28/06/2012 Dragon's Eye


28/06/2012

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 28/06/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Is the Welsh economy suffering in the name of ideology? This is

:00:08.:00:18.
:00:18.:00:24.

Good evening. Welsh businesses are missing out on over �2 billion

:00:24.:00:29.

worth of public contracts because of the Welsh Government's

:00:29.:00:32.

ideological antipathy and opposition, according to the

:00:32.:00:36.

employers organisation the CBI. It's told Dragon's Eye that

:00:36.:00:40.

businesses and services are sufferinging -- suffering because

:00:40.:00:43.

the Welsh Government is against using private companies to deliver

:00:43.:00:47.

public services. Arwyn Jones reports. Bong the Welsh Government

:00:47.:00:51.

and Councils spend billions every year and it goes on all kinds of

:00:51.:00:55.

services and goods, from furniture to litter collecting. It has to be

:00:55.:01:00.

paid for and it's big business worth nearly �4.5 billion every

:01:00.:01:05.

year. Some of those services are provided by councils in Wales, for

:01:05.:01:08.

example this recycling facility. What if businesses could over the

:01:08.:01:14.

same service? Perhaps offer it more cheaply, perhaps even offer a

:01:14.:01:19.

better service. At the moment around half of the money gez to

:01:19.:01:21.

businesses around Wales. The remainder stays in the public

:01:21.:01:25.

sector or goes to companies from elsewhere. The group representing

:01:25.:01:29.

business leaders in Wales the CBI says companies here are missing out

:01:29.:01:33.

on a key injection of cash, which could help them to grow their

:01:33.:01:38.

businesses, create jobs and drive the economy forward. They think the

:01:38.:01:41.

reason lies with the Welsh Government's political stance.

:01:41.:01:48.

jort of our members would feel that it's ideological and political. A

:01:48.:01:53.

few businesses would say there is an antipathy and opposition to

:01:53.:01:56.

using the private sector to deliver public services near Wales. That's

:01:56.:02:01.

probably the overriding factor for many. They say it's also harming

:02:01.:02:05.

public services. In many areas it could be delivered better, but I

:02:05.:02:10.

think people aren't prepared to sit down and find out how it could be

:02:10.:02:13.

delivered better, saving money, providing better service, because

:02:13.:02:18.

certain parts are just ideologically opposed to it.

:02:18.:02:23.

England, the UK Government want to see more of an open-door policy

:02:23.:02:25.

towards allowing businesses to deliver public services. It's

:02:25.:02:28.

something which should now come to here, according to the Secretary of

:02:28.:02:32.

State for Wales. I think the CBI has a very good point on this.

:02:32.:02:37.

There's no doubt about it, the ideology and the stated policy of

:02:37.:02:41.

the Welsh Government is to deliver through the state as a machine.

:02:41.:02:45.

That's such an old fashioned idea. It was interesting to read what the

:02:45.:02:48.

Prime Minister said the other day, when he was talking about opening

:02:48.:02:52.

up public services, which is what the UK Government wants to do.

:02:52.:02:58.

it isn't just about accusations of ideology. Others complain of too

:02:58.:03:02.

much bureaucracy in Wales. This company employs almost all workers

:03:02.:03:05.

locally. They've decided that Scotland is a more lucrative market

:03:05.:03:10.

because the process of working with the Government there is so much

:03:10.:03:14.

easier. Up in Scotland, according to our experience, there seems to

:03:14.:03:20.

be less delays within the planning process. That has meant that a lot

:03:20.:03:24.

of projects are in the development stage now and actually,

:03:24.:03:27.

construction stage now I mean, and are actually creating jobs for

:03:27.:03:33.

companies like us. We have managed to win a number of these contracts

:03:33.:03:38.

up there. If I was a businessman looking for a public sector

:03:39.:03:44.

contract in Wales the easiest thing to do is go onto this website. The

:03:44.:03:53.

