04/06/2014 The Wales Report


04/06/2014

Is developing city regions the answer to improving economic life outside Cardiff and is enough being done to encourage Welsh students to take up places at Oxford and Cambridge?


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 04/06/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Will the creation of city regions help spread wealth around Wales?

:00:00.:00:11.

With four months to go until the Scottish referendum on

:00:12.:00:15.

independence, could today's Queen's Speech have been the last ever to

:00:16.:00:17.

And why are so few Welsh students applying to

:00:18.:00:25.

Good evening and welcome to the Wales Report.

:00:26.:00:42.

The latest figures show the Welsh economy is lagging

:00:43.:00:46.

behind the rest of the UK, so what can be done to reverse the decline?

:00:47.:00:51.

The Welsh Government thinks that the creation of city regions is key.

:00:52.:00:55.

Such a scheme, they say, will make sure that the benefits

:00:56.:00:59.

of economic growth, usually centered around a city,

:01:00.:01:01.

can be spread out across a wider area, boosting several communities.

:01:02.:01:09.

So far two city regions have been created, the Swansea Bay Region

:01:10.:01:14.

and the Cardiff Capital Region, which is headed by Welsh Rugby

:01:15.:01:17.

We'll be speaking to him in a moment.

:01:18.:01:21.

But first, our economic correspondent Sarah Dickins takes

:01:22.:01:23.

With Wales getting steadily lurk in period to the UK average city

:01:24.:01:43.

regions have been hailed as a way of kick-starting the economy. --

:01:44.:01:52.

getting steadily Puller compares to the UK average.

:01:53.:02:01.

There is a strong argument that as the world changes and emerging

:02:02.:02:05.

markets manufacture what we used to make, wheels need to seek more

:02:06.:02:17.

knowledge intensive jobs. -- Wales needs to seek more knowledge

:02:18.:02:24.

intensive jobs. The former head of CB I Wales was

:02:25.:02:34.

asked to find out if a city region policy would work. None of our

:02:35.:02:44.

cities punch their weight, let alone above their weight.

:02:45.:03:07.

The Cardiff Capital Region spread out from Newport to Bridgend and up

:03:08.:03:11.

to the heads of the valleys. It is proposed that our transport network

:03:12.:03:18.

be built to connect people with new jobs and opportunities. This easier

:03:19.:03:32.

has high and employment. For more than 20 years initiatives have tried

:03:33.:03:43.

to create jobs. Communities were based on coal, which is long gone.

:03:44.:03:56.

If they feel to get communities like this to drop local rivalries the

:03:57.:04:04.

project will be weakened. How do you get a capital city to thrive without

:04:05.:04:07.

people living here feeling left behind? There are some people with

:04:08.:04:19.

real expertise behind this. There is the danger that we rely on the

:04:20.:04:24.

trickle-down effect. That does not work. If we are to adopt the city

:04:25.:04:31.

region approach it must be on a different model. For city regions to

:04:32.:04:45.

work strong leadership is vital. Different councils and to political

:04:46.:04:49.

parties have two pooled together. But is there a figurehead? We need a

:04:50.:05:02.

person who will help to deliver it. We do not have a Boris or a cane as

:05:03.:05:17.

they do in Manchester or London. -- in Ken.

:05:18.:05:27.

It is a different arguments to persuade people who live outside the

:05:28.:05:32.

city region that their lives will be better if more money is spent miles

:05:33.:05:34.

and miles away in Cardiff. Joining me now is Roger Lewis, the

:05:35.:05:42.

chair of the Cardiff Capital Region. What difference should the people

:05:43.:05:53.

feel of the city region is a success? They need to feel that

:05:54.:06:01.

there is a future for them, that there is an equality of opportunity.

:06:02.:06:09.

At the heart of what we are trying to achieve with the Cardiff Capital

:06:10.:06:13.

Region is something that is transformational, that will give a

:06:14.:06:17.

real economic benefits to everyone. But when it comes to jobs and money

:06:18.:06:23.

surely those will be concentrated in the capital. That will not trickle

:06:24.:06:30.

down. We are trying to achieve collectivity. We need to link up the

:06:31.:06:34.

ten authorities throughout the region. At the heart of that

:06:35.:06:38.

proposition is the Metro project which was referred to within the

:06:39.:06:44.

film. That Metro project is transformational. It'll make a

:06:45.:06:46.

fundamental difference to the region. The latest estimate is that

:06:47.:06:53.

it will cost ?5 billion. Where is the money going to come from? The

:06:54.:06:58.

total cost is an eye watering sum of money. But we have to start

:06:59.:07:02.

somewhere. Considerable work has been undertaken by the Welsh

:07:03.:07:07.

