24/01/2017 First Minister's Questions


24/01/2017

Full coverage of AM's questions to the first minister from the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.


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Welcome to the programme and our weekly coverage

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Though there are no questions on the order paper

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about the Supreme Court's decision on Brexit, I'd be a little surprised

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if none of the party leaders chose to ask Carwyn Jones

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He's also expecting questions on winder preparedness of the NHS,

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protecting the Welsh economy and increasing the number

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You can follow us on Twitter, @walespolitics, where you'll

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find all the latest political comings and goings.

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Well, question time is already underway so let's

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I call the national assembly to order and the first question is

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questions to the First Minister and the first question is from Dai

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Lloyd. Will the First Minister make

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a statement on plans to increase the number of Welsh speakers

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in South Wales West? Our vision is to have a million

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Welsh speakers use the language by 2050. We have consulted on a draft

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strategy in order to achieve that. Thank you for that response. Of

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course like the rest of the chamber I am very pleased to support your

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ambitious objective of securing a million Welsh speakers by halfway

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through the century. That's an increase in some within the region

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of 400,000 Welsh speakers. An average increase of 18,004 each of

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current counties. The education sector is crucial to this. In light

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of that to you believe that the capacity of Welsh medium primary

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school places over the next three years as is suggested in the

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Bridgend banned and other councils in South Wales is that small numbers

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sufficient in order to reach your target and if not then what will you

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do to ensure that the councils understand the crucially important

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role they will play in supporting you in achieving your target? Local

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authorities of course will be responsible for publishing their

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strategic lands on supporting the Welsh language in the schools. They

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have two present those to us in order for us to approve them. If

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there is any scheme which is not adequate then the government will

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not approve it. Would the First Minister acknowledge the importance

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of the Urdd Eisteddfod for the Welsh language and would he congratulate

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those people who organise and fund raise for the Bridgend if they step

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for. The hard work of a number of volunteers to maintain the language

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is important and in some of the communities where the Welsh language

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is not the first language and I am sure you will be warmly welcoming

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people to enjoy the dance to fundraisers well. I always receive a

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warm welcome because at one time the village was in my constituency. As

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one who has worked hard to raise funds for the ever faced ever they

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have organised to quiz nights with my wife and I am very supportive and

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of course I support everyone who supports the stairs of. To make sure

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it is a success this year and to ensure there is more growth in the

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numbers of people speaking and using the Welsh language. At a recent

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meeting in Swansea council officials suggested their focus during this

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cycle of wood beyond promoting the Welsh would and that is a step

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forward but it doesn't respond to demand. I got the impression from

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the cabinet member that she thought the current vocalised demand came

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from a specific section of Swansea side the and I believe there should

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be at least one person with good Welsh language gills in each flying

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start scheme. Do you agree that early access to both of our

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languages will enhance opportunities for children from more deprived

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backgrounds? Yes of course. We must ensure there are more places

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available in the nursery schools but we also must make sure that children

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in the nursery schools are remaining in the Welsh stream when they go

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into the primary schools and the secondary schools in order to ensure

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they don't lose the language skills that they have gained as they go

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through school. The Welsh language commissioner said that in order to

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increase the number of Welsh speakers we need radical change to

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our education system. She has suggested we should consider

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teaching all primary schools through the medium of Welsh. It has been

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compulsory for every school child in Wales to learn Welsh since 1999 yet

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despite this the members of Welsh speakers has fallen. Polls suggest

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the majority of people are opposed to compulsory teaching. Is it time

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we accepted that may be the stick approach is not working and rather

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than dictating everyone should learn Welsh, can we maybe instead be

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making it easier for those who really want to learn? She was

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suggesting that every primary school should be Welsh medium. There are

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issues surrounding that, practical issues in terms of recruiting

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teachers. I believe it is right our national languages should be

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compulsory to the age of 16. There are issues about the way Welsh is

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taught in English medium schools. I don't think we can say we have

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created it confident Welsh speakers in owning this medium schools.

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That's why a new curriculum will be important and we need to move away

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from the idea that Welsh is solely academic area of study and moved

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more towards it being a full facial skill. -- a vocational skill. I

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think that would be a good way of improving the way that Welsh is

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taught. Question two was removed. Julie Morgan.

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What discussions has the First Minister had

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with the Prime Minister about future regional policy?

