YOUR AM WRITES: South Wales East AM Lindsay Whittle
4:03pm Tuesday 10th December 2013 in News
I raised the Living Wage issue with the First Minister at the Senedd last week.
The Welsh Government is currently consulting on a draft public services Workforce Bill. I’d like to see the Welsh Government ensure that paying staff in the public sector a Living Wage becomes an element of the eventual Bill.
Perhaps, the Welsh Government also needs to make it clear in its procurement policy that employers in Wales who are bidding to secure contracts must agree to pay their employees the Living Wage, currently £7.65.
The First Minister said that the Workforce Partnership Council had agreed to bring the Living Wage in the public sector under the remit of the council itself, where it can be considered with both trade unions and public sector employees.
Newport council has failed miserably to provide Welsh medium secondary education in the city to meet the demand. That has meant secondary school pupils have been forced to travel to Pontypool for their education. That is simply not good enough. It is something that I’ve raised with the Education Minister.
The council has to submit its Welsh in Education Strategic Plans by January 20. I will be watching very carefully to make sure the authority’s proposals meet the need to accommodate pupils transferring from Welsh-medium primary schools.
Welsh medium education must not be sold short in Newport. There needs to be enough places proposed to deal with the demand.
A police presence in a community gives reassurance. So I’m pleased to hear that consideration is being given to the possibility of daytime operations being re-started in Duffryn and Maindee in Newport, Pontypool and Caerphilly.
I met Ian Johnston, Gwent’s Police and Crime Commissioner last week and had a very useful discussion.
I always believed the former Chief Constable was wrong to leave Caerphilly, a town with a growing population of more than 30,000, without any direct access to the police.
I followed that up with a meeting with a senior police officer in Caerphilly and I hope progress can be made so people can bring issues of concern to the police which are important but are not emergencies.
Finally, I attended the opening of the impressive purpose-built £5m Monmouthshire livestock market at Raglan. It will undoubtedly be a boost to the local economy but there will be some disappointment as it replaces the historic town mart at Abergavenny.
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