02/06/2013 The Wales Report


02/06/2013

With passenger numbers at their lowest in over 15 years, what can be done to get Cardiff airport off the ground? And a call for more Welsh children to participate in science.


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Tonight on the Wales Report, after the April Jones murder trial, calls

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for robust action to restrict access to pornographic images online.

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Passengers at Cardiff at a 15-year low. What can the Government do to

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get the business off the ground? Is Wales taking science seriously? A

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new drive to get school children to embrace the global possibilities.

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Welcome to the Wales Report, where we look at the decisions affecting

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lives across Wales and we question the people making those decisions.

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The week has been dominated by the trial and the conviction of Mark

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Bridger for the murder of five-year-old April Jones. Details

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have emerged of his obsession with violent pornography. It has led to

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renewed calls for tougher restriction, including action by the

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big search engines to block access to extreme sites. Joining me is the

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chief executive of Children in Wales and from the forum on children. It

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has been a harrowing trial that people have followed in Mid Wales

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after the dreadful events in Machynlleth. What lessons have you

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learnt from it? The biggest lesson is this is not new. Holly and

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Jessica in the past died. We had a lot of interest from the public

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from, the media - everyone was horrified. Then it is yesterday's

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news. What we have to do this time is keep up the momentum to deal

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with, what is sadly, a growing issue, that the volume of images

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that are horrendous, vile - the trade in those images and the

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increasing number of hits on those images on the internet are growing.

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When we look at the availability of these images and it is clearly easy

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to access them for those who are minded in that way, what practical

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steps are you suggesting? Very often people say, look this is the nature

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of the internet - it is there, it is free, it is accessible. If people

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twoont do evil and wicked things they need to be caught, but you

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cannot put restrictions on the entire web. It is time for the

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public to stand up and be counted. There is an African proverb which

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says it takes a whole village to raise a child. It takes a whole

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community to raise our children. We have a good Welsh comupty, but

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across the -- community, but across the world. We need to stand up

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against the search engine companies. At the moment, what they are saying

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is, well, you can report it to us and then we will close the site

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down. That is the reaction response. We want a default response, where

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these images - because they are all illegal. You are not allowed to

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abuse a child. You are not allowed to produce an image and not allowed

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to put them on the internet - they are illegal. It has to be stopped.

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You are talking about a blanket ban, a block, in effect? Yes.How would

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that work? I am not a technical person, but what we have to say is

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that society does not want these images on the internet available.

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There's a lot of our campaigns which have been helping parents to have

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information for them to control the access, for children to be aware of

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not going off with strangers, to tell parents everything, but it is

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fundamentally wrong that the responsibility is with those

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individual parents and children. It has to be developed. In fairness,

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the UK has got a bill going through Parliament at the moment on Internet

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access, which is an appropriate, inappropriate information there. But

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it is a global issue. It is ironic that we are talking about a dreadful

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case in Wales where it has emerged that this stuff is available online,

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easily, and yet we are meant to be far more advanced, you say, than

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other countries. It makes you think what is available elsewhere. I have

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worked with colleagues in other countries who are busy trying to

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protect their children from worse access than we have got. We have to

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remember too that those images of the children and I say images, they

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are actually a record of concrete abuse and rape of individual

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children. They may be from the Philippines, they may be from

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Latvia. They may be from Cardiff. We don't actually know. We have to cut

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off the source. A final point, we have not mentioned the role of

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Government in this. We have mentioned the parliamentary bill. Do

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you think Government is proactive enough in this area? There is a

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willingness. I don't think the pace of change is sufficiently fast. We

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need to make sure that we are keeping the pressure up and not

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accepting excuses. Thank you for coming in. There are 33,000

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organisations in the voluntary sector in Wales. They are an

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integral part of Welsh life, including charities and community

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groups and they deliver some essential services. Many parts of

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the sector say they are in crisis. Amid concerns that the sector is not

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fulfilling one of its key rules - objectively scrutinising the

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policies of the Welsh Government. They say the delivery of services is

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being damaged. An official consultation on the relationship

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between the Welsh Government and the so-called third sector is due to

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conclude this summer. David Williams has been taking a ride on the third

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sector merry go round. Just over a decade ago, they were

