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Lib Dem Whip on how Powell complaint was handled

Aled Roberts, who's Chief Whip of the Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly group, has explained how he handled the complaint against an AM accused of inappropriate conduct, using procedures brought in after similar cases in England. Mr Roberts was speaking on Sharp End on ITV Cymru Wales.

It emerged at the weekend that the Liberal Democrat AM for Mid and West Wales, William Powell, apologised last year for behaving inappropriately towards a young woman in 2011, although she had declined to make a formal complaint. He was interviewed by Mr Roberts and given a formal written warning.

We dealt with it as if it was a formal complaint. There was an apology offered to myself for the conduct. More importantly, there was apology made to the complainant.

– Welsh Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Aled Roberts AM

Welsh Government 'wasting public money' say Lib Dems

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for a 'thorough review' of all Welsh Government. Lib Dem AM Aled Roberts says a series of critical audit reports over the last year mean that Labour's 'reputation for wasting public money is ever growing.' He said

Repeatedly we have seen reports published by the Wales Audit Office that have highlighted major problems in the delivery of key public services.

Some of these reports have revealed practices which are nothing short of scandalous.

The Welsh Labour Government's reputation for wasting public money is ever growing and this undermining the public's confidence in the system. The people of Wales want and have a right to know that their taxes are bieng spent wisely.

– Aled Roberts AM, Liberal Democrat


Welsh Government must act on university funding fears say Lib Dems

Responding to further concerns about the impact of the Welsh Government's tuition fees policy on universities, Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Spokesman Aled Roberts says:

HEFCW have reaffirmed fears that the Welsh Labour Government’s current higher education funding system isn’t sustainable. It's particularly worrying that they predict the amount of money leaving Wales’ already underfunded institutions is set to increase further. The Education Minister has kicked the ball in the long grass by having his review into HE funding report back until after the Assembly elections. This means that we can’t expect to see a new system in place until at least 2019. That is simply too long a period to continue this unsustainable system.

For years the Welsh Labour Government has stuck its head in the sand over this issue. It must accept that mistakes have been made. Only this week we learnt that HEFCW had reservations about the estimated figures the Welsh Government put forward for this policy, but their advice was not sought. It is time the Welsh Labour Government started to listen and act more responsibly.

– Aled Roberts AM, Liberal Democrat

Tuition fees cost 'deeply embarrassing' - Lib Dems

Welsh Liberal Democrats say that a Wales Audit Office report on the cost of capping university tuition fees here in Wales is 'deeply embarrassing' for the Welsh Government. Education Spokesman Aled Roberts said:

Earlier this week both the Education Minister and his predecessor were lecturing the Assembly chamber on how the current system is costing less_ than first estimated. Yet this report lays out in full how wrong they actually were in 2010 and still are now. It explicitly states that the cost is expected to be ‘substantially higher’ than forecast. Their continued denial on these issues is both puzzling and deeply worrying.

The process to create the current system was clearly flawed. It’s deeply embarrassing that the Welsh Labour Government rushed this important decision and failed to explore all options available to it. After all, both the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive adopted policies that weren’t even considered by the Welsh Government.

– Aled Roberts AM, Liberal Democrat


New prison could create a thousand jobs - Lib Dem

Liberal Democrat AM Aled Roberts has welcomed the announcement of a 'super-prison' for North Wales, saying the project could create over a thousand jobs.

This investment will provide a significant economic boost in our region.

When I spoke to the Ministry of Justice and Danny Alexander, it was clear that they were impressed by the business case put forward in favour of North Wales. I, alongside my Welsh Liberal Democrat colleagues, have been working tirelessly with Liberal Democrat Ministers in London to ensure a prison in North Wales would become a reality. Many across north Wales, including the six local authorities, have worked together on this bid and it shows what can be done when we work as a team.

– Aled Roberts AM, Liberal Democrat