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Welsh Lib Dems plan to stimulate the rural economy



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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Five shouts in five days for Lifeboat crews at Angle



ITS BEEN a really busy week for the crews at Angle with their first tasking to the 39 meter 300 tonne tall ship on Monday evening with engine failure and taking on water.

Crews then paged again in the early hours of Wednesday morning to a 11 meter sailing catamaran becalmed and low on fuel.

The training day Thursday was interrupted just after 12:30 PM with a tasking to a tender with three people on board that had upturned just off St Brides Haven.

Little & Broad Haven Lifeboat was also tasked along with Dale Coastguard.

Little and Broad Haven Lifeboat reached the three casualties and took them to shore where they were passed into the care of Dale Coastguard. Angle Lifeboat was stood down as it was passing through Jack’s Sound.

As the Lifeboat was returning from the shout another tasking request came through. A tanker had spotted an unmanned RIB approximately 10 miles SW of St Ann’s Head. Once on scene, after some investigation the RIB was believed to have come from a mooring and no people were missing. The Lifeboat towed the RIB back to Angle.

The Lifeboat was rehoused shortly after 4:00 PM

The 5th shout for Angle Lifeboat this week.

This was a large multi agency search.

The crew were paged at 09:35 AM to assist Tenby Lifeboats RNLI ALB and inshore Lifeboats to search for a missing person in the water following a report from a fisherman on rocks near Manorbier that he had lost sight of a person that had been rowing a dinghy toward shore and the occupant may be in the water. HM Coastguard Tenby had also been tasked to the search

The dinghy was handed over to Tenby inshore lifeboat crew after being picked up by a Range Safety boat who then brought it into the awaiting police at Manorbier Beach.

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 187 from St Athan and St Govans Coastguard Rescue Team had now also joined in the search for the missing person.

After several hours searching a man approached police at Manorbier, stating he’d been on the vessel off Manorbier, had got into difficulty and ended up in the water.

With the casualty now safely ashore, all units were stood down at 12:27PM.

Angle Lifeboat then headed to Tenby Harbour to pick up some sustenance, a fizzy drink and a chocolate brownie, before heading back to Angle and rehousing at 2:31PM. The lifeboat was refuelled and given a well earned wash ready for the next tasking.

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A40 closed at Scleddau due to collision between car and motorbike



EMERGENCY SERVICES have shut the A40 at in Scleddau due to a serious road collision.

The accident happened just before 2pm. The Herald understands that the collision involved a motorcycle and car at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

Police said: “Emergency services are currently on scene and dealing with the incident. Please find an alternative route if possible. Update to follow.”

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Moley’s Ambassador March to support those who have lost a child



ON SATURDAY (Jun 19), Andrew Cole (aka Moley) will set off on a 24 hour walk around Pembrokeshire with the aim of doing as many miles in as little time as possible. 

Moley is proud to have recently been made ambassador of the charity ‘2 Wish UponAa Star’ an organisation dedicated to supporting families that have lost a child under 25 years of age.

He will be setting off at 6am in the morning from Neyland and walking all day and night, finishing at 6am the following morning.

2 wish upon a star was set up by Rhian Mannings, who set up the charity after losing her own son.

By celebrating the lives of those lost, and offering support to families through their grief; Rhian and her team offer an essential service to the community and those families who have suffered the devastation of losing a loved one.

Appealing for support from the people of Pembrokeshire he said: “Please give generously to support the wonderful work of Rhian and her team. Also, if you happen to see me in the day, feel free to give me a beep of encouragement’

“If you would like to donate to Moley, and support the charity, you can visit his JustGiving page.”

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