Connect with us


Workplace inequality affects economy



Workplace equality: Could grow economy by 10%

INFLEXIBLE workplace structures, gendered assumptions about childcare, and wide-scale discrimination mean mothers are more likely to be trapped in part-time, low-paid work with fewer opportunities for career progression.

Those are the findings of a National Assembly committee which has been looking at the issue.

The Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee believe such factors are key causes of gender inequality and represent a loss to the economy.
The UK Government’s Women’s Business Council estimates that equalising the employment rates of women and men could grow the UK economy by more than 10% by 2030.

The employment rate for women with dependent children in Wales is 75%, compared to 91% for men with dependent children.

The gender pay gap between men and women in Wales is 15% for all employees (full and part time).

A 2016 survey by the Equality and Human Rights Commission revealed that Welsh employers lag behind England and Scotland in offering flexible working.

The same survey found that 87% of employers in Wales feel it is in the best interests of organisations to support pregnant women and those on maternity leave. But it also found that 71% of mothers reported negative or discriminatory experiences as a result of having children.

Employment law isn’t devolved to Wales but the Committee focused on the levers at the Welsh Government’s disposal including employment of public sector workers and businesses and organisations in receipt of public funding,

“During the course of our inquiry we heard some shocking individual experiences: women who lost their jobs during maternity leave, careers derailed because of the lack of flexible work, and fathers prevented from taking on caring responsibilities because of cultural attitudes,” said John Griffiths AM, Chair of the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee.

“These stories have directly influenced our conclusions and recommendations.

“Preventing a large proportion of the population from contributing their skills and experience to the workforce is not fair and does not make economic sense.

“In light of technological, social and economic changes, now is the time to modernise workplaces so that they are fit for the future for everyone, not just parents.

“We believe the Welsh Government can set a standard in promoting flexible working, ensuring organisations in receipt of public funding are flexible by default and by reassessing its new childcare offer.”

The Committee makes 34 recommendations in its report, including:

  • That the Welsh Government should advertise public sector jobs (including teaching posts) as ‘flexible by default’, and lead the way by allowing senior roles like Ministers and councillors to be job-shared;
  • Strengthening the obligations on organisations receiving public funding to provide flexible working and report on the retention rates of staff returning from maternity leave;
  • The Committee heard that the Welsh Government’s new Childcare Offer was unlikely to achieve its main aim of increasing maternal employment in the most effective way. It recommended the Government reconsider the target age group and the income threshold; and,
  • the Welsh Government improve advice services in Wales, and that information about rights and obligation at work should be provided to women at an early stage of pregnancy.

The report will now be considered by the Welsh Government.


Grants available for your community or business



UK SHARED Prosperity Fund (SPF) grants of up to £100,000 are available for communities and businesses in Pembrokeshire.
Capital and Revenue business grants ranging from £500 to £50,000 can be applied for under four categories – Business Growth, Business Start Up, Youth Enterprise and Carbon Reduction.

The aim of the grant intervention is to strengthen local entrepreneurial ecosystems and support businesses at all stages of their development to start, sustain, grow, and innovate, including through local networks.
Grants up to £100,000 are also available for pilot activity across Pembrokeshire communities via the Pembrokeshire Sustainable Communities Fund.

This supports the development and creation of activities related to tackling poverty, access to services, environment and green infrastructure, community engagement, volunteering and festivals, events, local arts, cultural and heritage activities.

Each grant will be a contribution to a proposed overall scheme with the applicant having to source a percentage of match funding from elsewhere.

The Pembrokeshire Business Growth Grant will support local businesses and inward investors to grow, prosper and be sustainable, resulting in the creation and safeguarding of jobs throughout the County and therefore improving the local economy.

The aim of the Business Start Up Fund is to support the creation of new businesses in the County, resulting directly in the creation of jobs and boosting the local economy.

Similarly the Youth Enterprise Fund is aimed at applicants aged 16 to 21 wanting to create new businesses in the County.

The Carbon Reduction Fund will provide capital support to businesses towards the purchase of renewable energy systems.

It aims to support local businesses to be sustainable and move towards net zero carbon while continuing to grow and prosper.

