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Mixed reactions in Wales to the dramatic European Election Results

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THE BREXIT PARTY has dominated in Wales, winning 32.5% of the vote, two of the nation’s four MEPs and coming top in 19 of 22 council areas.

Nigel Farage’s party won an unprecedented triumph for a six-week-old political party.

The Brexit Party has thumped the traditional two parties in Wales who both have suffered a huge collapse in their vote.

Nathan Gill (Pictured) looked triumphant at the count in Haverfordwest posing for the press with a Winston Churchill V for victory, and demanding that his party was not a flash in the pan, but here to stay until Brexit was delivered.

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Paul Davies AM, said: “These results are extremely disappointing for our hard-working candidates and the Party must now reflect long and hard on them.
“Here in Wales, Welsh Conservatives will continue their hard work in the National Assembly holding the Welsh Government to account and will welcome a healthy campaign in the run-up to the next Assembly elections in 2021.”

Labour’s Vaughan Gething AM said: “The results in Wales show that in Welsh Labour we have some questions to ask ourselves. Pro-referendum and remain parties gained more votes than leave parties.

“The room for a middle of the road approach has disappeared & attempting more of the same will not serve us or Wales well.”

Mark Drakeford congratulated Jackie Jones on retaining the party’s seat.

He warned that the election of a new Conservative leader would increase the chances of a “catastrophic no-deal exit from the EU”.

“Faced with the damage of a hard-line, Tory Brexit, Welsh Labour believes that the final decision must be made by the public in a referendum.

“And, for the avoidance of any doubt, a Welsh Labour government would campaign, in such a vote, for Wales to remain in the EU,” he said on social media.

Ex-Welsh Government minister Alun Davies blamed the huge drop Labour in Labour support on both Mr Drakeford and the party’s UK leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

“This is the reality we face. Poor leadership from London and no leadership from Wales,” he said

The result in Wales was a significant change on 2014 when Labour won 28.15% of the vote and Ukip 27.55%. Then, the Tories were third with 17.43% and Plaid Cymru came fourth with 15.26%.

Turnout across Wales this year was up on 2014 at 37.29%, compared to 32% five years ago.

Wales’s MEPs are now Nathan Lee Gill (The Brexit Party), James Wells (The Brexit Party), Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru – Party of Wales) and Jacqueline Jones (We;sh Labour).

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds has praised the party’s success in the European elections, claiming they’re a clear example of the Welsh Liberal Democrat fightback.

Welsh Liberal Democrats won 13.6% of the vote, enough to secure 4thplace, but not enough to win a seat. The Liberal Democrats are on course to finish 2nd across the UK.

The Brexit Party were the largest party in Wales, their 32.5% of the vote was enough to win the 1st and 3rd seats, whilst Plaid Cymru won the 2ndseat with 19.6% of the vote and Labour the 4th seat with 15.3% of the vote.
Incredibly, the Conservatives finished 5th meaning Labour and the Conservatives won only 21.8% of the vote between them. The Green Party finished 6th.

Brexit landslide: The tables at the count in Haverfordwest showed the obvious pattern (Pic T Sinclair/Herald)

Jane Dodds said told The Herald: “I’m proud of the entire Welsh Liberal Democrat team that allowed us to secure this successful result. We have secured our best ever European election result and our best result in Wales since 2010. To finish 4th and come close to electing Wales’ first ever Welsh Liberal Democrat MEP is a real achievement.
“We achieved this result because of our longstanding, unambiguous and passionate campaign to stop Brexit. Poll after poll has repeatedly shown that the Welsh people want to be given the final say and the opportunity to choose an Exit from Brexit. We stood up for them and we have been rewarded.
“It is deeply disappointing the Brexit Party have won two seats in Wales, particularly since their share of the vote was less than the combined vote share of us, Plaid Cymru and the Greens – the three pro-remain parties. We will continue to oppose the Brexit Party and all they stand for with all our might.
“Labour and the Conservatives must take a long, hard look at these disastrous results. They’re supposed to be the two leading parties. Yet in Wales and across the UK they’ve seen their share of the vote plummet. They have been punished for their incompetence and their attempts to deliver Brexit.
“This result shows the Welsh Liberal Democrat fightback is in full effect. Voters are listening to us again, supporting us again and believing in us again. These results show we’re on course to return a strong and effective Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Group in 2021.”

