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  • Jul 16, 2014:
    • Assembly Member calls on Minister to take action after travellers camp next to Amazon again
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has written to the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport after residents reported that traveller caravans have started to gather on land next to Amazon off Fabian Way near Swansea. Two traveller caravans have appeared on the site near Amazon in Crymlyn Burrows. This is not the first time traveller caravans have appeared on the site, and residents are concerned that more are likely to follow. In his letter to the Minister, Mr. Black said: "I would be grateful if you could take action to remove this incursion as soon as possible and before it gets out of hand. I would also appreciate it if you could take action to make this site inaccessible for caravans in the future so this does not reoccur." Mr Black added "The reappearance of traveller caravans illegally camping on this site is a worry to local residents, who fear that a delay in dealing with the issue could result in a more traveller caravans appearing in the near future. That is why it is important to act quickly." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jul 9, 2014:
    • Assembly Member describes Neath Port Talbot Council's rubbish collection arrangements are 'completely unreasonable'
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has called on on Neath Port Talbot Council to change their proposed arrangements for collecting rubbish following tomorrow's strike to something more sensible. The Council have said that any rubbish not collected because of the strike tomorrow will have to be stored by affected householders for an extra two weeks before being put out for collection on the next normal day in the cycle. Mr Black said: "This is completely unreasonable. Swansea Council is doing catch-up collections on Friday and Saturday for those in affected communities so that people are not in the position of having rubbish - including kitchen and garden waste - hanging about for an extra week at the least before being picked up. Why can't Labour -run Neath Port Talbot do the same? "The Council need to remember that not everybody lives in a big house with a large garden where they can store rubbish at the council's convenience. Not everybody in Neath Port Talbot has their own car so that they can take their rubbish to a civic amenity site as the council unhelpfully suggest that they do. "On top of that, Neath Port Talbot has recently spent £733,000 of taxpayers' money on replacing people's wheelie-bins with ones that hold less, so those householders will be doubly disadvantaged. "Neath Port Talbot have produced one of biggest increases in council tax in Wales this year, and are charging local people the second-highest council tax in the country. I am astonished therefore that they are reinforcing their growing reputation for treating their voters and council tax payers with contempt by not adopting more sensible and customer-focussed refuse collection arrangements." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jul 8, 2014:
    • Families must act now to beat continuing care claim deadline
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black is urging the families of patients who have been in residential or nursing homes or were being cared for elsewhere for long term illnesses between 1st April 2004 and 31st July 2013 to lodge claims with their local health board to recover the costs of continuing medical care before the deadline of 31 July 2014 so as to avoid missing out. The deadline is tucked away on the Welsh Government website but there appears to have been little attempt by Ministers to publicise it or to encourage claims despite the fact that many families will have paid out tens of thousands of pounds in care costs and may have had to sell their relative's homes to find the money. Mr. Black said: "There are hundreds of people in our area and throughout Wales who have paid out substantial sums of money on care for their loved ones, who are entitled to claim that money back but who need to act now to do so. "There is a great deal of confusion and lack of knowledge around this issue which means that many people have been struggling to raise large sums of money to pay for care when they did not need to do so. "What is worse is that the Welsh Government has added to this confusion by introducing an arbitrary deadline for claims and then not publicizing. That is the second time they have done this. "I would urge families whose relatives are in long term care and particularly those in residential homes to find out their rights, and submit a claim to their Local Health Board as quickly as possible. Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jul 2, 2014:
    • University campus road works will hit access for Crymlyn Burrows residents says Assembly Member
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales, West Peter Black has expressed his concern at the way Neath Port Talbot Council are dealing with the proposal to close the right turn options to and from Elba Crescent as part of the University campus building work. Works to create an access road to the University campus will mean that right turns to Elba Crescent from Fabian Way and vice versa will be prevented on three separate occasions for a three weeks period on each occasion. As a result residents living in Elba Crescent and Baldwin's Crescent will face a long detour to travel to and from their homes. "Although it is necessary to create an access to the new university campus I am astonished that Neath Port Talbot Council have not made proper provision for local residents to properly access their own homes," said Mr. Black.. "Residents have suggested to me that the bus gate at the end of Baldwin's Crescent be opened whilst the closure is in force but the Council appear to have ruled that out. Opening up the bus gate will allow residents to access Swansea without having to go up to the Amazon roundabout and around. It will also prevent them from having to go round the back roads to access their properties "There has been little or no consultation with residents on the impact of these works on them. They have effectively been told to like it or lump it. The council is not interested in their views. I am also concerned that businesses, based in Crymlyn Burrows will suffer because customers and suppliers will not know how to access them. Will the Council be compensating  these businesses for any detrimental impact on their trade? " Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Thousands of pensioners in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, and Bridgend will benefit from Lib Dem manifesto pledge says Assembly Member