Government and by some local authorities. We are presenting that

:07:08.:07:11.

work to the minister later in the year. There is a sense of journey

:07:12.:07:16.

and destination as to how we can source the money. I am confident it

:07:17.:07:20.

will happen because it has to happen. The money would come from

:07:21.:07:26.

central Government and also the local authorities. But money is

:07:27.:07:31.

tight. The key thing is unity of purpose. We are working with

:07:32.:07:34.

Government. I was with their Minister of Finance today. Working

:07:35.:07:46.

with the Welsh Government, also with Europe, also with London.

:07:47.:07:56.

Many people see the needs to be a minister dedicated to this if it is

:07:57.:08:05.

to work. Our strength is that we are small. It is also a weakness. We

:08:06.:08:13.

have a unity of purpose. There is a unity of purpose in Government. It

:08:14.:08:18.

is important to emphasise the nature of the project is that it must

:08:19.:08:25.

survive the political cycles. That means we have two had ties to remove

:08:26.:08:31.

it from the political arena. What is the model? Vancouver has been

:08:32.:08:39.

suggested. Edinburgh, Manchester. What is the model? How do you break

:08:40.:08:52.

down tribalism? There are lots of great models. Stuttgart as the

:08:53.:09:00.

exemplar. That has huge support from European funding. In the UK the best

:09:01.:09:10.

model is Manchester. To address the tribalism point, around the table we

:09:11.:09:15.

have four of the leaders of ten of the authorities and we are regularly

:09:16.:09:20.

talking to the other authorities. If you live in Cardiff live in

:09:21.:09:24.

Cardiff, if you live in the valleys you live in the valleys. What

:09:25.:09:31.

difference will we see data di? There will be an overarching --

:09:32.:09:39.

there will be an overarching strategic approach. The ten

:09:40.:09:41.

authorities will come together to align their strategies. We have two.

:09:42.:09:50.

We need to figure out where people work and where people live and where

:09:51.:09:55.

people play. We need to plan that on a regional basis. We need to make

:09:56.:10:00.

sure that people are truly connected. Economic growth is never

:10:01.:10:13.

equally distributed, so we need to give people the equality of

:10:14.:10:16.

opportunity to connect with that growth. It has been said that we

:10:17.:10:22.

need charismatic leaders. Are you that charismatic leader? No. I am

:10:23.:10:29.

the cheer of the board. We are not doing this for political ambition.

:10:30.:10:35.

We are doing less because we want to make a difference. When we feel we

:10:36.:10:40.

have got the governance right, when are metal project is right, we as a

:10:41.:10:47.

board needs to ask if we are the right people to take this forward.

:10:48.:10:52.

We may well step back and make sure there is a leader, statutorily

:10:53.:10:57.

authority, that can drive us forward. This is not paid. You are

:10:58.:11:06.

doing it in your spear time. -- in your free time. I have no particular

:11:07.:11:18.

mission. We need to do the right thing for Wales. If we do not step

:11:19.:11:24.

forward heaven help us all. We all debts two wheels. This is time to

:11:25.:11:33.

pay it back. Thank you for joining us.

:11:34.:11:38.

Earlier today the Queen delivered her annual speech to Parliament,

:11:39.:11:40.

setting out its legislative agenda for the coming year.

:11:41.:11:43.

Headlines were made by policy announcements on pension

:11:44.:11:45.

reform, tax-free childcare and performance reviews for MPs.

:11:46.:11:47.

But today could be the last time the Queen's Speech lists legislation

:11:48.:11:50.

With the Scottish referendum on independence now only 16 weeks away,

:11:51.:11:56.

And how will the result, whether a yes or no to independence,

:11:57.:12:05.

Joining us now are two Welsh leaders on either side of the debate.

:12:06.:12:12.

From Westminster is the Shadow Secretary of State

:12:13.:12:15.

for Wales, Labour's Owen Smith and here in the studio I'm joined by

:12:16.:12:19.

the Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood. Whatever the result in the

:12:20.:12:31.

referendum, the status quo will have to change, won't it? Yes because all

:12:32.:12:38.

parties have committed themselves to change it. Other parties in Scotland

:12:39.:12:50.

want further change other than the Scottish Nationalist party. You

:12:51.:12:53.

other party offering released devolution because the curve --

:12:54.:12:57.

conservatives have overtaken you, haven't they? If you take a narrow

:12:58.:13:06.

perspective on tax, and even then, it is very unlikely that rates will

:13:07.:13:14.

shift by more than 15p. There would be a -5% starting rate if Labour

:13:15.:13:22.

come to power so there is not that much between us. There is a clear

:13:23.:13:28.

recognition there is dire for -- desire for greater autonomy in

:13:29.:13:32.