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throwing money at it, tempting people aboard for the ride - it was

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the golden age of funding for what is called the third or voluntary

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sector in Wales. That's the sector which occupies a space between

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Government, the public and the private sectors. Voluntary sector

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organisations had all sorts of grant opportunities. They were able to

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take on a lot of new staff, they were able to develop new ways of

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working. Lots of innovation happened. Just before the start of

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the economic downturn, the mood music changed, as funding from the

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lottery and Europe either reduced or was diverted elsewhere. The third

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sector in Wales gets more than 20% of its income from the Welsh

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Government. That's more than �300 million a year. But it comes at a

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price. In return, the third sector is expected to contribute advice,

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intended to help the Welsh Government formulate policy. But

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some have found contact with their political masters difficult. A lot

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of the people I have spoken to have described it as a faceless

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organisation. It is quite impenetrable when you try and use

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the website. It is not very user friendly. Dr Rumble has been

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examining the relationship between the Welsh Government and its

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voluntary partners. Responses to her interviews resonated with the

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sector's growing dissatisfaction. With their anonymity preserved, we

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air some of those concerns for the first time. There are lots of

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charities in Wales, yet we see the same old faces on the committees. I

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think it is because half these people are not going anywhere. They

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are livers. They will stay there until they retire. The third sector

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partnership in Wales can aaccused of You are aware that you could be

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biting the hand that feeds you. We could be a lot more critical, but

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what is the point? It is difficult to negotiate the Welsh Government

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because it is such a behemoh. eyes of some of its own critical

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friends, the Welsh Government has seen -- is seen as something of a

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monster of biblical proportions. The monster, as some see it, is

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represented in Wales in the shape of a one-party state, in what amounts

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to this in the bay. In Wales, you evoke that polyian's name at your

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peril and you whisper these things rather than shout about them, in

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case, as one of those voices we heard earlier put it, you bite the

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hand that feeds you. Everyone knows hand that feeds you. Everyone knows

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that Wales is a Labour country. If you look at the next election you

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would expect to be working a Labour Government. Why would you rock the

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boat if you know at the next election there'll be no regime

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change and it will be more of the same? If you thought at the next

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election there would be a kon or a Plaid Cymru Government, then you

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would work harder... And lobbying those organisations? And trying to

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get what you want to see into their manifesto pledges. The man who heads

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the umbrella organisation for 33,000 voluntary organisations in Wales

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disagrees with the suggestion that his members are constrained by the

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existence of a one-party state in Wales. Civil society and charities

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will dedevelop their own manifestos and ideas. For one party?Which will

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be one term and which they will seek to pursue in a variety of ways.

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Sometimes that will be working with Government, of whatever political

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persuasion. These are not hugely politicised issues. Sometimes it

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will be having to campaign and to make it clear that the standard of

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service is not up to it. That is not being afraid of Government, because

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most organisations are not dependant on central Government money for

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their policy work. Unsurprisingly, political opponents of Labour are

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not convinced that the current structure of public bodies in Wales

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is a healthy one. My fear of course is that the Labour Party are an

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extremely tribal party in Wales. They tend to favour relationships

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with the bodies that are supportive of it and therefore we don't get

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that vibrant civil society, which is essential if democracy is to work

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properly. Critics say steps should be taken to ensure greater

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transparency in the make-up of those bodies which have such an important

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influence on our lives. We need accountability. It is transparency

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and what I call for is for the Welsh Government to publish, for every

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body receiving money for it, that the political affiliation of the

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senior personnel is published and also the numerous public appointees,

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running public services in Wales, the political membership of those

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individuals should be published - all parties. So, is the Welsh

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Government listening? It says it is. And the consultation exercise

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announced this month w the aim of reviewing the relationship between

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the Welsh Government and the third sector is said to be evidence of

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just that. I understand that this is intended to be more than simply a

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cosmetic exercise, intended merely to fob off the growing criticism and

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concern of a Labour-dominated society. It is said to be a genuine

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response to the concerns now surfacing publicly for the first

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time. I think, after ten years of devolution it is quite right to have

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a look. They call it a refresh in terms of how these structures are

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working. I think... They are all buzzwords. Do they mean anything?

