PLAID CYMRU have decided to use some of the County Council’s nine-figure reserves to invest in a strategy to create jobs and improve the standard of living in Carmarthenshire.
That’s according to a press release from Plaid Cymru received by The Herald this morning.
The release reveals that since taking over the leadership of the county council from Labour in May, Plaid has been analysing the council’s substantial capital reserves and is not prepared to just sit on them.
As a result, almost £20m will be released from those reserves towards projects right across the county.
The £20m committed, together with grant aid and match funding, will enable expenditure over the next five years on a number of major projects which will create jobs and improve the quality of life of people in Carmarthenshire.
The projects include:
- The much-needed renovation of Carmarthenshire Museum at Abergwili
- Provide a new archive for the county (in possible partnership): £2m
- Extend Oriel Myrddin Art Gallery as focal point of King Street ‘cultural quarter’: £750k
- New circular cycle track at Pembrey Country Park : £500k
- Contribution towards restoring Carmarthen park Velodrome as a major cycling venue: £286k
- Carmarthen-Llandeilo cycling and walking track: £5.75m
- Cross Hands economic Link Road – Phase 2: £12.3m
- Upgrade and new attractions at Pembrey Country Park: £1m
- New care home in Llanelli: £12.5m
- Disabled Facility Grants to help older and vulnerable people to live in their own homes: £10m
- Glanaman Industrial Estate refurbishment: £1m
- Renovate Llanelli Market: £300k
- Rural Enterprise Fund to help enterprises create jobs and economic growth: £2m
Plaid says the above are IN ADDITION to tens of millions of pounds to be spent on new schools and a large number of other capital projects.
“Since taking over control of the council in May, in alliance with the Independent group, we’ve been analysing the reserves in detail and have established that almost £20m could be released for much-needed capital projects,” said Cllr Dai Jenkins, Plaid Cymru’s deputy-leader of council and Executive Board Member for Resources (pictured).
“People may ask why we don’t use these reserves to offset cuts in services – a course of action advocated by Plaid last year. But the truth is, at that time, due to lack of vision by the Labour-led administration, it was unclear why there was so much money in reserves and what use could be made of it. Some of it may be spent on off-setting cuts to services, but most of the money will be invested in a detailed strategy to create jobs and improve standards of living.
“With council reorganisation on the horizon, it’s imperative that we spend the money raised in our county for the future benefit of Carmarthenshire,” said Cllr Jenkins. “Plaid has a clear vision for our county’s future – and the means to deliver it.”
Earlier this year, Council Chief Executive Mark James was controversially given editorial space in one newspaper to slate Plaid Cymru’s plans to use the Council’s capital reserves to alleviate the impact of cuts on Carmarthenshire’s population. That intervention caused widespread disquiet about the appropriateness of Mr James’s intervention in political debate.
It appears that members of the Plaid Cymru group, after a difficult first few months in power with the Independent group, have flexed their own political muscles in an attempt to deliver the sort of improvements they favoured while in opposition.
Those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster should get jabbed by end of June
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.
Young people in Wales being failed when moving from child to adult mental health services
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.
Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre
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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