2009

31 July 2009

AMs Fear 'Perfect Storm' May Lead To Ward Closures

Pembrokeshire's Assembly Members are calling for urgent action to prevent a "perfect storm" of circumstances leading to a severe shortage of doctors at Withybush Hospital this autumn.

Hospital chiefs are warning that 16 doctors' posts are unfilled at the hospital with another 36 empty across the Health Trust area. They say that consultants are warning that, in certain areas, there will "not be enough doctors available to safely sustain services."

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27 July 2009

Answers Needed Over Running Of Student Grant Scheme

MORE than £1mn was spent on administration for a scheme which left thousands of Welsh students waiting months for their grant cheques, Welsh Conservatives can reveal today.

Ministers have confirmed that £1.3mn was paid to the Student Loans Company to coordinate the Education Maintenance Allowance system in the 2008/9 academic year.

The scheme is designed to provide an incentive for students from lower‐income families to continue and remain in full‐time education.

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23 July 2009

Council Pressed For Answers On School Reorganisation

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies is pressing the county council for answers about a planned reorganisation of primary schools in the County.

The Welsh Assembly Government has just announced £2 million worth of funding for Letterston School for "a new school as part of a major school reorganisation in north west Pembrokeshire". But it is not known what form the reorganisation will take, nor the impact it will have on nearby primary schools.

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Pembrokeshire Council Spends £125,000 In Five Years Clearing Up Dumped Cars

Pembrokeshire County Council spent £125,000 in the last five years clearing up dumped cars, Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies can reveal.

Figures obtained by the Welsh Conservatives show that councils across Wales have spent an estimated £1.2mn disposing of abandoned vehicles since 2004. But while some councils have the abandoned cars picked up for free by contractors, other authorities like Pembrokeshire have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds getting rid of them.

"The really annoying thing in all of this is that there is no need for people to abandon their cars if they no longer want them, said Mr Davies.

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AM Calls For Special Status To Save Preseli Ponies

LOCAL AM Paul Davies is lobbying for special status to safeguard the future of Preseli's iconic ponies.

The semi‐wild ponies that roam the mountain range have long been a feature of tourism brochures and postcards of the area. But it's feared that new EU legislation requiring every new foal to be microchipped at a cost of between £25 to £35 may lead to them being abandoned.

"There are worries that this financial burden and extra red tape will threaten the very existence of these semi‐wild ponies," said Mr Davies.

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21 July 2009

Young People Need More Than Leaflets To Survive The Recession

RESPONDING to news the Assembly Government is producing leaflets aimed at supporting young people and parents through the recession, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies AM said:

"Parents and young people need every possible support to survive the recession.

"But instead of spending money on leaflets the Assembly Government should properly fund further education in Wales so young people can access the courses and skills that will help them get a job.

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17 July 2009

Hopes Raised That Dangerous Fishguard Road Will Be Made Safer

Hopes have been raised that a dangerous Fishguard road, which has no pavement and a 60 mph limit, may soon be made safer for pedestrians.

About 10 households and a caravan site are stranded on the side of the A487 between Parc‐y‐Morfa Farm and Ty Newydd Cottages to the east of the town. There is no walkway on the half‐mile stretch of road and the speed limit is a terrifying 60 mph.

"I walk the stretch every day as it is good exercise but it is terrifying," said Ty Newydd Cottage resident Paul Griffiths.

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Flaws In Business Rescue Plan Pointed Out By AM

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies has highlighted the flaws in a business rescue plan that's supposed to be helping the Wels economy get back on its feet. Mr Davies, who was a business manager for a high street bank before becoming an AM, is keenly aware of the importance of helping businesses survive the credit crunch.

"It is vital that we help businesses, especially small businesses, during the recession," he told the Senedd.

However Mr Davies is disappointed that the UK Government's Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme is not more widely available.

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13 July 2009

Government Failing To Improve Children's Literacy

COMMENTING on concerns raised today about the effectiveness of the Assembly Government's Raise scheme to improve literacy among disadvantaged children, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies AM said:

"We support measures to help children in disadvantaged and less well‐off communities reach their full potential.

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12 July 2009

Welsh Government Has Missed Opportunity On Healthy Eating In Schools Law

Preseli Pembrokeshire's AM says the Welsh Assembly Government has missed a golden opportunity to promote healthy eating in schools. A

As Shadow Welsh Education Minister, Mr Davies supported the Healthy Eating in Schools Measure which was passed last week (July 8).

Under what is effectively a new Welsh law, children in Pembrokeshire are now guaranteed healthy school meals. But Mr Davies says that Government action in not accepting opposition amendments has resulted in a missed opportunity.

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10 July 2009

Community Woodland Issues Taken To Audit Office, Public Meeting Hears

More than 120 people attended a public meeting held in North Pembrokeshire to discuss a community woodland bought with half a million pounds of public money.

The Ffynone and Cilgwyn woodlands near Boncath were bought by the Growing Heart Workers Co‐operative two years ago.

The purchase was funded by a £500,000 grant given to them under the Cydcoed scheme managed by the Forestry Commission Wales (FCW). But local residents were angry that they weren't consulted before the woods were bought by the co‐operative "for community use" and so they held a public meeting last week (July 9).

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09 July 2009

Dire Warning About Ambulance Service Is Worrying, Says AM

A DAMNING indictment of the way the Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS) is run is extremely worrying, says Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies.

The former head of the WAS, Roger Thane, says that people are dying because of problems in getting ambulances to them. When Mr Thane quit in 2006 he estimated that up to 500 people a year were dying because of inadequacies in the ambulance service.

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08 July 2009

Healthy Eating In Schools Requires Culture Change

COMMENTING ahead of today's Assembly debate on the Healthy Eating in Schools Measure, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies AM said:

"This measure must act as the catalyst towards promoting improved standards of healthy eating in schools.

"The Assembly Government also needs to provide leadership on this issue by setting broad standards it expects to see followed.

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07 July 2009

Response To Report Into Welsh Language LCO

RESPONDING to today's publication by the Commons' Welsh Affairs select committee into the proposed Welsh language legislative competence order, Shadow Minister for the Welsh language Paul Davies AM said:

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03 July 2009

Urgent Action Needed To Boost Foreign Language Learning

COMMENTING on today's concerns by education watchdog Estyn about a drop in foreign language learning in schools in Wales, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies AM said:

"Despite numerous initiatives and ministerial pledges foreign language learning in schools in Wales has declined at a worrying rte over the last decade.

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