09/03/2016 The Wales Report


Presented by Bethan Rhys Roberts. With the Draft Wales Bill on hold, where next for devolution in Wales? Plus an interview with Labour's Carwyn Jones.

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for the National Assembly on hold, where next for devolution in Wales?


We ask Labour leader Carwyn Jones how his party would run Wales


as we look ahead to May's assembly election.


And do green spaces in our towns and cities really


Good evening and welcome to The Wales Report.


Tonight, we start with a look at how Wales is likely to be run


in the years to come and where power will lie.


And you can join in the conversation on social media with


For months politicians have been arguing over the future of the draft


Wales Bill - that's the UK government's plan for the next steps


Last week, the Welsh Secretary Steven Crabb put the legislation


Then this week the Welsh Government took the rare step of publishing


its own alternative draft bill, which in terms of devolving powers


to Cardiff Bay, goes further than Mr Crabb's document.


But many have criticised Carwyn Jones for publishing such


And there are concerns that the whole process


Felicity Evans asks how close are we to getting a devolution


Trying to get to grips with Welsh devolution is a bit like wrestling a


creature from the deep. Once you think you have it cornered, a


tentacle comes from nowhere and hits you in the head. Maybe it is the


repeated concussion that has stopped successive secretaries of State from


finding a lasting and logical settlement. To help us all keep a


clear head, let me walk you through recent devolution developments.


Check out this timeline. Don't worry, we're not going right back to


the beginning because we all have lies to get on with, so we will stop


with the Silk Commission that produced to reports. One on finance


and one other powers the Assembly should have. Silke recommended the


assembly should be based on the same as Scotland and Northern Ireland


reserved powers. In other the assembly should have control of


everything that is not explicitly restricted to Parliament. The main


recommendation has not been enacted and it is causing expensive


problems. The model we have now is Scotland's reject. The model was


rejected from Scotland when it was considered in the late 1990s because


it was considered to be a complicated way of devolving power


and they also said it would lead to arguments about what is devolved and


what is not devolved about what probably lead to litigation in the


courts. That is exactly what has happened in Wales. We have three


bills referred to the Supreme Court. And there is consensus on one thing.


No one likes this model of devolution, so a whole year after


Silk, it seemed a watershed moment when the then UK coalition


government made a headline grabbing announcement. More responsibility


for the Welsh assembly and more opportunity for the Welsh people to


hold their politicians to account. -- Welsh Assembly. It all seemed


simple, but let us move our timeline on eight months to the publication


of the draft Wales Bill. This was meant to be a consultation, but it


wasn't. The first Minister was particularly scathing. It means a


veto on Welsh laws. The Assembly not having a free hand. In addition to


the relentless criticism of the bill, there was concern that the


timetable was to type to permit remedial action. But the secretary


of state Steven Crabb said whilst the bill needed to be improved,


there was bags of time to do it. And then he changed his mind. What I


have demonstrated today is what I have been listening to all along and


I have taken on board the valid criticisms people have made and the


changes I have announced the right thing to do. The draft legislation


has been paused to make the changes needed, but a former wealth of his


Minister is not holding my breath. -- Wales office minister. I looked


around at the Conservative colleagues of the secretary of state


and there are very few if any who have a positive approach to


devolution that he has. I have been involved in this for long enough. I


have been around for long enough to be sceptical that we will actually


get what is promised until we actually have it in our hands. And


earlier this week, just be helpful, the Welsh government produced its


own draft bill. We have not taken the decision to publish this draft


Bill. There is no sense of one-upmanship, rather this bill is a


constructive contribution to the debate. With the assembly elections


nearly upon us, it seems we are not any clearer on what powers the


people we vote for will have in the future.


Neither the Secretary of State nor a Wales Office Minister


However, a spokesperson provided The Wales Report


"The Secretary of State has listened to the debate over recent months...


He has always been clear the Government will not introduce


legislation that would create a pathway to separation.


The changes will help deliver on the commitments made


in the St Davids Day agreement to introduce a historic funding


floor, devolve more powers and remove constitutional red tape


to create a stonger Wales in a strong United Kingdom."


Joining me now is the Conservative MP and member of the Welsh Affairs


Committee Craig Williams, and the Plaid Cymru AM and former


Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis Thomas.


