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Thursday, May 19, 2016

The likely casualties of Labour's failure to secure a majority in Wales

As Carwyn Jones starts to put together his new government, he may well reflect on two flagship policies that now look to be dead in the water. 

In truth, even before the election the chances of Labour carrying out a major reorganisation of local government and building an M4 extension around Newport on their preferred route, were slim. They did not have the support of the other parties and had not sought to build a consensus around either policy.

Now, with only 28 Assembly Members, with Plaid and the Liberal Democrats opposed to the black route extension of the M4 and with all opposition parties standing firm against Labour's proposals for local councils, the new government will be well-advised to find other pressing matters to command its attention.

There does not need to be a vote in Plenary to build the M4 by-pass but it does need to be in the Welsh Government budget. Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats are unlikely to support any budget that contains this expenditure, whilst even if they want the road built, the Tories and UKIP will not support the budget for other reasons and it is unlikely that Labour will seek to do a deal with either party anyway.

As for local government reorganisation, Labour need a new Act of the Assembly for this. Any such bill will be emasculated in committee. I cannot see Labour even try to introduce one.

It has to be said that there will be many in Welsh Labour, including their Assembly group, who will be delighted that both these policies are likely to be dumped in this term.
As a Plaid member from the north, can I thank you Peter for all the great work you did in the Senedd over many years.

Even though we had a good election,I myself was really disappointed that the progressive radical Lib-Dem group has now been replaced with the most unpleasant and reactionary set of individuals (for I fear that the 7 UKIP members will never function as a proper political group) I have seen since the Thatcher era. The Neil Hamilton episode last week showed us what UKIP is really like, and the assault on Leanne and Kirsty was utterly beyond the pale.

Many of us outside the Lib-Dem group here in the north are also bemoaning of loss of Aled Roberts. He was also a politician who could appeal to people of all colours.

Diolch yn fawr Peter!
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