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Law to make Welsh councils share services "as soon as possible"

Credit: Senedd TV

A new law to compel the 22 Welsh local authorities to share services rather than try to do everything themselves will be passed as soon as possible, the First Minister has told AMs. The Welsh government has abandoned plans to cut the number of councils but wants to see much more co-operation.

We will have to change the law to force local authorities to work together. Legislation will be placed before the Assembly as soon as possible.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

Carwyn Jones told AMs on an Assembly scrutiny committee that education consortia, where councils co-operate in providing support to schools, were working well.

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First Minister claims Tories "insult" foreign doctors

First Minister Carwyn Jones has condemned the UK Health Secretary's plan to reduce the NHS's reliance on foreign doctors. Despite the current shortage, Jeremy Hunt is due to tell the Conservative party conference this afternoon that by training more doctors in Britain, it will be possible to recruit fewer from overseas.

The Tories have said today that foreign doctors and NHS staff are only welcome here whilst they are needed. I say they are welcome – full stop. We are talking about valued members of our communities, and they are valued staff in our NHS. More than that, they’re real people with real families. Talking about them as though they are some sort of commodity is in an insult to them, and the brilliant work they do every day in our NHS.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

In remarks ahead of his speech, Mr Hunt suggested that there would be less need to recruit EU doctors in future. He also questioned the morality of bringing in doctors from developing countries.

Currently a quarter of our doctors come from overseas. They do a fantastic job and we have been clear that we want EU nationals who are already here to be able to stay post-Brexit.

But is it right to import doctors from poorer countries that need them whilst turning away bright home graduates desperate to study medicine?

– UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP
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