Was Kirsty’s car pledge the wheel deal?

Welsh Conservatives have today urged Education Secretary Kirsty Williams to keep to her word and not use a costly ministerial car within her new cabinet role.

In February, she told her Party’s conference in Cardiff that the Welsh Lib Dems were “not here for ministerial cars”.

However, Welsh Conservatives have forced First Minister Carwyn Jones to confirm that his new Education Secretary will “have access to the Government Car Service” – raising questions as to whether Ms Williams will make use of her new taxpayer-funded motor.

Welsh Conservatives have previously revealed how Ministerial, chauffeur-driven cars cost the taxpayer approximately £1.8m between 2011/12 and October 2015. It is estimated the taxpayer could save approximately £150,000 in car costs if the Education Secretary rejected use of the motor over the Assembly term – enough to buy, for example, every pupil in an LA maintained school an exercise book.

Ms Williams also told Party supporters in February that joining the Labour Party “was unthinkable” – but the First Minister has also admitted to Welsh Conservatives that he does not regard his new Government as a Labour-Lib Dem coalition.

Urging Ms Williams to save hard-pressed taxpayers cash, and make better use of alternative transport, Montgomeryshire Assembly Member Russell George said:

“Only weeks after telling her Party she’s no interest in a costly Ministerial car, the new Education Secretary’s access to the Government Car Service will raise plenty of eyebrows across Mid Wales, and beyond.

“Welsh Conservatives have long campaigned for the Welsh Government to ditch their fleet of taxpayer-funded ministerial limousines.

“With schools threatened by closure in Powys, and a recruitment crisis gripping the teacher profession at present, keeping to her word on the use of ministerial cars could ensure the Education Secretary frees up funding to provide more support to frontline services, including the Education service over which she now presides.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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