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Should doctors be offered £20,000 to stay in Wales?

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

New incentives are being offered to newly-qualified doctors to encourage them to stay in Wales.

A new campaign, which is offering graduates up to £20,000 a year, has been launched to promote Wales as a good place to work and live for doctors and GPs.

They're also being offered a one-off £2,000 to cover the cost of their final exams, but they will have to stay in Wales for at least a year after they've finished their training.

It's hoped the incentives will combat the shortage of doctors here.

Do you think these new cash incentives are a good idea or do you think there are better ways to spend the money?

Get in touch with your views by emailing or visiting our Facebook page.


Settlement is ‘challenging but fair' says Welsh Local Government Authority

The Welsh Local Government Association has called funding settlement to local authorities "challenging but fair".

The WLGA said that in the context of "ongoing and prolonged austerity councils will view this as a challenging but fair settlement for supporting the vital services that contribute to the education, health and well- being of our communities."

The organisation also acknowledged that with the draft settlement showing a slight rise over last year’s level of funding, it is better than the reductions that councils have experienced in recent years.

I am pleased that during difficult times Welsh Government Ministers are listening to local government working with us to mitigate the worst excesses of austerity. Today's settlement offers a welcome easing to the reductions of recent years. We recognise that it has not been easy for the Welsh Government to achieve this when there are competing demands on their own funding that is further stretched by continued austerity.

We also welcome the Welsh Government’s announcement today which recognises the strong call made by the WLGA for recognition of the important contribution that council-run services make to reducing costly pressures in other public services such as the NHS.

– Councillor Bob Wellington CBE, Torfaen, WLGA Leader

Welsh councils will still face severe financial pressures estimated to be around £200 million for the next financial year alone and this settlement is very much less severe than past announcements.

As leaders we will need to look at how we can transform our services and fully grasp the digitalisation agenda. I would urge my colleagues, elected members and officers to fully engage with their communities about the future of local public services and be clear about the financial pressures being placed upon them.

– Councillor Dyfed Edwards, Gwynedd, WLGA Plaid Cymru Group Leader

Which Christmas tree for Downing Street?

Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Next week will see tree growers from across Britain descend on a farm at Three Crosses near Swansea for the annual Christmas tree contest.

The winner is traditionally granted the honour of putting up a tree outside 10 Downing Street.

Our members work hard throughout the year to produce quality trees that the public want to adorn their homes.

They are trying to keep alive the tradition of buying a real Christmas tree and making it a family occasion.

Good growing conditions this year means we are expecting an exceptional display of spruces, pines and firs.

– Harry Brightwell, British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association


George North's availability for Australia showdown uncertain

Credit: PA

George North's availability for Wales' clash with Australia remains uncertain as Northampton say the winger is only contracted for Tests inside World Rugby's international window.

Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley on Tuesday said that Saints wing North and Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts have told him they will be available to face the Wallabies in Cardiff on November 5.

But Premiership Rugby - umbrella organisation for England's 12 Aviva Premiership clubs - do not release non-England players who ply their trade in the top flight for Tests that fall outside World Rugby's autumn international window.

Asked if North would play against Australia, Northampton backs coach Alan Dickens said: "I don't know."

George has got the same arrangement as the rest of our non-England internationals. They're playing in the international window. Our England internationals have an extra week, arranged through Premier Rugby. I've seen what's been in the press in terms of saying he is and Jamie Roberts is. (But) we've had no contact from the WRU (Welsh Rugby Union).

– Alan Dickens, Northampton backs coach
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