LLANELLI AM, Keith Davies, used a Senedd debate this week to raise cuts to FE funding at Coleg Sir Gar. The situation has attracted local attention, with the Graig Campus situated in Llanelli and students studying at three sites county-wide.
The Labour Assembly Member has received high volumes of correspondence from staff, pupils, union representatives and parents. He has been in regular contact with Coleg Sir Gar on the issue, including its Principal.
Wales’ funding has been cut by £1.5 billion by the coalition government in Westminster, 10% of the Block Grant.
The Welsh Government has committed to keeping education funding 1% above the block grant, alongside a statutory duty to protect learners up to the age of 18. They have protected Welsh students from excessive tuition fee increases seen in England. The damaging scale of Westminster cuts means difficult decisions have had to be taken and the Welsh Labour Government has ensured that key priorities are financed and delivered.
Keith Davies AM said: “As the Llanelli representative, my main concern is the financial climate in the FE sector across Carmarthenshire. I have been in regular contact with Coleg Sir Gar, and have written to the Welsh Government. Mitigating job losses, financial sustainability and next steps options are at the top of the priority list.”
“I know that the Deputy Minister convened a working group to work alongside Coleg Sir Gar. My focus is on the outcomes of these actions, especially time scales and strategic directions for the immediate future.”
“We do need to move towards a sustainable finance structure where the Government is not the sole source of industry-related skills training. Of course the government ought to maintain strong support, but with employers also upping their level of investment. We have successful examples of that in Llanelli apprenticeship models, and opportunities for further skills development – like working with TATA and the Swansea Tidal Lagoon.”
Mr Davies continued: “Skills and educational investment are crucial economic drivers of today. Globalisation demands innovation, creativity and a modern workforce. When we talk about ‘the economy’ in the context of policy or elections – skills, education and training are at its core. FE is an essential part of that.”
The AM concluded: “I will continue to be in contact with Coleg Sir Gar and any other stakeholders, and repeatedly raise the issue with the Welsh Government.”
New ward extension opens at Werndale Hospital
WERNDALE Hospital opens its £1millon ward extension, featuring a suite of new spacious patient en-suite rooms and additional light and airy ward space for new nurses’ stations, new technology and medical equipment, in pleasant and comfortable spaces.
Werndale is part of Circle Health Group, the UK’s largest provider of private healthcare. The group is carrying out a £125 million redevelopment programme across its 50 hospitals in the UK.
Werndale has a strong history in the village of Bancyfelin, where is has been serving the local communities of Wales for over 32 years.
James Davies, Wales and Scarlets rugby player, from Bancyfelin, cut the ribbon to mark the official opening on Monday 1st August. His nickname “Cubby”, is reference to his brother’s nickname, “Fox”; this refers to the Fox & Hounds pub their parents ran in Bancyfelin, the village where they grew up. Staff and consultants were given the chance to view the new extension, with a small gathering to mark the occasion and celebrate all the hard work that has gone into this project over the last 12 months.
Jacky Jones, Executive Director of Werndale Hospital said: “The investment programme is an exciting opportunity to expand what we can offer to patients at Werndale. Our staff and consultants are delighted with this expansion which will allow us to meet the private healthcare needs of patients and families in Wales and will decrease waiting times which will positively impact the patient’s experience. Having the new patient rooms here increases our ward capacity by 20%, it is a great investment”.
Gaynor Llewellyn, Director of Clinical Services said: “At Werndale we are committed to continuous improvement of clinical facilities and services. We continually invest in the hospital so that we can offer our patients and consultants reassurance when they visit us for treatments”.
Werndale Hospital is seeing increased demand for its services across all specialities particularly orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, and general surgery. Nearly 4,000 patients had surgery at Werndale Hospital, Bancyfelin during 2021 and the new investment will enable ward capacity to be increased by 25 per cent.
M4 closed westbound following lorry fire near Swansea
A SECTION of the M4 near Swansea was shut on Monday (Aug 8) due to a vehicle fire.
The westbound section of the motorway, between junction 47 at Penllergaer and junction 48 at Hendy closed.
Emergency services were called to the scene, and there was queuing traffic in the area.
Traffic monitoring service Inrix reported: “M4 Westbound closed, queueing traffic due to vehicle fire between J47 A48 (Penllergaer / Swansea West Services) and J48 A4138 Pontardulais Road”
Police appeal after Llanelli assault: victim required hospital treatment
DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating an assault which occurred on Regalia Terrace, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire at about 12.05am, Sunday 3rd July.
The victim required hospital treatment.
Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.
They would like to identify the person in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.
Anyone who knows who the person is, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.
This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing email@example.com or phoning 101.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.
Please quote reference DP-20220703-011
Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.