Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams has announced today a further £2.3bn to modernise education infrastructure.
The funding forms the second wave of the flagship 21st Century Schools and Education Programme. The programme provides major and long-term capital investment for schools and colleges, allowing them to expand to meet high demand, increase the provision of Welsh medium education and improve the quality of their educational assets.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented:
“This crucial investment in our schools and colleges is yet another example of the fantastic impact Kirsty is having as part of the Welsh Government. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to work to improve our education system and increase opportunity for every child."
“If we can transform Welsh education and the life chances of our children and young people with just one Cabinet member - just imagine what more we could do with a large group holding the balance of power in the Assembly.”
Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams AM said:
“I am committed to raising standards, reducing the attainment gap and delivering an education system from the ground up that is a source of national pride and confidence. The 21st Century Schools and Education Programme is one of the means to achieve this ambition and represents the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s.”
Jane Dodds has been elected by Welsh Liberal Democrat Members as the party's new Leader, beating Ceredigion candidate Liz Evans in a keenly-fought contest.
Jane Dodds, Montgomeryshire Candidate and child protection social worker, takes over the role from Acting Leader Kirsty Williams immediately.
The result was announced to an audience of members in Cardiff by returning officer Lord German
Jane Dodds, the new Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, commented:
"It is an honour to have been elected as the next leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats - to focus my energy on bringing like minded people together to rebuild our party and to re-establish the Welsh Liberal Democrats as the radical, progressive force of Welsh politics.
"I'd like to thank Liz Evans for running an excellent campaign and giving members a vital opportunity to discuss our next steps as a party. I'd also like to pay tribute to Mark Williams and Kirsty Williams for their unwavering commitment to our party.
"Wales needs the Welsh Liberal Democrats now more than ever. Wales needs the progressive, pragmatic, and reforming voice of Welsh Liberal Democrats in the Assembly and in Westminster to give us an exit from Brexit, a fresh look on creating more and better paid jobs, protecting our environment, and delivering on Kirsty Williams' education reforms.
"We have been down, but we aren't out, and I'm confident of what lies ahead for my party."
Kirsty Williams AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education said:
"The Welsh Liberal Democrat membership had two fantastic candidates to choose between. Two proud Welsh women with long records of standing up for their communities.
"What has become clear over the last few years is that nothing can be taken for granted. We must fight tooth and nail for the values that we liberals hold dear.
"I know that the Welsh Liberal Democrats will be safe in Jane's hands. I know she has the skills, drive and energy as we look to rebuild this great party."
The Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education has announced new and improved incentives to teach physics, chemistry, maths, Welsh and modern foreign languages. For the first time Computer Science has also been added as a priority subject eligible for the highest level of incentive.
Kirsty Williams also revealed that new incentives for Welsh-medium secondary school teachers will be available.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are working towards a national mission to raise standards, reduce the attainment gap, and deliver and education system that is a source of national pride. Integral to this is promoting teaching excellence, recognising that the person at the front of the classroom is key.
Powys County Council's funding settlement has been announced, with the local authority receiving a 1% cut.
The cut would have been 1.5% but for a funding floor negotiated by the Welsh Liberal Democrats. The funding floor reduces variation in funding for Councils across Wales.
These cuts come as the Conservative Government in Westminster continues to cut budgets. The Welsh Government's capacity to raise its own funds remains extremely limited, and it relies almost exclusively on a block grant from Westminster.
The Conservative government has given developers a carte blanche to play the property market at the expense of our citizens. And now the country’s in crisis.
Not enough homes. Properties sitting empty. Exorbitant prices. The market is closed and exclusive: a fat cats’ game. That’s not good for people and it’s not good for business.
Today the Lib Dems are laying down the law to developers: unless you build the homes that Britain needs, we will.
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