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National Assembly approval of Final Budget 2015-16

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jane_huttFINANCE and Government Business Minister Jane Hutt has welcomed the National Assembly’s approval of the Welsh Government’s ‘Priorities for Wales’ Final Budget 2015-16.

The Final Budget 2015-16 will safeguard key public services and boost the economy via investment in infrastructure despite year on year cuts to the Welsh Government Budget by the UK Government. It includes:

• £425m of extra funding over two years to the Welsh NHS in order to deliver high quality, sustainable health services. Together with the £70m revenue funding allocated to health as a result of the Autumn Statement, this means:

• Increased investment in our Welsh NHS by more than half a billion pounds over two years; • Protecting schools funding by 1% above changes to the Welsh budget overall, meaning an additional £106m will have been provided to schools over this Spending Review period;

• Supporting children, families and deprived communities, including protecting funding for Flying Start, doubling the number of children benefi tting to 36,000; • Continued investment in a range of employment programmes, including funding through Jobs Growth Wales. Jobs Growth Wales is exceeding its targets. The programme has now created almost 16,500 job opportunities with almost 13,500 young people fi lling these jobs.

• Signifi cant capital investment for infrastructure with over £100m to support the priorities in the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan, including £11m for immediate investment in 2014-15.

• A focus on preventive measures and early intervention – directing resources to measures that help avoid problems occurring in the fi rst place, interventions which will address the pressures on public services and achieving a better quality of life for current and future generations. Faced with reducing budgets the Welsh Government has also used innovative approaches to support vital infrastructure investment across Wales, including the recently announced £500m fund for the next stage of the 21st Century Schools Programme and £150m for fl ood and coastal risk management.

Welcoming the vote, Jane Hutt told The Herald:“Our Final Budget has been shaped by our Priorities for Wales and refl ects the increasingly tough decisions we have had to take due to reducing budgets. Despite a real terms reduction in our budget of about 9% over this Assembly term, we have done everything we can to mitigate the impact on public services and communities and to provide a ‘safety net’ for the most vulnerable and hardest hit and to boost investment in our infrastructure vital for a balanced economic recovery.

“We are confi dent that our spending plans will support us to deliver our priorities within the funding available and have published a responsible and sustainable budget, which is also underpinned by our principles of social justice and fairness. It supports key investment in health and young people, protecting services that people the length and breadth of Wales rely on.”

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Pembroke Dock: Two in hospital following Fort Road car accident

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EMERGENCY SERVICES dealt with what has been described by a witness as a “horrific car accident” in the Pembroke Dock area on Wednesday night (Jun 12).

A 23-year-old woman, driving a black BMW, travelled down Fort Road at speed, hit a low wall, catapulting the vehicle some considerable distance across a picnic area. The vehicle ended up irreparably damaged on the beach – which was luckily not in use at the time – landing next to the old Cambridge Gun Tower.

No other vehicles seem to have been involved, police said.

The driver has been arrested but remains in hospital, one passenger is in a critical but stable condition, in Cardiff, and a second passenger sustained only minor injuries.

A spokesperson for Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 10.45pm on Wednesday night (Jun 23), to reports of a road traffic accident near the Fort Road car park in Pembroke Dock.

“We attended the scene with one rapid response vehicle, two emergency ambulances and our Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service.

“Two people were taken to University Hospital Wales, Cardiff for further treatment.”

The police are appealing in the media for information following the crash.

An official statement from the police reads as follows: “We were called to Fort Road, Pembroke Dock, at around 10.45pm on Wednesday night to reports of a single-vehicle collision. Ambulance and fire service also attended.

“A 19-year-old man was taken to the Heath Hospital in Cardiff and remains in a critical but stable condition.

“A second passenger attended hospital for minor injuries but has since been discharged. A 23-year-old woman was arrested, and currently remains in hospital.

“Anyone who witnessed the collision but who has not yet spoken to us should get in touch by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, visiting our website, or calling 101.

UPDATE: 24.06.2021, 15:47HRS

On Thursday (Jun 24) said that the female who was arrested was de-arrested because of the need for medical treatment, and is “no longer under arrest at this time.”

The police also added that their investigation was “still active”.

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Pembrokeshire call handler helps deliver Llanelli couple’s new baby

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A 999 CALL HANDLER from Pembrokeshire has helped deliver a Llanelli couple’s baby.

Father-of-two Chris Bassett, from Hook, answered the call from the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centre in Carmarthen, and whose instructions on loudspeaker enabled the pair to deliver their 8lb 1oz new arrival safely.

Thanks to Chris, Troy Smith, 34, and partner Abigail Jones, 33, delivered baby Arabella Dilys Smith in the bedroom of their Llanelli home.

Troy said: “I’ve never felt adrenaline like it but I knew I had to focus on the situation for Abigail and the baby’s sake.

“It all happened so quickly, but Chris’ voice on the other end of the phone kept us calm.”

Abigail, a teacher at Ysgol Carreg Hir in Briton Ferry, went into labour at around 10.00pm on Thursday, June 3, and made a trip to hospital, where nurses confirmed she was in the early stages.

The couple returned to their Pwll home, but their soon-to-be daughter had other ideas.

Troy said: “At around 4.30am, Abigail developed a lot of pain and said she had an urge to push.

“I thought, ‘Right, this is happening’ and phoned an ambulance because I knew I’d be delivering the baby right there and then.”

It was Chris, a former RAF Aerospace Systems Operator, who picked up the call in the early hours of Friday, June 4.

The 29-year-old, who has been with the Welsh Ambulance Service for 18 months, said: “As soon as I answered the call, it was obvious that Troy and Abigail were in distress, as anyone would be in that situation.

“The priority was to get Abigail in a comfortable position to deliver the baby safely.

“For me, it was about giving them clear instructions while trying to keep them both calm.”

Troy added: “I just did what came naturally. When you’re in that situation, you just do it.

“As soon as Arabella came, I felt this wave of relief and I just couldn’t believe how gorgeous she was.

“Chris was so professional and handled the situation really well.

“He gave us all the information and kept us calm.”

Ambulance crews arrived soon after, and took Abigail to Carmarthen’s Glangwili General Hospital, where she was treated for shock before being discharged the following day.

Abigail said: “The whole thing was petrifying because I just never expected to be having the baby at home, but we’re so grateful to Chris for helping us to deliver Arabella safely.”

Chris added: “In your role as a 999 call handler, you’re helping people in their darkest hour, but I’m just glad this call had a happy ending.

“This is the third baby I’ve helped to deliver during my time at the ambulance service, but the first one I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.”

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Covid causes partial school closure at Haverfordwest High VC

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A PARTIAL school closure is in force today at Haverfordwest High VC school after a pupil in year 9 has tested positive for coronavirus.

All students in year 9 must stay at home , isolate and await further instruction while the school completes all of the necessary Track and Trace processes.

In a statement released by the school, they said: “We have been informed that a Year 9 pupil has tested positive for COVID-19.

“We wish them a speedy recovery.

“As a precautionary measure and to enable us to complete all of the necessary Track and Trace processes, the school will be closed to Year 9 Pupils today.

“The school remains open to all other year groups.

“Until further notice, Year 9 students should stay at home and isolate until further instructions are given. Lessons for all other year groups will continue as usual. Unless your child is in Year 9 they should attend school.”

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