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AM candidate backs council investment

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plaid123THE LLANELLI Plaid Cymru AM candidate for next year’s Welsh Assembly election has come out in support of Plaid’s plans to spend £20 million from reserves on a range of projects across the county. Speaking to The Herald following the announcement by Plaid Cymru County Councillor Dai Jenkins last week, Helen Mary Jones said: “I’m really proud that Plaid has been able to find resources to invest in some really exciting projects that will make a big difference. Obviously I particularly welcome the £300, 000 upgrade planned for Llanelli market.

Got right this will be a huge and much needed boost to our town centre, attracting more shoppers in and creating new opportunities for town centre businesses, old and new. “It’s vital that local businesses are consulted about this development so that it can really be made to work, and I’m confident the Local Authority will do this through the Town Centre Taskforce, chaired by the Council Leader himself. “Ms Jones went on to comment on the prospect of new jobs in tourism in the county: “The investment in Pembrey Country Park, totalling £1.5 m, is also a really positive development,” she said. “I’ve long felt that this brilliant community asset is underused and undermarketed. There is huge potential for direct jobs in tourism, and for spin offs into creating new jobs in related businesses.”

Plaid Cymru has promised that some of the money will be spent on services for the elderly and disabled and Ms Jones said that she was heartened by their inclusion when it came to the lion’s share of the money available. She said: “It’s important too not to overlook the investment in services to support our elderly and disabled fellow citizens. “The £10 m investment in disabled facilities grants will enable disabled people to live independently and with dignity where they choose to live and support elderly people in staying in their own homes in their own communities. “We know that good quality care placements are in desperately short supply, and the £12.5 m to be invested in a new care home in Llanelli is an important step towards addressing this. It’s great to see a local authority investing in care, not just leaving it to the private sector. Both these initiatives will make a huge difference to some of the residents of our county most in need of support, and I’m very glad to see a Plaid led Council prioritising their needs.”

“With the cuts agenda still being forced on Wales there is no doubt that local authorities in Wales will continue to face some tough decisions. We will find out next week exactly what cuts Carmarthenshire will face next. These will not be easy times. But these investments show what a Plaid led team can deliver for our County, investing in the future even in these hard times. Wales needs a Plaid team in Cardiff Bay after next May, ready to show vision and ambition for our whole nation.”

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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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