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Welcome to Wales Today - our headlines tonight.
Thousands of steelworkers at Tata vote to accept less generous
pensions in a bid to secure the future of the industry.
We are tired, frustrated, and we need to rebuild confidence in
ourselves, in the company, and put us back where we need to be.
So after a year of being threatened with closure -
They say we'll all be driving electric cars soon -
The last chapter for shops like this high street bookseller.
The rise in business rates driving firms like this.
Crowds turn out to debate the future for the valleys.
But how will the latest regeneration initiative succeed -
What I want to know is what buses are running at ten o'clock, because
they all finish at six o'clock. Getting the community is fed back,
it's not about money. -- spirit back.
And you've probably never heard of him -
but schoolboy Jackson Page from Ebbw Vale is taking
They've voted for less money in future to save their jobs.
Thousands of Tata steelworkers have overwhelmingly backed a deal that
will end the company's final salary pension scheme.
The three unions at the company's UK plants had recommended
that their members, including 6,000 in Wales, accept the deal.
Tata's offer included a ?1 billion investment
commitment at Port Talbot - and no compulsory job losses.
More from our Business Correspondent Brian Meechan.
28-year-old Scot has been working at Port Talbot the ten years, people at
his dad into the Tata plant. He and his workmates about a tough decision
to make. What does it mean you in particular and the younger workers?
The steep engine is not so at the front of our minds as the older
workforce, but it gives us hope -- obviously pensions are not at the
front of our minds. If Tata keep to their commitments, and the
government steps up and commit to the steel industry, hopefully that
will give us a future we deserve. Workers are being offered a pension
which will give them a lot less in retirement than their current one.
The company will pay 10% into the pension part, all of workers paying
6%. Tarter says it is essential to secure the long-term future of Port
Talbot and the other plants. The pension deal is also tied to a
ten-year ?1 billion investment plan to support steel-making at the site.
A minimum five-year commitment to keeping to blast furnaces at the
plant, and a commitment to seek to avoid compulsory redundancies in
that time. Although the employees at Port Talbot have voted on it, it was
inevitable, they didn't have a choice on the matter. The company
pension scheme is dead in the private sector, companies are
closing it left, right and centre, we had Tesco a year ago, Royal Mail
are closing it, it is the way of the world. When the deal was announced
in December, the workforce seems split and there was a significant
chance it would be rejected. In the end, members of the community union
that 72% in favour in a turnout of 70%. Unite reported a 75% vote in
favour, while GMB said its members voted yes by 74% in a 51% turnout.
Local union leaders who also work at Port Talbot initially said they
would let members decide themselves, but last month they urged them to
back the deals, arguing the alternative was unthinkable. I don't
think anybody had any great pleasure in putting the X in the box, and
people have reflected and thought of the future. It is deals at
sacrifice, it is a men's to do it. It is the lesser of two evils. Do
you think Tata can rebuild trust? Everybody has got to the stage where
we are tired, frustrated, tired, and doing need to rebuild confidence in
ourselves, in the company, and put us back where we need to be. There's
still a lot more to happen, including what happened overall.
Just because the boat has come back with a yes, doesn't mean to say we
stop. We will carry on, we would hold a company to account, the
government to step up to the plate. And we will make sure what is best
for us. The future of Port Talbot and the rest of the UK operations
may be a little clearer tonight, but there are many more decisions to be
made about what that future looks like.
Let's talk to Brian in Port Talbot now.
There's been a year of uncertainty for Tata workers -
does today's vote draw a line under it all?
