• Schools across Swansea Say No to Bullying

    Schools across Swansea sent out a clear message that bullying will not be tolerated in any form as they celebrated Anti-Bullying Week with various activities.

    Swansea Labour AMs Julie James, Mike Hedges and Edwina Hart, who supported the Anti-Bullying Week initiative, were delighted with the innovative way schools in Swansea tackled the subject.

    Labour’s Welsh Assembly Gower candidate Rebecca Evans was also full of praise for the approach schools in the area undertook to mark Anti-Bullying Week: “It is brilliant to see schools in Gower using original and fun ways to tackle and raise awareness of bullying such as the ‘Kind Hands, Kind Words’ campaign in Gowerton Primary, or the ‘Let’s make a noise about Bullying’ campaign in Pontarddulais Primary.

    “It is important that children feel they can discuss bullying – whether it is happening to them or to someone else, face-to-face or online.”

    Across the city in Swansea West, Brynmill Primary held events all week culminating in a special assembly with all pupils wearing blue to school, while in Waunarlwydd they highlighted their peer mentor and buddies scheme where pupils can turn to if they are being bullied. 

    Swansea West AM, Julie James said: “How we prevent and tackle bullying is key to the mental, emotional health and well-being of children and it was wonderful to see schools take this message to heart across Swansea West.”

    Mike Hedges, Swansea East AM was also impressed with schools in his constituency response to Anti-Bullying Week.

    Haford Primary School’s Rights Respecting Group made a film about bullying and what it is, Trallwn Primary School got behind the ‘Say No’ campaign with pupils posting selfies while Plasmarl welcomed PC Dawn Mort to talk to pupils about cyber safety.

    Mike Hedges AM said: “Anti-Bullying Week provides an excellent opportunity to highlight the importance of speaking out against bullying. There is not a simple answer to end bullying but giving children a voice and making them part of the solution is key and I was overwhelmed with how schools across Swansea East took part in Anti-Bullying Week.”


  • Swansea West AM condemns Tory spending plans

    Julie James AM has criticised the UK Government’s “smoke and mirrors” spending review. The Assembly Member spoke after the Chancellor delivered his speech to parliament, setting out the UK Government’s spending plans for the next five years.

    The spending review means that Welsh Government spending power will fail to keep track with inflation and that between 2015-16 and 2019-20 there will be a real terms cut to the Welsh Government’s total Budget of 3.6%. The spending review also saw the UK government give into pressure and perform a dramatic U-turn on cuts to tax credits and announce a funding floor for the Welsh budget, but only for this parliament.

    Ms James said “Residents across Swansea will not be fooled by this smoke and mirrors spending review and, as always with this Tory UK Government, the devil is in the detail of these spending plans.”

    “The spending review represents a real terms cut to a Welsh budget which has already had £1.3 billion of cuts imposed on it.“

    “I am also worried that the UK government is still not properly committed to fair funding for Wales and I cannot understand why the funding floor is limited to this Parliament.”

    “I and many others in the community have campaigned hard against the UK Government’s proposed cuts to tax credits, which would have hit families in Swansea West hard. I am delighted that, together, we have forced the Government into a u-turn on these cuts.”

    The Spending Review follows five years of significant cuts to Welsh Budgets, which have seen a £1.3 billion cut from the Welsh Governments block grant since 2010/11. The Tory UK Government has also presided over the slowest recovery in living memory and has failed to meet their own fiscal targets.

    It also comes after the announcement of official UK Treasury figures which show that Wales spends 7% more per head than England on health and social services health and 4% more than England, per head, on education. Expenditure on public services is £9,904 per head or 11% higher than in England.

  • More than 600 people treated by ‘flying doctors’ in first six months on board Wales Air Ambulance

    Wales’ ‘flying doctor’ service has given life saving treatment to more than 600 people in its first six months.

    The pioneering emergency medical care service for Wales provides treatment usually only available in hospitals. The enhanced service started in April this year as a result of a unique partnership between Wales Air Ambulance Charity and NHS Wales backed by new Welsh Government funding.

    Missions included carrying out surgical procedures at the roadside, 21 blood and blood product transfusions and 82 emergency anaesthetics.

