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Welsh Government announces £200m support for small businesses in wake of coronavirus outbreak

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THE WELSH GOVERNMENT has today announced a package of support worth more than £200m for small businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.

Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Llanelli with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will receive 100% business rate relief and pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will receive a £5,000 reduction on their bill.

A further £100m will be available for a new grant scheme for small businesses Further details on this new grant scheme will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Welcoming this announcement, Lee Waters MS, said: “I’m pleased that the Welsh Labour Government is offering this package of support to businesses as part of their response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

“They are doing everything they can to support businesses to deal with the impact of coronavirus. My advice to all businesses is to use the help and advice that is available.

“Any business affected should contact the Business Wales telephone helpline on 03000 603000. They can help with practical advice – from staffing to financial planning as well as supply chain support.

“The Development Bank of Wales is also available to help – it has equity and loan funding it can make available immediately to small businesses to help them through the cash flow and other challenges they may face in next, difficult, few weeks and months. The Development Bank of Wales can be contacted on 0800 5874140.”

Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans AM, said: “We are allocating every penny of the funding we will be receiving as a consequence of the schemes the UK Government announced in England last week to support businesses in Wales.

“But I know that helping businesses with their rates bills will not be enough to protect them from the severe drop in custom many are experiencing as coronavirus cases increase.

“We will be calling on the UK Government to act quickly and decisively to provide a very significant support package for vulnerable businesses and their employees.”

Please find below links to current information issued that you may find useful for your business and continuity.

A number of announcements were made in the March 2020 Budget including financial support that businesses can expect to access:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses

In terms of Department for Work and Pensions support for employers, here is a useful link (via GOV.UK): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses?utm_source=37472ed5-c0b4-4625-8801-549259dc908d&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
Further and complementary advice can also be found on the Business Wales Website: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

Visit Wales also provide some specific advice for tourism businesses regarding the situation. This can be found by following:
https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKWALES/bulletins/280805d

We should all help protect ourselves and our communities by following Public Health Wales advice at: https://phw.nhs.wales/coronavirus

There is also updated information regarding the virus on the Welsh Government website. Please view: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

We are also starting to see banks such as Lloyds offering support via low interest loans sources. We will update this information as further opportunities come forward.

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More support for West Wales carers

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A NEW strategy has been launched to improve life for more than 47,000 unpaid carers in west Wales.

Coinciding with Carers Rights Day, the West Wales Care Partnership has launched a five-year plan focused on four key areas to improve the support available for people caring for family or friends.

A carer is anyone, of any age, who provides unpaid care to someone who couldn’t otherwise manage, either because they are ill, frail, disabled, have mental health concerns or have substance misuse issues.

The strategy outlines how support will be provided to help carers maintain education, training and employment opportunities, and support to help them take advantage of digital services.

There will be greater focus on early intervention to identify people as carers and ensuring a range of services are available to support their well-being.

Judith Hardisty Chair of the West Wales Regional Partnership Board and Vice-Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “I’m delighted to be formally launching this regional strategy on Carers Rights Day. Improving lives for Carers is a priority for all members of the Regional Partnership Board as we strive to ensure that everyone lives longer healthier and happier lives and are supported to remain active and independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Our vision is to ensure that Carers are recognised, valued as expert partners in care and supported in their caring role.”

The West Wales Care Partnership covers the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire and supports transformation and integration of care and support in the region.

Carmarthenshire Council’s executive board member for social care, Cllr Jane Tremlett said: “Caring for someone can be both challenging and rewarding. Some carers provide around the clock care which can be a huge struggle, exhausting and very demanding. Others have the added hardship of working whilst caring for a loved one. Many carers experience isolation, physical health problems and emotional issues such as anxiety and stress and balancing the caring role whilst juggling other commitments can be extremely hard. Thousands of unpaid carers in West Wales are helping to look after relatives, friends or neighbours, and without their dedication the burden on our health and social care services would be huge. This Strategy will put greater focus on what can be done to support them in as many ways as possible.”

