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An interview with…..Paul Davies

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an interviewLocal AM Highlights the Importance of “Vital” Local Hospital Services

AS part of our continued series of interviews with local high profile politicians, The Herald this week spoke to Assembly Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire, Paul Davies.

The Herald started by asking what a typical week is like for an Assembly Member.

“I am the Deputy Leader of the Welsh Conservative Assembly Group and the Shadow Minister for Finance, as well as the constituency Assembly Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire. Usually, I am based in my constituency office in Haverfordwest on Mondays and Fridays. This provides me with an opportunity to engage with my constituents on local issues such as health services, planning, education and housing. It also allows me to attend local events and set up meetings with local groups and organisations. I travel to Cardiff on a Monday evening, ready for plenary business which takes place on a Tuesday and a Wednesday. On Thursdays, I am usually in a Committee session. As the Welsh Conservative Spokesperson for Finance, I am a member of the Assembly’s Finance Committee. On this Committee, we scrutinise the use of resources by the Assembly Commission or Welsh Ministers”.

On the subject of local issues, Paul Davies had this to say, “The biggest issue that I have dealt with is the threat of downgrading services at Withybush hospital. This issue has been the largest in terms of correspondence from constituents. Maintaining access to hospital services based locally is vital to the safety and convenience of the people of Pembrokeshire. I have also been campaigning for the dualling of the A40 in Pembrokeshire. There are a number of economic benefits to dualling the A40 for businesses in the area. It would certainly provide job opportunities and it would help make travelling to Pembrokeshire much easier for residents and for the thousands of visitors who come to the area each year. I have also received a great deal of correspondence from constituents regarding the lack of Broadband provision in Pembrokeshire”.

Asked how an AM balances local and national duties within the job, Mr Davies said, “Each week brings different challenges and demands, and while I take my role as the Shadow Minister for Finance very seriously, it is far more important that I am working on behalf of the people of Preseli Pembrokeshire, raising local issues whenever the opportunity arises”.

He went on to discuss the nature in which the Conservatives can maintain an effective opposition, “As the perennial opposition, we are committed to holding the Welsh Government to account and to scrutinising Welsh Ministers’ policies. I believe that we are a constructive opposition, and that we make every effort to do our job as the people of Wales’ watchdog. That is why we, as a group, have put forward a number of policies throughout the Fourth Assembly to help serve the people of Wales. For example, last year, I launched our flagship Finance policy “Invest Wales” which looked to support small and medium sized enterprises and to stimulate the local economy, by establishing a system of geographically accountable Welsh regional investment ‘banks.’ Some weeks later, the Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband, himself recognised these challenges and said that Labour in England would seek to establish a network of regional banks, if elected, to help small business get access to finance. As a result, the Minister for Economy and Transport committed to reviewing Finance Wales’ financial products so that they are as attractive as possible to businesses, and that process is still ongoing”.

The Herald asked what it is like to be a part of the election process and what the best and worst parts of the job are,

“I’d like to think that I’m a realist and the risk of losing any election comes with the territory of the job. I will, of course, continue to work to the best of my ability for the people of Preseli Pembrokeshire, and they will have the opportunity in 2016 to have their say on my performance as their local Assembly Member. The best aspect of my job is the opportunity to meet so many people from so many different backgrounds. I don’t think that I would get this opportunity in any other job. The worst aspect of my job is the continual frustration of being in opposition”.

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Pembrokeshire residents will not be able to vote for the Brexit Party at General Election

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THE BREXIT PARTY will not field any candidates in the two Pembrokeshire constituencies in December’s General Election it has just been confirmed, meaning locals will not be given an opportunity to vote for the party.

Nigel Farage said that he will not field candidates in any seats where conservatives won in the last general election, and instead the Brexit Party will field candidates against Labour held seats or other parties who are pro-Brexit.

He made the decision last night he said.

Speaking at a press conference flanked with supporters, Nigel Farage said: “We will expose labours betrayal. It is also fair to say that the London dominated labour party is now thousands of miles away from his traditional safe seats, some held since 1918. It’s now time for a seismic shift.

He added: “Trying to stop a second referendum is the single most important thing in our country.

He ended his speech today by saying: “In a sense we now have a leave alliance. We have done this unilaterally.

“We decided ourselves that we have to put country before party and take the fight to Labour.”

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Delays for Pembrokeshire rail users due to downed trees and shortage of drivers

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TRAINS in Pembrokeshire have been hit by a series of cancellations this morning.

The 09:09AM Milford Haven to Manchester Piccadilly service was started in Carmarthen due a shortage of drivers.

E J Evans Coaches were running a bus replacement service on behalf of Transport for Wales picking up passengers at all stations to Carmarthen.

There was also trouble today on the Fishguard Harbour Branch Line. Unsafe trees were spotted on the line after Clarbeston Road and the line is now closed until November 18.

This follows delays earlier this month and in October due to the same problem.

There are also more delays across the network in Wales.

South Wales Central AM, Andrew RT Davies, has blasted the network operator, after another day of chaos for commuters on the country’s rail network.

Services in South Wales and North Wales have been hit by a series of cancellations and passengers are complaining across several areas about a lack of coaches and trains not running on
time.

Commenting on the ongoing crisis, Andrew RT Davies said: “Sadly, it’s Groundhog Day on the Welsh rail network with commuters in my region on the receiving end of yet more unsatisfactory service from Transport for Wales.

“The rail crisis in Wales is creating chaos on a near daily basis and commuters deserve a much better service than they are currently receiving from TfW.

“Labour’s economy and transport minister promised there would be numerous ‘quick wins’ on the launch of the service but things have only got worse.
“We’re seeing an appalling level of customer service – a real crisis on the rail network – which is having a detrimental impact on the lives of hardworking people.
“Transport for Wales and the Welsh Labour Government have run out of excuses and desperately need to get a grip on the situation before people give up on public transport.”

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Haverfordwest: Car tyres slashed and windscreen smashed at Castle Lake

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POLICE in Haverfordwest are appealing for information about damage caused to a car at Castle Lake car park..

Four tyres were slashed and the windscreen was smashed on a silver Mazda MX-5 sometime between 6pm on Friday, November 8 and 11am on Saturday, November 9.

If anyone has information about the damage please contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

Police said: “Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DPP/0017/09/11/2019/01/C.”

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