Connect with us


Prime minister visits Brains Brewery



WELSH brewer and hospitality retailer SA Brain & Co Ltd received a visit from David Cameron and his wife Samantha today, as part of a trip to brainsbrewerythe Welsh capital this week. During the hour’s visit to the Cardiff brewery, Mr Cameron and Samantha met with senior members of the Brain’s management team including Chairman John Rhys, Chief Executive Scott Waddington and Finance Director Martin Reed.

Head brewer, Bill Dobson, led a tour of the brewery yard show-casing the brewing process for legendary Welsh Ales; including Brains SA, SA Gold and The Rev James. The visit concluded with a demonstration in the Brewery’s development kitchen where Catering Chef, David John and a team of chefs assisted the Prime Minister and his wife in preparing a Brains Black and Stilton pie. Reflecting on his afternoon’s work, Mr John commented; “it’s not every day you get to prepare your favourite pie for the PM!

It was a real privilege to share some of the skills our chefs are acquiring through their NVQ development program with Brains and an honour to show off the high quality food that is readily available in our pubs” Scott Waddington, Chief Executive, added: “Clearly we are proud to welcome any major party leader to visit our business, and were delighted to host Mr and Mrs Cameron.

To have the opportunity to share the passion of one of Wales’ best known businesses with the Prime Minister and to share our focus on developing people and providing exceptional customer experiences was a real honour’ Brains, who employ around 2,000 staff across their pubs and coff ee estate, recently announced strong annual results with operating profi t growing by 113%.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


‘I was left suicidal’ says Welsh MP who assaulted wife, as he states he is not rejoining Plaid Cymru



A WELSH MP who received a police caution for assaulting his wife will not be representing Plaid Cymru at Westminster.

Jonathan Edwards, who represents Carmarthen East and Dinefwr was suspended by Plaid following his July 2020 arrest on suspicion of assault

Last week the MP’s now ex-wife Emma Edwards issued a statement saying she was appalled that he had been readmitted to the party.

Plaid said it was reviewing the situation again.

In his personal statement Mr Edwards said: “It is with deep regret that I announce that I will not be rejoining the Plaid Cymru Westminster group to allow a period of calm reflection. I wish to state at the outset that I have never made any public comments in relation to the event that led to my arrest or my marriage.

“My priority has always been my children and not my career. Suffice to say that my wife and I are nearing the end of a divorce process and I will not be responding to any comments she chooses to make while I am a Member of Parliament and our children are young. I will say only this, that relationships can often be very complex. I take full responsibility for the action that led to my arrest and subsequent police caution. I will regret that day to the end of my life.

“The past two years have been a period of deep reflection in which I enrolled on a domestic violence awareness course which has helped me understand the impact my action had on others. The story of a relationship however does not begin and end with one isolated incident.

“Throughout this period I have complied fully with the party and their requirements. I have never made any public statements about my personal life or my concerns about how the party was dealing with my case.

“I know that some will disagree but I feel that we are in a very dangerous environment when there is no space for anyone in the public sphere to speak honestly about mistakes they make, to be allowed to show genuine remorse, and to try and build a better life. I am concerned that there has been no distinction in any of the discussions about the difference between an incident and a pattern of behaviour.

“Over the part two years there have been periods when I have felt suicidal as my personal and professional life crumbled and I was offered no safeguarding by the party. I am also concerned that in recent weeks senior politicians within the party have misused their positions of power by subjecting me to vindictive and vengeful coordinated political attacks.

“My politics has always been driven by the desire to build a fairer country for our communities and I hope that those in the party will continue with this work and restore a healthier politics. I adore my home communities of Carmarthenshire and without their support and that of the local party and my family and friends I don’t think I would still be alive today. I am particularly grateful to my new partner Fflur, who has shown me what love is and what joys a healthy relationship can bring.

“The local party and I have fought many battles over the years and my thanks for their unwavering support could never be expressed in words. However I can’t ask them to march up a hill for me.

“I’ve given my whole adult life to serving the communities of Carmarthenshire. In my time of need they stood by me. My priority must now be to rebuild my life as best as I can and serve the communities of Carmarthenshire for the remainder of this parliamentary term. I will not be making any other public statements at this time.”

Plaid Cymru did not wish to respond specifically to Mr Edwards’ statement but party leader Adam Price issued a statement on Twitter which said: “It is my firm belief that Jonathan Edwards cannot continue to represent Plaid Cymru in Westminster and should resign immediately. I also call on Jonathan Edwards to leave the party. His actions do not represent our values and his position as an MP sends the wrong message out to domestic abuse survivors in Wales and beyond.

“I would like to thank Emma Edwards for speaking out yesterday and for her to know that her voice has been heard. I would also like to offer my apology to her and all domestic abuse survivors for the pain this has caused.

“Our disciplinary processes must change to give victims of gender-based violence a central role in any enquiries. This work will begin immediately and will be given the urgency and gravity it clearly deserves.”

