22/01/2014 The Wales Report


22/01/2014

The Wales Report with Huw Edwards looks at claims that a lack of regulation and training for care workers is putting vulnerable people at risk.


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Tonight on the Wales Report... Is there a crisis brewing in the

:00:00.:00:14.

care sector? The Welsh government is urged to bring much tougher

:00:15.:00:16.

regulation of home care workers. We talk about income tax. And we ask

:00:17.:00:21.

what powers are needed to boost the Welsh economy?

:00:22.:00:23.

And the challenge of keeping Welsh politics in the headlines. But is

:00:24.:00:26.

more media coverage the same as more scrutiny? Stay with us for the Wales

:00:27.:00:28.

Report. Good evening, welcome to the Wales

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Report, where we take a look at the issues making an impact on lives in

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Wales. And we question some of those making the decisions.

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On tonight's programme, vulnerable adults who receive home care in

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Wales are potentially being put at risk by a lack of regulation and

:00:53.:00:55.

inconsistent standards of training. That is according to a leading Welsh

:00:56.:01:03.

charity. The vast majority, over 94% of professional care workers in

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Wales, are not registered with a regulating body. And they currently

:01:07.:01:08.

don't need any formal qualifications. Many in the sector,

:01:09.:01:12.

including qualifications. Many in the sector,

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the way, say change Every day, tens of thousands of

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vulnerable people across Wales relied on paid carers to come into

:01:35.:01:41.

their homes. They may be elderly or disabled and need assistance with

:01:42.:01:47.

vital tasks like taking medication, and sometimes that carer will be

:01:48.:01:50.

their only contact with the outside world. So how do we know whether our

:01:51.:01:57.

home carers at up to the task? The Ansett is we don't. Some workers do

:01:58.:02:06.

not need to have altercations and don't have to be registered with the

:02:07.:02:14.

regulator. The Wales Report has been contacted by a carer who is deeply

:02:15.:02:19.

worried about the situation. She wants to remain anonymous, but in

:02:20.:02:23.

e-mails still does that when she first darted as a carer she had very

:02:24.:02:28.

little training, despite having no previous experience. Training took

:02:29.:02:32.

place over eight weeks and was unpaid. Then there was a period of

:02:33.:02:38.

shadowing, going out with an experienced carer watching care put

:02:39.:02:43.

in practice, but only as good as the person you are shadowing all stop

:02:44.:02:47.

then you got your order and out you went. The lack of qualifications

:02:48.:02:52.

means most workers only in the minimum wage, and some only paid for

:02:53.:03:01.

the time the hard-working, not travelling between appointments, so

:03:02.:03:05.

moral is low, and there is a high turnover of staff. Sickness rates

:03:06.:03:11.

were very high, adding more pressure to the carers, as they had to take

:03:12.:03:17.

on the calls, staff leaving weekly, and a newly inducted member of staff

:03:18.:03:23.

lasted half a day in one company. According to a survey by the union

:03:24.:03:31.

Unison, that of -- who pay and conditions is having a shocking

:03:32.:03:33.

effect on the work horse and on care.

:03:34.:03:39.

The workers are undervalued, with no constituency with regard to

:03:40.:03:44.

training, or expectations when they are in the client's home, and

:03:45.:03:52.

unfortunately, all of the conditions could lead to a real crisis, a real

:03:53.:03:57.

high profile problem arising in the future. Currently, the only legal

:03:58.:04:04.

high profile problem arising in the requirement is that home carers must

:04:05.:04:04.

be checked to see if they have requirement is that home carers must

:04:05.:04:08.

criminal record, and must be given requirement is that home carers must

:04:09.:04:13.

basic induction. It is the responsibility of the key

:04:14.:04:15.

inspectorate responsibility of the key

:04:16.:04:19.

carry those out. But is that happening? The Wales Report has

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found that the inspectorate does not always ensure those checks have been

:04:24.:04:29.

done. Of the 50 home care reports we looked at on their websites, 28 did

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not look into staff records at all. That is because the inspectorate

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only check the fools that records every three years. The Czechs in

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between those do not have to be comprehensive. Charities working

