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  • Jul 25, 2014:
    • Liberal Democrats delivering recovery for South Wales West
      Liberal Democrats have helped to restore the UK economy to pre-crash levels, figures released today show. The UK economy has grown by 0.8% over the last quarter, ensuring that the UK economy has now returned to the same level it had before the banking crisis in 2008. Commenting, the Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black] said: "Today is a big day for Britain. The rescue is working and Britain's economy is the same size as it was before the crash. This is fantastic news for people in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend. "Delivering this recovery is why Liberal Democrats stepped up to the plate in 2010 and I am proud that we have helped rescue the British economy and get it growing at the fastest rate of any major economy.. "This recovery would not be happening without the Liberal Democrats, and it certainly wouldn't be happening as fairly. It is the Liberal Democrats who have delivered an £800 tax cut to help millions of people weather the storm. "Now, as we move from rescue to renewal the Liberal Democrats are determined to make our economy even stronger and our society fairer - so that every single person benefits from the recovery and has the opportunities to get on in their lives." 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:
    • 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
  • 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 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
  • Apr 30, 2014:
    • Bridgend Council is on slippery slope over plan to freeze staff pay says Assembly Member
      The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has joined the controversy over the decision by Bridgend County Borough Council to freeze the pay of their staff as a money-saving measure. Mr. Black has described the decision as setting a dangerous precedent that will create regional pay within the Welsh public sector and has called on the First Minister to disown his Labour colleagues' actions in the light of his own condemnation of regional pay in the recent past. "Action by the Liberal Democrats within the UK Coalition killed off any suggestion of regional pay within the UK," said Mr. Black, "but now Welsh public sector workers face a new threat to their pay and conditions from Labour politicians in our town halls. The excuse given by Bridgend's Labour bosses that they have taken this decision because of UK government cuts does not stand up to scrutiny. No other Council in Wales is pursuing this course. This is down to mismanagement not prudent budgeting. "We saw news recently for example that Bridgend Council spent £900,000 on covering staff sickness in one department in one year, whilst the council's 7,000 workers took an average of 10 days off sick in 2011 and 2012, more than twice the UK average of 4.4 days. It is fundamentally wrong to target staff by cutting their pay when there are other efficiencies that can be pursued. There should be one rate for the job, not a different rate for the same job depending on your postcode. "I hope that Labour Councillors throw out this morally indefensible idea and I expect the First Minister, with his interest in Bridgend to be far more proactive in opposing it." 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 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:
    • Regional ambulance handover times show 'worrying rises' says Assembly Member
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West Peter Black has expressed his concern at the rise in ambulance handovers taking over 60 minutes in Swansea's Morriston Hospital, and Bridgend's Princess of Wales Hospital over the last three years for which full figures are available. Mr. Black had asked for the information under the Freedom of Information Act as a result of approaches from constituents. Mr Black said:- "In Morriston Hospital, the number of occasions where somebody was waiting for over 60 minutes rose from 851 in 2011, to 2361 in 2013 - an increase of over 170%. In Princess of Wales Hospital, the rise was from 309 in 2011, to 1313 in 2013 - which is over 320%. "Reducing handover times is absolutely vital. "Leaving patients in ambulances outside A&E departments means that the ambulance service has fewer vehicles to call on should there be another emergency, increases the element of risk in our communities, and shows that A&E departments are under increasing pressure. "Whatever the Welsh Labour Government might like us to believe, these are worrying rises, and need to be tackled urgently. "No-one doubts the skill and dedication of our front-line staff. What is in doubt is the ability of the Welsh Government to set the Local Health Board and the Ambulance Trust proper targets, and priorities." 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
    • 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
  • Mar 4, 2014:
    • Assembly Member urges UK Government to abandon plans to privatise the Land Registry
