The Pembrokeshire Herald 16/02/2024

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Hywel Dda has issued a warning due to ‘unprecedented demand’ on services • P4

Tributes as councillor REG OWENS dies • P6

Could we soon see farmers’ protests? • P8

SPECIAL REPORT

A&E asks non-urgent cases to avoid using department

Rally in defiance of Tata’s job cut proposals • P12

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Former clerk’s death unexplained THE PEMBROKE- Tom Sinclair SHIRE HERALD has Editor@herald.email learned of the untimely death of the former Upon arrival, they clerk to Cosheston made the discovery that Community Council. Mr. Taylor had passed Jake Taylor, aged 35, away at the scene. served as the Clerk to A police spokesperson Cosheston Community said, “Sadly, the man died Council until last summer. at the scene. The death is He is also known to currently being treated as have worked closely with unexplained.” Simon Hart MP, and has In accordance with stood for council in local standard procedure, HM elections. Coroner has been notiThe circumstances fied of the incident, it has surrounding Mr. Taylor’s been confirmed. death are unexplained, EC Thomas and Son, police have confirmed undertakers, received a He was found to have note saying: “The death passed away at a propoccurred suddenly on erty in Hamilton Terrace, Wednesday 31st January Pembroke on January 31, 2024 at the home of Mr. 2024 – his 35th birthday. Jacob Taylor, affectionDyfed-Powys Police, ately known as Jake, of responding to concerns Hamilton Terrace, Pemfor Mr. Taylor’s welfare, broke. were summoned to the “Jake will be sadly property. missed by his family and

many friends. “The funeral service will take place on Thursday 15th February 2024

at Zoar Chapel SA67 8QH at 1.30pm followed by interment at Monkton Cemetery at 3.00pm.”

Sentenced for trashing a Pembrokeshire hotel

A HAVERFORDWEST man has appeared before magistrates after trashing the Windsor Hotel in Johnston, after booking a room before going on a drunken rampage. Haverfordwest magistrates were told that on January 22, a booking was made by two males for a room at the Windsor Hotel. One of the males

was the defendant, Michael Harper, of Freemans View, Merlins Bridge. Crown Prosecutor Sian Vaughan informed the magistrates that when the men first arrived, there didn’t appear to be anything amiss. But a short while later the owner, Ms Katherine Spurling, was alerted by ‘a lot of banging and crashing’ coming from the stairs.

“One male [Harper] came running towards me from the other side of the bar,” said Ms Spurling in a police witness statement. “I tried to avoid him but he picked up a wooden chair and smashed it against the window. He then fell backwards over the chair but picked up another one and started banging the window again. “I was terrified and I was screaming so much. I’ve run a hotel for over 20 years but have never experienced anything like this. “I want the defendant to realise just how frightening this was for me and my partner. I thought they would be respectful guests, but they totally abused that. “I’m now highly fearful that they’ll come back and

take revenge.” Ms Vaughan added that the criminal damage included curtains, blinds, a freestanding lamp and some walls. As a result, three bedrooms are currently unable to be let. “I’ve worked hard all my life, but what happened has tipped me over the edge,” concluded Ms Spurling’s witness statement. Harper, 22, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage at the Windsor Hotel, Church Road, Johnston; of going equipped for a theft with a stanley knife, pliers, a screwdriver, gloves and balaclava and common assault against Katherine Spurling. He was legally represented by Mr Ross Williams.

Dealer ordered to repay proceeds A WOMAN who fell into the nefarious world of drug dealing under the coercion of her partner has been mandated to repay nearly £1,000. Daloni Jones, 27, residing at Bro Gwynfaen, Croeslan, near Llandysul, admitted to charges of possession with intent to supply cocaine, alongside being implicated in the drug’s distribution. The sentencing, delivered in August, resulted in a 21-month prison term, suspended for 18 months, highlighting the gravity of her actions. The case also involved Matthew Pritchard, 30, from Station Road, Pembroke Dock, who received a sterner sentence of three years and eight months imprisonment for identical offences. The duo’s criminal activities came to light following a police raid on their Llandysul residence on February 9 last year, where authorities confiscated upwards of 23.5 grams of cocaine. A subsequent operation on May 11 at a Penrhiwllan property led to the seizure of an additional 11.84 grams of the substance. Investigations into the couple’s mobile

phones unveiled their involvement in cocaine supply from January 1 to May 12, with Jones’s defense acknowledging her guilt under the pretext of following Pritchard’s directives within an abusive relationship. Judge Paul Hobson, acknowledging this dynamic, noted Jones’s partial autonomy in the dealings, stating, “You acted under instruction from Mr Pritchard. However, that was not exclusively the case.” The court, leveraging the Proceeds of Crime Act, sought to ascertain and confiscate the financial gains accrued from their illicit activities. Prosecutor Sian Cutter revealed that Jones had benefitted to the tune of £3,217.50, with an available sum of £957.50 identified for recovery. Judge Geraint Walters, presiding over the financial proceedings, sanctioned the repayment of this amount. Additionally, Jones faces a £187 surcharge, further compounding her financial penalties. The proceedings against Pritchard for similar financial recuperations remain pending, with a followup hearing scheduled for February 15.

“My client has no recollection of the incident as a result of his level of intoxication,” he said. “He now wishes to move forward with his life.” After considering a detailed probation report, magistrates sentenced Harper to a 12 month community order during which he must carry out 20 rehabilitation requirement

days and 150 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £3,000 compensation for the damage caused to the Windsor Hotel in addition to £85 costs and a £114 court surcharge. Magistrates also imposed a destruction order on all the items retrieved in relation to going equipped for a theft,


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A&E under ‘unprecedented pressure’

IN AN URGENT call to the public on Tuesday (Feb 13) Hywel Dda University Health Board highlighted the extreme pressures facing emergency departments across the region, with particular emphasis on the facilities at Bronglais and Withybush hospitals. The health authority has issued a plea for community cooperation to ensure emergency services can be preserved for those in dire need of urgent care.

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The Health Board’s appeal underscores a critical situation where the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency services could be compromised by an overwhelming demand. The public is being urged to make informed decisions about how they access healthcare services, reserving emergency department visits for acute and emergency health

issues only. This strategic approach, the health board hopes, aims to alleviate the strain on emergency services and ensure that resources are allocated to the most critical cases. To assist the public in navigating the healthcare system during this challenging period, Hywel Dda UHB has provided guidance on alternative care options. The guidance, detailed on their official website, offers insights into the appropriate

channels for various health concerns, aiming to direct non-emergency cases to more suitable services. This measure not only helps in managing the current demand on emergency departments but also contributes to the overall efficiency of healthcare delivery in the region. The Health Board’s message is clear: “Please help us to help you.” By choosing the right service for healthcare needs, the public can play a crucial role in supporting the sustainability of emergency services during this critical time. The community’s cooperation and understanding are vital in ensuring that emergency departments can continue to provide life-saving care to those who need it the most. For more information on how to access healthcare services during the winter months, and to stay updated on the latest healthcare developments in the region, visit Hywel Dda UHB’s official website.


