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  • PDG graphic 2014
    Article: Sep 30, 2014

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats have announced today that they have secured a £223m two year budget deal that prioritises the futures of our children and young people, and helps to ensure opportunity for all from cradle to college.

    Central to the agreement is expanding the flagship Pupil Deprivation Grant. All schools in Wales will receive £1,150 per child on free school meals by 2016 to spend on improving the literacy and numeracy skills of our poorest pupils. For the first time, this Grant will be extened to under 5s to make sure our children get the best possible start in life.

  • Article: Sep 30, 2014

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats are delivering for Wales' poorest children.

    Even though we're not part of the Welsh Government, we've managed to secure our flagship Pupil Deprivation Grant to support pupils from deprived backgrounds with reading and numeracy skills.

    Since we first secured this money, teachers have told us just how much of a difference it makes to the children who need it most. Higher reading levels, fewer children skipping school, a narrower attainment gap - all because of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

  • Aled Roberts AM talking with pupils
    Article: Sep 25, 2014

    This morning, the Welsh Government announced that their controversial school banding system will be replaced with a new scheme based on individual pupil data.

    The scheme announced today is very similar to the Welsh Liberal Democrats' own policy on individual pupil monitoring, passed at our conference in Spring 2013 (full details here).

  • Kirsty at conference rally Glasgow 2013
    Article: Sep 24, 2014

    An all-party and non-party Commission must be created to ensure Wales has an NHS that is clinically and financially sustainable, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has said.

    Kirsty Williams AM made the call in a debate in the Welsh Assembly today in response to calls for a 'Keogh-style' inquiry, saying that an inquiry alone was not enough to deal with the deep-rooted problems and challenges facing the Welsh NHS.

  • Kirsty conference stage
    Article: Sep 24, 2014

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats have said that the Welsh ambulance services are "in crisis" as figures published today show yet another decline in ambulance response times, despite pledges by the Welsh Labour Health Minister to improve the service in three months.

    Figures released today show that 56.9% of emergency responses to 'Category A' immediately life-threatening ambulance calls arrived at the scene within 8 minutes. Labour's target is 65%, which is the lowest of its kind in the UK, and has been missed again.

  • Kirsty Williams portrait
    Article: Sep 23, 2014

    K irsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has said that the Scottish referendum must be used as a springboard for votes at 16 to be extended to all elections.

    Last week, more than 100,000 16 and 17-year-olds had registered to vote in the Scottish referendum, which was the first time that they had the right to vote in a major ballot in the UK. Building on this momentum, in their debate this week the Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for cross party support for Lord Roger Roberts' proposals to increase the participation of young people in politics.

  • Kirsty at conference rally Glasgow 2013
    Article: Sep 19, 2014

    Welcoming the decision of the people of Scotland to reject separation from the United Kingdom, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for the parties of Wales to unite in a call for the devolution of powers to a fully functioning Welsh Parliament.

    Following the result, Kirsty Williams has challenged the other Welsh parties to fully sign up to the recommendations of the second Silk commission, as the Liberal Democrats have already done.

  • William Powell AM (Stephen Radford)
    Article: Sep 17, 2014

    Ahead of the Scottish independence referendum tomorrow, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM William Powell writes about the future for Wales...

    We're facing huge constitutional change in the United Kingdom. Whether Scotland votes Yes or No, reform is coming and we must ensure that Wales is not left behind.

    I hope that Scotland agrees to remain a part of the UK. We are definitely better together but we also need to promote a new union, rather than stubbornly defend the old. This is why we are calling for the implementation of the Silk Commission's proposals and establishing a UK-wide Constitutional Convention to draft a plan for a new Union.

  • Kirsty at conference rally Glasgow 2013
    Article: Sep 16, 2014

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats have today dismissed criticism that the vow taken by the three UK party leaders to protect the Barnett formula in Scotland means the formula can't be reformed for Wales.

    Kirsty Williams hit out at claims by Plaid Cymru that the Barnett formula, which is used to distribute money to the UK's devolved governments, would not be reformed. She said that the commitment made to Scotland does not rule out reforming the funding settlement for the Welsh Government. Liberal Democrats have already made a manifesto commitment to top-up the Welsh block grant to a fairer funding level. It is thought that Wales is currently underfunded by around £350million.

  • Eluned Parrott
    Article: Sep 16, 2014

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the Welsh Labour Government's flagship Jobs Growth Wales (JGW) scheme after the Government's own interim report identified a number of weaknesses with the scheme.