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with honourable people are concerned that is not enough scrutiny. The

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system is not robust enough at the moment. The regulator has a job to

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do. We are very concerned that vulnerable people being provided

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care in their own homes might not be getting the level of protection

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deserve. That is why the UK home care Association would welcome

:05:10.:05:12.

statutory regulation for all care workers, leaving it would help

:05:13.:05:18.

monitor records. People must be sure the key worker coming into their

:05:19.:05:23.

home is trustworthy, has all the necessary checks and is absolutely

:05:24.:05:29.

skill for the intimate personal care B may be delivering. The Welsh

:05:30.:05:33.

Government has no recognised the current system is not fully

:05:34.:05:36.

protecting vulnerable people in their homes. It wants to bring in a

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new law that would change the inspection and regulation regimes

:05:44.:05:47.

here in Wales. Under the plans, a new body would be set up, called the

:05:48.:05:51.

National Institute for air and support, and that, the government

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argues, would improve all aspects of care. But there are criticisms that

:05:57.:06:02.

the proposals do not go far enough. Controversially, there is no plan to

:06:03.:06:07.

register all home care workers. The we would welcome that registration,

:06:08.:06:13.

although that would bring a high level of bureaucracy. But we do not

:06:14.:06:19.

believe vulnerable people should be put at risk and every risk possible

:06:20.:06:23.

should be mitigated with registration and universal

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registration would be the best way forward. And the carers themselves

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would like their role to be seen as more professional, recognising their

:06:33.:06:37.

vulnerable work. Each call presents a whole different set of needs, very

:06:38.:06:41.

diverse needs, for the most honourable client group, they rely

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on you totally and quite often you are the only person they may see.

:06:47.:06:52.

Many believe unless real changes are made to home care, and June, in

:06:53.:06:56.

future the potential for problems will be huge. -- and soon. If the

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situation continues, we will go from will be huge. -- and soon. If the

:07:04.:07:08.

one crisis to the next. The vulnerable people will not get the

:07:09.:07:13.

one crisis to the next. The services needed and deserved. There

:07:14.:07:16.

could be disasters ahead. Personal disasters. On the

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receiving this care. Helen Callaghan reporting. Joining

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me now is the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Labour's Gwenda

:07:34.:07:38.

Thomas. Thank you for coming in. My pleasure. One thing to say

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straightaway, lots of carers delivering a very good service.

:07:45.:07:50.

Yes. Before we discuss potential problems. Shouldn't every key worker

:07:51.:07:57.

bee registered? When you are talking about a workforce of over 70,000,

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and we have ended consultation on the new White Paper on registration

:08:05.:08:09.

and inspection, I am analysing those responses at the moment. And I have

:08:10.:08:14.

to make the point that, in Wales at the moment, we are registering more

:08:15.:08:18.

workers than we have ever done before. This is a step-by-step

:08:19.:08:24.

approach. The principle that anyone going into someone's home,

:08:25.:08:29.

especially vulnerable people, should be registered so we are safeguarding

:08:30.:08:33.

not just standard but the person cared for. That principle is surely

:08:34.:08:39.

one you would agree with? And it is the utmost priority for the Welsh

:08:40.:08:43.

Government that the safety and dignity of people receiving care is

:08:44.:08:48.

the most priority to us. When you talk about raises during the whole

:08:49.:08:52.

work force, the film made the point that, since last month, it is a

:08:53.:08:57.

requirement or home care managers to be registered, and when you look at

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other countries, Wales is taking vast steps towards registration, and

:09:04.:09:07.

it is fundamentally important for us to realise that the establishment of

:09:08.:09:12.

the Institute of care and support will be a huge step forward and the

:09:13.:09:17.

code of this principle will be developing training and building on

:09:18.:09:22.

the excellent work of the care Council, which has gone on in recent

:09:23.:09:27.

years, developing excellent training and creating career pathways. When

:09:28.:09:32.

you talk about the vulnerability of people cared for, often at home, and

:09:33.:09:38.

the carer is the only person they will see, they are dependent on that

:09:39.:09:42.

