Vital supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health and care workers in Wales has just landed in Cardiff Airport.
A chartered flight carrying 200,000 fluid resistant gowns will arrive from Cambodia.
Today’s flight has been arranged through Welsh contacts and is the first of two due to arrive this week, which will replenish vital supplies of gowns for the NHS and social care staff in Wales.
In total, 660,000 gowns will be flown in to Cardiff Airport on the flights, from Phnom Penh, in Cambodia and Hangzhou, in China.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have been working very hard to make sure we continue to the right supply of PPE for Wales.
“Coronavirus has put supplies under pressure around the world. Today’s flight is the result of a lot of hard work behind the scenes to secure new supplies of gowns for our frontline workers.
“I would like to thank Cardiff Airport, the military and the police for their support with this shipment of PPE, which will help to protect our frontline health and care staff.”
The Welsh Government has been working with NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership and the National Procurement Service to secure new international supplies of PPE as well as develop Welsh supply chains.
On Saturday, a shipment of 10m masks arrived from China. These will be used in the Welsh NHS and in social care settings but the Welsh Government has also provided mutual aid to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Deb Bowen Rees, chief executive officer, at Cardiff Airport said:
“We are extremely proud to be supporting the national effort during these extraordinary times. Our airfield has remained open, as it is vital – as part of Wales’ strategic transport infrastructure – that we are always in a position to support essential flying, in this case enabling supplies to get to frontline teams as quickly as possible.
“We remain ready to support any other flying, which Wales and the UK needs over the coming weeks and months and look forward to the return of commercial flights and our customers as soon as this lockdown period is over.”
Military support to unload the PPE has been provided by reservists from 3 Royal Welsh, headquartered at Maindy Barracks.
The commander of the military support to Wales during the coronavirus pandemic, Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE said: “The military in Wales is extremely proud to support the Welsh Government and NHS Wales at this critical time as we all pull together.
“The soldiers involved in this task are almost all Welsh reservists who have volunteered to support their communities and the NHS in providing support at Cardiff Airport this week.”
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, added:
“Cardiff Airport is strategically important to Wales and the Welsh economy – it’s great to see it playing such an important role in maintaining vital supplies of PPE to our frontline health and social care workers.”
Deliveroo launches in Llanelli ahead of planned date
FOOD delivery company Deliveroo has announced its early launch in Llanelli this week. According to Deliveroo, the company has brought forward the launch by weeks in order to help restaurants and customers through lockdown. This means that locals can now order food from a range of restaurants and grocery retailers in the local area.
Deliveroo is an app and website that enables Brits to check out the very best local food in their area. The British company has seen great success and is now available in 12 different markets across the world. Deliveroo works with both the best independent restaurants like Best Pizza and Kebab House, Harry Watkins and Tinworks Brewery, well-known high street favourites like KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut as well as grocery retailers and convenience stores such as Co-op (see Editor’s Notes below for full list available on Deliveroo in Llanelli).
The food delivery company will continue to add new local restaurants, takeaways and convenience stores to the platform over the coming months, with the likes of Nando’s joining Deliveroo as lockdown eases. Apply here to become a Deliveroo partner.
The food delivery company is also giving customers 20% off orders for the next four weeks with code: LLANELLI10
The launch will be a major boost to small restaurant businesses across Llanelli who will be able to reach new customers and grow their restaurant businesses through offering delivery.
Working with Deliveroo increases restaurants’ sales as they can reach a wider range of customers. This enables restaurants to expand their businesses, often employing more staff, broadening their menus and lengthening opening times as a result.
Deliveroo will be looking for up to 50 people in Llanelli to become riders. Those who work as riders will be able to work when they want and where they want, delivering food and groceries to customers’ doors in as little as 20 minutes.
This comes as Deliveroo will also be extending further into the suburbs of existing cities or towns that it currently operates in. The drive behind the rapid expansion is underpinned by the company’s belief that people in every part of the UK should have access to amazing meals wherever and whenever they want them.
Harrison Foster, Regional Director in the UK: “Launching in Llanelli is a key milestone for Deliveroo. Llanelli has a thriving foodie community and a wide range of restaurants and retailers, so we’re excited to connect them. We look forward to working with our new partners to reach a new customer base and expand their businesses.”
