With today’s A-level provisional results showing an improvement, Rebecca Evans, AM for Gower, has congratulated students and staff.
The number of students achieving A*-A has reached a historic high of 26.3% - a 1.3% increase on last year. 76.3% gained A* to C, the highest since 2009 and the second highest recorded.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “This is a positive set of results across both A-level and Welsh Bacc, and a testament to the hard work and commitment of students and staff.
“I am delighted to see that Wales is outperforming the rest of the UK in terms of grades have awarded at A*. With 8.7% of grades at A*, this is the best outcome in Wales since this grade was introduced.
“I am also pleased to see that the Welsh Government’s focus on STEM subjects is paying off. Maths has the highest pass rate of any key subject, and there have been increases at A* in Physics, Biology, and Chemistry. We need the skills to help us compete and lead in the modern world, and the Welsh Government’s reforms are clearly having an impact.”
In the Welsh Baccalaureate, 97.7% of candidates achieved the Skills Challenge Certificate, an increase of 3.7 percentage points from 2017. 80.9% of candidates passed the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate, an increase of 2.2 percentage points from 2017.
Gower Assembly Member Rebecca Evans has spent a day with the Gower Neighbourhood Policing Team, as part of the ‘Give a Day to Policing’ campaign organised by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
The campaign gives elected representatives the chance to spend a day out on the beat with the Police in their local areas in order to get a real insight into their work.
Rebecca Evans AM said:
“It was a real pleasure to spend the day with the Gower Neighbourhood Policing Team. I was very impressed by the way in which the team approach their work with such dedication, compassion, and humour.
“I would like to extend a huge thanks you to the Gower Neighbourhood Policing Team for giving me an insight into their work in Gower, and thanks too for their excellent work across our communities.”
During the day, Rebecca Evans AM joined the police as they assisted a family of French tourists who had been left stranded after their vehicle was stolen, visited vulnerable residents, was briefed on ‘county lines’ drug issues, joined the police as they responded to calls, and discussed action to tackle vehicle-related antisocial behaviour.
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM and Gorseinon Councillor, Kelly Roberts, have taken part in a Blindfold Walk facilitated by Guide Dogs Cymru. The local politicians walked along the streets of Gorseinon blindfolded with only the use of a cane to aid them as they attempted to safely avoid obstacles.
Visual impairment is a fact of life for more than 100,000 people in Wales, and work is being done to try and assist those with limited or no sight to be able to walk the streets, take buses and engage with community life.
Rebecca Evans said: “Guide Dogs Cymru does remarkable work. The organization and their volunteers are committed to ensuring that all blind or partially sighted can enjoy access everything the local area and community has to offer. I am really encouraged that Gorseinon has such an active and passionate local branch.”
Cllr Roberts said: “I am grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of the Blindfold Walk, as it gave me a clearer understanding of the issues faced by people with limited or no sight when out and about in our community. As a community we must all play our part in removing any barriers that can make life more difficult and dangerous for people.”
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, is supporting a new bill which will include reform of local authority electoral arrangements, including reducing the voting age to include 16 and 17-year-olds.
The Bill was one of a number of bills announced by the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, who has set out a new legislative programme that includes measures to protect children, strengthen NHS governance, reform local government and lower the voting age.
The Welsh Government will introduce new legislation to end the physical punishment of children in Wales. The bill will be part of a package of measures to ensure children have the best start in life and provide support to parents.
Another new bill will be introduced to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses on welfare grounds.
In addition to the Welsh Government’s legislative programme, the National Assembly will be asked to undertake a substantial programme of correcting regulations under the EU (Withdrawal) Act between October and March in preparation for EU exit.
Rebecca Evans said “Having led on several pieces of legislation myself, including the wide-ranging Public Health Act, and the Act which ended the selling off of council houses so that we can keep them for the people who need them most, I know what a difference good law can make to people’s lives in Wales.
“It is clearly going to be another busy year of law-making, and will be keen to hear the views of local residents on these new Bills as they come forward.”
Rebecca Evans AM, Mike Hedges AM and Julie James AM, have warmly welcomed the recommendation that a single Adult Thoracic Surgery Centre should be located at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, serving patients from South East Wales, West Wales and South Powys.