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On trial for multiple historical sexual offences Denies supplying heroin A PEMBROKE DOCK man has appeared before magistrates charged with possessing diamorphine with intent to supply it to others. Christopher Brockway appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates in custody this week following his arrest at his property in Church Street, Pembroke Dock, on February 11. He is accused of possessing diamorphine with intent to supply it to others; possessing 7g of herbal cannabis and of possessing criminal property, namely cash totaling £2,600. He denies all three charges. Brockway pleaded guilty to additional charges of stealing various items from Boots, Haverfordwest, totalling £500; driving his Vauxhall Insignia through Trinity Terrace, Burton, otherwise than THIS week at Swansea Crown Court, Kevin Offland, a 45-year-old man from Nichols Road, Great Yarmouth, stands accused of a series of grave sexual offences spanning over two decades. The charges include 18 sexual offences purported to have occurred in the Pembrokeshire and Shrewsbury areas between 1998 and 2021. The allegations against Offland are severe and numerous, consisting of three counts of rape involving three separate complainants, one charge of raping a child, a charge of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, and 13 charges of sexual activity with a child, specifically relating to two girls. During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Offland had provided prepared statements to both West Mercia Police and Dyfed-Powys Police in response to the accusations.

Mr Davies, the prosecutor, presented these statements to the jury, shedding light on Offland’s stance regarding the allegations. In an interview dated January 29, 2019, Offland firmly denied the accusations, stating, “I deny the allegations made against me. I did not rape [the child] in 2010, nor have I ever had any sexual activity with the child.” He further claimed that the complainant had “lied” about the incidents. Further interviews with Offland were conducted in May 2019 regarding the first two rape allegations, where he reiterated his denial, stating, “I vehemently deny any assaults, sexual or otherwise. I further deny raping either of the complainants.” The court also heard about an interview with Dyfed-Powys Police on December 5, 2022, in which Offland continued to deny the allegations made by two teenage complainants, stating, “In relation to

the allegations made against me by the two teenage complainants, I deny these in their entirety. I do not have anything to add to my interview on August 13, 2021.” DC Duggan, the case officer for Dyfed-Powys Police, was asked about the referenced interview on August 13, where she confirmed to the jury that Offland had responded with no comment to all questions at that time. Additionally, on December 5, 2022, Offland addressed an allegation of rape in Pembrokeshire in 2014, emphatically stating, “I, Kevin Offland, never drugged or raped [the complainant].” This case continues to attract attention as the jury deliberates on the evidence presented. The allegations span a considerable period, reflecting the serious nature of the charges Offland faces. The trial is ongoing, with the legal proceedings carefully scrutinised by both the public and media.

in accordance with a licence; driving with no insurance, and causing criminal damage to a police cell at Haverfordwest police station by throwing a cup of coffee against the wall. Following a request by the Crown Prosecution Service, magistrates declined jurisdiction. The case will now proceed at Swansea Crown Court on March 15. Brockway was released on conditional bail, the conditions being that he must observe an electronically monitored daily curfew between 8pm and 7am and must reside and sleep at his home address.

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Taking and crashing car Tributes as ‘fantastic’ grandad and councillor dies have Bruce Sinclair without owner’s consent beenTRIBUTES paid following the Local Democracy Reporter A COURT has heard how a 20-year-old man dialled 999 to inform officers he’d driven off in a car without the owner’s consent and crashed it, despite being over the drinkdrive limit. Ryan Guy made the rash decision to take the Vauxhall on January 28, which belonged to his girlfriend’s sister. He then proceeded to drive it along Bentlass Terrace in Pennar, Pembroke Dock. “A phone call was then made to the police by the defendant himself, saying he’d taken the vehicle, he’d been drinking, and he’d crashed the car,” said Crown Prosecutor Sian Vaughan when Guy appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates this week. “He made a full admission.” Ms Vaughan added that the damage amounted to a slight dent on the front nearside of the car. S u b s e q u e n t intoximeter tests carried out by the officers revealed that Guy had been driving with 79 ml of alcohol in his system. The legal limit is 35. Guy, of Munro Court, Pembroke Dock, pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle above the legal drink-drive limit; the aggravated taking of a vehicle without the owner’s consent; using a vehicle on a public road without third party insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence. He was legally represented by Ms Katy

Hanson. “These are slightly unusual circumstances,” she said. “My client helped the police, he was extremely honest with them and immediately recognised that this was a very foolish action. He was immediately remorseful.” Ms Hanson said that the car was still drivable following the crash, and the defendant had offered to pay for the full cost of repair. “My client has never been in trouble before and it’s quite rare to have someone before the court who’s phoned the police and told them everything that happened,” she said. This was endorsed by probation officer Julie Norman. “He took the car with the intention of harming himself,” she said. “But after driving a short distance, he crashed into a wall and was then arrested.” After considering the probation report, magistrates sentenced Guy to a 12-month probation order which includes ten rehabilitation requirement days and a referral to the Dyfed Drugs and Alcohol Service. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £114 surcharge and £85 costs. He was disqualified from driving for 18 months and his licence endorsed.

death of Pembrokeshire grandad, county councillor, and National Park member Reg Owens, who had “a passion for ensuring equal opportunities for all and supporting those who needed a voice.” At the opening of this week’s Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet meeting, Council Leader David Simpson said: “It is with great sadness I have to announce the death of Councillor Reg Owens. “Reg has been in poor health for several years and has been a fighter to the end.” Mr Owens, who represented St Ishmaels as an Independent Group member, had served as a county councillor since 2012 and had also served on Herbrandston Community Council, as chair on numerous occasions. He was also a member of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park for more than a decade and was chair of its planning committee for five years. Mr Owens had formerly been an education officer at Pembrokeshire County Council, working for the local authority for 45 years, having joined as a 17-year-old. Wheelchair user Reg became a champion for equalities. Calling for a minute’s silence at the start of the meeting, Mr Simpson said: “Reg was well respected by all of the chamber and never held back on his views on behalf of his constituency.” ‘Supporting those who needed a voice’

