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Cameron's "plea" on Welsh NHS after MP raises cancer case

Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he'd "plead" with the Welsh Government to increase its spending on the NHS. He was answering a question from the Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon, Hywel Williams.

My constituent Mr Irfon Williams of Bangor has been refused the drug treatment for his cancer. He has moved to England and I understand he will begin treatment next Wednesday. What would the Prime Minister say to Mr Williams and others who have had to fight on a case-by-case basis for the treatment prescribed? Mr Williams himself is a senior health care professional.

– Hywel Willams MP

What I would say to Mr Williams is, first, that he has my sympathy and understanding for the condition that he has. I hope he will get the treatment he needs in England. The problem is that in Wales the Labour party has made the wrong decision and cut NHS spending.

It did not have to make that decision, because of course the increase in NHS spending in England triggers Barnett money being available in Wales, so even at this late stage I would plead with the Labour Government in Wales: make the right decision on health, increase the spending, increase the cancer treatments, and give people the treatment they deserve.

– Prime Minister David Cameron MP

Irfon Willams, who's a mental health service manager in Bangor, will be treated for bowel cancer in Liverpool with the drug Cetuximab, after staying with relatives in Ellesmere Port in order to qualify for the treatment. He's raised over £66,000 to support cancer patients and staff at Ysbyty Gwynedd, where he was previously treated.

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'Great Debate' launched on future Welsh curriculum

Teachers, pupils, parents and businesses are being encouraged to get involved in a 'Great Debate' about the future of education in Wales.

It follows last week's publication of a 'radical' independent review of the curriculum here.

It proposed that schools should have more freedom, key stages should be scrapped, while digital competence and life skills should become increased priorities.

Read More: Major review of Welsh school curriculum calls for 'radical' overhaul

Teaching unions welcomed the curriculum review as 'potentially game-changing.' Credit: PA

The Welsh Government commissioned the review, from Scottish academic Professor Graham Donaldson, and is now looking for feedback, before deciding whether to push ahead with the recommendations.

The proposals set out in the 'Successful Futures' report are by far the most exciting and thought provoking set of proposals for Welsh education for a generation and they deserve our attention.

Change on this scale needs time and consideration and I am keen to find out if teachers, parents, pupils and businesses think the suggested vision and purposes of education set out in the report are right for our children and young people.

– Huw Lewis, Education Minister

The Welsh Government says it will make "a formal statement in the summer once views have been considered."

There will be a series of public events, and people can also join the 'Great Debate' online.

Find out more on the Welsh Government website

Swansea's clocks to get ticking again as clock-winder offered new contract

Swansea's clocks are set to get ticking again after the council struck a deal today to offer the official clock-winder a new contract.

Credit: Wales News

Horologist David Mitchell, 72, stopped the clocks at midnight for safety after he retired on Saturday. The council hadn't managed to draw up a new contract or find a replacement.

But council chiefs have now offered him a new year-long contract to maintain the clocks until they fit automatic winding mechanisms.

Mr Mitchell has been working an extra seven years since his retirement age of 65 while waiting for the council to solve their clock-watching problem.

He said it had been a hard decision to stop the clocks but was glad it had forced a decision from the council.

I will accept that. The reason I stopped was I was waiting for a new contract since last November.

I will do the clocks and get prices for upgrades. The council rang to say they were putting a contract in the post.

I said I will save them posting it and will come to the Guildhall to sign it. I am glad it has been sorted out.

This will be my last year. They realised something had to be done.

– David Mitchell, Horologist
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