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Scheme will generate ‘£1.7m annual savings’

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Finance and Government Minister Jane Hutt: Announced new scheme

Finance and Government
Minister Jane Hutt: Announced
new scheme

PULBIC service organisations across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire are to benefit from £2,485,000 through the Invest to Save scheme starting in 2015-16, Finance and Government Minister Jane Hutt has announced.

The funding will save a total of £1,765,000 a year at six organisations, which are among ten across Wales which will benefit from a total of £5m through the Invest to Save scheme during 2015-16 leading to annual estimated savings of £3m for public sector organisations.

The schemes are:

  • Hywel Dda University Health Board will receive £281,000 that will produce £228,000 annual savings fie a scheme to replace all medical infusion pumps across all of their sites. The pumps control the supply of fluids and drugs to patients and after their introduction the machines will be universal to the health board. This will not only generate savings from the Board negotiating cheaper consumables but will also reduce the clinical risk presented by staff having to deal with different types of equipment.
  • Powys Teaching Health Board will receive £277,000 for Children’s Continuing Care that will save £309,000 a year. The funding will allow the health board to become less reliant on private nursing agencies to deliver the clinical element of many of their Children’s Continuing Care packages. The project involves delivering care through investment in the local Welsh NHS service and the use of third sector service providers.
  • Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Services will receive £280,000 for its Safe as Houses Project that will generate annual savings of £765,000. The scheme aims to reduce hospital admissions, crime and ambulance service costs. Home safety will concentrate on reducing the risk of falls, heating and the general condition of properties to ensure that they are not detrimental to the health of the occupants. The crime reduction element comes in via security assessments of properties and the provision of advice.
  • Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Services will also receive £165,000 to convert 57 stations in Mid and West Wales to LED lighting, generating annual savings of £55,000
  • Carmarthenshire County Council is to receive £1,407,000 to contribute to the Council’s aim of replacing 12,000 traditional sodium street lights. The project will reduce C02 emissions by approximately 1,000 tonnes per annum. The cash releasing benefits of the project are £400,000 a year which includes reduced energy consumption costs and maintenance.
  • The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth will receive £75,000 for the installation of 200 Photovoltaic Cells on the roof of the Library. The estimated generating capacity of these panels is 37,000 kWh which will significantly reduce the Library’s reliance on grid electricity and produce annual savings of £8,000 per annum.

The successful Invest to Save fund helps public sector organisations deliver improvements to frontline services across Wales and generate cash efficiency savings.

Jane Hutt said: “I am delighted to be able to announce today that ten new projects across Wales will benefit from a total investment of £5m through our innovative Invest to Save scheme.

“At a time of increasing budgetary pressures, these projects are expected to generate £3m of vital savings per annum for public sector organisations and improve efficiencies.

“This round of funding, as well as including a range of energy efficiency projects, will also see a number of preventative investment projects which have the potential to make a significant impact on public spending and the lives and well being of communities the length and breadth of the country. I look forward to hearing their progress over the coming months.”

The Minister also encouraged the Welsh public service to make proposals for the next round of Invest to Save, worth approximately £20 million in 2016-17.

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Driver jailed for head-on crash that caused life-changing injuries

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A DRIVER who caused a head-on collision with a car being driven by a pregnant woman told police officers at the scene he had drunk 13 cans of strong lager the night before.

Rhodri Rees, aged 36, of Llandysul, admitted his drinking had gone into the early hours before he got behind the wheel and caused the crash on the A476 in Llannon, near Llanelli, by overtaking another car on a bend at around 7.40am on December 11, 2020.

The severe impact meant both drivers were trapped in their cars and had to be cut free by firefighters.

Thankfully the baby was unharmed in the collision, however, its mother suffered serious, life-changing injuries. She had a number of operations to repair the damage and was unable to walk for a year and still suffers the effects of the accident today.

Dyfed-Powys Police Sgt Nicholas Brookes said “When Rees was spoken to by our officers at the scene he told them he had drunk 13 cans of Stella Artois and that he had gone to bed after midnight.

“He failed a breath test at the scene and was arrested on suspicion of drink driving before being allowed to go to hospital for treatment.”

The following day he was interviewed at Carmarthen Police Station where he told officers he had consumed eight or nine cans of Foster’s before going to bed around 2am, before getting up at around 6.45am and setting off.

A sample of blood was taken just before 1pm on December 11 showed Rees had 39mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood – the legal limit being 80.  A blood alcohol expert had calculated that at the time of the collision the level of alcohol would have been no less than 113mg and more likely 129mg.

