Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed the BBC's announcement that it is to delay TV licence fee changes for the over-75s until August in light of the coronavirus situation.
Rebecca Evans AM has previously raised her concerns about the scrapping of free TV licences for up to 3.7 million older people.
Rebecca Evans AM said: "These are deeply unsettling and uncertain times, and the television can be a source of company, comfort and information for many people.
“Delaying the scrapping of the free TV licence for older people until August is a welcome first move, but I would like the UK Government to go further and scrap the plan to charge the over-75s for their TV licence for good.”
The Welsh Government is taking immediate action to allow delivery hours for supermarkets and other food retailers to be extended to ensure the food industry is able to respond to increased consumer demand during the Coronavirus outbreak, Local Government Minister Julie James has announced today.
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM said: “I welcome these pragmatic measures to relax planning conditions restricting night-time and early morning deliveries, allowing retailers to accept deliveries throughout the day and night where necessary.
“These are exceptionally challenging times and it is vital that deliveries of food, sanitary and other essential products over the coming weeks can be made as quickly and safely as possible, minimising disruption to the supply chains on which communities depend.”
Assembly Member for Gower, Rebecca Evans AM, is backing a commitment by the Welsh Labour Government to improve welfare standards for dogs at breeding premises in Wales.
Welsh Labour’s Minister for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has said she will act immediately to strengthen how the law is applied across Wales, re-confirming the Welsh Government will take forward Lucy’s Law and ban third party puppy and kitten sales.
This follows a review of the existing dog breeding regulations by the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group, which called for greater consistency in the inspection and enforcement of breeding regulations, a review of the licensing process, and the need for better welfare standards for all breeding dogs.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “Constituents regularly raise concern with me regarding the welfare standards for dogs, and I welcome the commitment made by the Welsh Labour Government to take further steps in this area. The combination of new regulations on pet sales and dedicated funding for enforcement and delivery of the breeding regulations will result in lasting improvements to the welfare standards of puppies bred in Wales.”
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed a new £210m scheme to help people build their own home, a scheme which will increase the supply of housing while also boosting the Welsh construction industry.
Self-Build Wales, which is financed by the Welsh Government, provides people with ‘oven ready’ plots and a loan that covers 75% of the cost of a building plot and 100% of the cost to build a home. To help self-builders meet everyday living costs, there are no repayments until the new home is completed.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “This is an exciting new scheme which provides new opportunities for Welsh small and medium builders to build quality homes. It also offers a route into home ownership for people who want to stay in their local area but haven’t previously been able to afford to buy there.
The scheme aims to remove the barriers and uncertainty around self-builds and custom-builds – such as finding a plot, planning and finance - enabling more homes to be built and enabling Welsh builders to focus on building quality homes.
More information can be found on the Self-Build Wales website here: https://selfbuild.wales/
Swansea AMs Rebecca Evans, Mike Hedges and Julie James are backing Heart Unions week - a time to celebrate the work that trade unions and trade unionists do to give working people a voice.
They said “The eight-hour day, the weekend, paid holiday and parental leave, the minimum wage, protection from discrimination, equal pay and healthy, safe workplaces were all won by trade unions. It is easy to take for granted all of the things that unions have fought for, and won. But the challenges of Brexit, inequality, and insecure work mean there has never been a more vital time to join a union.”
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed the award-winning Marie Curie Mumbles and Gower fundraising group to the Senedd.
At an event in the Senedd, the fundraising group learned that they had won the title of South West Wales Fundraisers of the Year.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “I am delighted that our local fundraisers have had their hard work recognised by Marie Curie. Together, the group has not only established Marie Curie’s profile in Gower, but has also raised more than £50,000 since 2012. That is a fantastic achievement - congratulations!”
Marie Curie provides support to people with a terminal illness and their loved ones. Help ranges from the provision of clear information about living with a terminal illness, to expert nursing care at home.
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has sent her good wishes to pupils of Pontarddulais Comprehensive who will be taking part in a prestigious RSPCA debating competition, 'The Great Debate,' later this month.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “I am thrilled that pupils from Pontarddulais Comprehensive will be taking part in this competition, and I would love to see them debating in the Wales-wide final.“
The pupils between the ages of 11 and 14 will be debating against other young people as part of the RSPCA’s education and prevention scheme, Generation Kind. The scheme aims to nurture and encourage the values of kindness, empathy and compassion in young people; while simultaneously inspiring students about citizenship and the country's decision-making process.
Rebecca Evans said: “The programme is a central part of the RSPCA’s work in supporting the education of young people about animal welfare, helping to create compassionate and confident young people. I wish the team from Bont all the very best!”
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed the third anniversary of the New Treatment Fund, which has cut the time it takes for new medicines to become available to patients from 90 days to an average of just 13 days.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “Creating the fund was one of Welsh Labour’s top six pledges in our 2016 Manifesto for the National Assembly Elections. It is being delivered, as promised, and is having life changing impacts on patients across Wales.”
The new treatment fund is an £80m five-year fund to help speed up access to treatments and drugs for life-threatening and life-limiting new medicines. £16m is available to health boards and NHS trusts every year through the fund.
Rebecca Evans AM added: “The New Treatment Fund means the latest life-saving and life-changing medicines for people with a huge range of diseases are now available faster than ever before in the Welsh NHS, wherever people live in Wales.”
Rebecca Evans, Assembly Member for Gower, has written to the UK CEO of the Lloyds Banking Group, following the announcement that the Mumbles branch will be closing in May 2020.
Rebecca Evans AM said: "We all know the pressure that the high street banking industry is under because of advances in technology and changes in customers' banking behaviour. However, it is often the most vulnerable who suffer the most, and the closure of one bank after the other across our communities is just not good enough. I call on the UK Government's Economic Secretary to the Treasury to develop a much more strategic and innovative approach to community banking to stem the tide of banks leaving our high streets in Wales.
"Mumbles has numerous independent retailers, and small businesses tell me that they need access to a local bank in order to manage their money.
"I am also very concerned about our older residents, for some of whom online banking just isn't a realistic option. Lots of older people prefer to use cash and manage their household budget on a week to week basis. Travelling considerable distances to use the bank is not as easy as it sounds for many people."
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is backing the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales’ campaign to ensure that everyone who is entitled to Pension Credit is claiming it.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “Pension Credit can make a really positive difference to older people’s lives, but every year thousands of older people in Wales miss out on millions of pounds in unclaimed financial entitlements.”
If your weekly pension is less than £167.25 (or £255.25 for couples), you may be eligible for Pension Credit, which tops up your income and unlocks a range of other entitlements, such as council tax discounts, free dental treatment, and help with housing costs. You may still be entitled to Pension Credit even if you own your own home, or have savings and other income.
Rebecca Evans added: “The average amount of Pension Credit received by people who claim it is £58 a week, which could boost your income by as much as £3,000 a year.”
It’s really easy to claim Pension Credit - all it takes is a phone call. You just need your national insurance number, your bank details and information about your income and savings. Call the Pension Credit claim line now on 0800 99 1234 to make sure you receive what you’re entitled to.