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Parties kick off Llanelli campaign



IN 2015, INCUMBENT MP Nia Griffith is defending a majority over Plaid Cymru of 4,700 votes. The Labour front bench spokesperson has gained a reputation for straight-talking and hard-working both in the Commons and in her constituency.

Speaking about the programme that Labour promises to deliver, Nia Griffith said: “The Labour Party is the only party which is big enough to offer voters in Llanelli a new Prime Minister, Ed Miliband, and a genuine alternative UK Government to David Cameron’s failed Conservatives, with their plans for massive cuts. With 650 MPs in Westminster, the smallest parties like Plaid with three MPs or the Greens with one, simply cannot make a difference.”

Focusing on the importance of the European issue, Ms Griffith went on to say: “Many jobs here in Llanelli depend on big companies which also have factories elsewhere in Europe. A Labour government in Westminster will give those companies absolute certainty that we will remain in the European Union, so that they have the confidence to invest in our factories here. If they see parties and voters clamouring for the UK to exit the European Union, they will be likely to switch valuable investment to their factories on mainland Europe, with very serious knock-on effects for jobs here in Llanelli.”

She continued: “Only a Labour UK Government can stand up for the people of Llanelli, securing fair funding for Wales, protecting our frontline services and growing an economy which works for all, not just the privileged few. We will raise the minimum wage, outlaw abusive zero-hours contracts, cut taxes for low and middle earners, with a lower 10p starting rate, provide more free childcare for working parents, protect the pension and abolish the bedroom tax. We will reverse the Tory tax cuts for millionaires and clamp down on tax avoidance. We believe Britain only succeeds when people in Llanelli succeed. “On the impact of national policies at a local level, the shadow minister was forthright: “A Labour Governmental UK level will help our businesses in Llanelli Town Centre by lowering business rates and then freezing them, to reflect the very different economic circumstances from when the current rates were set.

We will tackle the cost of living crisis for householders in Llanelli and help our local businesses by implementing an immediate freeze on energy prices for businesses and domestic customers, with a tough new watchdog to force energy companies to lower prices when wholesale prices fall. “Tackling the issue of the NHS’future, Ms Griffith concluded: “With a Labour Government in Westminster, our Labour Welsh Government will invest an extra £500m in the Welsh health service, and train an extra1,000 doctors, nurses and health professionals in shortage areas. I have fought vigorously to keep services at Prince Philip Hospital, and, whilst welcoming confirmation from Welsh Health Minister Mark Drakeford that our accident and emergency services at Prince Philip will be clinically led by doctors, I will continue to fight hard to maintain and improve as wide range of services at our Hospital aspossible.”

33 year-old teacher Vaughan Williams is Plaid’s candidate. Declaring him proud of his working class roots, the Plaid candidate has attracted attention for crowd-funding part of his campaign. Plaid’s national leadership have certainly been making encouraging noises about their candidate’s chances. Mr Williams identified Llanelli’s town centre as a key issue for this election: “To secure a strong future for our Town Centre, Plaid Cymric would cut business rates to all firms with rateable value of £15,000 or less.

This would benefit 80% of all businesses in Wales. By lowering rents, this will attract more shops to Llanelli creating jobs and rebuilding our fragile economy. “Mr Williams added: “The Eastgate development is to be welcomed but further regeneration is needed for the whole Town Centre to benefit. “Speaking of his experience as former cleaner in the NHS, Vaughan Williams said: “I believe strongly that Llanelli residents need and must have access to a first rate EService on their doorsteps.

While the Tories are privatising our NH Sin England, Labour are in charge of our NHS in Wales and therefore responsible for the reduction in our emergency services here in Llanelli. Plaid Cymric is committed to saving and strengthening our NHS, we would recruit an extra 1000 doctors across Wales in order to protect local services, to reduce waiting times and improve access to GP’s.

It’s time to put patients first. “He concluded: “Llanelli needs and deserves an MP who will always put Llanelli before London and Wales before Westminster. Only by supporting the Party of Wales can we move forward to creating a stronger and fairer nation. “The intervention of three other left parties and uncertainty about from whom they will take their votes adds to the volatile mix, while Selaine Saxby is doing her best to raise the Conservative profile locally.

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Boris Johnson expected to resign as Prime Minister today



THE PRIME MINISTER, Boris Johnson is expected to tender his resignation today, according to sources close to Number 10.

Less than a month on from surviving a leadership challenge, the PM’s premiership will come to an end after senior ministers were among those to quit the government in protest at Downing Street’s handling of a series of recent scandals.

The latest of these being Mr Johnson promoting Chris Pincher to the role of deputy chief whip in February despite being told of a sexual misconduct complaint against the Tamworth MP in 2019.

On Tuesday, the PM apologised for allowing this job move to take place – but this did not stop the resignations of both his health secretary Sajid Javid and chancellor Rishi Sunak minutes later.

By Thursday morning, more than 50 Conservative MPs had resigned from their government roles.

Commenting on the news that the Prime Minister will be resigning today as Conservative Party Leader, Andrew RT Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, said: “I’ve always said it was essential for the Prime Minister to hold the confidence of our country, party and parliament. Clearly, that is no longer the case.