A statement from Mr Owens’ children read: “We are all saddened at the passing of Reg; he has been the most wonderful husband for 53 years and a fantastic father and grandad to us all. “As his children, we have always valued and cherished the support and guidance he and our mum, Josie, have given us. This support has also been passed on to the numerous groups we, as children, were involved with growing up, including sports, music, and youth work. “As a grandad, he has actively followed and supported Euan, Gregor, Mostyn, and Elwyn in their sporting achievements, particularly on the rugby field. “Something which Dad instilled in us was his passion for ensuring equal opportunities for all and supporting those who needed a voice. “He was not afraid to speak his mind and was always eager to tell us about the debates he had with members of the various committees he sat on. “We were so proud when Dad successfully secured his third term as a county councillor. We thoroughly enjoyed being part of his election campaign and listening to the praise and warmth from residents across the areas that he led. “Dad will leave a huge void in our lives, and we thank him for everything he has done for us. We love you and will miss you forever.” ‘Passionate advocate’

Chair of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Councillor Di Clements, paid tribute to ‘Reg’. “Reg Owens was a valued and influential member of the Park Authority for over 10 years. During that time, he was a passionate advocate for the National Park and the communities of the Dale Peninsula. “He argued strongly for initiatives and activities that enabled people from all backgrounds and abilities to visit and enjoy the National Park and always considered the impact of any decision on staff and their wellbeing. “For five years, Reg chaired the Development M a n a g e m e n t Committee, which decides planning applications. He had his own unique style and was always welcoming and supportive of

applicants and objectors, irrespective of their views. “Reg saw great value in the role town and community councils play in the planning system and would always give significant weight to their views. “Reg was often described as a great character and was a friend and supporter to all the members of the Park Authority. He will be greatly missed by all, and we value his contribution to the National Park. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.” Tributes to Mr Owens were also paid by chair of the council’s planning committee, Jacob Williams, who, at the February 13 committee meeting, recorded his “personal sadness at Councillor Owens’ passing,” offering his condolences to friends and family.

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Pervert tried to send explicit Snapchats to girl, 14 Motorist banned for drug-drive conviction A SOLVA motorist has been ordered off the roads after admitting driving through Haverfordwest town centre when he was over three times the legal drug-drive limit. Police officers were alerted to the Toyota Yaris as it was being driven along Milford Road on September 13. “This was because of the standard of driving,” Crown Prosecutor Sian Vaughan told Haverfordwest magistrates this week. Officers discovered that the vehicle was being driven by Tom Sibbald, 22, of Fair Haven, Anchor Down, Solva.

A roadside drugs swipe proved positive and Sibbald was taken to a police custody suite where further blood tests were carried out for analysis. These showed he had 216 mcg of benzoylecgonine in his system; the legal limit is 50. Sibbald pleaded guilty to the offence and was legally represented in court by Mr Tom Lloyd. “The police pulled him over and he was fully compliant,” he said. M a g i s t r a t e s disqualified Sibbald from driving for 12 months, He was fined £120 and ordered to pay a £48 court surcharge and £85 costs.

Almost three times over the limit

A WEST WALES man has been handed a suspended prison sentence after sending explicit Snapchat messages to an undercover police officer, believing they were a 14-year-old girl. Curtis Janman admitted he’d fantasised about having sex with girls aged between 14 and 16 when he was arrested by DyfedPowys Police. Within six hours of starting a conversation with ‘Brooke’ on Snapchat, the 27-yearold was sending her explicit messages and photos. He asked about the teenager’s sexual experiences, and detailed intimate activities he would like to engage in – despite being told as early as the sixth message between the pair that she was a child. What Janman didn’t know was that he was in fact talking to an undercover police officer working as part of a regional organised crime

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unit to secure evidence against anyone showing criminal intent to harm, abuse or exploit a child. The concerning content of Janman’s messages, which were sent over two days, led to an investigation into his profile. He was identified as living in Carmarthenshire, and his information was passed to Dyfed-Powys Police to progress enquiries. On Saturday, November 11, Janman was arrested at his home. He admitted the offence in an interview and was charged with attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child. On January 29, he was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years. He must also complete a 31-day accredited programme and 30 days of rehabilitation, and has been handed a five year

sexual harm prevention order. Dyfed-Powys Police Detective Constable George Parker said: “While we are thankful no children were impacted by the defendant’s behaviour in this case, he truly believed he was having these highly sexualised conversations with a 14-year-old girl, which is very concerning. “This is an individual who has posed a threat to young women and girls in the local area, as he admits he has fantasised about girls around the age of 14 for a significant part of his life. He hasn’t given a reason for this fantasy, other than finding it hard to talk to people of his own age. “We have chosen to highlight this case on Safer Internet Day to remind parents how important it is to be aware what apps their children are using, and who they are talking to or playing with online. The internet is

an amazing place for meeting new people, but unfortunately as we have seen here, there are people online with criminal intent. “Through the joint investigation by our colleagues in regional organised crime, as well as the work of a number of departments here at Dyfed-Powys Police, there is no doubt that this work will have safeguarded vulnerable young people at risk of coming into contact with Janman.”

A PEMBROKESHIRE power station worker has appeared before magistrates after being caught driving his Audi A3 through Pembroke Dock when he was almost three times over the legal drinkdrive limit. Officers were alerted to the vehicle on January 29 as a result of the way in which it was being driven along Warrior Way. The driver was Aaron Haines, 30, of Alleston Farm, Lower Lamphey Road, Pembroke. Further intoximeter tests at the police custody suite confirmed Haines had 97 mcg of alcohol in his system. The legal limit is 35.. Haines pleaded guilty to the drink-drive charge and was legally

represented in court by Ms Katy Hanson. “That evening he’d gone to sleep and didn’t intend to go out,” she said. “But he got a call from someone who was upset. He realises now that he shouldn’t have gone.” Ms Hanson said her client is employed at the Pembrokeshire power station. “He’ll hopefully be able to keep his job however the disqualification is going to restrict his overtime,” she said. “But the main issue will be his ability to see his three children.” Haines was disqualified from driving for 24 months and fined £750. He was also ordered to pay a £300 court surcharge and £85 costs.


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Could we soon see farmers’ protests like in Europe? WHILE scenes of agricultural protest sweep across Europe, from the bustling streets of Brussels to the historic avenues of Berlin, Britain’s farmland remains notably calm. Yet, farmers have been gathering in large numbers, voicing their concerns in packing out cattle markets rather than taking their issues directly to the streets. The relative quiet of the farmers in Wales might seem puzzling against the backdrop of widespread European demonstrations. The agriculture sector across the whole of the UK, in fact, is grappling with significant challenges. Recent surveys revealing alarming concerns among fruit, vegetable, and dairy producers about their survival in the coming years. Nearly half of the UK’s fruit and veg growers and a third of dairy farmers fear their operations may not last beyond 2025, a statistic that paints a grim picture of the industry’s

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future. One might speculate that Brexit has shielded British farmers from the tumult affecting their European counterparts.

