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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dismal Summer ahead for Labour Assembly Government?

It may be a glorious summer but today it turned pretty dismal for the Labour Assembly Government.

The Western Mail reports that despite efrfectively sacking Gerant Talfan Davies as chair of the Arts Council for Wales and replacing him with his own nominee, the Culture Minister still cannot get his way on the direct funding of Wales' top six arts companies.

Under Alun Pugh's plan, the Arts Council would no longer be responsible for funding Welsh National Opera, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, literary body Welsh Academi, dance group Diversions, Clwyd Theatr Cymru and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. Together the six companies accounted for £8.2m of the Arts Council's £23.5m grants budget last year. However, in its submission to the Wales Art Review Panel, the Arts Council has rejected the proposals.

The Health Minister is also having a difficult summer. First, he is faced with huge controversy in his own area over plans to relocate neurosurgery from Morriston Hospital to Cardiff, now he has lost another Ambulance Trust Chief Executive. To lose one may be considered unfortunate, to lose a second is almost certainly careless. Let us hope that things brighten up for him and for the health service in Wales.

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