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Plaid represent Wales on Brexit committee

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Jonathan Edwards MP: Pleased Wales will have ‘effective opposition to Thatcherite agenda’

Jonathan Edwards MP: Pleased Wales will have ‘effective opposition to Thatcherite agenda’

A CARMARTHENSHIRE MP will be Wales’ sole representative on the House of Commons’ Brexit Committee, it was announced last week.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on international trade, Jonathan Edwards MP, said that he will use his seat on the Exiting the EU Select Committee to ensure that Wales’ interests would be represented and that the people of Wales did not have to rely on ‘a silent and obedient Labour First Minister’ to make their case.

The party had previously written to the Leader of the House of Commons urging him to ensure the committee had a fair representation from each of the four constituent parts of the UK, and that Plaid Cymru would be allocated a seat.

The Committee will consist of 20 MPs – 16 from England, two from Scotland and one each from Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mr Edwards said: “It is essential that Wales is represented on this important committee and I’m pleased that our efforts to ensure that happened have been successful. Wales will now have a voice during this pivotal period in our nation’s future and I’ll be doing everything I can to ensure our interests are protected and promoted during the committee’s work on Brexit.

“Wales has very unique needs in that our economy is heavily driven by our exports and manufacturing – something that is not true for the rest of the UK. Our trade with EU countries alone accounts for 200,000 jobs and we trade even more with countries outside the EU than those inside it.

“While I fully respect the result of the referendum and accept that we must leave the European Union, it is essential that Wales does not lose its membership of the single market as a result. Just as important as our trade with the single market itself is the free trade we benefit from as a result of the market’s 53 bilateral trade deals with other countries around the world. Losing that would devastate our economy – something Wales simply cannot cope with having already suffered the consequences of de-industrialisation.

“The Prime Minister has already suggested that she will seek to cut special deals for bankers in the City of London, so there should be no reason why she shouldn’t respect the unique needs of Wales and cut a similar deal for Wales. That is one of the first things I will be pushing for when the committee meets for the first time next week.

“I am pleased that Wales will finally have a voice, and an effective opposition to the right-wing Thatcherite agenda in Westminster, rather than having to rely on a silent and obedient Labour First Minister in Cardiff.”

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Politics

Ben Lake MP supports campaign to close deadly cancer gap

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Ben Lake MP is backing calls from the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce (LSCT) to end a vicious cycle which has seen survivability stagnate amongst the six deadliest cancers over the last decade.

Ben Lake MP met charity members of the LSCT in the House of Commons on 4 February to coincide with World Cancer Day.

The LSCT represents six ‘less survivable cancers’, lung, liver, brain, oesophageal, pancreatic and stomach, with an average five year survival rate of 14% due to a legacy of neglect and underfunding. The Taskforce aims to double the survivability of these cancers to 28% by 2029.

At the event, Ben Lake met with cancer specialists and patients with first-hand experience of these ‘less survivable cancers’. They learnt about the critical situation for people diagnosed with these cancers and the urgent need for a step change in targeted investment in research in order to make much-needed diagnosis and treatment breakthroughs.

Ben Lake MP attended the event and said: “I am pleased to speak out for the less survivable cancers this World Cancer Day. We have made incredible steps in treatment and prognosis for many cancers and we now need targeted action to close the deadly cancer gap for these less survivable cancers”.

Anna Jewell, Chair of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce added:

“We are delighted that Ben Lake MP shares our concerns about the stark inequalities in cancer outcomes.

“There are some cancers which have seen remarkable progress in survivability but others that are just as deadly as they were decades ago. Together, these ‘less survivable cancers’ make up half of all common cancer deaths in the UK.

“Today we are calling on the UK governments to commit to doubling survival rates from 14% to 28% by 2029 and I’d like to thank Ben Lake MP for supporting our campaign to close the deadly cancer gap.”

The LSCT includes Action Against Heartburn, the British Liver Trust, Guts UK, Pancreatic Cancer UK, The Brain Tumour Charity and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

Sarah Lindsell, Chief Executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, added:”Every year, thousands of people diagnosed with a less-survivable cancer, including those with brain cancer, are denied even the hope of a cure. Many are told they have only months to live. That has to change.

“We need more research and a committed drive towards improving survival for these cancers, so that fewer lives are cut brutally short and fewer families are left devastated by loss.”

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Politics

Ceredigion councillors to consider 4% increase in council tax

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COUNTY councillors in Ceredigion will be asked to consider a 4% increase in the Council tax rate when they meet on 5 March 2020.

They will consider the rate after Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet recommended the increase to ensure that there are no further cuts to council services in the next financial year.

The proposed increase would mean that an average Band D property in Ceredigion would pay £1,364.82 of council tax annually, an increase of approximately £1 per week.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn is the Leader of the Council. She said: “We are proposing to the Council that the Council tax rate is increased at a similar level as our government funding has increased. This means that all Council services would be protected from further cuts during next year. The increase would meet the increased demands placed on social care budgets which we cannot avoid.”

The overall Council tax rate increase will be set by three key components, the County Council’s tax, the precept of Town and Community Councils and the Police precept. Increases set by the Police and Town and Community Councils result in a combined increase yet to be calculated.

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Community

Elin Jones congratulates Ceredigion Talking Paper in National Assembly

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AM marks 50 years of service by local news service for the blind

Elin Jones AM has congratulated the Ceredigion Talking Newspaper in a statement in the National Assembly for Wales, marking 50 years of service to blind people in Ceredigion and beyond.

In her statement on Wednesday the 20th of January, Elin Jones said:

“Fifty years ago, in January 1970, an innovative charity was established in Ceredigion for blind people, offering the first service of its kind in Wales and the United Kingdom – a service that would enable the blind people of Ceredigion to hear the latest local news in the press.

“That innovative scheme was the Ceredigion Talking Newspaper.

“The talking newspaper was set up by Ronald Sturt, a lecturer at the College of Librarianship in Llanbadarn. Initially, the recordings of local voices reading articles from the local press were on tape cassettes and provided to 18 people.

“Nowadays, the recordings are on a USB, and there are over a hundred regular listeners of the talking newspaper and more than 60 volunteers contributing regularly. The recordings are published weekly and the coverage includes the Cambrian News, Golwg and Y Cymro.

“One reader, Eileen Sinnett, has volunteered continuously for fifty years. What a contribution she has made!

“I would like to congratulate the Ceredigion Talking Newspaper for breaking new ground in 1970, for 50 years of service and for bringing the news, in both Welsh and English, to those who cannot see or read it in Ceredigion and beyond.”

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