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I have raised the issue of replacement funding. We have been

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very clear about our priorities including regional policy. When he

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next meets the Prime Minister in the context of the Brexit negotiations

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will he stress how vitally important regional economic strategy is to

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Wales and Woody emphasised that replacement funding from the UK

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Government must be at least equal in size to lost EU funding and it must

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be under the Welsh Government's control. A promise was made by some

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in the campaign last year that Wales would not lose a penny if Wales lost

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the European Union. I expect that promise to be honoured. It is hugely

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important that the economic losses we have developed here, the lowest

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unemployment for many years, are fully within the control of the

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Welsh Government to deliver those benefits. This morning I attended

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the annual STW farmers breakfast hosted by Paul Davies. Farmers were

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eager for clarity on the system of farm payments to be created in the

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way of the UK leaving the EU. Can you update us on your government's

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discussions with the UK Government on the best way to safeguard future

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support for the Welsh farming industry? The FAW president

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expressed his concern last week about the perfect storm. We have no

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clarity beyond 2020. There are some who suggest the European market is

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not important for farming. In the percent of our exports go to the

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European market and it cannot be replaced easily as a market for our

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goods so we must ensure that as the UK leaves the EU nothing interferes

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with the ability of our farmers to sell on the same terms as they do

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now to by far the biggest market. Pre-19 79 the UK regional policy had

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three owners, grants through the regional premium but also fiscal

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incentives through the selective employment tax and cheap loans. In

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his discussions with the UK Government in the ministerial Forum

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announced earlier this week will he ask that all of those will be

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available to us to ensure that Wales can develop its competitive

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advantage. We are in very new territory in terms of what will be

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needed in the future to attract investment into Wales. For example,

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there are issues like tax incentives which need to be further developed.

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APD is a great driver for airports in Wales. They say it was a mistake

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to devolve to Scotland so it doesn't come to us. As we look at the next

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few years we need an infinitive of way rather than taking the view that

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one size fits all. Would you welcome the fact the Prime Minister has

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announced an industrial strategy. I am encouraged that one of the

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sectors the UK Government intends to prioritise includes robotics and

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automation. The Bank of England has estimated that a 15 million jobs

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across the UK at risk from automation. And would he work with

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employers in Wales to make sure the future proof their workforce to meet

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this huge challenge. There are two issues. There is little in it that

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can be disagreed with but it's a mishmash because some of these

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things are not devolved. There needs to be greater clarity. There will be

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a temptation to automate further which is why we need to focus

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strongly on raising productivity across the UK to make sure employers

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are not tempted to replace human beings with machines. That is

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something we want to focus on strongly. Raising productivity

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levels to at least the level of Germany to make sure our working

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people are not that his disadvantage. Questions now from the

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party leaders. Neil Hamilton. I am not going to ask a question about

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the EU today because don't want to be typecast. I would like to ask

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about the health service. In particular in relation to GPs. GP

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numbers are static and there is rising demand for their services. In

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2014 the latest figures we had the lowest number of GPs in Wales per

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thousand people in the UK. 70% of GPs have sought guidance for

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work-related stress in the last two years. 84% worry they may miss

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something serious and it patient because of pressures. Does he accept

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that as a growing crisis? If you look at social care we found the

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social care 6% higher than Englanders which is why we have not

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had the humanitarian crisis that England has had within its NHS. We

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are also recruiting additional GPs. We have more GPs in Wales than ever

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before. That is why we have the recruitment campaign that was

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launched last year. I am leaves he is not asking me about Europe

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because he did appear at a press conference yesterday and they do

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thank him for the fact he is such a fan he cannot be away from me even

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for a day! Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing but that is

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not so in the case of First Minister. That is no answer to the

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question I posed. Things are worsening lint than they are in

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Wales. It is true there is a pincer movement here of increasing demand

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on GPs and with GP numbers not keeping pace with those rising

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demands. The NHS funding on GPs in Wales is down since 2004 from 10% of

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the total to 7/2%. Throw College of General protection -- petitioners

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say more GPs spending could save the NHS ?90 million EU if we repro size

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GPs within the Welsh Government's NHS budget. Is that something the

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First Minister is prepared to consider? A ?43 million primary care

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fund is supporting that with the emphasis on new and improved ways of

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developing the services of nurses and pharmacists and physiotherapist

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and social workers to walk along side GPs. The answer lies not just

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increasing number of GPs but ensuring that sufficient

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professionals available in particular setting. We see that for

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example in Prestatyn. They are to know that in some areas of Wales

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patient pressure in terms of numbers on doctor 's surgery sessions is no

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excessive. Canny givers any idea what he thinks the maximum number of

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patients GP can reasonably deal with and our working day, and

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particularly in relation to home visits for patients that are

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housebound, the royal college of GPs tell me that certain instances

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people have to wake up to 20 hours visit which is clearly unacceptable.

