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Welsh Government news-in-brief

Created on 03/03/2018 @ 09:20
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A round-up of the latest news from the Senedd this week.

£127m investment in Valero’s Pembrokeshire site supported by Welsh Government

Major investment signals confidence in the Welsh economy.

First Minister Carwyn Jones, who met with Valero while in Washington this week, has welcomed the news, describing it as a vote of confidence in the Pembrokeshire site and the wider Welsh economy.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “The Welsh Government has been working closely with Valero in supporting this investment, which will allow the company to grow and compete successfully in a global marketplace, ensuring sustainability of employment well in to the future. This is great news for the site’s 1000 plus employees and contractors, and a huge boost to the Welsh economy as we celebrate St David’s Day.”

EU approval unlocks major funding boost for Carmarthenshire

Tourism Minister, Lord Elis Thomas, visited Pendine to announce that an initiative has taken another step forward after receiving the green light for £3 million EU funds as part of a £7m investment programme for the area.

The Pendine Tourism Attractor Project in Carmarthenshire, will feature a new Sands of Speed state of the art museum dedicated to Pendine’s historic association with Land Speed; an external enhancement and events facility with exhibition esplanade, and a 42 bed hostel.

Tourism Minister, Lord Elis Thomas said: “Our aim through the Tourism Attractor Destination programme is to focus efforts and investment on key projects in each region so we have a real impact on Wales’ profile in this globally competitive market.  Projects such as this in Pendine will give people compelling reasons to visit Wales and I look forward to plans which I have seen today coming to fruition – this will be a major boost for Carmarthenshire and south west Wales.”

Health and social services prepared for cold spell, but please take care & choose well – Health Secretary urges

With warnings for severe weather in place across Wales, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, has urged people to stay safe and choose well during the cold weather.

Vaughan Gething said: “People can help to make a difference by using our health services sensibly. Only call 999 and attend A&E for serious illness or a genuine emergency. Please follow Welsh Ambulance on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.

“If people are unsure, they can check our Choose Well or the NHS Direct Wales websites for advice. Choosing well means you and your family will get the best treatment and also allows busy NHS services to help the people who need them the most.”

New EU funded project set to attract more visitors to Welsh and Irish coastal regions

A €2m project to encourage more visitors to explore lesser known areas of Ireland and Wales has been announced by the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Dafydd Elis-Thomas.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM, said: “Celtic Routes is a great example of EU funds being used to benefit cross border areas in Ireland and Wales by encouraging visitors to explore the local scenery, hospitality and culture of wider regions , and not just tourist hot spots.”

First Minister in the US and Canada to boost trade with Wales’ most important business partner

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has been meeting with business leaders and politicians in New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Montreal this week to present Wales as a great place to do business.

Speaking ahead of the visit, First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “Exciting opportunities for trade with North America lie ahead and, in my discussions with American businesses and politicians, I will reaffirm our commitment to boosting trade between Wales and the USA.”

Hannah Blythyn delivers £7.5m boost for recycling services

Just days after Wales was, once again, confirmed as the UK’s best recycling nation, Minister for Environment Hannah Blythyn has underlined the Welsh Government’s ambition to become a zero waste nation by approving over £7.5m to help local authorities continue to improve recycling services.

Hannah Blythyn said: “Our recycling achievements have been massively boosted through improvements and expertise provided by Welsh Government funding. This is why I am approving over £7.5m for this year towards the Collaborative Change Programme.”

New law proposed to protect Welsh devolution

The Welsh Government has outlined plans to introduce an emergency bill to protect devolution.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “We remain constructive partners in talks with the UK government about changes to their EU Withdrawal Bill – and this remains our preferred outcome. However, we are running out of time and have developed our bill to prepare for a situation where the UK government does not adequately amend its bill to respect the devolution settlement.”

Kirsty Williams announces £3 million of support for Wales’ brightest and most talented pupils

Wales’ brightest and most talented pupils are set to benefit from £3 million of support over two years as part of plans announced by Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams.

Kirsty Williams said: “The investment I’m announcing today means that we will be able to reach these learners at a much earlier stage, ensuring they have the support and opportunities to reach their full potential.”

First Minister officially opens Montreal office

First Minister Carwyn Jones has officially opened the Welsh Government’s new office in Montreal.

The First Minister said: “The opening of our new office in Montreal highlights the positive and proactive steps we are taking to increase our presence in key global markets such as Canada, and grow trade and inward investment. This has never been more important as we prepare for the unwanted possibility of trade outside of the EU’s Customs Union and the Single Market.”

Two new doors to home ownership open in Wales

Two new initiatives to help more people to buy their own homes have been launched by Housing and Regeneration Minister Rebecca Evans AM.

Rebecca Evans said: “These schemes will help people to get on the property ladder today; instead of spending years saving for a deposit they will spend those years living in their home.”

Poultry keepers reminded of the importance of biosecurity and to be vigilant for signs of Avian Flu

The Welsh Government has been informed of a finding of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N6 virus in a wild bird in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan.

Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said: “The finding of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N6 in a wild bird in Barry follows recent findings of the disease in wild birds in England and across Europe.  This finding is not unexpected at this time of year and there is a constant risk of the disease at this time.

“It follows our recent calls for bird keepers to be vigilant and practice high levels of biosecurity and the introduction of an All Wales Prevention Zone on 25 January to mitigate the risk to poultry and other captive birds. This remains in place and the existing enhanced biosecurity requirements are still considered to be proportionate following this finding.”

Wales’ busiest year yet for TV and film production

The last 12 months look set to be the Welsh Government’s busiest yet for supporting TV and film production Economy Secretary Ken Skates has said, with high profile feature film and TV programmes such as Journey’s End, Requiem, Britannia, Kiri and Keeping Faith all cementing Wales’ reputation as a first class place to film.

Wales’ Economy Secretary, Ken Skates said: “Our hard work and investment has helped us to develop Wales’ reputation as a centre of excellence for high-end television drama production; as a country that is geared up to support the sector and as a strong and affordable alternative to London.”

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