However, this assumption quickly falls apart when one delves into the myriad issues facing UK agriculture. The crisis is not of isolation but of scale, economics, and policy. British farms are generally

larger than those in the EU, which may buffer them against some pressures but does not immunize them against the high costs of fuel, stringent environmental regulations, and the uncertainties post-Brexit policy changes

bring. In Wales, the situation is particularly acute. The Welsh government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme, set to redefine agricultural funding post-Brexit, demands significant environmental

commitments from farmers. They are required to dedicate portions of their land to tree planting and wildlife habitats, a mandate that many argue is impractical without undermining their business viability. Coupled with the reduction in environmental payment schemes and sweeping regulations on slurry and fertiliser usage under the new nitrate vulnerable zones (NVZ) policy, Welsh farmers find themselves at a crossroads. The dissatisfaction runs deeper, touching on the essence of farming identity and its place in society. British farmers, particularly in Wales, express a profound concern over their perception by the public and the political establishment. There is a fear of farright or populist groups exploiting their cause, a worry compounded by a perceived lack of public empathy towards the agricultural sector. This cultural and political


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NEWS 9

Samuel Kurtz MS, Shadow Rural Affairs Minister perhaps speaks to a broader narrative about the British agricultural ethos – one of quiet endurance and a focus on adaptation over confrontation. The farming community in the UK, and particularly in Wales, is at a pivotal moment, navigating the complexities of modern agriculture, environmental stewardship, and Tractors parked at the farmer’s meeting in Carmarthen last week (Image C Campbell/Herald) economic survival. In response to the Minister Lesley Griffiths proposals laid out in it are fully phased out in 2029 to get the scheme right so crisis, Welsh Government on Tuesday this week to causing a deep sense of with no long-term stability that it works for Wales’ Minister for Rural Affairs, express the deep concerns anguish and concern as payment in its place within farmers.” Lesley Griffiths MS, has of the industry and we members contemplate the the SFS is set against the He later added: “Had invited the presidents of left her in no doubt over future scheme and the backdrop of a challenging the Welsh Government the two farming unions to the strength of feeling implications on their own time for Welsh farmers. taken seriously my an urgent meeting to hear and seriousness of the individual business. Agricultural inputs are over calls to pause the SFS their views and discuss situation following the “The Minister has a third higher than pre- consultation, then changes the serious concerns of robust feedback we have assured me this remains a covid times, water quality to the proposal could have Welsh farmers and rural received from our series genuine consultation and regulations have added been made. Sadly, my businesses. of roadshows. I welcome so I would urge anyone a huge regulatory and calls, like the calls from the The meeting has the fact that the Minister with an interest in Welsh cost burden on farming farmers themselves were been arranged following recognises the serious farming to respond and businesses and bovine ignored. an urgent request from concerns of farmers and let the Government know TB continues to cause “The inevitably of NFU Cymru President as such has agreed to directly the strength of heartache to farming farmers protesting is linked Aled Jones who met with meet and look at ways to feeling that exists amongst families. to the Welsh Government’s Minister Griffiths earlier address these issues. “NFU Cymru will take inability to listen. our farming community. this week to express the “I will stand shoulder “Having travelled the The information, briefings the concerns of the industry deep sense of feeling and length and breadth of and response template are directly to the Minister at to shoulder with farmers anguish that the industry Wales in the past week all available on the NFU our meeting, and we will during any protest. My is feeling at this moment in and met with thousands Cymru website. clearly set out our key message to them is time. “The current asks.” The conservatives, only stick together, be of members, it is clear that NFU Cymru President, the current Sustainable consultation which in opposition in Wales, respectful, but the Welsh Aled Jones said: “We Farming Scheme (SFS) proposes that the Basic have been vocal about Conservatives will be with met with the Rural Affairs consultation and the Payment Scheme will be what they feel is Welsh you.” Cefin Campbell, Plaid Labour’s lack of support for Cymru Member of the the farming industry. Responding to news Senedd for Mid & West that protest action amongst Wales, who spoke at the farmers may soon be large farmers’ meeting on “inevitable”, Samuel Kurtz Thursday (Feb 8), said: MS, Shadow Rural Affairs “Enough is enough was Minister, said: “The Labour the resounding message Government must listen to amidst the 3,000 heavy the farming industry before crowd in Carmarthen. “The frustration it is too late. “Welsh farmers have our farmers and rural had to deal with a host communities feel towards of policy changes in a the Welsh Government Westminster on short space of time, their and frustration is not being many issues was all too heard by the Labour clear. I will do my best to Government and they are make sure their voice is left feeling protests are the heard in Cardiff Bay, and I would urge the Welsh only option. “There is a real sense Government to accept of frustration and anger in the unanimous call made the sector at the moment, by those present for a therefore I am urging the meeting, where these Welsh Government to concerns can be discussed pause this consultation further”. A coffin placed at the meeting in Carmarthen last week as a stark warning from farmers and to redouble their efforts

disconnect has left many feeling isolated and misunderstood, reluctant to adopt the protest tactics seen elsewhere in Europe. Moreover, the shadow of bovine tuberculosis (TB) looms large, with Welsh farmers calling for more decisive action to tackle the disease that has led to significant cattle losses. The government’s refusal to consider a badger cull, seen by many as a necessary measure, has added to the sense of frustration and helplessness within the farming community. The challenges are manifold: rising operational costs, from fertilisers to machinery fuels, have squeezed margins to breaking points, while environmental and regulatory demands place additional burdens on an already struggling sector. Yet, despite these hurdles, the response from Welsh farmers and their British counterparts has been markedly different from the uproar seen across the Channel. This divergence


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Dock man sentenced for racial harassment against Nigerian A PEMBROKE DOCK man has appeared before magistrates after hurling racial abuse at a Nigerian man as he was helping his family to move house. Steven Camp was seen observing the family as they moved into a property in Bush Street, Pembroke Dock on the morning of April 7, 2023. “The victim was with a family member, and is of Nigerian origin,” Crown Prosecutor Sian Vaughan told Haverfordwest magistrates earlier this week. “He was assisting his family members to move in next door to where the defendant lives, but the defendant then began leaning out of the window, calling them n*****s. “The family had never been to the area before and were very upset at the comments that were being made.” Ms Vaughan went on to say that as a result of Camp’s behaviour, police officers were asked to attend. But the defendant then turned his attention to one of the officers, namely PC Simon Allen, and began spitting at him.

