Joyce Watson AC/AM

Aelod y Cynulliad dros Canolbath a Gorllewin Cymru
Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales
Assembly Report

September 2016

Latest News
Victory for Cambrian ‘ghost train’ campaign
I was pleased to end this year’s summer recess by joining jubilant campaigners on the first
journey of the upgraded 8pm Arriva Trains Wales service from Barmouth to Pwllheli.
Dubbed the ‘ghost train’, the mid-evening train only stopped at Harlech, Porthmadog and
Criccieth, with request stops at Abererch and Penychain. Earlier this year campaigners
launched a petition for it to stop at Talybont, Dyffryn Ardudwy, Llanbedr, Pensarn,
Llandanwg, Ty Gwyn, Talsarnau and Penrhyndeudraeth, like services earlier and later in the
day.
In July, I delivered a 384-signature petition to the Assembly and took up the cause with
Arriva Trains Wales and the transport minister.
Following consultation with Network Rail, Arriva has announced that the service will now
stop at all stations on request.
Organiser of the online petition, Graham Hogg wrote on the change.org website:
“Well done you have succeeded and Arriva Trains have amended their timetable from
Monday 12 September 2016 and the train will now stop at all stations North of Barmouth
although some will be request stops.”

For more information visit www.joycewatson.co.uk
Printed and promoted by Joyce Watson AM on behalf of herself at 3 Red Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1QL.

Assembly Report

September 2016

Fairbourne Facing Change
While in Gwynedd to celebrate the demise of the ghost train, I met
with the new chair of the Fairbourne Facing Change campaign Sylvia
Stephenson.
The previous Assembly Minister with responsibility for Natural
Resources, Carl Sargeant, had met the campaigners with me to hear
their concerns.
The new minister, Lesley Griffiths, has agreed to my request to meet
Fairbourne Facing Change campaigners in the near future.

Bosnian genocide visit
In August I was part of a delegation of Assembly Members visiting Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was
organised by UK charity Remembering Srebrenica to commemorate the 21 st anniversary of the
genocide – the single greatest atrocity in Europe since the Second World War.
As you will remember, in July 1995 Bosnian Serb soldiers marched on the mountain settlement
and systematically murdered 8,372 Bosnian Muslim men and boys. Earlier in 1992, following
Bosnia’s declaration of independence from the disintegrating Yugoslavia, Bosnia Serb forces laid
siege to Sarajevo. Serbian ethnic cleansing forced many Bosnian Muslims towards Srebrenica,
which was designated a safe area by the UN. In July 1995, however, Dutch peacekeepers failed to
stop Serb forces moving into the area and murdering more than 8,000 male Muslims.
At Srebrenica’s memorial-cemetery we spoke with Nedzad Avdic. Seventeen years old at the time
of the killings, Nedzad described how he was shot by soldiers and left for dead. He escaped and
eventually returned to Srebrenica 12 years later.
Visiting Srebrenica, hearing the testimony of survivors like Nedzad and family members of victims,
was an overwhelming experience. It is crucial that we remember the genocide – understand its
causes, honour its victims and learn its lessons. Remembering Srebrenica has produced an
education pack so that we as Assembly Members can promote knowledge of the conflict here in
Wales, which we have all pledged to do.
Reflecting on the conversations we had with survivors, I asked the people we spoke with, ‘Why?’.
They described how Bosnia, an integrated and cohesive society, quickly collapsed into
discrimination and hate, extremism and violence. We must be ever vigilant against these forces
taking root in our own communities.
We must live with each other not next to each other.
More information about the project can be found on the Remembering Srebrenica website,
www.srebrenica.org.uk.
This is how ITV Wales News reported the visit:
http://www.itv.com/news/wales/2016-09-05/wales-must-be-more-tolerant-and-help-others-inneed-message-from-ams-after-bosnia-genocide-visit/

For more information
visit www.joycewatson.co.uk November 2013
Joyce Watson AM—Assembly
Report
Printed and promoted by Joyce Watson AM on behalf of herself at 3 Red Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1QL.

