02/06/2013 The Wales Report


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


for robust action to restrict access to pornographic images online.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


renewed calls for tougher restriction, including action by the


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


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


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


after the dreadful events in Machynlleth. What lessons have you


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


fundamentally wrong that the responsibility is with those


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


worked with colleagues in other countries who are busy trying to


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


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


are actually a record of concrete abuse and rape of individual


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


organisations in the voluntary sector in Wales. They are an


integral part of Welsh life, including charities and community


groups and they deliver some essential services. Many parts of


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


fulfilling one of its key rules - objectively scrutinising the


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


being damaged. An official consultation on the relationship


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


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


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


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


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


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


Government, the public and the private sectors. Voluntary sector


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


intended to help the Welsh Government formulate policy. But


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


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


organisation. It is quite impenetrable when you try and use


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


examining the relationship between the Welsh Government and its


voluntary partners. Responses to her interviews resonated with the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the umbrella organisation for 33,000 voluntary organisations in Wales


disagrees with the suggestion that his members are constrained by the


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


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


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


Sometimes that will be working with Government, of whatever political


persuasion. These are not hugely politicised issues. Sometimes it


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


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


most organisations are not dependant on central Government money for


their policy work. Unsurprisingly, political opponents of Labour are


not convinced that the current structure of public bodies in Wales


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


extremely tribal party in Wales. They tend to favour relationships


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


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


properly. Critics say steps should be taken to ensure greater


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


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


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


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


senior personnel is published and also the numerous public appointees,


running public services in Wales, the political membership of those


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


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


announced this month w the aim of reviewing the relationship between


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


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


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


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


response to the concerns now surfacing publicly for the first


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


stops we will not be any further forward.


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


A policy and research consultant, working to encourage more


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


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


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


organisations that have public funding, maybe we are overegging the


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


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


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


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


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


received substantial funding, a small group of those charities and


organisations that do have particular issues in their


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


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


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


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


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


and third sector organisations. I think certainly for Government and


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


policies are delivered in Wales. Government knows if it wants


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


those communities working with individuals or they will not get the


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


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


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


welcome country wugss which would question -- contributions which


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


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


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


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


think -- nervous at being criticised. I think this


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


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


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


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


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


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


Edwards was saying, that people should declare political allegiance


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


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


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


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


departments. In terms of political allegiance of charities and


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


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


wherever they are receiving funding from should be as open and


accountable as possible. We should know who is running these


organisations - staff and especially who is the trustees of these


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


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


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


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


controversial decision to take over the airport. Passenger numbers are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


airports, in particular, airlines in particular would be particularly


attracted to somewhere where that cost was reduced substantially.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


passengers, without much real investment. A lot of infrastructure


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


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


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


four million. The Department of Transport is predicting they will


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


experiments. Most primary school students love science. They are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


issue. People talk about this brain Cox


effect, this is not really eflected in Wales.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of Wales science and engineering. Culturally perhaps we should shout


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


applause for Becky. That was Wendy Sadler with that


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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