Welsh Government we're told three years ago that every public sector

:03:53.:03:56.

contract should appear here. They say they've done. That but we're

:03:56.:04:00.

told it isn't always the case. This man made that recommendation. He

:04:00.:04:04.

says there needs to be a change of emphasis in how the purchasing

:04:04.:04:08.

power of the Welsh Government and Councils operate. The taxpayer

:04:09.:04:14.

always has to get value for money. That essential. But the key

:04:14.:04:18.

performance indicators by which procurement officials and officers

:04:18.:04:23.

are judged often just focus on that to the detriment of wider

:04:23.:04:27.

objectives. For example, what our research would suggest is that if

:04:27.:04:32.

the key performance indicators, the standards by which public sector

:04:32.:04:36.

purchasers are judged when they carry out procurement activity, if

:04:36.:04:40.

they were different, they might purchase differently. That could

:04:40.:04:43.

have more benefit for Wales. According to the CBI if the Welsh

:04:43.:04:46.

Government used more Welsh companies, it could create over

:04:46.:04:52.

20,000 jobs. That, at a time when they're dearly needed.

:04:52.:04:56.

Jane Hutt is the Welsh Government's Finance Minister. I asked whether

:04:56.:05:00.

the CBI's suggestion that the Welsh economy is suffering because

:05:00.:05:03.

ministers are ideologically opposed to the private sector delivering

:05:03.:05:11.

public services is true? Absolutely not. In fact, Emma Watkins gave a

:05:11.:05:15.

speech on procurement, because this is a key lever to grow the economy

:05:15.:05:19.

and said we were moving in the right direction. Clearly, our

:05:19.:05:23.

ambition for every public Welsh pound we have that should be there

:05:23.:05:28.

to support the economy and to support Wales-based businesses.

:05:28.:05:31.

Statistics prove we are making a difference. Currently Welsh

:05:32.:05:36.

business gets around 52% of the public procurement budget. Do you

:05:36.:05:42.

have a target to raise that? We've made progress because it was down

:05:42.:05:52.
:05:52.:05:55.

to 35% in 2003. That's gone up to 52%. As Emma Watkins has said for

:05:55.:06:00.

every 1% you get a thousand jobs. In the latest statistics, when you

:06:00.:06:05.

look at SMEs and the fact that they are benefiting enormously out of

:06:05.:06:10.

public sector awards, if we looked at some of the money I announced

:06:10.:06:15.

with the Wales infrastructure investment plan, for example, RBED,

:06:15.:06:19.

an important regeneration scheme, a Welsh company, won that contract,

:06:19.:06:22.

huge opportunities for local business. I'm sure they're very

:06:22.:06:28.

pleased about that. But the fact is Emma Watkins is on Dragon's Eye

:06:28.:06:33.

this evening saying that according to some of her members the Welsh

:06:33.:06:38.

Government has ideological and political opposition to that. If

:06:38.:06:43.

that isn't true, are there robust targthaets you're aiming for to

:06:43.:06:47.

increase that, 52% of Welsh businesses getting the public

:06:47.:06:52.

procurement budget to a higher amount, for example,, a 10% rise

:06:52.:06:59.

would see an extra 10,000 jobs. Thafrpblgts would be excellent.

:06:59.:07:03.

We're working to reduce and remove those barriers to procurement.

:07:03.:07:08.

We've done good work on that and easing the way, simplyifying the

:07:08.:07:15.

way thaw actually bid, the pre- icalification process. -- Pre-

:07:15.:07:19.

qualification process. She said it's the outcomes we want, getting

:07:19.:07:22.

the businesses at the forefront. She's right when shez supporting

:07:23.:07:27.

the Welsh Government and wrong when she's criticised it? No, this is

:07:27.:07:32.

about working in partnership. She sits on the economic renewal

:07:32.:07:37.

council, along with the key players and they recognise, as we do, that

:07:37.:07:43.

procurement is a key lever. It's interesting because I've asked the

:07:43.:07:47.

Scottish businessman to come in and review our procurement to say are

:07:47.:07:50.

we moving fast enough? Because anything we can do, we want to make

:07:50.:07:55.

sure that Wales-based businesses secure those contracts. On that

:07:55.:07:59.

point, then, in your programme for government, you promised to

:07:59.:08:02.

implement the recommendations of a report designed tone sure that

:08:02.:08:06.