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Some doctors deal with 120 patients per session instead of 50 or 60.

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Exactly how many does it think is reasonable for doctors to see in the

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session and how do they expect the Welsh government to meet the six

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hour target which is currently being breached left right and centre

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throughout the country? It depends of the patients who come through

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this such a particular date. Some are seen in five minutes and for

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other people takes longer. It depends on the nature of the patient

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and GPs will have a good idea of it is the committees are working on the

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nature of the patient and GPs will have a good idea that it is the work

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the last thing we want to do is to point more and more people towards

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GPs. We say to people could see a pharmacist first automating us on a

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GP practice nurse and only then is the GPs only to go and see. There

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are issues where some offer broader services in longer hours than

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others. That is why it is important to work with the royal college and

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others to make sure we see greater consistency in terms of delivery in

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the future. First Minister I'm not going to ask about article 50 White

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Paper that we jointly launched yesterday because there are

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statements of both those matters coming in later. I would like to ask

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you about matters relating to public services for which you are

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responsible. Do you accept that many real commuters on the Valley lines

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in particular face at touch and go situation when it comes to getting

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to work on time? We are not responsible for the rail services.

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We will be from next year and we welcome that. We want to make sure

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the Wales and Borders franchise provides people with decent rolling

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stock and more frequent trains and decent fears to pay. Those will be a

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guiding principles as we look to let the franchise for next year on

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board. So did nothing to do with the government? It is a touch and go

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situation for many workers and IV is a regular delays as does everyone

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else who uses the service. We never know when there will be delays and

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cancellations and was a delay later my train coming to work this

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morning. It is a daily occurrence. People feel they are not getting

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value for money and more importantly that those trains cannot be relied

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upon. For years our reader has try to make the service work by pushing

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the current trains to the max. -- Arriva. These trains are very old.

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It looks as if the services are breaking point. If it does make you

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will have to do something. Is it acceptable to you that the

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overcrowding situation and decide the Wales is the fastest-growing in

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the UK of London? I am glad that the growth is increasing. The whole

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point of the Metro was to make sure that we're better rolling stock and

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don't have 40-year-old stock refurbished on the Valley lines with

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no air conditioning. We don't have a situation with the track operates as

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a stock operators blame each other for delays. We want is even next

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year a metro system that is extended in the feature and offers a far

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better service than has been available so far. She will have seen

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the comments from economy Secretary in terms of its views on the profits

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that Arriva have made despite the below par services on offer so far.

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We can't afford to wait for the Metro and it could be years that we

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see it coming on stream. My predecessor was a strong critic of

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the current rail franchise contract for Wales. He said that the way to

:19:57.:20:01.

be drawn up by an agency of the UK Government had led to a decade of

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overcrowding and that verdict still stands today. Last Friday the Welsh

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affairs select committee said that new trains would be needed and they

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described the 2003 contract as a huge mistake. Commuters are not

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prepared to put up with another probably negotiated franchise. Your

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government will be responsible for the less franchise and we already

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know the planning for that is under way. To date you have they get to

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make clear to this assembly what Rolling stock will be provided and

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I'm talking quantity as well as quantity. We have not been told

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whether there will be new trains carriages if they have been ordered

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yet. If there will be new trains of second hand when Ferdinand. Will you

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tell us today what trains are going to be available for the next

:20:51.:20:55.

franchise and will you give a cast iron guarantee that the mistakes of

:20:56.:21:01.

the past contract would be repeated? We have no intention of repeating

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the mistakes of the UK Government in the God of the last contract. She

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rightly refers to what Mr Jones said when he was in charge of transport.

