17/02/2017 BBC Wales Today


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The owners of this refinery want to invest ?100 million but it's stuck


Valero tells us of their frustration.


This is about making sure the fiture of the refinery is secure for jobs


Over 1000 people work at the plant here in Milford Haven.


So many families and jobs depends on it.


What can be done to keep it competitive in a global


Also tonight - We're back on the high street


as worried shop owners give us their verdict


There are concerns over which businesses will be


For example, what constitutes a high street when you


consider the rates will go up in April this year, time is very much


30-year-old Mark Hughes from Wrexham, who has


the mental age of seven, had his disability benefits withdrawn.


Now the Department for Work and Pensions apologises.


Barley the dog, our latest export to China, a trade mission hopes


to promote Welsh businesses, art and culture there.


Warren Gatland says he's watching the Six Nations


with interest as he decides who'll be part of the British


It's one of west Wales' biggest employers but tonight


the owners of a Pembrokeshire oil refinery have told this programme


that future investment is at risk unless plans for ?100 million


1200 people work at Valero but the company says


the Welsh Government needs to process applications efficiently


to stay competitive in the global energy market.


Teleri Glyn Jones is in Milford Haven tonight.


Lucy, more than 4,000 jobs are sustained by this waterway


behind me, that's in oil, renewable energy, fishing


and transportation and each one of those jobs supports seven more


Valero oil refinery behind me, dominates the skyline here,


it's the biggest employer in the area.


The American bosses want to invest a ?100 million in the site


behind me making it more efficient and securing jobs for the future.


But tonight they're frustrated, and warn that if there are delays


in the planning process that money could be at risk.


Milford Haven, the third biggest port in the UK and our largest


energy port from ferries to fishing, sailing boats to enormous tankers.


The STV supports thousands of jobs. It's used to be far more. At one


point there were five refineries in this area, now that is only one. The


last closing 20 14th took 400 jobs with it. According to the man in


charge of the sports, they are competing in a global market. That's


refinery plant has been sold to Pakistan, I think, wedded to be


exported and rebuilt to continue refining in another country. Key to


keeping that competitive edge is making easy for these international


companies to invest. It is still good saying to a board in San


Antonio, we can do this investment in Milford Haven or get the consent


in four years' time all we can do this consent in San Antonio and get


the consent in six months' time. The money will go in San Antonio. Unless


we are mindful of the competition we will lose some of these businesses.


Across the estuary the biggest employer in the area and the only


refinery left, Valero. In November they announced plans to invest ?100


million in the new combined heat and power generation unit. It is going


through the early stages of the planning system and they say it is


vital it is an process. The onus is on the Welsh Government


to make sure we reach our schedules. We are up against time and hopefully


all the different bodies involved will work with is to ensure we get


the spade in the ground when we wanted. What is at stake if it isn't


a swift process? It ties everything up. The costs


rise and we have to look at future investment. This is all cost driven.


It is about making sure the future of the refinery is secure for jobs


and the future. Ports are not devolved to Cardiff Bay but planning


and infrastructure are in the hands of the last government. Down the


road in Pembroke Dock, mainstay Marina built boats. This week, the


Cabinet Secretary announced the company had won the last government


's's contract to build two new fisheries boats. No planning


required there. But the minister told me it needs to be efficient. If


we brought forward the planning act in 2014, I am now implementing parts


of that but it is important that businesses feel it works for them.


Planning is for everybody, it is therefore the development and use of


our land. Shakespeare wrote a Milford Haven,


tell me of how Wales was made so happy? How we take advantage of such


legacy will save these waterways and our economy.


The bid is still in its early stages at the moment but there should be


a final decision by the end of this year.


Planners will be assessing the benefits of expansion and also


the environmental impact such a development could have


here, it's situated in Pembrokeshire's National Park.


What the company is saying tonight is that an investment of this size


would be a huge show of confidence in this site and secure its future


On Wednesday, we were in Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan


talking to high street shop owners, worried about the increase


in their business rates, expected in April.


There was concern there's been little detail so far about a rate


relief scheme designed to help cut costs.


Well today the Welsh Government published more information


about the ?10 million it will provide in support.


So, we sent our political correspondent Arwyn Jones back


to Cowbridge to see what small businesses there make of it.


