Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

First Minister calls for a second EU referendum

Published

on

THE FIRST MINISTER of Wales, Mark Drakeford, has called for a second EU referendum in response to the imminent change in Conservative leadership.

After the results of the European Parliamentary Elections were announced, Mr Drakeford issued a statement, saying: “I warmly congratulate Jackie Jones on her election as a member of the European Parliament. Jackie, along with Matthew [Dorrance], Mary [Wimbury] and Mark [Whitcutt] served our party as candidates in what has been the most challenging of circumstances.

“Ever since the referendum in 2016, the Welsh Government has respected the result by arguing for a form of Brexit which would protect Welsh jobs and our economy. Labour colleagues in Westminster have done the same, most recently in negotiations with the UK Government.

“The election of a new Conservative leader changes all of that. It eliminates the chances of any agreed form of Brexit and it hugely increases the very real danger of a catastrophic no-deal exit from the EU. We cannot and will not stand by while that takes place.

“Faced with the damage of a hardline Tory Brexit, Welsh Labour believes that the final decision must be made by the public in a referendum. And, for the avoidance of any doubt, a Welsh Labour Government would campaign, in such a vote, for Wales to remain in the EU.

“We will work with any others who seek the same outcome.”

Last Thursday (May 24), Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she will quit as leader of the Conservatives on June 7, with it thought that a new leader could be in place by the end of July.

Many believe the party will elect a right wing leader who would be willing to propose a no deal Brexit, although there has been a majority against that option when Parliament voted on it before. Brexit policy was also key to the European Parliamentary Elections, where the Labour Party failed to attract votes, with its lead candidate Jackie Jones narrowly taking the final MEP seat in Wales.

The party claimed just 15.3% of the vote in Wales and 14.1% UK wide, with many pointing at the party’s indecision regarding its stance over Brexit as the reason for the loss of voters.

Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has been criticised by many in his party over his reluctance to openly support another referendum, as he attempted to appease both remain and leave voters with his Brexit policy. Mr Drakeford had been similarly reluctant to definitively back another referendum, but with this statement has gained the support of many in the party who wish for a second vote.

The European election results were also poor for the Conservatives, getting just 6.5% of the vote in Wales, and 9.09% across the UK. Governments often perform poorly in European elections, as the public express their disappointment with the ruling party, but this was the Conservatives’ worst ever result in a nationwide election by some way.

The party did not manage to come first in a single council area. The Brexit Party gained 32.5% of the vote in Wales, with Nathan Gill and James Wells claiming two of the country’s four MEP seats for Nigel Farage’s party. Plaid Cymru won 19.6% of the vote, with Jill Evans retaining her seat as Plaid beat Labour for the first time in a Wales-wide vote.

Andrew RT Davies, AM for South Wales Central and former leader of the Welsh Conservative Party, said: “The European Elections proved extremely difficult for the two major parties, but a second referendum is certainly not the answer. Labour promised to respect the Brexit vote, but rerunning the referendum would completely tear up this pledge.

“Regrettably, the First Minister has buckled at the first sign of discontent from his Labour colleagues who have been in denial ever since the people of Wales voted to leave the European Union back in 2016. That’s not leadership.

“People in Wales voted to leave and that should be respected and now delivered – anything else will have severe consequences for democracy as we know it in this country.”

In the 2016 referendum, Wales saw a turnout of 71.7% of its eligible voters, with 52.53% voting to leave and 47.47% voting to remain.

News

Welsh Ministers refuse to offer safeguards for Withybush A&E

Published

on

THE FIRST MINISTER and Health Minister of Wales are united in their decision not to offer any reassurances to the safeguarding of A&E services at Withybush Hospital.

With the recent u-turn of Cwm Taff health board not to remove services at Royal Glamorgan Hospital, the ministers have come under pressure to offer reassurances to the future of Withybush services.

The First Minister, Mark Drakeford has said the decision was down to local health boards, with Vaughan Gething, Health Minister taking a similar stance.

Speaking at a coronavirus briefing on Monday, July 6, when asked whether now as the time for the Welsh Government to encourage Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) to reverse it’s closure plans, Mr Drakeford said he would not encourage the health board to make a similar change.

Mr Drakeford said: “It is for the local health board to make those decisions, I feel like I have lived in this conversation over many years.”

“When I was health minister, I was repeatedly having to answer questions claiming that various parts of Withybush Hospital were about to be closed.

“They didn’t turn out to be true because the health board has an aim of sustaining as many services as can safely be provided at Withybush as in it’s other settings.”

In 2018, plans to withdraw A&E services from Withybush were announced as part of long term plans to downgrade Withybush to a community hospital.

Withybush has already seen the downgrade to its maternity services, with it now being a mostly day time service with expectant mums with pregnancy complications or those giving birth after 5pm mostly having to travel across the border into Carmarthenshire to give birth.

Mr Drakeford has said that HDUHB knew whether A&E services were necessary more than him.

Mr Drakeford added: “They are better placed than I am to know what the capability and the capacity of the services on the ground is, what demand that there is for it, and I know that they will talk very carefully with their local populations – as Cwm Taff health board did in the case of The Royal Glamorgan.”

Speaking at Plenary last Wednesday (Jul 8) Vaughan Gething, was asked by Pembrokeshire MS Paul Davies, the Welsh Government’s position on the delivery of A&E services at Pembrokeshire and if they would remain at Withybush.

Mr Davies said: “You’ll be aware, there is a strong campaign to retain A&E services at Withybush General Hospital.

“Given the recent news that Cwm Taff health board has decided to retain A&E services at The Royal Glamorgan Hospital, the people of Pembrokeshire are now looking at that decision and, quite rightly, asking for the same safeguards.”

The Health Minister said that the decision to overturn the removal of services at Royal Glamorgan Hospital, was due to a consultation by Cwm Taff health board after they were able to recruit more staff which would help them safely deliver that service.

Mr Gething said “The member will also know, over a long period of time, the challenges that have been faced in delivering healthcare across Wales and the plans for the future delivery of healthcare.”

He added “The health board is now planning for the continued provision of essential and key services alongside caring for patients affected by Covid-19.”

Mr Drakeford has also confirmed that a review has been carried out with regards to field hospitals, like Bluestone.

“The current thinking is that we will want to retain field hospital capacity here in Wales against the danger there is a second spike in the autumn or winter.

“But we may not need field hospital capacity on the scale that we produced it in this first wave.”

Continue Reading

News

Milford Waterfront ready to welcome back visitors

Published

on

MILFORD WATERFRONT says it is ready to welcome visitors back to eat, shop and enjoy. The Port said in a statement that businesses worked hard throughout the lockdown to ensure they were ready to welcome customers when restrictions were eased, with measures in place to keep people safe, including social distancing and sanitisation. Graphics have also been installed on location to help visitors maintain social distancing on site.

During the lockdown many businesses at Milford Waterfront adapted and continued offering services to customers, with takeaway options, as well as online ordering and delivery services. With the recent announcements from Welsh Government, retail businesses are starting to re-open to the public, and restaurants and cafés are preparing to offer outdoor, sit-down services. Health, beauty and wellbeing businesses are also preparing to re-open shortly.

Clare Stowell, Head of Commercial Development at Milford Waterfront commented: “It’s great to see so many more businesses re-opening after a long but necessary shutdown period. The safety of the business owners and their customers is of course a top priority, and we are looking forward to seeing visitors safely returning to Milford Waterfront again. It has been so positive to see so many businesses adapting throughout the lockdown, and we have seen how strong the community spirit is in Milford Haven during this time. We’re now ready, with social distancing guidance in place, so that businesses and visitors can make the most of the summer.”

More information on the businesses at Milford Waterfront can be found on: www.milfordwaterfront.co.uk, and information on businesses across Milford Haven can be found here. Milford Waterfront’s latest blog also details how businesses are planning on welcoming back visitors, and can be read by clicking here.

Continue Reading

News

21st Century School Project shortlisted for award

Published

on

ONE of Pembrokeshire County Council’s biggest construction projects to date has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The £38.3m project to build Ysgol Harri Tudur/ Henry Tudor School in Pembroke has been announced as a finalist in the Constructing Excellence in Wales’ ‘Buildings Project of the Year’ Award 2020.

The scheme was funded jointly by Pembrokeshire County Council and the Welsh Government as part of the 21st Century Schools & Colleges Programme.

When the building opened in September 2018, it represented the largest investment in the programme so far by the County Council which commissioned Bouygues UK to carry out the two-year building project.

Ysgol Harri Tudur/ Henry Tudor School replaced the old Pembroke School, providing education for more than 1,400 pupils and a 30-place autism centre.

Cllr Bob Kilmister, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for the 21st Century Schools and Education programme, said: “We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for a CEW award, which are recognised across the Welsh construction environment as the most significant celebration of best practice.

“Ysgol Harri Tudur/ Henry Tudor School is an outstanding example of our successful 21st Century Schools & Colleges programme, which is continuing to create first-class learning environments for pupils across Pembrokeshire and enabling them to achieve better educational outcomes.”

The winners of the CEW Awards 2020 will be announced at a virtual ceremony in September.

Continue Reading
News18 hours ago

Milford Waterfront ready to welcome back visitors

MILFORD WATERFRONT says it is ready to welcome visitors back to eat, shop and enjoy. The Port said in a...

News19 hours ago

21st Century School Project shortlisted for award

ONE of Pembrokeshire County Council’s biggest construction projects to date has been shortlisted for a prestigious award. The £38.3m project...

News19 hours ago

HMRC invites hospitality industry to register for ‘Eat Out to Help Out’

RESTAURANTS and other establishments serving food for on premises consumption can now sign up to a new government initiative aimed...

News3 days ago

Busy return to Welsh beaches for RNLI lifeguards as the charity urges parents to be beach safe

RNLI LIFEGUARDS have had a busy return to service in Wales with two lives saved in the opening weeks. Now...

News4 days ago

Eight cows shot dead in ‘serious incident’ at Castlemartin Firing Range

EIGHT cattle have been killed and four have been injured after an accident at Castlemartin Firing Range. The incident earlier...

News4 days ago

Dyfed-Powys issues more than 1,700 fines during lockdown

DYFED-POWYS POLICE issued more than 1,700 fines during the lockdown period, the force has announced. Between March 27, when fixed...

News4 days ago

Fifteen Pembrokeshire projects to share £221,000

PROJECTS across Pembrokeshire are to receive a cash boost after the latest round of funding generated from a premium on...

News5 days ago

Herald refreshes look after lockdown

THIS WEEK, to mark our seventh anniversary, we’ve made some big changes to The Pembrokeshire Herald. Apart from it being...

News5 days ago

Education Minister announces ‘back to school’ plans for September

DECISION backed with £29 million to recruit, recover and raise standards The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has today confirmed that...

News5 days ago

Self-employed urged to apply for grant if they’ve lost income due to Covid-19

APPROXIMATELY 2,400 self-employed people in Pembrokeshire whose business has lost income due to coronavirus have not yet claimed a government...

Popular This Week