Scotland and Wales and England and we are committed to that.

:13:33.:13:39.

Whatever the result there will be an impact, won't they? It is a matter

:13:40.:13:48.

for us in Wales to decide how much we can be involved. It is essential

:13:49.:13:54.

that we make sure we are part of that debate. Aren't we pretty much

:13:55.:14:02.

ignored in Scotland? We not as involved as we should be and there

:14:03.:14:06.

is an opportunity for a rebalancing of power throughout the United

:14:07.:14:11.

Kingdom, economically, socially and politically. It is an opportunity

:14:12.:14:15.

for Wales to take powers we need to transform our economy. We have a

:14:16.:14:22.

government in Cardiff Bay who are turning down opportunities to have

:14:23.:14:25.

control over the levers that can affect our economy.

:14:26.:14:32.

Owen Smith, when you talk to people involved in the negotiations in

:14:33.:14:35.

Scotland they say our voices not heard. There is talk of a veto on

:14:36.:14:43.

the pound in Scotland but that is cuckoo land as we are not stuck in,

:14:44.:14:50.

are we? It is properly Owen Jones's fault, isn't it?

:14:51.:14:56.

I don't think that is true. The debate in Scotland as to whether it

:14:57.:15:00.

wants to be independent is essentially a question for Scotland

:15:01.:15:04.

so there is no prospect of Wales having an equal voice in that

:15:05.:15:10.

debate, nor England. But the impact on the rest of the UK is potentially

:15:11.:15:15.

massive. What would it look like? Of course it is but it is massive for

:15:16.:15:21.

England and English people but English people do not have a say. It

:15:22.:15:30.

is a slightly false premise. I have been to Scotland on two or three

:15:31.:15:34.

occasions and have spoken on a platform with Gordon Brown and we

:15:35.:15:39.

held a Labour Party shadow cabinet a few weeks ago. The notion that Wales

:15:40.:15:44.

is not being listened to is not true. They are keen to hear Welsh

:15:45.:15:48.

voices in Scotland, but they don't want to hear an unreal view from

:15:49.:15:55.

Wales as Plaid Cymru suggest. We are not in favour of an independent

:15:56.:15:57.

Wales. It is looking like a "no" vote. What

:15:58.:16:05.

would that do to nationalism in Scotland and here in Wales?

:16:06.:16:12.

If you are right, it is likely it will be a narrow margin and I should

:16:13.:16:17.

imagine there will be an appetite on the part of people in Scotland to

:16:18.:16:23.

take more autonomy and Maude decisions. Independence won't

:16:24.:16:26.

necessarily be off the agenda. If it is close, people might still want to

:16:27.:16:35.

make sure it remains on the agenda. But if the SNP can't get it through,

:16:36.:16:42.

surely it is pie in the sky here? Of course they are going all out for

:16:43.:16:47.

a win and there is a long time before the vote takes place and

:16:48.:16:50.

momentum is on their side. They are running a positive campaign compared

:16:51.:17:00.

to the "no" campaign. What I would say to people like Owain Smith is,

:17:01.:17:06.

what other benefits for Scotland for being part of the union? That been

:17:07.:17:14.

spelt out, nor for Wales. You want to Scotland to go but where

:17:15.:17:20.

would that leave Wales? Just part of England?

:17:21.:17:25.

That is the question people here will need to seriously consider and

:17:26.:17:28.

we have to make sure we have a strong voice in the negotiations.

:17:29.:17:36.

Couldn't Wales be subsumed? Or you could take the view that the

:17:37.:17:42.

power could be dispersed across Britain and there is the opportunity

:17:43.:17:46.

to rebalance. The sacking of everything towards London will be

:17:47.:17:52.

relocated to Edinburgh and that opens up opportunities for Wales, I

:17:53.:17:57.

think. The latest phase with John Smith and

:17:58.:18:02.