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There was nothing he could do because it was not devolved and his

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frustration was shared by me. Better trains and more frequent trains and

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more modern mauling style. One problem though is its almost

:21:25.:21:27.

impossible to procure these of trains and it seems ancient

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technology so we have to make sure we see electrification and we have

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to see the commitment from the UK Government that they will electrify

:21:37.:21:41.

from Cardiff to Swansea. And the North Wales mainlines. In terms of

:21:42.:21:46.

what the trains will look like in the future at very least they will

:21:47.:21:52.

be this electric. We have to make sure that less of a geisha is taken

:21:53.:21:56.

through. The whole point is you have the negotiation on the franchise and

:21:57.:22:03.

is part of the franchise negotiation you specify what stock the operator

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has to use. She asked if the service will run better. The answer I give

:22:10.:22:16.

is yes. I am sure she will hold me to account. When you come third in

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the leaders to ask questions you normally assume the topic of the day

:22:26.:22:30.

will be asked by the other two. I would like to ask you on the

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inspection report that has been brought forward today. You not

:22:36.:22:44.

unreasonably said that she would make education your priority and

:22:45.:22:47.

just before Christmas that we saw the result is that there was no

:22:48.:22:53.

progress at all. Today they Iestyn inspection reports she was a damning

:22:54.:22:57.

failure of leadership and particularly in excellence of

:22:58.:22:59.

teaching in the secondary sector will if you choose a secondary

:23:00.:23:03.

school in Wales who have less than 50% chance of going to a school that

:23:04.:23:07.

is excellent soba chicks in practice. The event that is

:23:08.:23:10.

acceptable after nearly seven years of being First Minister? There are

:23:11.:23:15.

two things to bear in mind. Teachers pay and conditions have not been

:23:16.:23:19.

divulged yet. There will be next year. That gives us a chance to put

:23:20.:23:22.

in place a proper training package of pay and conditions that will

:23:23.:23:25.

attract good teachers to Wales and improve the training of teachers in

:23:26.:23:29.

Wales. Scotland have done it and that is the reason why we should not

:23:30.:23:32.

be will to do that. Secondly the report makes the point that not

:23:33.:23:38.

enough is done to stretch those at the top end of the academic leaks.

:23:39.:23:48.

-- leagues. One of the reason that the Pisa report were disappointing

:23:49.:23:51.

is that we don't do well at the top end. That bought a set of features

:23:52.:23:57.

we need to do more to make sure that those were the high achievers

:23:58.:24:00.

academically at least more to do even better. I'm glad that the

:24:01.:24:06.

report has actually shown that to make sure that teachers and

:24:07.:24:09.

politicians understand that is what needs to be done. In your answer

:24:10.:24:14.

here. About pay and conditions in Scotland and the Scotland results in

:24:15.:24:19.

the Pisa rankings collapsed and that is no example to follow, I would

:24:20.:24:22.

suggest to you. You have had an initiative after initiative censure

:24:23.:24:28.

tenure at First Minister and is as Labour have been running education

:24:29.:24:31.

since 1999 we have our teacher workload initiatives and their

:24:32.:24:34.

original consortium that have come in for special interest him today.

:24:35.:24:42.

-- special criticism. The secretary of the annuity has said that there

:24:43.:24:49.

are significant barriers to improving best practices. Do you

:24:50.:24:52.

recognise those significant practices? -- barriers? We have had

:24:53.:25:01.

initiative after initiative under your leadership and yet we're still

:25:02.:25:06.

getting Iestyn reports. You're failing. To be lectured by somebody

:25:07.:25:14.

who stood for election on the basis of cutting education spending by 12%

:25:15.:25:20.

is unbelievable. To be lectured by somebody is failing to build schools

:25:21.:25:25.

in England. While we are building schools in Wales. To be lectured by

:25:26.:25:27.

somebody who was the beanbag grammar schools? Grammar schools means

:25:28.:25:34.

chucking most children onto a scrappy. Of course there are issues

:25:35.:25:41.

in education system. -- scrapheap. GCSE he results are improving and

:25:42.:25:44.

A-level results are improving. We are seeing more schools coming out

:25:45.:25:49.

in the category of underperforming. The good practices been pointed as

:25:50.:25:54.

well. It is shown are particularly places that need to be focused on

:25:55.:25:57.

and they are being focused on but we know that a school zone in the right

:25:58.:26:00.

direction proper funding and not being starved of funding by his

:26:01.:26:08.

party elsewhere in Britain. You always know when you strike never

:26:09.:26:11.

the First Minister and it brings up statistics at Stanton no scrutiny at

:26:12.:26:14.

all and we're talking about the here and now and the Iestyn that was

:26:15.:26:21.

delivered today that is a damning indictment and yours they would ship

:26:22.:26:27.

here in Wales. -- on your stewardship here in Wales. 50% of

:26:28.:26:31.

teachers in Cardiff have left their post in the last three years.