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think in terms of taking the good of what we have at the moment, building

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upon that, yes, being honest about what works and doesn't work and then

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looking at ways of improving that, then that's the way to go.

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Well, all very encouraging. But in response to this latest consultation

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exercise will anybody dare to rock the boat and challenge the Welsh

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Government publicly? Or will it be the usual suspects mouthing familiar

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platitudes, in fear of having their funding cut? If that happens them it

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will only re-enforce the perception that this is the usual

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merry-go-round and Napolean is riding over Wales and when the music

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stops we will not be any further forward.

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That was David Williams, enjoying himself. Joining me is Anna Nichol.

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A policy and research consultant, working to encourage more

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participation in the third sector in Wales. Good to have you with us.

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That was depressing in a way. It seemed to suggest that nothing is

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moving or changing - is that fair? Sometimes by focussing just on those

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organisations that have public funding, maybe we are overegging the

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fact that we have a lot of campaigning groups in Wales. We do

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have independent voices. There are community groups across the country.

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So if you have an issue such as wind farms or a hospital or a school

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closing, actually you have a lot of dwroups campaigning. There is --

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groups campaigning. There is a lot of groups out there. Those who have

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received substantial funding, a small group of those charities and

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organisations that do have particular issues in their

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relationship with Government. are receiving, as a community, more

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than �300 million, there is a disincentive there, isn't there, to

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speak up or say things which might be critical, even if in a

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constructive way. It can be problematic. This is not exclusive

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to Wales. This happens across the UK and across the world with Government

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and third sector organisations. I think certainly for Government and

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for charities, it is about improving kind of services and the way that

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policies are delivered in Wales. Government knows if it wants

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effective policies it whats to listen to first-hand experience of

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those communities working with individuals or they will not get the

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effect of policies they want to and deliver services that work. You have

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worked at the highest level in Cardiff Bay. Are you saying that in

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the First Minister's office, no matter who that is, they would

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welcome country wugss which would question -- contributions which

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would question that - you don't welcome that at all? It is

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problematic. Certainly, I have seen it not being handled very well and,

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of course, it is a political environment. Nobody wants to be

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criticised. The Government itself is nervous oh at being criticised. I

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think -- nervous at being criticised. I think this

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relationship, 13 years into devolution, we know that if we are

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going to make better policy and deliver better services, that in

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principal this is something which needs to happen. Why isn't there, as

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I understand it, a comprehensive list of who gets money and where it

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goes? And that list might be easily accessible - why is that information

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not readingly available? Secondly, do you think it is fair, as Jonathan

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Edwards was saying, that people should declare political allegiance

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when representing some of these bodies receiving money? I am not

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sure whether there is or not a list of which public organisations get

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funding. I don't see why there isn't. I would image gib it has not

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been co-- I would imagine that it has not been collated across

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departments. In terms of political allegiance of charities and

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voluntary groups n the same way that Government should be open and

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accountable, I would certainly agree that third-sector organisations,

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wherever they are receiving funding from should be as open and

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accountable as possible. We should know who is running these

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organisations - staff and especially who is the trustees of these

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organisations. That is a positive principal, indeed whether they are

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receiving public funding or not. Anna, good to talk to you. Thank you

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very much. Thank you.Now, from the crisis in the third sector to the

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crisis at Cardiff airport. We reported on the Welsh Government's

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controversial decision to take over the airport. Passenger numbers are

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at a 15-year low. What can be done 25 years in civil aviation is where

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I have been. Birmingham airport - 51% of the shares are held by the

:18:29.:18:33.

public sector. We work together for a common purpose. It is that we want

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a successful region using its local airport. We have coined the phrase

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"great airports for great cities and great airports for great cities."

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Speak to you later. That was my wife. I think the Welsh Government

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have to run the airport at arm's length. There are people who will

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cry foul play if they don't - the European Union being one. A number

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of airports across Europe have been called to account by the commission,

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who have said, you cannot vest in this particular operation because

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you are using public funds and you are distorting the market. The

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challenge the Welsh Government faces is how you reinvigorate the airport.