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has welcomed the news that under Liberal Democrat manifesto plans for the General Election, pensioners would be guaranteed to earn at least an extra £790 per year by the end of the next parliament. Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister Steve Webb, has announced that the Liberal Democrats will guarantee in law that in each year pensions will rise by the highest of wages, prices or 2.5%. This guarantee would ensure an increase in the value of the state pension of at least £790 per year by the end of the next Parliament, to the direct benefit of many thousands of pensioners in South Wales West. The basic state pension has already risen each year since 2010 thanks to the Liberal Democrat's triple lock guarantee, which was a key demand of the Party in the Coalition negotiations. As a result the state pension is £440 per year, or £8.46 per week higher than it would have been had it increased in line with earnings since the start of this Parliament, and it is worth over £800 a year or £15.45 per week more in total. Mr Black said: "A decent income in retirement for pensioners is central to the Liberal Democrat vision of a fair society. For decades, following the breaking of the earnings link by Mrs Thatcher in 1980, successive Labour and Conservative governments allowed the state pension to decline. Our manifesto promise of a 'triple lock' has been implemented every year since 2010 and means that the state pension is already a higher share of the national average wage than at any time since the early 1990s. "That means 42,812 pensioners in Swansea; 26,051 pensioners in Neath Port Talbot, and 24,854 pensioners in Bridgend are better off today than they would have been under a Labour Government. "But if we are serious about having a decent state pension we need to go further. That is why the Liberal Democrats will guarantee in law that in each year pensions will rise by the highest of wages, prices or 2.5%. This will give pensioners in our region and across Wales more certainty that their pensions will continue to rise in future. "Liberal Democrat plans are in stark contrast to the Blair years, which on one occasion, saw Labour perfectly happy to increase the state pension by an insulting 75p a week." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jul 1, 2014:
    • Tata Steel: Loss of jobs a "huge blow"
      Reacting to the news of potential redundancies at Tata Steel's Port Talbot plant, Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for South Wales West, said: "This is very sad news for the workers at Tata Steel, and I hope they're able to find the support that they need at this difficult time. "The Welsh Government need to act quickly so those workers who are facing redundancy will know what options are available to them. Both the Welsh and UK Governments must work together to ensure that no-one is left behind by this announcement." Eluned Parrott AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on the Economy, added: "These are difficult times for the Steel industry and the loss of these jobs will be a huge blow to workers at the plant.  My Lib Dem colleague, the UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, has been in regular contact with Tata Steel's Chief Executive and has been assured that compulsory redundancies will be avoided as far as possible.  "The economic crisis has hit Tata and other steelmakers very hard, and because so much of the market for steel depends on high-level economic activity, the recovery is taking longer to be felt in this sector. I am hugely disappointed to hear of these redundancies, but I hope that it will allow Tata Steel to continue to operate successfully in South Wales and hopefully grow again in the future." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 17, 2014:
    • Call for health minister to account for £18m compensation payments
      The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has called for the health minister to make a statement to the Assembly Plenary accounting for huge sums of money paid to patients and their relatives by ABMU Health Board in compensation for poor care over the last three years. Mr. Black raised his question with the Business Minister after a freedom of information request to the health board (attached) revealed that in the 27 months between 1 January 2012 and 1 April 2014 they had paid out around £17.7 million to relatives and patients to compensate them for mistakes and poor care in the board's four major hospitals. A further quarter of a million pounds was paid out in the same period under the NHS Concerns, Complaints and Redress Arrangements (Wales) Regulations. That is averages out at over £650,000 a month. "This is a huge amount of money that is no longer available to fund frontline care," said Mr, Black. "Obviously, those who received the payments did so properly and to compensate them for harm done to them or their family, but it is disturbing nevertheless that the payments needed to be made in the first place. "I have asked for a statement from the Minister to account for this expenditure, to determine whether they form part of a trend, to identify what lessons have been learned and to discover the situation in other health boards. All has not been well within ABMU for some time. These payments reinforce that position. Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 10, 2014:
