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Head of volunteer police sacked for gross misconduct

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE’S Head of Volunteer Police has been sacked following a disciplinary hearing.

The police said in a statement: “Following a thorough and swift investigation into two allegations made about his conduct, Dyfed-Powys Police’s Special Chief Officer Cairn Newton-Evans has this morning faced a public disciplinary hearing.

“On 28 November SCO Newton-Evans was served with a conditional caution for sexual assault and tendered his resignation from the post of Chief Officer for Dyfed-Powys Special Constabulary.

“Chief Constable Mark Collins instigated a fast track disciplinary process and a public misconduct hearing was heard on Thursday (Dec 12).

“The hearing, chaired by Mr Collins, found that gross misconduct was proven and the decision was made to dismiss SCO Newton-Evans. It was also ruled that his name be added to the College of Policing barred list, preventing him from working in law enforcement in the future.”

Chief Constable Mark Collins, told The Herald: “Cairn has given his time to Dyfed-Powys Police for many years and I am grateful for the work he has done. However, as an organisation we will always strive to uphold standards of ethical and professional behaviour and where a representative of the force has done wrong, we will investigate and utilise the powers available to us, to ensure we maintain a workforce that continues to reflect the values by which we stand.

“We will always listen to victims of crime and will act on what they tell us, conducting thorough investigations and acting upon those findings to ensure justice is delivered and is seen to be delivered.”

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Six year sentence for Llanelli assault

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A MAN who left a father-of-six with multiple bleeds on the brain after an unprovoked assault in Llanelli has been jailed for six years.

Connor Scott Jones, aged 21, of Y Fan, caused such serious injuries to Paul Williams on April 29, 2019, that the victim’s wife feared he had been stabbed when he returned from a night out.

Unable to recall what had happened, Mr Williams could only tell police he had woken up in a bush near a chapel and stumbled home. He was unaware that he had been assaulted, leaving police with no description of a suspect to look for, or precise area for forensic enquiries.

Using the tiny pieces of information Mr Williams could provide, the investigation team focussed enquiries on the East Gate area of Llanelli, believing he was describing the former Zion Chapel as near where he regained consciousness.

Officers trawled CCTV footage from several cameras in this area in an attempt to identify potential suspects or witnesses to the incident.

T/Detective Inspector Vicky Oliver, of Dyfed-Powys Police said: “Officers carried out the painstaking task of viewing videos covering a timeframe of five hours, and were successful.

“The incident was captured by a camera in Stepney Place and showed a horrific assault on the victim, who was punched once and fell to the ground while his attacker walked away.

“Determined to cause further injury, the defendant – later identified as Connor Jones – returned to the victim to punch him and stamp on his head.

“He then returned to assault the victim for a third time – kicking him to the head as he laid on the ground.

“The trauma caused to the victim was both physical and mental, and he could not bring himself to view this footage for fear of setting back his recovery.”

Jones was identified from the footage and was arrested. He was later charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm, and admitted the offence at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, March 20 where he was jailed for six years.

Mr Williams, who spoke out as part of Dyfed-Powys Police’s Just Walk Away campaign, focussing on the rise of alcohol-fuelled violence, faces the prospect of a long road to full recovery.

Ten months on, he is still living with the effects of the violent assault. He is unable to work or socialise as he used to, and has lost precious bonding experiences with his baby boy.

Speaking after sentencing, he said: “I’m not recovering very well. I have to have further MRI scans, I’ve been referred to a memory loss specialist as I’m forgetting a lot of things, and also a speech specialist because of the injuries I suffered.

“I’ve had a constant headache that has stayed with me since the assault, and I still can’t smell or taste – this has had a horrible effect on me, as I haven’t been able to smell my son who was born in November. I absolutely hate this.”

In the months before the assault, Mr Williams was working hard on setting up a business as a landscape gardener, which he hoped would support his wife and children. Now, however, he is unable to work.

“It’s had a massive impact on my job as I’m not able to do anything that I’ve done in the past like heavy lifting or heavy work,” he said.

“It’s affected my social life as I still haven’t been out to town as I get flashbacks, and I’ve had to give up the gym, which I used to love for body building.

“I’m no longer allowed to do the things I loved doing before all this happened.”

ENDS

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All schools in Wales to close this Friday due to coronavirus outbreak

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ALL SCHOOLS in Wales will close by Friday this week.Schools in Pembrokeshire have been preparing for the closure by placing as many teaching resources as possible online.UWTSD has already moved to online delivery of lectures and seminars for its students.In a written statement, Education Minister Kirsty Williams said:

“We are in an unprecedented period, one that is changing hour-by-hour, and governments around the world are having to make quick decisions.

