Betts will cover Welsh Assembly as a freelance

Clive Betts, who until November was Welsh Assembly editor for the Western Mail, this week set up as the only freelance covering the Assembly.

Betts, 59, who worked for the Western Mail and South Wales Echo at Cardiff for 40 years, left when the Mail cut back on its dedicated coverage of the Welsh parliament and abolished his position. He had been Assembly editor for almost four years since the body was established.

He still has an office in the Assembly building, near his old Mail office, and has kept his access card. He will work mainly for the specialist business press.

Betts said he had decided to freelance because there was an interesting Assembly election coming up on 1 May and ” there is far more going on at the Assembly than people realise”.

He added: “Important decisions are being made about free bus passes for pensioners, prescription charges, a chance of the return of student grants, forced mergers between universities and colleges, and how many wind farms will be allowed on Welsh mountains. It’s even possible the Assembly will take over control of the police.

“That’s why I’m staying there and not putting up my feet and retiring.”

Betts joined the Echo in 1963 and held a number of roles with the Mail, including public affairs correspondent and Welsh affairs editor.

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