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“Welsh Labour Government just paying lip service to Children’s Commissioner’s reports” - Aled Roberts

2013 Tachwedd 20 2:23 PM

Aled Roberts portraitAled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Children, has criticised the Welsh Labour Government for failing to tackle the significant issues that are repeatedly highlighted in the Children's Commissioner for Wales' Annual Reports.

The latest report by theChildren's Commissioner for Wales, Keith Towler, was published earlier this month and is due to be debated in the National Assembly today.

Aled Roberts AM is also calling on the Welsh Government to start showing strong leadership in ensuring that the views of children in Wales are heard and that the gap between policy and implementation is eliminated.

Examples of issues repeated year after year in the Annual Reports include:

Commenting, Aled Roberts AM said:

"For many years the Commissioner has been telling us where the problems are in the delivery of services to children and young people in Wales, yet the fact that so many of his recommendations have to be repeated year after year is simply unacceptable. At times it would appear that he simply has to cut, copy and paste what he has previously said.

"There are too many instances where no data is being held centrally to properly assess how Welsh Government policies are - or aren't - being effectively implemented.

"The Welsh Labour Government makes out that it hears what the Commissioner is saying, but I'm not at all sure it is actually listening. If it were listening, then data would be being collected and action would be being taken to make sure that the gap between policy and implementation is closed.

"Local authorities may well be the primary delivery arm for services relating to children, but the ultimate responsibility rests firmly with this Welsh Labour Government.

"It is simply not good enough to say that a strategy exists to deal with a particular issue. The Welsh Government must start taking its duties seriously and show some strong leadership so that children and young people in Wales can be confident that their voices are truly being heard".