Welsh MEP joins biotech judging panel

Welsh Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne has been sitting down with leaders in Europe's biotech field to choose the top five candidates to compete in this year's EuropaBio Most Innovative EU Biotech SME Award.

Mid Wales pylons: First Minister's deafening and shameful silence

As the National Grid publishes further details of its plans to connect wind farms in mid Wales, Welsh Conservatives have condemned Labour’s First Minister for repeatedly failing to stand up for the region’s communities.   It has now been announced that around one quarter of the pylon route will be underground, leaving three quarters above ground.

Council Tax Consultation: 'Second home' definition required

Commenting on the launch of a Welsh Government consultation on the introduction of additional council tax on second homes, Shadow Minister for Housing Mark Isherwood AM, said: “The housing sector and local communities have been calling for action to head off a crisis for a decade, yet an urgent strategy still remains glaringly absent."

High teacher absence levels are no surprise

Commenting on a joint Wales Audit Office and Estyn report – which highlights an increasing reliance on teaching supply staff and a need to better understand the causes of teacher absence – Shadow Minister for Education Angela Burns AM, said:     “In an education system already floundering dramatically after a decade of Labour rule, this report does not make easy reading."

NHS waiting times at crisis point

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, has described NHS waiting times as being at 'crisis point' as new figures show even more people are now waiting more than 36 weeks for treatment. In all, 416,498 patients were waiting for a hospital appointment across Wales at the end of July. That figure stood at just 227,000 when Carwyn Jones became First Minister in 2009.

Amazon Welsh language decision welcomed

Commenting on a decision by Amazon to introduce Welsh language titles to the Kindle – following West Wales publisher Y Lolfa’s successful petition – Shadow Minister for Culture Suzy Davies AM, who supported the campaign, said:   “At last – common sense has prevailed. I welcome both Amazon’s decision and Y Lolfa’s extremely determined and ultimately successful campaign."

'Alarming' shortage in NHS claim forms

Welsh Conservatives have today revealed an ‘alarming’ shortage of NHS low income refund forms in Wales and called for clarity on their availability.   HC5 forms can be used to claim a refund of NHS charges in Wales, including dental treatment, eye tests, glasses, contact lenses or travel costs.  

Welcome drop in unemployment

Commenting on the latest unemployment figures for Wales, Shadow Minister for Business Nick Ramsay AM, said: "Today’s figures show extremely welcome signs of economic recovery in Wales."Across the UK, the picture is particularly promising and endorses the UK Government’s measures to tackle the deficit, control spending and nurture economic growth."

Regeneration funding 'must progress swiftly'

Commenting on the outcome of the Welsh Government’s ‘stage one assessment process’ for regeneration investment, which puts 11 areas through to stage two and was announced today in a written ministerial statement, Shadow Minister for Regeneration Byron Davies AM, said: “It is now essential that the Labour minister properly explains his reasoning and the decisions made within this assessment."

A and E: Winter pressures plan 'desperately needed'

Welsh Conservatives today called on Labour’s First Minister to follow the UK Government’s lead and introduce a detailed plan to help the NHS deal with upcoming winter pressures.   A number of measures to reduce immediate and long-term pressures on emergency departments have been launched in England today.