With around £1million available anyone interested is encouraged to get in touch with expressions of interest as soon as possible.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change Cllr Paul Miller said: “These grants are a vital opportunity for new and established businesses to grow and contribute to the regeneration of our towns while supporting the carbon reduction agenda.”

Cabinet Member for Corporate Improvement and Communities, Cllr Neil Prior added: “Shared Prosperity Funding can make a difference to our communities and it is important Pembrokeshire makes the most of its opportunities.”
The Business Grant application process is administered by the Business Development team within the Local Authority Economic Development department.

Continue Reading


Black Pool Mill restaurant opens following £3million investment



BLUESTONE National Park Resort says it has invested £3 million to bring Pembrokeshire’s newest restaurant, Black Pool Mill, to life. The restaurant, housed in a disused 19th-century mill near Canaston Bridge, has undergone a remarkable transformation into a charming heritage eatery, eagerly awaited by many.

Taking to The Pembrokeshire Herald on Friday, (May 19), the Black Pool Mill team joyfully announced the restaurant’s grand opening: “We’re delighted to announce that Black Pool Mill is now OPEN! The Mill invites you to indulge in delectable cuisine amidst captivating surroundings. Whether it’s a special occasion or a treat for yourself, our seasonal menus promise to entice and delight.”

One of the first customers to dine at the establishment expressed their satisfaction with “a lovely lunch.”

Originally scheduled for May 12, the opening had been postponed by a week. In a Facebook post from the previous week, the Black Pool Mill team explained, “We had hoped to open the doors this weekend. But, as we want to offer the perfect venue and experience, we believe we need a little more time to get it to that point. But don’t worry… we will be opening on Friday 19th May to ensure our exceptionally talented team at the venue are ready and fully immersed in the new layout.”

Located in a Grade II Listed mill near Minwear Woods, the restaurant will generate 35 new job opportunities. The mill has been meticulously renovated and restored to its original architectural style, with numerous historic features brought back to their former glory.

Blackpool Mill: During renovations (Image: Bluestone)

A spokesperson for Black Pool Mill emphasised the design’s focus on preserving the mill’s original elements and centuries-old architecture. The chefs will craft seasonal menus inspired by Pembrokeshire’s warm microclimate, fertile soil, and pristine seas. Their aim is to incorporate locally sourced or foraged ingredients, providing a distinctive and authentic dining experience rooted in the local area.

Sarah Davies, with over 30 years of hospitality experience, including nine years as deputy head of food and beverage at Bluestone, leads the Black Pool Mill team. Head chef Paul Owens, formerly of Mansion House in Llansteffan, joins her.

Sarah shared her excitement about the extensive renovation efforts, both internally and externally, that have returned Black Pool Mill to its original architectural splendor. She stated, “We have paid attention to details throughout, and we’re sure our guests will enjoy the experience of dining and celebrating here.”

Spread across three floors, the venue features dining areas, a state-of-the-art kitchen, a banqueting space, a bar, and private dining rooms. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant will be open to the general public as well as Bluestone’s guests.

Sarah added, “Its location, with the lake, river, and woodland, will make it a perfect destination throughout the seasons.”

For further information and bookings, visit

Continue Reading


Bayview Stores scoop national Countryside Alliance award after impressing judges



A PEMBROKESHIRE based business has been announced as a national winner in the hotly anticipated Countryside Alliance awards, known to many as the ‘Rural Oscars’.

From over 45,000 public nominations and votes- the awards most successful year to date- Bayview Stores won The Daily Telegraph Award for best Village Shop/ Post Office, after impressing judges and seeing off six other businesses from across the country in the same category.

This award celebrates the important role village shops play in rural communities. It commends those who go above and beyond the call of duty and are the hub of the community.

The awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of British food and farming, enterprise and heritage through small hard-working businesses.

Bayview Stores received the award at a busy ceremony in the House of Lords on Wednesday 17 May 2023, attended by government ministers, peers and MPs, including local MP, Stephen Crabb. The competition saw businesses from across the country, come together in friendly competition in their respective categories.

