Merger rejection underlines disrespect for local decision making

The decision by the Public Services Minister to reject the bid by Bridgend Council to voluntarily merge with the Vale of Glamorgan was a major disappointment. If we are to join together councils in this way then this is a natural coupling.

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Safe Standing at football grounds should be an option

This is an article for the South Wales Evening Post and Glamorgan Gazette

In August last year, the Liberal Democrats announced that a plan to allow football clubs to work with their supporters to introduce safe standing areas would appear in their 2015 general election manifesto.

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Welfare - to devolve or not to devolve

This is an article for the Institute of Welsh Affairs Click on Wales blog

The devolution of welfare provision to the Welsh Government does not have an auspicious history. One of the more successful attempts in 2003 was the creation of the Supporting People Grant and Supporting People Revenue Grant to accredited support providers

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£250 million deal will help safeguard our post offices Seaside News

This is an article for Seaside News

 

A crucial lifeline has been thrown to post offices in Bridgend thanks to a Government contract unveiled by Liberal Democrat pensions’ minister, Steve Webb.

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Ending six-figure golden goodbyes

Like many other people I have been shocked recently by the number of six-figure redundancy packages in the public sector. That is why the Welsh Liberal Democrats are arguing that these pay-outs should be capped at £90,000 for people working in the NHS and for council staff.

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Budget benefits from Welsh Liberal Democrats influence Seaside News

This is an article for Seaside News

This year’s Assembly budget process has been particularly difficult.  That is a consequence of the austerity measures that the UK Government has had to adopt so as to rebalance the budget

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£250 million deal will help safeguard our post offices

This is an article for the South Wales Evening Post and the Glamorgan Gazette 

I was pleased to note that a crucial lifeline has been thrown to post offices in Swansea, Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot thanks to a Government contract unveiled by Liberal Democrat pensions’ minister, Steve Webb last month.

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Using taxation to deliver fairness

This is an article for the Institute of Welsh Affairs

Despite claims to the contrary by the opposition, the UK Coalition’s tax policy has been a major success.

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Another rise in the basic pension Seaside News

I was pleased to see that the basic state pension will rise by at least £2.85 a week next year, thanks to the triple lock introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Government.

 

It means 24,854 pensioners in the Bridgend area will benefit from an increase in their pension.

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Budget benefits from Welsh Liberal Democrats influence EP

This is an article for the South Wales Evening Post and the Glamorgan Gazette

 

This year’s Assembly budget process has been particularly difficult.  In real terms the money we have available to spend on services in Wales has reduced since 2010.

 

That is a consequence of the austerity measures that the UK Government has had to adopt so as to rebalance the budget, but it could have been much worse.

 

We have at least had some protection due to the decision to protect health and education spending in England.

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