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Carmarthen East & Dinefwr – Parties begin election campaigns

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Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards faces a stiff contest with Calum Higgins challenging in a key marginal seat. In 2010, Mr Edwards enjoyed a 3,500 majority over former Welsh Government minister Christine Gwyther. Mr Higgins has, however, been assiduous in building upon his local presence as a County Councillor and is hopeful of overturning Jonathan Edwards’ majority. The seat has not returned a Labour MP since 1997.

Jonathan Edwards told The Herald: “Having the huge honour of being a Member of Parliament for my home communities and being Carmarthenshire’s voice in Westminster over the last five years has helped me establish some of the key issues facing our county and country. As a father of two, I want to live in a Carmarthenshire where our young people can grow up having the best education, the best opportunities to pursue a career and the best chance of creating a home and raising a family of their own.

“Speaking of his hopes for his constituents Mr Edwards said: “I want Carmarthenshire residents to be able to enjoy their retirement, and approach their older year’s safe in the knowledge that they will receive the very best of health and care services available. Carmarthenshire needs and deserves a Member of Parliament who can stand up and fight its corner against an out-of-touch London elite. I have proud record of doing just that, and would consider it my duty if I have the honour of being re-elected.

“Addressing the issue of the NHS in Wales, the MP continued: “With around 30% of our local GPs reaching retirement, Plaid Cymru’spolicy to employ 1,000 extra doctors will enable more people to see their local GP and relieve pressure on our A&E departments. We would ensure ambulances are once again located in our rural communities, saving valuable time in responding. We would introduce a living wage, making sure Carmarthenshire workers are paid a fair wage for their work.

We would take over 70,000businesses out of business rates by extending the successful rates relief scheme. Additionally, I want to finish my positive campaign to ‘Connect Carmarthenshire’ and deliver strong mobile phone signal and broadband to each and every community. “On a final note, Jonathan Edwards told The Herald: “In my time as your MP, I have been a voice for powerless against the powerful. I led the successful campaign to protect local fire stations from downgrading and closure.

I am now fighting to save our Police Helicopter. “He concluded with an appeal to the electorate: “If you continue to put their faith in me, I promise to be the strong advocate you need. More importantly, I promise to make you proud. “This week, Ammanford town centre was the scene of Welsh Labour’s official campaign launch. The launch began with a visit from First Minister Carwyn Jones and Owen Smith MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales. The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr seats on the list of target seats that Labour need to win to kick the Tories out of Government.

Calum Higgins told us: “It was a real pleasure to have the national attention on Ammanford and to highlight how important this seat is in the battle for 10 Downing Street. Carmarthen East and Dinefwr is one of the few seats that will determine if the Tories get another 5 years to decimate our public services, or if we can deliver a fairer economy with Labour.

There’s only one way to kick out the Tory Government and it means electing as many Labour MPs as possible at Westminster. “Speaking about his local campaign, Calum Higgins said: “It’s also important that this is a positive campaign and I’m determined to focus my campaign what I will do locally. I’m sure that people are fed up with negative politics and want to hear what we will do.

The way to convince voters is to talk about jobs and investment. What I promise the voters in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr is that if elected I will be a local voice in a party of government and focus my energy on positive policies to bring investment and jobs to the area. “The Conservative vote rose significantly in 2010, and it is what happens to the Tory’s share of the vote and that of LIb Dem and UKIP that is likely to be a significant factor.

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Boris Johnson expected to resign as Prime Minister today

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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

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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

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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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