Welsh business had a better chance of getting a bigger slice of the

:08:06.:08:12.

cake. The author of that report has told us tonight that some parts of

:08:12.:08:20.

the tendering ro ses are simply unfit for -- process are unfit for

:08:20.:08:24.

purpose? He played an important part in assisting us and looking at

:08:24.:08:28.

the barriers to procurement. We now have an open doors charter. We have

:08:28.:08:32.

got the key policy in Wales which has been heralded as very

:08:32.:08:36.

progressive, the community benefits policy. That means that anyone who

:08:36.:08:41.

is investing, who does win contracts has an obligation to

:08:41.:08:46.

ensure there's a supply chain for local businesss to benefit and for

:08:46.:08:49.

local apprentices and also for the money to be spent in Wales and that

:08:49.:08:54.

was recognised in File on Four recreptly. All these people are

:08:54.:08:58.

crucial to help us achieve our objectives. You have to remember,

:08:58.:09:04.

we face a situation where we've had a 40% cut in capital budgets.

:09:04.:09:09.

That's why this is more important, isn't it? Absolutely. We're going

:09:09.:09:14.

to the private sector, for example, principality is coming in and

:09:14.:09:20.

funding our Welsh housing partnership. Thank you very much.

:09:20.:09:26.

A former employee of the All Wales Ethnic Minorities Association has

:09:26.:09:30.

won her tribunal against the organisation and the man who used

:09:30.:09:40.
:09:40.:09:41.

to run it, Naz Malik. Sylvia Bobrowka claimed that Mr Malik

:09:41.:09:48.

(arecommenda was wound up earlier this year amid allegations of

:09:48.:09:50.

financial irregularities. I spoke to Sylvia Bobrowka's solicitor and

:09:50.:09:54.

asked him to explain the judgment. What has been decided by the

:09:54.:10:00.

tribunal on a unanimous basis is that the allegations that were made

:10:00.:10:05.

and the claim made against, brought by Sylvia Bobrowka on the grounds

:10:05.:10:10.

of harassment and victimisation have been well founded, both

:10:10.:10:17.

against the first and second Mr Malik personally. Now today, all

:10:17.:10:22.

you've had is the bare bones of it. The reasoning is to come later, as

:10:22.:10:26.

is any decision about financial compensation. Is Mr Malik

:10:26.:10:30.

personally liable for any award of financial compensation that might

:10:30.:10:35.

come? Yes, he is, on the basis that these are allegations of

:10:35.:10:39.

discrimination and harassment and victimisation forming part of that

:10:39.:10:44.

discrimination. That being the case, a person can be held personally

:10:44.:10:52.

flowing, if those allegations are made out as a result of

:10:52.:11:02.
:11:02.:11:34.

-- What will happen now is that Miss Bobrowka will have the

:11:34.:11:37.

opportunity to reduce evidence to show the impact of what is had on

:11:37.:11:41.

her and that will take the form of medical evidence. She has suffered

:11:41.:11:46.

greatly as a result of this discriminatory behaviour. That is

:11:46.:11:51.

partly, the issue of causation is partly an issue of medical

:11:51.:11:55.

causation and of finding at the remedy hearing which is yet to be

:11:55.:11:59.

fixed. So, she says this experience has actually made her ill?

:11:59.:12:03.

Absolutely, yeah. What was her reaction to today's judgment,

:12:03.:12:08.

briefly? I have spoken to her this morning and firstly, she wants to

:12:08.:12:11.

make it clear and she's very appreciative of all the support

:12:11.:12:16.

she's been given by everybody, but from her position, of course, she

:12:16.:12:23.

welcomes this judgment and the fact it's unanimous judgment against the

:12:23.:12:26.

respondants, both AWEMA and Mr Malik.

:12:26.:12:31.

Thank you for joining us. As eurozone leaders prepare for

:12:31.:12:35.

another summit on the fate of the single currency, Dragon's Eye has

:12:35.:12:39.

discovered that the banking crisis in Spain is affecting banks in the

:12:39.:12:45.

UK. Some Welsh public bondies have pulled out of Santander UK. That's

:12:45.:12:49.

despite the company's assurances that their deposits are safe.

:12:49.:12:54.

Supporters say that the councils and universities involved are being

:12:54.:12:58.

prudent. Critics warn withdrawing funds from British banks isn't

:12:58.:13:02.

justified and can damage public confidence in the industry. Here's

:13:02.:13:12.
:13:12.:13:14.

