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‘Education Minister needs to recognise the importance and prestige that his position holds’ – Aled Roberts

2012 Hydref 24 10:15 AM

Responding to the statement made today by the Education Minister with regards to Higher Education Reconfiguration in South East Wales, Shadow Education Minister Aled Roberts commented:

"I do not believe that it is the Minister's job to release statements that he believes 'correct' what representatives of Cardiff Metropolitan have said. The Minister doesn't seem to appreciate that he is meant to be impartial. Making statements as he has done today in the chamber only inflames the already hostile debate and leads to further questions over his impartiality.

"The Minister has stated that he has not made up his mind with regards to either of the two options on which the Welsh Government is consulting on. That appears to be at odds with the statement that was made in the chamber on the 17th July.

"It is time for the Minister to recognise the importance and prestige that his position holds, he shouldn't be lowering himself to getting into petty tit for tat exchanges at a time when we are in desperate need for cool heads."

Eluned Parrott, Assembly Member for South Wales Central, said:

"Finally, the Minister has revealed that he has no evidential basis for the reconfiguration of Higher Education in South-East Wales.

"With people's jobs on the line, only now is the Minister in the process of developing a business case for these mergers. That business case should have been in place long ago. Rather than giving us sound policies based on sound evidence, Leighton Andrews and Labour are cooking up evidence based on their flawed policy agenda.

"Sledging respected organisations in the press, in the chamber and in writing is not only beneath the dignity of a Minister of the Welsh Assembly, it also undermines his ability to work constructively with the sector. He needs to rediscover his ability to build consensus if he is ever to deliver his policies for Higher Education in Wales."