Business rates are a tax that owners of businesses like these on the high


street in Cowbridge pay on their properties such as a shock, cafe or


restaurant. My council tax they pay for services provided by the local


authority. Concerns have been raised that the increase in April could


make life difficult for retailers with some feeling they could go


under. Today, the Welsh Government set out details of its ?10 million


fund to help. My ambition has been to try and design a scheme that is


workable and deliverable, we are confident that even in the very few


weeks we have had to design it that'll be capable of being


delivered. We have been hearing concerns from business owners who


are trying to balance the books. She owns the pencil case shop in


Cowbridge and said the increase would make life difficult. As a


small business owners she qualifies for an extra ?500 to be knocked off


her bill in April meaning she won't be worse off this year. However, the


introduction of the increase is being phased in over three years so


next year she might have to pay more. A huge help. There was a


situation where everything I would be paying ?2000 from April onwards


which is a huge increase. 180% increase. I've now got to find


nearly ?1000 a year to pay the rates bill because in Wales I could use


that to invest in the business. Businesses like this with a rateable


value of between ?6,000 and ?12,000 will get ?500 off their bill. Those


up to ?50,000 will get a 15 in Japan production. If it is over ?50,000


you will get nothing. -- a ?1500 reduction.


My rates are going to be increasing by ?40,000 a year for the businesses


in Cowbridge. We will get an extra ?1500 reduction. 1500 is better than


nothing but it isn't going to make a massive amount of difference. Places


will article or because they have too. Some business owners are


questioned by others will see their rates fall but still gets help.


There are concerns about which businesses will be eligible for the


support. For example, what constitutes a high-street? The Welsh


Government has left that for the councils to decide. The


Conservatives say that could lead to some confusion. When you consider


the rates will go up in April of this year, time is of the essence.


The Welsh Government says it is confident there will be plenty of


time to get the scheme in place while it works on developing a new


permanent scheme to be introduced next year.


A 23-year-old barman from Cardiff has been found guilty


of murdering his girlfriend, who'd come to the UK


24-year-old Xixi Bi was attacked by Jordan Matthews


in what Cardiff Crown Court heard was a "vicious, sustained


She had a cardiac arrest and died in hospital


after being attacked at their flat in Llandaff last August.


Matthews is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.


A deputy head teacher has been banned from schools


for a minimum of ten years for having sex with teenage girls.


A disciplinary panel found 17 out of 20 allegations


of unacceptable professional misconduct proved against


Swansea Council has launched an inquiry into his dismissal


which included an ?8,000 pay-off and a positive reference.


The number of deliberately started grass fires in Wales increased


Welsh Government figures show just over 2,600 grass fires


were started on purpose in 2015-16, up from just


The report suggests good weather is likely to have been a factor.


Deliberately set grass fires is a significant problem


for all services involved for grass fires in South Wales.


However, we are working together to achieve an outcome of


educating communities, reducing this, putting engagement


events on so communities understand the impact it has


on attending agencies on communities and their families.


A man from Wrexham with the mental age of seven,


who was wtongly told by the Department for Work


and Pensions he would lose his disability benefits,


Mark Hughes also has mobility problems after contracting


He was denied the Personal Independence Payment,


after an assessment ruled he could care for himself.


Mark Hughes' family say he has mobility and balance problems,


He lives alone but has regular assistance and meals


He struggles with reading, writing and communication


But despite earning a disability allowance all his adult


life a recent assessment for the replacement


Personal Independence Payment rated him able to look


after all of his own needs and he was denied the benefit


which can range from ?22 to ?140 per week.


I've been looking here at Mark Hughes's assessment results.


If you're anything like me you might not have seen one


On every measurement of his daily activities he has been ranked


zero out of eight, which means he's not entitled to any


You have only got to be in his presence and you know he has


I think that whoever is doing the disability assessment


really needs to get their act together because Mark


needs this money for the rest of his life.


It is his only form of any kind of money to


Mark isn't alone, 140,000 people in Wales have been or will be


Disability Wales say they believe some genuine cases


People with, for example, learning difficulties, people with mental


health issues, conditions like autism or other impairments,


invisible impairments seem to not fare so well


As a result, they perhaps turned down for PIP.


After we filmed with Mark Hughes, the Department for Work and Pensions


told us he is entitled to Personal Independence Payments and it


It hasn't said how that error was made but says successful appeals


are often due to more evidence being presented.


The U-turn is good news for Mark but with only three


percent of PIP decisions successfully overturned others


Seeing through the smoke, ground-breaking thermal


imaging technology, developed in Flintshire,


will help firefighters save lives in the US and across Europe.


And Wales captain, Alun-Wyn Jones is tipped by former British


and Irish Lions players to captain the tour to New Zealand this summer.


