Senedd Bites #69: University blames city deal hold ups for cash problems

(Title Image: Rhodri ap Dyfrig under Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-4.0)

University blames Welsh Government city deal delay for financial problems

The University of Trinity St David – which has campuses in Swansea, Carmarthen and Lampeter – has blamed hold ups to the Swansea Bay city deal for financial problems which have already resulted in 110 potential redundancies and raised doubts over the long-term viability of the university.

The university said it had received assurances that capital funding would be released by the city deal “imminently”, but final approval was still being withheld by the Welsh Government, possibly in part due to an independent investigation into the management of the deal.

Irish consulate reopens in Cardiff after 10 years

The Irish Government has reopened a consulate in Wales after the previous one closed in 2009. Denise Hanrahan has been appointed Consul General and is temporarily working from a Cardiff Bay office until a permanent site can be found.

An estimated 50,000 Irish citizens live in Wales, while the Republic of Ireland is Wales’ 4th largest trading partner. The Consul General said: “Ireland’s goal is to have a comprehensive and close relationship with the UK, whatever the outcome of the Brexit process. Our goal as a consulate is to foster the Irish-Welsh part of that relationship.”

By-election to take place in Brecon & Radnor after MP “sacked” by electorate

Conservative MP for Brecon & Radnorshire, Christopher Davies, was removed as MP after more than 10,000 electors in the constituency signed a petition demanding a recall. At the time of writing, it’s unclear when the by-election will take place, but many suggest 25th July 2019 or 1st August 2019.

Christopher Davies was found guilty of expenses fraud in April 2019 and was sentenced to 50 hours of community work and fined £1,500 – triggering the recall petition. Davies has announced his intention to stand in the by-election.

Panel to consider Wales-only migration rules

An expert panel will be set up by the UK Home Office to investigate whether Wales should be allowed to set its own immigration rules after Brexit. At the moment, after Brexit, skilled immigrants need to earn a minimum of £30,000 a year to apply for a five-year visa, but many have said this threshold was too high to apply to Wales.

UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, said: “It’s crucial the new immigration system works in the best interests of the whole of the UK.”

Tributes to former MEP

Tributes have been paid to former Plaid Cymru MEP for Wales, Eurig Wyn, who died on 25th June 2019 at the age of 74. A former BBC reporter, he served as MEP for Wales from 1999-2004 and later served as a Gwynedd county councillor from 2012-2016.

Former colleague, Jill Evans MEP, said: “I am deeply saddened at the news of Eurig’s passing. He was such a good man, who was never afraid to speak up when he happened upon injustice.”

Plaid Cymru leader, Adam Price AM (Plaid, Carms. E. & Dinefwr) said he would be remembered for his support for Welsh farmers during the 2001 food and mouth crisis, adding that, “at that most challenging time, he was a calm but firm voice, speaking up for our agriculture industry,”

Minister calls for more BAME public appointments

Health Minister, Vaughan Gething (Lab, Cardiff S. & Penarth) has called for greater representation of black and minority ethnicities in public life. Figures revealed by BBC Wales showed that only six out of 170 public appointments (3.5%) over the last 18 months went to people from minority ethnic backgrounds despite BAME’s making up around 5% of the Welsh population.

Speaking at a mentoring event for BAME’s, Former NUS Wales women’s officer, Chizi Phiri, told BBC Wales: “Anyone that wants to have a career in public life – who wants to stand and make a difference in their community – should feel empowered to do so, regardless of whether they are going to face racism or sexism.”

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