Nathan Spackman

Nathan is the Operations Director at Bro Radio. You can hear him on air on Vale Breakfast weekday mornings from 7am or reading local news bulletins throughout the week.

The team behind GlastonBarry have announced a new two-day ska, mod and reggae festival at Cardiff Arms Park in Spring 2022.

Skadiff will take place at the iconic stadium on May Bank Holiday weekend with tickets made available online.

A spokesperson for Mack Events said "Mack Events are delighted to announce a brand new event for 2022 - SKADIFF - Ska, Reggae and Mod Festival."

"In partnership with Cardiff Arms Park we will be hosting some of the UK's top tribute artists as well as some original bands and guests DJs over the bank holiday weekend."

On the Saturday, festival goers will enjoy UB40 tribute 'Johnny2Bad' followed by Madness / The Specials Tribute - ‘2RUDE'

Day two sees a show stopping line-up, headlined by The Special Brew, a Bad Manners Tribute.

The day will begin with Eden Roots Reggae Band at 12 noon. Simmer Down, playing traditional ska, Black Jam Circus who play original ska music and covers, The Jam tribute A band Called Malice and GlastonBarry favourites Legend, a Bob Marley tribute will all also perform.

Tickets are available now at skadiff.com

“Delivering the £1bn Welsh Metro project will be one of the most ambitious and complex programmes we’ve ever undertaken.”

Those were the words of Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for transport, Lee Waters as he unveiled new maps showing the enormous scale of the project.

Speaking just a week before the Welsh Government publishes its Net Zero plans in the run up to COP26, the Deputy Minister said how the project would deliver on plans set out in Llwybr Newydd, the Wales Transport Strategy, by creating a modern, integrated and sustainable transport network that supports modern lifestyles.

The Metro will make it the easier choice for people to use their cars less and public transport and active travel more, to significantly reduce our environmental impact and help Wales reach its Net Zero carbon target by 2050.

The new maps, made available for the first time today, illustrate the ambitious short and longer term plans that the programme will deliver, to help people make the right choice.

These include:

  • 172km of electrification to improve journey times and frequency
  • Up to 30% more services to improve connectivity across Wales, such as new tram-trains offering fast turn-up-and-go services at 45 stations on Valleys Lines by 2024
  • New and improved rail and bus services and active travel routes to reduce rural isolation, provide a door-to-door commuting experience and open up job, business and leisure opportunities across North Wales
  • New integrated tickets and more flexible fare options delivered through new technology on all buses and more than 200 new ticket machines at stations
  • New and improved train stations across Wales to provide a viable public transport alternative to the congested road network and;
  • 100% renewable energy powering overhead wires to reduce our carbon footprint

As well as connecting communities the project is already delivering economic benefits across Wales – promoting careers in engineering for children and women, providing job opportunities for veterans, and creating pathways to help offenders with their rehabilitation into stable and rewarding and employment.

Deputy Minister Lee Waters said:

“The Metro is not simply a transport project, it’s about changing the lives of people across Wales and is an excellent example of how investment in tackling climate change has far broader community benefits.

“Improving our public transport and active travel network routes is the right and responsible thing to do for the environment – making low carbon transport options more attractive, affordable, and easier to use – enabling people to leave their car at home particularly in the more densely populated parts of Wales linking up with active travel routes to provide door-to-door journeys in an integrated, sustainable transport network.

“Next month we will be attending COP26 – the most important COP since Paris in 2015 – and we will take a clear message to Glasgow that Wales is a globally responsible nation – ambitious projects like this prove that and show how everyone here is willing to play a part to combat global warming.”

The Welsh Government has also announced today an additional £2m cash injection to expand existing plans for South East and South West Wales metros, to include new bus and rail stations and services as well more active travel routes making public transport more attractive and accessible and connecting communities.

The Multi Storey car park on Holton Road/Court Road in Barry will be closed during the week commencing 25th October, for health and safety works.

Earlier this year the Council commissioned a Fire Risk Assessment, which identified the need to remove the dry riser, replace fire doors and undertake health and safety works to the security lodge.

The Council has confirmed that the works will require the closures of stairwells and some parking levels and following consideration, the car park will close to the public for a one week period while the works are undertaken, to facilitate the works and to ensure the safety of site operatives.

The closure will take place during school half term, week commencing 25th October to avoid as much disruption to school staff who use the car park during term time.

Other car parks operating the area include:

  • Kendrick Road: Free to park
  • Thompson Street: Free to park
  • Wyndham Street: Free 0- 2 hours, £2.00 2 – 4 hours, £6.00 All Day. Free on Sunday and for Blue Badge Holders and Motorcycles.

