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Dan Moffat

Dan is a University of South Wales Journalism graduate, a news reporter and presenter for Bro Radio and part of the View From The Ninian team.

The legislation and guidance around the wearing of face coverings in shops in Wales needs to be "tightened and explained further" according to the boss of one supermarket chain in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The Director of Filco Supermarkets, Matthew Hunt, told Bro Radio's Vale This Week Programme that he was considering introducing tougher rules into his stores across South Wales, but wanted clearer guidance from the Welsh Government.

It comes after supermarket chains Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda and Waitrose all announced they would challenge people who refuse to wear a face mask, with some saying they will deny entry to anyone without a mask, unless they are medically exempt.

Under the current coronavirus rules, people must wear face coverings in shops across Wales, and supermarkets are expected to have social distancing and strict hygiene measures in place.

Asked if Filco Stores would be taking tougher action, Matthew Hunt said, "It's something we're certainly mindful of, wearing a mask offers protection to colleagues and other customers, it is high on our priority list to try and enforce that.

"But there is a huge grey area amongst this and that's the exemption clause and that is proving quite difficult to navigate

"If you're minded to do so, you could use that as an excuse for not wearing a mask, and that is exceptionally difficult for us to deal with at store level because there's no means of checking or understanding what reason that person presents for not wearing a mask."

According to the Welsh Government guidance, people who have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering include those:

  • Who are not able to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness, or because of a condition or impairment
  • Who are accompanying somebody who relies on lip reading where they need to communicate and you cannot access a clear face covering
  • Who are escaping from a threat or danger and don’t have a face covering
(A tweet from The Welsh Government on the rules for shoppers)

Filco Supermarkets has nine stores across South Wales, including two in the Vale of Glamorgan - in Cowbridge and Llantwit Major.

The Welsh Government say Ministers have been in talks with retailers on how to improve safety and return to the strict observance of social distancing from the first lockdown, although no new guidance has been issued.

But, the boss of the Filco chain said he was not part of any discussion with Welsh Government officials, and pointed out he wants to see any new or existing guidance made clearer to customers and businesses.

"The legislation needs to be tightened and explained further to try and cut out some of the loopholes.

"We haven't had any direct communication with the Welsh Government at all, when they talk of discussions, they're really referring to the big supermarkets who are all based in England.

"The First Minister's weekly press conference is our first point of contact for us in terms of understanding new developments, and that is quite difficult."

The Welsh Government also say it is up to each store to enforce the rules in place, this is something that has led to some Filco Supermarket staff being abused.

"There has been a couple of nasty incidents, but thankfully they are minimal compared to some of the national supermarkets."

"We're very lucky that on the whole we have a local, loyal, customer base, the staff in our stores know our customer base very well and have a better relationship with them than some of the bigger stores.

Mr Hunt also reminded people of the click and collect and delivery options that Filco offer.

"We've been offering a delivery service throughout, customers can go on to the Snappy Shopper app or website, and that is available at Cowbridge and Llantwit Major stores, you can see some of the options on our website too."

You can listen back to the full interview with Matthew Hunt on this week's Vale This Week programme - hosted by Matthew Harris and Dan Moffat - by going to https://broradio.fm/on-air/the-vale-this-week/

Barry Town United are in the Faroe Islands tonight to take on NSI Runavik in a one-legged Europa League preliminary tie.

The game - in conjunction with the latest Covid-19 restrictions - will be played behind closed doors.

But, back home in Barry, the team clubhouse will be open and showing the game, which kicks off at 6pm tonight.

The match will also be available live on the Club's Facebook page.

(Barry fans dress the front of their houses in Town flags and scarves - Photo - BTU Members)

The winner of this evening’s tie will face Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen in the first qualifying round on Thursday 27th August.

Speaking to the Club's media before the game, boss Gavin Chesterfield said he was looking forward to the match.

https://twitter.com/BarryTownUnited/status/1296404115057266693?s=20

Ex-Wales international David Cotterill told the team's media that he hopes his experience will help the rest of the squad.

Fans have also been giving their thoughts ahead of the match, John McAllister is quietly confident, and will be glad to see Barry back in action.

(Barry Town fan John McAllister gives his thoughts ahead of the game)

The clubhouse at Jenner Park will be open to welcome supporters and host a match-day atmosphere whilst complying with social distancing guidelines.

The club have confirmed that commemorative match tickets will also be on sale.

Local NHS and care workers have been treated to a day out at the Barry Island Pleasure Park this afternoon.

Over 1,200 local Cardiff and Vale key workers have been given food and drink and free access to the park's rides as a thank-you for their work during the pandemic.

It was organised by South Wales company Chemical Corporation, and sponsored by the Park’s owner Henry Danter, who wanted to give something back to the key workers who have worked throughout the pandemic.

Speaking to Bro Radio at the event, park owner Henry Danter said, "I wanted to say thank you to all these great people that have helped us throughout this crisis.

"It's the worse crisis that anyone in business has ever suffered, it's been the toughest time I've ever experienced, so I just wanted to give something back."

(Park owner Henry Danter speaks to Bro Radio's Nathan Spackman)
(The park is open to everyone, and free to NHS and key workers)

The day was organised by Alan Barhum, the Chairman of South Wales company Chemical Corporation, who said he wanted to do something to support the key workers.

"Seeing all these people coming in with smiles on their faces has made me very proud of what we've done today.

"The Coronavirus has put a lot of pressure on the key worker's families too, so it's a day for everyone, hopefully this is something they will remember."

(Alan Barhum speaks to Bro Radio's Nathan Spackman about the event)
(Ex Welsh rugby star Craig Quinnell was one famous face in attendance)

Also in attendance were some famous faces, including ex-Wales Rugby star Craig Quinnell,

"It's such weird times at the moment, but to see everyone with a smile on their face is brilliant."

(Craig Quinnell speaks to Bro Radio's Ben Dain-Smith)

A 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy have been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm, following reports of shots being fired in Penarth earlier today.

The incident took place in the Redlands Road area of the town at around 2pm this afternoon.

Police were alerted shortly after, and armed police were deployed to the scene.

As of 17:25 this evening, South Wales Police remain at a number of addresses in the town.

Police say there are no reports of any serious injuries, but one male youth has suffered a cut hand.

Redlands Road remains closed in both directions between Victoria Avenue and Elfed Avenue.

(Phone footage shows Police entering a house on an estate just off Lavernock Road - Credit - Bro Radio)

Anyone with information is being asked to call 101 or @Wales_CS and quote incident 675 of 13th August.

Cardiff City have announced the signing of Wales front-man Kieffer Moore in a deal thought to be worth around £2m.

Moore joins the Bluebirds from Wigan Athletic - who were recently relegated to League One and have went into administration.

The forward scored 10 goals for Wigan this season and featured during Wales' Euro 2020 qualification campaign, scoring important goals against Slovakia and Azerbaijan.

(Cardiff announced the signing on Twitter)

"The interest has been there for some time. I'm thrilled to get this over the line," said Moore.

"I've spoken to the manager and his desire is to get promoted to the Premier League and that is something I share.

"The fans were a deciding factor for me. I know I'm going to play really good football here. The game really suits me. To have the backing from the fans straight away is amazing.

"I'm looking forward to meeting all the boys and getting started."

Cardiff boss Neil Harris said: "I'm delighted to finally get him here. It is no secret that we tracked him in January but it wasn't possible at the time. Obviously he came here and scored two goals a few weeks later.

"He's a quality striker at this level. Our fans are fully aware of his ability - after that game and his appearances in the Welsh shirt.

"We're very pleased to get him on board."

Eighteen year old Ceri Vaughan Jones from Cowbridge says he's 'absolutely thrilled' with his A-level results, after achieving four A*'s during his final year at high school.

The Ysgol Bro Morgannwg pupil headed into school this morning to collect his results, and was ecstatic to find out he received an A* in Maths, Spanish, Biology and Welsh Bacc.

Ceri was one of thousands of students across Wales, waiting nervously for results day, during a very uncertain time for young people across the UK, because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

(Ceri with his A-level results)

"I'm absolutely thrilled with these results and honestly I can't believe it.

"We were allowed to go into school to collect the results which was really nice as I got to see a few of my friends and the teachers and have a nice chat."

(LISTEN: Ceri reacts to his A-level results)

It was announced this morning that over 40% of final A-Level grades awarded today are lower than those predicted grades based on assessment.

Grades were initially based on teachers' estimates - but many were lowered by the exam watchdog as they were deemed "too generous".

But, a last minute announcement from the Education Minister Kirsty Williams last night, revealed students would not get grades lower than what they achieved in their AS exams last year.

That means up to 4,500 students may now be given improved grades.

Ceri says this was a welcome announcement for him and his friends.

(LISTEN: Ceri says the Education Minister's announcement was a welcome one)

Meanwhile, the number of A and A* grades at A-Level awarded in Wales have increased this year, up 3% compared to last year.

The percentage of candidates achieving A - E grades shows a small growth, with 91.4% achieving these grades.

Ceri now hopes to go and study Business Management with Spanish at Exeter University next year.

(LISTEN: Ceri talks about his plans for the future)

Fences have been put up around the Roald Dahl Plass in Cardiff Bay, following a series of large gatherings there over the past few weeks.

Hundreds of people gathered last weekend, and left behind them a mass of litter including empty bottles of alcohol and gas canisters.

(Picture of one morning clean up - Image: Matthew Horwood)

As a result of these gatherings, South Wales Police were granted additional powers to deal with anti-social behaviour.

Now Cardiff Council have fenced off the area to prevent any further gatherings.

The Council say they have removed 28 tonnes of waste at a cost of £4,000.

(Cardiff Council have now fenced off the area)

Divisional Commander for Cardiff, Temporary Chief Superintendent Wendy Gunney said: “Cardiff Bay is a safe and vibrant area and we want people of all ages to come and safely enjoy themselves in the open space

“Unfortunately a minority of individuals have been causing issues in the Oval Basin and we are working closely with the local authority to address these issues.

“This weekend, visitors to the Bay can expect to see an increased police presence and those found to be breaking the law through either anti-social or violent behaviour will be dealt with robustly.

“In partnership with the council, we are introducing additional measures usually seen at major events such as street marshals who will work with officers to engage with people as they arrive.

“Barriers and additional signage will also be in place to improve compliance with social distancing and ensure that the area is safe for everyone.”

Leisure centres, indoor gyms and swimming pools will all be allowed to reopen on Monday.

Confirmation came from the First Minister Mark Drakeford, as part of the next easing of lockdown restrictions here.

Children's indoor play areas will also be able to open their doors again, but areas such as ball pits, which cannot be easily cleaned, should remain closed.

The announcement comes on the same day that Public Health Wales announced a further seven people had died with Coronavirus in Wales, with a further 17 positive cases reported.

The Welsh Government are reminding businesses that they are legally required "to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus" on their premises.

Councils will be given extra powers to enforce the requirements.

(Gyms across the Vale will have to implement safety restrictions)

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

"We continue to take a step-by-step approach to easing the lockdown, closely monitoring the impact of each change we make. As more parts of our society and economy reopen, it is vital we all keep in mind our personal responsibility to do the right thing and make sure we continue to protect ourselves and others from the virus.

"This means keeping a two metre distance from others, washing our hands often and wearing a facemask on public transport. These are simple steps to take that benefit us all. The rules we have in place are not optional, they are there to protect us all. They are essential if Wales is to avoid another lockdown.

"As more and more premises are allowed to open, specific rules that apply to those premises, and to all workplaces, are particularly important because they are designed to keep us safe.

The Welsh Government is continuing to explore whether changes can be made to the rules to enable people to meet indoors with other people who aren't part of their household or extended household from August 15.

Penarth Town Council has published recommendations on how they could make the town safer, following calls from a public consultation to do so.

