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Rail industry honours the armed forces

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THE RAIL industry in Wales and the Borders are honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom this month.

To honour our armed forces heroes past and present, Network Rail and Transport for Wales, with support from the Royal British Legion, are also inviting passengers to leave a message of remembrance on three giant poppies, which have been installed at Cardiff Central, Shrewsbury and Rhyl stations.

Royal British Legion collections will also be supported, with poppy boxes placed at many of Transport for Wales’ stations.

Bill Kelly, route managing director for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “Having served in the Armed Forces, I fully appreciate the dedication of these men and women, the sacrifice they and their families have made and debt of gratitude we owe to each and every single one of them. We must never forget.”

Colin Lea, Commercial and Customer Experience Director Transport for Wales Rail Services, said: “The sacrifices made by so many over the years for our freedom should never be forgotten so we feel it is very fitting to recognise that on the railway.

“We know there are strong ties between the railway and the military with many railway workers going off to defend their country in the wars, while many of our current colleagues have served in various branches of the armed forces. So it’s right that we honour them and allow our customers who are travelling this week the chance to leave their own messages of thanks.”

Jenny Robey, Community Fundraiser for Shropshire said: “Everyone has a connection to the First World War, and we all have a reason to say ‘Thank You’ for the legacy that extraordinary generation left for us.

“The First World War left countless legacies that positively impact our lives today, from ground breaking social change and timeless works of art to pioneering innovations. As we come to the end of the First World War Centenary now is the time to come together in our communities and say ‘Thank You.’

“This Poppy Appeal wear your poppy with pride to support the Armed Forces community past and present. Every donation received will make a real difference to the lives of Service men and women, veterans and their loved ones.”

Network Rail signed the British Armed Forces Military Covenant back in 2015, and since then has worked closely with the Ministry of Defence to transition skills into the rail industry and develop a forces-friendly environment with its workplace.

Transport for Wales fully encourages and welcomes applications by current or former armed forces personnel and has a strong track record for employing those who have served.

James Spooner, an off track technician for Network Rail, served for seven years with the Royal Marines Commando unit in Afghanistan and has been stationed all over the world. He joined Network Rail nearly three years ago and is based in Hereford.

He said: “With people’s hectic lives travelling through busy stations it’s easy to be caught up in what you’re doing and forget to remember. So having these poppies in stations and on the side of trains may just help them take a few minutes to remember and reflect on the sacrifices.”

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Gigabit broadband voucher scheme boost for Wales

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THE UK’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is to be given a boost in Wales thanks to a new partnership between the Welsh and UK Governments. Ministers from both Governments are now urging Welsh businesses and communities to apply for the funding to get gigabit speeds.

The announcement follows an agreement between the UK and Welsh Governments, and reflects the higher costs of deploying fibre infrastructure in Wales, as a result of the country’s topography and the location of premises.

The UK Government’s Gigabit broadband vouchers – worth up to £2500 – are currently available to small businesses and surrounding local communities to contribute to the installation costs of a gigabit-capable broadband connection.

Under the new arrangements, the Welsh Government will provide an additional £3,000 for businesses up to a certain size and an additional £300 per residential property. This means that for group* projects in Wales up to £5,500 is available per business, compared with £2,500 elsewhere in the UK. Up to £800 will now be available per residential property in Wales, compared with £500 elsewhere.

Deputy Minister for Economy Lee Waters said: “Although the vast majority of premises in Wales can now access superfast broadband, we are working hard on assisting the remaining five per cent that cannot access it and where commercial companies have no plans to reach. There is no one size fits all solution to reach the final premises, and the Gigabit Broadband Voucher scheme is an important part of a suite of measures to achieve this.

“This voucher scheme can provide a vital funding source for group connectivity projects, and could be of great benefit to communities currently without access.
I’m pleased we’ve been able to work with the UK Government to provide an enhanced scheme for Wales, taking into account the particular challenges we face here with geography and the location of premises.”

UK Minister for Digital Margot James said: “This exclusive scheme for Welsh businesses and communities is a vital part of our modern Industrial Strategy and build a Britain that is fit for the future. Working with the Welsh Government, together we can make sure that everyone in Wales has the connectivity they need for the digital age.”

The voucher scheme forms part of a package aimed at improving connectivity in Wales. The Welsh and UK Government funded £200 million Superfast Cymru programme has already taken superfast broadband speeds to more than 733,000 Welsh homes and businesses commercial companies had no plans to cover. The Welsh Government is also investing a further £22.5 million to reach an additional 26,000 premises and the UK Government is introducing a Universal Service Obligation** that will make fast broadband a legal right for every home and business in Wales by 2020.

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Rescuers attend to injured construction workers in New Dock Street

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A MULTI AGENCY rescue operation is underway in Llanelli involving all three emergency services after an incident at a construction site.

Workers have been at the New Dock Street site, working for around three years, The Herald understands.

The Herald has been told that a piece of plant malfunctioned causing the emergency, which happened earlier this evening (Mar 19).

Four fire engines and three ambulances are at the scene, our reporter said.

A specialist line rescue team is involved in the recovery operation.

An eye-witness told the press that three workers have been affected.

The source said: “Concrete had just been mixed and had been poured into a skip which was then lifted using a machine. The concrete was being lowered into the hole, it’s probably about 20ft and then the machine toppled over.”

He added: “Two men climbed out of the hole on their own and as a precaution the third man was told to stay down there. The workers were told to leave the site as a precaution.”

At least one person has been seen being taken away in an ambulance.

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Llanelli: Met Bar incident investigated

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AN INCIDENT which resulted in a 51-year old man having to go hospital is being investigated by Dyfed-Powys Police.

The man has been discharged from Glangwili Hospital but police are looking in to how the incident happened and how the man fell down some steps.

The incident happened outside the Met Bar in Llanelli on Saturday night (Mar 16).

A spokeswoman for Dyfed-Powys Police told the Herald: “At approximately 10.55pm on Saturday March 16, officers responded to reports of an injured man outside The Met Bar, Station Road, Llanelli, after he’d fallen down some steps at the location.

“Ambulance was at scene, and the 51 year old man was conveyed to Glangwili Hospital with what was thought to have been a serious head injury. He was then later discharged from hospital, and the head injury was no longer believed to be serious.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact police by calling 101 and quoting DPP/3011/16/03/2019/02/C. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908

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