Nick Servini

Nick Servini Political editor, Wales

My take on what’s happening in Welsh politics and how it affects your life

Cameron v Miliband

Our poll results on the party leaders will not have made pretty reading for the Labour Party.

Let me be fair right from the start: this is only one poll and the only poll that matters is the one on 7 May (yes, I know it's a cliche).

It's also fair to say that there are many other polls out there on voting intentions showing that Labour are streets ahead of the Conservatives.

But all said and done what this poll suggests is that more people in Labour's Welsh heartland believe the best prime minister is not the Labour leader but an old Etonian Conservative leader who has presided over five years of unpopular cuts in the public sector.

And it does beg the question that if that is the view in Wales, what are the views in other parts of the UK?

Leap of imagination

Read full article Cameron v Miliband

Agreement, what agreement?

I don't think anyone should be surprised by the bad blood that's already surrounding the so-called St David's Day agreement.

Labour pitched their tone early by pointing out on Friday that the announcement wasn't on St David's Day and there was no agreement.

Read full article Agreement, what agreement?

Herding cats?

In the light of developments on devolution in Scotland and in Greater Manchester, where the Conservatives want to devolve health spending, some of the subjects like sewerage and speed limits included in the St David's Day package appear small fry.

As one party insider told me this is the lowest of the lowest common denominator anyone could find.

Read full article Herding cats?

More powers by St David's Day

  • 24 February 2015
  • From the section Wales

There are a few days to go before we find out exactly how much agreement has been reached by the political parties at Westminster and the Assembly about the future shape of devolution.

As my colleague David Cornock has pointed out his blog, there's a clear view now that discussions on energy and electoral arrangements have proved to be more fruitful than policing and criminal justice.

Read full article More powers by St David's Day

Vanilla ice cream or tax avoidance?

There were some developments on devolution (more on this later) but the Welsh Labour conference in Swansea was never going to be about big policy announcements - it was all about campaigning for the general election.

One way the party felt it could do that was by taking as much advantage as possible of the allegations of tax avoidance by Conservative Party donors in HSBC Swiss bank accounts.

Read full article Vanilla ice cream or tax avoidance?

Miliband's Valentine message

It's appropriate somehow that the Labour leader Ed Miliband is travelling to Swansea on Valentine's day to address his party's Welsh conference.

Compared to Scotland where the party could be facing a massacre, he will be looking for a love-in in Wales where of course Labour has never lost its grip on power.

Read full article Miliband's Valentine message

Pale stale and male

I was in the reception of Blaenau Gwent council offices this week when I met Brian Scully, a Labour councillor for the past 46 years, who jokingly declared himself to be "pale, stale and male".

The context was that I'd just been to interview the Minister for Public Services Leighton Andrews in the Gwent Archives about his proposal to introduce a 25 year limit for councillors in order to break up what he called the old boy network and the cosy cabals.

Read full article Pale stale and male

NHS under the spotlight

I was speaking to a former senior manager in the Welsh NHS this week who visibly winced when I brought up the subject of the latest ambulance response times.

The target for responding to Category A calls is 65%, but in December it was just 42.6%, the worst on record.

Read full article NHS under the spotlight

Return to the past

I speculated last night on Wales Today that the rejection by Leighton Andrews of the three proposed voluntary mergers could lead to a return to six, seven or eight councils in Wales.

Since then the Welsh Local Government Association pointed out to me that there were in fact 45 councils, rather than eight, as we should include the 37 district councils running things like leisure, housing and waste management. The eight counties ran education, transport and social care.

Read full article Return to the past

Positions to fill

At the heart of many of the problems in the NHS is recruitment and it's something which both Labour and Plaid have been trying to address in their policies on health.

We knew that Labour was going to use the proceeds of its planned mansion tax for the NHS but it has now given us some details of how Wales would be affected.

Read full article Positions to fill

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About Nick

Nick became political editor after a six-year stint as the business correspondent, during which he covered the full impact of the recession and the financial crisis in Wales.

Born in Aberdare, Nick studied philosophy at Southampton University before training as a newspaper reporter. He worked at the South Wales Echo and the Welsh Mirror.

He joined the BBC in 2001 and worked in the radio newsroom in London before moving to Cardiff and reporting extensively for the Good Morning Wales programme on Radio Wales.

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