This certainly isn't the end. Tata has said it is please workers have
signed up to this plan for the long-term future, but there will be
questions about Tata delivering on the promises and pledges it has
made, and also another big decision that is coming along, Tata wants to
take this pension scheme and is 130,000 members and separated
completely from the company, and it will have to get the support of
regulators and the UK Government in order to achieve that. There's also
questions for the UK Government about how steel fits into its
industrial strategy, that it has been talking about, and also how
important Steelers in its spirited negotiations, because did say it was
fairly low down in comparison to some other sectors -- Brexit
negotiations. There will be a lot of pressure on the UK Government to
make sure steel continues to have a place at the table it has had in the
last year. Wales urgently needs
a network of rapid charging That's the call from campaigners
who claim a lack of infrastructure in rural Wales is holding back
the growth of low carbon vehicles. Currently the only rapid charging
points available to the public Here's our Environment
Correspondent, Steffan Messenger. Making the switch from a diesel van
to an electric model was all about cutting fuel costs and
helping the environment Based in Newtown in Powys,
he delivers plumbing and heating He's installed his own charger,
which tops up the van in around four But far from helping his business,
he's found that a lack of points to plug into whilst he's out
and about means his new vehicle is On a fully charged battery, you're
basically, you get about 70 miles. I mean, people talk about this thing
of range anxiety, that's really You are very conscious of how far
you can actually go. Currently to operate
an electric vehicle in mid Currently so-called rapid
charging points that can top up an electric car in around
20 to 30 minutes are locations along the A55,
and eight stops along the M4. Without some serious
forward planning, the rest of Wales is, in Richard's
words, a no go zone. We are trying to do the right thing,
we are trying to be green, we are trying to have a carbon
neutral standpoint. So when you're trying to do
the right thing and everything seems against you, it's
quite a difficult... Use of electric cars
is growing in Wales. Latest figures show
there are 1,725 licensed vehicles here, compared
to just 70 back in 2012. The Welsh government says it wants
to see that continued. More of us choosing
electric vehicles will help tackle carbon
emissions and air pollution. But campaigners say a lack
of charging infrastructure means the switch isn't happening
as quickly as it could. At the moment, you can't
travel from north The trouble is, it's
a chicken and egg situation. People want to travel and use
electric vehicles, but they can't because infrastructure isn't
there, and infrastructure isn't going to be built until
the demand is there. What I would like to see
is government recognising it does need some grants
and funding support. Back in 2015, a report by transport
exports commissioned by Back in 2015, a report by transport
experts commissioned by the Welsh government made a string
of recommendations to improve the They included installing charge
points in all government property and encouraging local
authorities to do the same. All the places people
want to go need to And so until we get
that level, I think we are still going to struggle a bit
to really make a difference in terms of our carbon emissions
from vehicles. The Welsh government told us
it was considering the recommendations that it received
and was committed to helping the low Back in Newtown, Richard is hoping
it won't be too long before he has other faster points to plug into,
apart from his own. A 23-year-old man from south
Wales will appear before Westminster Magistrates tomorrow
charged with terrorism offences. Nathan Saunders, from Tredegar,
was arrested earlier this month, and is accused of possessing
information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing
an act of terrorism. Severn Trent has
completed its takeover Shareholders were against the deal
because of fears over job But they dropped an appeal
opposing it on Monday. Businesses could close up
and down our high streets because of a rise in business
rates this April. Millions of pounds of rates went
unpaid in Wales last year and property experts have warned
things could get worse. An independent book shop, remember
those? This one in the Vale of Glamorgan has been selling to all
ages for 30 years. But competition online and a rise in attacks it pays
other sharp, business rates set by a government body means it may not be
a fairy tale feature. I don't think any businessman can effectively
programme etude in 70% rise in turnover. So once we get two years
to win free -- 270%. Business rates are taxed, go towards paying for
public services. More than ?900 million was collected in Wales last
year. But 50 million went unpaid. A ?20 million rise in ten years. But
if there is already millions in business rates going uncollected,
what affect will shops like this, if they struggle to pay it, have that
overall pot? Some property consultants believe it could cause
it to rise. Absolutely there is a potential for that to grow. And at a
steep away than we've seen in the last decade? I the liability is
increasing, people were struggling before, there's nothing to suggest
anything will become easier for them. And you could end of seeing a
lot more vacant properties on the High Street as a result. The finance
secretary said small businesses should know by the end of the week
exactly how he plans to help them. Business is on high streets like
this will receive an extra ?20 million, say the Welsh government,
rates are generally going down in well cities. They are working
targeting relief, but they admit timescales have been challenging.
But the rate rise now weeks away, some real businesses say they need
help now. Much more to come
before seven o'clock. Sweeping up syringes -
how Wrexham's trying to get clean by taking drugs paraphernalia
off the streets. And while his friends are in school
- teenager Jackson Page from Ebbw Vale is sharing the stage
with some of the world's best. The minister in charge
of the new body which aims to raise living standards in the south Wales
valleys says it is not just about delivering shiny new roads,
but about creating an industrial renaissance after a century
of economic decline. Alun Davies was speaking
after chairing his first public meeting of the valleys taskforce
in Merthyr Tydfil. Our political editor
Nick Servini went along. A roll call of regeneration schemes
for the valleys has been a future bull feature of government for
decades in Wales. A different time and a different approach. The latest
ideas regeneration are discussed at a public meeting in Merthyr Tydfil
of the Welsh government's valleys Task Force. Alun Davies is keen to
show his credentials as a Tredegar Boy . A boat today in the primary
Boye. A boat today in the primary school, in the classroom, where I
started school. Labour politicians don't have to do this usually, but
the party's tribal support is not what it once was here. What do
people want? As you can expect, there's no shortage of concerns.