Firstly, I would like to extend my gratitude to all those working in our education and childcare settings for the critical work you have been undertaking, under incredible pressure to support our children and young people. You have been at the front-line in supporting wider efforts to prepare for the challenges we are all now facing and I am incredibly grateful and proud.

Today, I can announce we are bringing forward the Easter break for schools in Wales. Schools across Wales will close for statutory provision of education at the latest on 20 March 2020.

I have been clear up to now that the continuity of education and the wellbeing of our learners has been at the heart of my decision making. This will always be the case.

From next week, schools will have a new purpose. They will help support those most in need, including people involved in the immediate response to the coronavirus outbreak. I am working with my colleagues in the Cabinet, with government officials and our partners in local government to develop and finalise these plans.

The key areas we are looking at are supporting and safeguarding the vulnerable and ensuring continuity of learning. We are looking in detail at how we can support and safeguard all those who benefit from free school meals and children with additional learning needs. I will make sure you are kept up-to-date.

While this will apply to schools, childcare settings are expected to remain open until we have definitive advice from the Chief Medical Officer and from Public Health Wales that any closures are required. Parents can, and should, speak with their usual childcare providers if they need care over the Easter holidays

I have discussed my intentions with the Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association, Andrew Morgan, who reflects the views of local authorities. Some school staff will likely have an important role to play in this. We are working closely with our key stakeholders to look at what this will look like for both education and childcare settings, including Flying Start. This position will of course evolve over the coming days and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

One of the critical decisions that we will seek to clarify with urgency is that of the forthcoming examinations. I am also working with Qualifications Wales and the WJEC about this year’s exam series. In line with all education ministers across the UK, I will be making a further announcement shortly.

From the outset, the decisions being taken have been focused on public health advice, and it is right that these science-based recommendations are front and centre of the decisions being made.

The announcement I am making today will help ensure an orderly closure for schools so that they have the time to prepare. However, I am conscious that the SAGE Committee and COBR meet this afternoon, and I will of course be listening closely to see if advice changes and any further urgent decisions about school closures are needed.

Today’s decision will help ensure an orderly closure, so schools have time to prepare ahead of the early break.

My main message for everyone is to stay safe and stay well. We will work together and we will face this outbreak together.

I will of course continue to keep you updated.”

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Welsh Government announces £200m support for small businesses in wake of coronavirus outbreak

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THE WELSH GOVERNMENT has today announced a package of support worth more than £200m for small businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.

Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Llanelli with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will receive 100% business rate relief and pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will receive a £5,000 reduction on their bill.

A further £100m will be available for a new grant scheme for small businesses Further details on this new grant scheme will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Welcoming this announcement, Lee Waters MS, said: “I’m pleased that the Welsh Labour Government is offering this package of support to businesses as part of their response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

“They are doing everything they can to support businesses to deal with the impact of coronavirus. My advice to all businesses is to use the help and advice that is available.

“Any business affected should contact the Business Wales telephone helpline on 03000 603000. They can help with practical advice – from staffing to financial planning as well as supply chain support.

“The Development Bank of Wales is also available to help – it has equity and loan funding it can make available immediately to small businesses to help them through the cash flow and other challenges they may face in next, difficult, few weeks and months. The Development Bank of Wales can be contacted on 0800 5874140.”

Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans AM, said: “We are allocating every penny of the funding we will be receiving as a consequence of the schemes the UK Government announced in England last week to support businesses in Wales.

“But I know that helping businesses with their rates bills will not be enough to protect them from the severe drop in custom many are experiencing as coronavirus cases increase.

“We will be calling on the UK Government to act quickly and decisively to provide a very significant support package for vulnerable businesses and their employees.”

Please find below links to current information issued that you may find useful for your business and continuity.

A number of announcements were made in the March 2020 Budget including financial support that businesses can expect to access:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses

In terms of Department for Work and Pensions support for employers, here is a useful link (via GOV.UK): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses?utm_source=37472ed5-c0b4-4625-8801-549259dc908d&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
Further and complementary advice can also be found on the Business Wales Website: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

Visit Wales also provide some specific advice for tourism businesses regarding the situation. This can be found by following:
https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKWALES/bulletins/280805d

We should all help protect ourselves and our communities by following Public Health Wales advice at: https://phw.nhs.wales/coronavirus

There is also updated information regarding the virus on the Welsh Government website. Please view: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

We are also starting to see banks such as Lloyds offering support via low interest loans sources. We will update this information as further opportunities come forward.

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