person. Again coming back to the points of confidence and trust in

:09:43.:09:47.

the system, how can they have full confidence they aren't being

:09:48.:09:50.

protected if we don't have the kind of registration that is being called

:09:51.:10:00.

for? We are considering a response, but this is a huge workforce. A

:10:01.:10:06.

workforce that sometimes moves quickly, and people working for

:10:07.:10:07.

three months then moving on. Is that quickly, and people working for

:10:08.:10:13.

part of the problem, such a big turnover that the bureaucracy puts

:10:14.:10:20.

part of the problem, such a big registration process? -- fool

:10:21.:10:20.

registration process? No not putting as of, but we have to look at this

:10:21.:10:30.

in a sensible way. We are registering more than many other

:10:31.:10:33.

countries, but I will take seriously all responses to the report, and

:10:34.:10:41.

underpinning this, I think it is the utmost importance of developing,

:10:42.:10:48.

valuing, because I do not think the social workers and social care

:10:49.:10:51.

workers are valued enough within our society, recessional lies that work

:10:52.:10:56.

force and develop the training and that is taking forward, and we have

:10:57.:11:00.

invested tens of millions over the last few years in training, and that

:11:01.:11:07.

extends right across the public, private and voluntary sector. And we

:11:08.:11:12.

will want to identify senior people to have a responsibility in law for

:11:13.:11:16.

the workforce that they are employing, and that they do employ a

:11:17.:11:23.

proportion of that work force who are qualified to our required level.

:11:24.:11:29.

That brings me to the final point about qualification, and perceptions

:11:30.:11:35.

of, I suppose, education of the workforce, because so many are

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earning very little money, minimum wage, and there are clearly problems

:11:38.:11:42.

of commitment in the sense people feel they have to move on, not happy

:11:43.:11:49.

with the conditions they have, and lots not having qualifications. A

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matter of bringing up standards in lots of areas? Indeed, and we are

:11:53.:11:59.

well on the way to do that, and we have to professionalise the

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workforce in order to value it and improve services and the quality of

:12:03.:12:08.

provision. Bank you for coming in. -- thank you.

:12:09.:12:14.

Back in November, Prime Minister David Cameron and his Deputy Nick

:12:15.:12:17.

Clegg came to Cardiff to unveil their proposals for new financial

:12:18.:12:20.

powers for the Welsh Government. They included powers to set income

:12:21.:12:24.

tax, if the people of Wales approved them in a referendum. The secretary

:12:25.:12:27.

of Wales, David Jones, has welcomed the move calling for the ballot to

:12:28.:12:34.

be held sooner rather than later. He said it will make the Welsh

:12:35.:12:40.

Government more accountable. Income tax powers, and the more favourable

:12:41.:12:46.

income tax rate in Wales, will be good for the Welsh economy.

:12:47.:12:51.

First Minister Carwyn Jones has described the new powers on offer.

:12:52.:12:55.

As pretty useless. This is what he had to say to the Welsh Affairs

:12:56.:12:58.

Select Committee on Monday. I am somebody who I suspected regarded as

:12:59.:13:03.

fairly strong with regard to the devolution of powers, but on this

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issue, I cannot make a case for Wales that would demonstrate

:13:09.:13:12.

evolution of this model of income tax varying powers, without there

:13:13.:13:20.

being reform of the funding system, would be something

:13:21.:13:23.

being reform of the funding system, net benefit. Joining

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being reform of the funding system, economist and Welsh Government

:13:25.:13:26.

advisor Gerald Holtham. Thank you for coming in. Let us talk

:13:27.:13:33.

advisor Gerald Holtham. Thank you are the useless currently? Very

:13:34.:13:40.

difficult to use. -- to vary them. In the present-day, politicians

:13:41.:13:46.

binding from tax difficult. Look at the Scots, never using the powers

:13:47.:13:52.

they have add. And when have we last had an increase in income tax? When

:13:53.:13:57.

