As half term gets into swing, Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower has visited Gower Holiday Village to discuss the value of tourism to the constituency.
Rebecca met with the site owners and staff, and the Chair of Tourism Swansea Bay, to talk about the importance of tourism to the local economy in Gower.
Rebecca Evans said: "Wales is a magnificent country. Tourists spend more than £5 billion a year here, showing the importance of the sector to our local and wider economy.
"In Gower, the UKs first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we can be proud that we have mile upon mile of spectacular coastline and beautiful beaches to explore, with some of the cleanest bathing waters in Europe.
"We also have a great many innovative small businesses offering accommodation, food, sporting activities, and entertainment which together mean that Gower's tourism offering attracts visitors from across the world, and is also a firm favourite with domestic tourists."
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is encouraging young people in the constituency to get involved and add their voices to the National Assembly for Wales’ Youth Parliament consultation.
Rebecca Evans said: “A consultation on a National Assembly for Wales Youth Parliament has been launched, and will be running until the 30th June 2017. The consultation will ask children and young people in Wales about their thoughts on the proposal to establish a new youth parliament.
“Wales has had a long tradition of upholding the rights of children and young people, and this is something we will continue to do in conjunction with the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.
“This is the time for young people of Gower to let their voice be heard.
“Is a youth parliament something you would welcome? What would you like to name the youth parliament? What would be its aim? And what should it do? These are just some of the questions raised in the consultation.”
The Assembly’s education and youth engagement team will be visiting schools and youth groups across Wales to deliver youth parliament consultation sessions, and the youth parliament steering group will be delivering sessions within their networks as well.
There will be an engagement event for young people on Wednesday 31st May, at Swansea YMCA, at 2pm-4pm.
Rebecca Evans added: “It is important to remember that the National Assembly for Wales is for all people across Wales, both young and old. I want young people in Gower to take this chance to have their voices heard.”
More information is available online at www.youthparliment.wales
Just over a year ago we stood for election to the Welsh Assembly on a hugely ambitious Welsh Labour manifesto.
We are extraordinarily proud that the people of Swansea put their trust in us, 12 months ago, to champion the area and to stand up and deliver for our local communities by returning us to represent them at the Senedd.
A few weeks later and a year ago this week, the Welsh Labour Government was formed.
Since then, the Welsh Labour Government have hit the ground running and we continue to deliver on our pledges and commitments we made to the people of Swansea and the people of Wales.
We promised to invest in the future of our children and we’ve delivered - continuing investment in new schools and existing school buildings – with Morriston Comprehensive benefiting from a £22 million revamp, while Gowerton Primary’s new build benefited from £6.8 million of funding.
Nearly 6,000 pupils in Swansea receive free school breakfasts, thanks to our Welsh Labour Government while we are investing more than £90 million in the Pupil Deprivation Grant, including doubling the support provided to disadvantaged pupils aged three and four across Wales, so every child has the same opportunity to develop and succeed.
And this approach is paying dividends, with GCSE students in Swansea having outstripped their peers across Wales in 2016 with more of them than ever celebrating the top A* and A results.
Our NHS has also seen considerable additional investment and Wales has the best performing ambulance service anywhere in the UK. The Welsh Labour Government has continued to invest in social care and Wales has not seen the same crisis that has been so well publicised over the border in England. The Welsh Labour Government have acted to raise the capital limit – increasing the amount of money people can keep when they go into care. This year the limit rises to 30,000 as a first step to meeting our election pledge of doubling the capital limit to £50,000 by the end of this Assembly term.
Locally, there are a series of innovative healthcare plans in the pipeline. The world-leading ARCH scheme would see Singleton Hospital develop into a centre of excellence for diagnostic and same-day care, and Morriston Hospital double in size and become a regional centre for specialist treatments. This transformation of hospital services will revolutionise the treatment patients in Swansea and the South West receive.
The Welsh Labour Government are delivering on the environment with Wales now established as the third best recycling nation in the world and we continue to improve.
Significant amounts of funding has been announced to meet the ambitious target of 20,000 new affordable homes and Wales leads the way once again when it comes to building council houses. Here in Swansea, our Labour led Council administration are committed to building the first council houses in a generation.
We also welcome Welsh Labour Government proposed legislation to end the Right to Buy in Swansea and across Wales.
The Bill aims to protect the Welsh stock of social housing from further reduction, ensuring it is available to provide safe, secure and affordable housing for people who are unable to take advantage of the housing market to buy or rent a home.
The Right to Buy and Right to Acquire initiatives, which were introduced by the Tories, have resulted in the loss of over 138,000 homes from the social housing sector.
Over the last year, Wales has seen the third largest increase in the employment rate of all UK countries and regions with high quality new jobs coming to Wales through major investments by Aston Martin and General Dynamics. In Swansea, BT has expanded its customer service contact centre by creating 100 new jobs, with support from the Welsh Labour Government.
The Welsh Labour Government continues to make Wales a better place to live and work, where prosperity is shared, where public services are protected and where the next generation are given the best start in life.
Thank you once again for placing your trust in us 12 months ago and we pledge to continue to serve the people of Swansea with integrity, passion and commitment.
Julie James, Rebecca Evans and Mike Hedges your Swansea Labour AMs
Paying tribute to former First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, Rebecca said:
"Rhodri will be remembered with fondness for his intellect, his wit, and his passion for our country.
"Rhodri was genuinely interested in people, and he always had time for everyone, no matter who you were. He was always ready with a word of encouragement, or a story to inspire. The generation of politicians who followed him, including myself, owe him a great deal.
"My thoughts are with Julie and the family."
Speaking at an event in the Senedd today to commemorate 70 years since the SS Samtampa and Edward, Prince of Wales disaster, Rebecca said:
This is a part of our history that we should not allow to be forgotten.
It is important that seventy years on, we pause and reflect on this tragedy, and remember those who lost their lives - including the eight crew of the lifeboat RNLI Edward, Prince of Wales from the Mumbles Lifeboat Station.
The crew selflessly took to the water that night, knowing the dangers they faced, to put themselves in harms way to try and save the lives of strangers. When you pause and really think about it, it's quite amazing.
Reflecting on the disaster reminds us that the bravery, and the selflessness, of the men and women who serve in our rescue services is as important today as it was seventy years ago.
Every day, men and women in our rescue services - a great many of them volunteers - stand ready, just like the crew of the Edward, Prince of Wales did - to help people in dire situations. We owe them an incredible debt of gratitude, and it is a comfort to us all to know that they are there if we need them.
About twelve months ago, the First Minister and I visited the Mumbles Lifeboat Station and talked with the crew. The welcome was warm, their commitment to one another was palpable, and their modesty was humbling.
Lifeboat crews from Mumbles have been saving lives at sea for more than a hundred and eighty years, and this anniversary will be very poignant for them. Today is an opportunity to remember the eight crew who died that night, and a further ten who have died in the history of the station. It is also a chance to say a heartfelt 'thank you.'
The bravery and sacrifice of all those who lost their lives will not be forgotten.
That is why I am so pleased to see so many pupils, including from my own constituency of Gower, here today - and I would like to extend a particularly warm welcome to Oystermouth Primary School, Whitestone Primary, and Ysgol Llwynderw. Croeso mawr.
In marking this anniversary the next generation are keeping this important part of our community's history alive, and they will - I'm sure - be inspired and proud.
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is encouraging people across the constituency to nominate their village for a new programme being made by Channel 4, ‘Village of the Year 2017’.
Rebecca Evans said: “Across Gower constituency we have a wealth of villages each boasting their own unique character and a rich community life.
"I would love to see Gower villages featured and celebrated on the show, and for one of them to be crowned Village of the Year 2017."
The winning village will receive £10,000 prize to be used for a worthwhile community project.
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has committed to working with schools across Gower to tackle Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence.
April 2017 marks the second anniversary of the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act.
Rebecca Evans said: “This ground breaking Act is already making an impact in our efforts to end violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence in Wales.
"To enable us prevent violence and abuse in the future, we have to work to ensure that children understand what constitutes a healthy relationship, and know how to recognise the symptoms of an unhealthy relationship.”
Mrs Evans has written to all primary and secondary schools in Gower, highlighting the Welsh Government’s Whole Education Approach Good Practice Guide, produced by Welsh Women’s Aid.
Mrs Evans said: “I am committed to working with all schools in Gower to help ensure that children understand what a healthy relationship is. This is imperative as children are often the silent victims of domestic abuse, which they may witness in the home or even experience first-hand from a boyfriend or girlfriend.
"I trust the schools in Gower will find the Welsh Government’s resource to be a useful tool."
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is continuing to encourage 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: “There is still time to get your nominations in for inspirational women in Gower for these exciting awards, as the deadline has been extended until 11th May.”
"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, rising stars in their field, and pioneers in the field of science, technology, engineering or maths.
"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 2017 are being held on June 21st 2017 in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay.
This years’ categories include, among others:
Community Activist of the Year
Woman in the Rural Economy
Woman in Enterprise
Man of the Year
Employer of the Year
Nominations can be made here: https://www.cteg.org.uk/womenspire17/categories/
Mrs Evans added: “The huge contributions made by women across Wales, even in 2017, 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. I am pleased to inform that the deadline for entries has been extended to 11th May, which I hope will encourage as many nominations as possible across the categories"
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, will be holding an advice surgery on Friday April 21st, between 10am – 11am, at her constituency office – 9 Pontarddulais Road, Gorseinon.
If you would like to book an appointment, please get in touch with her office by either ringing 01792 899 081 or emailing Rebecca.email@example.com
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans, has met with Welsh Women’s Aid on the second anniversary of the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015.
Mrs Evans said: “It is estimated that around 3 million women across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, forced marriage, stalking, sexual exploitation, trafficking and other forms of violence every year. This is the equivalent to the population of Wales.
"I am pleased that the Welsh Government led the way by introducing legislation to improve prevention, protection and support for women affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence, and I am pleased that the Welsh Government is making good progress on its implementation.”
Welsh Women’s Aid is a national charity which works to prevent domestic abuse and all forms of violence against women, and ensure high-quality services for survivors that are needs-led, gender responsive and holistic.
They told Mrs Evans of some of the achievements that have been made since the passing of the Act. These include, the National Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy 2016-2021, the publishing of the Whole-Education Approach Good Practice Guidance, the developing of the “Ask and Act” Framework which aims to require all professionals to ask clients if they are being abused and act as appropriate, and the appointment of a National Advisor.
Mrs Evans said: “To enable us prevent violence and abuse in the future, we have to work to ensure that children understand what constitutes a healthy relationship, and know how to recognise the symptoms of an unhealthy relationship.
"The Welsh Government has published a Whole Education Approach Good Practice Guide, produced by Welsh Women’s Aid, and awareness raising guidance for school governors. I am committed to working with the schools in Gower to help children understand what a healthy relationship is. This is imperative as children are often the silent victims of domestic abuse, which they may witness in the home or even experience first-hand from a boyfriend or girlfriend.”
The Welsh Government has also taken significant steps to reduce the incidence, and to protect victims, of Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence. Working with, and listening to, survivors is crucial and it is their experiences which are shaping the Welsh Governments policy and services.