“Being spat at is disgusting,” commented PC Allen in a victim statement that was read out to the court. “No police officer should come to work and have to be assaulted in such a manner.” Camp, 38, of Bush Street, Pembroke Dock, originally denied causing racial harassment as well as additional charges of common assault against an emergency worker and using threatening or abusing, or insulting words or behaviour that was likely to cause alarm or distress. He was found guilty of all three charges following a trial that took place at Haverfordwest magistrates court on January 29. Sentencing was adjourned to this week. Camp was sentenced to a 12-month community order, during which he must carry out ten rehabilitation activity requirement days. He was ordered to pay £100 compensation to the police officer, £650 prosecution costs following his trial, a £114 court surcharge and a £180 fine.

Milford man denies racially aggravated assault on woman A MILFORD HAVEN man has appeared before magistrates charged with the racially aggravated assault against a woman. David Round, 37, is accused of assaulting the woman during an alleged incident in Dale Road, Hubberston on July 2, 2022. “The defendant punched her to the face and she was hit backwards,” Crown Prosecutor Sian Vaughan told Haverfordwest magistrates this week. “She was hit like she was a man, and

was told that she was a black bitch and a n*”.” Ms Vaughan said that the complainant is of mixed race. Round, of Wellington Road, Hakin, denied the allegation when he appeared before magistrates, and elected a Crown Court trial. Trial proceedings will commence at Swansea Crown Court on March 15. Round was released on conditional bail and must make no contact, either directly or indirectly with the victim.

Milford Haven Royal Marines Cadets ‘could close in months’

THE MILFORD HAVEN Royal Marines Cadets Detachment says it is facing significant challenges due to a shortage of adult volunteers. If more are not found within six months, the detachment will have to close, The Pembrokeshire Herald understands. Established over eleven years ago, the detachment has been a beacon of excellence, consistently achieving high standards in the Sea Cadets community, demonstrated by its attainment of the Burgee award, a mark of distinction for scoring over 70% in annual inspections. The unit’s success is attributed to the dedication and hard work of its volunteers and cadets, a testament to the community’s spirit and commitment to youth development. However, the recent departure of several adult volunteers

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has put a strain on the detachment’s ability to deliver its renowned Royal Marines Cadets training and experiences, raising concerns about its future. The temporary D e t a c h m e n t Commander, Lt (SCC) Chris Harvey-Jones RNR, has been commended for his remarkable efforts in maintaining the detachment’s operations under these challenging circumstances. His leadership has seen an increase in cadet numbers from four to eleven, a clear indication of the detachment’s vital role in the community and the positive impact on the lives of young people. Despite these efforts, the detachment is at a critical juncture, with a desperate need for new adult volunteers to step forward. The Royal Marines Cadets emphasise that no prior

military experience is required to volunteer, as all necessary training is provided. The focus is on finding individuals with enthusiasm and a keen interest in supporting youth development. The call for volunteers comes at a time when the detachment has been given a notice of improvement by the South West Area Office, requiring evidence of progress in volunteer recruitment within the next three to six months to remain compliant with operational standards. Lt (SCC) Aled Davies MNI RNR, the Commanding Officer of Training Ship HARRIER, has expressed his steadfast resolve to overcome these challenges. He urges the community to support the detachment’s recruitment efforts by sharing information and considering volunteering. The aim is to ensure the detachment can continue to offer young people in

Milford Haven invaluable opportunities for growth and development. The Milford Haven Sea Cadets and Royal Marines Cadets play a crucial role in shaping the futures of young individuals, providing them with skills, discipline, and experiences that offer a head start in life. The current appeal for volunteers is not only a call for assistance but an invitation to be part of a rewarding journey that impacts the lives of young people and the wider community. For those interested in volunteering or learning more about how they can support the Milford Haven Royal Marines Cadets Detachment, please contact the unit directly. Your contribution can make a significant difference in continuing the legacy of this esteemed detachment and ensuring it remains a vibrant part of the Milford Haven community.

Fishguard Rugby Club assault probe continues DYFED-POWYS POLICE have said that they have concluded their inquiry into a recent event at Fishguard Rugby Club from November last year, but continue to probe an earlier

alleged assault at the same location. The September incident, occurring between midnight and 1 am on the 30th, remains under active investigation. Authorities are urging witnesses or

anyone with information that could assist their efforts to reach out. Despite closing the case on the November incident, police remain committed to resolving the September assault allegation, with updates

being provided to the alleged victim as the investigation progresses. The community is encouraged to contribute any relevant information by contacting the police at 101.


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Man imprisoned after Rally in defiance of Tata’s job cut proposals making threats to kill A COURT has heard how a probation officer became increasingly concerned for a client’s safety when a convicted criminal made repeated threats to kill him. Probation officer Jonathan Shewry was on duty in the Haverfordwest offices on August 14, 2023, when he conducted a scheduled supervision session with Wayne Tydeman. “Within minutes, Wayne Tydeman became verbally agitated and aggressive,” Crown Prosecutor Sian Vaughan told Haverfordwest magistrates this week. “He told the probation officer to f*** off and then began asking questions about someone else. The probation office told him that he couldn’t discuss this person with him, but then Tydeman, 42, began saying he was going to stab him [the unidentified person]. At this point Mr Tydeman was told to leave.” Ms Vaughan said the probation officer believed Tydeman was in possession of a bladed article. “He was extremely concerned about the threats,” said Ms Vaughan. Two days l a t e r Ty d e m a n contacted the police to inform them that he was in possession of a five inch knife. “He told them that

he’d had enough,” said Ms Vaughan. “Officers were deployed and they located the defendant, who had a can in one hand and was holding a mobile phone to his ear. He was told to stand still because a taser had been drawn, and he was handcuffed, searched and the knife was recovered.” Tydeman was taken to a police custody suite where he informed officers that his intention was to harm the other person with the knife before harming himself. “The threats were repeated and were meant to be credible,” added Ms Vaughan. “His intention was to carry them out.” Tydeman, of no fixed abode, appeared before magistrates via a video link from Swansea Prison, where he is currently serving a custodial sentence for an unrelated offence. He pleaded guilty to two charges of making threats to kill another person, intending that the person who heard the threats would fear they would be carried out. He was legally represented in court by Mr Ross Williams. “He didn’t make the threats to the individual, however he still made them,” he said. Tydeman was sentenced to 24 weeks in custody. He was also ordered to pay a court surcharge of £154.