While eurozone leaders are betting on keeping the single currency

:13:14.:13:18.

together, the markets remain sceptical about the finances of

:13:18.:13:21.

many European nations and their banks. Spanish banks received a

:13:21.:13:26.

bail out from eurozone funds. And now it seems the banking crisis is

:13:26.:13:31.

having an impact closer to home. Public bodies like councils are

:13:31.:13:35.

under pressure to cut costs while maintaining services. Shrewd

:13:35.:13:39.

investment plays a part in helping them do that, but it is about

:13:39.:13:44.

finding the balance between risk and reward. Local authorities in

:13:44.:13:48.

many cases continue to use a select group of very strong foreign banks,

:13:49.:13:53.

Australian banks, Canadian banks and suchlike, but there has been a

:13:53.:13:56.

general movement away from European banks, particularly at the moment

:13:56.:14:01.

with the eurozone. There was more spare change in play when some

:14:01.:14:04.

Welsh public bodies found themselves short as Iceland's banks

:14:04.:14:09.

collapsed with taxpayer money tied up in them. They lost �74 million

:14:09.:14:12.

in the chaos that followed, although some has since been

:14:12.:14:16.

returned. If you look at the situation with banks across Europe,

:14:16.:14:20.

many are in a precarious position and it would be foolhardy to

:14:20.:14:27.

continue to invest in them. It has perhaps got the attention of local

:14:27.:14:30.

authorities to look at them this mince more closely. All 22 local

:14:30.:14:34.

operatives and most Welsh universities were protected from

:14:34.:14:38.

the media banking crisis in the eurozone by having no funds in

:14:38.:14:41.

Spanish or Greek banks. That might suggest public bodies have become

:14:41.:14:48.

less inclined to gamble on foreign investment. Miss University of a

:14:48.:14:55.

nominal sum of �20,000 in a Spanish bank. Most of the European banks,

:14:55.:14:59.

to varying degrees, particularly in bigger countries, are backed by

:14:59.:15:01.

their governments. Those governments themselves,

:15:01.:15:05.

particularly in the case of a country like Spain, look pretty

:15:05.:15:10.

secured regardless of the chaos and the markets. The so I think local

:15:10.:15:13.

authorities in Wales can be a bit more relaxed, I think, about many

:15:13.:15:18.

of the bigger countries and the banks in those countries, and can

:15:18.:15:20.

therefore earn slightly more of an interest rate than they will if

:15:20.:15:24.

they put it particularly in the Treasury's Debt Management Office,

:15:24.:15:29.

where they will be getting next to nothing. But it emerged that three

:15:29.:15:32.

was universities and four councils had stopped doing business with

:15:32.:15:35.

Santander a UK in recent months in response to the Spanish banking

:15:35.:15:39.

crisis. They include Bridgend, Fincher, Gwyneth and Monmouthshire

:15:39.:15:45.

councils, and Aberystwyth, and Swansea universities. When you that

:15:45.:15:49.

-- one university withdrew �1 million from Santander UK in

:15:49.:15:53.

January as the eurozone crisis deepened. Santander you cases it is

:15:53.:15:57.

ring-fenced from its Spanish parent company, meaning it could not take

:15:57.:16:00.

money out of Britain without the agreement of the British banking

:16:00.:16:03.

regulator. It also says that Santander has not received and does

:16:03.:16:09.

not need any bail out money from the eurozone nations. Public bodies,

:16:10.:16:14.

looking at what is going on in the world, probably feel a bit of their

:16:14.:16:18.

own anxiety. But the truth is that Santander is a well capitalised

:16:18.:16:25.

Spanish bank, and the British arm is a separate institution anyway.

:16:25.:16:28.

If they are being overly cautious it is no bad thing and they will be

:16:28.:16:31.

taking decisions with advice from their treasury management

:16:31.:16:36.

consultants. So it may be no bad thing. To try to say Santander

:16:36.:16:42.

sounds a bit Spanish, so let's keep clear of that, really is like third

:16:42.:16:45.

form financial planning, and not the sort of financial planning you

:16:45.:16:51.

would expect from the major public institutions. Really, what those

:16:51.:16:54.

institutions should be doing is taking the best of advice,

:16:54.:16:59.

certainly acting in a very prudent way, but at the same time relying

:16:59.:17:05.

upon the new, thermo regulatory arrangements that are in place. --

:17:05.:17:10.

firmer. Adopting a stance that says we will not deal with this bank

:17:10.:17:14.

because this bank seems to have a foreign name attached to it, really,

:17:14.:17:20.

that is pretty silly stuff. Critics warn that the run on Northern Rock

:17:20.:17:24.

in 2007, even though it was in no danger of collapsing after the

:17:24.:17:26.