    More than a third of emergency calls were to treat either heart attacks or patients in cardiac arrest (38 per cent), and one in five missions were to care for patients involved in road traffic collisions.

    The doctors joined Wales Air Ambulance Charity flights in April as part of an enhanced emergency care service developed in partnership with NHS Wales, the Welsh Government, and the Welsh Blood Service.

    As well as adding consultants to flights, the enhanced service also introduced pioneering equipment and treatments developed from armed forces emergency medical care. This included being among the first civilian services in Europe to carry three separate blood products, allowing the critical care team to provide blood transfusions at the scene of an emergency.

    The consultants are joined on missions by critical care practitioners – advanced medics that received specialist training to join the enhanced service.

    Nineteen critical care consultants and twelve critical care practitioners (CCPs) are now flying with the Wales Air Ambulance across Wales. Using both the air ambulance and road vehicles, the ‘flying doctors’ can reach 95 per cent of the population within 30 minutes.

    Dr Ami Jones, a lead consultant specializing in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine, is one of the flying doctors working on the air ambulance’s South Wales helicopter.

    Dr Jones said:

    “It’s been a fantastic year, and I’ve no doubt that there are people living in Wales today that wouldn’t be here had it not been for the care we’ve provided.

    “There have been some incredible cases where the availability of doctors at the scene of an incident has saved people’s lives, and the addition of blood products has been particularly important.

    “Recently we were required to administer blood products at two separate incidents in one day, which is really unusual. Thanks to having quick access to a supply of replacement blood products, we were able to treat both patients and get them to hospital for the specialist care they needed.

    “The ability to reach a patient in 20 or 30 minutes and provide lifesaving treatment gives them a much better chance of survival. It’s been a busy first six months, but we’re all really enjoying the challenge.”

    Wales Air Ambulance Charity CEO Angela Hughes said:

    “The availability of doctors on board Wales Air Ambulance flights has undoubtedly saved lives across Wales. “In about half of the cases attended, the team delivered skills and treatments not routinely available outside of hospital in Wales, saving time and saving lives.

    “The new rapid response vehicles have been an additional benefit, when we need to reach patients during adverse weather or after dark.

    “This is an exciting time for pre-hospital care in Wales. The development of our new airbase in Carmarthenshire will be yet another step in building our air ambulance operation, giving our doctors the latest technology and facilities to carry out their missions. “We couldn’t do this without the incredible generosity of our supporters.”

    The Welsh Government is providing £2.868m from 2015-16 to support the enhanced service. The Wales Air Ambulance continues to rely on charitable donations to raise the £6m required each year to keep the air ambulances flying.

    Wales’ Deputy Health Minister, Vaughan Gething said:

    “The Welsh flying doctors are proving to be a big success, and I’m delighted to see Welsh Government investment is helping save lives.

    “During the first six months, hundreds of people from right across Wales have been given life-saving treatment by highly skilled consultants and a wider medical team at the scene of an emergency, using some of the most advanced medical equipment available anywhere in the world.

    “This has transformed our ability to provide the very best care to the most critically-ill patients across Wales, but especially in our more remote and rural areas.”

  • Swansea AMs Welcome Implementation of New Organ Donation Law

    From 1st December 2015, the way that we choose to become organ donors will change and now is the time to understand what this means and to talk about it with loved ones, that is the message from Swansea Labour AMs Julie James and Mike Hedges.

    Residents can do one of three things from December 1st:


    • Choose to donate all or only specific organs, by registering their choice to be a donor.


    • Do nothing, which will be treated as having no objection to donating any of their organs – this is called “deemed consent”.


    • Register their decision not to be a donor.

    Swansea West AM, Julie James said: “Organ donation saves lives. Many of us have friends or relatives who are waiting for a transplant and it is crucial that the wait is as short as possible.”

    “In 2012/13, 36 people died in Wales whilst waiting for an organ transplant as a donor could not be found. Very few people die in circumstances where organ donation is possible and it is therefore important to make it as easy as possible for people who want to become an organ donor to do so.”