What I want to know is, what buses are running at 10pm, because
throughout the valleys they finish at 6pm. It is a fantastic idea in
theory. When you put it into practice, it breaks down
straightaway. Getting this community spirit back, it's not about money.
We've got ?1 million available, not one person turned up from the
community. The overall then sends is the dizzying array of subjects
discussed -- overwhelming sense. From productivity to the state of
late-night bus services, and it will be a real job of the machinery of
government to knock this into some kind of coherent response. It's
about the feet of the fire on the politicians to implement what has
been discussed. In these days of austerity, we want value for money
and action and results were that what we need. With Merthyr Tydfil
we've already received a generous allowance of European money, and
they think now it is beholden upon the people who perceive that money,
including the college, that they begin to generate funds themselves.
There will be no new government department with the Task Force, it
will instead look to influence different ministers from the inside.
But will it succeed where others have failed? You are telling me
other people have tried before and they fail, therefore you will fail.
That is the counsel of despair. I won't accept it. You from the
valleys, I am from the bodies, you want this to succeed, I wanted to
succeed. All others who are from the valleys want to see the succession.
That means we need to work together to do it. What I'm saying, people in
the valleys have seen the schemes come and go. What is different? It
is bringing a razor-sharp focus on all the activities of government. No
part of the government work is outside our scope. Billions have
been spent regenerating the valleys over many years. The landscape is
different now, particularly after Brexit, and the likelihood is it
will have to be done in the future with far less money in the coffers.
Able and talented pupils are not getting enough
That's according to the education watchdog Estyn, which says schools
instead focus on helping pupils on the borderline
The Welsh government agrees, it says it needs to push more able pupils
What can be done to tackle the growing number of needles
and syringes discarded by drug users around Wrexham?
That's the question being considered - after a report into so-called
"drug litter" recommended more co-operation between the council,
A dedicated helpline for people to report the problem
These images of discarded needles, prescription medication and other
drug paraphernalia were taken by a Wrexham councillor close to the town
centre last year. Others have called a greater action to tackle the
problems is an award which they say pose a risk to residents and give
the town a bad name. They tried to look at them, but the emphasis in my
area has switched around where my residents of feeling vulnerable in
the area. And too much emphasis in my regard is getting to these
particular clients. Not just clients, there's a large group who
aren't engaging with the agencies. Zoe is a volunteer with the drug and
alcohol charity, she struggled with addiction herself and is working
with others to try and make a positive contribution to society as
part of a project to create true glitter. I injected, I smoked crack
cocaine. If I to go into a empty shed take drugs, I would, I was
desperate. So nowadays I go into these places and they tidy them up,
I am making amends for the way I lived. Wrexham councillors are
discussing research which says there should be better cooperation between
people. And the charity has been given extra money to fund litter
picks like this. Staff say it is often a minority of drug users
leaving the letter. The majority use responsibly, there is a small
minority that don't, quite often from the homeless, but not always.
It is difficult to control that with those people. A pilot scheme to
Wrexham councillors to report drug letter could be extended to the
public, but towns and cities across Wales are affected with no quick fix
insight. Football, and Cardiff City
have moved into the top half of the Championship
after a remarkable comeback Trailing 2-0 after the first 20
minutes, Kadeem Harris started the comeback with two goals,
before Craig Noone's long range strike -
and a 90th minute penalty from Joe Ralls saw
the Bluebirds winning 4-3. Success in the snooker for several
Welsh players today. Lee Walker and Dominic Dale
through to the last 32 But the star of the show
was Jackson Page from Ebbw Vale. He's also through to the next
round - out-performing some of the best players in the world -
at 15 years old. They say practice makes perfect.
Even at just 15 years old, Jackson Page is well-prepared. I started
when I was three, I was on the table. My dad used to tell me to
practice. From the players lounge, he watched as Mark Williams crashed
out in the first round. But Williams, he says, played an
important part in his own success. Mark took the club over when I was
about ten. And then 12, 13, 14, and 15, I practice with more quite a
lot. It is a great help. At a school in Ebbw Vale, he is living up to the
mantra. They have specially arranged time off from class for him, people
inspired to chase his dream job. We have the board of local celebrities.