Welcome to you both. Craig Williams, why did your government get this


draft Wales Bill so wrong to you think? In your question there you


use the word draft. We published a draft bill, we are changing a draft


bill and we are pausing as well. This is what people have been asking


and now we are being criticised to doing what people want. Steven Crabb


is one of the most pragmatic politicians I know. He has published


a draft bill, taking the criticism and has adapted it. He will come


back after the Assembly with what will be an excellent bill for Wales.


It was way off the mark so. It would result in fewer powers in the hands


of the Assembly in Cardiff Bay rather than more. It was moving to


the reserved model. It was giving them more powers. We waved the


referendum on taxation powers and giving the Assembly clearer


accountability. The criticism is about taking away powers from the


assembly and it was a detail legal technical argument by lawyers who do


argue all day over these issues. It was not technical. Let me bring in


Dafydd Elis Thomas. Is this just an Empire it is. We need to be able to


get this legislation through as soon as possible so we can plan for the


future. We are getting responsibility for the electoral


numbers and their is the difficulty of defining the powers. It is the


exceptions that are always the problem. If you look at the Northern


Ireland act, there is only one schedule. The Welsh government came


up with a blueprint this week. You have it in front of you. Is it that


way ahead? Do you back that? Absolutely. I challenge the first


Minister when he gave evidence to the committee and is wide did the


government in Wells not produce their own bill. They have done that,


so now the clever thing would be to allow the National Assembly to carry


on. We will be in charge of our constitution next time round, so why


do we start now? What about that, Craig Williams? Devolving the whole


process to the Assembly. It should be decided there, shouldn't it?


Rebuilt the Welsh government has come up with, just before an


election is incredibly interesting. Liz Savo Roberts asked about police


powers, and Labour are split on these issues. Far from it -- far be


it from me to defend everything the Welsh government does, but he has


done a Peter Hain. He gave us deferred matters with reference to


devolved power. We have that and also referred matters. You are


holding that is a bit of a blueprint. Your party in the chamber


yesterday were doing anything but. They were pretty scathing about


that. I take my own counsel on these constitutional matters. I believe


the people of Wales trust us as Assembly members, they have trusted


us over the years as we have had additional powers and this is the


next step. When you say ask, did you mean? Plaid Cymru do the Welsh


government? The people of Wells indicated quite clearly, 44% of them


want the Assembly to have more powers, 34% want us to have the same


powers. It is our responsibility to make sure that this works. When will


we this pause come to an end, Craig Williams? I hope the stance


continues apace after the Assembly elections. That is quite handy. Kick


it in the long grass? Look, it is the Welsh general elections and it


is important. I am a pro-devolution conservative as well, so Jenny does


not have too look far in the Conservative ranks, but if it pushes


in after the assembly elections, we can have a more much you -- a more


mature debate rather than getting stuck into Westminster and getting


the bill delivered. Finally, Dafydd Elis Thomas, when will we get a


lasting settlement? There is no lasting settlement in politics,


whether it is the European Union or the United Kingdom. These things


always change, there is always democratic scrutiny. Dafydd Elliston


is an Craig Williams, thank you very much. -- Dafydd Elliston.


As part of BBC Wales' How Wales Works season,


The Wales Report has been speaking to the main party leaders in Wales


to find out how they'd run things if they won power in May.


Over the past weeks, we've heard from Ukip,


the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives.


Tonight it's turn of the Labour leader in Wales, Carwyn Jones.


Before we talk to the First Minister, Professor Richard Wyn


Jones from the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University takes


a look at the challenges ahead for Labour.


This is potentially the most difficult election that the Labour


Party has faced since devolution. Labour have been in power for so


long, so the time for a change argument becomes ever stronger, and


it looks you know is if they are a little bit tired, a little bit


jaded. It is striking that so many people in the Labour group are


standing down. We now have Jeremy Corbyn, who is a mighty character,


but there is a lot of evidence to suggest he is not particularly


popular and there is lots of evidence to suggest that Welsh


Labour are trying to distance themselves from him. Now that is a


really tough combination for Carwyn Jones in the election.