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What you are saying is not just Cardiff airport, you are selling the

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Welsh economy and the economy of South Wales. Look to the people of

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Cardiff to use their local airport - that is the key. In the past, they

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have done so. What we have seen over the past few years is that the

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attraction of bris toll, or the lack of a-- Bristol or the lack of

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attraction of Cardiff has had people go to the other airport. Having done

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the turn-around, put it back into the private sector.

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Cardiff has some great advantages. It has a - it is a great capital

:20:00.:20:05.

city, a great runway, a maintenance facility. It has the airport it

:20:05.:20:09.

probably deserves. It has all the -- needs all the things to work

:20:09.:20:13.

together. It is no silver bullet. It will take a number of years to put

:20:13.:20:19.

Cardiff back where it needs to be. I hope that Cardiff can wean itself

:20:19.:20:23.

off Government support, ultimately. I have made comments about Cardiff

:20:23.:20:28.

being nationalised. I don't think it is right for Cardiff. I am convinced

:20:28.:20:31.

with the right management it can be successful in the future. We would

:20:31.:20:35.

not like to see the distortion by pulling passengers back with some

:20:35.:20:39.

form of Government subsidy. I hope the Welsh Government allow Cardiff

:20:39.:20:42.

to stand on its own two feet, succeed and become the airport it

:20:42.:20:52.
:20:52.:20:53.

should be. Well, that was the view from thriving Birmingham Airport. We

:20:53.:20:57.

asked for views about the future of the airport, sad sadly neither was

:20:57.:21:07.
:21:07.:21:21.

compare them with Birmin fwrks ham -- - Birmingham - what is going on?

:21:21.:21:29.

There has not been investment in the same way we have seen in Birmingham.

:21:29.:21:34.

Something had to ben do stop that. Is the Government right to put the

:21:34.:21:42.

money on the table and take it over? There was little alternative to

:21:42.:21:52.

putting that money in. Until about 1986, all airports were publicly

:21:52.:21:58.

owned. It is a novel thing to have privately-owned airports. Since 1986

:21:58.:22:01.

you've had more commercialisation of airports and the realisation they

:22:01.:22:06.

have to make a lot of money not just from passengers flying in and out

:22:06.:22:14.

but from what they do in a retail sense. Bristol and Cardiff have a

:22:14.:22:19.

tricky relationship. Some will say Bristol is offering a range of

:22:19.:22:23.

flights and carriers that Cardiff don't have. Therefore it cannot

:22:23.:22:28.

compete. It is investment in the first place. You need routes and

:22:28.:22:34.

investment. That is why I like the suggestion there from what we heard

:22:34.:22:40.

in Birmingham about a private-public partnership. You need to leverage in

:22:40.:22:44.

more private investment to build that new terminal, that new retail

:22:44.:22:46.

offering and develop the new routes that will attract passengers. It

:22:46.:22:51.

will not be easy. How do you convince the Ryanairs and easyJets

:22:51.:22:55.

and the rest of it - how do you convince them they need to be based

:22:55.:23:04.

in Cardiff? You will have to develop a meaningful relationship with these

:23:04.:23:08.

low-cost airports and with traditional airports -- airlines.

:23:08.:23:14.

The package will be able how we can offer low-passenger duty. If we had

:23:14.:23:20.

advanced passenger costs in Wales, if we could use that to pass off a

:23:20.:23:24.

more competitive package... effective would it be? How much of a

:23:24.:23:30.

difference would it make? It could difference would it make? It could

:23:30.:23:33.

be very important because it is a big Part of the cost of flying and

:23:33.:23:37.

airports, in particular, airlines in particular would be particularly

:23:37.:23:42.

attracted to somewhere where that cost was reduced substantially.

:23:42.:23:51.

would you say to people out there with sceptical, not to say views,

:23:51.:23:57.

that Cardiff has missed the boat? grew to two million passengers,

:23:57.:24:01.

under the previous owners. They had the right approach. They developed

:24:01.:24:05.

good links with the airlines. They made a competitive offering. I don't

:24:05.:24:11.

think it is impossible to get back to two million a year. Two million

:24:11.:24:18.

should be feasible. Bris toll is -- Bristol is five or six million.

:24:18.:24:23.

a new terminal, some new routes we could get to four million

:24:23.:24:27.

passengers, without much real investment. A lot of infrastructure

:24:27.:24:35.

and investment as well means a lot of things coming down the line. The

:24:35.:24:40.