It's one of the biggest economies in the world


and with Brexit on the horizon, many businesses here


are looking to China as they explore new markets.


A delegation is heading to Shanghai and Hong Kong tomorrow


to seek business links and promote Welsh art and culture.


One business has told us it could be worth millions of pounds.


A yellow labrador with a nose valuable all over the world.


His talents are about to be exported to Hong Kong.


He'll be working with border control looking for illicit meat.


The Flintshire firm that trained him on the face of it, may be


But they're about to head to China as part of a Welsh Government trade


We are offering them a package wher if they need dogs we can supply


If they need training for their handlers based on


our expertise, we are hoping we can promote that.


At this company in Merthyr it's all about precision engineering.


They believe their hoses, used in space,


can compete in the saturated Chinese market.


This is an extremely varied trade mission,


artists alongside hi-tech companies like this.


Welsh businesses want to take every opportunity they can


at selling their goods, particularly in a world


where traditional export markets, like Europe and America, may be


Amitec has sold this abroad for years but admit


they've forgotten how they won those contracts.


This mission is about new markets and old skills.


We want to grow our export business, but of our own


volition we will struggle to do that so with some assistance that we are


having from the mission from the Welsh Government,


it will give us a great opportunity to do that.


To find new markets we are not operating in and to reinvigorate


market we have been operating in for some time but we don't


Welsh exports to China have seen steady growth


with machinery and equipment driving recent rises.


From ?260 million in 2006 to nearly 370 million in 2015.


Although that's a dip from the more than ?400 million high in 2013.


And compares to ?5 billion worth of exports to the EU two years ago.


These bears from the Tiny Rebel brewery in Newport


And these cans are destined for abroad.


Bradley here feels China is a sleeping craft ale giant


and could be worth a million pounds worth of business a year.


China is a destination for high-quality British


Consumers want something a bit small and on the beer side,


People want something a bit more exciting.


The dragon, as potent a symbol in China as it is in Wales


And Collette, an illustrator, knows this.


She's about to take her work to a publisher on the mission.


Evidence of the variety of ambition Welsh firms


I will be trying to sell my book to them, try to get


Whether they will publish it in China.


I will also be gathering information for my next project


which will focus entirely on Chinese dragons.


And I will be speaking to a professor in Shanghai University who


specialises in Chinese mythology and Chinese dragons so I am really


As an accompaniement to the visit, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales


and their Chinese principal guest conductor will also be on the trip.


The potential for Wales in China is huge


but making sure all our exporters hit


the right note there won't be without its challeneges.


Well one company from Flintshire is looking towards Europe to expand.


Ground-breaking thermal imaging technology has been developed


to help firefighters save lives in smoke-filled environments.


It's already being used in the United States


and is about to be launched on the continent.


Our business correspondent, Brian Meechan has been


American firefighters already use it to save lives.


Helped by technology used and developed in Flintshire.


This reconstruction shows a familiar scene as a firefighter enters


a smoke-filled room, his visibility severely restricted.


A small camera sends thermal images like this one


to a micro screen in the mask making it easier to spot people in trouble.


It can also be beamed to a computer screen for others


You can see that is a person there, there is a hot spot there.


Traditionally, hand-held equipment has been used which limit


movement and the cost means only one is used per crew.


The hands-free benefits of not having to hold the


traditional thermal imaging camera and the lower cost as well which


enables, potentially, more firefighters to have this technology


which should hopefully go on to help save lives.


The device was developed by Scott Safety, a leading


manufacturer of personal safety equipment.


The electronic software and the system for transferring the


image was designed by Flint-based, Taylor Dowding Innovation.


This innovation is part of a significant Welsh technology


sector that employs 39,000 people in over 3,100 companies.


And the network that links them together expects that to


continue to grow over the next three years.


if we look back over the years and said we would be walking round with


mobile phones and taking cameras that can access the Internet, where


technology is going and the great it is moving, some of the things that


currently are within our research departments can become quickly into


commercialisation. The thermal technology is playing


its part in a sector now worth over ?8 billion to the Welsh economy. It


is hoped more innovations like these will help more businesses to grow


and create well-paid jobs in future. Time for tonight's


sport now, Claire. The British and Irish Lions


tour to New Zealand may be a few months off


but Coach Warren Gatland says he's been closely watching


the Six Nations as he begins to assemble an idea


of which players he'll select. Playing for the Lions is considered


the pinnacle of any career and Gatland, who names his squad


in April, says competition One Welshman is already


being tipped as captain. He's already assembled his support


coaches, now Warren Gatland's mind is turning to which players will be


on the plane to New Zealand The opening two rounds


of the Six Nations has produced some fantastic rugby, the tournament


the perfect vehicle for individuals to prove themselves knowing


Gatland is watching. I've seen some good


performances at the moment. I haven't written down


a squad at this stage. If someone comes through out


of the blue I want to make sure I keep an open


mind and when we come together as a group of coaches, I want to collect


and finalise their thoughts as well. Still a heck of a lot to play


for in the remaining three games. Four years ago, Sam Warburton and


Alun-Wyn Jones lead the Lions to a Warburton missed the last Test


through injury and Alun-Wyn Jones The current Wales skipper


is being tipped by many The front runner has


to be Alun-Wyn Jones. He is respected in New Zealand,


you will have to anticipate he will be a Test starter


and he would certainly be Alun-Wyn Jones played


really well on Saturday. He may have his nose in front


slightly, he is an experienced I think Alun-Wyn Jones


is showing his characteristics I think he is probably


the favourite at this stage. But Wales legend Gareth Edwards


who played ten times for the Lions, including


for the 1971 team that last won a series in New Zealand,


believes Sam Warburton's relationship with Gatlin means


he is in pole position. I don't think the fact


that he is not captain at the moment with Wales will detract


at all from him being selected as a Because he has a track record,


he has shown he has been there, done it and from my


experience people like Willie John McBride in my day had benefited


greatly from being on other tours It may not just be the Lions


in New Zealand this summer, Wales's Test against Tonga could be


moved there following concerns over The game is likely to be


played in Auckland. 15 Welshmen, ten English,


nine Irish and threee Scots went Warren Gatland will name his squad


this time around on April 19. The Scarlets welcome


Zebre in the Pro12. The game is live on Scrum V Live


over on BBC Two Wales. Neil Warnock has given


the strongest indication yet he's keen to stay at Cardiff City


and mount a promotion Having steered Cardiff away


from the Championship relegation zone during his five months


in charge, Warnock says He has a meeting with chairman,


Mehmet Dalman, next week I am like an old man,


like a father really, aren't I? I am right proud of my kids


when I look round the dressing room. Because they do what I want them


to do and they know You are going to have


disappointments. That is the state of


the Championship and everything. The Bluebirds play Rotherham


tomorrow, the team Neil Warnock steered away from the relegation


zone last season. In League Two, bottom of the table


Newport County travel to Cambridge. And in the National League Wrexham


are home to Aldershot. Gareth Bale is set to make


his first appearance since November, after being passed


fit for Real Madrid's match at home The Wales forward has been


recovering from ankle surgery. It's a huge boost for Chris Coleman,


Wales' crucial World Cup qualifier against Republic of Ireland


in Dublin on March 24th. And finally, some news on Welsh


bobsleigh rider Mica Moore. The 24-year-old from Newport


is taking part in the bobsleigh Alongside her partner Mica McNeill,


the pair are in 11th position They'll race again


tomorrow afternoon. Well, dare I say, it's been almost


spring like today. Derek's here with


the weekend weather Spring is just around the corner. No


sign of snow. It'll be mild over the weekend. A little bit of rain and


drizzle with a reasonable amount of dry weather. If you places should


see the ascent. The sun came out in Barry today. A high of 11 Celsius.


Further north not so nice. This evening, a few more showers for part


of mid and north Wales. They will clearly and most places dry


overnight. One or two showers in the south, some mist and fog patches and


not a cold night. Here is the picture of eight o'clock on Saturday


morning. Much of the country dry at this stage, a little bit grey in


places with some low cloud, fog patches. Right in Powys towards


Wrexham. Breezy in the north-west and you will notice some rain


lurking over the Irish Sea. During the day a little drizzle will come


into north-west Wales. A mild afternoon again. Temperatures


10-12 C. Cooler in Snowdonia with the breeze stuck on Anglesey


tomorrow, a dry start returning damn, nine degrees the high in


Llangefni. Tomorrow evening, spots of drizzle will clear away,


overnight most places dry with said Ms local Clarke and fairly mild. On


Sunday, the odd lights out but otherwise a lot of dry weather. It


will be dull and done later in the afternoon. Some poor visibility to


end the day. On Monday, Tropicana maritime air -- tropical maritime


air. 15 Celsius is possible in places.


We'll be back with our next update after the BBC News at Ten.


From all of us on the programme, have a good evening.


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