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Peter Black

Assembly Member for South West Wales

Biography Peter Black portrait

Peter Black has been the Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West since 1999. He is a leading Swansea Councillor, having represented the Cwmbwrla Ward since 1984.

Born in 1960 in Bebington Wirral, he was educated at Wirral Grammar School for Boys and graduated from Swansea University in 1981 with a degree in English and History.

He is a former civil servant, having worked in the Land Registry for Wales from 1983 to 1999. He is married to Angela and lives in Manselton.

Peter is a former Leader of the Opposition in City and County of Swansea and has also served as the Chair of the Welsh Liberal Democrats in the past.

Peter is the Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Local Government, Heritage, Housing and Finance.

His interests include Science Fiction, Film, Theatre, and Poetry.

Contact Details

Telephone: 01792 536 353
110 Walter Road

Recent Updates

  • Article: Sep 30, 2009

    Commenting on the handover between the previous 29 Local Health Boards and NHS Trusts to the new larger Welsh Local Health Boards, Peter Black AM, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister said:

    "The new Health boards face a huge challenge in delivering a first class health service for Wales in the face of an accumulated structural deficit across the country of £200 million. There is a danger that the first few years of their existence will be dominated by cuts and closures instead of investment and improvement.

  • Article: Sep 25, 2009

    Commenting on the decision by the Health Minister, Edwina Hart to accept NICE guidance and end funding of Avastin, Nexavar and Torisel as first line treatments and Sutent as a second line treatment for renal cancer, Peter Black AM, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Spokesperson said: "This is a regrettable decision and a serious backwards step for kidney patients within Wales. While the Minister made the right choice in making the drugs available in the interim period, it means anyone diagnosed in future could lose out on medicines that could potentially help their treatment." "If these drugs are now only available in 'exceptional clinical circumstances' then we must have guarantees that decisions will be taken quickly and by clinicians rather than accountants, and that there when the go-ahead is given it does not lead to a longer wait for treatment and further stress on the patient and their family."

  • Article: Sep 16, 2009

    The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black, has urged HSBC bank not to go ahead with their proposal to close their branch in Cymmer, Port Talbot. The company has recently announced that they will be closing their Kenfig Hill branch on December 11th and that all accounts will be transferred to their branch in Maesteg. This is the second such announcement in a matter of weeks. Mr. Black has written to the bank asking them to reconsider this latest proposed closure. Peter Black said: "Being able to access a bank is important for everyone within a community. Losing a local service will be difficult for local businesses, the elderly and those who find it difficult to access banks due to restrictive opening hours that often coincide with their own working hours." "For many years it has become increasingly difficult to access and pay for services without a bank account and now virtually everyone in society has them. However, these accounts rely on people being able to access a branch frequently. Internet and phone banking can be useful, but are not suitable for everyone, nor are they able to fulfil all the functions of a branch. It is also simply not possible to pay cheques or cash in through these methods." "There now appears to be a pattern developing of HSBC closing branches on a piecemeal basis in small communities around South Wales. This leads me to question whether there is a bigger agenda. "I understand that no business can carry on while losing money, but there had to be other options, such as reducing the size, level or service or opening hours. This may not have been ideal but would have at least allowed the community to maintain some service."

  • Article: Sep 14, 2009

    Commenting on the release of the Wales Audit Office report on NHS Direct Wales, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister, Peter Black said: "I have had concerns for some time at the way that NHS Direct Wales appears to operate independently of the rest of the health service and this report reinforces my views. Although the call centres are considered to provide valuable services the fact that NHS Direct is viewed as something separate, rather than as a core part of the unscheduled care system and that its contribution is poorly understood across the NHS, is worrying. "The recommendation that NHS Direct Wales should share information both locally and nationally so as to provide a better understanding of the demand for unscheduled care and so as to support the planning and funding of services is crucial. There has to be better co-ordination between this organisation and GPs and Primary Care Centres in particular if we are going to get value for money and avoid duplication. "There now needs to be clear strategic leadership from the Minister so as to take forward these recommendations and deliver a better, more coordinated service in the future."

  • Article: Sep 14, 2009

    Statistics released today show that the Government have to start looking at how they will deal with a potential GP shortage in the future, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister Peter Black has said.

    The 'Workforce Statistics for General Practitioners in Wales, 1998 - 2008' has highlighted that 21.5% of GPs are aged 55 or over, and that in some areas over 40%. The total number of GPs aged 55 or over has increased from 256 in 1998 to 418 in 2008, a rise of 63%. This represents a change from 14.4% of the total number of GPs in Wales who are over 55, to 21.5%. The number of GPs aged 65 or over has also risen from 18 to 46. The number of younger GPs has however fallen. In 1998 there were 969 GPs aged 44 or under, in 2008 this had fallen to 784. Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister, Peter Black, said: "These statistics show is that there is a significant number of GPs who are entering the phase of their life when they will be looking at retirement, and there are fewer younger GPs to replace them. This is concerning, particularly for areas such as Merthyr Tydfil, where almost half their GPs are aged 55 or over." "While this does not present an immediate problem, if it remains untackled, then in a few years several parts of Wales could see a significant shortage in the number of practising GPs. This is a problem that affects Scotland, England and Northern Ireland as well as Wales, so there is potential for a UK-wide shortage if action is not taken now." "The Welsh Government are putting more emphasis on primary care and yet are failing to grow the number of GPs or to plan sufficiently to replace those who will be retiring within the next ten years. In England there has been a 16% increase in the number of GPs, whilst in Wales there has been no change in total numbers in the last 10 years. That is bad planning and contradicts the government's own strategy."

