19/01/2017 BBC Wales Today


19/01/2017

News from across Wales with Jamie Owen and Lucy Owen, and weather with Derek Brockway.


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Transcript


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Martin McGuinness is stepping down from politics for good.

:00:00.:00:00.

Welcome to Wales Today. Tonight:

:00:00.:00:00.

Patients here are still waiting longer than those in England

:00:00.:00:07.

Tonight, we ask the Health Secretary if he takes responsibility.

:00:08.:00:13.

Not everyone who waits waits in pain or discomfort but some people do and

:00:14.:00:17.

for lots of people there is anxiety that goes with the wait for

:00:18.:00:21.

treatment and I have got responsibility overall as a

:00:22.:00:24.

politician for the whole system and I don't try to hide from that.

:00:25.:00:27.

Melanie Woodcock was sent to prison for not paying her council tax.

:00:28.:00:31.

The High Court rules she was unlawfully jailed.

:00:32.:00:34.

I think it's wrong that if you are struggling with a bill

:00:35.:00:39.

that you are sent into a prison full of criminals.

:00:40.:00:45.

Closed down after an inquiry found patients were treated like animals.

:00:46.:00:50.

A long-awaited report into the Tawel Fan mental

:00:51.:00:52.

Getting us out of our cars and onto our bikes -

:00:53.:00:58.

Cardiff is aiming to become one of the leading cycling cities

:00:59.:01:00.

And in tonight's sport, 74 days at sea.

:01:01.:01:07.

The ocean threw everything at him but Welsh sailor

:01:08.:01:11.

Alex Thomson finishes runner up in the Vendee Globe and is set

:01:12.:01:15.

Latest figures show that waiting times in the Welsh NHS still lag

:01:16.:01:37.

behind the health service in England in most of the key categories

:01:38.:01:41.

Average waits for hip replacements in Wales are three times

:01:42.:01:46.

longer than in England, although there's been a big

:01:47.:01:49.

reduction in the Welsh wait for heart by-pass surgery.

:01:50.:01:53.

More from our political editor Nick Servini.

:01:54.:02:06.

Ab with her dog at home in Newquay in Ceredigion. 82-year-old Margaret

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Brazier can now enjoy a short walk thanks to a hip replacement

:02:16.:02:20.

operation last year at nearby wrong lies hospital. It was cancelled four

:02:21.:02:25.

times but she eventually had the surgery after waiting six months.

:02:26.:02:30.

You are on tenterhooks waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for a

:02:31.:02:33.

letter when you are going to be able to come in and you have got pain in

:02:34.:02:40.

your groin. It's difficult to walk. Just a very frustrating. Your life

:02:41.:02:44.

is virtually on hold. Official figures from last year show she

:02:45.:02:48.

wasn't alone. The main statistical bodies for the NHS have found that

:02:49.:02:52.

patients in Wales waited significantly longer than in England

:02:53.:02:57.

in seven out of the 11 categories. And the biggest gap was in hip

:02:58.:03:02.

operations, where the average Welsh weight was 226 days compared to 76

:03:03.:03:09.

in England. Elsewhere, waits for a hernia operations in Wales were 120

:03:10.:03:15.

days compared with 43 in England. Cataract waits in Wales were 107

:03:16.:03:21.

days compared with 58 in England. But it wasn't all bad. Cancer waits

:03:22.:03:25.

were broadly the same as in England and there was a dramatic fall in the

:03:26.:03:29.

length of time patients wait for heart bypass surgery in Wales. It is

:03:30.:03:34.

very frustrating to see that things aren't better but it is no surprise.

:03:35.:03:39.

