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Welsh Government news-in-brief

Created on 26/03/2018 @ 07:22
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A round-up of the past week's news from the halls of power in Cardiff.

Children’s Minister hears views on plans to end the physical punishment of children in Wales

Children in Swansea met the Children’s Minister to have their say on the Welsh Government’s plans to end the physical punishment of children in Wales.

Huw Irranca-Davies said: “It was great to hear the views of the children I met in Swansea today about our plans to bring to an end the physical punishment of children by removing the legal defence of reasonable punishment.

“As a Government, we want all children in Wales to have the best possible start in life. We want to support parents in Wales to raise happy, healthy and confident children. Removing the defence of reasonable punishment builds on the growing attitudinal change of parents already underway.”

Brave, bold and brilliant winners are announced as winners of the 2018 St David Awards

The winners of this year’s St David Awards have been revealed at a special ceremony at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. The Awards were created to recognise the great deeds and often extraordinary contributions made by people from all walks of life.

Congratulating the winners, First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said: “The winners at this evening’s event are a true credit to your families, friends, communities, and to Wales as a whole. Many congratulations to you and also to everyone who was a finalist. 

“I know there are exceptional things being performed by inspirational and aspiring people here in Wales. As I travel across the country, I get to see first-hand the efforts that people make, day in day out to make our small but mighty country great.”

New law to protect Welsh devolution passed by Assembly

Assembly Members have voted by a large majority to back a Welsh Government Bill to protect devolution.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “Assembly Members have voted convincingly to back our Bill to protect devolution and make sure powers that are currently devolved, remain devolved.

“The UK Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill, as currently drafted, would allow them to take control of laws and policy areas that are devolved. This is wholly unacceptable and must change.”

New employability plan aims to tackle unemployment and economic inactivity

Eliminating the gap in unemployment and economic inactivity rates between Wales and the UK average within ten years; reducing the number of people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training; (NEET); increasing the number of disabled people in work; and eliminating the qualification gap between Wales and the rest of the UK are the main aims of the Welsh Government’s new employability plan.

Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan said: “There are several challenges ahead of us. Our population is ageing, technology is developing ever faster and the political and economic uncertainty around Brexit means there will be disruption to our labour market and economy.

“This employability plan sets out how we intend to face these challenges not to simply weather the storm but emerge from it stronger. We cannot do this alone. It will require a great deal of effort from local authorities, further education and private training providers, the third sector, employers and of course individuals, but together we can seize this opportunity to improve the prosperity of Wales.”

£1 million to tackle period poverty and dignity

£1 million from the Welsh Government will be used to help address period poverty in our communities and improve school facilities to ensure dignity for girls and young women, Leader of the House Julie James AM has announced.

Leader of the House Julie James AM said: “We know from research that many girls are starting their periods at a younger age and, while secondary schools often have the facilities they need in place, they can be lacking in primary schools. 

“I want to ensure all girls and young women studying at schools in Wales have access to appropriate facilities which give them the dignity they deserve.”

Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams AM said: “The physical, emotional and mental health of our pupils is paramount. This funding will help ensure that these facilities in our schools meet the needs of young women and girls.”

“Our children are our future – they must have a say on Brexit” – Huw Irranca-Davies

The Welsh Government is to launch a wide-ranging consultation with children and young people to ensure they have a say about the Brexit process, the Minister for Children Huw Irranca-Davies has announced.

Minister for Children, Huw Irranca-Davies said: “Brexit will bring about some of the biggest changes our children and young people will need to face in their adult lives, so I’m very much looking forward to hearing their views and to do everything I can to ensure they are acted upon.”

New plans to strengthen local government

The Welsh Government has published new plans to strengthen local government in Wales.

Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services, Alun Davies said: “The next step must be game-changing. I believe there are many in local government who understand this and I am committed to working with them to secure change. I have already announced proposals to increase participation and improve the democratic process for everyone in Wales, today I am launching a consultation on further re-invigorating the local government landscape.”

NHS Wales responds to busiest winter on record

Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, has responded to the latest NHS performance statistics, published this week.

Vaughan Gething said: “These figures confirm we are experiencing the busiest winter on record. Along with record levels of emergency admissions, we’ve seen the highest levels of flu and proportion of elderly patients admitted for many years.

"Despite this pressure the vast majority of patients have received timely, professional care when they need it. I would like to thank NHS Wales, social services and voluntary staff for their outstanding commitment and professionalism in delivering that care during this relentlessly challenging period.”

Environment Minister announces £600,000 for new Wales Coastal Monitoring Centre

Minister for Environment Hannah Blythyn has announced £600,000 of funding towards a new national Coastal Monitoring Centre.

The Minister said: “I’m pleased to announce today an investment of £600,000 towards a new Wales Coastal Monitoring Centre. The centre will help inform future investment decisions on a national basis, helping reduce the risk to our coast and coastal communities.”

£1.1m grant aid scheme for small and medium size slaughterhouses

Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has announced a new £1.1 million Food Business Investment scheme package of grant aid for small and medium sized slaughterhouses in Wales.

The Cabinet Secretary said: “Today, I am pleased to announce I will soon be launching a £1.1million Food Business Investment scheme package of grant aid specifically for small and medium sized slaughterhouses in Wales.  This support will enable these businesses to invest in improvements so they become more resilient and are able to continue to provide slaughtering facilities.”

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