Assembly agrees to consider Welsh Honours system

Assembly Members of all political parties today unanimously agreed to take forward Welsh Conservative proposals to consider how to recognise individuals who have made a valuable contribution to Welsh life. AMs debated a Welsh Conservative motion calling for consideration of a new Welsh honours system and for St David’s Day to be made a bank holiday.

Swift government response required on council meat withdrawals

Commenting on the withdrawal of meat products from schools, care homes and day centres by councils across Wales – following the discovery of horsemeat in a supplier product – Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Antoinette Sandbach AM said: “This development is a cause for great concern and will inevitably result in worry and unease."

Horsemeat: Welsh Government was too slow to act

The Welsh Government has been sluggish in its response to the horsemeat scandal and a ministerial update on the issue proves more could have been done to get a grip on the problem. Welsh Conservatives have labelled government reaction in Wales ‘lazy’ and called for guarantees that all the appropriate actions are now being taken. Welsh ministers are fully responsible for food safety, including the functions of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Eight consecutive months of missed ambulance response times

Ambulance responses to immediately life-threatening (category A) calls were missed for the eight successive month in January. Figures published today show ambulances arrived on time in a little over 8,500 separate category A cases. There were more than 14,600 in all.

Devolution: Where Now?

Andrew RT Davies will tonight make a keynote speech to the Wales Governance Centre. Mr Davies will give greater insight into his views on leadership, the development of devolution and the future of the United Kingdom.In a speech focused upon measures to promote economic growth, Mr Davies will also call for consideration of a reduced period of taxation for those within the 40% tax bracket.The full speech will shortly be published on this website. An extract is available here.

Health watchdog resignation 'sends a strong message to the Minister'

Commenting on the resignation of a member of the North Wales Community Health Council following its decision not to refer the health board’s plans for change to the Minister – and the councillor’s subsequent comments – Shadow Minister for Health Darren Millar AM said: “This move should send a very strong message to the Health Minister."

Hundreds wait over an hour for ambulances

Welsh Conservatives today published figures showing 262 cases from last year where an ambulance took over an hour to respond to an emergency call. The target response time to a life-threatening call is eight minutes.

Minister risks devaluing Welsh GCSEs

Commenting on the statement from the Education Minister on a new Wales-only grading system for GCSE English Language, Angela Burns AM, Shadow Minister for Education, said: “This ill-advised announcement sets a dangerous precedent, risks devaluing Welsh GCSEs and confusing employers."

Minister 'sat on hands' as horsemeat scandal grew

The Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs has accused the Welsh Government of a ‘sluggish’ response to the emerging horsemeat scandal. It follows the Deputy Minister’s answer to a Written Assembly Question, in which he outlines the number of times he met with the UK Government and the Food Standards Agency as developments began (either over the phone or face-to-face).