National declaration: Results for the Wales Region were announced in Haverfordwest on Sunday night (Pic T Sinclair/Herald)

Political organisation Wales For Europe suggested that the results show a swing towards remain.

A spokesman told The Herald: “On the balance of votes across all parties, pro-Europeans have won.
“The Brexit parties have lost.
“The result is yet more evidence that over the past three years Wales has changed its mind on Brexit, as has the UK as a whole.
“It confirms polling evidence that if there were a referendum tomorrow, Wales would now vote Remain. The case for a new referendum remains strong.
“But there is no room for complacency, especially in a situation where the Tory leadership election is likely to increase sharply the risks to the country, not least to Wales.
“We still have a real fight on our hands against a nasty populism that seems to be endemic across the Western world.
Despite the passionate effort of many activists, the pro-EU side did not cover itself in glory in this campaign. In any new referendum – which must remain the key goal – victory will only be won by an effective, unified cross-party campaign.
“The result also sends a clear message to Labour’s UK leadership: it now has every reason urgently to adopt a more robust line and to proclaim it clearly and loudly. The leadership in Wales has even more reason to use its influence to ensure there is no delay.”

THE RESULTS –

Vote totals and share

Brexit Party – 271,404 – 32.5%
Plaid Cymru – 163,928 – 19.6%
Labour – 127,833 – 15.3%
Lib Dems – 113,885 – 13.6%
Conservatives – 54,587 – 6.5%
Green – 52,660 – 6.3%
UKIP – 27,566 – 3.3%
Change UK – 24,332 – 2.9%

LOCAL RESULTS

Pembrokeshire
• Brexit Party: 38.1%
• Plaid Cymru: 15.6%
• Lib Dems: 12.2%
• Labour: 11.2%
• Conservative: 10.0%
• Green: 7.0%
Turnout: 39.55%

Carmarthenshire
• Brexit Party: 32.8%
• Plaid: 31.1%
• Labour: 12.5%
• Lib Dems: 7.8%
• Green Party: 4.9%
• Conservative Party: 4.9%
• Ukip: 3.2%
• Change UK: 2.7%
Turnout: 41.80%

Ceredigion:
• Plaid Cymru: 37.2%
• Brexit Party: 32.9%
• Lib Dems: 16.3%
• Green Party: 6.8%
• Labour: 5.1%
• Conservatives: 3.7%
• Ukip: 2.4%
• Change UK: 1.4%
Turnout: N/A

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Police and Crime Commissioner secures almost £300k for Safer Streets across Dyfed-Powys

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POLICE and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has secured funding of almost £300,000 that will deliver a series of initiatives that aim to ensure safer streets within towns and communities across the Dyfed-Powys area.

In particular, the initiatives will look to address anti-social behaviour and acquisitive crime in specific areas, address women’s safety, increase prevention and intervention resources within youth support services in Carmarthenshire, and increasing the number of CCTV cameras in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion.

The total amount of funding secured by Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn is £292,741, and will include;

Installing 4 additional CCTV Cameras in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion as an intervention to mitigate issues including drug misuse and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the town.
Purchasing 14 CCTV rapid deployment units aimed at not only tackling ASB, but violence against women and girls (VAWG) issues and acquisitive crime
Funding for a Youth Support Service Interventions Co-ordinator based in Carmarthenshire County Council to work closely with Dyfed-Powys Police to assess and deliver interventions to children and young people, aged 8-18, to reduce their risk of committing offences or ASB.
Hollie Guard Extra app designed to protect users, focussed on young women and girls and will play a pivotal role in keeping members of the public protected against VAWG. Victims from will be able to download the app with vouchers from the Force to access it.
Community Champions’ education programme – delivery of an awareness raising and educational programme, and roll out of Community Champions. The Programme will aim to raise awareness of stalking, harassment and hate crimes, to work towards creating Safer Streets and communities.
ASB Help partnership training – to police and key partners on ASB tools and powers and the community trigger process
This latest funding secured by PCC Dafydd Llywelyn from the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund is in addition to the almost £500,000 that has already been secured by his Office through previous bids to the Safer Streets fund over the last two years.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I am extremely pleased to announce that we have been successful in securing this latest safer streets funding from the Home Office. We have worked closely with our partners to identify certain initiatives that will aim to ensure that our communities and streets are safe environments for residents.