Continue Reading


Costs of agency social workers soars in Pembrokeshire from £250k to £1.4m



CONCERN over the welfare of children has emerged after new figures show that the number of agency social workers employed by councils, and their cost, have been increasing in recent years.

In 2019 Pembrokeshire County Council spent £250k on agency social 8 workers, but by 2020 it had increased to £770k on 11 staff members. By last year it had increased to a staggering £1.4m on employing 12.

Experts say the difficulty experienced by our council, and other local authorities, in attracting permanent staff means vulnerable children and families were often seeing multiple social workers in a single year, making it harder for them to engage with services.

They said the large-scale use of agency social workers was a poor use of dwindling local authority funds, as locums received a higher hourly rate than permanent staff, on top of the fee paid to the company they were employed through.

Across all of Wales, 376 agency social workers were employed by Welsh councils last year at a cost of £20,423,189. This is an increase from 365 for £18,522,072 in 2020/21 and 279 for £16,149,980 the year before.

Already since April this year, £1.8m has been spent on 143 such staff but the cost is likely to far exceed this over the course of a whole year.

The reliance of local authorities on agency social workers has become a significant area of concern in recent months after a council that admitted it failed to prevent the murder of toddler Star Hobson has a serious staff retention problem in its children’s services.

Bradford Council spent £12.3m on agency staff in the last year – representing a doubling of its spend since the 16-month-old girl died on 22 September 2020. It also has the highest spend in the country.

Pembrokeshire was one of five councils to have spent seven-figure sums on agency social workers. On top of Pembrokeshire’s £1.4m, Cardiff spent £5.4m, Powys £4.4m, Merthyr Tydfil £3.3m and Rhondda Cynon Taf £1.3m.

The Welsh Conservatives say that the revelations come after Mark Drakeford’s continued reluctance to implement a review of children’s services across Wales – the only UK nation not to do so – despite having the worst rate of looked-after children of British nations. Calls were prompted after the murder of Logan Mwangi.

Ray Jones, a former director of children’s services and an emeritus professor at Kingston University, said working conditions for social workers had deteriorated, with bigger caseloads, less support and inadequate pay, which made locum work more attractive.

He explained: “You’re paying more for a poorer service [with agency workers] because what you need in terms of children’s and adults social services is continuity – people who know the people they are working with, can build relationships with those families over time, and know their history.”

Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Social Services Minister Gareth Davies MS said: “We’ve known about understaffing in Wales’ social services departments for a long while now, well before the current labour shortages we are seeing nationwide, which is what makes councils’ reliance on agency workers so concerning.

Logan Mwangi’s case is a prime example of a failure in social services. His mother, stepfather and a teenager were been given life sentences for murdering five-year-old Logan Mwangi and dumping his body in a river last year (Image: Family photo)

“We’ve seen tragic cases like Star Hobson and Logan Mwangi that only go to show that we need a strong presence from social services. This cannot happen when councils are so dependent on agency staff because permanent placements lead to better outcomes as someone can handle a case consistently that way.

“That’s why it is startling to see hundreds are employed every year at substantial cost to the taxpayer, costs that would be lower if resources focussed on paying permanent staff better than shelling out for agency premiums.

“I think our findings only serve to support our calls for a Wales-wide review of social services, especially since Wales is the only British nation not to be doing so and has the worst rate of looked-after children in the UK, which makes Mark Drakeford’s rejection of one so disappointing.”

Speaking in 2019, Nadhim Zahawi, the children and families minister, said: “There are more full-time equivalent social workers than ever before across the UK, which means there are more dedicated people on the frontline to offer much needed support to some of most vulnerable children and families in the country.

“Agency staff can play a vital role in managing short-term recruitment needs, fluctuations in demand or to support improvement.

“We are supporting the recruitment and training of social workers so they have the skills they need for this important job.”

Continue Reading


More than eight in ten want Truss to win – new poll reveals



LIZ Truss is the overwhelming choice to become the next Prime Minister, a new poll reveals.

In what will be regarded as a blow to Rishi Sunak, 83 per cent of those polled said they’d rather see Ms Truss in Number 10.

The survey of 2,625 voters was carried out by GB News and is the latest boost to Ms Truss’ campaign which has been gaining momentum ever since her ill-tempered TV debate with the former Chancellor.

Of those polled by the channel just 17 per cent – less than ome in five opted for the former Chancellor.

Many of those polled said it was Ms Truss’ pledges on tax and the fact she hadn’t walked out of her Cabinet post that were among the reasons they wanted her to become leader.

Sunak, meanwhile, was described by many as having “betrayed” the PM.

Earlier today Ms Truss told GB News how she had no intention of wasting her time on wallpaper if she got to Number 10.

The Foreign Secretary said there was work to do while also admitting she enjoys winding down by listening to 80’s music and singing karaoke.