Mark Williams is one of those famous faces. We use it as an inspiration
for others. He's not surprised to hear Jackson is doing well. He's
very confident, he's very and articulate. And talented. And I
think maybe that gives them the confidence he has because he so laid
back. Every challenge he faces seems to be undaunted by it. It's
something he can just do in his stride, and I have no doubt he will
go on to massive things. Good to see someone from our school doing so
well. Can you believe what happened? Another win this afternoon means
world number four could meet him in the next round. I looked at the draw
and saw he was at the top. That was my thoughts. When I first started
watching, I watched him against Ronnie O'Sullivan. My dad said it
would be me one day. On appearances at least, this was just another day
in office were Jackson Page. Good luck to him. And you can find out
who he will play next at this programme from 7pm, live over on BBC
Two Wales and the BBC red and online.
For the first time - a production by the Welsh language
national theatre company has been broadcast live into cinemas.
Last night's staging of Macbeth by Theatr Genedlaethol was performed
in front of a small audience at Caerphilly Castle,
but watched by crowds in cinemas across Wales.
It's part of an effort to reach new audiences,
and will be repeated with English subtitles.
Our arts and media correspondent, Huw Thomas, reports.
Macbeth's witches meet in Caerphilly Castle
for a production that breaks new ground with its language and its
Last night's performance was beamed live into cinemas, where it
will be repeated over the coming weeks.
This is the first time one of their productions has been
broadcast, and it's going to be repeated
in the cinemas over the
The whole point is that more people enjoy the show,
where ever they live in Wales, without having to travel to catch
They don't have to travel all the way to
Obviously there are limited numbers who can see it
here live, so it gives them the ability to see it,
weather it is its in Bangor or Aberystwyth or Newport.
And centuries after its first performance, Macbeth remains a
Thematically, it is about power, and it's about the desire
And that's as relevant today as it was three, four, five
The technical challenge of staging a play in an
ancient castle is matched only by the complexities of broadcasting it
to audiences scattered across the country.
While it is now accessible to people who can't make it to
Caerphilly, it's also about reaching those who would normally give Welsh
Because we've got the subtitles, then we are
opening up our work to as wide an audience as we can.
And that's very important to us, to bring people to
Welsh language theatre even though they may
not be able to speak the
All the performances at the castle are sold out, but it will be
repeated at cinemas with subtitles over the next two months.
Tonight's production of the weather forecast now
There's snow storm and tempers on the way, but much milder, 12 degrees
with sunshine and showers this afternoon. Bright and breezy with a
breast south-westerly wind. I think we've seen the last of the cold
weather for a while -- brisk south westerly wind. This evening we start
was showery rain but it will clear eastwards. The rest of the night is
looking dry, some clear spells, some low cloud and a miss forming. Not a
cold night but chilly in man. Down to four Celsius, maybe a touch of
ground frost. This is a picture for ATM, dry and places, some low cloud.
Also one to showers dotted about in mid and Wales, otherwise try.
South-westerly breeze on Anglesey. A fairly decent day tomorrow, largely
dry, some sunshine at times, just the odd isolated shower in the
afternoon. It will turn temperatures above average, ten to 12 Celsius.
Light winds in the south, a tad breezy in the north. Most of the day
is dry, some sunshine and the mild, 11. In Port Talbot, most places dry,
sunny intervals, a high of ten and Briton Ferry. A little rain
spreading into part of the North. Elsewhere, dry. In the south, the
risk of a few bob patches. Friday, that shows a ridge of high pressure.
This cold front west of Ireland will pass through Wales over the weekend,
but it will weaken, not bringing much rain. On Friday, any mist and
fog will lift, some bright spells, sunshine and a mild again. Mostly
dry but in the south and west, increasing cloud may bring the odd
spot of rain later in the afternoon. Over the weekend, plenty of cloud on
Saturday, little bit of rain, mostly in the north and west. On Sunday,
most places are dry and mild again. Police in Malaysia have arrested
a 28-year-old woman in connection with the suspected poisoning
of the half-brother Kim Jong-Nam died yesterday
after he was attacked Thousands of Tata Steel workers have
backed the deal which will end the company's final salary pension
scheme, which includes a ?1 billion investment at Port Talbot and no
compulsory job losses. I'll have an update for you here
at eight o'clock and again That's Wales Today,
thank you for watching. From all of us on the
programme, good evening. when farmers leave
their daily routines behind... Right, here we come, Dorset!
..for a show day.