Saturday, October 21, 2017

Experiences of children in care to be examined by committee “over next four years”

​A National Assembly Committee is launching a wide-ranging, in-depth series of inquiries looking at the experiences of children and young people in care to span the length of this Assembly term. 

The Public Accounts Committee has launched its first inquiry in the series, focusing on the value for money of public services for children and young people who experience care.

When children and young people leave care with drug problems, mental health issues, and poor education, the consequences can have a life-long impact. 

The latest figures show that the number of children in care in Wales is 90 children per 10,000 people compared to a rate of 60 per 10,000 people in England.  Between 2010-11 and 2015-16 spending on services for children in care increased by more than 35 percent to £244 million in 2015-16.

The Committee will focus its attention on improving outcomes for children and young people who have experienced care, by ensuring the money spent is targeted in the right areas at the right time across the board.

Nick Ramsay AM, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee said:

"I believe this is the first time in the UK a parliamentary committee has committed to looking at this issue over the long term. We have taken this approach because we want to ensure the experiences of children and young people in care in Wales remain at the forefront and receive real political attention.

"The Prison Reform Trust recently stated that children and young people with experience of care are 'significantly over represented in the criminal justice service and in custody'. Statistics from 2015 show that 45 percent of care leavers aged 19 were not in education, training or employment. 

"This is unacceptable, and we know that their experiences of care contribute to putting them at a disadvantage as they move into adulthood. 

"We have taken this unique approach because we think continuous scrutiny is needed to ensure that councils and other public services focus on making improvements – too often these children and young people find that their needs are not prioritised."

Over the course of the Fifth Assembly, the committee will go on to consider:

To respond to the initial consultation on the inquiry focusing on the value for money of services for children and young people who experience care please send your views to SeneddPACassembly.wales .

The deadline for responses is 15 September 2017 and full details of the consultation can be found on the Committee's webpages .

Source: http://www.assembly.wales/en/newhome/pages/newsitem.aspx?itemid=1757&assembly=5 (Fri Sep 1st 2017)

Leanne Hughes
Leanne Hughes
Local News & Events, Welsh Politics
Caerphilly & Merthyr Tydfil

1947 – a day of celebration marks the 70th anniversary of the handover of Cardiff Castle to the people of Cardiff

A special anniversary lecture will be given by Curator, Matthew Williams, who will tell the detailed story of the circumstances and negotiations that led to this special gift to the city. There is limited availability for the lecture and an additional charge, therefore pre booking for this element of the day is advised on 029 2087 8100.

Cabinet Member for Sport, Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury said, ‘The Castle and its parklands are much-loved civic treasures at the emotional heart of the city. This event is a great opportunity to acknowledge the gif' title='1947 – a day of celebration marks the 70th anniversary of the handover of Cardiff Castle to the people of Cardiff' alt='1947 – a day of celebration marks the 70th anniversary of the handover of Cardiff Castle to the people of Cardiff'>

In September 1947, Cardiff was given the greatest gift ever when the 5 th Marquess of Bute presented Cardiff Castle and its parklands to its citizens. To mark the 70 th anniversary of this remarkable event, the Castle will be taking a trip back to the 1940s in a special day full of nostalgia for this post-war period to be held on Sunday 1...

Learn Welsh roadshow visits Haverfordwest

The roadshow, which is being held by the National Centre for Learning Welsh, has visited towns and cities all over Wales over the summer to help promote new Welsh courses starting in September. Funded by the Welsh Government, the National Centre was created in 2015 to provide strategic direction to the Welsh for Adults sector. The National Centre works with 11 providers which deliver Welsh courses on its behalf, Pembrokeshire County Council being the provider of courses here in Pembrokeshire. 

The roadshow is complemented by a major marketing campaign that includes TV and radio advertising, bus advertising and social media activity. The campaign's theme is ‘reasons for learning', developed as a result of research undertaken by the National Centre, which looked at what inspires people to learn Welsh.

Visitors to the roadshow can expect a chance to win a hamper of Welsh gif' title='Learn Welsh roadshow visits Haverfordwest ' alt='Learn Welsh roadshow visits Haverfordwest '>

A roadshow promoting Welsh language learning for adults will visit the Farmers' Market in Haverfordwest on Friday, 15th  September. The roadshow, which is being held by the National Centre for Learning Welsh, has visited towns and cities all over Wales over the summer to help promote new Welsh courses starting in September. Funded by...

Prestigious dolls' house collection bequeathed to pembrokeshire

Val, aged 93, has generously bequeathed the private collection to Pembrokeshire County Council, which will create a new permanent gallery suite to house it at Scolton Manor, the county museum.

The collection was built up over many years by Val and her late sister Pam, who grew up in Surrey and Sussex together before moving to Newport in later years.

It was inspired by the discovery of a childhood treasure of Val's - a dolls' house called ‘The Gables' which her parents gave her for Christmas 1932, when she was eight.

"I'd been hoping for a dolls' house, and I'd been eyeing up a wonderful one in the Harrods catalogue, but it was rather big and I didn't think I'd get it," recalled Val.

"I couldn't believe it on Christmas morning when I saw this huge present waiting for me to open!"

