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‘Turn words into actions’ for steel industry

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‘Steel is at the heart of our communities’: Sean Rees addresses the conference

‘Steel is at the heart of our communities’: Sean Rees addresses the conference

A MOTION which pledged that a future Plaid Cymru government would champion Wales’ steel industry was passed at their party conference in Llangollen last week.

The conference recognised that steel is a foundation industry, and vital to the economy of Wales, employing or supporting over 20,000 jobs across the country.

The motion at the conference called for a future Plaid Cymru-led Welsh Government to continue to support Welsh steel makers in working towards becoming world leaders in the industry in the 21st century. This would include supporting the modernisation and the development of new innovations while creating new employment and apprenticeships in Wales.

There was also an additional call to support funding for the creation of a dedicated steel research and development centre in the new Innovation Campus at Swansea University.

Speaking on the conference stage, Sean Rees, Plaid Cymru Campaign Manager in Llanelli, said: “Our steelworkers are asking for a level playing field and Governments at both ends of the M4 now need to turn their words into actions.

“As we look to the future, we must learn from the lessons of the past. Communities like mine in Llanelli remember those times all too well. To this day, we are still healing from the scars as a result of decisions taken back then.

“Llanelli is a proud town – we have a proud tradition of steel production. Steel is at the very heart of our communities which are now under severe pressure. Many members of my family have worked in the steel industry and they understand like we all do of the challenges that we face today.

“As is often the case, behind every steelworker there is a family and the current uncertainty will also hit them just as hard.

“The Tata plant at Trostre employs around 700 workers and is a main supplier of tinplate in the UK. Our Town is often referred to as ‘Tinopolis’, even your tins of Heinz Baked Beans are made at Trostre!

“Recent figures show Tata Steel contributes £3.2 billion annually to the Welsh economy. It’s an industry we cannot afford to lose! If Governments can afford to bail out the banks, then they can do everything in their power to save our steel.

“Every step must now be taken to protect our industry, our economy and our workers. It is for those reasons that I urge you to support this progressive motion. Together, we can secure the strong, sustainable future that our country deserves.”

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Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach

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THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.

Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.

The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.

Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.

The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.

The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.

In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.

If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.

With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.

If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.

If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.

The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.

Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.

The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.

During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.

They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.

A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.

“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”

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Family tribute to Carole Patricia Fowler

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Carole was a teacher for 30 years at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Llanelli. She loved children and they loved her. 

As one of her past colleagues said: “I know she made such a difference to every child she taught.” She was very popular with staff and well respected and loved by parents. She was dedicated and conscientious, always 100% for the children. She led the music there and was always popular with her guitar accompaniments for services and concerts. 

Likewise, she was a valued member of the choir at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Gendros, Swansea, where she would often accompany hymns with her guitar and gave guitar lessons to the children in the church’s Saturday Music Club. She was also a keen member of Côr Persain, Ammanford. 

She was talented, loved and in demand. A convicted and devout Catholic all her life, through good and bad.

Carole was an avid and very gifted crocheter and was always crocheting or knitting something for someone. She had been spending her time recently, during the Covid crisis, crocheting NHS teddies in scrubs and rainbows, with many given to practising nurses. Carole had recently started learning to make bobbin lace. She was also capable of some very decent sewing, too. 

She was also learning Welsh, doing ‘pilates’ and was considering taking up yoga lessons as well.

She was a busy lady! As one of her work colleagues said of her: “She was wise, strong, beautiful, generous, devout and feisty. And I loved her for all those qualities.”

Above all, she was an immeasurably loved Mam, daughter, sister and a doting Mamgu and so much loved by her fiancé. Having been together for 14 years, they would have been married last July 20th had covid allowed! 

Her premature passing at 61 is tragic and she is already sorely, painfully missed. She leaves behind a huge chasm in so many hearts that cannot be filled.

“Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, may perpetual light shine about her, may she rest in peace.”

If anyone witnessed the collision or may have been travelling on the M4 at the relevant time, please contact the Serious Collision Unit quoting police reference DPP-20210113-317

Police can be contacted either online at: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Tip off leads to pensioner’s drug stash

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A BRIEFCASE full of drugs has been recovered during a raid in Swansea suburb.
Police acting on information provided by a member of the public executed a warrant in Gorseinon and recovered a large quantity of cannabis.
A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of the class B drug, with intent to supply.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “At around 5.40pm on Wednesday, January 6, following an intelligence led operation, a 68 year-old man from Gorseinon was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
“He was taken to Swansea central police station for questioning. He has been released under investigation”.

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