Earlier this year, Bayview Stores won the award for Welsh Village Shop Champion, after a public vote. After a further round of judging, the team can now add the national gong to their growing collection of titles.

Now in their 16th year the Countryside Alliance awards have become the definitive rural business award to win and are driven by public nomination and votes, offering customers the chance to rally around their favourite businesses, bringing communities together.

The categories for the Awards include: best butcher, best pub, best village shop, local food champions, and rural enterprise champions.

Speaking from the awards at the House of Lords, an emotional Gwyn Price, the store’s owner, said: “ This award means absolutely everything. It’s been 20 years in the making. Our staff are amazing and we thank the local community. I get up in the morning and consider myself the luckiest man in the world. It’s been a lot of hard work, especially through covid. We were working 14 hours shifts, every day and our community stuck by us. It truly does mean the world”.

Another Pembrokeshire based business, the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm, received a Highly Commended award in the Rural Enterprise category. This award celebrates the imagination and ingenuity of individuals in the countryside supporting the rural economy. It commends those who have made a real contribution to the community through jobs and services and helped to enhance the local area.

Stephen Crabb MP said: “I was delighted to attend the Countryside Alliance Awards and help celebrate the success of two popular Pembrokeshire businesses from my constituency.

It’s vitally important that rural businesses are given the recognition they deserve, and I am thrilled that Gwyn Price and his family from Bayview Stores, and Mark Coles and the whole team at Dyfed Shire Horse Farm, were able to fly the flag for Pembrokeshire in these national awards.

They are two fantastic examples from our rural business community, and I am so pleased their hard work and dedication impressed the judges to secure this national status.”

Countryside Alliance awards Director, Sarah Lee said: “ As ever, our judges have had a particularly difficult time singling out winners from the array of fantastic businesses up for awards this year. The team at Bayview Stores have worked incredibly hard to earn this award and we wish them every success for the future. We also congratulate the fantastic team at the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm, who are clearly treasured within their local community. The Countryside Alliance awards capture the huge public support for local, rural businesses who now, more than ever, depend on the public’s support. ”

Pictured: DEFRA Secretary Thérèse Coffey MP, Stephen Crabb MP and The Bayview Store team at the House of Lords, for use with article.

Continue Reading

News21 hours ago

Builder convicted for fraudulently claiming £16,000 in benefits during lockdown

A BUILDER who possessed two properties in Pembrokeshire has been found guilty of unlawfully receiving over £16,000 in benefits following...

News2 days ago

Quarter of a million in funding to support Welsh speaking community projects

THE WELSH GOVERNMENT says it has awarded a series of small grants to community cooperative projects in order to protect...

News2 days ago

Two Pembrokeshire businesses honoured at Number 10 reception  

TWO prominent Pembrokeshire businesses were represented at a Number 10 Downing Street event following a nomination from Conservative MPs Stephen...

Business3 days ago

Grants available for your community or business

UK SHARED Prosperity Fund (SPF) grants of up to £100,000 are available for communities and businesses in Pembrokeshire.Capital and Revenue...

Community3 days ago

Couple hail exercise scheme that has transformed lives

A LOCAL couple have hailed the positive impact of an exercise scheme that has helped them maintain independence and continue...

News3 days ago

Suspended sentence for driving offences in Pembroke Dock

AT A HEARING at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court, Charlie Petterson, a 30-year-old resident of 6c Albion House, Bush Street, received a...

Entertainment3 days ago

Circus Mondao returns with spectacular shows in Tenby and Haverfordwest

PREPARE to be dazzled as Circus Mondao makes a triumphant return, offering an extraordinary experience for five days only at...

Health3 days ago

NHS staff must get Welsh government pay offer without delay, says UNISON

NHS workers Wales must receive a newly approved wage rise in their pay pockets as soon as possible, UNISON said...

News4 days ago

Application to convert a disused garage into a restaurant and holiday re-approved

PLANS to convert a disused garage into a restaurant and holiday lets have been approved for a second time, after...

News4 days ago

Chalets plans to go to full council despite twice-backed by planners

AN APPLICATION to build holiday chalets at a trout fishery in north Pembrokeshire will have to be considered for a...

Popular This Week