Tony Blair and the whole idea was to stem support for the SNP but that

:18:03.:18:11.

has backfired. That is a miserably ten -- misrepresentation of the

:18:12.:18:17.

history. The whole point of devolution was about decentralising

:18:18.:18:22.

power and amplifying the voice of Wales at Westminster whilst giving

:18:23.:18:26.

us more local accountability and autonomy and control over power and

:18:27.:18:32.

the levers of power in Wales, which is what it has done. Health,

:18:33.:18:37.

education and local government, all these things that are determined in

:18:38.:18:42.

Wales. Now we talk about going further so that Wales is more on the

:18:43.:18:47.

same sort of fitting as Scotland in respect -- in respect of powers and

:18:48.:18:52.

the model of powers and that has been consistent through Labour 's

:18:53.:18:57.

policy on devolution. What other benefits for Wales? Being part of a

:18:58.:19:02.

shared market, a shared society, shared history and a shared future.

:19:03.:19:12.

There practical benefits. Let me bring this to a close. With one

:19:13.:19:18.

quick question to each of you. When will the people of Wales get to vote

:19:19.:19:23.

on independence, if at all? It is different -- difficult as we

:19:24.:19:29.

are on a different stage of the journey but I would like to see is

:19:30.:19:33.

get to the point where there is a temp one macro that can build

:19:34.:19:39.

institutions -- Plaid Cymru government. Why should we have a

:19:40.:19:48.

vote on it when nine or 10% were in favour. Plaid Cymru are the fourth

:19:49.:19:56.

most popular party in Wales and support is declining. They are not

:19:57.:20:01.

the answer and nobody in Wales once independence.

:20:02.:20:03.

Thank you. We have to leave it. The number of Welsh students who

:20:04.:20:09.

apply to study at Oxford and Cambridge Universities

:20:10.:20:12.

is in decline. Figures show that four of the ten

:20:13.:20:14.

areas in the UK with the lowest application rates are here in Wales.

:20:15.:20:18.

Why? Well, a year ago, the Labour MP and

:20:19.:20:20.

former welsh secretary, Paul Murphy, was asked to look into the fall

:20:21.:20:23.

in numbers and his report is due to But, what are the benefits of an

:20:24.:20:27.

Oxbridge education and should we be Yes, says 20-year-old Shelby Holmes

:20:28.:20:32.

from Towyn in North Wales, who is in her second year studying

:20:33.:20:37.

English Literature at Oxford. I do fairgrounds with my parents for

:20:38.:21:00.

some of the year. We used to do a fair in Oxford and it is a really

:21:01.:21:05.

nice place. I liked the vibe of the city. When I thought of applying I

:21:06.:21:13.

thought, I like Oxford. At the bottom of the Trinity lawns there

:21:14.:21:22.

are gates and we walked past. I looked in and they said, you won't

:21:23.:21:26.

get in there, love. For me to get in, it was... My mother was barely

:21:27.:21:41.

literate so to go from that to going to Oxford doing English literature,

:21:42.:21:49.

it was so weird for them. There was a precedent in other schools. Oxford

:21:50.:21:56.

and Cambridge, we always send one or two. But for us, there was no one I

:21:57.:22:01.

knew personally from the school or anyone I had ever met who had been.

:22:02.:22:08.

I didn't know what I was expecting. Misconceptions pull people back. You

:22:09.:22:13.

come to this very impressive building that has stood here for

:22:14.:22:17.

hundreds of years and you kind of thing, what am I doing here? I think

:22:18.:22:25.

that most of the people who come here feel like they are not good

:22:26.:22:32.

enough or they are just good enough. It is a long time before you finally

:22:33.:22:38.

realise that, no, I worked really hard for this and put the effort in

:22:39.:22:43.

and I really wanted and I got it. They wouldn't let me in if I

:22:44.:22:50.

couldn't do the work. There is a reputation about Oxford being

:22:51.:22:53.

quintessentially English but it is really open for everyone. More Welsh

:22:54.:22:59.

people should come and study because it seems like there are not many of

:23:00.:23:05.

us here. We have Russian people, Chinese and Indian people, why not

:23:06.:23:10.

Welsh people? What I would say to a seven year is -- 17-year-old who is

:23:11.:23:14.

not really sure but thinking about it, it is just a normal University

:23:15.:23:21.

for normal people who really like their subject and who really want to

:23:22.:23:26.

learn more about the subject. If you feel passionate about it and you

:23:27.:23:29.

want to do more with your subject, then apply. You haven't lost

:23:30.:23:36.

anything by applying. You can't let the misconceptions put you off. We

:23:37.:23:42.

are just a group of normal kids at university.

:23:43.:23:51.