September 2016

Assembly Report

Three “outstanding”
projects.

Ceredigion

youth

Inspired by Team GB’s most successful Olympics for
more than a century, Canolfan Plant Jig-So Children’s
Centre held a Olympics-themed fancy dress fun day at
Cardigan rugby club.
We all got into the Rio spirit as children and even
some adults competed in races and games. The free
open day was a chance to showcase the wide range of
services Jig-So offers.
I’d like to thank Jig-So’s fantastic staff and volunteers,
and Cardigan RFC, for putting on a brilliant party. It
really captured the feel-good factor we’ve all
experienced watching the Games this summer. By
the time I arrived more than 80 families were taking
part. Looking after my own two grandchildren, I
appreciate it can be difficult to find things to do for
free in the summer holidays. So to put on a big event
and free buffet lunch – it underlines how important
Jig-So is to the community.

Area 43, also in Cardigan, offers help and support to
16-25 year olds from across West Wales. As well as
counselling, training and life advice, the charity has its
own radio station and invites young people to
broadcast their own music and programmes.
At RAY Ceredigion in Aberaeron I discussed the
charity’s refurbishment plans, following a successful
bid for more than £30,000 of grant funding for
building improvements. RAY Ceredigion provides a
range of services for children and young people,
including those with disabilities, as well as arts and
craft activities for adults. The service will spend the
money from Ceredigion Council (£15,300), CFAP (£12,240.48) and their own pot (£3,060) on new
windows, doors and insulation.
The dedication of volunteers and staff at Jig-So, Area 43 and RAY Ceredigion – and at youth centres
throughout Wales – is invaluable. The Welsh Government has made childcare a big priority.
Following up what I’ve seen and talked about today, I look forward to taking these issues further in
the new Assembly term.
Ahead of May’s Assembly election, Welsh Labour promised to provide 30 hours free childcare a
week for working parents of three and four years old, 48 weeks of the year. It also set out plans to
pilot a new model of Community Learning Centres, “providing extended services from 8am to 6pm
with childcare, parenting support, family learning and community access to facilities built around
the school day".

For more information
visit www.joycewatson.co.uk November 2013
Joyce Watson AM—Assembly
Report
Printed and promoted by Joyce Watson AM on behalf of herself at 3 Red Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1QL.

September 2016

Assembly Report

More August visits reported on my Facebook pages
Inspirational community run café and shop. Siop
Cynfelyn in Tre Ddol with volunteers Sheilagh and
Marie Hogenhull.

In Newtown with Health Forum
members and Powys Cllr Joy Jones.

Good to meet with dedicated staff who are delivering
excellent care to both new and expecting mothers in
Withybush Hospital with Vaughan Gething.

Newly elected Aberystwyth Students Union
officers :Lauren Marks, Ryan Myles-Roberts and Naomi
Cutler

Visiting Penparcau Community Forum to discuss
their future plans for the community.

For more information
visit www.joycewatson.co.uk November 2013
Joyce Watson AM—Assembly
Report
Printed and promoted by Joyce Watson AM on behalf of herself at 3 Red Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1QL.

September 2016

Assembly Report

Coverage in local papers that you may
have missed
The County Echo reported myself and other
Labour Party members at the Pembs show

Recycling figures in Wales reach a record
high
New provisional figures published in August
show recycling in Wales continues to increase
and is at its highest ever recorded level.
Based on the provisional data, in 2015/16 the
average combined reuse, recycling and
composting rate across Wales’ 22 local
authorities was 60%, an increase of 4
percentage points on last year’s figure. It is also
2% higher than the ambitious new Statutory
Recycling Target of 58%.

Welsh Labour Ministers “hit the ground
running” during the first 100 days in office
Taken steps to protect the Welsh economy
following the UK’s vote to leave the EU–
including demanding long-term certainty and
a full guarantee that funding will continue for
our existing EU programmes to 2023;
Continued to fight for Wales’ best interests by
calling an emergency meeting of the BritishIrish Council and the Council for Economic
Renewal, established a dedicated team to
represent Wales in forthcoming EU
negotiations, making sure that Welsh
interests have been to the fore in Brexit talks.
Committed £80m to establish a New Treatment
Fund and to independently review patient
funding requests – this is a significant step
forward in ensuring treatment for life-limiting
and life-threatening diseases are immediately
and consistently available across Wales. We
expect the fund to be in operational in
December.