She said yesterday: “We’re now going to campaign in the country, I’m very much looking forward to that and putting my case across that we need a bold new economic policy, we need to take full advantage of all the opportunities of Brexit.

“We need to cut taxes and we need to deliver for all the people right across the United Kingdom.”

She added: “What people rise across Britain care about is how we are going to help them with the cost of living, how we’re going to unleash opportunity and I’m somebody who can get things done in government.

“I’ve shown that I’m willing to push things through Whitehall and that’s why we need to cut taxes.

“We shouldn’t raise national insurance in the first place. We need to cut it now, we need a moratorium on the green energy levy to cut people’s fuel bills.

“And we need to power recovery by attracting investment, getting new businesses to set up so if we carry on with our current economic policy that is currently projected to lead to a recession that will not put us in a good place to win the election.

“I’m somebody who can get things done, get the economy growing, put us on a positive footing, but I can also relate to people right across the country.

“I grew up in Paisley, Leeds. I went to a comprehensive school. I understand the struggles people are facing now and I’m the candidate who can really communicate how we are going to change things and turn things around in Britain.”

Asked why she has supported 15 tax rises in the past, she said: “I opposed that in Cabinet at the time.

“I said it was a bad idea at the time but I’m a loyal person. I respect cabinet collective responsibility.

“Once the decision had been made, I was obliged to respect that decision but I’ve always been clear. It was a mistake, breaking our manifesto commitment and putting up taxes. And I would never have done that…”

Ms Truss was asked how she could reconcile cutting taxes with improving public service and she said: “I’m very committed to building the 40 new hospitals we promised and continuing to fund the NHS and education to get economic growth up.

“The fact is we’ve had low economic growth for two decades. And what that means is a lack of opportunities, lack of new jobs or lack of new businesses.

“By reducing taxes and by taking the full advantage of all the opportunities of Brexit, we can get economic growth going and for me economic growth isn’t just numbers on a page, it is about a new job, a new business, making sure the towns and cities across the country that we promised levelling up to get those spades in the ground, they get those new projects going.

“That is what we can deliver. If we unleash economic growth, if we get rid of a lot of the bureaucracy and the red tape that’s still on our statute books from the EU.

“So as well as doing those tax cuts, I would have a programme of massive reforms to our economy to get our growth rate up, that will fund our public services in the future.”

She was asked about the wallpaper in Number 10 and a fact that people would not know about her.

She said: “Believe me, I’m not going to have time to be thinking about the wallpaper in Number 10 because we’ve only got two years until a general election.

“We need to hit the ground running. We need to get on with changing our economy to really deliver for people right across the country. I’m not going to be thinking about wallpaper.

“I think maybe the one thing people don’t know about me is I do love 1980’s music and I do love karaoke.

“I like to enjoy music as well. My favourite song is I Want To Dance by Whitney Houston.”

Continue Reading

News5 hours ago

Large emergency service mobilisation to assist driver who went over cliff near oil refinery

POLICE, ambulance, coastguard, and RNLI and two helicopters were all involved in the extraction of a casualty from a vehicle...

News16 hours ago

School leavers receiving A level results across Pembrokeshire today

A LEVEL RESULTS posted this morning show an overall 98* pass rate at grades A* to E compared with 99.1%...

News2 days ago

Pembrokeshire County Show opens today, and promises to be ‘action-packed’

WALES’ largest county agricultural show, Pembrokeshire County Show, opens today (Aug 17), and promises to be action-packed next week. The...

News2 days ago

Police investigating early morning hit-and-run in Pembroke; Officers appeal for information

POLICE in Pembroke are investigating a road traffic collision which occurred at about 2.15am on Sunday (Aug 14). A silver...

Health2 days ago

Health board: COVID-19 vaccinations will be by appointment only from end of this month

THE LOCAL health board has announced that from August 31, access to Mass Vaccination Centres (MVCs) in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and...

News2 days ago

Police looking for a suspect following disturbance in Narberth High Street

POLICE are investigating an incident which occurred at about 1am on Sunday morning, 31st July 2022 in Narberth . A...

News3 days ago

Seven injured in A477 road accident near Neyland – Two remain in hospital

DYFED-POWYS POLICE is appealing for witnesses after seven people were injured in a road accident. Two people remain in hospital...

News4 days ago

100 firemen at recycling centre blaze which will take ‘days to extinguish’

OFFICIALS from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have said that a fire at TBS Recycling in Waterston...

News4 days ago

Dry fire hydrants challenging fire fighters at recycling centre fire

FIRE crews from as far as way as Whitland, Kidwelly, and Tumble in Carmarthenshire tackling a large blaze at a...

News5 days ago

Female casualty airlifted to Cardiff following serious road traffic collision near Neyland

THE A477 was closed at the Honeyborough roundabout in Neyland on Saturday afternoon (Aug 13) following a road traffic collision...

Popular This Week