Joining me is the Oxbridge ambassador for Wales. Why are there

:23:52.:24:00.

so few applications from Wales? They are not always as inspirational

:24:01.:24:07.

as Shelby and a lot of people haven't got the confidence to go.

:24:08.:24:12.

They have misconceptions about what Oxford and Cambridge are about. That

:24:13.:24:18.

they are full of people from public schools punting on the rivers. In

:24:19.:24:22.

the interview, it was pretty clear that it is very different from that.

:24:23.:24:27.

Part of my job has been to try to persuade young people in Wales that

:24:28.:24:33.

the old-fashioned images of Oxford and Cambridge are very much

:24:34.:24:36.

old-fashioned and that it is an up-to-date University, both of them,

:24:37.:24:42.

and two of the best universities on the planet.

:24:43.:24:50.

It seems that there are two issues - confidence and attainment. What does

:24:51.:24:56.

it say about our education system? A lot of it boils down to the fact

:24:57.:25:02.

that the two universities require very special techniques for

:25:03.:25:08.

interview and in Oxford's case, a separate aptitude test. In many

:25:09.:25:15.

ways, youngsters have to be made aware of the different entrance

:25:16.:25:19.

processes. It is not the very fact that there are people who haven't

:25:20.:25:24.

got high A-level qualifications, sometimes we have found schools

:25:25.:25:30.

where they have high A-level qualifications but they still are

:25:31.:25:34.

not getting in. Part of my role is to find out why not.

:25:35.:25:39.

We know that children from about this high are primed for Oxbridge

:25:40.:25:44.

and they stay behind after school. Do you want to see that happening

:25:45.:25:49.

here? There is a case for looking

:25:50.:25:52.

specially at our most able and talented children. Most schools and

:25:53.:25:58.

tertiary colleges in Wales have a system where they give special

:25:59.:26:02.

attention to the most able students by giving them extra lessons and

:26:03.:26:08.

various talks from visiting professors and dons from the

:26:09.:26:13.

universities and by stressing, as far as they can... The reality is we

:26:14.:26:19.

do have very, very clever young people in Wales, but very often they

:26:20.:26:23.

are not stretching themselves as far as they could do. Often, it is the

:26:24.:26:28.

question of giving them the information and knowledge of how to

:26:29.:26:33.

apply to these universities. The other issue is brain drain. Why

:26:34.:26:38.

should they go? Some would argue, let us keep them in Swansea or

:26:39.:26:46.

Cardiff Aberystwyth. Encouraging them to go is a bad thing. What

:26:47.:26:51.

would you say to that? Firstly, there is nothing wrong with

:26:52.:26:59.

Welsh universities. The reality is only 50% of the intake of Welsh

:27:00.:27:05.

universities come from Welsh people. About 50% of Welsh students go

:27:06.:27:10.

outsize -- outside Wales and that will not change. My view is that

:27:11.:27:14.

there are two outstanding universities, two of the best on

:27:15.:27:19.

earth, so we shouldn't deny the opportunity to our brightest

:27:20.:27:26.

children to go to them. That isn't to say bright students don't go to

:27:27.:27:30.

Welsh universities. Of course they do. How can the Minister get more

:27:31.:27:38.

students into Oxbridge? I will present my report in a few

:27:39.:27:46.

weeks time. I have spoken to the education minister about these

:27:47.:27:49.

issues and I will have positive representations to make as part of

:27:50.:27:53.

the overall policy to make sure we raise standards in Wales. Is anyone

:27:54.:28:01.

getting it right at the moment in Wales?

:28:02.:28:11.

Yes, Gower College near Swansea and the school near Newport. Lots of

:28:12.:28:15.

others. They are doing excellent work and I hope the best practice

:28:16.:28:19.

from those places will spread to other places as well.

:28:20.:28:25.

As a former student there, what would be your one word of

:28:26.:28:27.

encouragement to anyone thinking about it?

:28:28.:28:31.

It stretches you enormously and if you have a passion for your subject

:28:32.:28:37.

you can go to one of those two universities.

:28:38.:28:58.

That is it for tonight. Thanks for watching.

:28:59.:29:05.

Bethan Rhys Roberts asks the questions that matter to you about your job, your health, your future. Calling to account the decision-makers here in Wales and beyond our borders too, each week the team bring you in-depth reports on pressing issues that matter to the lives of everyone living in Wales.

Is developing city regions the answer to improving economic prosperity outside Cardiff and is enough being done to encourage Welsh students to take up places at Oxford and Cambridge?


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS