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Nathan is the Operations Director and one half of Vale Breakfast on Bro Radio. You'll hear him reading local news, hosting at local events and presenting our facebook live videos.

The basic salary of county councillors in Wales is set to increase by £150 from April 2021.

The annual pay rise follows recommendations from the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales which applies to all 22 local authorities to reflect increases in the cost of living and earnings.

Authorities are not able to amend the nationally-set remuneration rates, but individual councillors may choose to forego part of their entitlement if they wish to do so in writing.

The decision, made by the independent body, means that the basic salary of a backbench county councillor will rise by 1.06% to £14,368.

The decision, made by the independent body, means that the basic salary of a backbench county councillor will rise by 1.06% to £14,368.

Meanwhile,  it is proposed that group leaders shall receive similar 1.06% pay rises to £18,108 (up from  £17,918), the leader of largest opposition group £23,161 (up from £22,918) and committee chairs £23,161 (up from £22,918).

Depending on the size of the authority, from April 2021 cabinet or executive members will be paid between £27,741 and £33,805, deputy leaders between £31,783 and £38,858 and council leaders between £44,921 and £55,027.

Compared with parliamentarians however, it was found that between 2013 and 2020 the basic salary for elected county councillors increased by 7.9% (£13,175 to £14,218), whilst the salary of a Senedd Cymru Member increased by 31.1% (£53,852 to £70,625), and the salary of a UK Parliament Member increased by 23.4% (£66,396 to £81,932).

The report, which is now being presented to all 22 authorities, noted that their annual decision was a matter of “balancing issues of affordability and public perception with fairness to members for their time, worth and responsibility.”

It went on to state: “The panel has consistently expressed its view that maintaining the democratic values of local governance cannot be cost free.

“Members of local authorities (including co-opted and appointed members) are there to represent the interests of local people, undertake the governance of local communities, and secure appropriate value for money public services for local tax-payers through effective scrutiny for which they are accountable to their community.

“These are significant and important tasks for members of the relevant authorities within the Panel’s remit. Payments to members are made available to encourage a diversity of willing and able people to undertake local governance through their elected, appointed or co-opted roles.”

It concluded: “The financial constraints on the public sector and particularly on local authorities over many years have meant that the link with average Welsh earnings has not been maintained.

“The panel considers that this has undervalued the worth of elected members.”

The report is in the process of being presented to Democratic Services Committees of all 22 Welsh local authorities before adoption ahead of the 2021/22 council year.

Krasimira Krasteva a Level 3 Business Administration student from Barry, is progressing from her course at Cardiff and Vale College into a Business Administration apprenticeship at Companies House in September.

Before starting in her new role, Krasimira will spend the summer working in a paid internship with global construction services company ISG. The internship came about due to a work placement she did while studying at CAVC – ISG were so impressed they wanted to keep her on.

“Earlier this year ISG was looking for Admin Assistants for work placements,” Krasimira explained. “The work placement usually lasts a week so I was pleased when I found out they wanted to extend my work placement and a few months later I got the paid summer internship offer from them.”

She is looking forward to her summer internship.

“I am very pleased to be part of ISG Construction again,” Krasimira said. “The team there is extremely helpful, friendly and professional.

“It is a place where I am constantly learning something new – every day is different. I am happy to work in an environment that keeps me challenged.”

Krasimira, who is 34 and from Barry, has always been interested in a career in administration so decided to apply for a CAVC course.

“I was attracted to Cardiff and Vale College’s academic reputation and the practical work implemented into the course,” she said. “I knew the College works closely with top employers so that would be my chance to get involved on a work placement and find employment later on.”

The College assisted Krasimira with work placements as part of her course, and helped her secure a Business Administration apprenticeship at Companies House.

“I feel great about the apprenticeship,” she said. “It is like all of your hard work and dedication is being rewarded just by being able to attach my name to Companies House.

“This is an excellent opportunity for me to meet great professionals who are fair and encourage the professional development of their team.”

While not many people associate business courses with work-based learning, Krasimira believes apprenticeships are an excellent alternative to university.

“Apprenticeships are a great way to get you straight into a job straight away,” she explained. “You are literally learning how to do the job by doing it.

“It might be a challenge, but who doesn’t like a challenge?”

She also feels that the support she has had while at Cardiff and Vale College has been instrumental in her development and progression.

“I believe that the academic and practical work implemented in the Business Administration course and the Careers Ideas Centre provides students with a great variety of work placements with top employers that you can choose and lots of workshops for improving your skills,” Krasimira said.