    “The new opt-out system will make it much easier for people in Wales to become organ donors and increase the number of organs available for people waiting for life-saving transplant surgery.”

    Mike Hedges Swansea East AM, meanwhile, is urging local residents to tell their loved ones about their organ donation decision, so that they can make sure it is respected. A person’s organ donation decision can be changed at any time.

    Mike Hedges AM said: “I want to make sure that residents in Swansea fully understand what will happen on December 1st. I would urge everybody to talk to their loved ones about their wishes and to visit the Organ Donation Wales Website at www.organdonationwales.org for further information.”

    Wales is the first country in the UK to introduce this “soft opt-out system” for organ and tissue donation. It is estimated there are around 250 people on a waiting list for a transplant at any one time. The Welsh Government hopes that this legislation will lead to a 25% rise in the number of organ donors in Wales

  • White Ribbon Day 2015

    Labour AMs Rebecca Evans, Mike Hedges and Julie James are supporting White Ribbon Day on Wednesday 25th November, which is also known as the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

    This day is the annual pinnacle of the campaign to urge everyone to wear a white ribbon as a visible pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.

    In a joint statement, the local Labour AMs said: “We are pleased to join thousands of people across the UK in signing the White Ribbon Pledge. 

    “We are proud to be members of the Welsh Labour Party, who are leading the way on this issue with the passing of the ground-breaking Violence Against Women Wales Bill in March. We should never become complacent, however, as there is still a long way to go if we are to eliminate violence against women.”

    Domestic violence affects women of all ages, from all social classes and all races. The stark figure that more than two women a week are killed by a current or former partner shows just how much of a problem domestic violence is across the UK.

    The Welsh Government are determined to tackle domestic violence, passing landmark legislation earlier this year and supporting the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence help line.

    If you are experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence, have experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence, or are worried about a friend or relative who is experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence, then call the All Wales Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Helpline for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. UK Freephone : 0808 80 10 800




    “We must act now!” That is the message from Swansea West Labour AM Julie James and MP Geraint Davies on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria.

    The local Labour politicians along with thousands of others are calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to step up and do more to help the people in need.

    Ms James AM said: “Tragically, the crisis continues to worsen. This has already been the biggest humanitarian catastrophe since WW2 and with winter on the doorstep I am deeply concerned that the suffering of thousands of refugees stranded in Syria and in Europe will escalate.”

    “The UK Government’s commitment to take 20,000 refugees over a 5 year period just isn’t good enough-people are suffering now and I feel it is our moral duty to do a lot more.”

    Ms James praised Swansea Council’s efforts to house Syrian refugees with the first families set to arrive in the city in January.

    “We have to make sure the houses and the correct support network are in place for the people that are relocated here so they are able to rebuild their lives, and Council Leader Rob Stewart should be commended for the swift action the Authority are taking to get Swansea ready.”

    Geraint Davies MP, who has urged the Tory UK Government to do more in the Commons, was also stinging in his criticism of the pace of action taken by David Cameron.

    “We have vulnerable women and children sleeping on the streets of Syria and Europe. The UK Government’s actions just don’t cut it. There is an urgent need now and to put arbitrary quotas on the intake of refugees is disgraceful.”

    “I have spoken about this issue in Parliament and praised Swansea as a City of Sanctuary, and the Leader of the Council Rob Stewart for offering to take refugees. The issue is to establish the capacity for people who will willing take people, rather than just plucking numbers from the air.

    “There needs to be a clear plan but there is no doubting we have the resources to help sooner and not later.

    “There is a welcome home for many people in distress across the country and that of course includes Swansea.”

    The council has responded to a call for help from the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme in the wake of discussions with the Home Office.

    Swansea Council have agreed to take 60 families over a 5 year period with the first Syrian refugees due to arrive in the New Year.


    Local Labour AMs have hailed the Welsh Government’s innovative Health Technology Fund which has delivered an extra million pound in funds to Swansea Hospitals.

    The Health Technology Fund has so far pumped over £21 million into pioneering projects across Wales.

    Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board have used the cash injection for new equipment at Singleton Hospital’s neonatal unit, mobile monitors for community midwives and for earlier and faster diagnosis of lung cancer patients.

