Welsh Politics 2014: A Look Back

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Over 2014, Wales witnessed some huge steps in politics; we saw the United Kingdom divided as Scotland decided its future. That referendum has secured new foundations for the next generation of politics and more devolution for Wales.

In this special report, I take a look at some of the big headlines over the year of 2014.The year started with hope, hope to see more devolution powers signed to Wales. However, the big political news that was dominating the headlines here in Wales and across the World was that of the NATO Summit Wales 2014, which saw world leaders travel to Newport for the two day summit. It meant the Welsh Government had to start planning for the biggest event in Welsh history.

Earlier in the year the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, decided on his reshuffled assembly members. That brought with it a new Secretary of State, Steven Crabb. Also, the former Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, was forced to resign in a huge shakeup over a school’s closure. That meant that a new Education Minister had to be brought in; former Education and Skills Minister, Huw Lewis. The former Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths, was swapped for current Health Minister, Mark Drakeford.

In health; over 2014 we saw the National Health Service (NHS) here in Wales take huge criticism over the way it is run by the Welsh Government in Cardiff Bay and also the Welsh Ambulance service had taken a hammering over how it has continually missed its target times to deal with the most live threatening situations. The Health Minister, Mark Drakeford, had taken the criticism well, however he still has a big job to do, to turn the ‘failing’ Welsh NHS into its normal, healthy state once again.

Teachers, along with other public sector workers, went on strike in dispute over their pay due to the fact they hadn’t seen a pay rise for nearly 5 years. They demonstrated outside the Senedd, Cardiff Bay.Assembly members voted on a pay rise of nearly 10,000 pounds extra for their salary every year, this caused a huge debate between the Welsh public. A member of the public in Cardiff Bay was interviewed for ITV Wales’ news program Wales at Six, and told the reporter “…for them to have an extra 10,000 pounds a year, I think it’s obscene”.

The main political news in Wales this year, of course, was the NATO Summit, which was held in Newport. It brought World leaders together to talk about the crisis between Ukraine and Russia and also in Syria; however they focused on Islamic State and how the west should deal with their horrific, brutal murders of so many western civilians.Scotland voted no to the Independence referendum which was held back in September. As a result, David Cameron (PM) held a news conference shortly after outside Number 10 Downing Street to assure Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would have greater powers devolved to their governments. The First Minister said “…the old union is dead; we need to forge a new one”.

There was great news at last at Cardiff Airport which was bought by the Welsh Government in 2013 for 52 million pounds. The airport invested heavily in refurbishing the terminal building, also an ITV Cymru Wales documentary outlined the success of the airport over the past year, passenger numbers increased, new airlines were welcomed and new routes were announced. Overall a great year for our airport!

The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, celebrated 5 years of being in power at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. He is currently the only sitting Labour MP to be in power across the UK.And finally, most recently the deal was finally struck between Cardiff and Westminster over the electrification of the South Wales and Valley lines.Overall, a huge year of politics here in Wales! Hopefully 2015 will be even busier, with a general election hanging over all UK governments, I’m pretty sure that things are about to get interesting. And of course, it’s been my first year with Wicid, thanks to the team and you for reading my articles; I hope you keep on reading for 2015! Thank you and goodbye.

Related Article: NATO Summit Wales 2014

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