“Last but not least I really appreciated the hard of work of the people who give their heart and their and their soul into their work – my tutors Alison Freter and Kelly LaFlamme who helped me with my personal growth and development, and Nick Aiston and his team from the Careers and Ideas Centre for finding work placements that suited me best and highlighted my potential so that I was also able to successfully get on this apprenticeship scheme.”

Care homes across Wales are benefiting from digital devices being delivered to them as part of a scheme to help residents keep in touch with friends and family, and to assist with video medical consultations.

Over the past few weeks the Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being Programme, delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre, has been distributing the devices to care homes in all parts of Wales, and is providing remote support and training to key workers on how to use and operate the technology with people in their care.. 

To date, 745 devices* have been delivered to 401 care homes* as part of the scheme, with 313 care homes receiving staff training on the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service (*see notes to editors for breakdown by Health Board). 

Across the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board area, 96 devices have been delivered to 56 care homes.

Deputy Health and Social Services Minister Julie Morgan said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has affected all of us, and it has been particularly challenging for older people and those living in care homes who are unable to see friends and loved ones.

“Technology has played a key role over the past few weeks in helping keep people in touch, and allowing medical consultations to take place without the need for visits to the GP or hospital.  I’m pleased to see that digital devices have been reaching care homes, making things easier for staff and residents.

“We’ve seen the use of digital technology across the NHS and social care accelerate over the past few months as a result of the pandemic.  Many of the changes will be with us for the future allowing people to stay connected and improve access to services.” 

Derek Walker, Chief Executive at the Wales Co-operative Centre, said:

“The pace of the digital revolution in health and care has picked up dramatically as a result of this crisis. We know from experience that digital skills can transform lives and providing devices is an important part of improving digital inclusion along with good connectivity.

“Our Digital Communities Wales programme has been able to provide support and training to staff so that they have the confidence, knowledge and skills to use technology themselves and help others do the same. We’re proud to be working alongside NHS Wales colleagues and TEC Cymru to help make this difference.”

Wales Millennium Centre has announced that the venue will remain closed until at least January 2021, due to the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the theatre industry.

Productions that have been cancelled or postponed include The Lion King, Welsh National Opera’s autumn season, The Book of Mormon and The Phantom of the Opera, which were all due to take place in the Centre’s 1,850 seat Donald  Gordon Theatre. Wales Millennium Centre’s annual international festival, Festival of Voice, will also not go ahead as planned from 29 October – 1 November 2020.

Up to 250 roles could be affected and 85 permanent staff are at risk of redundancy. The closure will also affect the Centre’s 300 volunteers’ roles and will impact freelance and local artists whose work is performed in the Centre’s performing spaces, including the 250-seat Weston Studio and 160-capacity Ffresh Cabaret venue.

Wales Millennium Centre shut its doors on 17 March 2020 when social distancing advice around mass gatherings was announced by the UK Government. It is anticipated that the Centre may have to remain shut for even longer and a decision on closure up to April 2021 will be made in September. If the Centre remains shut for a year, it is anticipated that the organisation will lose around £20 million in revenue. 

The Cardiff Bay venue is expecting to lose around £20 million in revenue. 

Wales Millennium Centre’s Managing Director, Mathew Milsom said: “It is with deep regret that we have made the difficult decision to close Wales Millennium Centre until January 2021. The Coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on theatres across the UK and, like many others, we have concluded that we won’t be able to put performances on our stages again while social distancing measures are in place. Under these circumstances we can’t open the theatre in a way that provides a good audience experience and that is economically viable for the Centre and the producers who present their work here.

“The safety of our audience, staff and performers is of paramount importance and, therefore, we may have to consider extending the period of closure as government advice on mass gatherings becomes clearer over the coming weeks and months. We are also expecting significant disruption to the availability of touring shows for years to come, as productions are being cancelled and no new shows are being created.

“We are making these decisions now to secure the future of the Centre – home for the arts in Wales – which over 1.6m people visit each year and which contributes £70m to the Welsh economy. We have lost 85% of our income overnight and are seeking funding for both the short and longer term. Whilst we are closed, we will do everything we can to keep our artistic and charitable work going, and to ensure that we are ready to reopen as soon as is practically possible”.

Wales Millennium Centre is a cultural campus and is home to eight cultural organisations, including Welsh National Opera; National Dance Company Wales; and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and its 350-seat Hoddinott Hall. Up to 1,200 jobs are supported on the Wales Millennium Centre site.

Ticket holders for affected shows are currently being contacted to arrange refunds and/or to rearrange for future dates. Changes to performances are reflected on the website –

Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths, has today announced funding for Welsh dairy farmers hardest hit by the recent exceptional market conditions as a result of Covid19.

The dairy sector has felt the immediate impact of the global pandemic with the closure of the food service and hospitality sectors.

To support the sector during these challenging times, the Minister has confirmed eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income in April and subsequently May will be entitled to up to £10,000, to cover 70% of their lost income.  This will help ensure they can continue to operate without impacting animal welfare and the environment.  

Further details on the scheme will be announced shortly. 

It follows a series of announcements aimed at supporting the sector during these challenging times, including:

  • A new consumer campaign, led by AHDB, to increase consumer demand for milk by 3%;
  • The temporary relaxation of competition laws to enable greater collaboration so the sector, including dairy farmers and processors, can work closer to solve the differences between supply and demand; and
  • Opening of the EU Public intervention and private storage aid for skimmed milk, butter and cheese.

Announcing the funding, the Minister said:  “The closure of the foodservice sector has had an immediate and significant impact on our dairy sector and market prices.

“The measures introduced so far will help provide some stability for the dairy sector, but I recognise there is a need to support those farms hardest hit by a situation which is primarily outside of their control.

“I am therefore pleased to confirm dairy farmers in Wales will be eligible for support helping them adapt to the exceptional market conditions and ensuring they can continue to operate without impacting animal welfare and the environment.   Further details of the scheme will be announced shortly but I wanted to commit today to support this core group of dairy farmers with a payment to offset some of the financial impacts they have experienced.   

“We will continue to work closely with the sector to help them address the issues they face at this difficult time.  By working together we can ensure an optimistic future for the dairy sector and its supply chain in Wales.”

Commenting on the announcement today (May 9) of a support package for the hard-hit dairy farming sector in Wales, Andrew RT Davies MS – the Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs – said:

“I and my Welsh Conservative colleagues have been demanding support for the dairy farmers  throughout the pandemic and lockdown, and finally, after weeks of dithering and deafening silence, the Minister for Rural Affairs has taken some notice.

“It’s better late than never.”

The Minister has said that eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25 percent of their income in April and subsequently May will be entitled to up to £10,000, to cover 70 percent of their lost income.

“However, the announcement today is lacking any real detail; it’s another case from the Labour-run Welsh Government of ‘Let’s bang out a statement, and hope that gives us time to think up a plan.

“Who, for example, will be an ‘eligible farmer’? This is the kind of detail needed to reassure or hardworking farmers, who manage one of the key industry sectors in Wales.

“This money needs to be made available immediately to make sure our vital agricultural sector suffers no more damage.”

The coronavirus lockdown in Wales will be extended for a further three weeks, with minor adjustments proposed but maximum caution maintained to ensure the virus does not spread, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.

To tackle the spread of coronavirus, the Welsh Government introduced regulations in March, which impose strict restrictions on gatherings, the movement of people and the operation of businesses, including closures, in Wales.

They also impose requirements on businesses that are open to take all reasonable measures to ensure physical distancing between people.

The Welsh Ministers must review the need for the requirements and restrictions in the regulations every 21 days.

The latest evidence from the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for Wales says while the first peak of infection has been passed and rates continue to fall, it is still too early for a significant lifting of requirements or restrictions.

As part of the second review, the Welsh Government has decided the lockdown in Wales will continue until the next review period in three weeks’ time.

People are being asked to continue working from home if they are able to do so.

The First Minister has today announced Wales intends to make a series of small adjustments to the regulations, including:

  • Allowing people to exercise more than once a day, but people should stay local. This means any exercise should start and end at home and not involve going a significant distance from home.
  • Enabling local authorities to begin the process of planning how to safely reopen libraries and municipal recycling centres.
  • Allowing garden centres to open provided they comply with the physical distancing duty.

It is intended these adjustments will come into force on Monday, so Wales moves in step with the rest of the UK.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford said:

“The coronavirus outbreak is unprecedented, as is our response.

“As a nation we have pulled together to tackle this virus, which has moved quickly around the world with tragic results. I want to acknowledge the loss some families have experienced. The actions we have taken to protect everyone, but particularly those at risk from serious illness, have been unparalleled.

“I want to thank everyone in Wales for this collective effort. Together we are helping to reduce the speed and spread of the virus. The result is a decreasing number of new cases and a reproduction rate that is going down.

“The Welsh Government is guided by the latest scientific evidence, advice from our Chief Medical Officer and the latest public health advice. The virus remains a very serious threat to us all and we cannot be complacent in any way. For that reason, the stay-at-home regulations will remain in place in Wales.

“Our preference remains a four-nation response to coming out of lock-down, and we remain in consultation with all parts of the UK. Our duty is to the people of Wales, and our decisions will be based on the evidence and specific circumstances of Wales.”

The Welsh Government is today publishing details of the scientific advice, which has been provided to Ministers by the Technical Advisory Cell (TAC).

First Minister Mark Drakeford is today asking Wales to unite in a two-minute silence at 11am, to mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe.

From the steps of the Welsh Government buildings in Cardiff, the First Minister will encourage the country to “draw on the inspiration of those who lived through the Second World War, to help us deal with our own unique piece of history”.

Throughout this week, the First Minister and Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn have been speaking with Second World War veterans via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime and over the phone.

The Ministers thanked the veterans – aged between 96 and 103 – for their “unimaginable courage” while listening to their extraordinary stories.

Video: First Minister VE Day Message:

The First Minister spoke to Joe Norton, a Merchant Navy from Barry.

Mr Norton is 94 in May and served at sea between 1943 and 1951 in the Catering Department, joining his first ship the SS Scandia on 5 May 1943 at the age of 16.  He was awarded the War Medal, Atlantic Star, Italy Star and the 1939-45 Star.

People across Wales are being asked to stay at home today as they celebrate VE Day and continue to protect the NHS and save lives.

As part of a UK VE Day celebrations, the RAF will fly a Typhoon jet over Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast, reaching speeds of 350mph. In London, the Red Arrows will be spotted in the skies.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“Speaking with all veterans this week and listening to their extraordinary accounts of torpedo attacks and near misses, brought home the incredible grit and determination of an entire generation who lived through the Second World War.

“All of us can look to them for inspiration, to help us deal with our own unique piece of history.

“I want to thank each and every person across the commonwealth who battled fascism and helped to build the foundations of a society, which we all benefit from today.

“Coronavirus means we must celebrate VE Day in our own homes, but it will not change our determination to pay our tributes. At 11am let’s stand still, fall silent and remember all those who lived, and those who sadly lost their lives for us.”

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn said:

“During the week in which we pay tribute to a generation which sacrificed so much for Victory in Europe, it was a pleasure and a privilege to speak to veterans of the Second World War.

“I heard some amazing and inspirational stories about their service and I thank them again for all they have done for their country and what they continue to do.” 

Antony Metcalfe, Area Manager Wales for The Royal British Legion said:

“As we face some of the most challenging times since the Second World War, now more than ever it is important to unite in recognition of people’s service to the nation, just as communities did 75 years ago.

“There is no right or wrong way to take part in the silence at 11am – some people may wish to stand at their windows or step outside their front door, but we hope individuals and families in Wales will embrace the opportunity to share in a national moment of reflection.

“Then later on, we invite people to open their windows wide and join us to celebrate and give thanks as we singalong to Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime classic, We’ll Meet Again, which has added poignancy in the current circumstances.

“There are many parallels between the struggles of the Second World War and what we are going through today. As we mark 75 years since Victory in Europe, we look to our Second World War generation to learn from their experiences, and the Legion continues our critical work to protect them from the threat we currently face.”

To get involved in the VE day celebrations you can:

  • Take part in a two minute silence at 11am
  • Celebrate in your own homes– for ideas go to
  • Take to social media using hashtags #VEDay75 #DiwrnodVE75, to share your family stories and to say Thank You
  • Sing We’ll Meet Again on your doorstep at 9pm

Residents in the Vale of Glamorgan Council are being encouraged to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day at home by taking part in a number of activities to mark the occasion.

Unfortunately, restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus mean the usual ceremony held outside the Civic Offices in Barry and other public gatherings cannot take place this year.

But the Union Flag will fly above the building and residents are invited to join a national moment of remembrance by observing the two-minute silence from their homes, doorsteps or places of work at 11am on Friday.

Coverage of the occasion will be broadcast on television, with Winston Churchill’s speech announcing the end of the war shown at 3pm.

The Queen will then address the Country at 9pm, the exact time her father King George VI spoke on radio in 1945, before the Royal British Legion sing We’ll Meet Again.

There is also a national drive to hold a stay-at-home celebration, with tea and scones scheduled for 4pm and dinner at 6pm when people are asked to raise a glass to their neighbours.

Ordinarily, many communities would be organising street parties to honour this special anniversary and the Council has come up with a variety of ways in which the festivities can continue indoors.

The Sports Development team has been providing tips on how to make bunting that can be hung outside the home and recipes to prepare food that would have been eaten at the time.

They have also been promoting games and play activities of the era, while the Council will be sharing other ideas on how to mark VE Day on social media.

Town and Community Councils are also getting in on the act, with Llantwit Major Town Council encouraging buglers, trumpeters and cornet players to join a rendition of the Last post at 2.55pm.

There will then be a toast to the heroes of WWII taking place from home at 3pm.

Barry Town Council are asking residents to decorate windows and hold picnics in their gardens, Penarth Town council will fly the Armed Forces flag at West House, while Cowbridge Town Council are decorating the town hall and organising socially distanced street parties.

Community Councils throughout the Vale will be hanging bunting and inviting people to hold garden parties for their household.

Cllr Eddie Williams, Vale of Glamorgan Council Armed Forces Champion, said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to those who served in combat and on the home front during the second World War.

“The recent hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic has in some small way perhaps helped us better appreciate the enormous sacrifices made by ordinary men and women more than seven decades ago.

“They gave everything for the freedoms we enjoy today. That fact should never be forgotten and it’s important we take the time to mark this occasion even though that must be done from within our own homes.”

Cllr Christine Cave, Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan, will twice feature Bro Radio during the day, delivering a message at 11am before reading a poem four hours later. “I have been moved by the acts of kindness taking place throughout our communities during the current crisis,” she said.

“Adversity like we’re experiencing at the moment really can bring people together and I would encourage everyone to unite to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

“We must, of course, celebrate this milestone from home, but that does not make the occasion any less significant.”

Warrant Officer Dave Stroud, MOD St Athan Station Warrant Officer, said: “VE Day is a chance to pause and remember. We in the Armed Forces take tremendous pride in wearing our uniforms because of what our uniforms stand for.

“Our uniforms stand for all those men and women who were involved in both World Wars, those that paid the ultimate price, those who lived with terrible physical and mental scars, those who wore their uniforms with such outstanding bravery, passion, commitment and determination.

“All of them gave everything in the fight and the winning of, the freedom we all take for granted today.”

A group of charity trekkers whose fundraising plans have had to be adapted following lockdown, are taking on a virtual trek – from Penarth to Patangonia.

Two groups will be heading out to the Argentinian region in November 2021, in a trip organised by and to raise money for Marie Curie in Wales.

Marie Curie is the UK’s leading end of life charity, providing support to people living with a terminal illness at its Cardiff and the Vale Hospice in Penarth and in communities across Wales.

When the trek was announced, it was so popular the organisation had to arrange two separate trips to the region, famous for its Welsh settlement Y Wladfa, established in 1865 when around 160 people from various parts of Wales sailed from Liverpool aboard the Mimosa.  They settled in the Chubut Valley in Southern Argentina, where a culturally vibrant Welsh-Argentinian population still thrives today in the heart of Patagonia. 

But plans for fundraising events for the trekkers have had to be reinvented since lockdown – something the charity’s fundraising team are supporting the group of 60 with.

One of those fundraising activities is a challenge calling on the group to collectively cover 7524 miles – the distance between Wales and Patagonia – during lockdown.

So far they’ve reached more than 1100 miles – or the distance from Penarth to Morocco.

Sara Bass, fundraising manager for Wales, said: “We’re asking our trekkers to include mileage from their daily exercise following government guidance, and they can include any form of walk, run or cycle.

“Miles covered in work and around the house are included, as this is a group effort and everyone’s circumstances are different, as we have key workers who are also part of our trekking group.

“Everyone is still so enthusiastic about the treks and doing what they can to continue their fundraising efforts while we’re in lockdown, and we’re so glad we can continue to support them through these difficult times.”

Val Rogers is one those undertaking the virtual trek.

Val Rogers signed up to the trek in her 60th year, having done a series of charity treks last year.

“I got the bug,” said Val, who was due to do the Trek du Mont Blanc in July, which has been postponed.

“It’s great to have a focus in these difficult times.  My allowable daily exercise from the door has included cycling, jogging and walking in all directions through Cardiff’s many beautiful green open spaces, as well as Cardiff Bay, the Taff Trail, the Glamorganshire canal, the Ely trail, the Garth, Castell Coch woods and the Wenallt.

“I often combine these with delivering shopping to my 89-year-old father-in-law, key worker son who is working in a residential home and my daughter who has an immune disorder.”

She said she hopes to learn more about an area of the world she’s never visited before during the trek and looks forward to meeting and sharing the experience with the other trekkers.

The Patagonia Trek for Marie Curie in Wales takes place across two treks in November and December 2021.  Both treks are now full, but interest is being taken via a waiting list.

For more information about how you can support Marie Curie to continue providing end of life care, visit

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