This is now the subject of a public consultation running until August 27th, which the Swansea Labour Assembly Members are encouraging people to support.
Thoracic surgery involves operations on all parts of the chest, including the lungs. A large part of a thoracic surgical team’s work is on patients with lung cancer. They also operate on patients with other noncancerous conditions such as punctured lungs or complications from pneumonia, and carry out biopsies on people with certain types of lung disease to help get a diagnosis.
Rebecca Evans, Gower AM said: “This is an exciting recommendation. If it gets the go-ahead, Morriston would be one of the largest thoracic surgery centres in the UK, offering the best support and care for patients, and putting us on the map for this kind of expertise.”
Swansea West AM, Julie James said: “It is great news that Morriston Hospital has been recommended as the primary site to provide care for thoracic patients in South Wales. This is about providing the best level and quality of care for patients across South Wales and ensuring that specialist services are sustainable in the long term.”
Mike Hedges, Swansea East AM, said: “The quality of the workforce and the site at Morriston is second to none. The current transformation of hospital services will hopefully revolutionise the treatment patients in Swansea and the whole of South Wales receives.”
People across Swansea are being encouraged to respond in support of the recommendation via: http://www.whssc.wales.nhs.uk/thoracic-surgery-services-in-south-wales
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans is supporting the Royal British Legion in marking the final year of the World War One centenary. At an event in the National Assembly for Wales, Rebecca Evans AM said her own ‘thank you’ and urged the public to take part in the movement which aims to thank the entire First World War generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world.
The charity is calling on the nation to honour not only the 1.2 million British and Commonwealth Armed Forces who lost their lives, but also those - military and civilian - who played their part on the home front and those who returned to build a better life for the benefit of generations to come.
During the last 100 days of the centenary from 08 August to 11 November, the Legion is inviting the British public from all cultures and faiths, community groups, schools, companies and sports clubs to join the movement to express their gratitude to those who gave themselves to the war and its aftermath, and rebuilt a better nation from its darkest hour.
Rebecca Evans AM, said: “The First World War left so many legacies, from ground-breaking social change to pioneering innovations.”
The Legion’s Area Manager Wales, Ant Metcalf said: “We all have a connection to the First World War and everyone living in Wales today has a reason to say ‘Thank You’ to this special generation. We are grateful to Rebecca Evans AM for saying her own special thank you and hope it inspires others across Wales to do the same”
Notes to Editors:
The Legion is asking the nation to plan their ‘Thank You’ activity to take place from the 8th of August onwards, to coincide with the anniversary of the so-called ‘100 days offensive’.
For further information and to find out how you can get involved in the ‘Thank You’ movement, please visit rbl.org.uk/thankyou
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed the launch of the Wales Hub of ‘Employers for Carers’.
The Hub which will be run by Carers Wales, has been funded by Welsh Government with the aim of encouraging employers across Wales to create carer-friendly work practices, ensuring more unpaid carers can stay in work.
Mrs Evans said: “We can never overestimate the contribution carers make not only to those the care for, but also to society as a whole. Their role is challenging - often both physically and emotionally - but nonetheless they selflessly dedicate themselves to whom they care for.”
One in nine people in the workforce care for someone who is older, seriously ill or is disabled. Recent surveys have revealed that almost half of unpaid carers have had to give up work completely to care.
Mrs Evans added: “Currently there are more than 180,000 carers in employment in Wales. With this is mind it is critical for employers to support carers who are juggling work and care, so they can stay in the workforce. Keeping more carers in work has a triple benefit - for the carer ensuring they have a life outside caring, the business by retaining valued and experienced employees, and the economy by having more people in work.”
SOUTH-WEST WALES MPS, AMS AND COUNCIL LEADERS CONDEMN UK GOVERNMENT FOR 'BETRAYING THE PEOPLE OF WALES' BY FAILING TO BACK THE TIDAL LAGOON.
A powerful grouping of politicians from across the South-West Wales area has today expressed its deep disappointment at the announcement that the UK government will not back the lagoon.
In a joint statement, the representatives said:
“This news is devastating for the Swansea Bay Region.
