16/10/2016 BBC Wales Today


16/10/2016

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Dafydd Elis-Thomas has told BBC Wales he hopes Plaid Cymru

:00:13.:00:16.

will consider its future as a political party,

:00:17.:00:18.

after he decided to sit as an independent AM.

:00:19.:00:22.

Lord Elis-Thomas accused the party of not reacting

:00:23.:00:24.

well enough to changes in Wales since devolution.

:00:25.:00:26.

It comes as former First Minister Rhodri Morgan says the party's power

:00:27.:00:29.

will be much weaker now in the Assembly.

:00:30.:00:31.

Here's our political correspondent, Arwyn Jones.

:00:32.:00:35.

For over 40 years, he's represented Plaid Cymru

:00:36.:00:37.

But he now finds himself as an independent AM.

:00:38.:00:44.

And he has insisted he will not serve in Carwyn Jones' cabinet.

:00:45.:00:46.

And won't be triggering a by-election.

:00:47.:00:50.

I am stating, quite clearly, that I want to be able to serve

:00:51.:00:54.

my constituency and serve the interests of Wales.

:00:55.:00:56.

Do you carry out that role best then as an independent AM?

:00:57.:00:59.

I carry out the role of representing my constituents

:01:00.:01:03.

The question of membership of the Welsh government does not arise.

:01:04.:01:09.

Lord Elis-Thomas had a few parting shots at his old party.

:01:10.:01:12.

He said Plaid hadn't responded to the challenges of devolution

:01:13.:01:14.

And it needed to think again about its future.

:01:15.:01:21.

The party chose not to comment.

:01:22.:01:23.

But his departure will also cause a headache

:01:24.:01:26.

for Plaid in the Assembly. Why?

:01:27.:01:27.

Well, with only 29 AMs, Labour depends on Kirsty Williams

:01:28.:01:30.

It also needed help from Plaid to pass next week's Budget.

:01:31.:01:35.

The two parties have been in talks for months over the content.

:01:36.:01:38.

But today, a former First Minister told BBC Wales'

:01:39.:01:41.

Sunday Politics Wales programme that Plaid is now

:01:42.:01:50.

--Labour is in a much stronger position.

:01:51.:01:52.

because Plaid have lost their leverage.

:01:53.:01:54.

It is amazing how - in a small body like the Assembly,

:01:55.:02:00.

with just 60 seats, and Labour having 30 of them -

:02:01.:02:02.

just how much difference that one person can make.

:02:03.:02:04.

Because Labour are one vote short of being to get a budget through.

:02:05.:02:08.

Because, if the other 30... You know, they can block things.

:02:09.:02:12.

Because level pegging, 30/30, is not enough.

:02:13.:02:15.

Over the next two days, it'll become clear whether or not

:02:16.:02:17.

Lord Elis-Thomas will lend his support to the government.

:02:18.:02:20.

But, after such a long and high-profile career

:02:21.:02:25.

in the party, Lord Elis-Thomas' departure was always

:02:26.:02:27.

The author of a report for the Welsh Government

:02:28.:02:34.

on free childcare says the policy could cost

:02:35.:02:35.

considerably more than Labour has estimated.

:02:36.:02:38.

Gillian Paull told Sunday Politics Wales it could cost as much

:02:39.:02:40.

That's far more than the ?84 million budgeted for.

:02:41.:02:45.

It's breakfast time at Little Inspirations nursery

:02:46.:02:50.

in Llantrisant in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

:02:51.:02:53.

This kind of service could be a significant cost to parents.

:02:54.:02:57.

But the Welsh government is planning to give a helping hand.

:02:58.:03:03.

Under its plan, parents working 16 hours or more of a week would be

:03:04.:03:07.

entitled to 30 hours free childcare week for three and four-year-olds.

:03:08.:03:13.

And it would be available 48 weeks of the year.

:03:14.:03:16.

That is 20 hours more per week than currently on offer.

:03:17.:03:20.

The author of a report for the government

:03:21.:03:26.

on the policy is sceptical Labour's aim to get more parents to work

:03:27.:03:29.

with the offer will have much impact.

:03:30.:03:33.

But she says that, if it does, it costs could increase

:03:34.:03:36.

And there are other factors that could drive the cost up, too.

:03:37.:03:43.

There are several parameters that feed into that estimate.

:03:44.:03:46.

All of which have large degrees of uncertainty around them.

:03:47.:03:49.

First of all, we do need to know the hourly cost of delivery,

:03:50.:03:52.

which can vary enormously across regions

:03:53.:03:53.

We also need to know, most importantly, how parents

:03:54.:03:59.

In particular, whether they will change their work behaviour

:04:00.:04:02.

in response to the policy, which is hard to estimate.

:04:03.:04:04.

There are also concerns about the availability of places -

:04:05.:04:07.

a problem that could also require government investment.

:04:08.:04:12.

We are starting from a very low base of childcare provision.

:04:13.:04:15.

So, one of the big problems we have, in delivering this extra childcare,

:04:16.:04:18.

is that there isn't much childcare to offer in the first place.

:04:19.:04:23.

The Welsh government acknowledges there are "issues with capacity".

:04:24.:04:25.

And says it is working with the sector.

:04:26.:04:27.

It is also undertaking "complex modelling" of costs.

:04:28.:04:34.

The oil company responsible for a pipeline which ruptured,

:04:35.:04:36.

leaking 140,000 litres of Kerosene near Carmarthen,

:04:37.:04:38.

has said they're on track to finish the work.

:04:39.:04:41.

Over the weekend, traffic along the A48 has been

:04:42.:04:44.

the road to re-open early tomorrow morning.

:04:45.:04:52.

Welsh councils who invested money in Icelandic banks before

:04:53.:04:54.

they collapsed eight years ago, have now recovered

:04:55.:04:56.

Powys Council says it's recouped all of the ?4 million it deposited.

:04:57.:05:02.

It's one of eight councils, three universities,

:05:03.:05:04.

and three former police authorities that had

:05:05.:05:06.

And the Scarlets got off to a winning start

:05:07.:05:15.

The convincing home win will, hopefully, put to bed any memories

:05:16.:05:22.

More showers, some heavy in the north and west.

:05:23.:05:29.

Tomorrow will be breezy, with plenty of sunshine.

:05:30.:05:32.

One or two heavy showers. But most places staying dry.

:05:33.:05:34.

A reminder that, all week on Wales Today,

:05:35.:05:44.

we'll be marking events, as Wales remembers Aberfan.

:05:45.:05:46.

It's 50 years since a coal tip collapsed, submerging a school,

:05:47.:05:49.

We'll have a number of special reports.

:05:50.:05:55.

Good evening. I hope you had a good weekend, you probably saw some

:05:56.:06:13.

sunshine and rain. Typical autumn. A typical autumn picture in the West

:06:14.:06:18.

Midlands. A brown leaf and conkers.

:06:19.:06:20.

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