Wales’ Vanishing £6 Million Arts Funding

As Scottish children receive their exam results, Guido thought he’d finish the day off with a quick quiz: if Mark wins £59 million of arts funding from Rishi, and a month later Mark announces £53 million of new funding for Welsh arts, what happened to the missing £6 million? A David Blaine-esque disappearing act…

The Welsh Government’s Culture, Sport and Tourism department, responding to raised eyebrows, ducked the precise question of where the missing £6 million went; pointing to money previously spent by the authority in early April to support the sector. First Minister Mark Drakeford’s administration is now being accused of withholding the difference, and the Welsh Tories have described the move as “shortchanging the sector”. Welsh politics proving itself to be an under-funded soap opera…

mdi-timer 4 August 2020 @ 16:30 4 Aug 2020 @ 16:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
First Minister Plays “Drake or Drakeford”

Fresh off the back of his now-notorious cheese love confession, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is continuing his personal brand push in an attempt to end his reign as the most boring leader of a devolved UK government in history, this time playing “Drake or Drakeford” on Capital Radio. Guido’s not sure the PR push is working…

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Wales Carried Out No Covid Tests for Healthcare Workers Last Week

Despite Labour’s call for the UK Government to carry out weekly COVID testing of NHS workers just three weeks ago, the party is failing to lead by example. Last week, from 29 June to 5 July, Wales’ Labour administration failed to carry out a single test for healthcare workers. In March Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced that healthcare workers would be first in line for tests. Guido shudders to think what the situation is for those at the back of the line…

This is just the latest in a long line of testing failures from the Welsh Government, which has consistently missed targets throughout the pandemic. The usual richness from Labour to harangue the UK Government on this when they don’t have their own house in order…

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Mark Drakeford Likes Cheese

In a ‘People’s PMQs’ style Q and A earlier this week, humanoid turtle and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford expressed his love for “slightly salty cheese”, in response to a more lighthearted cheese related question from retired cheesemonger Joe Bangles. Now Twitter account ‘WelshGuv‘ has remixed Drakeford’s answer. Go home Wales, you’re drunk…

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Welsh Government’s Testing Mess

While London-based journalists squabble about whether or not the UK Government has reached 200,000 tests on a particular day, it is clear that whichever way they are counted England now has one of the largest testing capacities in Europe. Wales, by comparison has stumbled from missed target to missed target, as of the end of last month carrying out fewer than 3,000 tests when the First Minister had set a target for 10,000. Guido has compiled a timeline of the whole debacle…

  • Early March: Welsh Government promises 6,000 tests by 1 April
  • 21 March: Welsh Government promises to boost capacity to 9,000 tests per day
  • 31 March: Welsh Government has capacity to deliver 800 tests.
  • Early April: Welsh Government promises 5,000 tests a day by mid-April
  • 15 April: Welsh Government has capacity to deliver 1,300 tests.
  • 15 April: 5,000 test target scrapped.
  • 1 May: Wales conducts 1,090 tests. England conducts 122,000.
  • 17 May: Welsh Government sets new target of 10,000 tests by the end of May
  • 31 May: Welsh Government carries out 2,945 tests.

A leaked report has stated that Wales would need to ramp up testing to 36,000 per day in order to track and trace infections, yet they are running at just 10% of that number. Yesterday Guido reported that the Welsh First Minister has not been meeting the Prime Minister. If lessons from England were learnt, there would be less of a mess in Wales…

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Welsh First Minister Has Not Spoken to PM in 3 Weeks, Despite Invitations

In his coronavirus press conference this afternoon, the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, revealed he has not spoken to the UK Prime Minister in three weeks, adding “I have had no discussion with any UK ministers offered in the weeks that have followed”. Which is curious, because last week the UK Government made it clear the Welsh Government has an open invitation to all of its Cobra meetings and ministerial implementation groups. Welsh Office Minister David Davies told the Commons last week:

“We have made it clear that Welsh Government Ministers are welcome at Cobra meetings and the ministerial implementation groups, and we have actually asked if we could attend Welsh Government meetings in the same way; thus far we have not had a response.”

Guido is not surprised that Drakeford has kept his distance from UK meetings. Welsh coronavirus care home deaths are running at a higher rate than English ones, and testing targets are continually being missed. Not a good record…

mdi-timer 15 June 2020 @ 15:09 15 Jun 2020 @ 15:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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