Gordon Brown removed the 10p, tremendous furore. It is a difficult

:13:58.:14:01.

power to use at the best of times. And if you want the government to

:14:02.:14:05.

use it, both up and down, you need as much like stability. The

:14:06.:14:09.

arrangement being proposed here is very rigid, and that will ensure it

:14:10.:14:16.

is never used. When we talk about a lockstep system, what is meant by

:14:17.:14:23.

that? Normally there are three bans for income tax. Rahm 10p up to

:14:24.:14:30.

30,000, in 40p up to 150000 and then above that you pay ?45. A government

:14:31.:14:35.

can normally change the marginal rate for each of those bands

:14:36.:14:39.

separately. The way the Welsh power is being devolved is like this. 10p

:14:40.:14:45.

is going to the Welsh Government and the rest is going to the UK

:14:46.:14:50.

government. If the Welsh Government changes its rate, everybody's rate

:14:51.:14:58.

changes. So the person who is paying 45p then 10p is going to Wells. If

:14:59.:15:06.

the Welsh Government changes to 8% then everybody's marginal tax rate

:15:07.:15:13.

goes down. What is the logic? Because the argument that has been

:15:14.:15:17.

made with as much charity I can assemble, is complete nonsense. They

:15:18.:15:22.

want to preserve the progress of the system, how much it redistributed

:15:23.:15:25.

between income groups, for the centre. Westminster. The reason that

:15:26.:15:31.

does not make sense is that this system does not do that. Are likely

:15:32.:15:36.

to ever see a referendum on these particular proposals? I think it is

:15:37.:15:43.

quite unlikely as things stand. It is very easy to lose this

:15:44.:15:46.

referendum. If you say to people that they need power to change taxes

:15:47.:15:51.

than the initial reaction will be, "do I want to do that?" Hodges and

:15:52.:15:55.

are not any more popular in Wales than anywhere else. We never know

:15:56.:16:00.

whether a referendum will be on the issue or whether we like the

:16:01.:16:04.

politicians. They are taking a big risk. And for what? For a power that

:16:05.:16:08.

there are unlikely to be able to use. And Observer who would maybe

:16:09.:16:12.

take on board what you were saying would also come back and say that it

:16:13.:16:16.

is very odd for politicians, or stakeholders involved in this

:16:17.:16:17.

process, not to want more stakeholders involved in this

:16:18.:16:21.

even of the powers are not stakeholders involved in this

:16:22.:16:24.

would like them, or not set out in the way they would like. Actually,

:16:25.:16:27.

would like them, or not set out in the natural thing for you to want

:16:28.:16:30.

would be to have more powers in order to realise your own policies.

:16:31.:16:34.

Is that not right? I think if you would say to Welsh politicians that

:16:35.:16:35.

they could have these powers then they would not refuse them. They

:16:36.:16:41.

might never use them but at least they would be on the shelf, as it

:16:42.:16:45.

were. But you are asking them to fight a referendum for them. I think

:16:46.:16:50.

that is the point. It is not just theoretical. Somebody has to go and

:16:51.:16:53.

knock on the door and ask people to vote. One of the problems in Wales

:16:54.:16:58.

is that we are having referendum is not on big issues of principle but

:16:59.:17:01.

on fairly technical matters. Nobody's tax is going up as a result

:17:02.:17:07.

of the referendum but it is being organised in a different way,

:17:08.:17:10.

different people can live it. You have to explain lockstep. You will

:17:11.:17:15.

probably get a turnout of 20%, as we did for the last referendum, which

:17:16.:17:19.

was about whether you have powers to legislate on 30 do is use with 14

:17:20.:17:25.

exemptions. -- 32 issues. It is a bad and able to get into that we

:17:26.:17:30.

have these very detailed referendum instead of the question of whether

:17:31.:17:32.

we want a parliament with powers. We are doing these very detailed things

:17:33.:17:38.

and I think the politicians are getting a bit punch-drunk. All of

:17:39.:17:42.

this, in the wider context of how you improve the wider economy -- the

:17:43.:17:47.

Welsh economy. How do you boost the Welsh economy? 7.1% unemployment in

:17:48.:17:55.

the UK, 7.2 in Wales. The picture has been improving in many parts of

:17:56.:17:59.

the country. Thinking in terms of what Wales needs, not just tax

:18:00.:18:02.

powers but other economic powers, how would you explain the picture?

