U.K. Independence Party Wales
Plaid Annibynlaeth y Dernas Unedig Cymru
Manifesto for the National Assembly of Wales Election on 1st May, 2003
The UK Independence Party is implacably opposed to the Welsh Assembly.
This is because it is NOT an assembly that can serve the people of Wales: it is a Regional authority serving the wider ambitions of the European Union - the full title of which is, after all, the European Union of the Regions... Along with the Scottish Parliament, the Mayoral Office of London and the English Regionalisation process, the Welsh Assembly is another piece in a jigsaw which, when fully assembled, will see a dissected Britain placed under direct rule from Brussels.
The UK Independence Party believes in having as few levels of government as is feasible and these should be as near to the people as possible. More government means more costly bureaucracy and less accountability to the electors.
A UK Westminster Parliament together with a proper 'national' representative body in Wales (with a similar one in Scotland) and a structure of responsible Local Authorities throughout the UK should be all that is necessary for the effective and efficient government of the country.
UK membership of the European Union would thus be terminated, allowing us to reap the benefit of an Independence Dividend which our research indicates could amount to £2000 a year for every household in the UK.
However, because the Welsh Assembly is now in existence, UKIP will put up candidates for the election to it in the forthcoming Assembly Elections.
The National Assembly for Wales will be replaced by a Welsh National Council which will be
a) truly democratic and representative
b) not an unreasonable financial burden on the Welsh taxpayers and
c) constituted in order to ensure and facilitate the return of as much power as possible to local government.
The Council will consist of:
1. The Chairman in the person of the Secretary of State for Wales
2. All Welsh MPs at Westminster
3. A representative from each unitary authority in Wales
The National Council for Wales will meet in Cardiff City Hall and at other venues in Wales as appropriate.
Its role will be:
To recommend to the Westminster Parliament primary and secondary legislation for Wales where conditions in Wales justify separate legislation from England.
To co-ordinate the activities of Local Authorities on issues which transcend boundaries.
To take responsibility for Welsh quangos.
To make recommendations to the Secretary of State on the allocation within Wales of resources provided by Westminster.
Pending abolition of the Welsh Assembly, elected UK Independence Party Members will seek to pursue the best interests of the people of Wales by advocating the following policies:
Bureaucracy and paperwork will be reduced. Head Teachers and their staffs will be granted wide latitude. Educational standards will be monitored by School Inspectors. Governors will enjoy increased freedom of action in the management of school buildings and facilities.
The curriculum will be designed to provide ALL children with the basic skills required in life, using traditional teaching methods.
All children will be taught the so-called "Three Rs"
Welsh and British will be taught in a positive manner that emphasises the contribution made by the UK to world development.
We will allow pupils to transfer to technical colleges to learn trades and obtain practical qualifications which will rank alongside academic achievements. We are not persuaded of the need for a target of sending 50% of all school leavers to university.
The sale of school playing fields will cease immediately. Team sports will be promoted, and the 'blame and claim' culture, which discourages teachers from creating character-building activities, will be discouraged.
The UK Independence Party is adamant that the rights of the victims of crime must take precedence over those of criminals. Ordinary people must have the right to defend themselves and their property robustly. Harassment of motorists alienates the public, making people less willing to assist the Police. The use of speed cameras as a revenue earner is wrong and counterproductive. The policeman on the beat, local and trusted, is more likely to get information than one driving around in a patrol car.
NHS bureaucracy must be reduced, hospital management decentralised, and the resultant savings ploughed back into treatment. Wards should be in the sole charge of a Matron, to whom other staff would be answerable. Performance targets which cannot be shown to raise care standards will be abandoned.
Assaults on medical or ancillary staff would result in automatic prosecution.
Non-essential treatment, such as cosmetic surgery, would be available on the NHS only where resources allow.
UKIP will establish an NHS system for recruiting extra nurses without recourse to private agencies.
UKIP will examine all options for NHS funding with a view to restoring the service to its former respected status. Auditors will be given wide investigative powers and the authority to instigate best practice.
All preparations for the Euro will be abandoned.
The Common Agricultural Policy is costly, fraud prone and wasteful. It is beyond reform, but as a member of the European Union Britain has no choice but to apply it.
Only by leaving the EU will we be able to adopt policies which allow UK agriculture to be restored to viability so as to be again the foundation of the rural economy.
We will relax planning restrictions on alternative uses of outdated farm buildings.
Small abattoirs will be encouraged.
We will rely on quotas to prevent overstocking and return to headage payments for livestock support.
The dates of subsidy payments must be announced well in advance, with prompt payment to enable farmers to plan their cash flow.
Young farmers will be encouraged to enter the profession by means of low-interest loans, adequate training, and incentives to landowners to make land available.
Financial support will be provided so that British farmers can compete against subsidised food imports.
We will increase the Old Age Pension by £5 a week over the inflation increase.
Local government is the cornerstone of democracy by virtue of its proximity to the people and the communities it serves. However, the progressive transfer of power from local to central government has resulted in growing voter apathy, particularly at local elections.
Local authorities and their officials must be made more accountable to the voters by staging more open meetings and by the adoption of more visible decision-making processes. Cabinet style local government would be circumvented and power restored to the elected members.
We will strengthen the tax base of local government in order to make it more independent of central government.
Small business development will be encouraged by means of lower business rates, which will reflect the low population and extra costs of operating in rural areas.
In order to return true accountability and democracy to the people, any individual should have the right to initiate a local referendum on an issue of his/her choice.
Under the Local Government Act of 1972 ordinary electors of English Parishes and Welsh Communities can call for a referendum on matters of local concern. These Popular Referendums can override the local Council. Once a petitioner obtains the right number of signatures from local voters calling for a referendum on a subject of their choosing a referendum must be held.
Popular Referendums are called when voters want them, not when the councillors choose. The wording is chosen by the petitioners, not by the local party bosses. Politicians hate them!
The National Assembly for Wales was not set up to serve the legitimate needs of the people but to further the process of European integration.
Accordingly UK Independence Party Assembly Members will work and campaign for its abolition, and its replacement by a Welsh National Council as described above.
Pending abolition, in addition to pursuing the policies outlined above our Assembly Members will:
Work to expose the corruption, mismanagement and high cost of the Assembly
Use their positions to inform the voters of Wales of the true nature and objectives of the 'European Project'
Expose how little influence the Assembly has on EU legislation
Highlight the emptiness of the claims made for the Assembly by Plaid Cymru.
Published by UKIP Wales, Celyn, Coed-y-Caerau, Kemeys Inferior, Newport NP18 1JR