    • Local Mental Health provision is failing our young people
      The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has called on the Welsh Government to do more to address the standards of care given to young people who are experiencing mental health difficulties. The Welsh Government are staging a debate today noting "Welsh Government action to improve mental health and well-being in Wales". Welsh Liberal Democrats have tabled amendments to the motion calling for more to be done to prevent young people being put on adult psychiatric wards, a completely inappropriate practice which has been going on for years and which the government has known about but has done nothing to address. They are also calling for a national framework which will help reassure young people as they approach adulthood and face the prospect of losing contact with trusted counsellors and therapists within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) category. "A clear example of the Welsh Government's failure can be seen here in South Wales West at the specialist CAMHS in-patient facility in Bridgend, which is one of just two in Wales," said Mr. Black. "The business case for the unit included provision for a number of emergency beds, but the 2013 review found that these have not been delivered. The unit does not have the capacity originally planned for, and this has resulted in costly out-of-area placements. "In fact, an audit by the Welsh Health Specialised Services found that 21 of the 41 patients discharged between 2011 and April 2013 had been 'originally referred out of area due to the limited capacity of the CAMHS units in Wales.' "After a decade of talking about CAMHS in Wales, we need action from the Welsh Labour Government not more patting themselves on the back in motions they put before the Assembly." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 4, 2014:
    • Queen's Speech guarantees hundreds of parents in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend will get help with childcare costs
      A major tax-free childcare package will help over 14,000 families in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend, the Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black said today (Wednesday, June 4). Working families will get up to £2,000 to ease the cost of childcare as part of a scheme to be rolled out in Autumn 2015. The scheme will benefit 6,360 families in Swansea, 3,770 in Neath Port Talbot and 3,880 in Bridgend. It means a family with two children under 12-years-old could benefit by up to £4,000 a year. Mr. Black said: "The announcement in the Queen's Speech provides a huge boost to hardworking families in the region. "This is something Liberal Democrats have fought for and are now delivering in Government. "We are committed to building a stronger economy and a fairer society and this helps children get the best start in life." The Queen's Speech outlines the legislative agenda for the Coalition Government over the next 12 months. "It was announced that every infant in England will get a free school meal to help improve education attainment and child health. The Scottish Government have said they will follow suit. The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe the Welsh Labour Government should do likewise." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Jun 3, 2014:
    • New rules will help secure a fair deal for pubs in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend
      The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black, has welcomed a Liberal Democrats initiative that will see new rules introduced so as to ensure that tied pubs are given a fair deal by pub companies. A new statutory code will give pub landlords running tied pubs new rights to help them get a fair deal from pub companies. The rules will be enforced by an independent adjudicator with the power to punish pub companies that break them. Tied tenants usually have to pay a higher price for beer from the beer company they rent from. This should be balanced out by reduced rents or other benefits - but this has not always been the case, putting some tied pubs at a disadvantage. The new rules will address that, meaning that: · Landlords will be able to request a rent review from pub companies if it has been five years or more since the last one. · Landlords will be given the right to review the information used by pub companies to justify any rent increase. · Landlords tied to pub companies with 500 or more tied pubs will be able to request an additional rent assessment to show if they are worse off than pubs with no tie. · Pubs will have the right to decide if they are tied for gaming machines as well. Mr. Black has dealt with a number of complaints from pub landlords, who have complained that they are being exploited by pub companies. He has previously lobbied Business Secretary, Vince Cable to change the law so as to provide more protection for landlords "I am delighted that action is being taken to support tied pubs," said Mr. Black. "These new regulations will give pub landlords peace of mind that they will be able to get a fair deal on their rent. "Pubs are an important part of local life in South Wales, sitting at the very heart of our community and creating jobs for local people. I am proud that Liberal Democrats Ministers are standing up for them." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • May 28, 2014:
    • Neath Port Talbot Council undermine their own £730,000 wheelie bin initiative
