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Wrexham fall to defeat away at Gateshead

Wrexham slipped closer to relegation trouble after a disappointing 3-1 defeat away to Gateshead in the Conference.

Kevin Wilkin's men are now 18th in the Conference. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.

Kevin Wilkin's men couldn't recreate the form that saw them secure a spot in the FA Trophy final and were 1-0 down inside 20 minutes following Alex Rodman's opener.

Wrexham equalised through a Rob Ramshaw own goal, but Lynden Gooch scored early in the second half and Steve Tommassen netted the second own goal of the game to give the team from the north east all three points.

Minister seeks 'Big Six' talks

30% of Welsh households 'are in fuel poverty' Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant has written to the UK’s “big six” energy firms, along with the Co-operative Energy and First Utility, asking them to meet him to discuss how they can work more effectively with the Welsh Government to tackle fuel poverty.

The Welsh Government says almost a third of households in Wales are in fuel poverty.

In Wales we have been successful in delivering multiple benefits through our energy efficiency programmes, such as Arbed, including jobs, wider community benefits, training and advice for residents.

Our additional investment for the next financial year is £35million. I want the energy companies to see how effective our approach in Wales is and discuss how working together we can maximise the amount.. they invest in these schemes in Wales.

– Carl Sargeant, Natural Resources Minister

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Smacking ban defeated

Assembly Members have voted by 36 to 16 against adding a total ban on smacking children to a bill aimed at combating domestic violence. The Welsh Government argued that it was not the right way to end the defence of "reasonable punishment" by parents. This applies to a "transient or trivial" injury to their children. The call for a ban came from the Labour backbencher Julie Morgan, who defied the Labour whip. She said it was impossible to justify allowing adults to hit children.

15,000 signature petition over maternity services at Glan Clwyd hospital delivered to the Senedd

Campaigner Marsha Davies has delivered a 15,200 signature petition to the Senedd today.

She says she's angry at health board plans to "downgrade" maternity services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

She's calling for the proposals to be reconsidered.

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  1. Nick Powell

St David's Day deal won't trigger tax vote says FM

First Minister Carwyn Jones has categorically ruled out holding a referendum on Welsh income tax powers "unless and until the the long term funding of Wales has been addressed satisfactorily". In a letter to Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb, he says the St David's Day agreement on more powers for the Assembly does not meet that test.

Mr Crabb wrote to the First Minister yesterday, saying that the momentum for more devolution may now be lost without "strong and positive engagement" from the Welsh Government. In his reply, Carwyn Jones adds to his initial response that the cross-party agreement had been "rushed and unsatisfactory".

I make no apologies for not supporting an announcement that falls far short of Wales' needs. I have no intention of seeking a referendum on partial devolution of income tax to Wales unless and until the long term funding of Wales has been addressed satisfactorily. You will recognise that neither the announcement by the Prime Minister, nor the Command Paper published by the UK Government, provides any such assurance. I am bound to say that the whole process leading to your announcement and Command Paper was deeply disappointing and frustrating. It was slow to start, ad hoc and poorly prepared. The first hint of financial proposals was given to me by the Prime Minister -not you- in a phone call a mere three days before your announcement. I was very clear to the Prime Minister that the proposals he described were unacceptable.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

Carwyn Jones will be questioned in the Senedd on his attitude to the Saint David's Day agreement, after he makes a statement to AMs later this afternoon.

  1. Nick Powell

Welsh Tory leader sees case for more AMs

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has signalled that his party is no longer totally opposed to an increase in the number of Assembly Members, so long as the "total cost of democracy" does not go up. Mr Davies says the Welsh Government's growing powers and responsibilities make it difficult for an Assembly with so few backbenchers to hold it to account.

Are we really going to have another five years with just 60 AMs? It's already evident that there are huge pressures on the Assembly's ability to scrutinise the government.

– Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies AM

It's possible that an increase in AMs could be linked to a cut in the number of local councillors as part of the local authority mergers expected in the next few years. Also the Conservatives are likely to revive plans to cut the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 30 if they're still in power at Westminster after May's election.

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