Posts Tagged ‘ITV Wales’

Blog changes

If you’re following this blog, you’ll have to change your bookmarks, subscriptions or RSS feeds I’m afraid, because I won’t be blogging on this site any longer.

Most of what I post here is also published on the main ITV Wales blog. When I joined ITV Wales we felt that I could use this site for first publication and for the more arcane political gossip or snippets which might not interest readers of the main blog.

What’s changed is that I now use twitter for that sort of information and blog less often so all posts are duplicated which seems a bit of a waste of time and can prove confusing when there’s a time delay between one or the other and if I update or correct information on one and not the other.

There are further changes in the pipeline too as ITV develops a new online presence but, in the meantime,  last night’s post on corporation tax  will be the final entry (apart from this one) to appear here. New links below.


Read Full Post »

Uncertainty is the only certainty on this last day of election campaigning before voting gets under way tomorrow morning.

That uncertainty may be interesting for people like me and nerve-wracking for politicians, but it’s the civil service for whom it causes a real challenge.

They have to be ready to swing into action to deliver a government programme from Friday onwards. Trouble is they don’t know who’ll form that government.

So how have they been preparing themselves?

I’m told there’s been a ‘rigorous process’ by which every party’s manifesto has been combed through to see what each of them is promising.

Department-by-department, civil servants have examined and discussed in detail the implications of all the proposals, the likely costs, the legality or otherwise and other strictly practical questions.

The aim is to be armed with all the facts and figures so that the relevant officials are fully prepared for whichever party or parties the next set of Welsh ministers come from.

What the civil service here won’t do, I’m told, is to play the kind of  role played by the head of the UK civil service, Sir Gus O’Donnell after last year’s inconclusive Westminster election.

In the build-up to last May, Sir Gus had led civil servants in wargaming exercises, working out the implications of different scenarios and then played an active role in bringing the eventual coalition partners together in as binding a partnership as possible.

Officials here have taken the position that they won’t make any assumptions about  possible permutations – so no ‘wargaming’ of different coalition arrangements.

While they expect to play a pivotal role, they won’t play a political role and that distinction is crucial.

There’ll be no ‘second-guessing’, I’m told.  Rather, civil servants in Cathays Park see their role as ‘being in a position to enable the democratic process to be run through.’

We’ll get our final clue as to what possible scenarios they might be confronted with on May the 6th in our eve-of-poll poll which will be published later.

I should be able to bring you the headlines of it in our lunchtime bulletin at 1.55pm ITV1 Wales and I’ll update with a link to the details  when we have them.

Read Full Post »

I’m going to disappoint you by not declaring a winner in last night’s Wales Decides Leaders’ Debate on ITV1 Wales.

I think each of the four leaders gave a good account of him or herself at the Coal Exchange.

Perhaps more importantly I don’t think there were any losers. I say importantly because I reckon that, as our YouGov poll has been showing, most voters’ minds have been made up for a while now.

So last night, apart from a few uncomfortable moments, nobody lost their temper or struggled for too long on areas they’re weak on and so while they might not have changed many voters’ minds, they won’t have lost any supporters.

Don’t take my word for it though. Esyllt Carr was speaking to members of the audience last night. You can see what they told her in Wales Tonight at 6pm.

And there are two more YouGov polls to go. The first, for S4C’s Y Byd Ar Bedwar programme will be published on Monday.

The second ITV Wales 1000 survey will be the first we’ve published on eve of poll itself, on Wednesday.

Read Full Post »

The ITV Wales presenting team for this year's election coverage- Andrea Benfield, Jonathan Hill, Lisa Haf, Owain Phillips and me!

Here’s a handsome crowd – the ITV Wales team for this year’s election coverage on ITV Wales and S4C. It was a feat in itself to get us all in the same place at the same time. We felt it was like a shot from Hustle but Jonathan refused to be cast as the Robert Vaughan character, claiming that he has his own teeth. I can’t verify that claim.

Read Full Post »

The stakes are high in this election for all four of the main political parties.  To recap:

For Labour, the prospect of governing Wales alone – tantalisingly within its grasp but with so many circumstances which could rob it of that cherished prize at the last minute.

For Plaid Cymru, the answer to the question it posed to supporters, opponents and politics-watchers four years ago: what will it get from passing up the (admittedly challenging) chance of leading a rainbow coalition in favour of being the junior partner to Labour?

For the Conservatives, the aim is primarily to hold onto gains painstakingly made over the last decade in the face of an historic tendency by Welsh voters to react against Conservatives in power at Westminster by voting Labour.

For the Liberal Democrats: the task is to use every weapon at its disposal to prove the doomsayers wrong and survive a massive plunge in popularity.

At least two of the smaller parties – the Greens and UKIP – believe that they too have an historic chance to nab one of the Assembly’s 60 seats.

ITV Wales will be covering the election campaign on air and online throughout.

Tonight you can see the latest of our special Wales Decides 2011 programmes.  ITV Wales’ health correspondent Mariclare Carey-Jones analyses one of the key election issues, from cancer care to community nursing.  Plus the result of the latest Wales 1000 poll question – should free prescriptions be scrapped?

On Thursday night my second Face to Face interviewee will be Nick Bourne, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives.

You can follow our election coverage online here. You’ll find video and blog content there as well as Twitter feeds to follow.

Read Full Post »

No Sharp End tonight or for the duration of the election campaign, but in its place is the first of four special programmes.

The idea behind Wales Decides 2011: Face to Face is simple: to get to know the four party leaders who will spend the next month trying to win your vote.

What motivates them? What sort of leaders are they? Why they’ve taken career-shaping decisions and what choices they might make after the election.

The first of the four people to spend half an hour in a darkened studio with me is the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams.

You can see the interview in Wales Decides 2011: Face to Face tonight at 1035 ITV1 Wales.


Read Full Post »

Tonight’s Sharp End is the last one until after May’s Assembly Election.

Next week we start a series of in-depth interviews with the party leaders called Wales Decides 2011: Face to Face.  First up is Kirsty Williams, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

In subsequent weeks, she’ll be followed by the Conservatives’ Nick Bourne, Plaid Cymru’s Ieuan Wyn Jones and Labour’s Carwyn Jones.

There’ll be election talk in tonight’s Sharp End too. Last week I talked to senior Labour and Conservative politicians about their approach to the forthcoming election.

Tonight Plaid’s Deputy Leader Helen Mary Jones tells me about the rocky road to separation for her party and its coalition partner, Labour, as well as speculating about possible future coalition partners.

Meanwhile I’ve been asking the Liberal Democrat AM, Peter Black, how his party here in Wales might be affected by the unpopularity of the party at a UK level.

I’ll be talking too about this week’s budget and the potential impact on Wales with my guests who this week are: Labour AM Alun Davies; Conservative Assembly candidate Suzy Davies and Steve Theaker, senior partner at the accountancy firm UHY Peacheys.

Now as well as being a financial whizz, Steve has a hidden talent which will also be on display. He’s the Singing Accountant who’s garnered a cult following in the business world for his budget-themed songs.

He’ll be singing his latest opus in tonight’s Sharp End. 1035 ITV1 Wales.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »