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Welsh Government news-in-brief

Created on 05/02/2018 @ 09:58
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A round-up of the last week’s news from the Welsh Government

£1.4m EU boost for new aquaculture project

A research project aimed at growing Welsh businesses in the aquaculture sector has been given a £1.4m EU funding boost, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced.

The £2m Smartaqua project will see scientists from Swansea University’s Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) work with Welsh businesses to use advanced technology and develop ground-breaking new products and services for the specialised aquaculture market.

Professor Drakeford said: "This scheme will drive forward scientific research to help businesses further develop aquaculture industry in Wales.

"This is a specialised sector with the potential to provide significant economic opportunities, particularly in rural areas."

Funding boost for Cwmcarn Forest

Tourism Minister, Lord Elis-Thomas has visited Cwmcarn Forest to welcome the news that the attraction is to receive grant funding totalling £160,000 to expand and enhance activities and facilities and improve the visitor experience.

Tourism Minister, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: "I’m delighted that the funding is enabling a number of improvements to take place at this popular attraction and have been delighted to see exciting plans for development today."

First Minister sets out vision for trade post-Brexit

First Minister Carwyn Jones has launched the Welsh Government’s vision for trade post-Brexit.

The Brexit trade paper, supported by an economic impact analysis from Cardiff Business School, argues the Welsh economy is best protected by retaining full access to the European Single Market and membership of a customs union.

The First Minister said: “Ministers in London have yet to show us any evidence of the benefits of leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union or how new trade deals would replace the benefits of access to the EU. In fact, UK government documents that have come to light this week chime with our own analysis of a post-Brexit economy.

“Today’s paper is a constructive, evidence-based contribution as the UK government prepares for phase 2 if the EU exit negotiations."

Wales bans the intimate piercing of under 18s

Wales is the first country in the UK to introduce a nationwide ban on the intimate piercing of under 18s.

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton said: “It’s concerning that a third of young people with intimate piercings have reported complications following a procedure. The child protection issues that could also arise from this scenario highlight even further, the importance of implementing such a law.

The Chief Dental Officer for Wales, Dr Colette Bridgman said: “Tongue piercing can lead to lasting damage to teeth and gums, and can cause serious swelling in the mouth that can affect breathing. Many dentists in Wales have seen patients who have permanent harm following piercing and dental teams in Wales really welcome this new law.”

Next steps to further extend fast broadband in Wales

A range of new measures to further extend fast and reliable broadband coverage in Wales following the completion of the Superfast Cymru project have been announced by Leader of the House with responsibility for digital Julie James.

Julie James said: “Through Superfast Cymru we have fundamentally altered the broadband landscape in Wales, bringing superfast broadband to areas of Wales that simply would not have been connected.

“The suite of measures I am announcing today, when taken together, will help us to realise the ambition described in Taking Wales Forward to bring people together digitally by offering fast reliable broadband to every property in Wales.”

First Minister remembers victims of Holocaust at service

First Minister, Carwyn Jones has attended a national service at Cardiff City Hall to remember all those people who suffered or died, under Nazi persecution and other genocides across the world.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “I am proud to stand alongside the rest of the world to honour those who faced the most horrendous atrocities ever known.

“Today is an important opportunity to reflect on the way we live our lives today and challenge hatred and persecution that sadly still exists. It is our duty to keep the memory of those who died alive, and ensure such atrocities are never repeated again."

Latest categorisation reveals improvement in school performance

New categorisation information shows that there has been an improvement in school performance.

Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams said: “I’m pleased to see that more schools are now in the green and yellow categories, which continues with the upward trend we have seen over the past few years.

“These schools have a key role to play in supporting other schools to improve by sharing their expertise, skills and good practice.”

First Minister launches 2018 programme of events to mark centenary of the First World War

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, has launched Programme 2018, which outlines First World War centenary commemoration activities this year.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914 – 1918 gives us the opportunity to remember the lives of those who served in the First World War. 

“Programme 2018 continues the outstanding level of engagement across the whole of the country, which acknowledges the sacrifices made by the people of Wales, as well as the rest of the UK and allied forces, during the First World War.”

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