  • Article: Sep 3, 2009

    Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for South Wales West Peter Black is demanding that the government take action now to prevent the prospect of big increases in energy prices this winter. Mr. Black said: "One of the major areas of concern across our region is the health of the population; and everybody knows that one of the big factors that affect people's health is being able to keep warm. "That is why the government needs to act now in order to send a clear message to the energy companies that cynical manoeuvrings to keep prices high and keep competition to a minimum this winter will not be tolerated. "The problem is that the big energy suppliers deliberately use a bewildering number of confusing price schemes to hide the fact that the price reductions that they have made do not benefit the vast majority of their customers. "One industry observer has pointed out that between February and July of this year the energy suppliers trumpeted ten price reductions or new tariffs, amounting to around a 10% reduction. "However, they didn't reduce their cheapest tariffs, just their most expensive ones. Moreover, as most people don't switch their energy supplier, most customers have seen no benefit. "Two things need to happen. First, if the regulator, OFGEN, won't make the energy companies take the need to compete on price seriously, then it is up to the government to make them do so. Second, more people - particularly those on low or fixed incomes - must switch suppliers to get a cheaper tariff."

  • Article: Sep 2, 2009

    Commenting on the release of new statistics that show that the Welsh Ambulance Service failed to meet the target of responding to 65% of ' category A 'emergency calls within eight minutes during the month of July, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister, Peter Black said:"While I appreciate that this is a tough target to meet during the winter months when there is increased pressure on the NHS that is no excuse for missing it in July." Yet again there has been no improvement in the South East of Wales where response times remain dangerously low. We have brought this to the Ministers attention time and time again, but no progress is being made. " The Minister ' s decision to impose £40m of savings onto the Welsh Ambulance Service over two years has left them facing a significant problem and made recovery almost impossible. There also appears to be little movement in tackling bottlenecks at Accident and Emergency units. If performance is struggling in July, it does not bode well for the forthcoming Winter. " More details on the response times can be found here.

  • Article: Aug 26, 2009

    Recent Welsh Government statistics show the number of people having to wait more than the maximum time for in-patient, out patient and day appointments has continually increased over the last few months.

    Since the end of the last financial year waiting times have shot up showing the real effects of the Health Minister's target led health service.

  • Article: Aug 5, 2009

    New statistics released by the Welsh Assembly Government today show that performance in some parts of the Welsh Ambulance Service is worsening and that overall, very little progress is being made, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, Peter Black has said. The service has a target of responding to 65% of 'Category A' emergency calls within eight minutes. The statistics released today cover June 2009 and show that on average 66.7% of calls were responded to within this time, an increase of only 0.2%. However, in many areas performance actually worsened, in some cases by as much as 10% prompting fears of a two tier service depending on which part of Wales people live in. The biggest drop in performance came in Monmouthshire, which saw emergency response times fall from 56% within 8 minutes to 45.5% in June, and Blaenau Gwent where responses times fell from 69.9% to 59.9%. Powys also continues to prop up the league table with a 49.6% response time even though they had a slight improvement in their performance this month. Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister Peter Black said: "While on the surface these stats show a tiny improvement across Wales, it is actually quite worrying the way that regional differences are creating a two tier service. These are not just numbers on a chart. How quickly an ambulance can get to an incident can be the difference between life and death. "In a Welsh Liberal Democrat-led debate only a few weeks ago the Minister recognised that there was a problem in particular areas and said that 'there must be a sustained focus in those parts of Wales where adequate performance has yet to be achieved', however that has still failed to materialise. "There are particular structural problems to do with access to accident and emergency departments and critical care beds that are contributing to problems in these areas that the Minister needs to urgently address. "We cannot allow this situation to continue. The Minister has to take some responsibility for knocking heads together across all the organisations involved and get the investment in place that is needed to address the issues raised by these statistics."

  • Article: Jul 23, 2009

    Welcoming the news that the Swansea to London train route will be electrified, Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West said: "This is welcome news for the South Wales area. We are years behind England in our transport infrastructure and this investment will help close the gap and bring us into the 21st Century." "Electric trains represent better value for money, as well as being better for the environment. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have asked been asking for electrification for years and it is good to see that we have been listened to. It is a rare common sense decision from this government." "We still want to see the entire rail network electrified by 2040, and so the government must now look to the future and start making plans for when other parts of Wales, such as lines to West Wales and the Valleys, will get the improvements that they so drastically need."