Everyday we can see the pressure that the hospitals are under when we

:03:40.:03:43.

are working there. You can see the pressure that the emergency services

:03:44.:03:47.

and doctors and nurses are under in managing the demand for emergency

:03:48.:03:52.

care. The Welsh government has come under fire from opposition parties

:03:53.:03:54.

who say the figures are scandalous and in particular hit the elderly

:03:55.:04:00.

the hardest. The Health Secretary Vaughan Gething admits some of the

:04:01.:04:03.

weights are unacceptable but says there needs to be changed because

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the current structure in the NHS is unlikely to deliver the waiting

:04:09.:04:12.

times people want. Do you take responsibility? These people are in

:04:13.:04:19.

pain for months longer than they would be if they lived the other

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side of the border. Not everyone who waits deals with pain and

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discomfort. Not everyone who waits and waits in pain but some people do

:04:29.:04:32.

and for lots of people there is anxiety that goes with the wait for

:04:33.:04:35.

treatment and I have got responsibility overall as a

:04:36.:04:38.

politician for the whole system and I don't type to hide from that. My

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job is to make the case for a public service that delivers high-quality

:04:47.:04:50.

care and the improvements that all of us would wish to see. There are

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no easy answers to figures like these but political pressure on

:04:55.:04:57.

ministers would be to throw even more money at hospitals like this

:04:58.:05:02.

one but that creates even more pressure from other public services

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that already feel starved of cash because of demands from the NHS and

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then there is the growing realisation that simply throwing

:05:12.:05:14.

money at it is probably not the long-term answer anyway. All the

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recent attention has been on winter pressures but they rise in emergency

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admissions has a big knock on for the time it takes to treat patients

:05:24.:05:28.

elsewhere. And those preparing for planned operations are often the

:05:29.:05:29.

ones who suffer. Our Health Correspondent

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Owain Clarke is here. To what extent are these differences

:05:32.:05:33.

accepted as a problem in Wales? The Wales Audit Office and others

:05:34.:05:43.

have been warning about waiting times for quite some time. The boss

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of the NHS Andrew Goodall will be appearing before Assembly Members on

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Monday to discuss this issue. He has prepared this document in advance

:05:53.:05:56.

and it says quite clearly, waiting times in Wales are too long, waiting

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lists are 6% bigger than in January 2015, but that's because demand is

:06:04.:06:08.

increasing. GP referrals are 9% in three years and that is the

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fundamental problem. We have a system that is unbalanced, the

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demand exceeds the NHS' ability to deliver. And the Health Secretary

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has admitted that some of these weights are unacceptable but can

:06:23.:06:25.

waiting times be brought down? Where there is a will and a focus it can

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happen. Surgeons warned that too many people were dying on cardiac

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lists. A range of measures including sending Seb Davies to England were

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introduced and that brought waiting times down. -- sending some patients

:06:40.:06:50.

to England. That means the Welsh government needs to invest in

:06:51.:06:53.

different types of treatment, physiotherapy, keeping people out of

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hospitals, even changing the system more radically and changing models

:06:59.:07:01.

of care but that can be painfully slow to deliver and people on

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waiting lists can relate to that. A woman from Porthcawl

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who was unlawfully jailed for failing to pay her council tax

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says she will never recover Melanie Woolcock is calling

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for a change in the law after being sentenced to 81 days

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in prison for failing to pay ?10 She was released half way through

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after a charity took up her case. Melanie Woolcock is currently

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juggling two jobs, running a shop As single mother, she says

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trying to make ends meet pushed her into debt

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but she was paying it off. I fell behind roughly about ten

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weeks, realised that, and then paid ten weeks in one go

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but the day I paid the money, a warrant had been issued

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to arrest me for nonpayment so it was too late for me

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to do anything about it. I think it's wrong that

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if you are struggling with a bill, that you are sent into a prison

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full of criminals. When I have never committed

:08:05.:08:11.

a crime in my entire life, And yet they are able

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to take you into prison Yesterday a High Court judge ruled

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she had been unlawfully jailed. The lawyer who represented her says

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most cases of this type which go We have won the case

:08:30.:08:33.

in front of the High Court because there was no adequate

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enquiry into means or investigation It is approximately 90%

