Nick Servini

Nick Servini Political editor, Wales

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

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.

Often when he's asked about missed targets, Mark Drakeford talks about the reality that the vast majority of people are still seen within target.

On a number of measures he's right.

For example, one target is for 95% of people suspected of having cancer to be seen by a hospital consultant within two months.

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

Political footballs

Good news. The latest set of figures on cancer treatment in Wales has improved.

You could argue that's not very impartial of me. After all, from a political perspective these figures are more encouraging for Labour and less so for the opposition parties.

Read full article Political footballs

Looking to buy

The £52m buy out of Cardiff Airport is an acquisition many people are aware of.

It was, after all, the most high-profile purchase the Welsh government has ever undertaken.

Read full article Looking to buy

Only four months to go

The result of the general election may be unpredictable but the themes have been unsurprising in the opening days of a marathon campaign. The economy and health have dominated.

The Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb made his first set-piece speech of the year to business leaders in Cardiff.

Read full article Only four months to go

Christmas cheer?

Stephen Crabb, Baroness Randerson and Alun Cairns
Ministers Stephen Crabb, Baroness Randerson and Alun Cairns get in the festive spirit

The Welsh Secretary and his ministers may have been donning their festive jumpers but there wasn't much goodwill towards Carwyn Jones when they spoke to reporters for their end of year briefing.

Let's start with Wales' under-funding. The economist Gerry Holtham wrote a report in 2010 saying that the Welsh government was short-changed by £300m.

Read full article Christmas cheer?

Carwyn Jones: Five years in

So did we learn anything new from my interview with the First Minister on his fifth anniversary?

One of the more striking things he said was that he doesn't know what the NHS and education services would look like in 2020 after another five years of Conservative-led austerity.

Read full article Carwyn Jones: Five years in

The art of persuasion

Was it ever realistic to expect a major shake-up of councils to be carried out as a result of negotiation and persuasion?

This seems to me the key question we should use in how we judge the First Minister's attempts to re-organise them.

Read full article The art of persuasion

Tax and spend

I don't suppose it was foremost in George Osborne's mind when he put together the Autumn Statement but his transformation of stamp duty has rained on the parade of the new Welsh treasury team.

Stamp duty is due to be devolved in three years and it was going to be the first high-profile Welsh-designed tax that would have been far more progressive than in England.

Read full article Tax and spend

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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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