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Appetite for social services improvement now ‘endemic’

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THE APPETITE for change and improvement is “endemic” across all public services in Wales, said the Chief Inspector for Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales.

Chief Inspector Imelda Richardson highlighted that “major new laws” – the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016, and the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 – will have a significant impact on the work of the Inspectorate, as she launched her 2014-2015 annual report.

Changes to the upper age limit for childcare services which need to be registered – from 8 years to 12 years old – come into effect from April 2016.

The Chief Inspector said the majority of care providers in Wales deliver the level of care that people deserve.

Of the 4,040 regulated services CSSIW inspected, 91% of these met standards of care and did not need enforcement action.

But a minority required “significant monitoring and enforcement action” by the Inspectorate in 2014-15.

For the 9% of services that did not meet standards of care, the majority made improvements in response to the Inspectorate’s early intervention.

1,115 non compliance notices were issued in relation to 308 services, of which 204 services became compliant after making and sustaining improvements.

However, 52 services struggled to make sustained improvements whereby people received poor care that impacted on their well-being and became Services of Concern.

The report explains how the Inspectorate is embedding human rights and well-being outcomes in its updated inspection methods, and continues to collaborate with citizens, service providers, and commissioners to develop clearer standards and regulations for social care in Wales.

A Quality Forum, spearheaded by the Inspectorate, has been formed by strategic partners from across Wales, to redress so-called ’wicked issues’ in the care system.

The Forum will collaborate to deliver an all-Wales approach to the issues.

Chief Inspector Imelda Richardson told The Herald: “Social care is important to all of us, we are all stakeholders and will all be affected by it at some point in our live

“As an Inspectorate we listen to people, use the intelligence we gather and we take concerns seriously

“I would like to thank our National Advisory Board, chaired by Professor Judith Hall, for both challenging and working with us for a second year. They have been instrumental in contributing towards the changing legislative landscape in Wales and have helped us establish our Regional Advisory Forums which will further strengthen the people’s voice in our work.

“I would also like to thank the sector for working with us to improve the care they provide. I understand that the changing social care climate is challenging and there are understandable ripple effects in terms of preparing the workforce.

“What I have seen on my regular engagement visits across Wales is that the leaders and managers providing excellent support and services are inspiring others to do the same.

“New legislation gives all of us – citizens, providers, commissioners, local authorities and regulators – the opportunity to work together to improve the quality and stability of social care in Wales.”

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence

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GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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Appeal from Fire and Rescue Service to install working smoke alarms

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AT 01:17am this morning, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, crews from Milford Haven were called to a property fire in the Hakin area of Milford Haven.

The fire was confined to a pan on a stove in the kitchen area and extinguished by firefighters using two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera.

Crews also ventilated the property and fitted smoke alarms within the property.

The Fire Service left the incident at 02:00am.

Watch Manager Alun Griffiths, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “This fire was the result of cooking left unattended. It is so important to remove all pots and pans from a heat source when you are called away from the cooker.

“Thankfully, the occupiers of the property managed to exit the property before our firefighters arrived, but it could have ended very differently as there were no smoke alarms fitted in the property.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of installing working smoke alarms in your homes and testing them regularly. In the dreadful event of a fire, they can alert you to the danger sooner and could mean the difference between life and death.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, we provide Home Fire Safety advice which is free of charge. We also offer Safe and Well Visits which you can arrange by phoning us on 0800 169 1234 or by visiting the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website.”

For further Home Fire Safety advice or to talk about the possibility of a Safe and Well Visit by Fire and Rescue Service personnel, please phone us on 0800 169 1234.​​​ Alternatively please complete an online Request a Safe and Well Visit​ form on the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website: https://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/eng/your-safety/in-your-home/

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