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Carmarthenshire MP regrets loss of dedicated police helicopter

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Police chopper X99 (Pic: Mike Hillen/Herald)

Police chopper X99 (Pic: Mike Hillen/Herald)

THOSE responsible for the loss of the dedicated police helicopter for Dyfed Powys should “hang their heads in shame” – that was the comment of Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards who has spoken on the day the Dyfed Powys police helicopter ceased operations.

 
Taking to Twitter on New Year’s Eve, the official account of helicopter support unit tweeted “After 20+ illustrious years it is now time for X99 to bow out, can we thank everyone for their support and we wish you all a Happy New Year.”

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards

In November the Police and Crime Commissioner, Christopher Salmon, confirmed he would be signing-up the force to the centralised National Police Air Service (NPAS) which will see the force helicopter sold off, the Pembrey base used as a refuelling site, and response times for most of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion significantly increased.

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards, who has spearheaded the campaign to protect the helicopter, thanked crews past and present for their work in policing the skies of Dyfed Powys and said the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner would “feel the profound anger” of residents if there is a single problem with the new centralised service in future.
Jonathan Edwards MP said: “The previous UK Conservative and Lib Dem coalition government brought in the legislation that instructed police forces to share air support operations.  It’s hardly surprising that Westminster’s dead hand of centralisation ignited the process by which our helicopter was lost.
“But the final nail in the coffin, as we all now know, was that the local Police Commissioner did not oppose the loss of our dedicated service.  For the helicopter to have any chance of continuing it needed a Commissioner that was prepared to stand up to his own party colleagues and fight for it.

“All of those responsible for the helicopter hanger closing its doors for the last time should hang their heads in shame.

“On behalf of those who have opposed the helicopter loss I wish to state my heartfelt thanks to the crew and former crews for their sterling work in our skies.

“The last thing I want is for this to become a ‘lessons will be learnt’ or an ‘I told you so’ situation.  I sincerely hope the new service will deliver the same level of support and operation we’ve experienced over the last 20 years.

“If it doesn’t, if there is a single problem, if just one request for helicopter cover is refused as has already been experienced in England, then the Police Commissioner will undoubtedly feel the profound anger of Dyfed Powys residents.”

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Education

Funding for music education trebled to the tune of £13.5m

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EVERY child will have the opportunity to benefit from music education as part of the Welsh Government’s plans for a national music service, which will help ensure no child misses out due to a lack of means.

As the National Plan for Music Education is published, the Minister for Education has confirmed funding will be trebled, with £13.5m being invested over the next three years.

The plan will make access to music education fairer and more consistent across Wales, with a particular focus on learners from low-income households and those with Additional Learning Needs. Support will be available for children and young people to access and progress with music tuition, with learners from disadvantaged and under-represented groups supported to join music ensembles.

The plan includes a number of key work programmes such as:

A review on music tutors’ terms and conditions, to ensure they are treated equitably and are recognised properly.
A ‘First Experiences’ programme to offer children in primary schools a minimum of half a term of musical instrument taster sessions, delivered by trained and skilled music practitioners.
A ‘Making Music with Others’ initiative, including opportunities for children and young people in secondary schools to gain industry experience through working alongside musicians and creative industries
A new national instrument and equipment library to support access to a resource bank to be shared across Wales.
These programmes will be rolled out from September 2022, supporting schools and settings to give all children and young people from the ages of 3 to 16 the opportunity to learn to play an instrument as well as singing and making music in our schools and our communities.

The National Music Service will operate as a ‘hub’, with the Welsh Local Government Association co-ordinating the Music Service’s programmes with a wide range of organisations. It will help schools and settings in their delivery of the Curriculum for Wales and provide more diverse opportunities for children and young people to experience music outside schools and settings.

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford and the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, visited St Joseph’s Cathedral Primary School in Swansea to see a cluster of primary school children taking part in a ‘Play Along’ session led by Swansea Music Service.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“The establishment of a National Music Service for Wales is an important commitment in our Programme for Government and I’m delighted that we are delivering on this pledge.

“Learning an instrument was a formative part of my upbringing and a lack of money should not be a barrier to any young person who wants to learn to play music. We are fortunate in Wales to have a strong tradition of school, county and national ensembles, and we want to make sure that our children and young people are able to play a full part in these. This funding will support music services in schools and within the community to help nurture our young musical talent.”

The Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said:

“Our vision is for all children and young people across Wales, regardless of background, to have the chance to learn to play an instrument. The plan we are publishing today, backed by funding, will help deliver that vision.

“For too long, the chance to learn an instrument and develop musical skills has been for those few whose families and carers who can afford tuition. I want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to access music tuition, and that’s why we’re making this significant investment to deliver a range of activities for our children and young people to learn and experience the joy of music.

“The development of the National Music Service will ensure that we nurture our next generation and continue to produce new talent and showcase Wales to the world.”

WLGA Chief Executive Chris Llewelyn said:

“We are proud to work with the Welsh Government on delivering this vital service to children across Wales. Many families in Wales can’t afford an instrument, and this funding will go a long way to opening doors to children across Wales to have the opportunity of learning an instrument.

