News in brief. Campaign launched to raise awareness of new law banning physical punishment of children
The Welsh Government is launching an advertising campaign from tomorrow to help raise public awareness of the new law ending the physical punishment of children, which comes into force in March next year.
The government also confirmed it is investing more than £2.9m over the next four years to fund parenting support schemes across the country.
The new law will apply to everybody in Wales, including visitors, from 21 March 2022 and makes all types of physical punishment, such as smacking, hitting, slapping and shaking, illegal.
“This week marks the beginning of our six-month countdown as we move towards the day when children in Wales will have the legal right to be protected from all forms of violence, however minor, Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Social Services, said.
“I have campaigned for many decades for this change in the law and I am very proud Wales will soon join more than 60 other nations across the world which have outlawed the use of physical punishment towards children.”
“Absolutely key to this is providing the necessary information, advice and support for parents to help manage their children’s behaviour without resorting to physical punishment.”
“This is landmark legislation for children’s rights in Wales and cannot come soon enough. I wholeheartedly support this legislation as there is no room for physical punishment in Wales or the long-term trauma caused to children as a result of it,” Sally Holland, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, added
“I’m pleased to see the Welsh Government investing in raising awareness of this new law and promoting positive parenting techniques. Physical punishment simply does not work as a means of disciplining children.”
The £2.9m for parenting support schemes will be available to all local authorities in Wales and will mean that in cases where the police believe it is appropriate, there will be an option of offering support to help avoid re-offending, depending on individual circumstances.
Real Madrid confirm Gareth Bale has suffered an ‘important’ injury.
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed Wales skipper Gareth Bale has suffered an “important” injury and said it’s difficult to know when he will return to action.
The Welsh talisman has been out of action after suffering a muscle tear in his right hamstring during a training session at the Santiago Bernabéu last Saturday, ahead of Real’s clash with Celta Vigo.
Reports in the Spanish press claim Bale is set for an eight-week spell on the side-lines due to the injury, which would rule him out of the World Cup qualifiers in October and November.
Spanish newspaper Marca reported, “it had been able to consult Real Madrid sources, who confirmed that the timeframe for Bale’s recovery is about eight weeks. Although, as it is a major muscle tear, the margins regarding his layoff period can be wide.”
“It’s an important injury,” Ancelotti told a press conference ahead of Real’s La Liga meeting with Valencia yesterday, “It’s difficult to gauge the amount of time he is going to be on the sidelines.”
“He had been working really well, had done well with Wales, had done well with Real Madrid.
“We just have to wait and see now, sometimes these things happen. We have a lot of games and when players play a lot of games, there is more chance of getting injured,” Real boss Ancelotti added.
Bale had been set to win his 100th cap in the World Cup qualifier against Czech Republic on 8 October but looks likely to miss out on the clash and the game three days later in Estonia. He could also be a doubt for the two final qualifiers at home to Belarus on 13 November and Belgium on the 16th.
Wales are currently third in their qualifying group for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, level on points with the Czechs, but nine points behind leaders Belgium.
Council tax reform could be targeted as part of government deal with Plaid Cymru
Mark Drakeford says changing the council tax system in Wales could be part of any potential Labour-Plaid deal in the Senedd.
The Welsh Government revealed last Tuesday that talks to agree a possible co-operation agreement in the Senedd had got underway.
The First Minister told BBC Radio Cymru, talks had been initiated because the government would not be able to “pass a single piece of legislation with 30 votes, you can’t pass a budget through the Senedd either”.
Asked for an example of a policy that could be included in any deal with Plaid Cymru, he suggested changes to council tax.
“But it is very difficult to do because some people lose out, a lot of people win,” Mr Drakeford added.
Last week the two parties issued a joint statement which said with the pandemic, the climate emergency, the consequences of Brexit, and the threat to devolution it’s “more important than ever that political parties work together”.
The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, attacked both parties for entering talks and said that the agreement was a sign that the Labour party was “out of ideas”.
“But turning to nationalists with no mandate is an act of desperation and lunacy,” he added.
Fire service shelves plans for recruitment campaign
North Wales Fire Service has postponed its planned recruitment drive which was due to get underway today.
Two weeks ago, the service announced it was keen to recruit Welsh speakers and those from underrepresented backgrounds to become full time fire fighters for jobs based in Bangor, Caernarfon, Colwyn Bay, Deeside, Holyhead, Llandudno, Rhyl, and Wrexham but now says the plans have been “paused”.
A spokesperson said: “North Wales Fire and Rescue Service will NOT be opening up a recruitment window for full-time firefighters as planned.”
“The full-time firefighter recruitment process is being paused for now.
“We know this will be disappointing for those looking forward to apply and apologise for any inconvenience.
“However, although our plans have changed, we will be undertaking full-time recruitment in the future so please maintain your interest and look out on our website and social media channels for when we resume the process.”
“Thank you for your understanding.”