ON SATURDAY (Feb 17), sees steelworkers across South Wales taking to the streets in a series of rallies aimed at supporting the beleaguered steel industry. In a display of solidarity and defiance, the gatherings are a response to the looming threat of 2,800 job losses proposed by Tata Steel across its UK operations. A significant rally is scheduled for 1:15 pm at the Civic Centre Square in Port Talbot, where a diverse crowd, including local politicians, union representatives from the Port Talbot steelworks, and officials like Roy Rickhuss, the General Secretary of Community, is expected to convene. The assembly aims to vocalise the collective angst and opposition to Tata Steel’s proposals, deemed detrimental to the local economy and the national steelmaking capacity. Earlier in the day, steelworkers from Llanwern are set to march through Newport City Centre, starting at 11 am, to further amplify their message. Both events promise to be familyfriendly, with Community, the union orchestrating these protests, inviting public participation to bolster the steelworkers’ cause. Attendees are encouraged to don their

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work jackets and helmets as a proud emblem of their industry allegiance. These events mark a critical juncture in the ongoing struggle against Tata Steel’s formal consultation initiated on the 2nd of February, which encompasses its sites in Port Talbot, Llanwern, and Trostre. The union has firmly stated that the stipulated 45-day consultation period will not constrain their negotiations, insisting on a thorough and protracted deliberation process. Alasdair McDiarmid, Assistant General

Secretary of Community, expressed grave concerns over the impact of Tata’s proposals on South Wales and the UK at large, emphasising the strategic and economic peril of losing primary steelmaking capabilities. Community, alongside GMB, has proposed a Multi-Union Plan as a viable alternative, gaining traction among industry experts, political figures, and the public. Alun Davies, Community’s National Officer for Steel, reflected on the integral role of steel in South Wales’s identity and economy, underscoring the devastating consequences of eroding steelmaking

capacity. The rallying cry for preserving the steel sector has garnered extensive public support, with Davies urging a robust turnout for the weekend’s events. Political voices, including Stephen Kinnock, MP for Aberavon, and Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East, have rallied behind the steelworkers, criticising Tata’s narrow approach and advocating for the Multi-Union Plan. This plan promises a sustainable, equitable future for the industry without resorting to compulsory redundancies, presenting a stark contrast to Tata’s current trajectory.


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Why is Pembrokeshire looking at a massive council tax hike? S E N I O R Pembrokeshire councillors are expected to call for council tax increase as high as 21 per cent next week against a backdrop of the council facing its worst-ever financial position. Pembrokeshire is currently facing a projected funding gap of £31.9m, by far the largest funding gap ever seen by the council. This figure is even bleaker in the next few years; the projected funding gap for the Medium Term Financial Plan 2024-25 to 2027-28 is £82.2m. A report before Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, meeting on February 12 says: “This projected funding gap will need to be bridged through a combination of an increase in council tax, use of council tax premiums and budget savings. “Any use of reserve funding will only be considered where there is a clear plan in place to reduce base budgets by the levels required for 2025-26 onwards and to replenish the reserve balances over the term of the Medium Term Financial Plan, in line with the Strategy for Holding and Utilising Reserves.” In total, Pembrokeshire is facing financial pressures totalling £41.3m, partly offset by funding – some of which is yet to be fully confirmed – bringing that figure down to £31.9m. Simple options to address this gap are • to cut expenditure, which would require £31.9m in savings • increase funding through a council tax rise alone, which would need an eye-watering 42 per cent rise • a combination of the two, which is proposed. Cabinet members are asked to recommend one of three options for a council tax increase, along with large budget savings. The increases range

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from 16.31 per cent, 18.94 per cent, to a 20.98 per cent increase. These increases would raise the annual council tax bill by £219.02, £254.34, and £281.73 respectively for the average Band D property. Associated savings needed for the three levels would be £12.8m, £10.9m, and £9.3m. A report for members stated: “Any Band D Council Tax increase below 16.31 per cent will have very significant impact, including statutory failure in some service areas and so is not considered to be a financially sustainable option.” The report said options for a 15 and 12.5 per cent council tax increase were modelled, but “this would have resulted in very significant budget savings being required and some services no longer being able to meet their statutory requirements”. One of the reasons for the financial situation in Pembrokeshire – and in neighbouring Ceredigion – is a lower-thanexpected Provisional Local Government Settlement from Welsh Government. Every year the Welsh Government allocates funding for each local authority, and for 2024-25 Pembrokeshire will only receive a 2.5 per cent increase in that funding against a 14.4 per cent increase in service costs. This equates to £5.3m additional Aggregate External Finance (AEF) funding for Pembrokeshire County Council, £1.3m lower than assumptions of a 3.1 per cent increase. This lower thanexpected settlement is part of a general decline in central government support for councils, council Leader David Simpson has said. “During the past decade, funding levels from UK Government to

Welsh Government and on to councils have not kept pace with the everincreasing pressures. “Due to this, we have had to make significant budget savings of £96.7 million over this time, supported by your suggestions in our annual budget consultation. We have always endeavoured to minimise the impact to service users, especially the most vulnerable in our communities.” Council Tax accounts for 26.05 per cent of the council’s general funding, with more reliance on council tax funding due to AEF reductions during the austerity period whilst council tax increased. Council tax accounted for only 18.4 per cent in 2013-14. Pembrokeshire is also facing an “unprecedented” increase in demand for both adult and children’s social care that has added more than £23m in pressures. In five years, children’s social care costs have risen from six per cent of the budget to 10.3 per cent. Social care and education costs now make up 78 per cent of overall pressures with social care costs exceeding education costs for the first time this year, Council Leader David Simpson has said. In 2024/25 the budget for social care will be more than all other services combined, excluding schools. There has also been a huge increase in the number of people needing temporary accommodation, from 78 in March 2019 to 507 in March 2023, leading to a £1.145m pressure for 2024/25. Another issue in Pembrokeshire has been historically low levels of council tax, the county still having the lowest rate in Wales, despite having increases of 12.5%, 9.92%, 5.00%, 3.75%, 5.00% and 7.50% since 2018-19. The average Band D base council tax for Pembrokeshire is

£1,342.86, compared to Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire at £1,553.60 and £1,490.97 respectively. If the council had Ceredigion’s level of council tax for 202324, it would have had an additional £11.758m income and if it had Carmarthenshire’s it

would have had an additional £8.264m. Ceredigion County Council Cabinet’s has proposed a 13.9 per cent increase in council tax, which would take a Band D property to £1,769.55 per year; if Pembrokeshire increased its Band D rate to £1,769.55 it would generate an

additional £23.902m. The final decision on the council tax level – and any savings – will be made by full council when it sets the annual budget on March 7. Neighbouring Ceredigion will make its final decision on February 29.


