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Welsh Lib Dems plan to stimulate the rural economy

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Welsh Lib Dems plan to stimulate the rural economyNot enough is being done to help the economic recovery in rural Wales, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will claim in their Assembly debate on Wednesday.

The Shadow Economy Minister, Eluned Parrott and Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, William Powell, will lead a debate calling on the Welsh Government to implement a three point plant to get the rural economy back on track.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling on the Welsh Government to:

· examine a community bank structure to sustain the presence of local banks in rural communities, and to work with credit unions to increase lending to businesses;

· work with businesses in the agricultural, renewable energy and tourism sectors to identify ways to overcome barriers to increasing the supply of rural apprenticeships;

· make universal access to broadband an obligation for providers and to work with Ofcom and network operators to investigate the shared provision of infrastructure in rural areas to maximise coverage. William Powell AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Rural Affairs Minister said:

“As an Assembly Member that represents a huge rural region, I speak to many small and medium size businesses and they tell me that they feel that they are being left behind in the economic recovery. The rural economy faces significant challenges that urban areas do often do not encounter.

“Given Labour’s lack of understanding about the needs and concerns of rural Wales, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling on this government to implement a three point plan to give rural Wales a fighting chance of coming out of the economic downturn stronger. We want to see the Welsh Government examine how rural SMEs can have better access to finance, more apprenticeship opportunities and have increased access to the internet.

“In terms of banking services, rural Wales has endured a substantial number of branch closures. For our economy to grow it is essential that residents and small business owners have full and proper access to banking services just like any other part of the UK.

“Unfortunately, due to the rate of closures and a woefully inadequate broadband network, this is increasingly not the case – most notably across rural Wales. The Welsh Government must act swiftly to address this, and fully explore innovative options of branch management and ownership.

“It is a sad fact that Wales has a large proportion of premises in potential not-spots and the lowest availability of superfast broadband services. The majority of these premises are in rural Wales. “Broadband is key to everyday, business activities, from contacting customers, ordering supplies, sourcing new tariffs for energy and services or managing finances. Inadequate internet and mobile connections mean that many businesses in Mid and West Wales may be getting left behind, missing out on the benefits of being able to compete in new and wider markets.”

Eluned Parrott, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Economy Minister said:

“Jobs and economic growth remain a priority for the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

“It is vitally important that all parts of Wales, urban and rural, benefit from the economic recovery. For that to happen, Wales needs an economic plan which recognises the specific challenges and opportunities in rural areas.

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that apprenticeships must play a key part in healing our economy. While there has been an increase in businesses expressing an interest in apprenticeships, this trend has been less apparent in rural areas. This must change. The Welsh Labour Government needs to be encouraging employers in all parts of Wales to take on apprentices and to show the benefits that this can bring.

“Sadly, according to Welsh Government statistics, the number of apprenticeships in Wales has decreased. We need to be giving people the skills that will allow them to build a career and become part of a high-skill, high-value economy in Wales for the future.”

 

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Electrician has ‘fallen from height’ at Neyland Community Hub

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EMERGENCY SERVICES are attending to an injured electrician who has fallen from a height at Neyland Community Hub, whist working on the project.

The air ambulance has been called and is now in Neyland, ready to medivac the casualty.

Cllr Paul Miller, Development Director at Neyland CIC said in a statement: “This afternoon one of our electrical contract staff has unfortunately fallen from height during the course of his work. He has been attended to on site by paramedics and is currently being prepared for “transfer to hospital by air ambulance.

“The thoughts of everyone at Neyland CIC are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

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Local politician reacts to Corbyn’s suspension

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A LOCAL politician has commented on Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension from the Labour party.

With the announcement that former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the party, local parties have reacted.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who became leader in April, suspended predecessor Jeremy Corbyn from the party after Corbyn said the scale of it’s anti-Semitism problem had been dramaticall overstated.

In an official statement, Labour said that the suspension came after Corbyn’s failure to retract his words.

Jeremy Corby reacted to the suspension by stating he was going to strongly contest it, calling the move ‘political’.

Corbyn in Haverfordwest before election

Commenting on the news that Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party after an inquiry found the party was “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” during his time in charge, Paul Davies MS, Leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament said:

“Mark Drakeford was the first Senedd Member to back Jeremy Corbyn for leader of the Labour Party. He needs to confirm whether he supports Sir Keir Starmer in suspending Corbyn or if he backs his political idol.

“The Jewish community in Wales, alongside all those who have fought against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, deserve to know whether he’s with them or against them.”

The decision was made by Starmer following the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report.

Speaking on the findings, Starmer said the report had brought forward a day of shame for the Labour party.

The report found 23 instances of what they called ‘inappropriate involvement’ by Corbyn’s office – with the Labour party responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act.

These were: Failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints, Harrassment and political interference in Anti-Semitism complaints.

Speaking on the suspension, Jeremy Corbyn said: “I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me. I’ve made absolutely clear that those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong.

“It’s also undeniable that a false impression has been created of the number of members accused of antisemitism, as polling shows: that is what has been overstated, not the seriousness of the problem.

“I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism. And I urge all members to stay calm and focused – while this problem is resolved amicably, as I believe it will be – to defeat this awful government, which is further impoverishing the poorest in our society.

The implementation of the recommendations following the report will be ‘as soon as possible in the New Year’ promises Sir Kier.

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Penally asylum seekers warned for breaking Fire-Break Lockdown rules

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POLICE have warned asylum seekers staying at Penally camp that there is currently a Firebreak Lockdown in Wales, and that they must follow the rules or face legal action.

Residents in Penally have said that they have groups of asylum seekers from the facility walking through the village.

“They were shouting, and drinking with a police van following them” one resident said.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police issued the following statement on the incident: “On the evening of Tuesday, October 27, police were made aware that a number of men were on the village green in Penally, breaking the current Welsh Government restrictions.

“The men, from the Penally Asylum Accommodation Centre, were spoken to and advised to return to their accommodation. Officers followed the men to ensure they returned to the centre.

“Officers will always aim to engage, educate and encourage adherence to the national measures with enforcement being the last action.

“The management team at the centre will be advised so that the firebreak requirements can be reinforced to the service users resident at the centre,” they added.

Last weekend police issued a fixed penalty notice to a female who was deemed to be breaking the current lockdown rules by traveling to the Centre.

A spokesman told The Pembrokeshire Herald said: “A female who was spending time with the asylum seekers over the weekend was advised about her non-essential travel to the asylum accommodation centre”

“After failing to adhere to a warning she was issued with a Covid fixed penalty notice and made to leave the area.”

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