Severn Barrage, for example. You have electrification. All this will

:24:40.:24:45.

help Cardiff expand its catchment area and make it viable to get to

:24:45.:24:52.

four million. The Department of Transport is predicting they will

:24:52.:25:00.

get to... By 2030, they forecast that will it get to 12 million. With

:25:00.:25:05.

12 million per an number we would have a �1 billion economic asset in

:25:05.:25:10.

Wales. Then we could be really motoring. Can you name a prominent

:25:11.:25:16.

Welsh scientist or engineer? There Welsh scientist or engineer? There

:25:16.:25:19.

are plenty out there. Some are even noble Prizewinners like Sir Martin

:25:19.:25:24.

Evans, but if science is to become a bigger success story, the experts

:25:24.:25:29.

say more needs to be done. Wendy is a physicist on a mission, to inspire

:25:29.:25:33.

the next generation, she believes that working with children at an

:25:33.:25:43.
:25:43.:25:45.

early age is the key to transforming We have got to secure a supply of

:25:45.:25:49.

future generation of scientists to help the country grow. We need to

:25:49.:25:54.

make sure that everyone in Wales has a better awareness of how science

:25:54.:25:57.

works so they can make informed decisions about their lives. Put

:25:57.:26:03.

your hands up if you like science. Brilliant! Becky is a scientist. She

:26:03.:26:08.

will have lots of fun with you this afternoon, doing lots of

:26:08.:26:13.

experiments. Most primary school students love science. They are

:26:13.:26:16.

naturally curious about the world around them. A lot of research says

:26:16.:26:21.

you have to tackle them now to get their attitudes to science more

:26:21.:26:25.

positive. When they get to secondary school the attitudes change. They

:26:25.:26:29.

don't see the link between the science at school and the careers it

:26:29.:26:34.

can take them to. They get that if they want to be a doctor or a

:26:34.:26:36.

teacher they need science. They don't see the hundreds of

:26:36.:26:42.

opportunities open to them if they choose science at school. One of the

:26:42.:26:51.

problems is the stereotype of science. If you Google the image of

:26:51.:26:57.

science, you get a professor with white hair. Some are even female.

:26:57.:27:02.

This lack of positive role models for secondary schools is a real

:27:02.:27:10.

issue. People talk about this brain Cox

:27:10.:27:14.

effect, this is not really eflected in Wales.

:27:14.:27:22.

One of the problems -- Brian Cox effect, this is not really reflected

:27:22.:27:28.

in Wales. Less than 20% of students at secondary school get taught

:27:28.:27:34.

physics by a physics graduate. It is not to say other graduates can not

:27:34.:27:38.

teach it. It is to say there is a lack of passion for the subject.

:27:38.:27:41.

This can be picked up by the students. In Wales this is perhaps a

:27:42.:27:46.

particular problem. There is a big generation of physics teachers about

:27:46.:27:51.

to retire and these gaps need to be filled by new graduates.

:27:51.:27:57.

One of the things we often hear from teachers is it is so hard to fit

:27:57.:28:02.

everything into the curriculum at secondary school level. There is so

:28:02.:28:12.

much pressure for exam results that they have to bring in extra people.

:28:12.:28:16.

Wales is performing less Wales than countries of a similar size and

:28:16.:28:20.

similar background. So, it is not just a problem for the

:28:20.:28:24.

scientists, there's been research to show across the world the number of

:28:24.:28:31.

science graduates is closely linked to a very healthy economy. So,

:28:31.:28:36.

Wales, it seems we are great about having pride in our local sports

:28:37.:28:41.

stars and musicians, but we are not so good at shouting about the stars

:28:41.:28:51.
:28:51.:28:52.

of Wales science and engineering. Culturally perhaps we should shout

:28:52.:28:58.

louder about the achievements of Welsh science. Give a big round of

:28:58.:29:05.

applause for Becky. That was Wendy Sadler with that

:29:05.:29:10.

With passenger numbers at their lowest in over 15 years, what can be done to get Cardiff airport off the ground? And a call for more Welsh schoolchildren to be encouraged to participate in science.


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