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or thereabouts of cases that are quashed by the High Court

:08:45.:08:52.

and it is very unusual in any system to see that number of decisions

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to be found subsequently She only got help because while in

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prison she found a magazine article on council tax debt and wrote

:09:01.:09:07.

for help from a charity. The author of that article says

:09:08.:09:12.

the impact of such sentences on families already struggling

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financially is terrible and wants an end to imprisonment for all types

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of civil debt. Two people a week go to prison

:09:19.:09:23.

unlawfully so it is a small number compared with all the Magistrates'

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Courts dealing with all the council tax debt but in terms of the human

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cost, it is very serious. Prisons are not places for people

:09:33.:09:37.

who have financial difficulty, prisons are there for serious

:09:38.:09:40.

offenders who have committed crimes and caused great damage so it is two

:09:41.:09:45.

people a week and this, Bridgend Council, which was owed

:09:46.:09:50.

the money, says they have a legal responsibility to collect unpaid

:09:51.:09:59.

council tax but offer help to anyone experiencing difficulty

:10:00.:10:04.

and prosecution is always "We understand that the resident

:10:05.:10:07.

in this case was jailed "after failing to meet

:10:08.:10:13.

the requirements of "the suspended sentence issued

:10:14.:10:16.

by the Magistrates' Court, they say. Melanie says she will never recover

:10:17.:10:22.

from her experience. I was in a prison with,

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you know, paedophiles, She is now working with

:10:26.:10:28.

University Law departments She is now working with University

:10:29.:10:38.

law departments to try Ministers in Wales need to be given

:10:39.:10:40.

confidence their views on Brexit are making a difference,

:10:41.:10:52.

according to the Welsh Mark Drakeford was speaking

:10:53.:10:54.

after a joint committee on Brexit set up by the UK Government met

:10:55.:10:57.

for the first time since Theresa May said the UK should leave

:10:58.:11:01.

the European single market. This is meant to be

:11:02.:11:03.

a fundamental forum. It was referenced by

:11:04.:11:05.

the Prime Minister in her speech and I feel that we need to be given

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confidence by the UK Government that we are not simply

:11:08.:11:10.

here to express our views but that those views go

:11:11.:11:13.

on and make a difference. Even the Welsh Government accepted

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today that the language the Prime Minister used earlier

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this week about a free-trade agreement with the European Union

:11:19.:11:21.

is not inconsistent with the language they have talked

:11:22.:11:25.

about so this demonstrates there is a lot of common ground

:11:26.:11:28.

but I am not underestimating Let's get more now from our

:11:29.:11:31.

parliamentary correspondent, Theresa May set up one of the

:11:32.:11:57.

objectives which was to strengthen the United Kingdom and to strengthen

:11:58.:12:02.

the bond between the four nations. But as you heard, there is

:12:03.:12:06.

frustration from the devolved governments. The Scot said they were

:12:07.:12:10.

being told what to do and they didn't like it and the Northern

:12:11.:12:13.

Irish are talking about leaving the process entirely. So what did they

:12:14.:12:22.

talk about today? There was a man from Scotland and from Northern

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Ireland. No plan on the table from Wales yet but I am told by Mark

:12:26.:12:29.

Drakeford that we will get that on Monday and that will set out in some

:12:30.:12:33.

detail what the Welsh government sees as the key issue, the most

:12:34.:12:38.

significant issue from Brexit as far as Wales is concerned, and how to

:12:39.:12:40.

deliver those objectives in the process. We will find out where that

:12:41.:12:45.

is discussed in the next meeting of this forum next month whether the UK

:12:46.:12:47.