:26:32.:26:35.

Initiative after initiative that I have highlighted and you're failing

:26:36.:26:41.

to drive up standards here in Wales. Kids get one chance to go to school.

:26:42.:26:47.

You set education at the priority and you have failed to deliver. It

:26:48.:26:51.

is about time you accepted some accountability for this and instead

:26:52.:26:55.

of rehearsing their arguments of yesterday started mapping out a

:26:56.:26:58.

vision for tomorrow and the success that we all want to see in our

:26:59.:27:02.

education system here in Wales. There is I believe they can say as

:27:03.:27:06.

Donald Trump 's press secretary for the leader of the best Conservative

:27:07.:27:10.

Party by his presentation of all kinds of fact. It is indisputable

:27:11.:27:19.

that the GSE -- GS CE results have improved. It is indisputable that

:27:20.:27:24.

this party wanted cut education spending by 12% and they boasted

:27:25.:27:31.

about it. They produced an mini manifesto that included that figure.

:27:32.:27:33.

The reality is that his party have not come anywhere near in education

:27:34.:27:36.

wells and it would have destroyed it. They would not have built

:27:37.:27:39.

schools that would have kept children being taught in schools

:27:40.:27:43.

that were falling apart. Education is moving in the right direction

:27:44.:27:45.

with improvement across the board and that is exactly where we will

:27:46.:27:50.

take education the future. Not backwards to the days when education

:27:51.:27:54.

was underfunded by the Conservative Party, a party that surely does not

:27:55.:27:58.

care about education for all and does not care about the

:27:59.:28:02.

opportunities that are available for youngsters in Wales. That is what we

:28:03.:28:06.

stand for and it will never understand what it means to get a

:28:07.:28:09.

good education and good opportunities because they had never

:28:10.:28:11.

had to fight for it themselves. Will the First Minister outline

:28:12.:28:18.

the Welsh Government's plan for winter preparedness

:28:19.:28:21.

in the Welsh NHS? We continue to support health and

:28:22.:28:28.

social care organisations through our monthly seasonal planning

:28:29.:28:37.

meetings. In 2015 the National Institute for clinical accidents

:28:38.:28:41.

published as clinical health guidance on tackling excess winter

:28:42.:28:51.

deaths. It outlined a number of recommendations about how health and

:28:52.:28:53.

social care practitioners could reduce the risk of health problems

:28:54.:29:01.

and therefore pressures in the Welsh NHS. Given the plight country have

:29:02.:29:13.

said last September that -- Plaid Cymru. It is as an problem, how will

:29:14.:29:21.

you respond? There are schemes that help many people particularly older

:29:22.:29:27.

people to get homes that are warmer to ensure that they can heat their

:29:28.:29:32.

homes and have boiler systems and heating systems of the more

:29:33.:29:34.

efficient than what they once had and let's keep the might of hospital

:29:35.:29:38.

because they are in homes that are under heated. We believe we are a

:29:39.:29:41.

good reckoned that intends the money we have allocated any previous years

:29:42.:29:46.

to help so many people in Wales live in warmth and able to afford their

:29:47.:29:49.

heating bills and that is something I am proud of.

:29:50.:30:08.

On average around 3000 patients waiting longer than 12 hours month

:30:09.:30:16.

after month. Isn't that evidence of a systemic problem with the delivery

:30:17.:30:21.

of emergency care in Wales with excellent staff being asked to

:30:22.:30:24.

deliver the impossible rather than something that can be blamed on poor

:30:25.:30:31.

weather? What happens in the winter, even though numbers in AMD dropped

:30:32.:30:35.

the conditions tend to be longer term. In the summer they tend to the

:30:36.:30:42.

injuries that don't need as much time in AMD. The issues we face are

:30:43.:30:48.

these. We need to make sure that social care spending is kept tight.

:30:49.:30:56.

