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Charitable funds – Pembrokeshire NHS – where does your donation go?




by Lyn Neville

Many people give donations to the local hospital for different reasons. My concern is for Cancer Services at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest and what is done with this money. I have suffered personal grief when members of my family have passed away on Ward 10. The first feeling is sorrow but you also feel the need to help the people who helped you and your loved one. The staff on Ward 10 and in the Chemotherapy Day Unit (CDU) have been caring, helpful, compassionate and professional. Many people make donations in lieu of flowers and in legacies to Ward 10 and the CDU. But, when you make a donation now the Ward 10 and CDU funds have disappeared and become part of Pembrokeshire Cancer Services. So can you give your money specifically (only) to Ward 10 or CDU? It certainly seems not. The Hywel Dda General Fund Charity (the Charity) was established on 29 March 2012 and is registered with the Charity Commission (1147863). The Charity has a single corporate trustee – Hywel Dda [University] Local Health Board. (The name has recently changed again to Hywel Dda Health Charities). The object of the Charity is that: “… The Trustees shall hold the trust fund upon trust to apply the income, and at their direction so far as permissible, the capital, for any charitable purpose or purposes relating to the National Health Service…” The Charity’s Strategic Direction (recently agreed at a Public Board meeting) sets out what the Charity aims to support from the donations received: “The Hywel Dda Charity’s objective is to support any NHS charitable purpose. This is primarily within the Hywel Dda area. The Trustees ensure that this purpose is carried out for the public benefit by working to the following aim: To raise more than £2 million per year to help keep Hywel Dda’s Services at the highest standards”. So, it seems the Hywel Dda Health Board NEEDS the generous support of the public to keep Hywel Dda’s Services at the highest standards. If you also take into account that on the 22nd May, 2014 the Audit Committee Report to the Board informed the Health Board that, “The Audit Committee was informed that Hywel Dda University Health Board’s year-end financial position of £19.225m deficit reflects the on-going requirement for major service redesign in order to deliver the statutory breakeven duty. (The major service redesign is another story!!) At that Health Board meeting on the 29th March, 2012 the Board said – “Board Members will be well aware of the local sensitivities to restructuring of charitable Funds. These funds having in the main been raised over many years by voluntary donations and legacies to local services. Board members can be assured that the restructuring has been focussed on improving the Health Board’s ability to spend the monies on these very local services. “By retaining 110 local designations and significant restricted funds we are bound to apply the monies for the purposes intended. The Charity Commission has repeatedly stated that monies are to be applied for the charitable purposes not hoarded. This proposal is aimed at achieving this end. The creation of local a Charitable Funds Subcommittee in each county has further strengthened this local accountability.” So: the Charity Commission says the money mustn’t be “Hoarded” it must be spent. BBC Wales reported recently that £550,000 had been “Ring-fenced” for the CDU and Ward 10 at Withybush Hospital. This is made up of £250,000 for Ward 10 and £300,000 for CDU and was decided at a Hywel Dda Charitable Funds Committee Meeting in September 2013. But the term “Ring-fence” doesn’t really mean anything. On the 1st December, 2011 the Charitable Funds Committee ringfenced £200,000 for Ward 10. On the 3rd April 2012 – Chris Martin (Chair) in a letter to Angela Burns A.M. informed her that £290.000 had been ring-fenced for Ward 10. So between April 2012 and September 2013 the ring-fenced amount for Ward 10 went DOWN by £40,000! So why did that happen? The Charitable Funds Committee agreed to ring-fence the funds which means they can also agree Not to ring fence the funds and use them for something else. The money needs to be “Restricted” which in the eyes of the Charity Commissions means that is all it can be used for!! But the Health Board say it is too difficult to do this (and would be very inconvenient). At a meeting with Chris Martin (former Chair of Hywel Dda) on the 12th March, 2014 he said I could “trust him that the money was ring-fenced and that is all it would be used for”. Well he’s gone. Let’s see what his successor says. In the Pembrokeshire Charitable Funds Committee Meeting on Thursday 24th January, 2013 it was minuted that, “discussions took place regarding the Cancer Services Fund as the balances do not look like Ward 10 funds are being ring-fenced. “Redacted” therefore agreed to discuss with “Redacted” to provide reassurance.” At the Charitable Funds Committee 4th March 2014 – (minutes 12th Dec, 2013). Finance CF(14)05 Directors Report – Mr Forster began by advising that this contained both good and bad news. The bad news was that donations were down by 30% comparing year on year figures. Donations are down because no one knows where the money goes or what it is being spent on. In a recent Charitable Funds Committee meeting, a Board Member suggested the use of a general “get out” clause. But what does that mean? I am informed that this was a “reference to the trustees’ general power to apply designated unrestricted funds for “any” purpose.” I was also informed that “as a Charity, they rarely exercise this power.” But it is a power they can use if they want to!! The Health Board has a Fundraising Team and an Army of Media and P.R. people so why can they not explain to the generous people of Pembrokeshire why the funding structure was changed, where the money goes and what it is spent on. I was told at a recent meeting with the Chair of the Pembrokeshire Charitable Funds Committee that donations in Pembrokeshire have, “gone through the floor”. If there is no “Trust” then people will not give. Many people now give money to organisations that hold funds outside the reach of the Health Board like the League of Friends and the Withybush Hospital Cancer Day Unit Appeal Shop who are happy to explain to donors how the funds are distributed. As I said, my main concern is for Cancer Services at Withybush Hospital. I took a look at the Hywel Dda Health Board’s “Cancer Delivery Plan 2013- 16” and there is NO “Planned Action” to establish a new CDU at Withybush Hospital or to Refurbish Ward 10. It is very strange that this is not shown as we have been told for many years now that the plan to do this is ongoing. The “buzz words” these days are Honesty and Transparency so can we please have some from the Hywel Dda Health Board on Charitable Funds……… Please? A Board spokesperson told the Herald: “The University Health Board has repeatedly stated both to Mrs Evans- Thomas and other interested parties that, other than the ‘Bucket Full of Hope’ Appeal Fund monies, the University Health Board did not receive donations and legacies from the public to the Cancer Services Pembrokeshire Fund with any specific wish that they were for the ‘Bucket Full of Hope’ or any expressed restriction (most likely in the form of a legacy) that it be used in this way “The Charity Commission have confirmed that under charity legislation the Trustees have a duty to expend the funds under the objects of the charity to which they were donated and these are specifically NHS. It was further confirmed by them that the University Health Board’s Charity has no power to hand these monies wholesale to a non NHS charity. Therefore it is the hospital charity that is responsible for the public discharge of those funds under Charity Commission rules and charity legislation. “NHS bodies can work with other charities on matters of joint interest. However, this would usually be in the form of expenditure grants directly to shared projects and not what ‘Bucket Full of Hope’ are requesting. It is for the Trustees of the NHS charity to make decisions insofar as they lie within their power.”

