2013

20 December 2013

Paul Davies backs Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s Let’s Stop the Block campaign

As Christmas approaches, local Assembly Member Paul Davies is backing Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water's Let's Stop the Block campaign in a special effort to avoid festive misery for people in Pembrokeshire.

Blocked sewers are a major problem across Wales which costs Welsh Water over £7 million pounds a year to clear. They cause huge human misery, damage to homes and businesses, and can pollute our beautiful rivers, beaches and wider environment. The Let's Stop the Block campaign aims to transform customers' behaviours when it comes to putting things down the toilet and disposing of fat, oils and grease.

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18 December 2013

‘More damning evidence’ on Caerphilly Council

Commenting on a Wales Audit Office report on finance at Caerphilly council – which highlights 'unlawful' action when chief officers bought out entitlements on 'essential car user allowance' and 'annual leave allowance' - Shadow Minister for Finance Paul Davies AM, said:

"Mismanagement of council finances doesn't get much worse than this.

"It's more than clear that systemic problems have existed within this council and public money has been gambled away without due care and attention.

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Paul Davies Welcomes Decision over Milford Haven Fire Station

The decision to scrap plans to reduce cover at Milford Haven fire station has been welcomed by local Assembly Member Paul Davies. Mid and West Wales Fire Authority has decided to retain services at both Milford Haven and Pembroke Dock and it is understood that they will review this decision next year.

Mr Davies said "I'm pleased that the Fire Authority has decided to retain the services at Milford Haven and that the station will remain fully operational, particularly given that there are oil refineries, LNG plants and a power station in the local area. I wrote to a local member of the Fire Authority, urging the management to prioritise the safety of communities and to maintain those services that are most strategic in nature and I believe that Milford Haven fire station certainly fits that criteria. Therefore, I'm delighted that, albeit for the time being, the station will remain open full-time and I look forward to working with the Authority over the coming months to find a way to keep this station open full-time on a permanent, long-term basis."

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Fish farm grant failings labelled ‘appalling’

Commenting on the findings of Wales Audit Office report on Welsh Government grant management associated with the Penmon fish farm project – which has highlighted 'unsuitable' procedures - Shadow Minister for Finance Paul Davies AM, said:

"This report confirms just how appalling this situation really was.

"Ignoring risks or failing to mitigate them is absolutely unforgiveable – particularly when millions of pounds of taxpayers' money is at stake.

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09 December 2013

Autumn Statement: ‘Further help and support for Wales’

Commenting on the UK Government's Autumn Statement, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies AM, said:

"This statement confirms the UK Government's committed focus on economic growth and community support.

"From fuel duty to tax breaks, from infrastructure to small businesses - this statement will have huge benefits for communities the length and breadth of Wales. This is in stark contrast to Welsh Labour's tired policies and casino economics.

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Disbelief at Government’s £100k potted plant bill

A one hundred thousand pounds Welsh Government bill for potted plants has been greeted with disbelief by Welsh Conservatives.

Figures obtained via the Freedom of Information Act reveal:

  • 38 thousand pounds was spent on potted plants in 2010/11
  • 28 thousand pounds in 2011/12
  • 28 thousand pounds in 2012/13
  • Eight thousand pounds so far this financial year

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04 December 2013

Paul Davies Supports Small Business Saturday

Local AM Paul Davies is pictured with colleagues outside the Small Business Bus in Cardiff Bay.Paul Davies, AM for Preseli Pembrokeshire is supporting Small Business Saturday on 7th December to raise awareness of buying closer to home. This Saturday is set to be the busiest retail day of the year, and Mr Davies is encouraging the people of Pembrokeshire to buy locally and support small businesses.

American Express launched the campaign in the USA in 2010 and helped introduce it to the UK, working alongside small business organisations and local authorities to raise awareness with TV adverts, regional radio and direct marketing activity.

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Paul Davies Hears More About LPG Switching Service

Local AM Paul Davies is pictured with Michael Cuff of Switch My LPG.Local Assembly Member Paul Davies has met a local LPG Switching service to hear more about how Pembrokeshire residents can save money by switching their service. "Switch My LGP" is a local, independent company providing a totally free comparison and switching service for bulk LPG users. The company specialise in the bulk LPG market for both residential and commercial users.

Mr Davies said, "I was delighted to talk to Switch My LPG and hear more about how their service can help people across Pembrokeshire. I know that access to mains gas is a problem for some of my constituents and so I welcome services like Switch My LPG, who can provide local people with the option of choosing another supplier. Many people are not aware that, since the 13th April 2009 , all bulk domestic LPG users customers , who are supplied LPG via a bulk tank , can switch their LPG supplier without actually having to change their tank. Therefore, I would encourage the people of Pembrokeshire to take advantage of this free service provided by Switch My LPG, to help find you a new cost-effective supplier."

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28 November 2013

Welsh Labour block bid to protect services at Withybush

A bid to protect services at Withybush hospital was lost by one vote as every member of Welsh Labour present at the debate voted against a motion to secure the future of the hospital's core services. A debate tabled by the Welsh Conservatives called for the retention of services at Withybush and looked to the Welsh Government for support and political leadership on the issue.

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Mr Davies said, "I am appalled that the Welsh Labour Government has refused to stand up for the people of Pembrokeshire and protect our core services at Withybush hospital. This is a hugely worrying time for the constituents and the communities that I represent and I will be doing all that I can to stand up to the health board and the Government on this matter. The Health Minister tells us that change is coming to Withybush hospital. However, we in Pembrokeshire will not tolerate any reduction in services at our hospital. Downgrading core services at Withybush would be a catastrophic mistake."