It is true to say the demand is higher and they pay tribute to those

:30:57.:31:01.

who work in the services. But every consultant will tell you that there

:31:02.:31:07.

are too many people going to AMD who don't need to be there. What we say

:31:08.:31:11.

to people is go and see the pharmacy or the GPs, all these are

:31:12.:31:24.

alternatives. If people are not urgent cases they do wait longer in

:31:25.:31:29.

a and B. The urgent cases get treated first. People need to make

:31:30.:31:34.

their own choices and we will continue to make sure we fund our

:31:35.:31:36.

hospitals to meet demand. What steps is the Welsh Government

:31:37.:31:44.

taking regarding Aberthaw power station following the decision

:31:45.:31:46.

of the European Court Natural Resources Wales is the

:31:47.:31:58.

environmental regulator responsible for modifying Aberthaw's perk turn

:31:59.:32:05.

it so that it gives judgment. We as a governor -- government continue to

:32:06.:32:12.

closely monitor the progress towards delivering compliance. The court

:32:13.:32:21.

case was last September and the member state which is the UK

:32:22.:32:24.

Government was found guilty of allowing illegal levels of pollution

:32:25.:32:29.

from Aberthaw Power Station. Since then there has only been one on

:32:30.:32:35.

written letter to the company that has been responded to. He has been

:32:36.:32:42.

no change to the permit and Public Health Wales confirmed to me last

:32:43.:32:48.

week that 1150 early death is take place annually in Wales because of

:32:49.:32:57.

nitrogen dioxide pollution. Why are we allowing such a situation where

:32:58.:33:05.

there is this coming from a power station months after the court

:33:06.:33:07.

decided this needed to be tackled? This is a matter for Natural

:33:08.:33:12.

Resources Wales but I will say that the omission of nitro oxide, those

:33:13.:33:18.

emissions have been reduced to a level from Aberthaw itself to a

:33:19.:33:23.

level which isn't far from the acceptable level which is close to

:33:24.:33:30.

what the court said. Although it is a matter for Natural Resources Wales

:33:31.:33:36.

it does look as if the emissions have been reduced and now it's a

:33:37.:33:42.

matter of seeing whether it's possible to permit the place to

:33:43.:33:48.

proceed. I was interested by that answer because I've not seen the

:33:49.:33:51.

data and I thought some level investment would be required to

:33:52.:33:54.

reduce these emissions which were over twice the agreed European

:33:55.:34:01.

limit. If you could put that information in the library we would

:34:02.:34:07.

be very grateful. You do have to act quickly so that the public can be

:34:08.:34:11.

assured they will be protected. The emissions go over Cardiff,

:34:12.:34:26.

Bristol and parts of the West Country and it is a serious matter.

:34:27.:34:30.

The information we have is that emissions have reduced from the

:34:31.:34:36.

plant itself. On the 6th of January the centre of their intention to

:34:37.:34:40.

begin the process of modifying the permit. Plans of a deadline is the

:34:41.:34:52.

17th of February. RW we have invested in the plan to reduce

:34:53.:34:57.

emissions but it must be brought within the limit in order for them

:34:58.:35:00.

to be able to achieve a permit in future.

:35:01.:35:05.

Will the First Minister make a statement on the National Grid's

:35:06.:35:07.

We have consistently pressed the National Grid to ensure its

:35:08.:35:19.

proposals for the new line across Anglesey are fit for purpose and

:35:20.:35:22.

sensitive to the environment through which it will pass. Last Wednesday

:35:23.:35:30.

the National Assembly for Wales made a clear statement that it is our

:35:31.:35:39.

wish in this place for the National Grid to seek alternative methods of

:35:40.:35:42.

making new electricity connections in Wales rather than putting in

:35:43.:35:47.

place new pylons for any new developments here. That is

:35:48.:35:52.

particularly pertinent to us on Anglesey where we face seeing a new

:35:53.:35:57.

line of pylons being erected over the next few years. In light of the

:35:58.:36:03.

fact this assembly has demonstrated its democratic will week ago, will

:36:04.:36:11.

the First Minister give a commitment to contact the National Grid again

:36:12.:36:16.

to put pressure on it to convince it that it should listen to the

:36:17.:36:21.

Democratic voice of our National Assembly and reconsider their

:36:22.:36:26.

proposals? After all every voice representing Anglesey apart from one

:36:27.:36:33.

Ukip regional member and I include myself, the MP, parish councils,

:36:34.:36:40.

town councils and the county council, have all expressed our

:36:41.:36:45.

opposition and we would want the support of the First Minister to

:36:46.:36:51.

urge them to listen. Of course the assembly's position is close to the

:36:52.:36:56.

government's standpoint and we wish to see the cables being underground.

:36:57.:37:00.

That is our standpoint and I am happy again to tell the National

:37:01.:37:05.