:18:03.:18:09.

There is no quick fix, really. There are two things that the Welsh

:18:10.:18:14.

Government needs to focus on. The first is education and training. The

:18:15.:18:19.

great Irish success, before their disaster in 2007, was really based

:18:20.:18:23.

on a huge investment in education, much higher proportion of Irish kids

:18:24.:18:27.

get to tertiary kids than the UK, certainly than Wales. -- treachery

:18:28.:18:35.

education. Our standards are slipping behind the UK and the best

:18:36.:18:38.

places in Europe. We have turned that around. If you're going to get

:18:39.:18:43.

technical businesses here, large businesses wanting to establish,

:18:44.:18:45.

they want a trained workforce. That is the first thing we have to do.

:18:46.:18:49.

That is a long job, not a six-month effort. It is a 60 year effort. The

:18:50.:18:56.

second thing is infrastructure. If we wanted to be able to move people

:18:57.:18:59.

and goods around and our infrastructure is not great, we do

:19:00.:19:03.

not have a very late topography, all those mountains. We have to improve

:19:04.:19:08.

that. -- a very friendly topography. There is a programme needed of

:19:09.:19:15.

investment to put the country in a better position. Is the Welsh

:19:16.:19:19.

Government engaged in putting together a programme to answer those

:19:20.:19:23.

things? It has started to put together an infrastructure plan,

:19:24.:19:25.

which if that were to come to fruition would be a step forward.

:19:26.:19:30.

There is certainly a big focus on education now. I do

:19:31.:19:32.

There is certainly a big focus on they're going to succeed in turning

:19:33.:19:34.

the corner but these people are talking about it.

:19:35.:19:38.

the corner but these people are very much for coming in.

:19:39.:19:40.

the corner but these people are Do Welsh politicians get the

:19:41.:19:42.

scrutiny they, and the voters, deserve? The Assembly's Presiding

:19:43.:19:45.

Officer, Rosemary Butler, believes the decline of the newspaper

:19:46.:19:48.

industry in Wales and the dominance of London- based media has led to

:19:49.:19:51.

fewer people being engaged in Welsh political life. And she's not alone

:19:52.:19:59.

in that view. But with fewer resources in many news

:20:00.:20:01.

organisations, how realistic is it to demand more coverage? Professor

:20:02.:20:04.

Richard Sambrook of Cardiff University School of Journalism, a

:20:05.:20:07.

former head of BBC Global News, presents his own report on the

:20:08.:20:09.

prospects. Its wheels talking about Wales

:20:10.:20:31.

enough? The lack of media coverage and scrutiny of the Welsh Government

:20:32.:20:35.

is a talk topic that has been talked about -- a topic that has been

:20:36.:20:38.

talked about many times, usually in the same newspapers and TV

:20:39.:20:42.

programmes stop because the coverage of the UK government. How many times

:20:43.:20:48.

have you seen Carwyn Jones on the pages of those same newspapers? Here

:20:49.:20:54.

at Cardiff University, we try to teach student journalists the

:20:55.:20:58.

importance of default government and holding politicians to account but

:20:59.:21:01.

there are not many good examples for them to learn from. Welsh media is

:21:02.:21:10.

back in the spotlight, thanks to Rosemary Butler. Gone will be the

:21:11.:21:16.

days of confusing Michael Gove's policies with Hugh Lewis, she wants

:21:17.:21:23.

the people of Wales to have plenty of sources of news about Wales to

:21:24.:21:27.

choose from. So how exactly are they proposing to do this? One suggestion

:21:28.:21:31.

is a journalism hub in the Senedd, working with hyper local media and

:21:32.:21:36.

digital organisations to provide content for new digital channels.

:21:37.:21:39.

Others include better communication facilities at The Senedd, making the

:21:40.:21:44.

data more accessible and ensuring that people are treating enough and

:21:45.:21:48.

helping to train them journalists of the future in the way The Senedd

:21:49.:21:52.

works. All very good but there is a problem here. Pushing information

:21:53.:21:56.

out is just PR. It is not the same as asking the awkward questions and

:21:57.:21:59.

holding politicians to account. That in the new journalism hub in the

:22:00.:22:03.