      A regional Assembly Member has raised further concerns about the decision of Neath Port Talbot Council to spend £730,000 on smaller wheelie bins after it transpired that restrictions on the amount of rubbish to be collected will not be imposed on residents, even though that was the rationale for the expenditure. Peter Black, who is he Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West was responding to a letter from the council which confirmed that they are not imposing any restriction on the amount of waste that can be put out for disposal. They say that if the new smaller bins become full then additional waste can be left in bags at the side and they will be taken away. "This latest twist in the tale is astonishing," said Mr. Black, "as it brings into question the whole rationale for the expenditure of this huge sum of money in the first place. The council have systematically replaced every wheelie bin in the county borough with the intention of reducing the amount of waste they collect and yet they are carrying on as normal. "I questioned this expenditure at the time as not being supported by the evidence and suggested that it would lead to more fly-tipping. Now it appears that the £730,000 that was spent on the replacement bins might as well have been landfilled itself for all the good it will do." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • May 15, 2014:
    • Assembly Member backs My Money Week initiative
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black is encouraging local schools to get involved in My Money Week 2014 this June, to boost young people's understanding of money management and personal finance. My Money Week, which is organised by UK charity the Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg), offers an opportunity for schools to build on the financial education already being taught in schools across Wales through a dedicated week of activities for their pupils. Every primary and secondary school in the South Wales West region is able to take part in this year's My Money Week from 9-15th June for free. Mr Black said: "My Money Week 2014 will be themed around current affairs, challenging young people to improve their financial skills, knowledge and confidence through topical lessons and activities on personal finance. "We all need to be able to manage our money, whether that's budgeting to go on holiday or starting your own business; no young person should be leaving school without a basic understanding of personal finance. "That is why I am delighted to support this great initiative and would encourage every school in the region to get involved. "Schools, and other organisations that work with young people in South Wales West can find out more about My Money Week at www.pfeg.org/mymoneyweek." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • May 13, 2014:
    • Kirsty Williams and Peter Black "shocked and saddened" by report into elderly care in Welsh Hospitals
      Kirsty Williams & Peter Black have responded to the review by Professor June Andrews & Mark Butler into care for the elderly, at the Princess of Wales Hospital and Neath Port Talbot Hospital at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. The review found serious failings in a number of areas including; a disconnect between front line staff, a lack of hydration & nutrition, and a lack of suitably qualified staff. Commenting Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said: "This report is harrowing. Nobody should ever have to put up with poor levels of care. My thoughts are with the families of those who have been affected by poor care. This report will make very difficult reading for the Welsh Labour Government and the Board of ABMU. In 2011 the older peoples commissioner published a report into dignified care for older people yet this review showed a problem with even the most basic care needs like food and water. "The report sets out a clear plan for how the Welsh Government and ABMU board can turn things around. The staff must be given the support to do the job they want and are trained to do. "This report only looked at two hospitals. What we now consider is whether these issues are isolated to these hospitals or if these same issues are occuring in other hospitals across Wales." Peter Black, AM for South Wales West, added: "I am clear that overall the standard of care in ABMU hospitals is high but the report shows how overworked, ill-equipped and poorly supervised staff have let down a minority of patients, in particular the identified areas of concern that there was a disconnection between front-line staff and managers and confusion over leadership responsibilities and accountabilities and unnecessary delays to treatment and care are very worrying. "This report will leave a large number of relatives, whose complaints date to before the three year review period, still dissatisfied and without closure. I am also worried that the Health Board, even today, is not being transparent in how it is addressing concerns. For example I found out through the media that an additional seven nurses were suspended last year, whilst the e-mail to Assembly Members containing the health board's response, password-protected the attached copy of the Andrews' report. "I will be seeking assurances from the Minister that there will be robust monitoring and an open review of the recommendations in this report and how they will be implemented. I also want to see a further process that will look at historic complaints not covered by this report." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Review of ABMU hospitals show that patients and their families were failed by Welsh NHS
