Page last updated at 18:52 GMT, Monday, 16 February 2009

Power debate boring, says Cameron

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Those attending the meeting at Barry Comprehensive School had to apply for tickets beforehand.

People in Wales are becoming bored by the debate over how much law-making power the Welsh assembly should have, says Conservative leader David Cameron.

He said the things "people care about", like their jobs and the NHS, were more important than discussing the extent of Wales's devolution settlement.

He spoke before hosting a public meeting in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan.

"Devolution exists and the Conservative Party wants to make it work," he told BBC Radio Wales ahead of the meeting.

"We have said, look, let's instead of having endless arguments about more and more processes, let's actually talk about outcomes.

"Let's talk about the things people care about.

"How are we going to get the jobs back? How are we going to get credit out of the banks and into the businesses? How can we improve the health service in Wales?

The Conservative Party in Wales is stronger than it has been for many years
Tory leader David Cameron

"It's those, I think, meat and drink questions, rather than should the assembly have a little bit more power or a little bit less power, which I think is beginning to bore people in Wales slightly."

If it looks winnable, the assembly government says it will hold a referendum on primary powers in 2011.

The assembly's governing coalition between Labour and Plaid Cymru has established the All Wales Convention to probe support for the move.

Mr Cameron is visiting south Wales on Monday for the latest in a series of public meetings.

There would be no speeches and no script for Monday's event at a comprehensive school in Barry, in the party's target Vale of Glamorgan seat, where people could ask him whatever they wanted, he said.

David Cameron tells BBC Wales political editor Betsan Powys the session in Barry is "old fashioned politics in the raw"

Those attending the meeting have had to apply for tickets beforehand.

Mr Cameron also gave his support to the Tories' leader in Cardiff Bay, Nick Bourne, who was criticised late last year over his expenses as an AM.

He said Mr Bourne had "done the right thing" by repaying the 229 he legitimately claimed from his taxpayer-funded allowances to buy an iPod.

"He has done an extremely good job. The Conservative Party in Wales is stronger than it has been for many years," Mr Cameron said.

The expense claims of AMs and MPs alike had to be "reasonable and defensible", he added.

Earlier on Monday the Conservative leader travelled to Carmarthen to speak to business owners and also visited a research unit in Cardiff.

He was asked about the hundreds of job losses at the Mini factory at Cowley in Oxfordshire. and called the news "extremely depressing".

"I think what that shows is we are in a deep recession, we need more action on credit. We need to make sure we get that finance moving."

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SEE ALSO
All Wales Convention Q & A
13 Jan 09 |  Wales
Assembly 'argy bhaji' on the menu
14 Jan 09 |  Wales politics

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