Alun Ffred Jones AM

I SHOULDN’T say this I suppose but these are not exciting days at the Assembly.

We have the powers to pass laws but little seems to be happening.

Take the Smoking in Public Places Act.

The government brought forward an amendment to allow smoking on film and television sets by actors if required to do so.

We have had weeks of evidence-gathering only for the government to shelve it without explanation.

Then there’s the Active Travel Bill.

Sounds great - it will require councils to produce maps of cycling and walking routes.

Councils will also have to produce maps of proposed new routes.

This is fine, but do we really need a new law with all the costs and palaver just to create maps?

I doubt it.

Meanwhile there is a runaway train coming down the tracks in the form of benefits cuts.

Over 30,000 people will be affected in Gwynedd alone - that is a quarter of the population.

I was pleased to hear first hand from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) that plans to offer help to those affected are in place led by Gwynedd Council.

But what is the Government of Wales doing? Labour were elected under the banner that they would “stand up for Wales”.

So, what is the strategy? Well, in committee the other week the Minister in charge had to admit that departments were reacting ‘piecemeal’, as things developed.

That is not a plan; it’s not a strategy.

That’s what you do when you have no plan and no idea.


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