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Number of drink-driving convictions 'alarming'

Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives says the conviction rate for drink driving is 'alarming'.

Figures from an insurance company show four Welsh communities dominate the top five worst areas for drink driving:

  • Crewe
  • Llandrindod Wells
  • Cardiff
  • Newport
  • Swansea
  • Aberdeen
  • Blackpool
  • Darlington
  • Telford
  • Plymouth

Although conviction rates across the country continue to fall, it is alarming to see Welsh cities such as Cardiff featuring so prominently on the list.

It’s clear that more needs to be done to drive home the message that getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs is completely unacceptable and puts lives at risk.

The fact drivers in Cardiff are more than 15 times more likely to have a drink or drug-drive conviction than counterparts in London is very concerning and more needs to be done to educate individuals and warn of the dangers involved.

– Andrew RT Davies AM, LEader, Welsh Conservatives
Credit: John Giles / PA

Today Welsh police forces launch their anti-drink/drug driving campaign.

Gwent Police will lead the month-long campaign, running from 1st December 2015 to 1st January 2016.

Last year in Wales a total of 30,718 motorists took part with 488 returning either positive results or failing/refusing to take the breath test.

We are committed to making the roads in Wales safer and year on year we raise awareness of the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs through campaigns such as this one.

Christmas and New Year are a time for enjoyment and social events, and whilst I would encourage everyone to have a good time, it is important to reiterate our key message; if you drink, don’t drive and if you drive, don’t drink – it’s that simple!

– Julian Williams, Assistant Chief Constable, Gwent Police


  1. Nick Powell

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.

Reality star avoids jail over 'vile' comments

A shamed reality TV star was spared jail today after making a public apology for saying children with Down's Syndrome should be killed at birth.

Ursula Presgrave in an episode of The Call Centre.

Ursula Presgrave - who appeared in the BBC show The Call Centre - admitted being "sickened and ashamed" at her own comments about disabled children.

Presgrave, 23, was hauled to court for her social network comments said that disabled children should be killed instead of living the "pointless life of a vegetable".

Ursula comments were seen as a "hate crime" and she was prosecuted under the Malicious Communications Act.

Presgrave, of Swansea, pleaded guilty to maliciously sending offensive messages on social media which led to her arrest.

Presgrave was given an eight-week sentenced suspended for 12 months. She was also told to pay £315 in costs and charges.

More: Reality show woman pleads guilty to 'vile' Downs Syndrome comment


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

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