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Jeremy Miles pledges 20mph review as part of Labour leadership bid

03 Jan 2024 4 minute read
Jeremy Miles MS

Emily Price

Jeremy Miles has promised to bring forward a review of Wales’ 20mph speed limit if he were to be successful in his Labour leadership bid.

The eduction minister joins Vaughan Gething, the economy minister, in the leadership race and today, he revealed details of what he would do in his first week as Wales’ First Minister.

Included in his list of pledges, Mr Miles said he would “Get the review of 20mph underway” 6 months earlier than the Welsh Government first planned to assess the rollout.

Controversial

In September the controversial new speed limit saw most roads in Wales that were 30mph switch to 20mph – although councils have discretion to impose exemptions.

The default limit was met with fierce opposition and a petition calling for it to be reversed has reached over 467,000 signatures – the most in Senedd history.

Vaughan Gething has similarly indicated that he too is keen to review the default speed limit – but said that the policy will save lives.

In September a Plaid Cymru amendment calling for a review of the speed limit was passed. Plaid Cymru leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth has said there does not need to be a new First Minister in place for the review to begin and the process could be started immediately.

The Welsh Government has always said the road regulation would be reviewed a year after it was rolled out.

A Welsh Government source told Nation.Cymru that scrapping the speed limit altogether would not be plausible because it would cost “tens of millions”.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Mr Miles pointed to several other pledges should he be successful in his leadership bid.

They included a gender balanced government, focused on delivery of public services, while providing new leadership in the Welsh economy and health.

He said: “If I am elected Welsh Labour leader and First Minister in 2024, here are 5 things I will do in my first week as FM:

“1. Appoint a government where at least half of all ministers are women.

“2. Kick start the setting up of a new Delivery Unit in the Welsh Government – we will look at everything we do with an absolutely relentless focus on practical delivery.

“3. Get the review of 20 mph underway, it will be 6 months from introduction, so as I said on day one of my campaign – there’s no need to delay.

“4. Initiate fresh discussions with patients, health bodies and health unions about how we help the NHS adapt to respond to current and future pressures.

“5. Direct the establishment of a new National Economic Council to advise the government on strategic policies to deliver sustainable economic prosperity and solidarity.

“I will be announcing policy priorities in the coming weeks. Today’s 5 actions point to kind of government I want to lead – reflecting our communities, focused on the economy, relentless in protecting and improving public services, and open to scrutiny.

Let’s get on with it!”

The Neath MS won the support of a majority of Labour Members of the Senedd to join the ballot and has been endorsed by a majority of Welsh Labour council leaders and deputy leaders.

He is expected to roll out his policy agenda in the coming weeks.

Budget

Mr Miles said: “This must be the year that we get rid of the UK Tory Government. Their incompetence, austerity and economic mismanagement have constrained Welsh Government budgets meaning real world hardship for people and the services they rely on.

“However, none of that takes away from the absolute need of the next First Minister and Welsh Government to focus on the delivery of good, reliable public services for the people of Wales.

“That means having a government that reflects our communities, is relentless in protecting and improving public services, and is open to scrutiny and constructive criticism.”


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Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
1 month ago

Hmm.. Perhaps the first thing the Welsh Labour could do is – change policy so we all get a chance to vote on who will be our next FM? Just a thought, after all, there is, I believe, less than 20,000 Welsh Labour party members…..

Paul ap Gareth
Paul ap Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

Only Senedd Members will get a vote on who will be the next First Minister.
Once Drakeford formally resigns the position the Presiding Officer will open nominations, and a vote will be held.
The First Minister is not a president.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul ap Gareth

We criticise the Tories for electing new Prime Ministers with only party members or just MPs and yet it is done in the Labour party too. Yes, we vote for parties and not individuals, as you pointed out, but with each new individual elected comes new policies – ‘which we did not vote for’.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

…and since this minority government continues to be propped up by Plaid Cymru, shouldn’t that party’s membership also have a vote?

CapM
CapM
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

Proportional representation (of which the Senedd has a sort of version) almost inevitably ends up with government that involves more than one political party.

It’s not just political parties and Senedd members who need to accept this and adapt but the electorate as well. As political parties, members of parliament and electorates across Europe seem to have been able to do.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  CapM

It would be an improvement if the uk parliament was also elected on proportional representation basis – the tories gained majority of 80 with the votes of only 29.87% of the elegible electorate in 2019. Screams undemocratic to me!

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
1 month ago

A pedant writes.

Delivery Unit, Mr Miles?

Parcels and pizzas are delivered.

Public services are provided.

Elen Wade
Elen Wade
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Woods

………after they have been paid for by taxpayers.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 month ago

Sad to see the two candidates vying to replace Mark Drakeford as Welsh labour leader (and Wales’ first minister) apparently can’t get rid of the eminently sensible 20mph speed limit quick enough. Is there anybody left in the Welsh labour govt willing to publicly defend their own policy?

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 month ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Well said Leigh!
The speed limit was introduced as a sensible safety measure and has been largely observed – indeed I see that other speed limits are being better observed.
This really is cheap politics, if elected will Miles bend with the wind at every turn?
We really do deserve better.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

Why does NC always keep referring to the Petition which, if I have understood reports correctly was widely open to abuse and widely added to by English Petrol Heads. From my perspective as a pedestrian and cyclist, I would have thought that a good Pledge would be to get on and enforce the 20MPH limit so that we can enjoy some of the benfits. Here in Aberystwyth the removal of all the speed limit signs means that motorists generally race around at much higher speeds than they used to do when we had speed limit signs (30MPH).

Why vote
Why vote
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Tax. insurance. mot. and number plates for you lot next, they will have to raise money from somebody when all us car drivers are forced off the road, didn’t think of that did you.

Elen Wade
Elen Wade
1 month ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

If its that popular, set up your own petition to prove it.

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago
Reply to  Elen Wade

There was a democratic vote based on a manifesto. That vote was based on checking peoples eligibility to vote and addresses in Wales.

Elen Wade
Elen Wade
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

The next First Minister will expedite the review of the 20mph limit. Consultations with the Welsh elecorate will lead to at least a partial roll back of this legislation.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago

Mr Miles, as Education Minister, can you also please review why teachers and other school staff in Conwy (and I would imagine other parts of Wales too) have just been informed that there will be redundancies?

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr Williams
hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Part of a dumbing down strategy ?

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