For further information about the regional Carers Strategy contact the Strategic Partnership, Diversity and Inclusion Team by emailing inclusion.hdd@wales.nhs.uk

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Police and Crime Commissioner to broadcast live conversation with Health Board

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ON WEDNESDAY evening, November 25, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn will broadcast a live conversation with Hywel Dda University Health Board Chief Executive, Steve Moore on social media.

Steve Moore will be PCC Llywelyn’s fourth guest on his fortnightly Facebook live broadcast series, Commissioner in Conversation following on from previous broadcasts with Dyfed-Powys Chief Constable Mark Collins, Superintendent Ifan Charles, and Deputy Chief Constable Claire Parmenter.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn, said; “It will be a privilege for me to have Steve Moore as a guest on my next Commissioner in Conversation broadcast.  This year has been such a challenging year for our Health Board, and the NHS across the UK, with their staff being at the frontline, working hard to fight the pandemic, and saving lives on the way.

“This broadcast will be an opportunity for me to have an informal conversation with Steve to hear about his personal experiences of recent months, how the Health Board has dealt with all the challenges and the pressure, and to celebrate the fantastic work of his staff.

“We will not only concentrate on the COVID-19 pandemic, we will also discuss some partnership working between the NHS and the Police, how we often support each other, and as usual, I will try to get to know a little more about the person behind the name, his background and his journey to reach the position of Chief Executive at Hywel Dda University Health Board.”

Steve was appointed as Chief Executive at Hywel Dda UHB in 2014 following a career within both the public and private sectors. Like the rest of the UK, the NHS here in Dyfed Powys has seen significant challenges during the past few years but also significant advancements in care and outcomes for patients.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive Hywel Dda Health Board said: “The NHS is an institution that most of us hold very dear as it supports us from cradle to grave and can have a huge impact on our lives.

“I’m really looking forward to my conversation with the Commissioner as so many of our challenges, and indeed opportunities, are shared; and I’m particularly looking forward to receiving questions or input from social media users as well. COVID-19 has made us all look to new ways of connecting and I hope this provides an opportunity for people to find out more and for us to listen to the views of our communities and individuals.”

PCC Dafydd Llywelyn added; “This, again, will be a live broadcast, so please join us on our Facebook page, and feel free to leave your comments and questions, and as usual, we will try to reply best we can during the conversation.

Commissioner in Conversation with Steve Moore will be broadcasted live on www.facebook.com/DPOPCC  at 8pm on November 25, on the eve of Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn’s November virtual Community Engagement Day, where he will be spending the day meeting with several partners and organisations as well as community representatives.

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New ‘world class’ facilities for Carmarthen Leisure Centre

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WORK has been completed at Carmarthen Leisure Centre following a £1.5 million investment by Carmarthenshire County Council.

The improvements works which include a new eight-lane athletics track and a world class 2G astro turf pitch surface have been funded under the council’s capital works programme.

Features of the upgraded competition spec track include two 100m sprint tracks, a 400m track, startrack system and a complete lighting system replacement.

The four tennis courts have also undergone a ground respray with new netting and additional access and exit points.

Additional parking has been provided to meet current demand and a one way system has been introduced which will ease traffic flow.

More fencing and goal storage has been built around the 2G pitch to allow safe use of the facility for multiple sports, along with new light bases, spectator rails and rebound fencing.The council’s executive board member, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, said: “We are pleased that we have been able to make this significant investment available for our leisure centre. 

“More people than ever are using the centres to get more active and healthy, so it is critical that we are able to provide them with modern facilities that compete with a busy private sector market. If we don’t invest we face the possibility of losing our customers which would have a long term effect on the viability of our leisure centres. This investment will benefit our members and the local community and schools.”

Over £3 million has being ploughed into Carmarthen and Ammanford centres to ensure sport facilities are fit for the future.

Cllr Hughes Griffiths added: The new pitch will offer people a world-class facility for people to enjoy in all weathers, throughout the day and evening and will be open for hire by the public, clubs, schools and others for soccer, hockey and a range of sports and activities.”

 

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