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Minister Edwina Hart slammed for not travelling to Llandudno office

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

By Helen Keates

Edwina Hart AM

Edwina Hart AM

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GOWER AM and minister Edwina Hart has been criticised for not visiting her office in Llandudno in the past six months.

A Freedom of Information request made by the Welsh Conservatives showed Mrs Hart, who is the Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science (BETS), has not visited her own department based in the Welsh Government's office at Llandudno Junction once in the past six months.

The party also said the information showed that the Environment Minister John Griffiths has not had any meetings with his civil servants in Aberystwyth since April 3.

Welsh Tory members said Wales deserved more than "absent ministers", however, a Welsh Government spokesman said they both had been in constant contact with the offices.

Shadow Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science Nick Ramsay said: "It does seem extraordinary that senior ministers have not had any meetings with their own civil servants in the past six months."

He added: "These senior Labour ministers are directly responsible for the actions their civil servants take in the delivery of key policy objectives, yet they seem to be absent.

"At a time when our economy needs swift decision-making to create the conditions for economic growth and prosperity, the Minister and her officials should be working hand in glove."

And Russell George AM, Shadow Minister for the Environment, said: "It was right for the Welsh Government to seek to create jobs around Wales rather than centralising power in Cardiff. However, unless ministers work closely with staff in regional offices, government functions cannot be carried out effectively."

He added: "Lazy Labour ministers must get a grip on their own departments and start delivering the improvements in the economy and public services that the people of Wales rightly demand. The people of Wales deserve better than a bunch of absent ministers."

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said modern technology allowed ministers to keep in touch with their civil servants.

He added: "It's clear that Welsh Tories don't have a clue what Government is about. It is utter nonsense to suggest Welsh ministers need to spend their time touring Government offices to meet with civil servants.

"Ministers will use telephone, email and video-conferencing to keep in contact with officials while using their travel time more strategically to be out and about across Wales, meeting businesses and discussing the issues that really matter to people's lives.

"In the past few weeks, for example, both the Environment Minister and BETS Minister have met with organisations across Wales."

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  • sochat  |  December 01 2012, 7:45PM

    Edwin hart is an opponent of democracy.

  • Dan01  |  November 15 2012, 1:26PM

    I am not a fan of EH or indeed Comrade Carwyn, but the real issue here is whether there was a justifiable reason for her to spend time going to Llandudno , other than to please the whim of the Tories. We can do without attempts at cheap political point scoring. As someone else said, a complete non story.

    |   1
  • weslangdon  |  November 15 2012, 12:48PM

    I think Edwina is our best minister by far and she should have been 1st minister but for a stitch up by certain trade unions. None story fed by the Tories to the Tory press.

    |   -1
  • Neathboy234  |  November 15 2012, 12:45PM

    Seems to be the Tories will have to do a lot better than this if they ever want to get into power.

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  • Neathboy234  |  November 15 2012, 12:44PM

    GorsseinonJoe good idea about AM's working from home. Mind you it would work even better with our MP's, no need for them to have second homes anymore and all that traveling that they do.

    |   1
  • GorsseinonJoe  |  November 15 2012, 12:36PM

    I would welcome not seeing Edwina Hart for 6 months, she comes across as arrogant and aloof. As for using technology, if this is the case, maybe all Welsh AM's could work from home using e-mail, phone and Skype and we could then save on all the expense of keeping these self promoting egotists in the Senydd at a hefty cost to us. The question I would ask is this, what has kept Edwina so busy for the last 6 months that she hasn't been able to visit the North Wales office, her office?

    |   1
  • Eric_Pode  |  November 15 2012, 11:27AM

    The Tories probably submitted the FOI in the hope of criticising the Assembly Member for wasting money on unnecessary travel.

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  • johndavies  |  November 15 2012, 11:20AM

    What a non story – Shock!! Horror !! minister uses technology to save time energy & money. I don't know if she's any good as a minister, but at least she's doing/not doing the job in a less destructive way. I asume Shadow Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science Nick Ramsay has'nt used skype

    |   6
  • RichardCorso  |  November 15 2012, 11:18AM

    I would like to see the Welsh media wake up and do more/better investigative journalism. The Welsh media have sat on the hands with the children abuse cases, do not seem to monitor the performance of the Welsh Government and certainly do not monitor the efficiency of the Assembly Members (AM's) that we have and pay an exorbitant fee for. It's all very well to report on consumer rip off's but real investigative journalism could make a huge difference to how the Welsh Government performs. For far to long the Welsh Government AM's have been getting away with minimum effort a case of "Could do a lot better". Over to you media execs more in depth reporting on our inefficient Welsh Government please.

    |   9

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