The Conservatives are calling for patients to be fined £10 for missing hospital appointments after figures reveal 1.2 million were missedRead the full story ›
First Minister Carwyn Jones will tell AMs later that his government is on course to deliver on the promises it made to the voters in the 2011 election campaign. In his final report on his programme for government before he faces the electorate again, he's expected to say that out of more than 500 commitments, more than 95% have been delivered -or are on track to be delivered in the next few months.
Welsh Labour claim that this includes all the main pledges in the the 2011 manifesto, such as Jobs Growth Wales, extra money for schools, low tuition fees for Welsh students, and longer GP opening hours. One source called Labour's record in government in Wales "a robust statistical shield" against attacks from political opponents. Nevertheless, the Conservatives say they will challenge the Welsh Government on its record.
On health – on education – on the economy – the evidence is clear; Wales continues to fall behind and Labour ministers have no answers. Don’t take it from me – listen to the experts, the independent reports and the cold hard statistics.
Over 400 thousand people are waiting to start NHS treatment in Labour-run Wales. When Carwyn Jones became First Minister that figure was just 200 thousand. Global school test performance lags behind other parts of the UK and business support is nowhere near where it should be.
This is the real programme for government update and an urgent focus is desperately needed on our schools, our NHS services, our businesses and our communities.
A new Assembly Member for South Wales West has been sworn in at the Senedd, replacing Byron Davies, who stood down after becoming MP for Gower.
Dr Altaf Hussain, a retired orthopaedic surgeon, takes his place as a Conservative regional AM, without the need for a by-election.
Dr Hussain also stood at the general election, finishing third behind Labour and UKIP candidates in Swansea East.
He was born in Srinagar, Kashmir, and worked for the NHS for 25 years, before retiring in 2009. He has been involved in campaigning for the Welsh Conservatives since then, and is also a school governor.
I am honoured to be serving South Wales West as an Assembly Member and I am committed to continuing the determined work of my predecessor.
I relish the opportunity to be an incredibly strong voice for my region.
With a background in medicine and medical science, it will be no surprise to hear that one of my main priorities will be continued work to ensure improvement of the National Health Service in Wales.
The Welsh Conservatives pledged 'continued economic recovery' as they launched their manifesto in Builth Wells this afternoon.Read the full story ›
North Wales Conservative AM Antoinette Sandbach has confirmed that she's applied to be chosen as Tory candidate in the safe seat of Eddisbury in Cheshire.
It would be a huge honour to be chosen. North Wales and Cheshire are neighbours and we have always had close links.
Although she is still waiting to hear officially that she has been shortlisted, Antoinette Sandbach added that if she's selected she would donate her Assembly salary to charity until polling day on May 7. So it seems highly unlikely that she would remain an AM if elected an MP. But she was unwilling to speculate about what would happen after the voters of Eddisbury have chosen their MP.
A North Wales Conservative AM is one of three people shortlisted by Tories in a Cheshire constituency to be their new candidate for Westminster.
Antoinette Sandbach is in the running to be the next MP for Eddisbury, just over the border from Wrexham. The present MP, Sir Stephen O'Brien, has a majority of 13,255 and received more than half the votes cast in 2010. He's leaving the Commons to take up a senior post at the United Nations.
Antoinette Sandbach has been a regional list AM for North Wales since 2011. She stood for the Flintshire seat of Delyn at the last Westminster election and came within 3,000 votes of defeating its Labour MP, David Hanson. Today she refused to comment about her shortlisting in Eddisbury, where the candidate will be chosen next Wednesday, March 25.
Despite a recent change in the law, to stop AMs "double-jobbing" by sitting as MPs as well, Antoinette Sandbach would be allowed to hold both posts for up to a year. That would take her up to the next Assembly election but as a regional AM, she could stand down without causing a by-election. Her seat would be filled by the next person on the Conservatives' North Wales list, Janet Howarth, who's a Tory councillor in Llandudno.
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.
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.
Welsh Conservative Leader, Andrew RT Davies says all public sector workers in Wales should earn the 'living wage'.
Speaking at his party conference in Cardiff, Mr Davies said they will seek to make the change by 2021 if the Conservatives win next year's Assembly election.
Around one in four Welsh workers earn less than the living wage.
"This sends a clear message that a future Welsh Conservative Government will tackle unfair pay and set a clear example to all employers to value and invest in their staff."
Now says Welsh Conservatives after 2016 will be a living wage country.
RT attacking Labour claiming "if they cannot deliver in 15 year how can they deliver in another 5 years"
RT Davies says yesterday's devolution announcent will help people's lives.
The Welsh Conservatives have hit back at criticism from First Minister Carwyn Jones at Welsh Labour's Conference in Swansea.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said it was "more empty rhetoric from Labour's First Minister of broken promises. In a week when Carwyn Jones talked of ‘juvenile politics’, Welsh communities will rightly see through his hypocrisy."
This is the Welsh Labour leader who said his party took its eye off the ball on education. This is the Welsh Labour leader who runs the only UK health service where funding is falling. Like a scratched record, he repeats the same promises, yet delivers on none. Welsh Conservatives are the only alternative to a lazy Labour government that has run out of ideas.
Conservative AMs will force a vote in the Senedd today on whether there should be a review of the Welsh Government's plan to build a new motorway south of Newport to relieve pressure on the existing M4.
The £1 billion project is highly controversial, both because of its cost and because of the environmental impact on the Gwent Levels wetlands. Some business groups prefer the idea of upgrading the existing Southern Distributor Road to a motorway, arguing that it would be a cheaper and quicker solution.
That's angered residents who live near the distributor road who fear the noise and pollution that might be caused by a motorway. Now the Conservatives' transport spokesman, Byron Davies, says he's not convinced that a full motorway is required and that more modest improvements might be enough to relieve pressure on the M4.
It doesn't have to be a motorway.
That's roughly in line with what the Liberal Democrats have been arguing, while Plaid Cymru oppose spending such a major part of the transport budget on just one road scheme.
There's also been opposition from some Labour AMs, including two former ministers. So it would appear that most Assembly Members at least have doubts about the project. The Welsh Government has already conceded that construction work won't get the go-ahead before the 2016 Assembly election.