The threshold for success is interesting for Labour in the Welsh


election. There is a kind of a margin between 25 which would be a


really poor result, 30 would be remarkably good. That is the range


in which we're talking here. In terms of Carwyn Jones own position,


as they can get 27, 28, that would be something of a triumph. If they


are down to 2526, his future is then in question.


You are asking the people of Wales for a fifth term in government. That


is an awful long time. Is that healthy for the Welsh people? We're


halfway through a decade of delivery and we have had a record-breaking


Tory cuts to our budget. But we've been able to deliver. We have seen


Aston Martin come to Wales, we have seen Jobs Growth Wales, unemployment


lower than London, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Some people will


say it is another election, you need to look at the change that people


change their car but he wouldn't change a carphone old banger. You


are halfway through a decade of delivery. You have been in power for


17 years, you are talking about five years of delivery, whatever you been


doing for 12 years? I have then First Minister since 2009. Forget


the Rhodri Morgan years? I have been the person leading the party since


2011. Hang on, are you saying... We have got better GCSE results, the


best ever. Labour has been in power for 17 years. You have had other


people, you have been at the wheel for 17 years, talking about cars.


Let's be straight, are you disowning those first 12 years and saying we


didn't delivered a thing as Mac you delivered from day one, didn't you?


Of course we did. I went into the election in 2011 for the first time


as leader of the Welsh Labour Party. The trudging Morgan deliver? Of


course he is. But he hasn't been First Minister since 2009. I know


Plaid Cymru likes to pretend they weren't in government for four years


but they were. We are saying we're not far from it. We are not


complacent. If you look at the pledges we have launched, they are


original and our manifesto will be the same. Let's look at the pledges.


You are offering and a million two increase standards in schools. It's


built on what we have done already. That is more money in the Welsh


education system that they would have been without the pledge in


2011. Schools are being built across Wales. People can see them in their


communities. We know for example the Conservatives want to cut school


spending by 12%. That is they entered the school building


programme. Your pledge this year is 100,000


quality apprenticeships for all ages. Last election, tackling youth


unemployment is by creating a fund and extending apprenticeships. What


is the difference? If you look at Jobs Growth Wales, 15,000 young


people had the opportunity to train and many of them went on to job was


that builds on them because this is a scheme for ages. People need to


retrain at all stages. In 2011 new promised free nursery places and


better support for families, this time, free childcare for working


parents. We were talking about flying start in 2011 and that will


stay. We know how difficult it is for people to get childcare and that


is why we're making sure for 30 hours a week, 48 weeks year parents


will be able to get access to childcare. It is important for


people in terms of accessibility Vostok was these tweaks in what you


are offering. There is no radical been thinking. You have been there


for 17 years. But Kimberly says Wales need a break. -- but Plaid


Cymru. Doubling the capital limits of people who go into residential


care, older people, that is not radical. These are radical pledges.


Plaid Cymru, what are they offering? They want to set up a quango. They


want to centralise all health services in that they have run from


Cardiff. We offer jobs, Plaid Cymru offers committees. You don't want to


talk about the constitution that you have published 180 pages on the


constitution, on alternative draft Wales Bill. Is that wise to do that?


There was nothing else on the table. The UK Government had a chance that


it was so flawed nobody supported it. It is important for the people


of Wales to see what we think is the way forward. What I want to do is


get to a position where everything is settled, will we understand what


the Assembly can do, what the UK Government does, whether it is no


confusion and this is the big opportunity. Lots of things included


are the things your own party members in Westminster have


abstained on. You need a word with them. I spoke to them last week. We


know that things have changed. We know we want to see devolution move


forward and above all as Scotland get certainty, Wales get forge. We


don't want that. Why should we be in the worse position than Scotland.