      The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has welcomed the Professor June Andrews review of Princess of Wales and Neath Port Talbot Hospitals and has claimed that it justifies the campaign run by relatives for a full public inquiry into ABMU Health Board. The report says that a full public inquiry is not needed but Mr. Black said that the management failures it highlights and the lack of transparency as to how the health board is responding to them will leave many families without effective closure on the treatment of their loved ones. "I am clear that overall the standard of care in ABMU hospitals is high but the report shows how overworked, ill-equipped and poorly supervised staff have let down a minority of patients," said Mr. Black. "In particular the identified areas of concern that there was a disconnection between front-line staff and managers and confusion over leadership responsibilities and accountabilities and unnecessary delays to treatment and care are very worrying. "This report will leave a large number of relatives, whose complaints date to before the three year review period, still dissatisfied and without closure. I am also worried that the Health Board, even today, is not being transparent in how it is addressing concerns. For example I found out through the media that an additional seven nurses were suspended last year, whilst the e-mail to Assembly Members containing the health board's response, password-protected the attached copy of the Andrews' report. "I will be seeking assurances from the Minister that there will be robust monitoring and an open review of the recommendations in this report and how they will be implemented. I also want to see a further process that will look at historic complaints not covered by this report." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Mar 30, 2014:
    • Welsh Assembly Member slams £730,000 cost of Neath Port Talbot's wheelie-bin replacement programme
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has expressed astonishment at the cost of a plan by Neath Port Talbot Council to swap all the household wheelie bins in their area for smaller ones in the hope of reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. The Council report recommending the switch reveals that the total cost will be £730,000. It suggest that this will encourage local residents to recycle and compost more but Mr. Black argues that it is more likely to increase litter and fly-tipping. Mr Black said: "This scheme is barmy, a complete waste of £730,000 of the public's money, and comes at a time when the council is planning to cut a host of other important services which will impact upon local communities. "If the council go through with this, over 45,000 households will lose their large 240 litre bin, and see it replaced with one which is over 40% smaller at 140 litres. All that will happen is more fly-tipping, and litter which the council will have to spend money clearing up. Nobody is arguing about the need to put up recycling, but Neath Port Talbot's approach is all compulsion, and no carrot. "What is worse is that Labour are spending £730,000 on replacing wheelie-bins at a time when they are planning deep cuts that will affect the lives of local people and levying a council tax that is higher than that in neighbouring Welsh authorities. "For instance, this huge amount of money could mean no cuts for early years development, and subsidized bus routes; no cuts for community meals, and no need to slap charges on those residents using the council's day services. It could also mean no cut in the amount spent on gully cleaning and land drainage which given the amount of rain we have had would seem to make good sense. "Neath Port Talbot Labour councillors need to think again about this wasteful wheeze." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Mar 26, 2014:
    • Ambulance response times in Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot hit new low
      Emergency ambulance response times in February were the worst they have been since a new system was introduced in 2011, figures published today have shown. Just 51.2% of emergency responses to Category A (immediately life-threatening) calls in Neath Port Talbot and 52.5% in Bridgend arrived at the scene within 8 minutes. This is despite the target being for 65% of ambulances to arrive within that time. The all-Wales figures are the worst since a new classification system was introduced in 2011. South Wales West Liberal Democrats Assembly Member, Peter Black said: "These figures are a national disgrace. It would seem our ambulance service has reached crisis point. The people of Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend deserve better than this. "To have only around half of immediately life-threatening calls responded to within the 8 minute target time is a huge concern. Lives can be lost because of slow response times. "These alarming figures come on the same day the Health Minister has said he plans to change the way our ambulance service is monitored. People will be concerned the system is being changed due to the Welsh Labour Government categorically failing to meet the current targets it has set itself. I hope these changes are patient focused, rather than political. I find it strange that the Minister is unable to confirm whether the current targets will remain in the long term. "No-one doubts the skill and dedication of our front-line staff. What is in doubt is the ability of the Welsh Labour Government to provide a decent reliable service that the people of Wales deserve." END Notes: Figures can be found here: http://wales.gov.uk/docs/statistics/2014/140326-ambulance-services-february-2014-en.pdf Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Mar 25, 2014:
    • Closing M4 junction will hit local businesses says Assembly Member
