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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Griffiths moved from health in government re-shuffle

Wrexham Assembly Member Lesley Griffiths has been replaced as Health Minister in a surprise Welsh Governmnet re-shuffle announced this afternoon (Thursday).
Taking over the portfolio is Cardiff West AM Mark Drakeford.

Ms Griffiths has recently been criticised by some for her refusal to intervene in the on-going row over the major shake-up of health services in North Wales, including last week's controversial closure of Llangollen Cottage Hospital.  

She now takes over as Local Government Minister from Deeside AM Carl Sargeant.

Business Minister Edwina Hart keeps the economy brief as the minister for economy, science and transport.

Huw Lewis becomes the minister for communities and tackling poverty. His old role as housing and regeneration minister goes to Mr Sargeant.

Labour won power at the last assembly election in May 2011, although it fell one seat short of an outright majority.

Commenting on the re-shuffle, Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru AM for North Wales, said: From the perspective of people in North Wales, this could be seen as a vote of no confidence in Lesley Griffiths’s handling of the NHS changes.
"As such it’s a welcome change and an opportunity for the government to show it’s willing to listen to the people of North Wales and alter course.
“The new minister will hopefully have new priorities, otherwise it will just be a hospital pass that means a continuation of the same old policies that are so unpopular across the North.
“This new appointment is a chance to wipe the slate clean and look afresh at local health services in North Wales.
"I would ask the new health minister to make an early announcement as to his intentions. Is he happy to see critically ill babies from Wales being exported to England’s health service, which Carwyn Jones himself has described as being “wrecked and privatised”?
"And does he support community facilities being arbitrarily axed without any alternative services being put in their place.”

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