“Boris Johnson’s legacy will always be that he ended the deadlock and got Brexit done, delivering on the will of the British people.

“As well as securing a historic victory in 2019, Boris ensured our return to freedom out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Regrettably, it has now become very difficult for him to deliver on the mandate he secured.

“As a friend and supporter of the Prime Minister, I recognise his achievements over the last three years. It now falls to the Conservative Party to select a new leader to deliver on our manifesto commitments for the remainder of this parliament.

“I wish him, Carrie and the rest of his family all the best for the future and thank him for his service to our country.”

Reacting to the resignation of the Prime Minister Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

“Finally this whole sorry and undignified saga has come to an end. It was always abundantly clear that Boris Johnson was unfit to be Prime Minister and those that backed him to the hilt have a responsibility for the mess and destruction he and his brand of populism has had on our country.

“The Welsh public won’t forgive so many Welsh Conservative MPs for propping up Boris Johnson for so long against various scandals while at the same time ordinary families were struggling to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.

“Johnson or no Johnson, for many former Conservative voters the party they once knew is beyond redemption and will not be coming back.”

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Werndale Hospital recognised for outstanding patient care in national award



STAFF at Werndale Hospital near Carmarthen have been recognised for the quality of their patient care. 

The prestigious ‘Private Hospital Group of the Year’ award is presented to an organisation that has shown excellence in its delivery of care, commitment to the community and innovation within healthcare.

Werndale Hospital was also recognised for their initiatives to support staff in their career progression and wellbeing.   

The latest statistics show, 98% of patients at Werndale Hospital were satisfied with their overall level of care, 98% of patients would recommend their care to family and friends, and 98% of patients rated the nursing staff as excellent or very good. 

In addition, independent analysis of Circle hospitals’ hip and knee procedure outcomes of health improvement shows that Circle scored 8.4 versus an independent sector average of 7.8 in the hip category, and a score of 15.4 versus an independent sector average of 13.9 in the knee category.   

The award presented to Circle Health Group, owners of Werndale Hospital, in London in June, also noted the extraordinary contribution the teams at the hospital had made to the community. 

In 2021 alone, Werndale Hospital partnered with Air Ambulance Wales and raised £1,205 to support the charity’s work in the community.  

In addition to the charitable work, Werndale Hospital was recognised for it’s commitment to support staff through a series of wellbeing initiatives and career development opportunities. The judges were particularly impressed with the launch of the ‘Be Heard’ survey at the hospital.   

The survey looks to empower staff to feedback on everything from the working environment at the hospital through to their own career ambitions. Building directly on the feedback from this survey, the ‘Grow Your Own’ campaign was launched which supported staff to work towards specific qualifications from nursing degrees with partnered universities through to bespoke management programmes and MBA qualifications.   

As a direct result of this support for staff at what is a challenging time for healthcare workers, Werndale Hospital and Circle Heath Group were recognised as being a Top 20 Best Large Company to work for.   

At the heart of Werndale Hospital’s approach to treating patients is a commitment to the community they serve.  

 Paolo Pieri, CEO of Circle Health Group, said:  “The award is a testament to what an amazing year 2021 was for Werndale Hospital with considerable investment into the facilities and services on offer to patients in west Wales. I couldn’t be prouder of what our staff and doctors have achieved.”  

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Aberglasney Gardens delighted to win 2022 Trip advisor Travellers’ Choice Award



ABERGLASNEY Gardens is thrilled to have been recognised by Tripadvisor as a 2022 Travellers’ Choice Award winner for being in the top 10% of attractions worldwide.

The Award recognises businesses that consistently deliver great service with the Gardens being rated ‘Excellent’ by 342 visitors.

The award celebrates businesses that have received great traveller reviews from around the globe on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months. As challenging as the past year has been, Aberglasney stood out by consistently delivering positive experiences to visitors.

Aberglasney’s Director of Operations Jim Stribling said: “We are delighted to have once again won an award from Tripadvisor. It is fantastic recognition for the team’s hard work and dedication. To rank among the top ten percent of those listed on Trip Advisor as one of the best places to visit is outstanding.

“We are grateful to all those who take the time to leave us a review after visiting. It is no cliché when I say all the team, be it in the gift shop, the gardeners, the tearooms and the administrative team, all take the reviews on board to help make a visit to Aberglasney the best possible experience for everyone.”

Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, helps hundreds of millions of people each month become better travellers, from planning, to booking, to taking a trip. Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to discover where to stay, what to do and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before.

With more than 988 million reviews and opinions of nearly eight million businesses, travellers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodation, book experiences, reserve tables at restaurants and discover great places nearby.

As a travel guidance company available in 43 markets and 22 languages, Tripadvisor makes planning easy no matter the trip type.

“Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Winners,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “The Travellers’ Choice Awards recognise the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: your guests.

“Ranking among the Travellers’ Choice winners is always tough – but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it’s using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps you’ve taken to meet travellers’ new demands. You’ve adapted brilliantly in the face of adversity.”

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