“After months of the UK Government prevaricating on this decision, and more than a year after the Hendry Review backed the project, once again the UK Government has failed on its duty to support the communities of South-West Wales, and has yet again betrayed the people of Wales.
“The lagoon required the Government to be bold and back a pathfinder project that would promote energy self-sufficiency, re-balance the economy, and create jobs across the UK, addressing disparities in national productivity.
“Giving the lagoon the green light would have been a massive boost to the economy of the area, especially at a time when the region is reeling from job losses at Virgin Media and dark clouds are gathering over steel jobs thanks to President Trump and his tariffs.
“We are all too familiar with this story from a Tory Government who have failed to stand up for steel and failed to deliver on rail electrification west of Cardiff.
"The Conservative Secretary of State for Wales has presided over the removal of electrification money of £400m-£700m - depending on whose figure you use - and has now failed to support £1.3bn for the tidal lagoon. That’s £2bn he has ripped away from the South Wales economy, killing jobs, and denying opportunities to families and communities in South Wales.
“Yet again it was left to the Welsh Labour Government to attempt to pick up the pieces, just as they did with the steel crisis, and to make an offer of support which has fallen on deaf ears.
“This is a project that would have played directly into the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, which makes the decision to reject it all the more short-sighted and irrational.
"The UK Government needs to rethink this decision and back the lagoon, because in doing so they would be investing in the local area, delivering jobs, clean energy and real opportunity to the Swansea Bay Region.”
“This whole sorry tale does also raise serious questions about whether Alun Cairns should continue as Secretary of State for Wales. Mr Cairns is supposed to be the voice of Wales in the cabinet, standing up for our interests and fighting our corner. But this announcement on the lagoon today confirms that absolutely nobody is listening to him, and he should therefore consider his position.”
The first of its kind in the world, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon would produce enough energy to power 150,000 Welsh homes for 120 years, sustain over 2,000 construction and manufacturing jobs in Wales, and support as many as 311 industrial and manufacturing businesses along the supply chain. It would deliver £8 million in tourism revenue, and the project would require more than 100,000 tonnes of steel, much of which would come from the Port Talbot steel works, with further jobs downstream making the component parts.
Issued jointly by:
Tonia Antoniazzi MP for Gower
Geraint Davies MP for Swansea West
Nia Griffith MP for Llanelli
Carolyn Harris MP for Swansea East
Stephen Kinnock MP for Aberavon
Christina Rees MP for Neath
Jeremy Miles AM for Neath
Rebecca Evans AM for Gower
Mike Hedges AM for Swansea East
Julie James AM for Swansea West
David Rees AM for Aberavon
Lee Waters AM for Llanelli
Cllr Rob James Leader of Carmarthenshire Labour Group
Cllr Rob Jones Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council
Cllr Rob Stewart Leader of Swansea Council
Responding to the news that the Conservative UK Government have decided to pull the plug on the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, Rebecca Evans, Assembly Member for Gower, said:
“First they cancelled the electrification of the rail line to Swansea, and now this.
“The Tory Government in Westminster has shown an appalling lack of vision and ambition for our area, and an unyielding unwillingness to invest in projects that would bring us prosperity.
“They had the chance to put us at the forefront of a new global industry, creating skilled jobs and boosting tourism, but instead they have failed us once again.”
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower has welcomed the Maggie’s LIFE exhibition to the Senedd.
The LIFE exhibition is a collection of portraits of people with cancer, taken by Maggie’s supporter and photographer Zoë Law, and curated by Ab Rogers – architect for Maggie’s at The Royal Marsden.
The photographs were taken to mark Maggie’s 21st birthday. Its debut was at Christie’s in London in 2017 and the exhibition is now on tour to raise awareness of the support needed for people with cancer and their friends and family, as well as to show the importance of Maggie’s, through a moving and enlightening collection of images.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “By providing free practical, emotional and social support, Maggie’s - based at Singleton Hospital - plays an important role in providing people living with cancer, their friends and families with the help and advice that they need.
“This exhibition is a powerful and inspiring collection, and is a visual reminder that when we are talking about cancer we are talking about real people with real fears, real passions and real lives.”
The LIFE exhibition will be open to the public from Friday 22nd June to Friday 29th June, in the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.