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black who worked at Swansea Land Registry for 17 years before being elected, has urged the UK Government to rethink its plans to privatise the agency. Mr. Black was responding to a consultation by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) which is asking people to comment on whether thee Land Registry should deliver its services at arms-length from Government through a privately owned company. In his submission to BIS Mr. Black argues that there is no evidence that the current level of service will be improved by outsourcing the delivery functions of the land Registry: "As a Trading Fund the Land Registry already has the flexibility to innovate and reinvest surpluses as is evidenced by its very successful sale and publication of quarterly house price information. It has also been for some time a flagship department in terms of customer service," said Mr. Black. "Where is the evidence that this proposal will improve on that?" "The present set-up is independent, transparent and accountable. The proposed change is not. The Land Registry is a staff-orientated department with a good record in training and continuing professional development. A private company would not make that investment and as a result the quality of service will suffer. "The integrity of the land register relies primarily on government guarantee backed up by statute and confidence in the quality of the Land Registry's work. This proposal has the potential to undermine both. I am not convinced that a private company would put the integrity of the register ahead of its other aims and objectives as the Land Registry currently does. Changing the status quo placing the integrity of the register in the hand s of a contractual relationship is fraught with difficulties. The Land Registry currently has a 98% customer satisfaction rating. These proposals put that in jeopardy as well as the jobs of hundreds of staff in the region I represent." 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
  • Feb 18, 2014:
    • Local listing essential to ensure the future of our past
      The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West Peter Black is calling on the Welsh Government to make local listing statutory to ensure local assets are protected for future generations. Mr Black said:- "Communities across Wales have their own local historic buildings or structures that have important aspects of social, economic, cultural or military history that need to be preserved for future generations to enjoy. "I believe it is essential to list and protect our local assets, so future generations can enjoy the significance of our history. This is essential as the forthcoming Heritage Bill aims to ensure the future of our past. "Assets of community history need to be maintained so that the local sense of identity can be passed on. At the moment Local Authorities can choose to locally list buildings, so your community identity is dependent on your council. Local lists should be statutory so that all communities across Wales can place a marker on the assets in their area that make the community theirs. "Local listing needs to carry weight so that assets can be protected. Communities can be left distraught when a local historic asset is demolished or renovated beyond recognition. Local assets need to be listed and its meaning made clear. Developers need to be aware of what can or can't be done to an asset. It is essential that any redevelopment allows the asset to maintain its local essence." 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
  • Feb 12, 2014:
    • Ambulance delays outside Swansea and Bridgend hospitals are unacceptable says Assembly Member
      The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black, has called ambulance delays outside Morriston and Princess of Wales hospitals unacceptable as new figures revealed major problems in the last month of 2013. Mr. Black was speaking in the light of Welsh Ambulance Service performance figures for December 2013 that showed that 223 ambulances waited between 60 and 120 minutes outside Morriston Hospital to discharge their patients, 49 ambulances waited between 120 and 180 minutes, whilst 19 ambulances waited more than three hours. For the Princess of Wales Hospital, 165 ambulances waited between 60 and 120 minutes to discharge their patients, 23 ambulances waited between 120 and 180 minutes, whilst 10 ambulances waited more than three hours. "These figures are unacceptable and demonstrate significant delays in treating patients brought to hospitals by emergency services," said Mr. Black. "These delays are largely down to bed shortages in the hospitals themselves. No patient in need of emergency treatment should have to wait hours before being discharged into a hospital for treatment. "The Welsh Health Minister needs to talk to the ABMU Health Board as a matter of urgency to seek an explanation for these delays and to demand an action plan as to how they will be eradicated 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
  • Feb 7, 2014:
    • Lagoon has potential for massive economic boost for Swansea'
      Commenting on today's announcement that the planning application for Swansea's lagoon power plant has been submitted, Peter Black, Assembly Member for South Wales West, said: "I am pleased that the planning application for the lagoon has been submitted. "This lagoon has the potential to bring a massive economic boost for Swansea and surrounding areas. "It is hoped that the project will produce a huge amount of local jobs and could well generate millions of pounds in the region. "Now this application has been made public, the project can be properly scrutinised. A project of this magnitude has to be got right. "There are still a number of environmental concerns surrounding this project that must be addressed. Providing that these issues are dealt with, then this announcement can only be good news for the Swansea Bay region." 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