Senedd, will the journals of the future be encouraged to challenge

:22:04.:22:06.

what they see and hear will be simply become mouthpieces? These

:22:07.:22:12.

plans are just a starting point and will be developed. I cannot help

:22:13.:22:15.

thinking they're coming from wrong direction. It should be ours, the

:22:16.:22:19.

public, whose lives are affected by the decisions taken in the Assembly,

:22:20.:22:21.

public, whose lives are affected by it is ours who should be pushing for

:22:22.:22:24.

more hard-nosed, independent reporting. We care about schools,

:22:25.:22:29.

more hard-nosed, independent communities, hospitals. It

:22:30.:22:29.

more hard-nosed, independent we started to care about how

:22:30.:22:33.

more hard-nosed, independent being made. It

:22:34.:22:34.

more hard-nosed, independent looking for high-quality

:22:35.:22:37.

more hard-nosed, independent decision-makers coming from many

:22:38.:22:39.

different sources. In many ways, we get the media we deserve. But as the

:22:40.:22:43.

Welsh Government gets greater powers, so should be made more

:22:44.:22:47.

accountable. It is time to get wheels on the front page.

:22:48.:22:50.

Joining me now from our Assembly newsroom is the Deputy Presiding

:22:51.:22:56.

Officer, Conservative David Melding. Thank you for joining us. I am going

:22:57.:23:01.

to pick up on the point that he was making there. Is he right to say

:23:02.:23:04.

that the public gets the media it deserves? I think we all have a part

:23:05.:23:10.

to play in the political process. Those that analyse it, those that

:23:11.:23:17.

have to engage with the public. I suppose public engagement itself. We

:23:18.:23:19.

want to encourage people to tell us what they think and ensure that they

:23:20.:23:26.

can participate openly. Distil the democratic deficit that we have in

:23:27.:23:28.

the modern age, with moderately medications, and very fast legs were

:23:29.:23:32.

people cannot quite spend the time they would have in the past in

:23:33.:23:36.

listening to long broadcasts, I think this is all part of the next

:23:37.:23:43.

we need. Do you think the median Wales, broadcast and oppressed, is

:23:44.:23:48.

at fault? I think there are lots of things that we need to do to catch

:23:49.:23:52.

up with the technology we have had in communications. The fact that we

:23:53.:23:56.

are enjoying, or going through, a period that is like the late 19th

:23:57.:24:00.

century, when Mars newspapers started. That -- when newspapers

:24:01.:24:08.

started. That changed the way politics was done and we moved to

:24:09.:24:11.

universal suffrage and the participation in a formal way. Now

:24:12.:24:18.

we are seeing those old patter and documentation breakdown and new ones

:24:19.:24:21.

opening up. Engaging the public is much more difficult now that there

:24:22.:24:24.

are many other things that people want to get involved with. Is your

:24:25.:24:28.

colleagues right in saying that there is a democratic deficit when

:24:29.:24:31.

it comes to media scrutiny and that that is partly, as she puts it, the

:24:32.:24:35.

media's fault for not taking an interest in what you are doing in

:24:36.:24:40.

Cardiff? I think what we have seen is that wherever is the control in

:24:41.:24:46.

Wales, decisions are made, then we are seeing excellent quality

:24:47.:24:50.

broadcasting and writing. But there is a difficulty, I think, when the

:24:51.:24:54.

number of journalists is reduced. We do not so specialist political

:24:55.:24:59.

journalists here in the. I have to say the BBC has made some decisions

:25:00.:25:04.

in the last year but political reporting and the extent of news

:25:05.:25:08.

coverage in Wales. We still have high quality but there is a real

:25:09.:25:13.

deficit in the UK level. A lot of what we do is not fully reflected in

:25:14.:25:18.

the output, particularly, I think, with the newspapers. But the

:25:19.:25:23.

broadcasters could improve also. A lot of progress has been made,

:25:24.:25:27.

particularly with the BBC. We go back to that question, one

:25:28.:25:28.

politician said at the other day devolved administrations, why would

:25:29.:25:34.

someone living in York, for example, devolved administrations, why would

:25:35.:25:38.

be interested in what is devolved administrations, why would

:25:39.:25:40.

in Cardiff? I think it is relevant when we are making a decision in

:25:41.:25:44.

