This week the Welsh Government, led by First Minister Carwyn Jones, published the ‘Taking Wales Forward’ five-year national programme which sets out how the Government will build a more ‘prosperous, secure, healthy, ambitious, united and connected Wales’ through a stronger economy, a more sustainable Wales and reformed public services.
On the anniversary of Wales voting ‘Yes’ in the devolution referendum in 1997 the Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP, has called for Wales to decentralise power away from Cardiff and to ‘respond to the challenge’ which has been posed by the recent election of Metro Mayors in Manchester, Merseyside and the West of England.
It was a major pledge of Labour and the Conservatives during the General Election in June, however following the result of a hung Parliament, scrapping the Severn Bridge tolls could have faded from the political landscape as the Government looked to focus on delivering Brexit.
House prices for first time buyers in Wales have risen this year, a key indicator of the devolved nations’ attractiveness for new homeowners looking to get onto the property ladder and a boost for major housebuilders.
For many looking in, it would appear that very little has changed at Swansea Council. The local election in May saw Welsh Labour hold the authority, increasing its majority and winning areas of the city long thought unwinnable.
Assembly Members debated the UK Government’s draft Wales Bill on 17 January, approving the legislation by 38-17. The next stage of Welsh devolution will now proceed through the House of Commons, where MPs will have their say, before becoming law later this year.
As widely anticipated after media reports yesterday, Charles Hendry’s independent report into the cost effectiveness of tidal lagoon energy has wholly endorsed the fledgling technology as a valid method of generating renewable energy.
The future of tidal lagoon energy is likely to be announced on Thursday after the UK Government announced that it would be publishing the findings of the independent Hendry Review, set up to examine the viability of the industry amongst other technologies in the competitive renewable energy sector.