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26 November 2013

Withybush: Core services must remain as they are

Changes to maternity services at Withybush would be a 'catastrophic mistake' that could have a hugely damaging impact on families across Pembrokeshire.

In a Welsh Conservative debate on Wednesday (November 27th), Assembly Members will argue that the Labour government must take action to secure the future of core services at the hospital and work with Hywel Dda Health board to ensure its plans are effectively communicated.

The debate – currently scheduled to begin in the Welsh Parliament shortly after 3pm – follows recent reports surrounding the end of consultant and doctor-led care at Withybush hospital's maternity unit.

Speaking to BBC Wales, a consultant obstetrician confirmed that staff had been told of a decision to centralise consultant and doctor-led maternity services at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen. This would mean a much longer journey for many patients with complicated pregnancies.

The Welsh Government's 'Strategic Vision for Maternity Services' - published in September 2011 – states: 'Ensuring every woman in Wales... has access to and receives safe high quality care, as close to home as possible, is paramount'.

The hospital's emergency department also faces downgrading.

Hywel Dda Health Board has said no decision has been made and confusion and worry persists for communities across Pembrokeshire.

 

Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said:

"Downgrading core services at Withybush would be a catastrophic mistake.

"It is completely unfair to force a mum-to-be – already dealing with a complicated pregnancy – to travel much further for treatment.

"This flies in the face of Labour's own vision for maternity services and the health board's plans must be urgently clarified by the minister.

"Labour's legacy of record-breaking NHS budget cuts is having a devastating impact on frontline services.

"Patients should not be forced to travel further for treatment and services must not be downgraded."

 

Assembly Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire, Paul Davies, said:

"Confusion and worry currently overshadows communities across Pembrokeshire and I urge Carwyn Jones to intervene.

"Centralising services in Carmarthen will add tens of miles to patient journeys and communities here will be hit disproportionately.

"It's about time Mr Jones and Welsh Labour got a grip on the NHS they lead and I will continue to oppose any plans to cut the accident and emergency department and maternity services at Withybush Hospital."

 

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Assembly Member, Angela Burns, said:

"If staff have been told of these disastrous changes – the Labour minister must move to clarify them immediately. We need a clear and unambiguous statement of intent from the Minister and the Health Board.

"We are in danger of death by a 1,000 cuts being inflicted upon the hospital and thereby on the people of West Wales.

"We all deserve access to a first class NHS without having to undergo the tortuous journeys so many of my constituents are beginning to have to do for basic treatments like a cancer check-up or scan."

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20 November 2013

Call for health chiefs to appear before AMs

Welsh Conservatives have called for health bosses in mid and west Wales to appear before Assembly Members and answer questions over their plans for the winter.

Under initial proposals, Hywel Dda health board intended to postpone some non-urgent surgery until the spring. Following intense criticism, an apparent turnaround will now see surgery maintained at hospitals in Withybush, Llanelli and Aberystwyth - but with reduced capacity.

This week, it was also reported that staff at Withybush Hospital had been told that consultant and doctor-led care at the maternity unit will end next March.

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19 November 2013

Paul Davies Speaks Out Over Cuts Concerns at Withybush hospital

Local AM Paul Davies is pictured outside Withybush hospital.A request from local Assembly Member Paul Davies to publically scrutinise the future of services at Withybush hospital has been denied, following the latest news that overnight paediatric services at the Withybush hospital could be closed.

Mr Davies tabled an urgent question to the Welsh Health Minister given the substantial knock-on effect that this closure would have on the hospital's obstetrics department, A & E department and the Special Care Baby Unit.

Mr Davies said, "This latest news has further escalated concerns in Pembrokeshire that Withybush hospital is signalled for downgrading. Sadly, my request to scrutinise the Health Minister on this has been turned down. Unfortunately, I have repeatedly called for statements from the Welsh Government in relation to Hywel Dda health board's plans, all of which have been denied."

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18 November 2013

Welsh Government’s toolbox stocked

Commenting on the UK Government's announcement on the detail of its response to the first set of recommendations of the Silk Commission, Paul Davies AM, Shadow Minister for Finance, said:

"We welcome the UK Government's announcements on the support for the implementation of almost all the Silk Commission's 31 recommendations.

"Under these plans, the Welsh Government will be made fully accountable for its spending decisions for the first time and forced to deliver value for money for taxpayers.

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13 November 2013

Welsh Government must plan how to use new powers

Welsh Conservatives today called on the Welsh Labour Government to start planning now how it might use future powers, announced by the UK Government, to benefit the Welsh economy.

Earlier this month the Prime Minister announced that the UK Government will support the devolution of borrowing and taxation powers, including income tax, subject to a referendum.

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08 November 2013

Orthopaedics Back on the Assembly Agenda

Local Assembly Member Paul Davies has once again raised the issue of elective orthopaedic surgery, following Hywel Dda health board's decision to cancel some orthopaedic operations over the winter period.

Mr Davies said, "I again highlighted the issue of elective orthopaedic surgery in the Assembly Chamber, particularly in the wake of Hywel Dda's worrying decision to cancel some orthopaedic operations. I have again called for a statement from the Welsh Health Minister, so that Assembly Members can have the opportunity to scrutinise the health board's decision and I hope that the Welsh Labour Government will seriously consider my request. Given the seriousness of this issue for the people of Pembrokeshire, it's crucial that the Welsh Government takes the matter seriously."

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