Can I ask, that is the Welsh Government document. Who has been


working on that? You're civil servants? It is our response to the


UK Government. Is that the best use of Welsh civil servants? If we


hadn't done that you would be sitting there saying, you have told


is what you don't like about the UK Government Bill, what is your


response? Way have you been? Why didn't you put that on the table


when it comes to the Saint Davids the agreements? That is mythical,


there has never been an agreement or negotiation. We made the point it


was deeply flawed but there were others making the same point. We


worked on this bill as an alternative for months. As a


response to the UK Government 's's failures. We have wasted a year when


we could've been moving forward. But this is an electioneering because


it's about the agenda and you don't tell Stephen Crabb in advance we are


trying this up. You dump this on his desk, how would you feel if you did


the to you? That is exactly what he did. He dumped a Wales Bill honours


without consulting us. But it was licensed the legislation. --


Westminster legislation. We were told they would be a negotiation but


there wasn't one. Here is your bill, like it or lump it. It isn't just


as. All the parties in Wales said it was an acceptable. As part of our


response people would have told this what our alternative is, this is at.


Ron Davies said devolution is a process not an event. This week you


said let's make devolution and event and not a process. Is this its? Is


this as fight you want to go down this journey? What this bill would


do is provide this with piracy, simplicity and something that is


durable for the future in one act. You don't want income tax powers, do


you? Yes, I have said so. I explained what I would do with them.


Of course we accept income tax powers are going to come, there will


be a case in future for new powers as well. Why not ask for them now?


We couldn't have them now. That is a trap here. What we will not do is


accept the powers if we find that we're going to be stuffed in terms


of the financial settlements. Most of the were still come to Wales by a


block grant. That has to be sorted. Otherwise we are falling into a


trap. They would ideally have settled that. However, this is it


come in terms of the delusion you don't want to get any further? In


terms of the big picture if this was enacted your bill would be a good


smack it takes us to a position where things will be durable for


many years. It is is something missing in its people need to see


what they think is missing. This is a bill for discussion, we're not


saying everything is set in stone. It is a genuine attempt to bring the


parties together and look at it. We have told the Wales Office to look


at it. This is a better way of doing it. What about your personal


journey? Would you say the full-term of this election? It is pushy and


arrogant politicians to give their own self-imposed term limit when


there is an election coming. It is up to the people of Wales in May


whether I am First Minister or not. Are you going to disappear halfway


through I will you play the course? And beyond? The first thing is to


see what the result is. I am not going to tell the people of Wales


what I want to do, it is in their hands. There is presidency. Tony


Blair, David Cameron were clear with the electorate. You would serve the


whole term if you would win? It is far too early to know what the


result of the election would be. Let's pretend you win. Will you


serve a full term? I've got no plans to do otherwise. Let's wait to see


what happens but I want to be First Minister after me and my intention


is to continue. We're not going to sit back and expect votes to come to


us. It is a tough election, all elections out. The longer you are in


power the tougher it gets. You have hinted in the past, ten years is


about right for a leader. You're ten years would be up before the end of


the next full-term. I want to win the election in May one. What we


want to do is put forward to the people of Wales well costed,


exciting promises. We've got the drive, the energy and the momentum.