Deliveroo is focused on providing the ultimate food delivery experience. Customers have the option to schedule orders via the Deliveroo app up to one day in advance or receive food as soon as possible between 11.30am and 11pm on weekdays and 11.30am and 11pm on weekends, from a variety of independent eateries, traditional takeaways, high-quality chain restaurants as well as grocery retailers.
Lifeline for cockle-gathers could be on the way after Llangennech rail crash
Plaid Cymru MS Helen Mary Jones has raised the impact on cockle-gathers of the Llangennech derailment last year.
She received an assurance from the First Minister that the Welsh Government was looking at way to help the cockle industry.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy, Transport and Tackling Poverty Minister, Helen Mary Jones MS said:
“In the Senedd I congratulated the public services for the way they co-operated around the clean-up after the Llangennech derailment, which, so far, has been very successful. I demanded a life-line scheme to help the cockle gathers.
“I raised with the First Minister issues for two groups of businesses particularly badly affected in the short-term by the derailment.
“One of those was the very important cockle-gathering industry, the other, of course, were farmers who graze animals on those low-lying banks by the river.
“There has been a request for the Welsh Government to consider whether some interim financial support might be made available to the cockle gatherers and the grazers while responsibility for the derailment and long-term compensation becomes a possibility. Many of these are small businesses; they operate on quite low margins and currently in difficult circumstances.
“The First Minister emphasised he was aware of the impact on cockle gatherers and particularly that they were unable to carry out their normal activities while the level of environmental contaminants in the estuary were being surveyed.
“Plaid Cymru believes it must be the polluter in the end that must pay for the damage that has been caused, but the rail accident investigation branch work is not coming to a conclusion quickly.
“The Welsh Government is expecting to receive advice in the next few days whether or not it is possible to devise a scheme through the Welsh Government in which some interim assistance to those industries could be supplied.
“The Welsh Government is keen to obtain that advice from officials in case it is possible, before the rail accident investigation is completed, so they can offer some assistance to those who have been most directly affected.”
The environmental impact of the Llangennech derailment last year was amongst the most significant in Wales since the Sea Empress disaster of 25 years ago.
Monitoring of the site and surrounding area, which includes four sites of special scientific interest and a special area of conservation will continue for many years to come.
UK Budget must take crucial steps to help recovery
LLANELLI Labour representatives are urging the UK Government to take the necessary steps to begin recovery and secure prosperity across all parts of the UK.
Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith and MS Lee Waters set out Wales’ priorities ahead of the UK Budget on Wednesday March 3 2021.
They are urging the UK Government to make a series of commitments to Wales, including:
• sustaining UK-wide business support
• delivering welfare and taxation measures to support the most vulnerable
• redressing the historical under investment in Wales on research and development and rail infrastructure
• providing an injection of funding to support the transition to Net Zero carbon emissions
• providing guarantees for Wales’ specific funding pressures
Speaking ahead of the UK Budget announcement, Nia Griffith MP reiterated her calls for continued business support for those on the lowest of incomes. She said:
“It is vital that the Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support Scheme are retained – not threatened with being removed at the eleventh hour and putting livelihoods at risk. A delay to repayments should also be introduced for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme with recognition given to the self-employed who are facing deferred bills.”
“It is also vital that the £20 per week increase to Universal Credit is maintained and put on a permanent basis, making it available to people in receipt of legacy means-tested benefits. More than 300,000 families in Wales have benefitted from an extra £1,000 a year as a result of the uplift and removing this now would have a detrimental and long-lasting effect on thousands of households across Wales.”
Lee Waters MS said:
“The UK Government should continue to take advantage of historically low interest rates to invest in Wales’ infrastructure and public services. Particularly on rail, where we have been underfunded to the tune of billions since the start of devolution, this is the moment where Rishi Sunak can demonstrate his commitment to ‘levelling up’ all four nations of the UK.”
“This budget is a chance to hardwire a greener, fairer way of doing things into our recovery from Coronavirus. We are ambitious about our target of being Net Zero carbon by 2050, and averting the climate crisis which is increasingly affecting Wales through flooding. But to make that transition, we need a step change from the UK Government’s budget that allows us to invest in renewable energy and green jobs.”
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