Government is prepared to listen. Publication of a long-awaited report

:12:48.:12:51.

into the scandal-hit Tawel Fan ward at Glan Clwyd Hospital

:12:52.:12:54.

is to be delayed again. The mental health ward

:12:55.:12:57.

in Bodelwyddan was closed in December 2013 after an inquiry

:12:58.:13:00.

found some patients had been This comes after the release

:13:01.:13:03.

of another document, suggesting the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board

:13:04.:13:07.

was at risk of failing to comply with laws designed

:13:08.:13:10.

to protect vulnerable people. It was perhaps among the biggest

:13:11.:13:24.

scandals to hit a Welsh hospital and a Welsh health board. The closed

:13:25.:13:29.

mental health ward with the most vulnerable patients. An earlier

:13:30.:13:32.

report highlighted institutional abuse there. Two more detailed

:13:33.:13:37.

independent reports were commissioned and three years on it

:13:38.:13:40.

has emerged they will be ready until the summer. I am absolutely appalled

:13:41.:13:45.

that we are now over 18 months since the publication of the Tawel Fan

:13:46.:13:48.

report, which found shocking standards of care and abuse on

:13:49.:13:52.

mental health ward and yet no one has been held to account for what

:13:53.:13:57.

went wrong. We need this work to be completed as soon as possible and we

:13:58.:14:00.

need those who are responsible to lose their jobs and face the

:14:01.:14:05.

consequences for their actions. The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board points

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out that the people who are writing these reports are fully independent.

:14:09.:14:13.

Since they were commissioned, more information has come to light and

:14:14.:14:17.

the families of more Tawel Fan patients have come forward. In any

:14:18.:14:21.

event, the health board says better a full report than a Russian one.

:14:22.:14:25.

But further questions are being asked about whether all patients

:14:26.:14:28.

being treated in North Wales hospitals are safe. A health

:14:29.:14:34.

campaign group has drawn attention to what's called a safeguarding

:14:35.:14:38.

report. It highlights high levels of risk in a number of areas, including

:14:39.:14:42.

failures to comply with the Mental Health Act and deprivation of

:14:43.:14:48.

liberty safeguards. So our patients at risk? It is a question I put to

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Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board chief executive Gary Doherty. We are

:14:52.:14:56.

waiting for the historic report and I would say that all the evidence we

:14:57.:15:01.

have got, everything I have seen and people I have spoken to, are giving

:15:02.:15:06.

good quality of care to people. We aren't always getting it right, but

:15:07.:15:10.

people can feel when they come here, we will give them the kind of care,

:15:11.:15:14.

attention and treatment that anybody would want to have and I would want

:15:15.:15:19.

anybody to have. The health board is keen to distance its annual

:15:20.:15:22.

safeguarding report from what happened at Tawel Fan. So great was

:15:23.:15:27.

the scandal, a mere mention of the health ward prompts concern.

:15:28.:15:31.

Still to come in the programme: On Barack Obama's final full day

:15:32.:15:34.

in power, pupils at a Newport school remember the day the President

:15:35.:15:37.

And there's no sign of any snow but if you're fed-up with the grey,

:15:38.:15:44.

cloudy weather, I've got some good news.

:15:45.:15:51.

Cardiff is aiming to become one of the UK's leading cycling cities

:15:52.:15:55.

The target is to get more than half of commuters out

:15:56.:15:59.

of their cars and cycling, walking or taking public

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The plan was approved by the council's cabinet today

:16:03.:16:07.

and they are now inviting views from the public.

:16:08.:16:10.

With congestion and traffic jams a consistent problem, Cardiff Council

:16:11.:16:23.

wants to get more of us on our bikes. It's been working closely

:16:24.:16:27.

with experts from the Danish capital Copenhagen about how to make Cardiff

:16:28.:16:32.

one of the UK's leading cycling cities. The 10-year strategy aims to

:16:33.:16:35.

address the concerns many people have about cycling. Improving

:16:36.:16:41.

safety, lighting, parking, road surfaces and cycle paths. This

:16:42.:16:44.

charity says continuous cycle lanes are key. You can set off on a

:16:45.:16:49.

journey and suddenly find that you have to go back into the mainstream

:16:50.:16:55.

with the traffic and we found that many of our customers had told us

:16:56.:16:59.

they would just get off the bike and start wheeling it. Cardiff Council

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hopes that half of commuters will get out of their cars and onto

:17:04.:17:06.

public transport or will cycle or walk to work by 2021. A target of

:17:07.:17:14.