Carwyn Jones, thank you. That was the last of our wet interviews with


the party leaders. If you want to get involved in discussions please


contact us. Wales is a country with a fantastic


natural environment But why are so many of our towns


and cities grey and drab? Research in recent years has found


that access to good quality green spaces can have long lasting


benefits for our mental health, so what should be done to bring


nature into our built Dr Ruth Williams from


the Landscape Institute argues that the answer could lie


in green infrastructure - that's finding natural solutions


to urban problems like flood There's so many different ways


the environment can help us. There are so many health benefits


research is showing, both our mental health and physical


health can be helped as well as reducing flood risk,


as well as providing There is multiple benefits and ways


the environment can help us. A green infrastructure is a way


of delivering that for us. Green infrastructure is working


with nature around our developments. So it can be a simple as a border


of lavender that can act as a barrier to stop children


falling down a steep bank. It can be from the very local


and small-scale to a massive scale in terms of the way we might design


around a new motorway or around It is always looking at working


with nature and seeing what we have got rather than building


the concrete and then saying, why have we ended up


with these problems? What is important is our urban


communities in south east Wales, north east Wales, many of those


communities don't have There isn't the nature


on their doorstep, there are few parks that people can reach


all greenery in their streets. This is very, very important at that


streetscape level that we actually see this green infrastructure


coming to the fore. It's about thinking more cleverly


about the way we plan these areas. Here we are in Llanelli town centre


but this is typical of the scene We don't see much evidence


of green infrastructure here. What we'd like to see much more


bringing nature into our towns and cities so we can get this


win-win situation for the health and benefits of the people


as well as the places. Everyone that is involved


in planning a development needs to think right from point one


of building in green infrastructure into every single development


and taking that forward. That is the big change we need


to see in Wales. We are here in Llanelli at a special


project that Dwr Cymru This doesn't look like a huge


project but underneath the ground a lot of work has gone on in order


to reduce the flooding for the local Michelle, if you hadn't


taken this approach, what would have been another way


of tackling these problems? We did a modelling exercise


which said we would need a storage tank to the field which would be


the same size as Parc y Scarlets We reduced the cost to around


150 million so it is a massive Here we see a really good example,


albeit it a small example, of the win-win situation for Wales,


benefits for the local people in terms of reducing flood


to their homes and also providing a lovely green space


for them to enjoy. What we are calling


on the new Welsh Government after the election to do is to take


some leadership in this area. One of the ways we think they can do


this is by appointing a cabinet So many different aspects


to our lives will be enhanced if we look at things through a green


lens rather than through the typical Joining me now is Carole-Anne


Davies, chief executive of the Design Commission for Wales,


and landscape architect, Welcome to you both. Merry, I. With


you. We are blessed in Wales with a fantastic countryside. Can we really


say that the people of Wales aren't privileged? Well, I think we do have


the potential for access to wonderful green spaces and the


coastline of course as we saw in that film, but what of the things


you have to think about is, as was pointed out, city centres, town


centres, urban areas, housing estates, the level of access to


green space that people have in that context and how easy is it for them


to get out into this green environment? Carol Ann, is it a


matter of a few hanging baskets? A few pots heaven there? It is not


about that, is it? Is it far deeper, and also about a cultural shift? It


can be about the cultural shift, it's also about integrated


partnerships and all sectors working together. The really successful


examples of what you might describe as urban shorelines are in the


European centres and it is about everyone working together and


realising the value of what the green infrastructure can deliver.


What can it offer? Health benefits as well as the utilities. Water


management is one of the issues of our age. If you can combine that


with raising the quality of urban neighbourhoods, you are a long way


to achieving quite a lot. You talk about improving well-being, but most


people will say they need a job in a strong economy and better transport


links to get to those jobs. Camber to work hand-in-hand? The M4 relief


road and better jobs are the people of Wales and still green spaces?


Transport infrastructure is hugely important in connecting places. We


have too look at that as the key design opportunity of our age. We


need to harness design talent to transform our neighbourhoods. But if


you are stuck on the motorway, try to get to your job, you are not


worried about green spaces, are you? You aren't at that specific moments,


but the key word is infrastructure. You were talking about transport


infrastructure, water managements infrastructure. Green elements


should be combined into a wider view, a wider vision of a green


infrastructure that contains them and then you harness what they are


doing to provide green spaces. Conductivity is one of the key


concepts one we talk about green infrastructures, the linking of


things. Finally, back to the politicians. Would you say they are


working against nature? The plea here from Doctor Ruth Williams is to


get them to work with nature. Is that the sense you are giving us,


that it is not on the agenda? In planning policy in Wells and


development policy there are a number of good things we could be


doing more to deliver on and part of that is a worry about cost, but I


think when you look at the wider betterment and public good that you


return to your investments, then we should be able to do something. And


there is a future generation, are they doing their bit? They are doing


their bit and they are promoting a more holistic view of things rather


than focusing on just elements like transportation, but we are


advocating that this idea that you can bring things together, when you


think about what benefits greater than merely providing the M4


corridor of the traffic relief on the motorways, when you think about


people's enjoyment of their environment, the ability to use it,


the beauty they can get from it and how that rebounds on their


well-being. Thank you both for coming in.


But if you'd like to have your say and be part of the audience


for a special debate with the party leaders ahead of the Assembly


E-mail us at [email protected]


or on social media we are @TheWalesReport.


We'll be back next week, thanks for watching.


Presented by Bethan Rhys Roberts. With the Draft Wales Bill on hold, where next for devolution in Wales? Plus the final in a series of interviews with the main party leaders in Wales, with Labour's Carwyn Jones.

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