    Labour Gower Assembly candidate Rebecca Evans AM said: “The role of new technology in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment is key to our ever evolving society. It is great to see Swansea residents benefit from the state-of-the-art care these funds will provide.”

    Swansea East AM, Mike Hedges added: “We must take advantage of technological progress to improve the health outcomes of the people of Swansea.”

    The city already benefits from a close working collaboration between the ABMU health board and Swansea University, with the new ARCH scheme earmarked to transform the treatment patients in Swansea receive.

    Julie James, Swansea West AM, was also delighted with the continued innovation and improvement to facilities from which ABMU and patients in Swansea are benefiting.

    “Swansea’s reputation as a hub for healthcare innovation is fast growing, and these funds are just part of a strategy that will hopefully revolutionise treatment for patients. The investment in the new state-of-the-art Institute of Life Science at the Swansea University and the exciting ARCH proposals will ensure patients in Swansea get the best care possible.”

  • Julie James AM supports Usdaw’s campaign to protect shopworkers from violence, threats and abuse

    Julie James, AM for Swansea West has joined with members of the retail union Usdaw to campaign for respect for shopworkers as part of the Freedom From Fear Campaign, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff. Usdaw members are highlighting the problems faced by staff during Respect for Shopworkers Week.

    Julie said: “Too often retail employees are confronted with violence, threats and abuse and it is really important we stand together and ask people to respect shopworkers especially as we approach the busy Christmas shopping period and the Black Friday sales.

    “I support Usdaw’s call for extra protection for shopworkers and was personally shocked by the scenes of chaos and violence we saw during Black Friday last year.

    “I will continue to campaign with Usdaw to provide shopworkers the support they need and deserve. We must give a clear message that abusing or assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable.”

    John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary said: “We are grateful to Julie James for supporting our campaign to keep our members safe at work.

    “Often, in the course of their duties, shopworkers are expected to enforce the law, whether that is preventing under-age purchases of products like knives, tobacco or alcohol, or detaining shoplifters until the police arrive, they deserve respect and protection.

    “Over 300 shopworkers are assaulted every day and it is time to say enough is enough. Politicians must work together to address this issue and act quickly.”

  • Constituency Advice Surgeries

    If you are a constituent of mine and wish to meet with me I am holding  the following surgeries before Christmas-no appointment necessary!

    Constituency Office St Helen’s Road -Friday 13th November 12-1pm

    Townhill Library -Friday 27 November 10-11am

    Killay Library- Friday 4th December 10-11am

    Swansea Central Library-Friday 11th December 10-11am

  • Supporting our Future Workforce in Wales

    The highly successful Business Class programme has been given the green light for expansion by the Welsh Labour Government.

    Picture couresty of mediaphotos

    The expanded roll out will see more schools and businesses work together to aid young people from disadvantaged communities across Wales.

    The flagship education programme developed by Business in the Community Cymru in partnership with Careers Wales, is aimed at forming a partnership between businesses and schools to develop employability skills for young people facing social disadvantage.

    The programme was initially piloted in Cardiff, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Heads of the Valleys in 2013/14 involving 10 schools and 10 businesses and has already made a difference to over 3,000 young people.

    The programme will now be expanded to create 60 new partnerships in 12 priority areas across Wales including Swansea Bay area until 2018, with the Welsh Government subsidising businesses the full cost of taking part in the programme to the value of £4,800 per year.

    Partnerships deliver on shared aims and objectives which are driven by the needs of schools and the priorities, resources and capacity of business.

    Business Class partnerships also collaborate through the unique “cluster” mechanism, which is an effective way to network, develop and share ideas and achieve shared goals.

    The programme supports schools in a holistic way reflecting what each individual business can offer and equips young people with the skills and experience they need to build successful working lives in the future.

    The model has been evaluated externally for its effectiveness. Schools and pupils enjoy increases in employability skills and career aspirations; and businesses report higher levels of employee engagement and development of leadership and team-working skills

    In surveys on the programme, 79% of pupils were encouraged to work harder with 40% reporting an improvement in employability skills and 84% wanted to have more future engagement with employers.