WALES could be half a billion pounds a year better off outside the European Union, say senior Vote Leave Wales figures.
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, and Vote Leave campaigner – Andrew RT Davies – said that the additional money would enable Wales to spend more on public services like the Welsh NHS, and argued that Wales’ poorest regions would receive more funding outside the EU.
UKIP Leader in Wales, Nathan Gill, said that successive Welsh Governments had “failed the poorest parts of Wales” and that leaving the EU would be “transformational”.
The Figures Explained
The Office for Budget Responsibility has reported a £9.8 billion net UK contribution to the EU in the last year for which final figures are available (2014).
Senior Vote Leave figures – including Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Gisela Stuart – last week offered unconditional guarantees that the UK Government would honour existing EU funding commitments across the UK, up to the end of the current cycle in 2020.
With the UK Government maintaining current levels of support for things like farming and regeneration funds, Wales would also be in line to receive its share of any additional expenditure by the UK Government out of the £9.8 billion ‘Brexit Dividend’; potentially as much as £490 million a year based on figures for 2014.
Andrew RT Davies told The Herald: “Wales could be as much as half a billion pounds a year better off if the UK votes to leave the European Union on Thursday.
“The UK is a massive net contributor to the EU and Wales would be entitled, under the Barnett Formula, to its share of that £9.8 billion Brexit Dividend. No ifs, no buts.
“It is worth remembering that only the poorest parts of Europe qualify for structural funds, which are actually paid for out of UK tax receipts, and it is a stain on the Welsh Government that successive rounds have failed to deliver prosperity for the poorest parts of Wales – particularly in the South Wales Valleys.
“Senior Government Ministers have already pledged to maintain existing EU funding if we Vote to Leave, but the additional funding that Wales could receive would be a huge boost and could enable the Welsh Government to put extra money into local services such as the Welsh NHS.”
UKIP Leader in Wales, Nathan Gill, said: “This is yet more evidence that Wales would be better off outside the EU.
“Successive Welsh Governments have failed the poorest parts of Wales, and the extra money we would be entitled to if we Vote to Leave the EU would be transformational for those areas.
“The real danger clearly lies in voting to remain, where unelected EU leaders have imposed damaging cuts to regions across the European Union.”
Police appeal after river death in Ystradgynlais
DYFED-POWYS POLICE is appealing for witnesses following the death of a man in Ystradgynlais.
At around 10am this morning (16 January 2020), a man aged in his 60s was seen entering the River Tawe near Gorsedd Park.
He was rescued from the water near Trebanos Rugby Club, but despite the best efforts of paramedics, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin and HM Coroner have been informed.
His death is not being treated as suspicious, or linked to the adverse weather.
Our thanks go out to all who assisted in the response to this tragic incident, in very difficult weather conditions.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police in Ystradgynlais online by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Use reference: DP-20200216-217
New Body Cameras for Transport for Wales Staff
Last year alone, saw over 350 reported accounts of physical or verbal abuse against staff on trains in Wales and whilst this is a small number in terms of the overall passenger journeys, TfW are keen to further reduce this number as any incident should not be tolerated.
Antisocial figures in Wales show an improving trend in comparison with the rest of the UK and TfW has previously committed to providing CCTV at every station across the Wales and Borders network and already introduced additional security staff.
This trial is another step forward in reducing this type of behaviour and is being delivered in partnership with the British Transport Police.
The trial will include four different type of cameras, and after a review period, one company will be selected to supplying 300 across the network.
Ken Skates, Welsh Government Transport and North Wales Minister, said:
“Everyone has the right to work or travel on our network without the fear of abuse or threats. The rail staff there to help us are no different to our family and friends. They are working hard to get us from A to B, often in difficult circumstances.
“We must stamp out anti-social behaviour and do everything we can to support staff to do their jobs and let passengers make their journeys in a safe and pleasant environment.”
Daniel Hopkin, a frequent rail passenger on the Neath to Cardiff line added:
“It’s great that Transport for Wales are fitting their staff with cameras. I regularly travel between Neath and Cardiff on the train and I think that any improvements in safety will benefit customers.
“The railway station can be really hectic and the fact that staff will have body cameras should act as a deterrent to some of the occasional bad behaviour. Transport for Wales seem to be considering different ways to improve things for the customer and I find that encouraging as a passenger.”
Marc Clancy, Transport for Wales Conductor said:
“We have to deal with a range of people daily and most of our customers are grateful and polite. We work extremely hard to give our customers the best possible experience when using our services, however at times staff and passengers do experience occasional antisocial behaviour and abuse.
“The introduction of these cameras should act as a deterrent to antisocial behaviour, support assault prosecutions and boost public confidence in safety.
“They will provide our front-line staff with more confidence when dealing with difficult situations and abusive customers.”
BTP Superintendent Andrew Morgan, said:
“The safety of passengers and our rail industry colleagues is our absolute priority and we do everything we can to protect them.
“We fully support the introduction of body worn cameras for Transport for Wales’ frontline staff – we know from experience that body worn video is a fantastic piece of kit that helps us in securing convictions against those who target staff with unnecessary violence or abuse.
“We hope the introduction will deter anti-social behaviour and provide reassurance to rail staff as well as passengers.
Fortunately, these types of incidents are few and far between, however if anyone has any concerns while travelling, they can text us on 61016.”
Police appeal following fatal road traffic collision
“Dyfed-Powys Police is appealing for witnesses to a single vehicle road traffic collision which occurred on an unclassified road eastbound between Afon Dulais and Pantygwyn, Capel Dewi around 3pm on Saturday 8th February 2020.
Sadly the 50-year-old female driver passed away at the scene.
The vehicle involved was a 64 plate Grey Nissan NV200 Acenta.
If anyone has any information on this incident please contact Carmarthenshire serious collision investigation unit on the 101 number quoting reference 185 for the 08th February
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