Treasury and the Bank of England backed it, shows what can happen

:17:26.:17:30.

when the public loses confidence in a financial institution. Northern

:17:30.:17:34.

Rock was one of the first runs on any bank would have occurred in

:17:34.:17:41.

Great Britain for over a century. - - that had occurred. Local

:17:41.:17:48.

authorities have a role to play and that, in the seemingly not making a

:17:48.:17:51.

hasty withdrawals. I do not think local authorities are doing that.

:17:51.:17:55.

They are making sound investment decisions on the back of sound,

:17:56.:18:01.

expert advice from their treasury management consultants.

:18:01.:18:04.

financial crisis of recent years has highlighted the importance of

:18:04.:18:08.

confidence in fuelling the world's economy. There is a high price to

:18:08.:18:13.

pay if conference is damaged. I am joined by Professor Patrick

:18:13.:18:18.

Linford of Cardiff Business School and an economist. Welcome to both

:18:18.:18:22.

of you. Do you think that the organisations involved are over-

:18:22.:18:30.

reacting? I do not know how their deposits are distributed. It is

:18:30.:18:33.

perfectly reasonable to diversify your holdings, make sure you are

:18:33.:18:38.

not committed to a single institution. That said, I would be

:18:38.:18:42.

extremely astonished his Santander were any more vulnerable than most

:18:42.:18:45.

other commercial banks. But if Santander. It is a large

:18:45.:18:49.

international bank and most of its profits in recent years have been

:18:49.:18:53.

made in Mexico and Brazil. Of course, it is exposed to the

:18:53.:18:58.

Spanish economy, but not just the Spanish economy. As has been said,

:18:58.:19:03.

its British subsidiary, which it got by buying Abbey National, has a

:19:03.:19:08.

large UK business. I do not see any particular reason to single out

:19:08.:19:12.

Santander, but I do not blame people for looking at how their

:19:12.:19:16.

deposits are positioned and making sure they are diversified and put

:19:16.:19:23.

in safe places. Patrick Linford, what do you think? I agree with

:19:23.:19:29.

Gerry. Santander UK is essentially a British bank. You might as well

:19:29.:19:38.

take your money out of Barclays Bank, or RBS. I think, it is a case

:19:38.:19:43.

of panic, really, because it is associated with a Spanish bank, and

:19:43.:19:47.

yet it is a separate UK bank, effectively. What are your thoughts

:19:47.:19:51.

on what this tells us about the way the eurozone crisis has been

:19:51.:19:55.

managed to this point? In theory, the Spanish banks received a bail

:19:55.:19:59.

out from eurozone countries, but the markets did not seem to have

:19:59.:20:03.

much confidence in that. We are seeing another summit shortly to

:20:03.:20:09.

try to sort things out. Our examples of people doing things

:20:09.:20:11.

like this the automatic result of politicians' failure to get to

:20:11.:20:15.

grips with the crisis? The bank that is being bailed out in Spain

:20:15.:20:21.

is not Santander. It is Bankia, which is the result of an

:20:21.:20:25.

amalgamation of lots of local lending agencies which leant

:20:25.:20:29.

heavily on property, in cahoots with local authorities in Spain. So

:20:29.:20:33.

it is a highly political bad bank that has been put together out of

:20:33.:20:37.

all of these banks that made foolish loans, really, with local

:20:37.:20:43.

authority, local political involvement. So it is a very

:20:43.:20:47.

special situation. I do not think Santander air is particularly

:20:47.:20:52.

implicated in this. But in terms of the wider political fall-out of an

:20:52.:20:55.

ongoing eurozone crisis that the politicians do not seem to be

:20:55.:20:59.

getting to grips with, are these sorts of apparently irrational

:20:59.:21:04.

actions to be expected? Well, I'm afraid when you get a financial

:21:04.:21:10.

crisis people often acted in jumpy ways. So I do not know whether it

:21:10.:21:14.

is to be expected, but they are certainly not a major surprise. And

:21:14.:21:18.

