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Welsh Government news-in-brief

Created on 28/01/2018 @ 08:59
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EU funding boost for £2.5m scheme to help people in South Wales into work

More than 800 people from across South Wales will benefit from a new £2.5m EU-backed scheme to help them into work.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said: “Supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable people to gain new skills will help them to take the next steps into employment. I am pleased EU funds are being invested to increase learning, tackle poverty and support a more inclusive society in Wales.”

Support announced for Ystalyfera landslip

Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services Alun Davies has made a grant of £800,000 available to Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council to help it deal with the impact of last year’s land slips in Pantteg, Ystalyfera.

Alun Davies said: “It’s clear that the challenges the council face in dealing with the incident are unique, and the costs incurred are higher than any budgets could reasonably anticipate. 

“This grant will help the local authority continue to protect lives and property as well as support it to address the longer term resilience and sustainability of the area.”

New fund delivering life changing drugs faster than ever before

First Minister Carwyn Jones has hailed the success of the £80m New Treatment Fund in slashing the times new life-changing medicines become available on the NHS in Wales.

The First Minister said: “The New Treatment Fund is one of our flagship projects and a key Welsh Government commitment. We are investing £80m over 5 years to ensure patients with life-threatening conditions can get much faster access to the latest medicines. Reaching and far exceeding our 60 day target is a great achievement and is making a very real difference to people’s lives.

Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, said: “I am delighted with the progress achieved in the first year of the New Treatment Fund. Patients can now access 82 new medicines, much more quickly than they would have, had the fund not been in place.”

Gold Award list of accommodation announced

Visit Wales’ Gold Award list of accommodation was announced on Monday.

The Celtic Manor Resort has been listed for the 6th time as one of the Gold Award Hotels with the Resort’s Manor House being listed for the 1st time.

Following refurbishment in 2017, Plas yn Dre, Bala has also been listed as a Gold Award Guest Accommodation for the first time this year.

Lord Elis-Thomas, said: Being recognised as one of the Gold Award Hotels shows the commitment of these businesses to quality, delivering first class experience and going over and above our visitors’ expectations.”

Finance Secretary announces plan to support Welsh steel industry

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has published a new procurement advice note (PAN) which will continue the Welsh Government’s support for the Welsh and wider UK steel industry.

Professor Drakeford said: “The publication of the PAN is part of our ongoing commitment to support the long-term viability of steel making in Wales and recognises the importance of steel to the Welsh and UK economy as a provider of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs – both directly and in the supply chain – and as a key investor in further education and research and development.”

New fisheries protection vessels named

Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has announced the names of the new Welsh Government fisheries protection vessels.

The Cabinet Secretary announced two larger patrol vessels, built by Mainstay Marine Solutions, will be named the FPV Rhodri Morgan and the FPV Lady Megan, with two smaller enforcement RIB’s named the  FPV Gwenllian and the FPV Siwan.

Cabinet Secretary said: “Our new patrol vessels will ensure we can continue to effectively enforce fisheries and marine laws around the seas of Wales and help ensure we meet our commitment to manage our fish stocks sustainably. They will also help safeguard Wales’ fishing industry and our coastal communities in the years ahead.”

First Minister appoints new Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales

First Minister Carwyn Jones has appointed internationally renowned psychologist and neuroscientist, Professor Peter Halligan, to the post of Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “Professor Peter Halligan is an excellent scientist and world renowned psychologist and neuroscientist, whose research is internationally renowned and respected. His appointment is a huge boost to Wales’ growing science and research sector.”

Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, said: “The role of science and research in the Welsh economy is of growing importance and I am confident Professor Halligan will help us towards our ambition of create an innovative and ambitious science base in Wales."

Cabinet Secretary announces £6m initiative to help develop next generation of farmers

Lesley Griffiths has signalled her desire for young people to play an active leadership role in setting the future direction of Welsh agriculture by announcing two new initiatives to help develop them and their businesses.

The Cabinet Secretary said: “We need to be prepared for the challenges as we transition from the EU. The impact on our farmers is likely to be greater than for many other sectors. We must do all we can to build resilience and ensure we create an environment where business can prosper and individuals develop to become leaders of the industry.  The two initiatives I am announcing today will give opportunities to young people to develop themselves and their businesses in preparation for a world outside the EU.”

All Wales Prevention Zone declared to protect poultry from Avian Flu

Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has taken action to mitigate the risk of infection by introducing an all Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.

Cabinet Secretary said: “Although we have had, as yet, no findings of Avian Influenza in 2018, I consider this Prevention Zone and the requirement for enhanced biosecurity to be proportionate to the risk level faced in Wales.  It is essential we take steps to protect our poultry industry, international trade and the wider economy in Wales.”

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