“Playing an instrument and reading music is a very important skill for a child, and music brings enormous joy to children. Local authorities believe that children across Wales will have better access to instruments, and this plan will develop many future talented musicians, and support pupils to develop their musical skills.”

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News

Trailer for horror film ‘Protein’ which was shot in Swansea and Llanelli released

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PROTEIN is a 2022 British horror crime thriller filmed in west Wales. A couple of gym-obsessed serial killer who murders and eats an area drug supplier for his or her… protein, inadvertently sparking a brutal and bloodthirsty tit-for-tat turf conflict between rival drug gangs.

The movie is the work of Carmarthenshire-based production company Broadside Films, directed by Tony Burke and produced by Tom Gripper. Tom said: “The film is currently going through the post-production process but will be released sometime later this year. We’re hoping to do a festival run first before it goes to wider distribution, but we’re also hoping to have some local showings in Wales, particularly near where it was filmed.

The trailer: Features some of the scenes filmed in Gorseinon and Llanelli (Hand out)

“I’m really proud of it. Even before we cut it, it was really exciting. It is really well directed and really well performed, and thanks to the incredible crew, it is looking really good. I’m really excited for people to see it.

“The trailer features some of the scenes we filmed in Gorseinon and Llanelli so people will be able to recognise those. And of course we’re really grateful to the residents of Swansea and Carmarthenshire for their patience and putting up with us, as well as the crew at Sin City in Swansea, who were amazing and very accommodating, we’re super thankful to them.” These are all the TV and film projects being made in Wales in spring, 2022.

MORE ABOUT THE FILM

Directed by Tony Burke – making his function movie debut – from a screenplay co-written with Mike Oughton, primarily based on Burke’s 2014 in need of the identical identify.

The Broadside Films manufacturing stars Craig Russell (School of the DamnedNightshootersCanaries aka Alien Party Crashers), Steve Meo, Kai Owen, Ross O’Hennessy, Richard Elis, Gareth John Bale, Charles Dale, Andrea Hall, Richard Mylan and Kezia Burrows.

Cast and characters:

Craig Russell … Sion
Steve Meo … Kevin
Kai Owen … Dwayne
Ross O’Hennessy … Nik
Richard Elis … Big Tim
Gareth John Bale … Gary
Charles Dale … Stanton
Andrea Hall … Patch
Richard Mylan … Joe Llewelyn
Kezia Burrows … Katrina
Jamie Kenna … Fitz
Phil Deguara … Wilkes
Claire Cage … DCI Arning
Justine Jones … Leanne
Andrew Lennon … Carl
Alex Parry … Zef
Darren Swain … Yuri
Dean Lewis … Petr
Russell Daniels … Luan
Christopher Pegler-Lambert … Alexis
Oliver Coles … Lotan
Michelle McTernan … Sian
Derek Palmer … Guy
Ieuan Evans … Kid
Dhean Morris … Delivery Guy
Llew Roderick … Ryan
Julian Lewis Jones … DS Tom Warbler
Ceri Jones … DI Bryan Davies

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Business

Beware of fake E.ON refund emails, warns Action Fraud

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ACTION FRAUD – the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime – has said scammers are impersonating Eon in an attempt to steal the recipient’s money and financial details.

The UK’s energy crisis has seen household utility bills rocket following the price cap increase this April, scammers are seeing this as an opportunity to fleece unsuspecting residents out of their hard-earned cash.

Action Fraud said today it has received 449 relating to fake emails – known as phishing – purporting to come from E.ON.

The emails state that the recipient is owed an £85 refund due to an ‘overcharge’.

Action Fraud has said the links to the emails lead to a ‘genuine-looking website’ but they are designed to steal a personal details.

Phishing is a method used by scammers, using fake emails or web links which look trustworthy and familiar, to gain access to sensitive information such as passwords and bank details or to infect your device with malware.

Phishing emails are a very common type of cyber attack and because they’re made to look like they’re from an official source, they’re easy to fall victim of.

They could be from a business you’re a customer of – your gas and electricity supplier, for example – asking you to manage your account or pay a bill.

If you’ve had a suspicious email from someone claiming to be from E.ON, forward it to phishing@eonenergy.com for their cyber security team to investigate, if you’re a customer or not, and then delete it immediately.

Email safety tips

E.ON has listed four things you can check if you’ve received an email claiming to be from us.

  1. Check the sender’s address

The senders email address may look trustworthy at first, but the name after the ‘@’ (the domain) can give you a clue as to whether it’s bogus. For example if the email is sent from: @eonHelpDeskUK.com, this is likely a malicious phishing attempt, as we’d only send emails from @eonenergy.com.

  1. Is the greeting personal?

A genuine email will address you by your full name, and not a generic term like ‘sir’, ‘madam’, or ‘loyal customer’.

  1. Be cautious

If you’re using a mouse, hover over any links you’re unsure of before clicking on them, just to see if the link address looks genuine. If you’re unsure, go to the website directly instead of using the link in the email.

  1. How does it look?

Check the grammar, tone and design of any emails which you receive. Look out for inconsistent fonts, unusual characters and punctuation.

Remember, if you’re unsure, forward the email to phishing@eonenergy.com and our cyber security team will investigate.

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