How Wales is enjoying the summer sun

Roads, railways and airports are facing one of their biggest days of the year with the traditional start of the summer holiday season.

Live updates

Stink kicked up over government subsidised meals

Food critics may be impressed with the menu and the prices but the Welsh Government's staff canteens have come under criticism.

Canteen
Tories are questioning meals prices at Welsh government canteens. Credit: PA

The cost of meals for workers at the Welsh Government's Cathays Park headquarters and its other offices around Wales is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of some.

Taxpayers in Wales have seen their financial contribution towards lunches for ministers and staff rise by an eye-watering 61% since 2010, according to figures released by Welsh Conservatives.

They say the subsidy has cost taxpayers £1,373,702 in the past four years, during which time many workers have had their pay frozen.

On the menu are dishes such as:

  • Chicken and seafood paella with saffron shallots, cooked in a 'live chefs' theatre' for £3.25.
  • Grilled Welsh pork loin steak with leek and black pudding mash for just £2.95.

A Welsh Government says the claims are a "staggering hypocrisy from a Welsh Tory AM whose colleagues and staff eat in a subsidised canteen" and a subsidy they are happy to support.

The increase in contract value reflects the extended scope of the contract which has risen from five sites to ten. The cost of catering across our administrative estate has been reduced by 47% under the new contract arrangements which began in April this year.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

What are your thoughts on the meal subsidies? Let us know at wales@itv.com or at Facebook and twitter @ITVWales

Appeal following explicit comments to girl on train

Police are appealing to the public for help after a vulnerable girl was subjected to inappropriate sexual comments during a train journey into Newport.

British Transport Police
Police think these men may have key information. Credit: British Transport Police

Officers have released CCTV images of a group of men they believe may have key information.

The victim, who was 15 years old, was travelling from Westbury in Wiltshire to Newport in Gwent.

During the journey, she was approached by a man who struck up a conversation with her. As the train approached Newport, he subjected her to a number of explicit and lewd comments, which naturally caused her some distress. This was understandably an extremely distressing experience for the young victim, who has learning difficulties and epilepsy.

– PC Debi Rouse, British Transport Police

Police have been investigating since the incident took place between 5.20pm and 5.50pm on Friday, 16th May and are asking anyone who recognises the men pictured to get in touch.

Contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 quoting reference WSUB/B8 of 25/07/2014.

Advertisement

Delays for holidaymakers continue at Passport Office

Problems with backlogs and delayed passports are still ongoing after the the highest demand for 12 years.

Yesterday, the PCS walked out over staff shortages saying poor staffing levels were partly responsible for the delays earlier in the year.

Last month the Home Office redeployed hundreds of staff to deal with a backlog of 30,000 applications, but some people are still experiencing delays putting holidays and trips abroad in jeopardy.

Passport Office

14-year-old Megan Richards from Newport is one of thousands of people affected by yesterday's strike.

Megan Richard

Megan's grandmother Christine Richards said they had to travel to Peterborough.

"This is the first appointment we could get. We couldn't get one in Newport at all. The people have a right to strike... but when it impacts on you personally it's sometimes a little bit difficult to be sympathetic."

A spokesperson for the Home Office said the strike was 'irresponsible' and will lead to further inconvenience for customers.

Heart disease numbers falling in Wales

The number of people living with heart disease in Wales is falling, according to a new report out today.

Heart disease
Credit: PA Images

The report 'Together for Health' published by the Welsh Government, shows there were 125,567 people living with coronary heart disease in in 2012-2013.

That's 8,040 fewer than in 2006-07, which is a reduction of 6%.

Heart disease however remains an issue in Wales claiming the lives of more than 4,300 people a year.

Treating such diseases also remains a concern making up 8% of the overall NHS expenditure. Between 2011-12 on circulatory disease, which includes stroke and cardiac diseases, hospitals spent more than £442m.

"This report shows a drop in both the number of people living with heart disease and dying from it. Admissions to hospital have also fallen as a result of better care in community settings.

"However, we must continue to tackle heart disease which remains a major cause of death in Wales. We will continue to invest in services, improve early diagnosis and prevent the causes of the disease, including cutting smoking levels and encouraging people to adopt healthier lifestyles."

– Prof Mark Drakeford, Health Minister

Advertisement

Wales and the Great War: Episode Three

This is the concluding episode in our series marking the centenary of the start of World War One.

Tonight's edition looks at the heroic efforts of the 1st Monmouths who - against all the odds - helped hold the line at the Second battle of Ypres.

It also features a tribute to Welsh air ace Ira Jones.

Click below to catch up with earlier programmes in the series

Schoolchildren to pen messages to NATO leaders

Primary school pupils from Wales are to be given the opportunity to write a personal message to the NATO world leaders about their hopes for the future.

Mount Pleasant
Photo caption - Pupils from Mount Pleasant primary school in Newport start work on their postcards Credit: Welsh Government

Five classes of nine and 10 year olds from across Wales have been asked to answer the question of what they would like to have changed in the world by the time they have become adults.

The NATO Conference, held on 4 and 5 September, will be one of the biggest gatherings of world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande.

Each of the 28 World leaders will be personally given one of the messages during the Summit.

This year's summit in Wales will be one of the most important summits in NATO's history as world leaders consider how NATO can continue to be at the forefront of building stability in an unpredictable world.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said;

"NATO leaders will hear the hopes of the children growing up in towns and villages right across Wales as they sit in summit talks and we will have given a group of children a once in a lifetime opportunity to send a message to some of the most prominent leaders of the world."

Mr Andrew Rothwell from Mount Pleasant Primary School in Newport who teaches one of the classes taking part said;

"Writing these postcards has lit a flame in these children - we'd already talked a lot in class about this summit that's happening on their doorstep and to now have the chance to be a part of it has really captured their imagination."

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories