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Clegg to promise wide-ranging powers for Wales

Nick Clegg is expected to commit his party to a wide-ranging devolution of powers to Wales in its manifesto for next year's UK Election. The Deputy Prime Minister is to make the promise during his speech to the Welsh Liberal Democrat conference in Newport.

He'll promise that the party's 2015 manifesto will use the recent Silk Commission as a 'blueprint.' The Commission recommended devolving powers over policing, youth justice, energy decisions and teachers' pay.

Last week, Ed Miliband came to Wales with a half-baked promise to make changes to the Welsh settlement, missing out a whole range of important recommendations made by Silk.

Where Labour failed to meet those challenges; the Liberal Democrats will rise to them and I will be the first party leader to fully commit my party to including those proposals in our 2015 manifesto.

The Silk Commission recommendations will be the blueprint for our 2015 manifesto.

Unlike other parties, we are a democratic party and the final manifesto will be approved by our members, but I am clear that just as the Silk Commission has recommended, I want us to fight the next election proposing that we take on the recommendations of the Silk Commission to give you the tools you need to get on with the job.

Because in the General Election next year, Welsh Liberal Democrats in this hall, and beyond, will be able to say to the people of Wales: yes, we are the party of devolution, arguing for it since the days of Lloyd George, yes, we have and we are delivering on our promise of strengthening devolution and yes, we are the only party that is willing and able to give the people of Wales more and better devolution.

– Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister

What to expect from the Welsh Lib Dem conference

by Adrian Masters
Kirsty Williams speaking at conference 2013
Kirsty Williams speaking at conference 2013

As the Welsh Liberal Democrats begin their conference in Newport you can expect three things to be on their minds.

You won't be surprised to find Europe at the top of their agenda with just six weeks to go until the European Parliamentary elections in May.

The Lib Dems have never won one of the Welsh seats and the polls suggest that that's unlikely to change this year. But the party has positioned itself as the most Europhile of all the UK parties and so you can expect a lot said about how Wales benefits from being part of the EU.

There's another election on the horizon too: next year's UK General Election. There's no doubt the Lib Dems have suffered in successive elections because of the decision to enter coalition government with the Conservatives.

What's important for the party now is to point to the things it's achieved by being in government while distancing itself from its coalition partners. So you can expect much to be made of the raised income tax threshold, particularly because the new tax year is about to begin.

I'd also look out for some significant promises on devolution. The Lib Dems take credit for moves to extend devolution throughout their time in the UK Government, specifically the 2011 lawmaking powers referendum and the Silk Commission.

Senior party figures watched Ed Miliband's speech to last week's Welsh Labour conference with interest and tell me they're determined Labour won't 'out-devolution' the Lib Dems.

So Nick Clegg is expected to promise that the 2015 Liberal Democrat manifesto will take the Silk Commission's proposals for extensive devolution including power over policing and energy decisions as 'a blueprint.'

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Welsh Liberal Democrat conference begins

Welsh Liberal Democrats logo
Welsh Liberal Democrats logo

Welsh Liberal Democrats begin their conference in Newport this morning with a speech by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Other senior figures including UK Business Secretary Vince Cable and Welsh party leader Kirsty Williams are also due to address the conference.

With just six weeks to go until the European Parliamentary elections, Europe is expected to play a prominent rôle but next year's UK General Election will also be a significant issue. And there are expected to be pledges on further devolution for Wales.

Nida Naseer inquest opened and adjourned

Coroner David T. Bowen has adjourned the inquest into Nida Naseer's death for six weeks to allow further investigation and enquiries to be concluded.

Nida Naseer's body was discovered last Thursday Credit: Gwent Police

The Gwent Police enquiry is ongoing, with more histology and toxicology tests to go ahead.

Before adjourning, Mr Bowen appealed for any member of the public with any information that would assist the enquiry to come forward.

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Police confirm body found is missing Nida Naseer

Police have confirmed that a body found at the Newport Wetlands IS that of the missing teenager Nida Naseer.

It's three months to the day since the youngster vanished **without her phone, her shoes or her wallet. She disappeared after taking the bins out at her home in the Pill area of Newport on 28th December.

Gwent Police say they're treating her death as unexplained.

Megan Boot was at the Newport Wetlands earlier this evening.

Body is that of missing Newport teenager say police

Nida Naseer had been missing from her home in Newport since December. Credit: Family Photo

Gwent Police have confirmed that the body discovered at the Newport Wetlands site yesterday is that of missing teenager Nida Naseer.

An initial post mortem has yet to be concluded and at this time her death remains unexplained.

Superintendent Mark Warrender, Local Policing Commander for Newport said, "This is an extremely tragic case and our sincere condolences remain with the family. Since Nida went missing we have remained hopeful that she would be found safe and well and reunited with her family.

“Yesterday’s discovery was a very sad development for me and the investigative team who have remained committed to finding Nida since the night she was reported missing by her family.

"We continue to support them at this dreadful time, and on their behalf can I please ask that they now be left alone to grieve."

Nida went missing from her Newport home on Saturday December 28th last year and her body was discovered at approximately 10am yesterday on the estuary side of the sea wall at the Wetlands site, West Nash Road.

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