From then on, Val played with the house constantly and saved up her pocket money to furnish it with miniature items, with birthdays and Christmases bringing more tiny gifts from family members.

But in July 1939, Pam and Val's father took a commission in the Royal Artillery and the family house was let. The dolls' house was put into store ‘temporarily'. But eight weeks later came the onset of the Second World War and the house remained in store for the duration - and was then forgotten about.

It was only after their mother died in 1977 that Val and Pam found the dolls' house in the attic of their parents' home, perfectly preserved in its original storage crate.

Not only that - they also found their mother's dolls and toys dating back more than a hundred years, and their own childhood treasures.

"Imagine unpacking those!" said Val. "It was a magical moment. And I'm afraid my sister and I were off collecting!"

Over the following years, Pam and Val built up a famous collection of dolls' houses of every period from 1840. Each house is furnished only with items produced at that time, and offer an intriguing glimpse of family life at home.

"We deliberately collected houses from every era," explained Val. "Individually they're not so interesting, but together they present a complete social history from the early Victorian era onwards."

The sisters also sourced miniature toy stables, shops, theatres, and many toys and games - including rare vintage mechanical toys.

In 2010, the sisters opened the collection to the public for the first time at ‘Ty Twt' in Market Street, Newport.

"It's quite funny seeing fathers coming in with their children, because you can tell they're not particularly into dolls' houses," said Val. "But by the time they get to the WWI house, they are really interested and telling their children all about the things inside!"

The collection has featured twice on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow and includes treasures such as a miniature dog which once belonged to Margot Fonteyn, and doll dresses given to Val from her childhood friend's father, who happened to be Gone with the Wind star Leslie Howard.

It also features ‘St Edwards Junior School', a charming teddy schoolroom created by the sisters when they were children, saving their pocket money to buy the tiny teddies at nine pence each. 

Cllr Paul Harries of Newport, who was instrumental in bringing Val together with the Pembrokeshire Museum Service, said the collection was a ‘real treasure'.

"This is a wonderful gif' title='Prestigious dolls' house collection bequeathed to pembrokeshire' alt='Prestigious dolls' house collection bequeathed to pembrokeshire'>

A magnificent dolls' house and toy collection rivalling the best on public display in Britain will be given to the people of Pembrokeshire thanks to a special lady, Val Ripley. Val, aged 93, has generously bequeathed the private collection to Pembrokeshire County Council, which will create a new permanent gallery suite to house it at Scol...

From California To The Coal Mine

Mila, Erica, and Jeroen were keen to return to the home of their ancestors and learn the history of the area, having previously researched Welsh culture. ;

Jeroen, 15, had even competed previously at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Llangollen with his school choir. ;

“We had a great time in Wales, especially at the Welsh Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park, where we learned so much about the story of coal and the history of Wales as a nation,&; said Mila. ;

“Jeroen was already familiar with the area having been to Wales previously and singing about the 1984 Miners Strike and the hardships encountered by families in the area at the time. ;

“The Black Gold Experience was out of this world and is something that will stay with us for a very long time. Our trip was very meaningful, especially since Jeroen has sang about it, and with our ancestors coming from South Wales. ;

“Our family emigrated to America in the 18th Century, like so many other families at the time, to escape the poverty in Wales. ;

“Since coming to Wales, and since our visit to the Welsh Mining Experience, I feel I now understand more about my family roots. It was a trip I will never forget.&; ;

The family has since returned home safely to Berkeley, which is situated on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay. ;

Cllr Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure, with responsibility for visitor attractions, said: “We are so proud to have The Welsh Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park, right here on our doorstep, telling the fascinating story of the coal industry that made the Rhondda Valley so famous across the globe. ;

“Coal mined in the valleys of South Wales was exported around the world on a daily basis - millions of tonnes of coal. ;

“The collieries may be long gone, but the story of coal will live on and I am delighted that the Visser 't Hooft Family have taken so many cherished memories home with them.&; ;

Original features at Rhondda Heritage Park, the former Lewis Merthyr Colliery, include the lamp room, pit-head Gear, Trevor and Bertie Winding Houses and the Colliery Courtyard.

All-year-round attractions include the Black Gold Experience Tour, Caffe Bracchi, the Traditional Welsh Gif' title='From California To The Coal Mine' alt='From California To The Coal Mine'>

During their annual vacation in Wales, one American family could not resist a visit to the Welsh Mining Experience, Rhondda Heritage Park, to retrace their Welsh roots. ;The Council’s popular family tourist attraction draws visitors from all over the world all year around. ;The Welsh Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park ;The V...

Single Person Discount ReviewA review of residents receiving a single person discount on their council tax is being carried out by Powys County Council. A resident who is the sole occupier of a property is entitled to a 25 per cent reduction on their cou

Single Person Discount ReviewA review of residents receiving a single person discount on their council tax is being carried out by Powys County Council. A resident who is the sole occupier of a property is entitled to a 25 per cent reduction on their cou

reviewA review of residents receiving a single person discount on their council tax is being carried out by Powys County Council.  A resident who is the sole occupier of a property is entitled to a 25 per cent reduction on their council tax and the review will see if the discount scheme is being accurately implemented.  Deputy L...