Betsan Powys, Political editor, Wales

Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

Betsan is no longer political editor but we've left her page for reference

A big day for health in Wales

Guest post from @TobyMasonBBC

There are few days in the Assembly at the moment where the state of the health service isn't in the spotlight - today was exceptional in that there were three major stories happening at once. They're at once separate but linked.

First up, the current top brass of Betsi Cadwaladr health board were in front of the Public Accounts Committee to answer some tough questions about the joint WAO/HIW report into governance. They got a pretty rough going over, not helped by the disclosure by consultants, hours before the hearing, of a claimed spike in mortality statistics at Ysbyty Gwynedd. The officials refused to confirm figures, but admitted they were urgently looking at the reasons behind "a drift up in numbers".

They also lit the fuse on a slow burn row - which was the admission that some acute and specialist services are unlikely to be viable across three sites in North Wales. It means that they're facing a similar controversy to that in South Wales around services at the Royal Glamorgan in the fairly near future.

There were also questions about cancelled operations at the end of the financial year, lengthening waiting list figures and tensions at the top of the organisation. It wasn't a surprise that the session ran well over its allotted time.

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Health finances, fiction and fantasy

Guest post from @TobyMasonBBC

It's become an annual ritual - a bit like the dreaded visit to the dentist. Today's the day we get to see the final accounts for the seven Welsh health boards.

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Through the legal looking glass?

@TobyMasonBBC here with a look at the latest devolved constitutional conundrum coming our way this afternoon.

In another post just under a month ago I speculated whether Mick Antoniw's Asbestos Bill could well be heading for the Supreme Court to decide whether it's lawful.

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Silk: Prix fixe or a la carte?

It's @TobyMasonBBC here, keeping the blog warm for a few weeks until a new political editor is appointed.

I'm sure Betsan would have very much liked to have signed off as political editor by bringing you news about which taxes Wales will get control over in future, following last year's landmark report from the Silk Commission, paving the way for a major shift in the way Welsh politics and policy operates.

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Draft, Written, Published - and out

It seems to have turned into a month of departures.

First a former minister, then a current one - and now it's my turn. Less sensational resignation than planned farewell, but all the same, I'm off.

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Betsan added analysis to:

Leighton Andrews resigns: Education minister post to be filled

How will Leighton Andrews choose to use his time and his power now?

Is it in support of the government or, as Rhodri Morgan says, might he campaign in the Rhondda which is something he has done over the years?

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Greater love hath no man than this

Another reshuffle via twitter:

Welsh Government ‏@WelshGovernment

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'It is pure rock and hard place stuff'

Steve Thomas, the man who leads and speaks for local government in Wales, is an expert at speaking the language of "quantum funding under pressure" and how "the interface between services needs to accelerate."

But he's also a man who knows how to speak the language of blunt. Today he'll be at conference and at it full pelt. He'll be in the company of local government leaders who fear that the Chancellor's spending review next week, and its impact on the Welsh Government's budget - and eventually theirs - is "the public expenditure equivalent of the nightmare before Christmas".

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A 'good country solicitor' goes home

From one politician to another it was praise indeed.

Few political reputations grow with the years, said a colleague in Cardiff Bay, in the way Ieuan Wyn Jones' reputation has grown.

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Carwyn Jones says "enough is enough"

What Carwyn Jones had to say on the shape of the Welsh economy in his regular briefing to the media this week was overshadowed by another matter he wanted to get off the First Ministerial chest.

But the warning he sounded, and tone he struck, shouldn't be lost along the way.

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About Betsan

Betsan Powys became BBC Wales' political editor in 2006 and left the post earlier this year.

Despite her surname, she was born in Cardiff and is a Welsh speaker.

She worked in the newsroom before a stint with flagship current affairs series Panorama. She came back from London, said her predecessor with some feeling, "just as Welsh politics got interesting".

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