The Welsh Government will pursue a progressive economic policy that focusses on better jobs, narrowing the skills divide and tackling poverty, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, has said today.

At a hybrid Economic Summit, the Minister has invited businesses, trades unions and local government leaders to discuss how Wales can create a stronger, fairer, greener economic future.

In setting out his vision to move the Welsh economy forward, the Minister will commit to extending a Team Wales model to offer ‘as much certainty as possible’ for businesses facing a volatile recovery.  

He will promise a new era of partnership to strengthen regional economic development, a delivery plan to back the everyday economy and wide ranging support for workers in a fast changing economy.

The Welsh Government will work with unions and business to develop it’s ‘something for something’ approach so that Welsh public money is wedded to action on fair work, decarbonisation and skills.

The Minister will also start a conversation about the long term demographic challenge facing the Welsh economy. The proportion of the population aged 16 to 64 years old in Wales has been decreasing year-on-year since mid-2008 – and could be just 58% of the population by 2043.

In response, Welsh Ministers’ approach will be geared towards creating an economy where more young people feel confident about planning their future in Wales thus supporting job creation and more dynamic local economies.

The Welsh Government will set out a vision of what makes Wales an attractive place to live, study, work and invest – including the quality of life in an inclusive, open and green nation.

The Welsh Government will also call on the Chancellor to demonstrate the UK Government’s ambition for Wales by honouring promises made on EU successor funds, backing major renewables such as tidal energy and investing in Welsh research and development.

Later, the Minister will visit a family-run business that’s received Welsh Government support to grow, before delivering a speech to a predominantly virtual audience of business, trades unions and local government leaders and other partners at Transport for Wales’ new HQ in Pontypridd.

Speaking ahead of the summit, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:

“The Welsh Government is taking bold action to build a stronger, fairer, greener Welsh economy. It has taken a Team Wales effort to keep Wales safe and we will deliver a Team Wales Recovery, built by all of us. 

“A strong Welsh recovery will be based on the principles of fair work and sustainability as we invest in the industries and services of the future.

“As we face the headwinds of Brexit, I am determined that our credible plans will offer as much certainty as possible to help businesses plan ahead. 

“A new era of partnership for stronger regions, a young person’s guarantee, a plan to back our everyday economy and collaboration with world leading, advanced manufacturing. This is the cause for optimism for the future we are building in Wales.

“My ambition is to make Wales a place where more young people feel confident in planning their future here. You don’t have to get out to get on, make your future here in Wales.”

The Welsh Government’s approach includes:

  • Investing in our people - through the Young Person’s Guarantee and a strong employability and skills offer, including Apprenticeships;
  • Supporting those furthest away from the Labour market to find work. The upcoming Employability Strategy will highlight the support available for individuals, particularly those most impacted by the pandemic and furthest away from the labour market;
  • Accelerating the adaptation to new skills which are required for skilled, secure jobs, not least in the area of low carbon. The current recruitment challenge has also shown there is a need for some quick action on skills in certain sectors;
  • Exploring how we retain our graduates and talent in Wales by building strong linkages with universities, and between universities and businesses;
  • Support start-ups, including graduate start-ups, with possible incentives in some areas;
  • Ensure we have firms grounded in Wales who can provide future opportunities;
  • Wales can also benefit from the opportunities for far greater remote working and flexible commuting options.

The Football Association of Wales has joined forces with the Welsh Government to launch unique educational resources aimed at tackling online hate towards girls and women.

The resources centre around an engaging and powerful film featuring several Cymru International players highlighting and reacting to real life examples of online misogyny and hate speech.

Both the FAW and Welsh Government understand that education is key to tackling the many forms of online hate and the two organisations felt it was important to collaborate following the online abuse aimed at female footballers witnessed across social media during the 20/21 season.

The misogynistic abuse shared in addition to the hate speech directed at a Cardiff City FC player following the first live televised game of the top division in Wales further highlighted the need for education on the negative impact online hate speech and misogyny can have on women and girls, not only in football, but across society.

The primary and secondary educational resources developed by online safety experts are created to support practitioners to deliver lessons on this issue and help learners understand the importance of mutual respect between boys and girls, what online hate speech looks like, the term ‘toxic masculinity’ and what role it plays in driving online misogyny.

The ‘Tackling Online Misogyny’ resources can be found on the Keeping Safe Online area of ‘Hwb’, the digital learning platform for teaching and learning in Wales.

Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS said: “Abuse, hate and harassment of women, whether it takes place online or offline, must not be tolerated and we will do everything we can to tackle it.