Developed a fully-costed business case for the
creation of a Development Bank for Wales,
expected to be in operation by the second
All but three of Wales’ twenty two Local
quarter of 2017. This will provide greater
Authorities successfully reached the 58% target,
levels of funding, support and advice to
based on the provisional data. The remaining
SMEs;
Local Authorities have received additional
Thanks to almost £100m of Welsh Government
funding as part of the Welsh Government’s
support, 70% of small businesses in Wales
Collaborative Change Programme. This will
currently receive help with their business
enable them to make improvements to
collection services and depot facilities and
rates – with more than half of businesses
support them to meet Statutory Recycling
paying no non-domestic rates at all. A new
Targets in future years.
business rates relief scheme has been
announced to ensure Wales’ small businesses
continue to receive essential support.
For more info visit
http://goo.gl/LbxVq5

Announced ambitious plans to increase the
number of Welsh speakers to one million by
2050.

http://goo.gl/JS0huV

For more information
visit www.joycewatson.co.uk November 2013
Joyce Watson AM—Assembly
Report
Printed and promoted by Joyce Watson AM on behalf of herself at 3 Red Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1QL.

September 2016

Assembly Report

New figures show a rise in the number
of people living in Wales whose lives
were saved or improved by an organ
transplant
The latest Organ Donation and Transplantation
Activity Report, the first time this report has
been published since the introduction of opt
out registration and deemed consent in Wales,
shows that over the last financial year:

All areas of Wales meet ambulance target for
second month in row
All local health boards (LHBs) in Wales have
surpassed the national ambulance response
times target for the second month in a row.
Latest statistics from July 2016 show 75.3% of
emergency responses to an immediately lifethreatening illness or injury, known as red calls,
arrived within eight minutes – exceeding the
target of 65%.

the number of patients residing in Wales whose
lives were saved or improved by an organ
transplant increased by 24% to 214 (figure
for 2014/15 was 173 which represents an
increase of 41)

The median response time to red calls across
Wales was 5 minutes and 5 seconds. The service
handled 1,277 calls per day on average, up 3.4%
on the daily average in June 2016.

a 7% increase in the number of deceased
donors donating in Wales to 64 (was 60 in
2014-15)

July was the second successive month that all
LHBs met the national target since the
introduction of a new clinical response model
pilot last October, which prioritises the most
critically-ill patients.

the number of donors after brain death
increased by 13% to 36 (was 32 in 2014-15),
while the number of donors after circulatory
http://goo.gl/o07B6y
death remained the same at 28
the number of living donors residing in Wales
increased by 20% to 49
136 patients residing in Wales had their sight
restored through a cornea transplant,
representing an increase of 5%.
Wales became the first part of the UK to change
the organ donation system when it introduced a
soft opt-out system. People aged 18 and over
who have lived in Wales for more than 12
months and who die in Wales will now be
regarded as having consented to organ
donation unless they have opted opt. This is
called deemed consent.

Get in touch:
Carmarthen: 3 Red Street, Carmarthen,
SA31 1QL. Phone: 01267 233 448
Cardiff: National Assembly for Wales,
CF99 1NA. Phone: 0300 200 7093
joyce.watson@assembly.wales
www.joycewatson.org.uk
Find me on Facebook
I’m on twitter @JoyceWatsonam

People who want to be an organ donor can
register a decision to opt in or do nothing,
which will mean they have no objection to
being an organ donor. Those people who do not
want to be organ donor can opt out at any time.

For more information
visit www.joycewatson.co.uk November 2013
Joyce Watson AM—Assembly
Report
Printed and promoted by Joyce Watson AM on behalf of herself at 3 Red Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1QL.