Latest News

Labour in disarray over devolution.

Labour’s mixed messages over devolution of justice reveals a party in disarray.

 

That’s the view of Llyr Gruffydd after Welsh Government minister Rebecca Evans responded to a question about devolution of policing and justice by contradicting her UK Labour counterpart Jo Stevens.

 

Llyr Gruffydd,  said: “The UK Labour shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens was unequivocal in her refusal to consider devolving policing and justice to Wales if Labour win the General Election.

 

“Yet her counterpart in Wales, Rebecca Evans, is equally unequivocal in her answer to my question about this matter. She wants this to happen.

 

“Labour in Wales has been an outright supporter of the devolution of policing for years. The 2021-2026 programme for Government and the Labour 2021 manifesto clearly states that this government is committed to ‘pursuing the case for the devolution of policing and justice’. They reiterated this call in 2022 stating: ‘It is clear that Wales does not benefit from this UK Government led approach’.

 

“Three further reports have made the case for devolving criminal justice powers, but UK Labour isn’t listening to Wales – with even its own members being ignored in the scramble to centralise power.

 

“Labour’s in disarray and is speaking with a forked tongue. The situation is totally unsustainable because, once in power in London, Labour will continue to ignore expert voices and their own members in Wales as they always have done.

 

“At what point do Labour members in Wales realise that they’re constantly being taken for granted, their views are ignored and that people can see that it’s London calling the tune? The only way Wales gets noticed is when we vote Plaid Cymru. That’s the stark choice ahead of people in a fortnight.”

 

Add your reaction Share

MS welcomes minister’s promise to work with Royal Welsh and Eisteddfod on school holiday reform

An MS has welcomed a Minister’s commitment to work with the Royal Welsh Show and the National Eisteddfod on reform of the school holiday calendar.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

North Wales MS calls for Welsh language standards to be extended to banking sector

An MS has called for the banking sector in Wales to be brought under the Welsh Language Standards regime.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Call for removal of loophole that allows erection of pylons in the countryside

 

Llyr Gruffydd MS has called for the removal of a “loophole” that can be used by developers who want to build electricity pylons in North Wales. The move would prevent developers from erecting pylons that would “scar” the area’s countryside.

 

The MS has been contacted by residents in places such as Corwen, Llangernyw, and Bodelwyddan, who had concerns about the possibility of pylons being built in their areas.

 

Plaid Cymru recently put forward a motion in the Senedd that would ban developers from building electricity pylons and would instead force them to build power lines underground.

 

Although the Welsh Government says it would prefer developers to build power lines underground its Planning Policy Wales document still allows electricity pylons to be built in a number of circumstances.

 

Speaking after the debate in which the Plaid Cymru motion was put forward, Llŷr Gruffydd said: “As a party Plaid Cymru wants it to be mandatory for all new electricity distribution lines in Wales to be placed underground rather than conveyed through overhead lines.

“Though it is currently the preferred position of the Welsh Government that new power lines should be placed underground where possible we at Plaid Cymru believe that this does not go far enough.

“Plaid Cymru believes that wherever physically possible the undergrounding of new power lines shall be undertaken by way of cable ploughing in preference to open trenching.

 

“Developers are able to take advantage of what is effectively a loophole in the current planning system to build electricity pylons in areas where they shouldn’t be built.

“Residents in places such as Corwen, Llangernyw, and Bodelwyddan have been very concerned about the possibility of electricity pylons being built in their areas, and they are angry and frustrated that the planning system allows for this to happen.

 

“The Welsh Government needs to listen to the voices of people who rightly don’t want to see our beautiful landscapes and of some of the most cherished and environmentally sensitive areas of our country despoiled by big ugly pylons. You don’t have the same kind of issues with underground cables.

“That is why Plaid Cymru is calling on the Welsh Government to update the Planning Policy Wales document.

 

“Specifically we want it to remove the existing caveat, which says: ‘however it is recognised that a balanced view must be taken against costs which would render otherwise acceptable projects unviable’.

“This caveat is at the root of a number of proposals for long-range pylon lines traversing large swathes of our country, including in North Wales.

 

“It’s abundantly clear that the current policy is not working from the lack of undergrounding currently, despite that being the Government's stated preference.

“The undergrounding of new infrastructure for conveying electricity should be an absolute rather than a preferred position for the Welsh Government.

 

“Therefore the policy should state: ‘New power lines should be laid underground.’

“As long as the caveat exists as it is, developers will always attempt to exploit it and build pylons as their preferred option.

 

“So, we need to remove the caveat and mandate undergrounding, following the example of other European countries, such as Denmark.

“Since 2008, for example, all new 132 kV power lines in Denmark have been laid underground.

 

“Because of this the Danes have reaped the benefits of a more rapid path to decarbonisation, as public opposition to renewables has been much more muted as a result.”

