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Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Year challenge

It is a bit early for New Year resolutions, not that I make them anymore, however the period between Christmas and New Year is a useful one for reflection, even if I am currently up in the Wirral with my family and beseiged by youngsters.

This year there is a particular challenge due to the fact that I will be taking up new duties next term. I have decades of experience of local government and have been a Deputy Minister also so that particular new portfolio holds no fears for me. However, speaking on health for the Welsh Liberal Democrats is a massive challenge.

I have done it once before, when we were in government and our then health spokesperson, Kirsty Williams was on maternity leave, but I cannot say it was a happy experience. This time I have more scope to prepare but it is still going to be a steep learning curve. I have a fair bit of reading to do over the next few weeks.

My other new duty is as Welsh Liberal Democrat Business Manager, which means sitting on Business Committee and managing the day to day activities of the group. I have done that job as well too, on each of Kirsty's maternity leaves, so I am looking forward to doing the job full time.

All of the Welsh Liberal Democrat group face challenges under our new leadership. We must face outwards more as a party and project our policies and principles better. That means spending more time selling our ideas and achievements to the electorate and less obsessing with the Cardiff Bay bubble.

It will not be easy especially given our size as the fourth party in the Assembly but our successes in this year's local government elections give us hope that we can do it. There is a renewed sense of purpose in the party, the sort that comes whenever one embarks on a new journey. I am looking forward to it.
But what are you going to do that couldn't be done from Westminster?
Concentrate on Welsh issues.
This sounds like a promising start. LD AMs absolutely have to get out and about and the Assembly flat-lining has to end. Personally I feel too that the Assembly group needs renewal, and not just via the electorate. Yesterday's people should be thanked, and then bow out.
An unexpected response, it implies that Welsh issues are different from the issues of the UK, can you elaborate.
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