Frank Little

Councillor for East Central ward on Coedffranc Town Council Learn more

A critical vote tomorrow

by franklittle on 4 May, 2011

The next Welsh Assembly Government will last five years, not the normal four. The change in the law was made in order to avoid a clash with the UK general election in 2015. This extra year of power puts even more responsibility on WAG to get it right over a period when we should be pulling out 0f economic recession.

My post of two days ago highlighted the relative youth of our candidates in Aberavon and Neath. To me, that is their greatest strength.

Helen Clarke has two young boys who will be entering the education system during the term of the Aberavon AM and has an interest in seeing a good start in life for her children, as for others of her generation. The lack of basic skills in school-leavers has been identified as one of the factors deterring ¬†companies from investing in Wales. There is a clear gap between spending on education in England and Wales. There are arguments about how such factors as the provision of school buses should be accounted for, but they surely are a minor part of the ¬£604 per pupil funding gap. (This would be increased by Welsh Conservatives’ budgetary proposals, by the way.) This gap has increased under the Labour/Plaid coalition. Welsh Liberal Democrats would reverse this trend, and also introduce Nick Clegg’s pupil premium which directly helps children from poorer backgrounds in England. I concede that the Foundation Phase, inspired by New Zealand and Scandinavia, is

Mathew McCarthy is in tertiary education and will be looking to starting a career during the next Senedd term. Kirsty Williams’ proposals to encourage small and medium enterprises would provide more employment opportunities than Labour’s chasing of big international concerns, who are more mobile than SMEs, as Ireland has found to its cost. Mathew also draws on his recent experience of secondary education.

Finally, I probably don’t need to tell the savvy voters of Cadoxton, but I would emphasise that a vote for the Labour Party on the regional top-up list would be wasted. Enough Labour MPs from across the South Wales West region will be elected so as not to call for a “top-up”. Not voting Welsh Liberal Democrat on the list will increase the likelihood of another Conservative being returned, and could prevent the re-election of our hard-working AM, Peter Black.

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