FORMER Secretary of State for Wales and Leader of Vote Leave Cymru – David Jones MP – has called on the First Minister to establish a new committee of Assembly Members to drive forward Wales’ response to the EU referendum.
Earlier today (Jun 27) Mr Jones said the committee should not seek to “usurp” the Welsh Government, or to undermine the First Minister – but insisted that would need to be chaired by a prominent Leave-supporting AM, and reflective in its make-up of Welsh public opinion.
He said that the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, and the Leader of the Opposition, Leanne Wood, had proven themselves and their parties to be “out of step with the communities they represent” on the issue, and called on the First Minister in particular to be gracious in creating a prominent role for a Leave supporting figure from Wales.
In Bridgend, the First Minister’s constituency and home town, 54.6% of voters backed a Vote to Leave the EU on Friday. In Rhondda Cynon Taf, where Leanne Wood was elected as an AM in May, 53.7% backed a Brexit vote.
David Jones said: told The Herald: “Britain’s vote to leave the EU presents us with a huge opportunity to carve out a prosperous future as an independent nation, but it is not without its challenges and Welsh politicians must ensure that our voice is heard in the negotiations which must now take place with EU leaders.
“That said, the result of the referendum highlighted just how out of step the First Minister and Leader of the opposition were with the people they represent on this issue.
“That’s why I would urge the First Minister to be gracious in defeat, and establish an advisory committee of AMs to drive forward Wales’ response to the referendum result.
“Rather than seeking to usurp the Welsh Government, such a committee would need to complement their work – but it is clear that its make-up would need to be reflective of public opinion in Wales on this issue.”
Mr Jones suggested the role of chairing an advisory committee would need to be taken by a prominent leave-supporting AM, and suggested that it was a role which could be offered to Andrew RT Davies who played a key role in the Vote Leave campaign in Wales.
“What is clear from the result is that both the Labour Government and their Plaid colleagues were out of touch with the Welsh public on this issue, and Wales’ response must be reflective of the post-referendum reality that we voted to leave the EU.
“As such, there must now be a significant role for a leave-supporting AM in driving forward the country’s response to this result.
“Andrew RT Davies could potentially be an ideal candidate to chair such a committee, having taking the brave step of backing the campaign to leave the EU, and I’m sure that he would have the support of other leave campaigners here in Wales – including those in UKIP who also played such an influential role in the campaign.”
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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