60% has been set for 2026. Most of the trips that take place in Cardiff

:17:15.:17:21.

are in the city are less than three miles. To go by bike would take

:17:22.:17:25.

about 20 minutes. Why should we not improve the cycle lanes? The plans

:17:26.:17:30.

include creating cycle lanes segregated in places from the

:17:31.:17:35.

traffic along two primary routes, providing continuous cycling between

:17:36.:17:39.

communities and key destinations. The first primary route would go

:17:40.:17:42.

from Cardiff Bay through the city centre to a planned new housing

:17:43.:17:48.

development. The second primary route would go from Saint Mellons in

:17:49.:17:53.

the East through the city centre and out beyond Fairwater in the West. If

:17:54.:17:58.

the plans go ahead, it would enable businesses like this coffee tried to

:17:59.:18:02.

expand into areas which are currently difficult to access by

:18:03.:18:08.

bike. Newport Road is quite fast and busy and unless you are really

:18:09.:18:12.

confident on your bike, even on my own personal bike, I am not that

:18:13.:18:17.

comfortable on Newport Road. What happens here will be watched closely

:18:18.:18:21.

across the country. All Welsh councils have a duty to improve

:18:22.:18:25.

sustainable forms of transport. Cardiff Council has now launched a

:18:26.:18:29.

12 week public consultation period to get residents views on what would

:18:30.:18:33.

make them get and stay on their bikes.

:18:34.:18:35.

He has battled everything the ocean has thrown at him.

:18:36.:18:42.

Alex Thomson is set to receive a hero's welcome tomorrow morning

:18:43.:18:45.

as he finishes second in the Vendee Globe,

:18:46.:18:47.

The 42-year-old, who was born in Bangor, was bidding to become

:18:48.:18:52.

the first non-French winner but his push for glory petered out

:18:53.:18:55.

Battling the waves alone, Alex Thomson has survived on no

:18:56.:19:02.

more than 20 minutes of sleep every few hours for the last 74 days.

:19:03.:19:07.

He has pushed himself to the limit and come back fighting every time.

:19:08.:19:11.

His final attempt at reeling in his French rival ended yesterday

:19:12.:19:15.

when technical equipment let him down.

:19:16.:19:18.

He has kept his supporters aware of his progress

:19:19.:19:21.

throughout his journey, posting at times emotional videos.

:19:22.:19:30.

I just worry about what is going to happen over the next

:19:31.:19:38.

For his family waiting at the finish line, it's been

:19:39.:19:50.

I have spoken to him, I have been in contact,

:19:51.:20:00.

but actually seeing him is totally different.

:20:01.:20:02.

Not having much sleep, my heart is beating and racing,

:20:03.:20:05.

just incredibly proud, just so proud, and every time

:20:06.:20:10.

I think of him crossing the line, I get very emotional.

:20:11.:20:15.

The winner crossed the line this afternoon and Alex is expected

:20:16.:20:20.

With low tide, he will sleep in his boat until morning

:20:21.:20:25.

where his arrival and reunion with loved ones can be captured

:20:26.:20:29.

Wales' youngest football international Harry Wilson has

:20:30.:20:35.

made his first senior appearance for Liverpool.

:20:36.:20:38.

The 19-year-old came off the bench as a second-half substitute

:20:39.:20:40.

Born in Wrexham, he beat Gareth Bale's record when he played

:20:41.:20:45.

for Wales at the age of 16 years and 207 days.

:20:46.:20:48.

And Glamorgan have confirmed that Jacques Rudolph will remain

:20:49.:20:50.

as captain despite a disappointing season with the bat.

