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Friday, November 12, 2004

Journeys Abroad

The National Assembly for Wales has published details of the overseas trips taken by its members in the last financial year.

Individual trips include a five day visit by Nick Bourne to the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm at a cost to the taxpayer of £1467.37 and a trip to Dublin by Glyn Davies at a cost of £684.59 to have discussions with Irish Farming Unions regarding Bovine TB and discussions with the Irish Language Board regarding minority languages.

Owen John Thomas went to Brussels at a cost of £536.41 to submit a petition to the European Parliament on ASW pension entitlements, whilst Mick Bates spent £230.29 going to Berlin to speak at the European Council for Renewable Energy Conference. Christine Chapman, Catherine Thomas and Eleanor Burnham spent £1996.84 going to Stockholm to meet with a Minister regarding legislation on the physical punishment of children whilst John Griffiths went to Lisbon at a cost of £1209.84 to meet officials and politicians so as to learn about community regeneration and social inclusion in Portugal.

The Culture, Welsh Language and Sport Committee spent £772.81 going to Bordeaux, though they were rather trumped by the £3,451.57 spent by the European Committee on its trip to Brussels. The Presiding Officer spent two days in Venice at the Calre Conference at a cost of £553.68, however his Deputy went one better by attending the same Conference, three months later in Florence, at a cost of £900.49.

Finally, the record records that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association sent John Griffiths and Alun Cairns to Bangladesh at a cost of £6057.12 for the 49th Annual Conference on Partnership for Global Peace and Prosperity. Jeff Cuthbert took the CPA ticket to Canada at the more modest cost of £638.50 for the 3rd Parliamentary Seminar on strengthening Democracy and the Role of Parliamentarians: Challenges and Solutions. Mike German, though, drew the short straw, with an exhausting trip to the Falkland Islands in mid-February at a cost of £3471.76.

I really must get out more.

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