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Police and Crime Commissioner and Temporary Chief Constable confirm Dyfed-Powys Police is accredited a Real Living Wage Employer

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Living Wage Agreement

AT THE beginning of Living Wage week this week, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn and Temporary Chief Constable Claire Parmenter have confirmed that Dyfed-Powys Police has been formally accredited as a living wage employer, becoming the first Police Force in Wales to be accredited.

As a Living Wage Employer, all staff, officers and contractors working for the Force, receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.90 which is significantly higher than the government’s minimum for over 18s, which is currently £6.56 per hour.

At the Living Wage Week Wales Launch event on Monday 15th of November, organised by the Living Wage Foundation, both PCC Dafydd Llywelyn and T/CC Claire Parmenter confirmed their commitment and presented details of the steps they have taken to ensure the Force becomes an accredited employer.

During the week, the Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn will be speaking at three different events, which include at local level in West Wales, as well as a Wales and UK national events.

There are currently 350 accredited employers in Wales, and Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn hopes that all employers will take the necessary steps to becoming accredited.

PCC Dafydd Llywelyn said; “Earlier this year I made the decision that both my Office, and Dyfed-Powys Police would become real Living Wage employer.

“Sadly, in work poverty continues to be an issue in the UK and is an acute problem here in Wales. One way to respond to this problem is to ensure a real living wage is provided not only to directly employed staff but to those support workers often subcontracted to provide a particular service.

“Leaders in the Public Sector in particular I believe, have a duty of care to become real living wage employers, and I am proud that my Office and the Police Force here in Dyfed-Powys have taken this pledge. 

“Our directly employed staff are paid above the level of £9.50 per hour, quoted and independently calculated as the real living wage, but we have embarked on ensuring that within our contracted and procured services the minimum requirement is upheld. 

“It is important for me that we are seen as a fair employer that values those working for us in any capacity. I hope that by demonstrating my leadership in this way, I will positively influence other employers nationally and within my area to follow our lead in becoming a real living wage employer.”

Temporary Chief Constable Claire Parmenter said “This is an extremely proud moment for us here in Dyfed Powys Police, as our staff are at the heart of what we do in serving our communities and have strived to deliver a first class service during a challenging 18 months.

This accreditation reaffirms our commitment to aligning the pay of our staff to the actual cost of living, whilst also ensuring Dyfed Powys Police remains an attractive employer to both our current and future employees, as well as those workers who will be subcontracted to provide a particular service.”

Sarah Hopkins, Director of Cynnal Cymru, the Living Wage accreditation body for Wales said: “We are really pleased that Dyfed Powys Police Force and Commissioner’s Office have led the way for the public sector in mid and west Wales. Their accreditation will impact not just on their employers’ wages, but on those that they work closely with, and will hopefully shine a light on the fair work agenda across the region.

We hope this will encourage more accreditations, helping to eradicate in-work poverty and strengthen the local economy. Llongyfarchiadau!” 

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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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