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Plaid march for People’s Vote

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MEMBERS of Plaid Cymru Llanelli attended the People’s Vote March in London on Saturday (Oct 20), in support of a vote on the Government’s final Brexit deal.

The event was attended by an estimated 700,000 people, highlighting the growing feeling of discontent that exists towards the Brexit negotiations and their consequences.

Plaid Cymru’s 2017 Westminster candidate, Mari Arthur, was one of those members who attended. She said: “Brexit was the issue that propelled me into getting involved more actively with Plaid Cymru. I could not trust our current politicians to represent Llanelli at Westminster through the Brexit process, our current MP’s voting record shows she repeatedly does not put Wales first. I can’t accept seeing my hometown suffer because of the deception of the Leave campaign.

“While Brexiteers said an extra £350 million would be given to the NHS, they have since said they’d like to see private firms running hospitals in the UK. While Brexiteers said Brexit would provide an economic boost, businesses are leaving the UK and there’s no sight of a trade deal with the EU. While Brexiteers said Brexit would be a chance to “take back control”, powers have been taken away from Wales in an attempt to rebuild Westminster’s dominance post-Brexit.

“There’s no doubt that many people voted for Brexit as a backlash against the status-quo, but every day, it’s becoming more and more clear that Brexit isn’t what it was hyped up to be. It is not going to deliver for Wales!”

The same frustration regarding the EU referendum was expressed by Plaid Cymru regional AM, Helen Mary Jones, during a motion calling for a People’s Vote in the National Assembly for Wales. In her speech, she said: “I remember campaigning with Lee Waters in Llanelli and two young men saying to me, ‘I can’t get into this at all. This is posh English blokes shouting at each other. This doesn’t feel as if it’s anything to do with me.

“I am convinced that none of those voters who voted for Brexit voted for drug shortages, unemployment, a hard border in Northern Ireland, visa requirements to visit our nearest neighbours and threats to environmental protection and our human rights. And all of those are real risks of a hard ‘no deal’ Brexit.”

Lee Waters and his Labour colleagues went on to vote against Plaid Cymru’s motion for a people’s vote that night, despite many of them saying publically that they support the Vote. Currently, it is Labour’s preference to have a general election before a people’s vote if Theresa May’s deal fails to meet their six Brexit tests. But how can we trust a Government that is telling the people one thing and, on the same day, voting against a different way?

In reference to Labour’s ambiguity over a people’s vote, Mari Arthur said: “Now is not the time to be playing political games. This is by far the most important issue in our generation and we cannot put our own party’s interests above the nation’s. I call on both our AM and our MP to join me in supporting a people’s vote.

“With only weeks to go for a deal to be reached, a no-deal Brexit is becoming increasingly likely. The consequences of this will be catastrophic for Wales. Plaid Cymru believes that it is only right to go back to the people at the end of this process and ask if this is the Brexit that they wanted.

“I have just emailed Nia Griffith to reconsider and support the People’s Vote, I urge you to do the same.”

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Health

Those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster should get jabbed by end of June

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ALL those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster are being urged to take up their offer of the vaccine before the end of next month.

A deadline of 30 June has been introduced to ensure all those eligible for the spring booster will have a long-enough interval between this and the autumn 2022 booster, if they are also eligible.

An announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about which groups will be eligible for the autumn booster is due to be published shortly.

The JCVI has advised that people over-75, older care home residents and all those aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed are eligible for the spring booster.

Those who are 75 on or before 30 June, can get their booster at any point up to the deadline.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is important we continue our very high take up levels of the vaccine to help protect us against the risk of serious illness from Covid-19. I would urge everyone who is offered a spring booster vaccination takes up the invitation.”

If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a Covid infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June as part of this campaign if they have to postpone their appointment.

All those eligible for spring boosters will be invited by their health board or GP.

It is not too late for anyone who needs a primary dose (first, second or third) to be vaccinated.

Please check for local arrangements.

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Health

Young people in Wales being failed when moving from child to adult mental health services

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MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES are failing young people when they move from child to adult services, says a mental health charity.

Mind Cymru is calling for Welsh Government to make urgent changes to improve the system.

Nia Evans, Children and Young People Manager at Mind Cymru, said: “Young people have told us that their needs, thoughts, and feelings about moving to adult services are often unheard, or ignored.

“Welsh Government must support Local Health Boards to make sure this doesn’t happen, change the way services are run and make sure our young people are being heard and properly cared for.”

Mind Cymru has published a report, in ate the result of interviews with young people about their experiences of moving from Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – (SCAMHS) to AMHS.

They highlighted five key areas where services are failing young people:
– Poor information offered to young people, particularly on their rights
– Inconsistent use and follow through of care and treatment plans
– High thresholds for SCAMHS and AMHS referrals to be accepted
– Feeling abandoned / cut off from SCAMHS
– Age still dominates decision making process for moving from SCAMHS to AMHS

Nia Evans said: “Any one of these issues could make the process of moving from children’s services to adult services difficult for our young people. But often, more than one is happening at any one time.”

“Our young people have a right to care and support from a mental health system that has been put in place to help them recover. Action must be taken immediately to make sure support systems are robust and doing the job they were designed to do.”

Mind Cymru is asking people to email their Member of the Senedd (MS) and amplify the voices of these young people whose experiences are often unheard, and use the #SortTheSwitch hashtag on social media.

The full report is available here, including what a good move from SCAMHS to AMHS would look like for young people, and where the current system could improve.

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Business

Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre

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LESS than two months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p a litre cut on the average price of fuel – diesel prices have reached a record high price of 180.29p a litre.
The previous high of 179.90p was recorded on March 23rd 2022 – the day of the Spring Statement from Sunak.

In recent weeks, the UK government has tried to move away from its reliance on importing Russian oil, following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Worryingly for drivers of petrol cars, the price per litre is fast approaching the record levels of 167.3p per litre set on March 22nd.

This latest price rise adds another challenge to UK households, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across the country.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Sadly, despite the Chancellor’s 5p a litre duty cut the average price of a litre of diesel has hit a new record high at 180.29p.”

“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel.”

“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”

“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps. Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”

“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”

“The average price of petrol is also on the rise having gone up nearly 3p a litre since the start of the month to 166.65p which means it’s less than a penny away from the all-time high of 167.30p set on 22 March.”

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