Positif Thinking: Social Prescribing – From Concept to Prescription

Social Prescribing – From Concept to Prescription Tuesday 12th June 2018 6pm – 8pm Culture and Media Centre, Loudoun Square (CMC@Loudoun), Butetown, Cardiff CF10 5HW Positif Thinking, a termly discussion forum on politics and policy in Wales, is pleased to offer our latest free event in this series which is open to everyone. Join us at our seminar where Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe, Bethan Sayed AM and Jenny Rathbone AM will be joined by representatives from the Royal College of General Practitioners Wales and Working Links on a panel to discuss how social prescribing is taken forward in Wales. Attendance is free. Please help publicise the event to maximise turnout.… Read More

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Unite’s intervention is a flashback to a darker period in Welsh Labour’s politics

The contest for the Deputy Leader of Welsh Labour has been the least engaging political fight since last autumn’s “fight” to find the new leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. (There’s a bonus point if you can name the runner-up and two bonus points if you can name the winner.) This new battle has been described to me in various ways: Momentum v non-Momentum; Cardiff v Swansea; AM v MP; OMOV (One Member One Vote) v Electoral College. What hasn’t been clear is what the new role will actually do. Perhaps that is because it has a job description akin to the Assistant Deputy Leaders of UKIP (they are real… Read More

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Towards a more relevant politics

One of the better aspects of the fifth Assembly has been its ability to innovate and refresh proceedings. There has been a conscious effort to make business more contemporary and relevant. On the Committee side, founding a committee again to examine issues around European and external affairs could not have been more timely. It has also proven itself to be one of the most authoritative and relevant arms of the Assembly in terms of business. On a plenary level, other innovations have also been apparent on a Wednesday afternoon. The ability to ask Topical Questions has definitely perked things up and held the Welsh Government more closely and robustly to… Read More

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The Cold War

The cold war between the two Governments with jurisdiction over Wales continued this week, with Mark Drakeford offering a rather icy analogy over the stand off: “Welsh Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said: “If I was trying to explain this to somebody who isn’t close to it all, I would say this: the UK government wants to take some responsibilities that are today held by the national assembly and put them in a freezer that would be held here at Westminster. The three issues we wanted to talk about today was how do those items get put in the freezer – who decides that’ll happen?” At the heart of the problem… Read More

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Taxation: A process not an event

With so much political drama surrounding the Senedd in recent months, and the constant fighting over Brexit, it is easy to forget some of the mechanical aspects of legislating that were perhaps expected to characterise this Assembly. Chief amongst these are the powers of taxation reached by negotiation between the governments at both ends of the M4. The first phase in enacting this process was relatively straight forward and we now have a separate regime in Wales relating to both stamp duty or land taxation, and also landfill in Wales. Of course these are relatively small taxes, but they represented a cementing of that new competence. More tricky is the… Read More

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I’ve changed my mind – the Assembly needs more members

I’ve changed my mind. Independently, without coercion, and without a single Damascene moment, I have come to realise I have become wrong. By that, I do not mean I was wrong in the past, but rather it would be wrong to continue to believe something now which is demonstrated as palpably untrue. I have accepted the case for the increase of the number of members of the National Assembly for Wales. Ok, that may be a so what moment outside the bubble, but at least within it I’ve been known as one of the most trenchant and vocal opponents of expanding the number of AMs. Put simply, my opposition has… Read More

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