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MPs to examine opportunities for defence manufacturing and cyber security in Wales



THE WELSH AFFAIRS COMMITTEE has today launched (Mar 27) a new inquiry examining the defence industry in Wales, looking specifically at defence manufacturing and cyber security.

From Airbus to Kent Periscopes, Raytheon to Qioptiq, there are over 160 companies supporting the defence sector that are based in Wales. Wales’ defence sector is further enhanced by the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Defence and Electronics Components Agency (DECA), based in North Wales, which has a £0.5 billion contract with the US Department for Defense.

However, there are concerns that a decrease in investment from the MOD will erode the prominence of Wales’ defence sector. In recent years, the number of jobs and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the sector has declined and MOD spending in Wales has fallen by £300 million since 2018. The Committee is keen to examine trends in defence spending and how SMEs can benefit from available opportunities.

Over the course of the inquiry, MPs will look at how important the sector is to the Welsh economy, investigate the opportunities for growth and examine the role of the UK Government in further promoting the defence sector in Wales.

Welsh Affairs Committee Chairman, Stephen Crabb, said:

“From maintaining fighter jets to hosting one of the most advanced aircraft surveillance and intelligence systems in existence, in Wales we have a ground-breaking defence sector that is routinely punching above its weight.

“However, MOD investment in Wales has decreased, as have the numbers of jobs and SMEs in the Welsh defence sector. Over the course of our inquiry, we will be considering the future opportunities and challenges to ensure defence industries in Wales – from defence manufacturing to cyber security – thrive.