    The report, released today, found that 73% of those on JGW placements would have found work without the Government scheme. It also notes significant failings to target those young people most in need of help to find work, particularly in Communities First areas. Participants on the scheme are also shown to be trapped in low wages, earning only 67% of the average for their age group whilst on the scheme, and only 76% of the average for their age group after they finish.

  • Aled Roberts portrait
    Article: Sep 12, 2014

    Commenting on reports that Caerleon Campus is set to close, Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Minister, said:

    "We are seeing yet another broken promise from the Welsh Labour Government. The merger only took place last year and we were explicitly told that campuses wouldn't close.

    "This is a major blow not only for students, but for staff too who have every right to feel angry and betrayed. Labour needs to explain why it has gone back on its word.

  • Kirsty conference stage
    Article: Sep 11, 2014

    Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has warned that Wales could be left marginalised unless political parties unite in promising more powers for Wales.

    Speaking at an event at the Millennium Stadium hosted by the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA), Kirsty Williams challenged all political parties to speak as one voice on behalf of Wales and support the recommendations of the Silk Commission.

  • Cardiff Labour/Lib Dem comparison
    Article: Sep 4, 2014

    A damning Welsh Audit Office report into the performance of Cardiff Council has revealed Labour's failure of leadership since it took over running the Council in 2012.

    The report's scathing attack on Labour's "fragmented leadership and management" has heaped pressure on Cllr Phil Bale, leader of the council. This report is in stark contrast to a similar one released in 2011, when the Welsh Lib Dems led the council, which praised the Lib Dems' "clear and firm leadership and sound governance".

  • Kirsty conference stage
    Article: Sep 4, 2014

    Welsh ambulance workers affiliated to the GMB union have voted in principle in favour of industrial action, and to call a vote of no confidence in the Welsh Ambulance Trust management.

    Although another ballot will need to happen before any industrial action is taken, this news is a damning judgement on the failure of the Welsh Labour Government to properly run our health service. Any industrial action is likely to be 'working to rule' and not a full-blown strike.

  • Kids school meal
    Article: Sep 2, 2014

    Welsh infants are missing out on a free hot school meal every day because of the Welsh Labour Government, while their English peers sit down to a free meal every day as they head back to school this week.

    Liberal Democrats in Government have introduced free school meals for all pupils aged 4-7 in England, starting with this academic year. The move will save the average family £400 a year per child; a welcome ease to household budgets. This comes as the Liberal Democrats announce this week their manifesto commitment to expand the policy to all primary school pupils.

  • Father and baby
    Article: Aug 30, 2014

    Liberal Democrats will give fathers an extra four weeks paternity leave under manifesto plans announced today.

    Currently fathers are entitled to two weeks paternity leave but the Liberal Democrats want to go further and dedicate an extra four weeks exclusively to fathers. This will increase the protected paternity leave for dads to six weeks.

  • Mark Williams
    Article: Aug 28, 2014

    Mark Williams, the Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Ceredigion, has welcomed the news from DHL that as of 1st January 2015, no areas of Wales will be charged for delivery just for being in a rural area.

    DHL have been persuaded to drop the £16 charge by Mark Williams, who expressed his concerns that the 'Remote Area Service' charges were unfair to those living in rural areas, and was particularly damaging to all those running small businesses.

  • Article: Aug 22, 2014

    A Liberal Democrat government would allow football clubs in the top divisions to introduce safe standing areas into their grounds.

    Under manifesto plans announced today, football clubs would be allowed to work with their supporters to introduce standing areas.

    The Welsh Liberal Democrats have already supported calls in the Welsh Assembly to introduce safe standing for football grounds, but the Liberal Democrats' manifesto announcement would go further in making this a reality.

  • Aled Roberts conference
    Article: Aug 21, 2014

    The Welsh Labour Government has revealed to universities this week that it is scrapping the Financial Contingency Fund for higher education students.

    This fund gave support to over 5,000 university students last year, with over £2million being handed out to fund books, childcare and disability costs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Universities are now expected to make alternative arrangements to support students, but have been given less than a month to do so by the Welsh Labour Government before the new academic year begins.

  • Severn bridge tolls launch
    Article: Aug 18, 2014

    The Liberal Democrats have announced today that the party would scrap the Severn Bridge tolls if in Government after the next election.

    The Severn Crossings are currently managed by a private company. The concession will end when a revenue target collected from tolls is reached. Current forecasts are that the concession will end in 2018. Once the tolls are transferred into public ownership and debts are repaid, the Liberal Democrats have pledged to scrap the tolls completely.