“A key part of dealing with online misogyny is to make sure that there are resources to support these important conversations to take place. It is vital to provide learners with opportunities to learn about their rights and the rights of others, as well as the impact of such abuse and the harm it causes. Importantly, the resources raise awareness of how to safely challenge online abuse, so that we can all play a part in making the internet a safer place.”

“I’m very pleased we’re able to work alongside FAW to not just highlight online hate against women, but to tackle it.”

The campaign video features Cymru’s most capped player Jess Fishlock who said, “It was heart breaking last year seeing the misogynistic abuse aimed at footballers from the league who were playing purely for their love of the game. Trying to put someone down because of something they love, is not big, smart or funny.

“I always say that people should think about how the person receiving the abuse could be affected before sharing and I’m glad to have worked with my Cymru teammates and the FAW to further educate others on what is and isn’t acceptable online.”

FA Wales Safeguarding & Player Welfare Manager, Sian Jones said, “The FAW is committed to safeguarding at all levels of the game in Wales and we are proud to partner with Welsh Government to share these necessary educational resources to further highlight how this misogynistic behavior should not and cannot be tolerated.

“At the FAW we want people to have an enjoyable and positive experience of football, both offline and online. Football can be such a powerful tool for good and we are grateful to use the FAW’s platform to work with partners across Wales to continue to make a stand against online hate.”

Nominations for the inaugural Older Person’s Awards organised by Age Connects Wales are now open.

Members of the public have until midnight this Friday, 22nd October, to submit their nominations to ensure an older person they know can be recognised for going that extra mile.

The six Age Connects charities across Wales are urging you to join them in celebrating the achievements of older people living in our communities. In categories including Later Life Hero and Ageing Well Award, there will be 6 regional winners in 5 categories going forward to the awards night.

The final decision will be made by an independent judging panel with each winner receiving a prize and trophy.

The winners will be announced in November during a streamed one-hour award event hosted by former Welsh rugby union player, journalist and commentator Eddie Butler.

One of the judges, the Older People’s Commissioner, Helena Herklots commented, “It is essential that older people in Wales know and feel that they are valued members of society and these Awards are a great way to make sure that older people’s voices are heard, and achievements celebrated. Recognising and raising awareness of the vital contributions older people make to society every day brings us one step closer to a Wales where older people are valued, rights are upheld, and no one is left behind."

Speaking on behalf of Age Connects Wales, Dean Richards stressed how important it is that people get involved and nominate! “Here at Age Connects Wales we want to shout about all the amazing achievements of older people living in Wales and ensure they receive the recognition they deserve. We are calling upon everyone to put forward their wonderful stories of local heroes in their communities so we can share these and highlight the many ways older people contribute to their families and communities”.

Nominating couldn’t be easier – simply visit: www.ageconnectswales.org.uk/nomination-form. or call 029 2068 3604 or email: enquiries@ageconnectswales.org.uk.

All Age Connects Wales organisations would also like to say a big thank you to the Award sponsors, who share our passion to recognise those who have made a difference in our local communities. Thank you to Action for Elders, Home Instead UK, OES Office Equipment Systems Ltd and Retirement Butler.

A St Brides Major CIW Primary Pupil has won a Road Safety Wales poster competition with an entry that promotes the new 20mph speed limit introduced to her school’s village.

Emily Rideout, who now attends Cowbridge Comprehensive, was one of five winners from across the country.

Young people aged up to 18 were invited to design a poster to promote the safe use of active travel, the benefits of 20 mph speed limits on communities or to encourage safer driver behaviour across Wales.

The posters were judged by the Road Safety Wales Executive Group on originality, creativity, impact and the message being portrayed.

Emily said: “I wanted to focus on children because the campaign is all about keeping them safe.  The school tie and school crest were included to remind people that there is a school in the village and I thought it would be fun, and part of the theme, if the car was in the St Brides colours too.  I thought it was important to use Welsh and English as road signs are in Welsh and English.  My favourite part was drawing the children and making them happy and playful.”

St Brides was selected as one of eight areas in Wales to trial a new 20mph speed limit earlier this year after the Vale of Glamorgan Council was successful in gaining Welsh Government funding.

Having previously been a 30mph zone, the lower restriction was introduced last summer.

Not only is travelling at that speed safer, it also benefits the community by promoting healthy travel options such as walking and cycling.

Should the pilot prove successful, 20mph will become the new default lower speed limit across Wales.

Duncan Mottram, headteacher of St Brides Major Church in Wales Primary School, said: “Both the school and local community are delighted to be playing such a prominent role in this exciting initiative. Reducing the speed limit on our roads will make them safer and also help to promote alternative, greener forms of transport like walking and cycling.

“Pupils have been involved in this project from the start, taking part in a competition to design road signs that appear around the village, while a local resident group has also made their support clear from the outset.