The results of a recent public survey on how the town centre has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic were published today.

The consultation - which saw 840 people take part - showed that 70% think there should be more outdoor space for pedestrians and businesses.

4 out of 5 people also agreed that the council needs to prepare the town for the future.

Meanwhile, 75% think that the current parking arrangements need to change.

Penarth Council say they may consider closing Windsor Road between Arcot Street and the roundabout - to make customers and businesses feel safer, and allow more outdoor service too.

(Archive Photo - Windsor Road could become a 'safe area' with restricted access to vehicles)

The Leader of Penarth Town Council, Cllr. Rhiannon Birch said:

"We embarked on a public consultation to gather the views of the town and consider suggested changes. The response to this has been unprecedented in our town and we thank each person who took the time to respond and share it.

"The consultation shows that a clear majority recognise the need for a degree of change in the town centre, both for it to survive in the present and to thrive in future. The results call for the establishment of a greater degree of safe space and proposals which increase a degree of pedestrianisation whilst also increasing parking spaces.

"The results show substantial agreement on these aims. Reflecting this widespread and clear response, Penarth Town Council calls on our partners in the Vale of Glamorgan Council to embrace the results and recommendations."

Penarth Council have now put forward a number of recommendations, including a 'safe area' on Windsor Road, which would see a one-way system, with access for deliveries and buses at 10mph only.

(Some of the recommendations and new parking spots that could come to Penarth)

Lower Glebe Street could also become a safe area, with disabled parking and deliveries only.

Cllr Birch continued, "Specifically, Penarth Town Council believes that creating a safer environment through the closure of  Windsor Road to traffic for part of the day, between Arcot Street and the roundabout, including the Lower Glebe Street, would be  the best way to ensure that people can feel confident about shopping safely.

"It would allow safe use of the space in front of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. It also lessens the need for one-way systems on pavements for pedestrians, which are perplexing for many and hard to implement. 

"These proposals can be achieved in a way which also increases the amount of parking spaces available."

You can view the full list of recommendations, and responses to the consultation, at https://www.penarthtowncouncil.gov.uk/news/survey-results/.

Vale of Glamorgan Council library buildings in Barry, Cowbridge and Llantwit Major are preparing to reopen on a controlled basis from Monday.

Library services were initially suspended to help tackle the spread of coronavirus, before a click-and-collect service was launched in late June.

From Monday, people will be able to access further facilities as the use of PCs and the physical browsing of books is permitted again.

Chairs will not be available and toilets will be closed.

In line with the track and trace system, anyone visiting the libraries will be asked to fill in a card with their contact details.

Initially, PCs can be booked for a 50-minute period once a week, with the number available reduced to allow for appropriate social distancing. Fixed time limits will also mean staff can properly sanitise machines between uses.

The browsing of books will also be limited to 20-minute slots, with a cap on the number of people allowed in at any one time.

Library members can make appointments for either of these services by phone.

Elsewhere in the Vale, Community libraries in Rhoose, St Athan and Sully are also offering a click-and-collect service, with Dinas Powys and Wenvoe likely to join them in the near future.

(Physical browsing of books can recommence)

Cllr Lis Burnett, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: "We know what a vital role our libraries play in the lives of some of our residents, especially at a time when most are spending more time at home.

"Reading in particular is a productive and stimulating way to fill time so I'm delighted that we are now able to make more of our library services available again.

"While increasing numbers of people have been accessing books, resources and activities online, for many the reopening of library buildings will be very welcome.

"Safety remains the number one priority and all appropriate measures will be in place to protect both library members and staff."

Current weekday opening times will remain the same initially, with Barry and Cowbridge operating from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm, and Llantwit Major open for the second of those periods. The Libraries will also open between 10am and 1pm on Saturdays.

Some other council services will also be available face to face at the Civic Offices on an appointment basis from Monday 10 August.

Appointments can be made for Registrars, Council Tax and Benefits services by telephone from Friday 07 August. More details can be found at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk.  

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