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Lampeter businessman cleared of £148,000 theft from own company AT SWANSEA CROWN COURT this week (Feb 9), Andrew Ling, 39, from CysgodY-Coed, Cwmann, Lampeter, has been acquitted of allegations that he stole nearly £150,000 from Perpetual V2G Systems Ltd, a pioneering company he founded. Mr. Ling faced charges of siphoning off £148,517.78 between March 30, 2016, and June 12, 2018, but steadfastly denied any wrongdoing. Perpetual V2G Systems Ltd is at the forefront of developing cutting-edge technology for 3.5t home delivery vehicles, which traditionally had to keep their engines running during deliveries to maintain refrigeration systems. This innovation allows for the engine to be turned off, significantly saving fuel costs and reducing carbon emissions. The

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company’s achievements had already positioned it for international recognition, with plans to pitch its patented carbon reduction systems to major stakeholders in the United States, signaling a massive opportunity

for expansion and investment. The prosecution, led by Jim Davis, contended that Ling illicitly transferred funds from the company’s current account to its reserves and subsequently into his personal account. Despite these accusations, Ling maintained his

innocence throughout the investigation and trial, asserting he only took what was rightfully owed to him. After deliberating for approximately three hours and 40 minutes, the jury reached a unanimous decision, finding Ling not guilty of theft by an employee. Recorder

Owen-Casey, addressing Ling, declared, “The jury has found you not guilty. You are now free to go,” marking the end of a week-long trial. The case shed light on the financial strains and personal sacrifices Ling endured while establishing Perpetual V2G Systems Ltd in 2013, including taking out personal loans to finance the company. Evidence presented in court highlighted Ling’s relentless dedication to his venture, working tirelessly to secure a patent in 2015 and launching the company into operation. Despite not drawing a salary until 2016, Ling believed the company owed him around £195,000 in total for his contributions. Defence counsel Dyfed Thomas argued that Ling’s invoicing against the company for work he had completed was deemed lawful by an accountant, emphasising

the transparency of the company’s accountancy software. The defence also countered claims that Ling was motivated by grievances over his lack of recognition within the company, suggesting instead that disputes over investment terms and subsequent boardroom conflicts led to his leaving the firm, and the dilution of his shares. The trial revealed underlying tensions within the company, particularly concerning the terms of a second round of investment from Finance Wales, which precipitated a heated exchange between Ling and other board members. This confrontation ultimately led to scrutiny of Ling’s director’s loan account and his removal from the company he had worked so hard to build, a company on the brink of international expansion and innovation in the green technology sector.


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Pembrokeshire-born dad embarks on epic Wales Coast Path challenge A DAD of two who was diagnosed with incurable and inoperable EGFR+ lung cancer is today (February 14) embarking on an epic fundraising challenge taking on the Wales Coast Path in a bid to raise £1 million. Craig Maxwell, the WRU’s former head of marketing, will be joined by a number of Welsh celebrities along the way including TV presenter Gethin Jones, Love Island star Liam Reardon, singer Wynne Evans, weather presenter Derek Brockway and a host of rugby players. He is hoping to raise a monumental £1m for the Maxwell Family Fund, a fund as part of Velindre Cancer Centre, to enhance, improve and develop the cancer pathway in Wales. Starting in North Wales, cycling from Chester to Menai Bridge, Craig is then being joined by over 500 walkers over the course of the 26-day challenge. The challenge will see walkers cover 780 miles of the coast path to represent the 78 days it took Craig to receive his diagnosis from the point of finding his tumour. The rest of the 870-mile coast path will be cycled. It is being done in 26 days to mirror the QuicDNA project, a genomics research project to reduce diagnosis time for lung cancer patients to a maximum of 26 days. Acknowledging the unpredictable nature of his ongoing treatments, Craig will be joined by a different Welsh celebrity every day of the walk, so that regardless of his ability to walk, he will have a representative to take on the challenge. A rugby match ball

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will be relayed the entire distance of the challenge, symbolising Wales’ collective fight against cancer and it will culminate at the national stadium of Wales, the Principality Stadium, on 10th March for the Wales vs. France Guinness Six Nations match, where Craig accompanied by his children, Isla and Zach, will carry the match ball onto the pitch. Craig says: “We are embarking on a monumental challenge to symbolise hope, resilience, and unity, and raise over £1 million for the research and development of new and innovate cancer

testing and treatments in Wales. Having surpassed our initial fundraising goals of £300,000 for QuicDNA, we really hope people will support us on the Wales Coast Path Challenge. It will be our most ambitious journey yet as we strive to create a community united against cancer across the length and breadth of Wales. “Cancer has touched our lives, challenged our resilience, but it will not define our future. This event will see people from all over Wales stand united, not just as individuals but as a formidable force against cancer.” The people of Wales are being encouraged to support Craig’s efforts either by joining a leg of the challenge via https://

maxwell.foundation or by taking on their own fundraising challenge between 14th February – 10th March via https:// velindrefundraising.com. This can be anything from a 1-day walking challenge to walking a mile a day over the 26 days. Paul Wilkins, director at Velindre Cancer Charity, says: “We are calling on everyone in Wales to support Craig’s efforts by walking what you can and raising what you can. Over the course of the event, 14th February – 10th March 2024, we would like as many of you as possible to get involved by challenging yourself to take on your own walk! This can be any distance, anywhere and at any pace! “We need your help to get

as many people involved as possible, so reach out to your local walking groups, clubs, school or workplace and arrange a challenge for you all to get involved in! “We wanted to make sure everyone and anyone could join us in being part of a Wales United Against Cancer. Every step and every penny will help create a difference to cancer patients and their families here in Wales. “For those unable to walk, but still keen to support, you can text WALK24 to 70191 to donate £10.” Craig was just 40 when he was diagnosed with incurable and inoperable EGFR lung and bone cancer. In the face of adversity, having told he had a limited time to live, he has thrown himself into raising hundreds of thousands of pounds to help others detect cancer earlier. Over the last year, he has run the London Marathon, taken part in CARTEN, cycled 320 miles from Cardiff to Paris, cycled over 420 miles from Paris to Bordeaux and taken on the Welsh 3000s – climbing over 10 mountains, all over 3,000ft in 24 hours. Earlier this year, he was crowned Cycling Plus’ Rider of the Year for his efforts. His story has touched the hearts of many, rallying support that surpassed all expectations. His efforts to date have seen him raise £430,000 to support the QuicDNA project, which aims to shorten the time it takes to diagnose lung cancer in patients in Wales. With a further £500,000 donated by The Moondance Foundation,