“We are proud to be one of the pilot schemes for this new lower speed limit and we look forward to it being rolled out across the country.”

Despite the recent challenges that YMCA Barry have faced due to the pandemic, the club has a lot of celebrate.

The club was shut for ten months due to the numerous lockdowns, but already gymnasts at the club are achieving more than could have ever anticipated.

Firstly, four male gymnasts Harri Morgan, Sammi Morgan, Michael Tang and Henry Lewis attended the British Artistic Gymnastics Championships and competed against the best gymnasts in Britain. All four gymnasts did themselves and the club proud. Special mention to Henry Lewis who achieved 4th on Vault in the Under 18’s category and Michael Tang with 4th on High Bar also in the Under 18’s category.

Eight year old Olivia Melinn attended the Welsh Gymnastics Development Squad Trial and completed many different tests to examine her strength, flexibility, speed, bravery, skill level and endurance. After demonstrating great determination, Olivia retained her place in the Welsh Development Squad as one of only twelve gymnasts of her age being selected from across Wales.

Finally nine year olds Jamie Tran and Levi Scott attended a trial to represent Wales at the upcoming British Elite Grade Championships. Both Jamie and Levi performed fantastic routines and deservedly both were selected to represent Wales next month at the British Championships. Although this is a great achievement in itself, even more impressively only three gymnasts across Wales were selected, two of which were from YMCA Barry.

YMCA Barry is the most successful gymnastics club in the Vale of Glamorgan and offers many different gymnastics opportunities. These include parent and toddler classes for 0 – 4 years, independent preschool classes, recreational gymnastics for girls and boys, trampolining, disability gymnastics, teen gym, adult gym and classes specifically for Home Education children. In addition, the club caters for women’s and men’s artistic gymnastics from club level to international athletes, namely having gymnasts attend every Commonwealth Games since 1986.

If you are interested in any of YMCA Barry’s gymnastics classes please call 01446 724000, email sophie@ymcabarry.org.uk or follow on social media @ymcabarry

More than 15,600 farm businesses across Wales will tomorrow receive a share of over £159.6m in Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) Advance payments, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced.

This news means 97% of claimants will receive an automatic payment worth 70% of their estimated full claim value.

Historically, BPS payments have commenced from 1 December annually. However, regulation changes made by the Welsh Government following the end of the EU Exit Implementation Period has simplified the requirements of BPS for 2021 and beyond.

This has allowed BPS Advance payments to be made prior to December to eligible BPS 2021 claimants, without the need to submit an application, as opposed to the opt-in BPS Support Scheme administered in previous years.

Full and Balance BPS 2021 payments will commence from 15 December as agreed with industry representatives.

The Welsh Government has already announced its intention for the Basic Payment Scheme to run until the end of 2023, subject to the UK Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

A new system is being introduced which will move away from income support for famers to a system which pays farmers for the environmental benefit they deliver.

Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “As we move to our new Sustainable Farming Scheme it is crucial we provide support to secure the long term sustainability and resilience of the farming sector.

“Following the end of the EU Exit Implementation Period and through consultation, I introduced legislation which simplified the requirements of BPS and will provide early payments to the vast majority of farm businesses in Wales.

“Full and remaining balance BPS 2021 payments will be made from 15 December, subject to full validation of a BPS claim and my officials will use the next two months to maximise the number of farmers receiving these payments early in the payment window.”

Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery have achieved Green Heritage Site Accreditation this year. This special award, endorsed by Cadw, recognises sites that are both historically significant and meet Green Flag criteria. 

Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery joins only one of 10 other sites in Wales and is the first to be awarded Green Flag Heritage site in the Vale of Glamorgan

Keep Wales Tidy has unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners – the international mark of a quality park or green space. 

248 parks and green spaces across the country have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award – from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands and churchyards.

The flag will be flying at Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery in recognition of its excellent facilities and commitment to delivering great quality green space.

The Green Flag Award programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from the Welsh Government. Independent green space experts volunteered their time in early autumn to judge applicant sites against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management, and community involvement.

Julie James, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Climate Change, said

 “Green spaces are vital for mental and physical well-being and throughout the pandemic we have seen how important these spaces have been for local communities.

“Wales still holds more than a third of the UK’S Green Flag community sites and it is fantastic to see more places in Wales receiving Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award.

“These landscapes play a vital role in delivering rich ecosystems and vibrant and resilient communities, and I congratulate all of the sites for providing excellent, year-round facilities and events for people in Wales.”

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said:

“The pandemic showed us just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. With more visitors than ever enjoying our green spaces, I’d like to congratulate the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards at these sites.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru

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