Grid that is the view of the Parliament of Wales and therefore is

:37:06.:37:09.

the view they should take into consideration. When I discussed this

:37:10.:37:17.

with National Grid they told me they get paid for what they do whether

:37:18.:37:21.

pylons go all the ground or underground but Ofgem require best

:37:22.:37:25.

value for the customer and this will be paid through custom energy bills.

:37:26.:37:31.

Given the best value means quality value as well as price what dialogue

:37:32.:37:38.

will your government have with Ofgem given the concern raised by the

:37:39.:37:41.

councils across Anglesey that the pylon option has been chosen on the

:37:42.:37:47.

basis of cost alone? The rules are put in place by the UK Government

:37:48.:37:52.

not by us. He asks would we reinforce our position and we will

:37:53.:38:01.

continue to do that. We know the environmental sensitivity and it's

:38:02.:38:06.

right to say the price is not the sole determinant of whether a

:38:07.:38:11.

contract is awarded not or whether work is carried out the knot. We

:38:12.:38:16.

share his view it is important to look at a wide range of factors when

:38:17.:38:25.

we look at the overall cost. It is why we take the view they preferred

:38:26.:38:28.

position should be underground. What discussions has

:38:29.:38:33.

the Welsh Government had with the UK Government to impro

:38:34.:38:36.

ve current rail We are having a rebel dialogue with

:38:37.:38:50.

the UK Government on these matters. They are leading the procurement of

:38:51.:38:53.

the next franchise which will improve services. Tonight on BBC

:38:54.:38:58.

Wales Nick Savini goes behind the scenes of Arriva trains Wales as it

:38:59.:39:02.

investigates the worst overcrowding on commuter trains for years. My

:39:03.:39:06.

constituency continually raise with me overcrowding on trains but the

:39:07.:39:12.

focus of Arriva trains Wales has made a profit of -- it also had ?70

:39:13.:39:24.

million in the bank at the time it filed its last accounts. The

:39:25.:39:29.

existing franchise comes to an end in October 2018 20 months away. My

:39:30.:39:36.

constituents are fearful that during the forthcoming Six Nations they

:39:37.:39:39.

will again be stuck on Willie stations in Newbridge, Crosskeys as

:39:40.:39:45.

the Ebbw Vale the Cardiff service is already at capacity. As

:39:46.:39:52.

electrification is today -- delete can we call on the UK Government to

:39:53.:39:57.

do its job and act as: Arriva trains Wales to find a solution before the

:39:58.:40:02.

new franchises awarded and can he outlined what investigations have

:40:03.:40:13.

taken place into the capacity issue? We work with Arriva trains Wales but

:40:14.:40:22.

in terms of having levers that won't arrive till next year. In the past

:40:23.:40:32.

Arriva trains Wales has obtained locomotives to pull trains and those

:40:33.:40:39.

trains were popular with commuters. There is no reason in my mind why

:40:40.:40:45.

they can seek to do that again. What my colleague has outlined his the

:40:46.:40:51.

balmy situation where we pay a subsidy to rail operators to provide

:40:52.:40:54.

substandard service while they make enormous profit and this was the

:40:55.:41:00.

wonder of privatisation back in the 1990s. We should be able to look at

:41:01.:41:06.

having a public sector not-for-profit agency running the

:41:07.:41:09.

railway lines for the benefit of the people of Wales and not by paying a

:41:10.:41:13.

subsidy in order to be shaved -- the shareholders. The House of Commons

:41:14.:41:20.

Welsh affairs committee has recently said there is an urgent need for new

:41:21.:41:35.

trains. It went on to say that Sam Rowlands stock was over 40 years

:41:36.:41:43.

old. Would the Wales and broader franchise coming up to the first Mr

:41:44.:41:48.

say what discussions has the Welsh Government has with regard with

:41:49.:41:55.

providing a modern rail service for passengers in south-east Wales.

:41:56.:42:01.

These are all part of the franchise negotiations. The Metro will improve

:42:02.:42:10.

journey times and facilities. For the first time it will be the people

:42:11.:42:13.

of Wales who are able to determine what their train service is actually

:42:14.:42:21.

look like. We have this bizarre situation where at one point it was

:42:22.:42:25.

said the wheels and Borders franchise would only cover trains

:42:26.:42:28.

which began or two needed their journeys in Wales. I am glad that

:42:29.:42:39.

situation seems to have been solved by the UK Government but they are

:42:40.:42:42.

determined to provide a better level of service. I declare an interest

:42:43.:42:52.

that my sister works for Network Rail. I've had correspondence from

:42:53.:43:00.

people who have traded with transport links.