Cardiff that could set a new precedent. You had this with organ

:25:45.:25:50.

donation, for instance. There was a shift in policy. It was seen to be

:25:51.:25:56.

very medical in the UK. -- very radical. That clearly could impact

:25:57.:26:00.

people's lives in England and Scotland, if their governments

:26:01.:26:04.

followed suit. I think it is that sort of test. Do we get top coverage

:26:05.:26:10.

then? That is kind of the measure that we need to apply to stop -- do

:26:11.:26:16.

we get proper coverage then? We have other examples of debates we have

:26:17.:26:19.

lit. Although we have had a fair coverage, perhaps not always the

:26:20.:26:23.

level we have deserved. A little more than scrutiny. Wouldn't be fair

:26:24.:26:26.

to say that in order that openness to be there, for the scrutiny to be

:26:27.:26:31.

efficient, ministers also have to be available and willing to be

:26:32.:26:34.

questioned. There are instances, certainly that I know of in Welsh

:26:35.:26:37.

Government, where ministers maybe are not as available as they might

:26:38.:26:45.

be. What would you say about that? I put my dignity Presiding Officer's

:26:46.:26:48.

hat on and say that we sometimes have to be very firm with the stars

:26:49.:26:53.

about Wendy -- with ministers about when and where they make statements

:26:54.:26:58.

and we want them to be available to be questioned in the Assembly. Their

:26:59.:27:02.

lives are demanding. They cannot say yes to every request but there is an

:27:03.:27:10.

issue in being available to the main broadcasters and news outlets. There

:27:11.:27:17.

should be effective fumigation. That is an important heart of scrutiny.

:27:18.:27:21.

How many people can watch first Minister 's questions? But how many

:27:22.:27:24.

people will listen to a news bulletin on the BBC in the morning?

:27:25.:27:28.

I think ministers will be aware of that. Finally, the importance of

:27:29.:27:33.

this, we are moving into a period were clearly election is on the

:27:34.:27:37.

horizon, we are talking about important things like tax varying

:27:38.:27:41.

powers, for example. That process of engagement by voters is even more

:27:42.:27:44.

important than it has been before. It certainly is. I think the

:27:45.:27:52.

effective devolution becomes and the greater range of subjects that are

:27:53.:27:56.

devolved, there is a clear logic in doing as much locally and nationally

:27:57.:28:00.

in Wales, Scotland and England at some point as possible. It is very

:28:01.:28:05.

important if we are going to see big decisions being taken on taxation

:28:06.:28:09.

and perhaps to model the Welsh economy, to make it more attractive

:28:10.:28:13.

than, say, the south east of England, if we want to attract

:28:14.:28:16.

people into Wales that currently are in an overcrowded economic region

:28:17.:28:20.

like London on the south east, we have to engage with people to tell

:28:21.:28:24.

them why it is necessary, perhaps, to make some of the decisions we

:28:25.:28:26.

need to be making that initially to make some of the decisions we

:28:27.:28:28.

might surprise people, if looking at really interesting

:28:29.:28:30.

innovative policy options. looking at really interesting

:28:31.:28:33.

thank you for joining us. My pleasure.

:28:34.:28:33.

That's it for this week's programme. pleasure.

:28:34.:28:37.

We'll be back next Wednesday. In the meantime, you can get in touch with

:28:38.:28:40.

us about the issues discussed tonight, or indeed anything else.

:28:41.:28:42.

Email us at [email protected] and we are on Twitter. Thanks for

:28:43.:28:45.

watching. Good night. Nos da.

:28:46.:28:52.

Huw Edwards asks the questions that matter to you about your job, your health, your future. Confronting decision makers with the consequences of their choices and each week Helen Callaghan will be investigating the reality of living in modern Wales.

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