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Wales won't get extra NHS money says First Minister

First Minister Carwyn Jones has told AMs that the Welsh Government will get almost no more money as a result of the UK Government's announcement of extra funding for the English NHS. Increases in England lead to matching percentage increases for Wales under the Barnett Formula but Mr Jones said they'd be cancelled out by cuts in other parts of the English health budget. The First Minister dismissed as naïve a call from the Conservative leader for any extra money to be given to the Welsh NHS.

Today the Chancellor has announced £3.8 billion worth of extra money for the English NHS in the next financial year. There will be a Barnett consequential for that uplift. Will you commit to ringfencing that money in the next budget round so that it is put into the Welsh NHS?

– Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies AM

Is he saying to us today that there will be a full consequential to Wales as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review? Because our understanding is entirely different. What was being trailed on the radio this morning is that there will be cuts in public health and medical education and that money will be transferred to the NHS budget. There will be no consequential if that happens. So if he thinks there will be a consequential in those circumstances, I'm afraid his naïvety overtakes his perception.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM


Council mergers in Wales could 'save £650m'

Merging Wales' 22 councils to form just nine could save £650m says the Welsh Government - but critics claim it could lead to 1,900 job losses.

Where will you live? The bridge over the Clwyd, which separates Denbighshire and Conwy. Credit: ITV Wales

The Welsh Government wants to reduce the number of local authorities from 22 to around eight or nine. But opposition parties have criticised the plans.

Public services minister Leighton Andrews insisted local government reform was necessary and could help councils protect frontline services.

The plans are detailed in the Draft Local Government Bill published today.

Officials estimate the costs of merging councils could range from between #97 million and #246 million, but the Welsh Government believes that the savings generated will offset those costs.

Police warning over indecent exposure incident

Police are urging the public to be vigilant in the Lon Menai area of Caernarfon, after a man indecently exposed himself.

Credit: Google Street View

Police were alerted to the incident at 8.16pm on Thursday 19th November.

PC Alex Higgins said: “We want to make the public aware of this incident, and ask them to remain vigilant. We would ask anyone who witnessed this incident or any other victims to come forward with information.”

Wales to take 50 Syrian refugees before Christmas

The Welsh Government says four councils in Wales will home around 50 Syrian refugees arriving before Christmas.

A Syrian father and his one-year-old son in emergency accommodation in Austria. Credit: PA

The exact numbers, which councils and the arrival dates will not be revealed in the interests of the refugees.

Minister for Communities, Lesley Griffiths says councils will need to ensure necessary services are in place, she states that those arriving have been "vetted".

I was horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Mali and Beirut.

It was disappointing some people chose to criticise Governments for offering new homes to refugees following these attacks.

I am assured by the UK Government all refugees coming here will have been thoroughly vetted in the camps before being accepted, to ensure they are genuine refugees who pose no threat to our security.

– Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

The Welsh Government says a Welcome to Wales pack which gives key information on life in Wales and includes a section on the local area where the refugees will live will be given out.

More: Wales prepares to house Syrian refugees


Wrexham steel jobs saved in buy-out

A deal has been announced to sell part of a steel firm which went into administration, safeguarding 79 jobs in Wrexham.

Caparo Wire in Wrexham. Credit:

Auditors Pricewaterhouse Coopers said Caparo Wire which specialises in the manufacture of high-quality galvanised and engineering steel wire, has been sold to Rcapital.

The deal is the second announced by PwC after 76 jobs were saved last week when Caparo Testing Technologies was sold.

"The sale of Caparo Wire is another great result for the staff employed there and is the second deal to be completed, following the recent sale of Caparo Testing Technologies. We would like to thank all of the Caparo people involved for their dedicated support in securing this transaction.

Number of child arrests 'falls in four years'

Credit: David Jones/PA

The Howard League for Penal Reform says there's been a dramatic fall in the number of children being arrested in Wales over the last four years.

The charity says in the Dyfed Powys Force area arrests are down by 70%, in Gwent by 61% and in the South Wales Force area they're down by 47%.

The League says every police service in England and Wales made fewer arrests in 2014 than in 2010, with some constabularies reducing their numbers by more than 70 per cent.

It says several police services have reviewed their arrest procedures and policies as a result of the Howard League’s engagement with them.

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