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.
Welsh Secretary David Jones visits the Senedd to take part in a debate on the Queen's Speech. It's the first time he's represented the UK Government in the annual debate as Secretary of State. Before becoming an MP, Mr Jones was an Assembly Member.
Plaid Cymru's leader Leanne Wood's response to proposals for the future of hospital services in South Wales:
– Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru leader
Today’s news is an admission of the Welsh Government’s failure to deliver these services. Labour has been in charge of health in Wales for the last 14 years; ever since the advent of devolution.
**The Party of Wales has spent a decade warning about these service reductions and we have proposed numerous positive alternative solutions. We must make Wales an attractive place for doctors to live and work.
And commenting specifically on proposals affecting the Royal Glamorgan hospital in Llantrisant, she said:
– Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru leader
The people of Rhondda Cynon Taf will be very concerned to discover that critical services could be taken from the Royal Glamorgan hospital in Llantrisant, including from its A&E department, which is the preferred option of hospital chiefs.
RCT is an area where many of the residents have chronic health problems, the road network is poor and the local ambulance service has the worst performance in Wales for responding to life-threatening emergency calls.
In response to the proposals for hospitals in South Wales which have just been announced, Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar says:
Hacking back the range of emergency services provided at some Welsh hospitals is not going to solve the on-going crisis in demand. Instead, these plans will heap further pressure on our over-stretched and underperforming ambulance service, and force patients to travel further for live-saving care.
– Darren Millar AM, Shadow Health MInister
It’s just weeks since the College of Emergency Medicine warned A and E departments are at the ‘point of meltdown’ and now is not the time to be slashing the life-saving services their hard-working staff provide.
While sensible service modernisation should be welcomed, any plans to downgrade emergency departments in south Wales should be abandoned.
The Health Minister will face an urgent question on changes to hospital services in South Wales which are expected to be announced later. Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has been allowed by the Presiding Officer to raise her concerns about the plans and call for a statement from the Minister.
Parliamentary and Assembly politics come together in Cardiff Bay today when AMs debate the Queen's Speech. Welsh Secretary David Jones will be in the Senedd chamber to take part in the discussion on the UK Government's planned new laws.
Plaid Cymru has tabled an amendment criticising the lack of a bill to carry out further devolution as recommended by the Silk Commission. It's likely that Labour AMs will join forces with their opponents in Plaid as the parties' MPs did over the same issue in Westminster last week.
- Guto Bebb - Aberconwy
- Stephen Crabb - Preseli Pembs
- David Davies - Monmouth
- Glyn Davies - Montgomeryshire
- Jonathan Evans - Cardiff North
- Simon Hart - Carmarthen West and Pembs South
- David Jones - Clwyd West
- Paul Murphy - Torfaen
MPs tonight voted by 366 to 161, majority 205, to legalise gay marriage by giving the Government's controversial Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill a third reading.
Plaid Cymru's Education spokesperson Simon Thomas says the priority now must be to ensure Wales-only exams are not seen as 'second rate' in relation to England's. He says they must be monitored by a powerful, independent regulator.
Education Minister Leighton Andrews says the Michael Gove letter means 'the days of three country regulation [of exams] are over.' He says the priority is now to ensure that a future Wales-only system has the confidence of students, schools, universities and employers.
Leighton Andrews also says that he's been in contact with his counterpart in Northern Ireland to look at the possibility of a joint regulatory system.