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Heseltine joins scrutiny of Swansea city deal plans

Lord Heseltine meeting the Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns Credit: Office for the Secretary of State for Wales  

Plans for a scheme aimed at boosting Swansea and the surrounding areas will come under scrutiny by the Welsh Secretary and a former leading cabinet minister.

Alun Cairns and Lord Heseltine along with business and local authority leaders will go over the business case for what's known as the Swansea Bay City Region Deal.

Michael Heseltine, who was a cabinet minster in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, was born in Swansea.

Credit: PA, Ben Birchall

With discussions at an advanced stage, today’s challenge session is about putting the business case for the City Deal under the microscope so we are absolutely clear about expectations.

It is hugely helpful to have an expert in regeneration projects like Lord Heseltine to help with the task. He has years of experience in overseeing projects that really breathe new life into communities, and he is well practiced in seeing the vision turn into reality on the ground.

– Alun Cairns MP, Welsh Secretary

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Tata steelworkers vote to accept reforms to their pensions

Credit: Ben Wright/PA Wire

Tata steelworkers have voted to accept reforms to their pensions, unions announced.

The consultative ballots on Tata Steel's proposal on pensions, jobs, investment and production closed at noon today.

All union members were asked if they accepted the proposal, and the results for each union are as follows:

  • Community
  • Turnout: 70.5%
  • Yes: 72.1%
  • No: 27.9%
  • Unite
  • Turnout: 69.2%
  • Yes: 75.6%
  • No: 24.3%
  • GMB
  • Turnout: 51.5%
  • Yes: 74.0%
  • No: 26.0%

Leaders of the three unions recommended acceptance of the changes as the best that could be achieved through negotiation.

The changes include the introduction of a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme, with maximum employer contributions of 10%, following the closure of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) to future accrual.

Wrexham business hub to create 100 enterprises with £1m from Welsh Government

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Welsh Government is providing £1 million of funds to establish a business hub to support the creation of 100 new enterprises and 260 jobs.

A two-year pilot scheme in Wrexham, north Wales aims to secure a similar amount of private investment.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are vital drivers for the economy and I want to continue to create the best environment for entrepreneurs across Wales and will be using the pilot to inform my future economic priorities.

The importance of providing space, community and support for aspiring entrepreneurs is key to success and I am keen to build on and complement the existing infrastructure across Wales.

– Ken Skates AM, Economy Secretary
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