Prime Minister David Cameron has delivered a speech at the National Assembly for Wales following a Regional Cabinet meeting in Cardiff.
External site: Wales allocated £56.9 million for broadband roll-out
Following a regional Cabinet meeting at the Royal Mint in Cardiff, the PM became the second Prime Minister to address the National Assembly.
In his speech, Mr Cameron paid tribute to the role Wales has played in shaping the United Kingdom.
Standing in this great building, I am conscious of the role Wales has played in shaping the United Kingdom. Whether it was mining copper or coal, iron or slate, Wales richly deserves its title as the world’s first industrial nation.It was a Welshman who created our most cherished public service, the NHS. Events like the National Eisteddfod remind us of the precious nature of Britain’s rich culture.
Mr Cameron also stressed that mature devolution should be about “mutual respect, the sharing of ideas and the spirit of collaboration”.
The PM confirmed that a process similar to the Calman Commission in Scotland would be established to seek a consensus on the future direction of devolution and how Wales is funded.
The Prime Minister said:
The strength of Calman was that it worked by consensus: Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats in Scotland coming together and agreeing a way forward. I am therefore asking the political parties to seek a consensus on the future direction of devolution.
Mr Cameron also announced that Wales is set to receive £56.9 million share of the Government’s £530 million broadband investment fund to help take superfast broadband to 90 per cent of homes and businesses.
The announcement builds on the work of the rural pilots earlier in the year and is part of the Government’s ambition to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.
Praising the Welsh Government and its creation of the UK’s first Older People’s Commissioner to raise the profile of elderly and end age discrimination, the Prime Minister reiterated the need for reform and modernisation of public services.
Let me put it another way: devolution of power from Westminster to Cardiff is not enough. We need real devolution, where power is passed from here in Cardiff… to patients and parents, doctors, nurses and teachers, charities and social enterprises. Collectively, they have the ideas and the energy and the commitment to improve our schools, build a fantastic NHS and make Wales a better place to live for everyone.
Ahead of the Cabinet meeting and speech, Mr Cameron met staff at the Royal Mint and toured the premises. Other members of the Cabinet visited a number of locations in the surrounding areas - the Secretary of State for Justice Kenneth Clarke paid a visit to HMP Cardiff whilst the Minister of State for Government Policy Oliver Letwin visited G24 Innovations.