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Tories describe Labour and Plaid Cymru's budget agreement as 'cosy backroom' deal

Andrew RT Davies Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/PA Images

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, has described the budget agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru as a 'cosy backroom' deal:

"This budget deal is the latest charade in the Plaid-Labour love-affair and significantly sees both parties break a number of election promises to the people of Wales.

– Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives

The £210m budget agreement includes protecting the Supporting People Programme from cuts and an additional £40m for mental health funding over two years. There'll also be £15m for improving north-south links on the A487 and A470 and £3m to develop plans for a third Menai crossing. £2m will go on ending the Cleddau Bridge tolls -currently 75p for a car- but not until 2019/20.

Other aspects of the budget deal include:

  • an extra £20m a year for higher and further education
  • £6m for a young farmers' grant scheme over two years
  • additional funding for the Welsh language
  • a £7m development fund for undergraduate medical training in north Wales
  • £2m to remove the tolls on the Cleddau bridge in Pembrokeshire in 2019-20
  • £3m to support the design and development of a third Menai bridge crossing
  • a further £2m for the secretariat and investment support for a new 'Arfor' economic region in west Wales
  • extra money for the National Library, the National Museum and the Welsh Books Council
  • £2m to help promote music in our schools.

The first stage of the draft Welsh Government budget will be published on Tuesday.

You can read more here


Neil Hamilton tells UKIP conference that UK Government a 'pathetic shambles' over Brexit

Neil Hamilton at the UKIP conference Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images

The leader of UKIP in the Welsh Assembly, Neil Hamilton, has described the UK government as a 'pathetic shambles' over Brexit negotiations. The UK Government state they're preparing to leave the EU in the best way possible for the UK's national interest.

Mr Hamilton's comments came as he gave a speech at the party's conference in Torquay, where he said UKIP in Wales should be a template for UKIP in other parts of the UK.

Mark Reckless Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/PA Images

Mr Hamilton also had critical words for Mark Reckless, who left UKIP to join the Conservatives in the Assembly, describing him as 'no better than a common thief'.

Mr Reckless left the party earlier this year and continues to sit as an AM, representing the South Wales East region. Today Mr Hamilton said he had no moral right to continue to sit in the Assembly, and he should make way for the next UKIP candidate on the list. When asked about the comments, Mr Reckless told ITV News he had 'no comment'.

The UKIP conference finishes on the 30th September.

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