March 2009

01 April 2009

Improvements To Epilepsy Care In Wales Long Overdue

IMPROVEMENTS to epilepsy services in Wales are long overdue, Welsh Conservative AM Paul Davies will argue in his short debate today.

The Service Development and Commission Directive for Epilepsy announced last May highlighted many improvements that needed to be made to provision in Wales. This included reducing waiting times for routine and urgent appointments with neurology out-patients and the need for more specialist teams in Wales.

There is a particular shortfall in services in rural parts of Wales.

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Budget Cuts Will Hit Further Education In Pembrokeshire

LOCAL Assembly Members Paul Davies and Nick Bourne have backed Pembrokeshire College lecturers and students protesting against Assembly Government cuts to further education budgets.

Along with other Welsh Conservatives Mr Davies, Shadow Education Minister and Preseli Pembrokeshire AM, and Mr Bourne, Opposition leader and Mid and West Wales AM, joined the protest outside the National Assembly in Cardiff today.

Commenting Paul Davies AM said:

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Reckless FE Cuts Are Madness During The Recession

COMMENTING on today's protest outside the Senedd against cuts to further education budgets, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies AM said:

"It is hardly surprising that lecturers and students are forced to protest instead of being in the classroom when the Assembly Government is slashing further education funding for the year ahead.

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31 March 2009

Assembly Government Failing On Pupil Violence And Drug Abuse

COMMENTING on figures published today which show a rise in the percentage of pupils permanently excluded from  school for substance misuse, assaults on staff or students, and for using threatening behaviour, Shadow Education  Minister Paul Davies AM said:

"Classroom violence and drug abuse cannot be tolerated. The Assembly Government is deluding itself if ministers think poor pupil behaviour has been tackled. In many cases it is getting worse.

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Settling For 'Good' Is Not Good Enough

RESPONDING to the publication of Estyn's report today which says primary pupils in Wales are not making enough progress with reading, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies said:

"It is clear work still needs to be done to make sure all primary schoolchildren in Wales are getting the best grounding possible in reading and writing, in both English and Welsh.

"The better their skills in these core areas – the better their basis will be in all subjects.

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30 March 2009

Truancy Strategy Better Late Than Never

RESPONDING to the publication today of the Assembly Government's Behaving and Attending report, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies said:

"We welcome this announcement by the Assembly Government but it is very disappointing that they have not been able to produce the report sooner.

"The amount of school being missed by pupils playing truant in Wales is at an eleven year high.

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Welsh Assembly Government's Failed School Report

Shadow Welsh Education Minister Paul Davies has delivered a damning school report into the state of education in Wales.

Mr Davies, who is also Preseli Pembrokeshire's AM, was delivering a keynote speech at the Welsh Conservative Conference which took place in Cardiff last weekend.

He told delegates that the Labour‐Plaid administration has failed schoolchildren of all ages.

"Under the Labour‐Plaid coalition, our education sector has gone backwards," he said.

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High Asbestos Death Risk For Teachers A 'Grave Worry'

New research revealing teachers are ten times more likely to suffer asbestos‐related cancer than the general population are of "grave concern" says Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies.

The study, revealed at a Cardiff conference on occupational health, warned of an "epidemic" of mesothelioma in Welsh schools. Experts also pointed out that the effect of asbestos on schoolchildren has never been measured. Mr Davies, who is also Preseli Pembrokeshire's Assembly Member, said:

"This is an extremely worrying piece of research that is of grave concern. "The cancer rates are much higher for teachers so it begs the question "what about the children they are teaching?"

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26 March 2009

Farmers Must Be Protected During Badger Cull

The imminent badger cull in North Pembrokeshire must be wholly undertaken by Government agencies and not involve farmers in any way, says Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies.

The cull has been ordered by the Welsh Assembly Government to try to halt the rapid spread of TB among cattle. It is due to start in the next few months and last up to five years.

Badgers in a 200 square kilometre patch of the county will be trapped and then shot.

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Hopes That TB In Cattle In North Pembrokeshire Will Be Eradicated

There are hopes that TB in cattle in North Pembrokeshire will finally be brought under control with the news that the area is to be the site of a test cull of badgers.

Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones has announced that a 77 square mile patch of the County will be used as the pilot area for a scheme aimed at halting the disease.

The cull is due to start next month and will take up to five years in order to be worthwhile.

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'Now You See Them, Now You Don't' - The Case Of Scleddau's Disappearing Railings

Safety railings put up in a North Pembrokeshire village were taken down less than a day later – because they were dangerous.

The waste of taxpayers' money and the lack of consultation about erecting the safety panels is being highlighted by Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies and Scleddau's County Councillor Owen James.

"The first we knew about these railings going up was when we saw them being put in place at the junction," said Cllr James.

"Anyone who lives here could have told them that railings would make the turning dangerous. Sure enough the very next morning they came back to take down the panels that blocked the line of sight."

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25 March 2009

Speak Out On CHC Merger Before It's Too Late

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies is encouraging people to speak up against the merger of our Community Health Council (CHC) before it's too late.

The Welsh Assembly Government plans to merge Ceredigion, Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire CHCs into one body. There will then be an area committee for each former CHC on the new super CHC.

"I am strongly against this idea as I think it will weaken the voice of Pembrokeshire patients," said Mr Davies. "Our CHC is an important watchdog which stands up for patients' rights. This will only add another layer of bureaucracy between patients and those at the top."

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24 March 2009

Assembly Government Un-Ambitious On School Repair Money

COMMENTING on today's Assembly Government announcement on spending on school and FE college buildings, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies AM said:

"While welcoming any additional expenditure on school and college buildings, the Assembly Government appears intent on drip feeding these sorts of announcements in order to spin a good news story.

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23 March 2009

Reckless Education Cuts Will Undermine Skills Base

COMMENTING ahead of Wednesday's planned demonstrations against job cuts at Coleg Sir Gâr in Carmarthenshire, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies AM said:

"These planned demonstrations highlight the impact of the Assembly Government's cuts in funding for further education across Wales.

"Reducing the number of lecturers at Coleg Sir Gâr are a direct result of the reckless approach of Labour and Plaid Cymru to education policy.

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21 March 2009

Pembrokeshire Students Musn't Suffer With Introduction Of Top Up Fees

Pembrokeshire students mustn't suffer with the introduction of top up fees for higher education, says local AM and Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies.

At the moment students from the county who study in Wales receive a grant of £1,940 towards their fees regardless of their background. But the Welsh Assembly Government has decided to scrap the grants from September next year.

"We now need assurances that this will not act as a barrier to local students fulfilling their potential," said Mr Davies.

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