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has added his voice to those who have expressed concern that the Welsh Labour Government's proposal to close junction 41 of the M4 will cut off access to Port Talbot with dire consequences for local businesses. Mr. Black has received representations from local people and businesses that the closure of junction 41 will discourage new business from coming to the town as well as harming existing businesses in the town. They have told him that closures will make it difficult for the delivery of goods and services and reduce footfall for local shops. "At a time when we need to be encouraging new businesses to the area, this closure is sending the wrong message," said Mr. Black. "It will move traffic off the M4 onto local roads and impact on local businesses "If this is a pilot project then the Minister needs to be clearer about how long this experiment will last for, how it will be evaluated and what factors will be taken into account to assess its success or otherwise. The danger is that she will focus on the impact on the M4 without considering the effect on Port Talbot." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Mar 19, 2014:
    • £800 tax cut for 192,000 people in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend
      An £800 income tax cut for people in the Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend areas is the real budget boost, the Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black said today. The budget revealed plans to increase the personal allowance from April 2015 and put an extra £100 back in taxpayers' pockets. Lib Dems have already delivered on a £700 tax cut for low to middle earners, but today's news goes even further for hardworking people. The number of people who could benefit from a cut to the personal allowance in Mr. Black's region covering Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend is expected to be around 192,000. Mr. Black said: "This tax cut is the real budget boost for working people and would not have happened without Lib Dems in Government creating a stronger economy and a fairer society. "The Tories are desperate to claim credit, but in reality their focus is on changes such as an inheritance tax cut for millionaires which we blocked, while Labour simply cannot be trusted with the economy. "This was on the front page of our manifesto, but we are also helping people with a freeze on fuel duty and new tax-free childcare to help parents." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
    • Assembly Member welcomes help for Tata steel and other energy intensive industries
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West Peter Black has welcomed an announcement in the UK budget statement that will directly benefit energy intensive industries such as Tata Steel and help to secure jobs there. In the House of Commons today the Chancellor of the Exchequer set out a package of reforms to radically reduce the costs of energy policy for business, particularly for manufacturing, while improving security of supply and maintaining the government's ambition for the deployment of new renewable generation. The Chancellor told the country that this package will benefit every household, business and region in the country saving a total of up to £7bn by 2018/19, but particularly the most energy intensive manufacturers, around 80% of which are based in the North of England, Scotland and Wales. He said that it will improve incentives for companies to return their manufacturing to Britain, and help existing firms compete in the global economy. "This announcement will particularly help industries such as Tata Steel," said Mr. Black, "helping them to reduce costs and secure jobs. It shows that the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, who has been in discussions with these businesses for some time, has been listening and action has been taken. "Energy intensive sectors make up 35% of UK exports of manufactured goods. Lowering energy costs is therefore vital for the international competitiveness of UK manufacturing.  All businesses will see their electricity bills reduce as a result of this package: in total up to £6bn by 2018/19. Every business will benefit no matter their size. For example, the typical medium sized business will save £100,000 by 2018/19. "Those companies that use electricity intensively will see radical cost savings: a typical compensated Energy intensive industry will save on average around £19m by 2018/19.  This will significantly improve the competitiveness of the UK economy.  "The business energy package will benefit households too, taking £15 off the average household bill, in addition to the £50 on average the government saved for households in the Autumn Statement, demonstrating the Liberal Democrats in government continue to take decisive action to reduce people's bills." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY
  • Mar 18, 2014:
    • Hundreds of parents in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend to get help with childcare costs
      A major childcare package is set to help 14,010 parents in the Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend areas, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black said today. In total, 83,600 people in Wales will benefit. Working families will be given up to £2,000 to ease the cost of childcare as part of a scheme to be rolled out in Autumn 2015. The Government has said it will provide 20 per cent support on childcare costs up to £10,000 per year for each child. For example, it means a family with two children under 12-years-old could benefit by up to £4,000 as a result. Mr. Black said: "Today's news provides a huge boost to hardworking families in the South Wales West region. "The Liberal Democrats are committed to building a stronger economy and a fairer society and this helps children get off to the best start in life. "The Government has also said people on Universal Credit will get 85 per cent of childcare costs fully covered. "These measures will help parents to go to work and provide security for their families." Published and promoted by Peter Black, 110 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5QQ. This website was established while I was an AM and is paid for by me. Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY