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Health minister: 'Indisputable evidence price of alcohol matters'

The health minister Mark Drakeford says today's report supports the view that a minimum unit pricing of alcohol will help prevent alcohol misuse in Wales.

The Welsh Government first introduced the proposals in a public health White Paper in April which also included a ban on e-cigarettes in public places.

"There is indisputable evidence that the price of alcohol matters. It is no coincidence that as the affordability of alcohol has improved substantially so has alcohol-related death and disease.

“A minimum unit price will make a strong contribution to preventing alcohol overuse and misuse and reducing alcohol-associated illnesses. The panel’s report supports this view. “We will now develop our proposals further with a view to introducing the Public Health Bill in early 2015.”

– Professor Mark Drakeford

Independent panel calls for minimum alcohol pricing

The Welsh Government should introduce the minimum unit pricing of alcohol, an independent health panel has recommended.

Red wine
Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Government’s Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse (APoSM)says it would help to address alcohol-related harm among people most affected by hazardous and harmful levels of drinking.

Wales has a higher rate of alcohol-related deaths than England. There were 504 alcohol-related deaths in 2012.

In the last 10 years, alcohol misuse accounted for more than 5,000 deaths in England and Wales.

“Alcohol health and social harm problems are preventable. Expert evidence and research confirms cheaper drinks are favoured by those who drink hazardously or harmfully, and a minimum unit price would have a disproportionate targeting effect on problematic drinking, reducing alcohol problems and achieving health and other benefits for individuals and our communities as a whole."

– Kyrie Ll James, chair of the Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse

Last year, the UK Government made a controversial u-turnon the issue due to a 'lack of convincing evidence' that it would have an impact on alcohol consumption.


Gymnasts win Wales' first Commonwealth Games medal

Frankie Jones
Frankie Jones was selected as the Team Wales flag bearer for the games in Glasgow. Credit: PA

Rhythmic gymnasts Francesca Jones, Laura Halford and Nikara Jenkins have made history by winning Wales' first ever Commonwealth Games team medal as they claimed silver in Glasgow.

The trio finished behind favourites Canada thanks to an all-round consistent performance, with Jones especially impressive on the way to a second-placed finish in the qualifications for the individual all-around.

Renew tax credit claim in a week or lose it warning

The tax credits renewal deadline is a week away say HM Revenue and Customs.

More than 865,000 claimants have still not yet renewed their tax credits and they only have until 31st July to do so, or payments might end.

Tax Credit
Last year more than 650,000 people failed to renew on time.

This year, for the first time, claimants can renew online at GOV.UK, as well as being able to renew by post and phone.

Time is running out for people in Wales to renew their tax credits, or they risk losing their money. The majority of people can renew online this year, which is quick, easy and can be done at a time of day to suit them.

– Nick Lodge, HMRC


Top tips for keeping cool - whatever your age!

Age Cymru is today reminding older people about how to stay cool during hot weather but the tips will suit anyone feeling parched.

Look cool and stay cool! Credit: PA
  • Try and plan your day in a way that allows you to stay out of the heat in the hottest part of the day (11am – 3pm)
  • If you go out stay in the shade, wear a hat and light loose fitting clothes which are preferably cotton
  • If you are outside for some time, take plenty of fresh drinking water with you as well as a high factor suncream/block (at least factor 15)
  • Take cool showers or baths and splash yourself several times a day with cold water, particularly your face and the back of your neck
  • Drink regularly even if you do not feel thirsty - water/fruit juice is best and try to avoid alcohol
  • Try to eat more cold food, particularly salads and fruit, which contain water
  • Close the curtains in rooms that get a lot of sun
  • Open windows when the temperature inside rises, and at night for ventilation
  • If you are worried about security, at least open windows on the first floor and above

Police appeal in sex assault of 36 year-old man

Police in Neath Port Talbot are appealing for witnesses after a man was sexually assaulted in the Afan Valley on Wednesday.

The sex assault took place on Wednesday on a 36 year-old man. Credit: Google Maps

The incident happened at around 9pm on a track between Croeserw and Blaengwynfi - known locally as 'the line' - when a 36-year-old man was assaulted a short time after he had walked past a group of men.

One of the group is described as being male, white, aged around 20, 5ft 6ins to 5ft 8ins in height, with dark hair shaven on the sides, wearing a light coloured vest top, dark bottoms and white, grey and black coloured New Balance trainers.

We also wish to trace a woman who was walking her golden Labrador dog and spoke to the victim a short time before the assault took place as she may have important information about the incident. This is an unusual incident in this part of Port Talbot and local residents will notice an increased police presence in the area while the investigation continues.

– Detective Sergeant Ricky Price
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