Senedd Bites #78: Increase in number of babies subject to care cases

(Title Image: Lancaster University)

Rise in babies subject to care proceedings

Data analysis by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory has revealed that newborn babies in Wales are more likely to be subject to care proceedings than babies in England.

In 2018, 83 babies out of every 10,000 born in Wales were subject to care proceedings compared to 39 babies in 2015. Around half of mothers involved in the cases had been previously involved in proceedings relating to other children.

Prof. Karen Broadhurst said: “This is a very distressing issue for mothers who are expected to appear before the courts shortly after giving birth. How do these mothers instruct a solicitor or meaningfully participate in proceedings so soon after giving birth and be able to contest the removal of their baby?”

Union puts together plan to rescue Newport steelworks

The Community trade union, which represents steelworkers, has drafted a rescue plan for the Orb steelworks in Newport, which Tata announced its intention to close after failing to find a buyer, threatening up to 400 jobs.

A march in support of workers took place in the city on 14th October.

The union’s plan includes automation and upgrades to heat-treating (annealing) lines, which could require £30million of government investment. The union believes such investment would make the plant capable of producing steel for the electric vehicle motors.

Car parts factory in Port Talbot to close in 2021

On October 16th, it was announced that Hi-Lex Cable Systems in Port Talbot was to close in 2021 with the loss of 125 jobs.

The company, which supplies parts to Honda and Ford, blamed the subsequent closure of their respecting Swindon and Bridgend plants for a reduction in sales, which will make the plant unviable. Any residual business will move to Hungary, possibly in light of probably trade barriers after Brexit.

Plea for patience from rail passengers

The Chief Executive of Transport for Wales, James Price, has asked for the public to be patient as Transport for Wales Rail marked a year since taking over the Wales & Borders rail franchise.

The company was hit with serious problems during autumn 2018 and while that hasn’t yet been repeated, there’ve been high-profile issues with shortened and cancelled trains. Passenger satisfaction levels have remained unchanged at 82% compared to the last year of Arriva Trains Wales.

Senedd remains one of the UK’s top family-friendly employers

The Assembly Commission remained amongst the top 30 employers in the UK for family-friendly work policies. The list is compiled by the charity Working Families and measures four key areas on how they ensure a work-life balance.

Clerk to the Assembly, Dr Manon Antoniazzi, said: “This award confirms what a great place the Assembly is to work, and to be recognised for our positive and inclusive environment is an excellent reflection of the passion and pride shown by our people at all levels to achieve the aspiration of being an exemplar employer. We will continue to support our employees in balancing their lives, developing their careers and providing outstanding service to AMs representing the people of Wales.”