I think it is the case that European politicians have failed to

:21:18.:21:24.

rise to this crisis and to address it at root. Therefore, I think

:21:24.:21:28.

there is every prospect that this grumbling appendix will go on

:21:28.:21:33.

grumbling. Of course, we did see some Welsh public bodies burned in

:21:33.:21:38.

the Icelandic banking crash, didn't we? Has that made people over-

:21:38.:21:48.
:21:48.:21:50.

cautious, that experience? Yes. This Euro crisis will go on and on.

:21:50.:21:57.

-- euro there is no resolution in sight. It is quite a different

:21:57.:22:00.

thing putting money in European banks directly and putting it into

:22:00.:22:04.

a branch in the UK which is essentially ring-fenced and a

:22:04.:22:09.

separate entity. They ought to distinguish those things. Do you

:22:09.:22:13.

agree? You have said it is sensible to diversify the portfolio and

:22:13.:22:17.

perhaps that is all that is going on. But if the reason is a concern

:22:17.:22:21.

about what is happening in the Spanish banks, something Santander

:22:21.:22:25.

a UK is protected from, are you concerned at the level of financial

:22:25.:22:29.

advice that some public bodies in Wales are getting? Yes, it sounds

:22:30.:22:33.

as if they could do with some more professional advice. But does sound

:22:33.:22:41.

to be the case. -- that does sound to be the case. And your thoughts?

:22:41.:22:48.

I agree, they are misinformed. Thank you for joining us.

:22:48.:22:50.

The Welsh Secretary and her Labour shadow are having a row over when

:22:50.:22:55.

and how to hold a debate discussing proposed changes to Assembly

:22:55.:22:58.

constituency boundaries. The Labour's Owen Smith was pressing

:22:58.:23:02.

for a debate on the floor of the House of Commons Chamber. Sarah

:23:02.:23:05.

Gillan offered him a slot at a special session of the Welsh Grand

:23:06.:23:11.

Committee at 11:30am on Monday. He objected, she cancelled. This is

:23:11.:23:17.

Mrs Gillan's side of the story. Well, it was cancelled because the

:23:17.:23:23.

Labour Party objected to it when it was put in the Order Paper. And I

:23:23.:23:26.

know the new Shadow Secretary of State is trying to make his mark

:23:26.:23:32.

but this is really not the way to do it. It is a green paper. It is

:23:32.:23:35.

there for discussion. It is not even a white paper and it is not

:23:35.:23:40.

legislation. I have been perfectly open about it. I wanted to offer an

:23:40.:23:44.

opportunity to Welsh MPs to discuss this, because I have always

:23:44.:23:48.

supported the Welsh Grande, unlike previous Labour governments who

:23:48.:23:52.

have tried to push it into obscurity. I have tried to hold it

:23:52.:23:56.

on a regular basis. Frankly, the rumour came back that they were

:23:56.:24:01.

going to boycott it and then 11:30am was too early. Frankly, a

:24:01.:24:05.

Labour government did hold a Welsh Grand Committee at 10:30am on

:24:05.:24:08.

Monday, but it would seem the modern Labour MP does not really

:24:08.:24:14.

like to get up and get to work on Monday for 11:30am. After all, the

:24:14.:24:19.

house sits on Monday to Thursday, five days a week. But it was not

:24:19.:24:23.

worth having if they were objecting to it. Quite frankly, I cancelled

:24:23.:24:29.

it. Owen Smith is Cheryl Gillan's Labour shadow. I asked whether this

:24:29.:24:34.

was about a new shadow Welsh Secretary trying to make his mark.

:24:34.:24:37.

No. It is about the fact that we have an important suggestion from

:24:37.:24:41.

Cheryl Gillan in a white paper that we change the voting arrangements

:24:41.:24:46.

for people in Wales. I felt that was such a significant

:24:46.:24:50.

constitutional change that we ought to be debating it on the floor of

:24:50.:24:54.

the House of Commons in Westminster, where ordinarily constitutional

:24:54.:24:58.

issues would be debated, as opposed to in a Welsh Grand Committee. So I

:24:58.:25:03.

wrote to her and suggested we do that. And she surprised us by not

:25:03.:25:07.

even responding to my letter but simply scheduling on a Monday

:25:07.:25:11.

morning the Welsh Grand Committee. Let me scotched this nonsense that

:25:11.:25:18.

it is anything to do with the hour at which she had tabled the Grand

:25:18.:25:24.

