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Director for Wales blog: May 2016

Last month I speculated upon the make-up of the Welsh Government and the importance of the Ministerial appointments to the key roles of Finance & Economy. Whilst I’m disappointed that Jane Hutt has moved away from the former with whom ICAEW had formed a close working relationship I am pleased with the appointment of Mark Drakeford to the role and look forward to continuing that positive understanding and influence.

Interestingly Mark Drakeford also has responsibility for the re-organisation of Local Government another area upon which ICAEW has strong opinions. Ken Skates’ appointment to the Economy portfolio also looks like a positive one. Succeeding Edwina Hart was never going to be easy but Ken is an up and coming talent in the Labour party and has already shown a strong understanding of policy through his role in producing and debating the Labour Party manifesto. 

Unfortunately little is happening in Welsh politics since the formation of a new Government by Carwyn Jones although the new consultative committees with Plaid Cymru will be interesting to watch to see how much cooperation or otherwise comes as a result. It is in the interest of Wales that this minority Government is able to press forward and deliver a programme of government and not stagnate and therefore some form on consensual politics will need to develop in the Senedd.

We, of course, are currently dominated by the EU Referendum and the outcome of that could be wide reaching and destabilising for the UK as a whole so make sure you go out and vote and don’t leave it to others to decide. Either way things are going to change! Read our expert analysis assessing the relationship between the UK and EU in three key areas: employment, trade and financial services.

Finally, those of you that live west of Cardiff may have noticed our push to increase events and engagement of members in and around Swansea. Our first Members in Business event in Swansea went very well and will be repeated in the autumn, contact Emma Friedl for more information. We are also well on the way to resurrecting a Swansea Town Group for small practice members to add to the Carmarthen Group established last year. With your support I am hoping to create a vibrant community of Chartered Accountants in West Wales. Please join.

Martin Warren
Director for Wales