North Wales Weekly News Article

As the summer rolls on, it is hard to believe that we are in August already! The last couple of weeks have treated us to some fantastic summer weather, and Aberconwy has been bustling with tourists from near and far.

 

For many of our hardworking hospitality and tourism businesses, this is the busiest time of year, where long hours and busy days come with the reward of a job well done and an often vital boost to business.

 

I am passionate about our local small businesses all year round, which is why I back campaigns to support our local high streets, to buy and procure local produce, and to extend business rate relief for SMEs and across a variety of sectors.

 

It is not only in business rates where I want to see rises stopped, but in council tax too. Speaking to ITV Wales on Llandudno Promenade last week, I highlighted my concerns that too many people are struggling with their council tax bills. Not only should councils seek to minimise annual rises in council tax as much as possible, but they need to look at the ways to best support those unable to pay, to avoid the use of bailiffs and repossession companies as much as possible.

 

A number of concerns have been raised to me over the past year, by farmers who have faced unreasonable waits to receive their Basic Payment Scheme payments. An investigation by myself has revealed that staff numbers in the Rural Payments Wales team, a part of the Welsh Government, have been cut by 26% since 2007, with the burden of these cuts falling on those farmers whose payments are not administered in good time, causing unnecessary stress and uncertainty. After a frustrating year for farmers, I have sought assurances that all payments will be made on time in the next cycle.

 

On a more positive note, I was delighted last week to be invited along to the Summer Sparkle Ball at Caer Rhun Hall, in aid of St David’s Hospice – a charity which I have been pleased to work closely with over the years. St David’s Hospice provides the most superb compassionate palliative care and support for patients and families, and my family and I have been supporters right from the very first brick being laid. My humble and most grateful thanks to all the staff, volunteers and trustees who carry on this remarkable work each and every day.

 

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Wrth i’r haf fynd yn ei flaen, mae’n anodd credu ei bod hi’n fis Awst yn barod! Cawsom dywydd hafaidd braf dros yr ychydig wythnosau diwethaf, ac ymwelwyr yn heidio o bell ac agos i Aberconwy.

 

Dyma’r adeg prysuraf o’r flwyddyn i lawer o’n busnesau twristiaeth a lletygarwch, lle mae oriau hir a gweithio fel lladd nadredd yn talu ar ei ganfed – gyda gwaith gwerth chweil sy’n hwb i’r busnes yn aml.

 

Rwy’n teimlo’n angerddol dros fusnesau bach gydol y flwyddyn, a dyna pam rwy’n cefnogi ymgyrchoedd o blaid ein stryd fawr leol, prynu a chaffael cynnyrch lleol, ac ehangu’r cynllun rhyddhad ardrethi busnes i fusnesau bach a chanolig ac ar draws amrywiaeth o sectorau.

 

Hoffwn roi stop ar gynyddu’r dreth gyngor hefyd yn ogystal ag ardrethi busnes. Wrth siarad ag ITV Cymru Wales ar bromenâd Llandudno wythnos diwethaf, nodais fy mhryderon bod gormod o bobl mewn trafferthion gyda’u biliau treth gyngor. Dylai cynghorau nid yn unig geisio sicrhau cyn lleied â phosib o ar gynnydd blynyddol yn y dreth gyngor, ond hefyd ystyried y ffordd orau o gefnogi’r rhai sy’n methu talu, ac osgoi defnyddio beilïaid a chwmnïau adfeddiannu cymaint ag sy’n bosib.

 

Dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, mae llawer o ffermwyr wedi cysylltu â mi yn poeni am yr holl oedi afresymol cyn derbyn eu taliadau dan Gynllun y Taliad Sylfaenol. Wrth ymchwilio i’r mater, gwelais fod 26% yn llai o staff yn nhîm Taliadau Gwledig Cymru, rhan o Lywodraeth Cymru, ers 2007 – gyda baich y toriadau’n disgyn ar ysgwyddau’r ffermwyr hynny nad ydynt yn derbyn eu taliadau mewn da bryd, gan achosi straen ac ansicrwydd diangen.  Wedi blwyddyn rwystredig i ffermwyr, cefais fy sicrhau y bydd pawb yn derbyn pob taliad yn brydlon yn y cylch nesaf.

 

Ar nodyn mwy cadarnhaol, roeddwn i wrth fy modd o dderbyn gwahoddiad i’r Summer Sparkle Ball yn Neuadd Caer Rhun, er budd Hosbis Dewi Sant - elusen rwy’n falch o gydweithio â hi ar hyd y blynyddoedd. Mae Hosbis Dewi Sant yn darparu gofal a chymorth lliniarol penigamp i gleifion a theuluoedd,  ac mae fy nheulu a minnau wedi cefnogi’r hosbis ers y garreg sylfaen gyntaf. Diolch o galon i’r holl staff, gwirfoddolwyr a’r ymddiriedolwyr sy’n cyflawni’r gwaith rhyfeddol hwn bob diwrnod o’r flwyddyn.