PS Brookes added: “This was a serious case that could have been so much worse.

“Rees admitted drinking a considerable amount of alcohol and getting little sleep before getting behind the wheel. He was lucky no-one was killed.

“I would like to commend the officer in the case, PC Benjamin Stevenson, who conducted a thorough and meticulous investigation for the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.”

On Tuesday, 17th May, Rees appeared before Swansea Crown Court, having pleaded guilty at a previous hearing, and was sentenced to 18-months in prison.

He was also disqualified from driving for three years and 9 months, with a requirement for an extended test to regain his licence.

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Health

No monkeypox cases identified in Wales say public health officials

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THE UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has detected 11 additional cases of monkeypox in England.

The latest cases bring the total number of monkeypox cases confirmed since May 6 to 20.

The new cases come on top of the nine already identified in the country.

There are currently no cases of monkeypox identified in Wales, public health in Wales have said.

Public Health Wales said it is working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Public Health Scotland, and Northern Ireland HSC Health Protection Agency to respond to UK cases of monkeypox.

Richard Firth, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said: “We are working closely with our UK partners to monitor and respond to cases of monkeypox in the UK. Monkeypox is a rare disease that has been reported mainly in central and West African countries. No cases have so far been identified in Wales.”

“Monkeypox does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness, and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.”

The first case in the current outbreak was confirmed on May 6.

It is not the first time monkeypox has been reported in the UK.

Three cases were also reported in 2021, two of them in Wales.

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New city of Wrexham gets big thumbs up from business leaders

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BUSINESS leaders have given a big thumbs up to news that Wrexham has been granted city status following a competition to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Wrexham Business Professionals have campaigned for more than a decade to help secure city status and say they are “cock-a-hoop” that the bid was successful, having previously failed last time around in 2012.

According to the group, made up of successful businesses and highly skilled professionals working together to promote regional prosperity and the enterprise and expertise in the region, becoming a city is a “fantastic once-in-a-generation” opportunity.

Wrexham joins seven other winners from across Britain and the overseas territories – including Bangor in Northern Ireland, Stanley in the Falklands, and Colchester in England.

Pictured Ian Edwards, of Allington Hughes Solicitors,

The competition for city status has taken place in each of the last three jubilee years, with previous winners including Newport, which became a city in 2002.

Ian Edwards, a senior member of Wrexham Business Professionals and a director of Allington Hughes, said: “We have supported the idea of Wrexham becoming a city for many years. As far as we are concerned, this is a no-brainer and is one of the best things to have happened to Wrexham for a long time

“Even before the pandemic and the consequences of the pandemic we’ve always thought that being a city would give Wrexham a lot of kudos and would provide a massive economic benefit for the whole of North Wales.

“During the pandemic some business in Wrexham have done well but others – notably in leisure, tourism and hospitality – have really suffered and we really have to get back on our feet economically.

“It’s not just about putting Wrexham on the map – being a city will provide an effective lever in attracting inward investment and new jobs which will help the whole area thrive and prosper.

“The benefits of city status transform the fortunes of the town and provide a better future for the people who live here.

“It feels like the stars have now aligned perfectly and that the time is now right to do our best to seize this opportunity.

“The fact that Wrexham AFC has been bought by Hollywood A-listers Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney helped add bit of magic and stardust to the bid.

“A lot of people across the world hadn’t heard of Wrexham before and now other Hollywood stars are embracing the story and putting on the club’s shirt.

“We’ve never had such a high profile – not just nationally but internationally.

“You really couldn’t script it better. There’s never going to be a better time to become Wales’s seventh city.”

It was a sentiment echoed by the group’s chair, chartered accountant Gill Kreft, co-owner of the Pendine Park care organisation.

She said: “City status will give Wrexham a huge fillip and provide the recognition it deserves as the commercial capital of North Wales.

“City status will undoubtedly help attract more inward investment and funding into the town and the surrounding area.

“It will also give us an enhanced reputation and status as well and raise awareness of what a great place this is and what a lot it has to offer. Wrexham has a lot going for it.

“It will be a massive boost for us and for North Wales and give the town more confidence about itself.

“Hopefully, we can now go for a hat-trick with Wrexham AFC finally winning promotion and being crowned as City of Culture 2025. Fingers crossed!”

Captions

Gill Kreft, chair of Wrexham Business Professionals

Ian Edwards., leading member of Wrexham Business Professionals

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