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Welsh Government news-in-brief

Created on 12/03/2018 @ 10:28
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A round-up of the latest news from the Senedd.

£110m town centre regeneration programme launches in Pontypridd

An infrastructure investment programme worth more than £110m to help revitalise town centres has been launched in Pontypridd.

Housing and Regeneration Minister Rebecca Evans announced £10m of funding for the town’s Taff Vale development, the first project to get underway as part of the Welsh Government’s Building for the Future programme.

Rebecca Evans, who recently joined the Valleys Taskforce, visited the site to see how the development is progressing. She said: “Building for the Future will re-energise our town centres and create some bright opportunities for people and businesses up and down the country. It’s great to see this work is already underway in Pontypridd.”

Kirsty Williams announces £14 million for school repairs

Schools are to receive £14 million for small scale repairs and maintenance under plans announced by Education Secretary Kirsty Williams.

Kirsty Williams said: “This will address small scale maintenance costs, alleviating pressures on school budgets.  Every single school across Wales will benefit from this money and it will go directly to the frontline.”

Health Secretary gives “utmost thanks” to NHS, emergency services and social services staff

Following the severe weather across Wales the Health & Social Services Secretary, Vaughan Gething has thanked NHS, Emergency Services and social care staff as they continue dealing with the effects of storm Emma.

Vaughan Gething said: “I’d like to thank all our dedicated staff who have kept our health and social care services going over the past few days. I have been in awe of the lengths they have been going to, making sure our hospitals, primary and community care and other essential services were able to continue operating, despite pressures from all angles.

“I’d also like to thank all local government workers who ensured the roads were kept clear and the volunteers who ferried staff to and from work, or did anything they could to help in such difficult conditions, without whom, there would have been even more pressure on the NHS, social care and other emergency services.”

Minister urges more LGBT people to adopt or foster children in Wales

There is a real need for more LGBT people to adopt or foster children in Wales, Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies has said.

Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies said: “Adopting or fostering a child can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The responsibility for raising a child is considerable, but the reward of seeing a child grow up and achieve their true potential is such an incredible experience.

“1 in 8 adoptions in Wales during 2016-17 were to same-sex couples, but I want to encourage more LGBT people to consider adopting or fostering children.”

New powers to tackle waste crime

New powers have been introduced by Wales to help Natural Resources Wales and local authorities tackle illegal activity in the waste sector, estimated to cost the Welsh economy up to £32m a year.

Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn said: “These regulations provide two new powers. The first will enable Natural Resources Wales to restrict access to a waste site to stop more waste coming on the site while the second gives Natural Resources Wales and Local Authorities the ability to serve a notice on an occupier or land owner requiring them to take action to remove wastes unlawfully present.

“These new powers to take action against illegal waste operators will create a level playing field and help ensure operators who comply with the rules do not lose out to those who undermine and undercut the law-abiding majority.”

Welsh exports up by £1.8 billion

Economy Secretary, Ken Skates has welcomed latest figures showing that Wales exported £16.4 billion worth of goods in 2017 - an increase of £1.8 billion on the previous year.

Welcoming the statistics, Economy Secretary, Ken Skates said: “This £1.8 billion increase in Welsh exports really is excellent news. It is evidence of a great deal of hard work and tenacity by our exporting companies who are succeeding in their efforts to increase their share of overseas markets.”

A vibrant industry rewarded at the National Tourism Awards for Wales

With the awards season underway, winners of the National Tourism Awards for Wales were revealed during a ceremony for the Tourism Oscars at the Celtic Manor Resort - celebrating the best of Wales’ tourism industry.

Tourism Minister Lord Elis-Thomas attended the Awards, and said: “The National Tourism Awards are a showcase of the quality and variety of experiences which can be had here in Wales – and also show the commitment ad professionalism of our vibrant tourism sector in delivering these experiences and welcoming our visitors to Wales.”

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