“Over the last two years we have received almost £800,000 from the Home Office’s Safer Street Fund, which highlights our commitment to making streets safer for those in local communities, and to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour related issues, including violence against women and girls.

“Preventing harm to individuals and communities caused through crime, anti-social behaviour and vulnerability is one of my three key priorities, and the safer streets funding supports us significantly to work collaboratively with partners to address these issues.”

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Passengers advised to avoid rail travel as more strikes hit the network

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PASSENGERS are facing major disruption as nearly all trains in Wales are cancelled on Wednesday.

More than 40,000 UK railway workers, who are part of the RMT union, are set to take part in national strikes over pay.

Transport for Wales (TfW) urged people to “only to travel by rail if necessary” during the industrial action.

It said the strikes are expected to cause “severe disruption” across the whole of the UK.

TfW is not in dispute with the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT), but as Network Rail maintains tracks services in Wales will be hit.

This means only a handful of trains will be running on Wednesday.

GWR says on strike days it will operate an extremely limited service between 7am and 6.30pm and last trains will leave much earlier. Due to the timing of the strike action, services after strike days will also be affected. Passengers are advised to find alternative ways to travel on these days and to only travel if absolutely necessary. The majority of train services will not operate and there will be no services on some routes.

Avanti West Coast has published revised timetables for travel and says passengers can amend their tickets, or ask for a refund. “If you do travel, expect severe disruption and plan ahead. The days after industrial action are also likely to be affected.” They say their timetables will be “significantly reduced with shorter hours of operation, less frequent services, and trains that do run are expected to be very busy.”

Cross Country says their services will be impacted on Wednesday, July 27, as well as Thursday, July 28, and Saturday, July 30.

Nick Millington, route director for Wales & Borders at Network Rail: “We are doing our best to run the trains that we can – we recognise that’s a significantly reduced service here in Wales.”

He added: “We are in dialogue and we have made progress. I recognise it’s not the progress that everybody wants.”

“It’s not all about money either – we want to make sure that we get a sustainable deal for the railway industry and for those that pay for the railway industry, but also the people that use the railway industry.”

TfW say customers with existing non-season tickets valid for travel on the two strike days can use those tickets any time between Tuesday, July 26, and Tuesday, August 2. 

Customers are encouraged to avoid travelling on Friday, July 29, and Sunday, July 31, as services are expected to be extremely busy.

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New Quay RNLI has now launched 13 times in 12 days

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AT the weekend New Quay RNLI volunteers launched both lifeboats on Saturday 23 July and Sunday 24 July.

On Saturday afternoon (23 July) New Quay RNLI was tasked to a report of multi persons in difficulty on kayaks near Penbryn. Cardigan RNLI and HM Coastguard Rescue helicopter had also been paged. However, soon after launching the lifeboats were stood down as they had all made it safely back ashore in Llangrannog.

Then on Sunday (24 July) New Quay RNLI launched both lifeboats at 16.25 to a report of two paddleboarders in trouble on rocks near Llangrannog. They had paddled out but could not back into the beach due to the strong wind.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “One of the paddleboarders had been able to clamber up the cliff and raise the alarm with the lifeguards on the beach in Llangrannog. A lifeguard then paddled around to find the casualty and wait for the lifeboats to arrive.

“In the strong south westerly wind we made good speed down the coast and was first on scene. Locating the casualty and the lifeguard we were able to veer down near the rocks to pick them up and take them back to Llangrannog beach.”

Also on scene were New Quay HM Coastguard team and New Quay RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat, the relief Mersey class lifeboat that stood by and then escorted the inshore lifeboat safely to New Quay.

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Operations Manager added, “These recent shouts demonstrate the importance of always telling someone where you are going and when you will be returning, having the right equipment, wearing a wetsuit in cold water temperatures, always having a buoyancy aid and means for calling for help – a mobile phone or hand-held radio. Remember if you are in trouble or see someone in difficulty call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

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