:43:01.:43:11.

Can he update us on plans to open a new station in Abertillery but what

:43:12.:43:20.

steps will the government have with the local authority to provide

:43:21.:43:24.

adequate bus links before new Metro comes on stream. The member has made

:43:25.:43:30.

himself the font or the recipient of all rail related complaints in the

:43:31.:43:36.

SMB. Abertillery is included in the Metro plans as an area of expansion.

:43:37.:43:45.

The railway tracks were last used when the mine was in place and third

:43:46.:43:49.

years ago. It is a community that needs to be linked. Where there are

:43:50.:43:58.

no existing heavy railway lines we want to make sure that communities

:43:59.:44:01.

that lost their relaxed some years ago to regain them as part of the

:44:02.:44:03.

Metro plans. What percentage of the budget is

:44:04.:44:12.

allocated to the prevention of fraud? For the purpose of

:44:13.:44:24.

identifying fraud if not possible to say what percentage of the spenders

:44:25.:44:28.

but those who encounter the fraud unit. Don't you think it's ironic

:44:29.:44:38.

that your leader was talking about a rigged system this month because in

:44:39.:44:42.

Wales its labour that has rigged the system.

:44:43.:45:06.

There was a massive grant for Cook. The company providing the guaranteed

:45:07.:45:14.

give a massive donation to Labour Party. And yet your party at when

:45:15.:45:19.

people out of the homes of the canopy bedroom tax. Are you happy

:45:20.:45:24.

with all this? Are you happy, First Minister, with all this? The member

:45:25.:45:31.

is probably wiser not repeating those allegations outside the

:45:32.:45:34.

chamber. He has an unhappy history of libel trials. That was a stream

:45:35.:45:38.

of consciousness as far as I can tell. In terms of appointment is

:45:39.:45:41.

done openly. He is criticised appointment of the ombudsman. The

:45:42.:45:52.

ombudsman was appointed whether -- whether Plaid Cymru member. There

:45:53.:45:58.

have been cases where we investigated fraud which is

:45:59.:46:02.

inevitable with a large organisation. Those investigations

:46:03.:46:06.

are undertaken grabbers who is the subject of the investigation. If he

:46:07.:46:10.

is suggesting that the worst government adviser been involved in

:46:11.:46:13.

fraud which is the tone of his allegation he needs to make his

:46:14.:46:15.

allegations known to the relevant authorities or make his allegations

:46:16.:46:20.

backed up with evidence. NA allocation of Welsh grants to

:46:21.:46:38.

organisations that are relevant checks and use of taxpayers money.

:46:39.:46:45.

There have been allegations of various scandals and I'm aware of

:46:46.:46:50.

?900,000 in North Wales were to directors bus company face criminal

:46:51.:47:00.

action. And I do know of ten to 12 cases under investigation and how

:47:01.:47:04.

the money has been used. There is finding that they are this

:47:05.:47:10.

government. How can I reassure my constituents in Aberconwy that in

:47:11.:47:14.

all matters you to take these things seriously. And that all transaction

:47:15.:47:21.

between businesses and organisations they can fill confident you will

:47:22.:47:26.

always maintain strict financial property at the heart of Welsh

:47:27.:47:29.

government funding and these of our taxpayers money? That is a perfectly

:47:30.:47:34.

fair question. We have a counter fraud unit headed by a retired

:47:35.:47:38.

police officer with experience of leading economic crime and proceeds

:47:39.:47:43.

of crime recovery units. He's also a member of the organising committee

:47:44.:47:49.

of the worst fraud Forum. It is also supported by administration staff.

:47:50.:47:52.

It is not a big unit but it does play a leadership role and draws on

:47:53.:47:56.

considerable support. Is it possible to prevent all crime? No, clearly.

:47:57.:48:04.

What is important is that crime is detected an investigative prosecuted

:48:05.:48:07.

and the fact with happiness is the use of investigation is a sign, I

:48:08.:48:12.

hope, that the member can see that we do take all allegations. That was

:48:13.:48:23.

First Minister's Questions. If you want one of the National Service

:48:24.:48:27.

coverage go live to

:48:28.:48:28.

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