Bud­get deal will de­liver ben­e­fits right across North Wales


Caernarfon Herald - - YOUR GUIDE - Gareth Wyn Wil­liams

AGREE­MENT on a new Welsh Gov­ern­ment bud­get is ‘good news for An­gle­sey and north Wales’, ac­cord­ing to the is­land’s AM.

The deal be­tween Labour and Plaid Cymru means fund­ing will in­crease the num­ber of doc­tors trained in north Wales, in­creased fund­ing for uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges, up­grades to the A470, progress on a third Me­nai cross­ing as well as ad­di­tional in­vest­ment in the north Wales tourist in­dus­try.

The £210m agree­ment should al­low Welsh ministers to get bud­gets passed in both 2018-19 and 2019-20, de­spite ac­cu­sa­tions from the Welsh Con­ser­va­tives that they’d given up their “prin- ciples” by not tak­ing ac­tion on pub­lic sec­tor pay or tuition fees.

The Bud­get deal in­cludes £30m of fund­ing for the Tata power plant in Port Tal­bot, as well as £15m to im­prove links on the A487 and A470, plus a £40m boost for men­tal health fund­ing over two years. In ad­di­tion, there will be an ex­tra £20m-a-year for higher and fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Ynys Mon AM, Rhun ap Ior­w­erth, the bud­get deal will mean gains for peo­ple in An­gle­sey and north Wales.

He said: “This deal will de­liver in­vest­ment that will be felt by every­one across north Wales.

“We have man­aged to se­cure in­vest­ment to im­prove our roads and ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of a new Me­nai cross­ing.

“We have man­aged to strengthen the health ser­vice by in­vest­ing in more district nurses and train­ing more doc­tors here in north Wales. We reg­u­larly hear of re­cruit­ment prob­lems here in north Wales. It’s im­por­tant that we can train more in north Wales so that they will be more likely to want to work here af­ter­wards.

“Through this bud­get deal, we will also be help­ing dis­ad­van­taged in­di­vid­u­als through mea­sures such as se­cur­ing the Sup­port­ing Peo­ple bud­get.

“Dur­ing re­cent vis­its to the Wal­lich and Gor­wel in Llangefni and through con­ver­sa­tions with young peo­ple in Di­gartref Môn’s sup­ported hous­ing, the pos­i­tive im­pact that projects funded through Sup­port­ing Peo­ple have had was clear, and I’m pleased that we were able to se­cure its bud­get.”

“We will also give young farm­ers ac­cess to grants to es­tab­lish them­selves in the in­dus­try, and more in­vest­ment for Visit Wales will be a big boost for the tourist in­dus­try – two im­por­tant in­dus­tries on An­gle­sey.”

Welsh Gov­ern­ment Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Mark Drake­ford said: “We are pleased we have been able to agree this 2-year deal with Plaid Cymru, which se­cures the whole of our Bud­get.

“This agree­ment builds on the one reached be­tween the Welsh Gov­ern­ment and Plaid Cymru last year and in­cludes a se­ries of re­cur­rent al­lo­ca­tions for the Welsh lan­guage, arts, end-of-life-care, men­tal health, higher ed­u­ca­tion and Visit Wales.”

But com­ment­ing on the two year bud­get deal, leader of the Welsh Con­ser­va­tives, An­drew RT Davies, said: “This bud­get deal is the lat­est cha­rade in the Plaid-Labour love-af­fair and sig­nif­i­cantly sees both par­ties break a num­ber of elec­tion prom­ises to the peo­ple of Wales.

“De­spite the well-pub­li­cised vows to the elec­torate only three months ago and be­ing in gov­ern­ment in Wales, the Labour Party has once again failed to take any ac­tion on pub­lic sec­tor pay or tuition fees.”

● AM Mr Rhun Ap Ior­w­erth along­side the pic­turesque Me­nai strait.

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