Welsh government record under the spotlight


Carwyn Jones said the report showed the Welsh government was open about its progress

This is the third annual progress report by the Welsh government but it comes at a time when its record is under more scrutiny than any previous years.

Since the last one, Wales has slipped further behind in the Pisa education league rankings.

And the ink is just about dry on a damning report into standards of care at hospitals in Neath and Bridgend which was the latest in a series of problems affecting the NHS.

The context is also different this time round.

I don't think anyone could have predicted a year ago the extent to which the record of the Welsh government on delivering public services was going to be scrutinised in the way it has been by the Conservatives at Westminster and the London-based press.

If you print out the progress report, it amounts to nearly 500 pages.

The question is whether anything is achieved by having one.

More serious accusations

I just interviewed Carwyn Jones on BBC Wales Today and asked him whether the public gain anything by having more than 300 indicators published when what most people want is strong performance in a relatively small number of key areas like NHS waiting times and school exam results.

He said it showed his government was transparent.

This could be a response to some of the more serious accusations in recent months that Welsh government ministers don't like proper scrutiny.

The big focus was on the economy, particularly the record on dealing with youth unemployment.

Carwyn Jones used to spend much of his time criticising the austerity measures imposed by the UK coalition government.

These days he spends a lot less time criticising the measures, less time talking about Ed Miliband's cost of living crisis and more time trying to take ownership of the impressive unemployment figures Wales is seeing at the moment.

On the broader subject of public service delivery, the progress report has done nothing to challenge the views of any of his political opponents.

I spoke to Andrew RT Davies and Leanne Wood after the debate.

These are two individuals who don't often agree but they were united in describing it as a complete waste of time.

Ultimately, of course, Carwyn Jones won't be concerned about what they think, but instead what voters think.

I suspect very few of them will be reading his third progress report but he hopes it will somehow inform their thinking when they come to judge him in two years' time.

Nick Servini Article written by Nick Servini Nick Servini Political editor, Wales

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  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    And yet another scandal breaks in our NHS, but don't worry all is OK for our politicians say so.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    WAG is basing its WL policy on a 'Public ' Consultation, in which - in a country over 90% EM monolingual - over 90% of the correspondents replied in Welsh.
    Any competent public body would decide that the survey had faiked the first basic test ofbias and start again. But - for WAG - a proper survey is one that gives the right result.
    From the people that gave you the North Korea election ....

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Yes, Wales government is under scrutiny like never before and it's not just about the economy, health and education!!

    The biggest swing in Welsh politics was to Ukip, I'm just about sick to death of Welsh nationalism especially of 'the crypto kind. A United Kingdom party sounds good, I love easy going English speaking Blighty, and non-bossy Welsh speaking folk are more than welcome.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Ah there's the rub Scenic; not one single AM of one single party has the cojones to say one single word that might be seen as mildly questioning the accepted Welsh Language zealotry endemic in Welsh politics. And when we get a UKIP AM will they be any different?


Comments 5 of 33



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