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Report into electrification problems to be published

A report into the electrification problems affecting the line between south Wales and London will be published later.

The report will outline how long the electrification process will take. Credit: Hitachi

Electrification of the line between London Paddington and Cardiff was due to be completed by May 2017, with that extended to Swansea the following year.

But the cost has tripled from the original estimate of £874m to as much as£2.8bn. The project is also running behind schedule.

Earlier this month MPs raised concerns over the rising cost of the project.

The Network Rail report is now expected to reveal how long the project will take and will be published along with new timescales of developments.


  1. Nick Powell

Wales won't get extra NHS money says First Minister

First Minister Carwyn Jones has told AMs that the Welsh Government will get almost no more money as a result of the UK Government's announcement of extra funding for the English NHS. Increases in England lead to matching percentage increases for Wales under the Barnett Formula but Mr Jones said they'd be cancelled out by cuts in other parts of the English health budget. The First Minister dismissed as naïve a call from the Conservative leader for any extra money to be given to the Welsh NHS.

Today the Chancellor has announced £3.8 billion worth of extra money for the English NHS in the next financial year. There will be a Barnett consequential for that uplift. Will you commit to ringfencing that money in the next budget round so that it is put into the Welsh NHS?

– Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies AM

Is he saying to us today that there will be a full consequential to Wales as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review? Because our understanding is entirely different. What was being trailed on the radio this morning is that there will be cuts in public health and medical education and that money will be transferred to the NHS budget. There will be no consequential if that happens. So if he thinks there will be a consequential in those circumstances, I'm afraid his naïvety overtakes his perception.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

Council mergers in Wales could 'save £650m'

Merging Wales' 22 councils to form just nine could save £650m says the Welsh Government - but critics claim it could lead to 1,900 job losses.

Where will you live? The bridge over the Clwyd, which separates Denbighshire and Conwy. Credit: ITV Wales

The Welsh Government wants to reduce the number of local authorities from 22 to around eight or nine. But opposition parties have criticised the plans.

Public services minister Leighton Andrews insisted local government reform was necessary and could help councils protect frontline services.

The plans are detailed in the Draft Local Government Bill published today.

Officials estimate the costs of merging councils could range from between #97 million and #246 million, but the Welsh Government believes that the savings generated will offset those costs.

Wales to take 50 Syrian refugees before Christmas

The Welsh Government says four councils in Wales will home around 50 Syrian refugees arriving before Christmas.

A Syrian father and his one-year-old son in emergency accommodation in Austria. Credit: PA

The exact numbers, which councils and the arrival dates will not be revealed in the interests of the refugees.

Minister for Communities, Lesley Griffiths says councils will need to ensure necessary services are in place, she states that those arriving have been "vetted".

I was horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Mali and Beirut.

It was disappointing some people chose to criticise Governments for offering new homes to refugees following these attacks.

I am assured by the UK Government all refugees coming here will have been thoroughly vetted in the camps before being accepted, to ensure they are genuine refugees who pose no threat to our security.

– Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

The Welsh Government says a Welcome to Wales pack which gives key information on life in Wales and includes a section on the local area where the refugees will live will be given out.

More: Wales prepares to house Syrian refugees


More art for the people says Jeremy Corbyn

Admiring a landscape by one of Wales' defining artists in Cardiff today the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he'd would make it a law for more public art to be created.

On his visit to ITV Wales HQ in Cardiff Bay he stopped and admired an original Kyffin Williams.

I would make it a law that we have to have a percentage of construction costs go on public art.

– Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
The Kyffin Williams painting viewed by Corbyn. Credit: ITV Wales

Sir John "Kyffin" Williams was a Welsh landscape painter who lived on Anglesey. Williams is regarded as the defining artist of Wales during the 20th century.

More: Corbyn makes first visit to Wales as Labour leader

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