Committee. We would have debated it at any time. It was entirely to do

:25:24.:25:27.

with the location and the prominence we felt this issue ought

:25:27.:25:32.

to have been given. And quite why Cheryl Gillan has been reduced to

:25:32.:25:37.

this sort of school ground name calling around what ought to be an

:25:37.:25:41.

important issue of substance debate on the floor of the House of

:25:41.:25:45.

Commons with the due prominence that it deserves, is beyond me.

:25:45.:25:50.

you threaten to boycott? No. I do not know where she gets that from.

:25:50.:25:55.

It is some room she has heard. I simply wrote a letter, released to

:25:55.:25:58.

the press, in which I suggest that it was an important issue which

:25:58.:26:03.

should be debated on the floor of the house in Government time. It is

:26:03.:26:06.

a Government green paper. She says it is not legislation. It is a

:26:06.:26:10.

curious green paper because it only has two options, one of which is

:26:10.:26:14.

not really a realistic option, which is to reorganise the seats in

:26:14.:26:20.

Wales but still stick with 40 and 20 and do not will arrive at a

:26:20.:26:23.

point of it being coterminous with the boundaries marrying up with the

:26:23.:26:27.

new parliamentary boundaries she is proposing. Or else the option she

:26:27.:26:34.

favours - 30 seats on the list, 30 seats through PR and 30 seats

:26:34.:26:38.

directly elected first past the post. Why does she favour that?

:26:38.:26:42.

Because it would favour her party. It is a partisan, self-interested

:26:42.:26:46.

proposal they brought forward. We wanted to expose that on the floor

:26:46.:26:49.

of the house and expose the gerrymandering that is being

:26:49.:26:54.

proposed in respect of the Assembly boundaries, as has been proposed

:26:54.:26:59.

for the parliamentary boundaries. Could you not also be accused of

:26:59.:27:03.

partisan political interest? A reduction in the number of

:27:03.:27:07.

constituencies is damaging to the Labour Party specifically, isn't it,

:27:07.:27:11.

when we talk about first past the post elected constituent MPs? This

:27:11.:27:16.

is about protecting Labour's interests in Wales, isn't it?

:27:16.:27:19.

think it is damaging to Wales to reduce the volume of voices from

:27:19.:27:24.

Wales are able to speak for Wales from whichever party at Westminster.

:27:24.:27:29.

Cutting back from 40 to 30 reduces our voice in Westminster, and

:27:29.:27:33.

devolution was meant to amplify our voice in Britain, not reduce it.

:27:33.:27:37.

That is something Cheryl Gillan has never understood. This is not about

:27:37.:27:41.

parliament boundaries, it is about Assembly boundaries and the fact

:27:41.:27:45.

that she is trying, on the quiet, to slip through Parliament

:27:45.:27:49.

proposals to reduce the numbers of Assembly members, or to change the

:27:49.:27:54.

nature of the election of Assembly members. Surely, in any year of

:27:54.:27:58.

devolution, she ought to feel that, even if the letter of the law is

:27:58.:28:02.

clear that she can do this if she wants, if she wants to drive it

:28:02.:28:07.

through with a Tory majority in Westminster, she ought not to. She

:28:07.:28:10.

ought to seek the consent of the National Assembly when it comes to

:28:10.:28:13.

making changes that only relate to the National Assembly and the

:28:13.:28:17.

people of Wales. It is a measure of her disdain for the National

:28:17.:28:22.

Assembly that she has not sought to do that properly. Thank you.

:28:22.:28:25.

Apologies for my slip of the tongue. I didn't mean to say Assembly

:28:25.:28:32.

members, rather than MPs. Once, I got my own name wrong, believe it

:28:32.:28:36.

or not! Who knows what I will do next week? Join me to find out.

:28:36.:28:40.

Join Felicity Evans as she takes a fresh look at politics through the Dragon's Eye.

Whether it is your local council, the National Assembly, Westminster or Europe, Dragon's Eye will be probing, scrutinising and shedding light on our democratic institutions.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS