Monday, 7 July 2008

Rhodri Morgan's "Year of delivery"

Rhodri Morgan has hailed a “year of delivery” following Welsh Labour’s special conference decision to back the One Wales coalition deal with Plaid Cymru.

True to form, the First Minister has blurted out his usual defence:

“Tough choices had to be made this time last year: the choice between forming a coalition with Plaid Cymru or letting the Tories into government in Wales, with the resultant lurch in policy direction that would have been very adverse to the interests of Labour supporters all over Wales.

“I believe we made the right tough choices, voting with our heads not with our hearts, a decision based on the desire to honour Labour’s election pledges and deliver for the people of Wales to the maximum degree possible.”

Mr Morgan’s list of the items delivered during the past 12 months included:

  1. New hospitals on their way in Porthmadog, Rhondda, Cynon Valley, Merthyr, Blaenau Gwent and Rhymney Valley; two opened this year in Pembroke Dock and Holywell;
    26 weeks from referral to treatment –– on course to delivering that target by the end of 2009;
  2. more than £1bn investment in NHS infrastructure over the next three years;
    free car-parking in NHS hospitals;
  3. £91m extra funding for social care, helping people live independent lives in their own homes;
  4. a new £92m single investment fund for business;
  5. £8m extra funding for Flying Start childcare;
  6. £7.5m funding for Airbus R&D into composite wing technology;
  7. £150m JEREMIE investment fund for small and medium-size firms being negotiated with the European Union;
  8. new Foundation Phase, a pioneering roll-out across Wales of “learn through play”, backed by £30m of investment this year;
  9. new law introduced giving 14 to 19-year-olds more choice in their studies;
  10. £6.6m new funding for Appetite for Life improvements in school meals;
  11. more than £7.5m for early years and schools in Wales to improve basic skill levels;
  12. new social partnership agreed between trade unions and government to build world-class public services built on co-operation;
  13. council tax rises kept to an average of 3.8%;
  14. £9m extra funding for Community Safety Partnerships to help tackle crime;
  15. free entry for pensioners and children to Assembly-funded heritage sites;
  16. new law to modernise right-to-buy to increase social housing in rural Wales;
  17. new £25m fund for the next phase of Communities First;
  18. new law placing a duty on public authorities to tackle child poverty;
  19. Wales becomes the world’s first Fairtrade nation;
  20. a tree planted for every new baby born in Wales;
  21. re-opening the Ebbw Valley rail line;
  22. free rail travel for pensioners extended;
  23. new law introduced to make school buses safer.
I'm positive that each and every individual in Wales has their own individual opinion on what has been a success, and their own distinguishing differences between the measurement of success and failure. Here's what the opposition parties say...

Welsh Conservative Assembly leader Nick Bourne said:
The Labour-Plaid government has been big on targets and low on achievements. It’s hard to judge performance when so little has been achieved and so many policies aren’t scheduled to be implemented for two or more years.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Mike German claimed:
...the coalition’s greatest success had been preserving the status quo: Keeping Labour hands on the levers of power in Wales; keeping the powers of the Assembly so limited and stifling initiatives to such a degree that no AM applied to make a law when given the opportunity to do so in the June ballot.


Anonymous 7 July 2008 at 16:31  

What about Plaid's Cymru's online video and their New Welsh Agenda idea? I'd like to hear your thoughts on that. Welsh Ramblings has posted on it here:

Anonymous 7 July 2008 at 16:47  

are you sure it wasn't postal delivery Rhodri was talking about Miss W :)

James Butler 7 July 2008 at 21:41  

It is obvious that Plaid are getting all the credit for the good work that Labour is doing. Labour are sowing the seeds of their own destruction.

PC 7 July 2008 at 22:54  

Or are Labour getting the credit for the good work Plaid is doing?

Anonymous 9 July 2008 at 13:17  

"so many policies aren’t scheduled to be implemented for two or more years"

Maybe Nick Bourne doesn't understand that this is a programme of Government for the Assembly term!


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