowed to safeguard the not-for-profit status of Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, which supplies most of Wales and some neighbouring parts of England.
Britain's other water companies make returns to their shareholders. They include Dee Valley Water, which supplies Wrexham and Chester, and Severn-Trent, which supplies part of Powys. Plaid Cymru says it would be better to extend Dwr Cymru Welsh Water's model to other companies.
– Plaid Cymru Environment Spokesperson Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM
There is no need to introduce further competition into the water market in Wales. In fact, the rest of the UK should learn from the Welsh situation. What we need is long-term stability so that Dwr Cymru Welsh Water can continue to build on the excellent results it has achieved so far.
Following tonight's joint voting by Plaid and Labour MPs on an amendment to the Queen's Speech a UK Government source said:
"The government expects to be in a position to make an announcement on the Silk commission's recommendations in the coming weeks."
“The Queen’s Speech should have included a Bill to implement recommendations from the Silk Commission’s first report. In particular, the Welsh Government desperately needs borrowing powers to counteract the swingeing cuts to its capital budget imposed by the Tory-led Government, and allow it to invest in infrastructure in Wales.
“A deal to give borrowing powers and devolve of a number of minor taxes was agreed by the UK and Welsh Governments in October last year, and subsequently endorsed by Silk in November. We don’t understand why David Jones isn’t getting on with it.
– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary
“The Silk Commission Part One recommendations are a complex set of proposals, and some are contingent on others. For example, we agree with Silk that any future devolution of income tax powers is contingent on a period of assignment, reform of the Barnett formula and a referendum to test the will of the Welsh people. This remains our position and we have repeatedly called on the Government to allow a debate on these issues on the floor of the House.”
– Elfyn Llwyd MP, Plaid Cymru Parliamentary leader
"I welcome the Labour Party's support to our amendment which as everybody knows was tabled in the best interests of Wales and its people.
"In light of the comments made by the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Owen Smith MP, I wonder why the Labour amendment did not contain a reference to the Silk Commission on devolution or indeed to Wales.
"However, I do hope that this presages an era of co-operation across party lines in order that we can deliver for the people of Wales and assist them to improve the economy in these most pressing of times."
Labour and Plaid Cymru have joined forces in a Commons vote on transferring more some tax and borrowing powers to Wales.
Plaid had tabled an amendment to the Queen's Speech 'regretting' the lack of a Government of Wales bill to make a transfer possible sooner rather than the draft bill which was included in the UK Government's programme of planned laws.
237 MPs backed Plaid's call but government MPs managed to defeat it with the votes of 316 MPs.