:20:51.:20:53.

On his final full day in power, pupils at a school in Newport have

:20:54.:20:56.

been reminiscing about the day President Barack Obama

:20:57.:20:58.

Back in 2014, Mount Pleasant Primary School got in touch with NATO ahead

:20:59.:21:03.

They didn't expect anything to come of their request for a VIP visit

:21:04.:21:07.

but soon they were rubbing shoulders with the most powerful

:21:08.:21:10.

The first-ever visit to Wales by a sitting president

:21:11.:21:17.

It was pupils at Mount Pleasant Primary School who were among

:21:18.:21:21.

Ben and Ella were in year six at the time.

:21:22.:21:26.

Two people who wrote welcome speeches and spoke to Mr Obama

:21:27.:21:37.

in person now in high school looking back.

:21:38.:21:43.

If that handle went, teachers were coming back and forth,

:21:44.:21:52.

pushing the handle, and you would just sit up.

:21:53.:21:54.

When he entered the room we were so happy.

:21:55.:21:58.

So how do they think the 44th president of the United States

:21:59.:22:01.

Certainly we will be a lot more interested in what he does.

:22:02.:22:08.

The election, I did watch a lot of that and it has

:22:09.:22:11.

changed my life a lot and it has changed my perspective on things.

:22:12.:22:15.

I have gained a lot of confidence from doing that.

:22:16.:22:22.

Looking back, I figure that I can say, I did a welcome speech

:22:23.:22:26.

Whenever I go back to Mount Pleasant,

:22:27.:22:36.

I will always have the memories that I met him there.

:22:37.:22:39.

He will always be the president that visited this little Welsh school.

:22:40.:22:44.

Debate over his achievements will continue.

:22:45.:22:47.

His legacy here though as the happy man from Chicago

:22:48.:22:51.

who came to class one day seems secure.

:22:52.:22:58.

Time for the weather now. Derek, how's it looking?

:22:59.:23:04.

Rain is forecast in Washington DC tomorrow with a high of 8 Celsius.

:23:05.:23:10.

On this side of the pond, it's much more settled

:23:11.:23:13.

Most of the country grey again today.

:23:14.:23:19.

But parts of the south and the south-west

:23:20.:23:23.

Tonight, cloudy in the north with the odd spot of

:23:24.:23:29.

Elsewhere, the cloud will clear so turning cold with some frost.

:23:30.:23:34.

Here's the picture for 8:00am in the morning.

:23:35.:23:39.

The odd spot of drizzle over the Irish Sea.

:23:40.:23:45.

One or two fog patches but most places clear and sunny.

:23:46.:23:54.

During the day, the cloud in the far north will clear.

:23:55.:23:58.

Much of the country enjoying a fine and sunny afternoon.

:23:59.:24:04.

A welcome change after a few days of grey weather.

:24:05.:24:07.

Temperatures on the chilly side with a light to moderate breeze.

:24:08.:24:10.

In Bridgend tomorrow, fine and sunny.

:24:11.:24:13.

Temperatures rising to 5 or 6 Celsius with an easterly breeze.

:24:14.:24:17.

In Montgomeryshire, dry and much sunnier than today.

:24:18.:24:20.

Tomorrow night will be dry, clear and cold with a widespread frost.

:24:21.:24:26.

A few freezing fog patches and some low cloud later in the night.

:24:27.:24:31.

Saturday will be colder but generally dry.

:24:32.:24:33.

Some low cloud, mist and fog patches.

:24:34.:24:36.

The best of the sunshine in the north.

:24:37.:24:39.

Cloudy and cold but bright in places with some sunshine.

:24:40.:24:44.

High pressure over the UK on Monday means a dry

:24:45.:24:47.

We'll have a quick update at 8pm and more after the BBC News at Ten.

:24:48.:24:58.

For now, from all of us on the programme,

:24:59.:25:01.

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