Add your reaction Share

Welcoming three schools to the Senedd

Ysgol Dyffryn Ial

 

Ysgol Caer Drewyn

 

Ysgol Carrog

 

Llyr Gruffydd recently had the privilege of welcoming three Denbighshire schools to the Senedd in Cardiff.

 

Pupils from Ysgol Carrog, Ysgol Dyffryn Iâl and Ysgol Caer Drewyn, Corwen came over to the Senedd to learn about members' day-to-day work, as well as discuss some of the important issues he has been campaigning on.

Visits to the Senedd offer young people the opportunity to better understand how democracy works in Wales, as well as learn more about how they can help shape the country's future.

 

Llŷr Gruffydd said-

"It was great to be able to welcome pupils from Ysgol Dyffryn Ial; Ysgol Carrog and Ysgol Caer Drewyn to the Senedd.

 

"They were clearly passionate about learning how young democracy works in Wales, and how they can help shape the future of the country.

 

"They wanted to know how they could get the issues affecting them and their communities above the political agenda. Some of them may well be the politicians of the future.

 

"Their questions were thoughtful and showed a real passion for making the country a better place."

 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

"Stop misleading us on mental health scandals"

 

Last week in the Senedd Llyr Gruffydd called for independent oversight over investigations into mental health scandals, and called for an end to ministers being misled on improvements to mental health care.

 

Mr Gruffydd said the failure to implement recommendations to tackle problems raised in successive reports were a damning indictment of historic problems at Betsi Cadwaladr health board as well as the failings of oversight by the Welsh Labour Government. A review by the Royal College of Psychiatrists presented to the health board last week confirmed that just 24 out of 66 recommendations had been implemented, with the rest rated as red or amber.

 

In a question in the Senedd, Llyr Gruffydd said:

 

“Time and time again, we've had Ministers stand up in this Chamber and tell us that things are being sorted. Report after report, as we've heard, have been commissioned with recommendations made, and we've all been led to believe that things would change.

 

“Now, this latest damning report to the health board reveals that the majority of recommendations in successive reports into mental health scandals in the North have not been implemented. Have you as a Government therefore been misled - or some would say maybe deceived - by someone? And if you have, that in itself is another scandal to add to a very long list.

 

“Given all of these failings, is it not now time to try a different tack? Should you not be establishing an independent oversight committee now, made up of Llais, the patients’ voice, affected families, the third sector and others, to work with the health board to make sure that these recommendations are fulfilled, once and for all?”

 

Speaking later, Llyr Gruffydd added “It’s not good enough for us to have bland platitudes from ministers saying that everything’s in hand when it clearly isn’t. It’s a decade since ministers were being told there was institutional abuse taking place and that was being denied in this chamber. It’s only now that nurses are being struck off for patient abuse but, while overstretched nursing staff are being disciplined there seems to be no equivalent punishment for senior managers.”

Add your reaction Share

‘Save Our Surgeries’ campaign to restore funding for GP services in Wales.

 

Llyr Gruffydd MS has urged the Labour Welsh Government to adopt BMA Cymru Wales ‘Save Our Surgeries’ key campaign to restore funding for GP services to 8.7% of the existing NHS Wales budget.

 

Llyr Gruffydd said-

“GP practices are the gateway to the NHS. But as we are on the verge of witnessing the 100th practice closure in Wales in just over a decade, it’s a stark realisation that the sector is in crisis. We know that access to these services are symptomatic of capacity issues. It’s a vicious circle of GPs retiring earlier or leaving the profession due to increased workloads, leading to further strain on the remaining workforce. This is all symptomatic of chronic underfunding from the Labour Welsh Government who fail to even acknowledge the scale of the problem.”

Since 2012, the number of GP practices have dropped from 473 to 374, with a number of GP practices also being managed directly by health boards due to partners handing back contracts. The total number of GPs in Wales has also decreased by more than 400 in ten years due to increased work pressures and reduced budgets.

There is widespread disquiet across north Wales, as access to GP practices was a growing problem and that there were more health board-managed practices in the Betsi Cadwaladr region than in the rest of Wales put together.

Llyr Gruffydd added-

“A Plaid Cymru Government would recognise that the problems in our health service run deep and would take immediate action to address the problems in primary care. Alongside reversing a decade of cuts and restoring the general practice budget to 8.7% of the NHS spend, Plaid Cymru will work with the profession to develop a retention and training programme to recruit 500 more GPs over a two-term period. Bold action is needed more than ever to save our NHS.

“The problem is one for all parts of Wales but is particularly acute here in the North, where we have 13 managed practices and huge problems with GP practices in terms of recruitment and retention. In recent months I’ve met with GPs in the Deeside, Wrexham and Conwy areas and it’s clear that the Labour government has no vision to ensure that this essential part of the NHS is safeguarded and strengthened. We need bold action.”

