Gower Labour Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM has welcomed a double boost of investment into town centres and high streets across Wales.
The Welsh Labour Government announced an extra £5m to extend the high street rates relief scheme in 2018-19 – helping shops and pubs to pay their business rates.
This was closely followed by an announcement that a further £7.595m of the Town Centre Loans Fund would be released to help revitalise high streets up and down Wales.
The loans include £2,000,000 for Swansea. Swansea Council intends to utilise the loan funding on sites in Swansea City Centre.
The scheme is aimed at commercial property owners, enabling them to improve their empty and underutilised properties and bring them back into beneficial use.
Rebecca Evans said: “The measures will help shops and pubs which are affected by the current economic conditions and competition from online and out-of-town providers.”
“I think both of these schemes show the innovative vision the Welsh Labour Government has to deliver diversified town centres across the country, which will create the right environment for businesses to grow and thrive.”
The business rates scheme, which is unique to Wales, will provide additional support to around 13,000 small and medium-sized high street businesses across the country, including shops, restaurants, cafés, pubs and wine bars.
The Welsh Government-funded scheme, will provide eligible businesses with a reduction of up to £750 from their non-domestic rates bills.
Meanwhile, the Town Centre Loans Fund is part of the £27.595m Vibrant and Viable Places programme which is helping to support town centre regeneration in 17 areas of Wales.
Information on the Vibrant and Viable Places Town Centres Loan Fund can be found here:
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, and West Cross Councillors Mark Child and Des Thomas have welcomed news that following last month’s announcement by the Welsh Government of £8.1m Active Travel funding, a further £700,000 has been awarded to local authorities for active travel schemes.
Swansea will benefit from £420,000 to improve road safety measures around schools and progress Swansea Urban Connections City centre schemes.
The funding will see footway/cycleway provision linking much of the school catchment located in the Mayals and West Cross area with the school campus. Bishopston Comprehensive and Bishopston, Knelston, Llanrhidian, Pennard, Crwys Primaries will all benefit from improvements to promote active travel.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “Wales received international acclaim and recognition for its world-leading Active Travel legislation for good reason. Walking or cycling gets the school day off to a great start, and as well as being good for the environment and a way of tackling traffic build-up, it can also help boost pupils’ concentration and attainment.
“Building physical activity into our everyday lives is an important part of our future if we are to improve the Country’s physical health and mental well-being.”
Cllr Mark Child said: “We face major challenges in securing our nation’s physical and mental well-being, both now and for our future generations. Increasing opportunities to safely walk and cycle is a key commitment for us, and these schemes offer a very straightforward way of achieving multiple benefits.”
Cllr Des Thomas said: “This investment presents a great opportunity to build physical activity into our everyday lives and this brings associated health improvements, a reduction in motorised traffic and decreases in air pollution, carbon emissions and congestion. These projects will also help people and communities feel safer and more connected.”
Full allocation for Swansea below:
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has marked the beginning of Water Efficiency Week 2018 by meeting with the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), at an event hosted at the Senedd by Mike Hedges AM, Assembly Member for Swansea East.
CCWater is the independent, statutory body for all water consumers in Wales – ‘the water watchdog’, which provides a voice for water users in Wales. The team is experienced in providing consumers with free advice and support on every aspect of their water and sewerage services. They also support thousands of customers with complaints they have been unable to resolve directly with their water company.
CCWater can be contacted at www.ccwater.org.uk
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has pledged her support for WWF’s Earth Hour campaign 2018 – the global movement to protect our planet.
Every year, millions of people across the world show their love for our planet and their commitment to protecting it by taking part in WWF’s Earth Hour by turning their lights off.
Last year in Wales, an estimated 280,000 took part in WWF’s Earth Hour, as did every single local authority in the country. Iconic Welsh landmarks all went dark.
As part of this year’s Earth Hour campaign, Rebecca Evans AM, has backed WWF Cymru’s calls for everyone in Wales to make small changes in their everyday lives to live more sustainably – a ‘Promise for the Planet’. Refusing plastic cutlery, using a reusable coffee cup, or turning the washing to 30°C are small actions as individuals, but have a much bigger impact together.
Mrs Evans said:
“I’m delighted to pledge my support for WWF’s Earth Hour campaign again this year.
“We know that climate change is one of the biggest threats facing us - but if individuals take small steps to live more sustainably, together we can make a difference.
“I’m encouraging everyone in Gower to make a Promise for the Planet and support Earth Hour on the night by switching off at 8.30pm on Saturday 24 March.”
• Find out more about WWF’s Earth Hour 2018 at www.wwf.org.uk/earthhourwales.
• Join the social conversation about Earth Hour in Wales by following hashtag #EarthHourWales.
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour, organised by WWF, is the global event inspiring millions across the world to take action and make a promise to protect our brilliant planet, our home. Right now we’re facing some of the biggest environmental threats ever seen. We’re the first generation to experience the effects of climate change – and we’re the last to be able to change it. We’re seeing our oceans suffocated by plastic and over-consumption decimate our forests, the lungs of the earth. Earth Hour shows what we can achieve when we all come together. Last year in the UK over 9 million people took part, along with over 6,000 schools, 1,700 youth groups, 300 landmarks and thousands of businesses and organisations. Iconic landmarks including Big Ben and Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Blackpool Tower, The Kelpies, Cardiff Castle and many more joined the global switch off.
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has marked Fairtrade Fortnight by meeting Father John Joseph, a spice and coffee farmer from Wayanad in the state of Kerala, India.
Fr Joseph set up an Organic Farmers Fair Trade Association called WOFFA in 2008 as a way of organising farming families to gain knowledge and tackle the challenges they face, such as cycles of debt and over-use of chemicals and pesticides.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “During his visit to Wales, Fr Joseph met with Welsh farmers to compare experiences. Whilst there are obviously great differences in the lives that farmers in Wales and India lead, what is universal is that every farmer should receive fair price for their produce.”
Talking about the benefits of the Fairtrade movement, Father John Joseph said: “Being part of a Fairtrade organization has helped farmers like myself to create a positive cycle of investment. The communities are also able to invest in better farming practices, training and workshops, which in turn increases production and efficiency. Almost 20% of the members are women.
“Using Fairtrade Premiums WOFFA has been able to grant the financial support for making the compost for farmer groups, which provides higher yields. This makes the farm more productive, and ensures a higher return to the farmer.”
Rebecca Evans added: “In Wales, we have made great strides in the area of Fairtrade. Indeed, Wales became the first ever Fairtrade nation in June 2008. I was also recently delighted to celebrate the fact that Swansea has retained its Fairtrade city status.
“We must continue to work for a global Fairtrade response for farmers at home and abroad.”
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is encouraging constituents to embrace the opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements made by women in Gower through Chware Teg’s Womenspire Awards.
Chwarae Teg, is Wales’ leading gender equality charity, and has been working for nearly a quarter of a century on promoting the role of women in the workplace.
Rebecca Evans said, "These awards celebrate the achievements of inspirational women, and the contribution of organisations who are helping create a Wales where women achieve, prosper, and fulfil their potential. I would love to see women and employers across Gower recognised amongst the nominees and winners.
“Do you know of inspiring women who are being bold and pioneering positive change? If so, nominate them!
"These awards are particularly exciting because they seek to celebrate women in all walks of life doing extraordinary things. For example, they are looking for women who are community activists, working in the rural economy, and rising stars in their field.
"The awards will also recognise employers in the private, public, and third sectors who are making a difference for women in Wales."
Chwarae Teg’s Womenspire Awards showcases the remarkable accomplishments of women across Wales and will inspire future generations.
Nominations are sought by and on behalf of women at all stages, and across all walks of life, who are proud of what they are achieving – whether it’s in their private or professional lives or in the wider community.
The Womenspire Awards 2018 are being held on 5th June 2018 in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay.
This years’ categories include, among others:
Community Activist of the Year
Employer – Diversity Champion
Employer – FairPlay Employer
The deadline for nominations is 11:59pm on Friday March 9th.
Nominations can be made at: https://www.cteg.org.uk/womenspire-18/categories/
Mrs Evans added: “The huge contributions made by women across Wales, even in 2018, can sometimes go unnoticed, and these awards are a positive way of celebrating the achievements of Welsh women.
"It is fitting that we take every opportunity to recognise the talent, commitment and success of women in our society to inspire the next generation to achieve their potential and work towards gender equality across all sectors."
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is encouraging her constituents to take an active role in the British Legion’s Count Them In campaign.
This campaign calls for Census changes so the information collated includes data relating to the Armed Forces community.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “The Census is an important means of gathering information, but there is a glaring omission at present as in its current form it gives little information about our Armed Forces.
“There are more than six and a half million members of the Armed Forces community in the UK - including serving men and women and their families - making up around a tenth of the population. Better information about their location and their needs will help us provide the best possible services.
“I am pleased to back the British Legion in their efforts, and urge constituents to join me by visiting the British Legion’s website to find out more. As the campaign says, ‘We count on them, let’s count them in.’”