“The defence sector is a major employer and helps support local economies across our nation and it is in all our best interests to support Wales’ defence prowess.”

The Committee is inviting written submissions by Friday 5 May. These should focus on, but not be limited to:

  • What are the reasons underlying the trends in MoD spending in Wales since 2019?
  • What is the MoD’s understanding of how funding flows from prime contractors to small and medium sized defence sector businesses in Wales?
  • What is the relationship between Wales-based prime contractors, Welsh academic and research bodies, and the development of new defence technologies?
  • Can Wales play a role in enhancing the UK’s defence industrial capacity?
  • Do skills and knowledge exist within Wales’ workforce to support the growth of the Welsh defence sector?
  • How might the reorganisation of Wales’ defence estate affect employment in the defence sector in Wales?
  • Will the 10% social value weighting applied to MoD procurement support the Levelling Up agenda in Wales?
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Dog in difficulty rescued between St Nons and Caerfai Bay by RNLI



ST DAVIDS inshore lifeboat was tasked at 11am on Monday (Feb 27) to a dog in difficulty at the bottom of cliffs between St Nons and Caerfai Bay.

Marian and Alan Clayton made best speed to the scene where a HM Coastguard team from St Davids assisted the crew by locating the dog.

Once recovered from the base of the cliffs, “Bosun” was reunited with its relieved owners at Porthclais Harbour.

Pictured are crew members Ellen, Tom and Martin with Bosun.

The lifeboat returned to Station before a wash down and refuelling, ready for service by 12:42pm, according to an online report from the RNLI

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Economy Minister congratulates Celtic Freeport consortium on winning bid



ECONOMY MINISTE, Vaughan Gething, was in Port Talbot today to congratulate the Celtic Freeport consortium on their successful bid to be Wales’ first freeport, which is set to deliver tens of thousands of new, high-quality jobs in south west Wales.

Last week, the Welsh and UK governments jointly announced the Celtic Freeport in Milford Haven and Port Talbot, and Anglesey Freeport on Ynys Mon, have been chosen as Wales’ first freeports.

The two freeports aim to collectively create around 20,000 jobs in the green industries of the future by 2030 and attract up to £4.9 billion in public and private investments.

The Celtic Freeport will be based around the port of Port Talbot in Neath Port Talbot, and the port of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire.

The freeport plans focus on low carbon technologies, such as floating offshore wind (FLOW), hydrogen, carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) and biofuels to support the accelerated reduction of carbon emissions.

The freeport aims to attract significant inward investment, including £3.5 billion in the hydrogen industry as well as the creation of 16,000 jobs, generating £900 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) by 2030, and £13 billion by 2050.

The Minister visited the port of Port Talbot earlier today, which will become one of the focal points of the new Freeport – which is expected to be operational later this year.

Speaking during a visit to Port Talbot, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “It was great to be in Port Talbot today to congratulate the Celtic Freeport team on their successful bid.

“From off-shore energy to advanced manufacturing, the Celtic Freeport will help create tens of thousands of new, high quality jobs in the green industries of the future. it will support our highly ambitious plans to reach net zero by 2050, while also supporting our young people to plan their futures here in Wales.

“All this will help us transform the economy of south west Wales, helping us create a stronger, fairer and greener future for local people and communities.”

Roger Maggs MBE, Chair of the Celtic Freeport consortium said: “Wales is on the cusp on an exciting green journey.

“The freeport decision will cause a chain reaction.

“Upgrading our major energy ports in Milford Haven and Port Talbot will enable floating offshore wind, create the cradle to nurture new green tech companies and take a step on the path to greening Wales’ steel industry.

“Now is the time for action so that Wales captures the renewable energy supply chain.”

Andrew Harston, Director, Wales and Short Sea Ports, Associated British Ports (ABP) said: “The roll-out of floating offshore wind, or FLOW, in the Celtic Sea provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Wales. Port Talbot is the ideal location for the deployment of FLOW, and ABP is ready to invest over £500m in new and upgraded infrastructure to enable this and to ensure first-mover advantage to capture this global market. The Celtic Freeport provides a huge opportunity, and not just for FLOW, but for sustainable fuels and hydrogen too.

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