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Welsh Liberal Democrats prepare for biggest Conference ever

2011 Mawrth 3 3:35 PM

Welsh Liberal Democrats are preparing to for their biggest conference ever this weekend in Cardiff ahead of the Assembly Elections in May. Their Conference will start as Wales seems set to move to the next phase of devolution.

As well as a set piece speech by Kirsty Williams on Saturday, there will be keynote speeches from Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Roger Williams, Deputy Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister will join Kirsty and key candidates at the opening rally on Friday night.

The past four years of the Labour-Plaid Government has left Wales with an education system that leaves Welsh pupils behind their UK counterparts, a health service where people have to wait twice as long to be treated and parts of Wales poorer than parts of Bulgaria and Romania.

Throughout the weekend, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will set out their priorities for the coming weeks for the Assembly election.

On the Economy, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will:

  • Focus on creating new jobs and prosperity by investing in home-grown Welsh enterprises, by tackling the skills gap and by making sure that Wales has businesses that can compete in the modern world. We can reshape the economy of Wales forever and our work and investment will start immediately.

On Education, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will:

  • Tackle the spending gap, providing more money for schools by targeting additional money at pupils who need it the most so that schools can afford to invest in the things that really matter, such as smaller class sizes or one-on-one teaching.
  • Invest properly to offer new training and development opportunities to teachers, driving up standards and challenging our teachers so we deliver for our children.

On Health, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will:

  • Cut your waiting times by investigating claims of ineffective spending in the NHS and diverting this funding to the frontline
  • Improve care for the elderly and vulnerable by ensuring you can choose the care package you want, when you want it.

On the environment, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will:

  • Radically overhaul the energy efficiency of Welsh homes by promoting the "Green Deal" scheme and doubling the money available for tackling fuel poverty.
  • Scrap the wasteful "Ieuan Air" North-South airlink

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"Under the last four years of the Labour-Plaid Government, we've seen our education system suffer with the spending gap between England and Wales grow to £604. We've seen our health system deteriorate with more money spent per head in Wales but worse outcomes and services than in England. And we've seen the Labour-Plaid Government spend more money on economic development than any other part of the UK but Wales is the poorest part of the United Kingdom and we're still falling further behind.

"This is going to be an exciting weekend where we will tell people that Wales can do better.

"This weekend will be a positive start to our National Assembly election campaign. We will show that our costed policies will transform the failures that will have been left behind by the Labour-Plaid Government."