July 2013

30 July 2013

Local AM Visits British Heart Foundation Shop!

Local AM Paul Davies is pictured with staff and volunteers from the BHF shop in Haverfordwest.Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Paul Davies has recently visited the British Heart Foundation shop in Haverfordwest, to meet shop staff, volunteers and customers. Following a recent independent report to the Welsh Government, there are concerns that the Business Minister will reduce the business rate relief for charity shops in Wales from 80 to 50 per cent, and to taper rate relief according to the rateable value of shops. If the rate proposals go ahead, the BHF Cymru Haverfordwest shop would need to find an additional £4,825 to pay on their annual rates bill – and an extra £150,000 countrywide if all their shops in Wales were to stay open.

Mr Davies said, "I was delighted to visit the British Heart Foundation shop in Haverfordwest to learn more about how the potential reduction in business rate relief for charity shops would impact the work of charities at a local level. The role of charity shops on the Welsh high street is important for our society and also for our local economy. It is essential that we recognise the valuable contribution charity shops make to the organisations they represent and the essential services that they help to provide, such as health research, nurses and palliative care. The staff and volunteers here do a tremendous job, and it's crucial that they can continue to do so, given that coronary heart disease is the single biggest killer in Wales. Therefore, I will be taking on board the concerns raised with me from the visit and I will be monitoring the Welsh Government's action on this issue over the coming months."

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24 July 2013

New Panel Set Up to Advise on Health Board Changes

Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Paul Davies is calling on the Welsh Government to bring forward a Ministerial statement on Hywel Dda local health board's reconfiguration plans, following the Health Minister's recent decision to set up a scrutiny panel to advise on the controversial changes. The panel will include Dr Jim Wardrope, a consultant in A&E medicine in Sheffield; Professor of neonatal medicine Neena Modi; and David Salter, former deputy chief medical officer for Wales.

Mr Davies said, "I'm extremely disappointed that the Minister has created this panel, without discussing its terms of reference. Very little is known about this panel and its remit, and the timing of this announcement, at the end of the Government term, is very worrying. It's quite clear that the Minister has chosen to announce the creation of this panel at the end of the Assembly term which seems to suggest that the Government is avoiding thorough and robust scrutiny of this matter.

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19 July 2013

Pembrokeshire children’s services: ‘The time has come for change’

Commenting on the Education and Local Government Ministers' response to two recent highly critical reports into children's services in Pembrokeshire, Shadow Minister for Education and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Angela Burns said:

"Recent events in Pembrokeshire have been hugely worrying for parents - and absolute confidence that their children are not being repeatedly failed still remains absent.

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Paul Davies Calls for Welsh Government Action over Footpath

Local AM Paul Davies and Cllr Keith Lewis are pictured with members of Eglwyswrw Community Council and local residents.Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Paul Davies is calling on the Welsh Government to deal with the lack of a footpath in Eglwyswrw. Along with local residents, Mr Davies is campaigning for a pavement along a stretch of the TRA487 through the village. Approval was given back in 2004 for the Eglwyswrw Phase 2 Village Footpath scheme to go ahead, and there are still no signs of development.

Mr Davies said, "I'm extremely disappointed that the Welsh Government has not acted on this very important issue. Residents are right to be concerned about the dangers posed to the community – and particularly school children and elderly people, in this part of the village. Approval for a footpath scheme was given some nine years ago and it's absurd to see no actual development since that time. I will continue to make representations to the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport urging her to finally start work on a new footpath for the area."

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18 July 2013

‘Slapped Cheek Syndrome’ must be screened, says Paul Davies

Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Paul Davies is calling on the Welsh Government to include Parvovirus B19, also known as Slapped Cheek Syndrome, within the antenatal blood screening programme. It is estimated that Slapped Cheek Syndrome affects 1 in 400 pregnancies, and in some cases can lead to devastating outcomes.

Paul Davies said, "I believe that it is essential to have expectant mothers tested for immunity against this virus at the same stage as the routine antenatal blood screening for Rubella, Hepatitis B and C, HIV and Syphilis, which would mean that any negative results could be fast tracked for treatment. Given that Slapped Cheek Syndrome can sometimes have fatal consequences for pregnant women, including Parvovirus B19 in the list of the first routine antenatal blood screening tests would, without doubt, save lives. "

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15 July 2013

Paul Davies Does His ‘Fareshare’

Local AM Paul Davies is pictured donating to the FareShare campaign.Local Assembly Member Paul Davies visited the Tesco store in Haverfordwest to show his support for the 'FareShare' national food collection campaign. FareShare is a national UK charity supporting communities to relieve food poverty. This is the second food collection event that FareShare has run with Tesco and Trussell Trust. In December 2012, Tesco customers donated enough food for 2 million meals to help feed people in need. The campaign is also being run in conjunction with Sodexo.

Mr Davies said, "I was delighted to support FareShare's campaign and donate some items to their cause. FareShare is now redistributing food to more people than ever before, benefiting around 43,000 people every day through 910 charities based across the country. I'm sure the people of Pembrokeshire were generous in their donations and I hope that FareShare can build off their fantastic effort last year and help feed even more people this time around."

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04 July 2013

New Minister Prejudges Own Consultation

The new Education Minister was today accused of prejudging his own consultation on the future of delivering education services after he abandoned considerations launched by his predecessor to directly fund schools.

When he set up a review into the future delivery of education services in Wales, the then Minister Leighton Andrews instructed the review to consider 'whether schools should be directly funded by Welsh Ministers'.

Figures published last week revealed that on average £992 per pupil is retained by local education authorities every year and not passed on to schools. The figures show that almost a fifth of the education budget given to local education authorities is not passed on to schools.

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Airport Purchase Details Prompt Urgent Calls for Clarity

The Shadow Minister for Finance – Welsh Conservative Assembly Member Paul Davies – has called for urgent clarity on the acquisition of Cardiff Airport.

His concerns follow today's National Assembly Finance Committee - within which the Minister was questioned on the way the airport was bought – and the money used to do it.

Welsh Government contingency funds – or reserves – paid for the purchase, while the Finance Minister today confirmed that an emergency mechanism was used to complete the purchase.

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