Add your reaction Share

Will the government rectify the situation that leads so many disabled people into poverty?

 

Yesterday in the Senedd Llyr Gruffydd MS asked if disabled adults in Wales are being plunged deeper and deeper into financial difficulty and asked -what will the government do to rectify the situation?

In a question to Lesley Griffiths, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice Llyr Gruffydd asked-

"Do you agree that the proposals to increase the cap on adult non-residential social care in Wales are ill-advised and do you acknowledge that this will actually plunge disabled people even deeper into financial trouble?"

This question was tabled in response to reports by the Trussell Trust network in Wales that they distributed nearly 190,000 emergency food parcels in the 12 months from April last year. That's the highest amount of packages they've ever had to supply. In that period, 73 per cent of those people referred to food banks were disabled people, which is more than double the proportion of the population who are registered as disabled.

Further to this, in a report by the Bevan Foundation released last year it was highlighted that the cost-of-living crisis is not affecting everyone equally, with some groups being especially hard hit, including people with disabilities. The report highlighted that disabled people sometimes, often or always struggled with the cost of essential items 10% more than the Welsh average. It also highlighted that 41% of disabled renters reported that they sometimes, often or always struggle to afford the essentials. Disabled people are amongst the most likely to report cutting back on or going without food or heating and are at a greater risk of being in debt than the general population.

Research by disability charity Scope suggests that the cost of living is higher for people with disabilities, which shows that disabled households spend on average £625 more each year when compared with non-disabled households.

In her response to Llyr Gruffydd, Leslie Griffith said

"As a Government, you will know we've been working with disabled people to make sure they receive everything that they should do, and we also have the Welsh benefits charter, which I look forward to taking forward."

 

 

Add your reaction Share

Llyr Gruffydd asks if the First Minister regrets not doing more in response to allegations of historic institutional abuse in mental health units in north Wales.

 

 

On Tuesday Llyr Gruffydd MS asked Vaughan Gething, the First Minister if he would revise his previous view on the allegations of historic institutional abuse in mental health units in north Wales.  This comes in the light of new evidence of the culture of abuse in units in the past.

In his question to the First Minister Llyr Gruffydd asked-

“Do you wish now to revise your previous view? Should you not have done more at the time to get to the truth? And do you now regret painting a very different picture when you were Minister, given that we now know that the reality was very, very different?”

 

It was revealed in recent weeks that the Nursing and Midwifery Council had taken steps to strike off a psychiatric nurse after a hearing for what they describe as institutional abuse at the unit, going back over 10 years. At the time of the alleged incidents of abuse Mr Gething was the minister responsible for health.

 

Mr Gething responded-

“When I was both the Deputy Minister for health and, indeed, the Cabinet Minister for health, I was always really clear about the fact that there were significant failings in healthcare, and at the time when I made those comments, there wasn't the evidence to support the finding of institutional abuse.

“What we did, though, was to have a searching investigation into what had taken place there, and, indeed, that continues now, not just in the one unit but actually to look at mental health services across north Wales. So, the Government, Eluned Morgan, has ensured that the Royal College of Psychiatrists have undertaken an independent review of mental health services to understand and provide assurance on progress that is being made against previous recommendations.”

Add your reaction Share

Welcoming Bryn Tabor and Bro Alun pupils to the Senedd

Llyr Gruffydd MS has welcomed “eager” pupils from two schools in Wrexham county to the Senedd where they learned about Welsh democracy.

The pupils from pupils Ysgol Bryn Tabor, in Coedpoeth and Ysgol Bro Alun, in Gwersyllt, were given a guided tour of the Welsh Parliament.

Llyr Gruffydd spoke with the young people how the Senedd works and about his role fighting on behalf of constituents and scrutinising the work of the Welsh Government. 

Llŷr Gruffydd said: “It was great to speak with pupils from Ysgol Bryn Tabor and Ysgol Bro Alun, during their visit to the Senedd so they could learn about the work that goes on here.

“They were very eager to find out in how democracy works in Wales and they asked a lot of thoughtful, intelligent and incisive questions.

“They clearly demonstrated that young people want to be engaged in politics, so they can shape how it impacts on their lives.

“Fostering this kind of positive engagement from young people with the Senedd is important for the future of our democracy in Wales.

“I would like to say a thank you to the pupils from Ysgol Bryn Tabor and Ysgol Bro Alun as well as the members of staff for extending to me the privilege of speaking with them about the work of the Senedd.”

Add your reaction Share

This starts with you

We can make Wales a safer, better place to live. Sign up today and show your support.

Campaigns

Liquid syntax error: Error in tag 'subpage' - No such page slug campaigns