set up by Henry and Diane Engelhardt, Craig has now launched his own charity fund. The Maxwell Family Fund aims to enhance, improve and develop the cancer pathway in Wales. Administered and supported by Velindre, with support from the Moondance Foundation and All Wales Genomics, the fund will aim to make a lasting difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families in Wales. Craig continues: “I’m proud to launch the Maxwell Family Fund, where hope, courage, and community converge in the fight against cancer in Wales. This is the start of my family and friends creating a legacy and showing my children that even at the worst time possible, you can still rise up and be positive and make a difference.” Professor Tom Crosby OBE, consultant oncologist in Velindre Cancer Centre, says: “Craig is one of the most inspirational people I have met. His drive to improve the outcome for others who experience cancer is just phenomenal. That together with his ability to articulate the issues to the wider public, and his experience and expertise at improving how systems work, is amazing, yet humbling at the same time. We are just so grateful to him and his choice to partner with Velindre in delivering his vision, now through QuicDNA but also in the future through a legacy fund.” To find out more visit https://maxwell.foundation and Wales United Against Cancer Walk | Velindre Fundraising.


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Police and Crime Commissioner welcomes new members ON JANUARY 31, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn welcomed young people from across the Force area to Police Headquarters in Carmarthen, who have been appointed as new members of the Dyfed-Powys Youth Ambassador scheme, and who will work with the PCC to ensure that young people’s voices are heard. A total of nine young people (five new members and four current members) are now members of the Youth Ambassador programme, ranging in age from 15 to 24 years old, and were invited to the Police Headquarters on 31st of January, for an induction and training session to support and prepare them in representing young people from Powys, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. The training was provided in partnership with experienced Youth Work and Social .Education lecturers from University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education and Humanities. PCC Dafydd Llywelyn first established a Youth Forum in 2018 with youth ambassadors and has continued to build on the work to date, so that Dyfed-Powys has a Forum of Youth Ambassadors who are ready to ‘influence’ and ‘challenge decisionmaking’, to ensure that the communities

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of Dyfed-Powys have a Police Force that successfully safeguard children and young people and promote their wellbeing. In July 2023, the previous group of youth ambassadors held a youth conference in Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli to present findings from a youth consultation they had been working with PCC Llywelyn over the academic year. The Y Sgwrs consultation (a Welsh title meaning ‘The

Conversation’) asked young people living in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Powys and Pembrokeshire for their views and experiences of mental health support for young victims of crime, substance misuse and youth offending. The consultation asked teenagers and young adults to explain what works, what doesn’t and how things might be improved. They presented their findings in a report, which was shared with organisations and individuals who work

with young people at their Youth Conference Following the Conference, PCC Llywelyn’s Office have been recruiting additional members to the youth ambassador scheme, who all came along to the induction held in January 2024 at Police Headquarters. Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I have always had a passion for building a strong relationship with young people and want to better understand what leads some young

people to crime and disorder and how they can be helped to make positive choices in life. “I want to ensure that each and every young person has a voice in the future of policing in Dyfed-Powys. I want to know what they feel our priorities should be? What impact does crime have on them and their community? What do we need to change? “It was fantastic to welcome the Ambassadors to Police Headquarters for their induction session, and to have to discuss

various issues with them. They will now, be representing the voices of young people from all backgrounds, and will support me with my scrutiny work by challenging decisions, provide recommendations, and influence change for the benefit of young people in our area.” Bradley Cole who is a Youth Ambassador from Pembrokeshire said; “We all had an amazing time at the induction event. It gave us an opportunity to get to know each other, and develop the skills to help us feedback to the Commissioner and his staff, which I’m really happy to be able to do for a second year.” Angharad Lewis, Programme Director for BA & MA Youth Work and Social Education of University Wales Trinity Saint David’s Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education and Humanities: Centre for Childhood, Youth and Education said: “It was a privilege to be a part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youth Forum Induction Event, and to spend time with the new Youth Ambassadors. They displayed great enthusiasm, participation and engagement, and will be excellent ambassadors and advocates for other young people across the Dyfed Powys Police Force area. They will be an asset to the Police and Crime Commissioner, and we wish them well”.


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Câr-Y- Môr to build seaweed processing facility

IT has been confirmed Tom Sinclair that Câr-Y- Môr, Wales’ Editor@herald.email first regenerative seaweed and shellfish pesticides because they farm, is to build a new can help to keep the land seaweed processing nourished and balanced. facility – the first of its kind Câr Y Môr co-founder in Wales – at its site in St Owen Haines said: “There Davids, Pembrokeshire. is a growing interest in Construction will begin this type of regenerative later this year. farming because many are The facility will produce concerned that modern a plant biostimulant using farming practices are seaweed harvested from reducing our farming land’s Câr Y Môr’s sustainable productivity and ecosystem ocean farms off the health. Creating a Pembrokeshire coastline. sustainable future is a core Seaweed biostimulants part of Câr Y Môr’s aim, and contain substances which we’re very excited about the are mostly organic, but with potential to provide farms trace levels of inorganic and domestic customers nutrient elements. They in the UK and Ireland with stimulate plants’ natural a natural and sustainable processes, supporting biostimulant produced just growth, flowering, fruiting off our coast.” and resistance to stresses Before the product goes such as drought, heat and on sale, the biostimulant cold. will be further tested, and These natural farmers and members of Biostimulants are the public can become part increasingly being of the trial by contacting explored as an alternative Câr-Y-Môr. to synthetic fertilisers and Founded in 2019, Câr

Y Môr is a Community Benefit Society (CBS). This business structure enables it to be owned and democratically run by its growing 260 members. Membership is open to all as it only costs £1. Câr Y Môr’s mission is simply to improve the health of our planet and people by sustainably farming seaweed and shellfish on its ocean farms off the coast of Pembrokeshire, and selling sustainable Welsh Seafood products locally, online and across the UK. The addition of Seaweed Biostimulant to their product range is key to bringing more benefits to all. “A little-known fact regarding the unique CBS structure is that it has the potential for exponential growth,” said Owen. “This is possible due to the amazing network of people it can attract and the significant unsecured funding it can raise for investing due

to its 100% community ownership. Câr Y Môr is at the vanguard of showing how the potential growth of the CBS model can be achieved. We currently employ 14 people and aim to develop a financially and environmentally sustainable source of employment.” Initial research of seaweed biostimulants shows an average of 17% boost in crop yield (more details on the fact sheet accessed via this web page), reducing dependency on costly synthetic fertilisers, and empowering your soil with enhanced resilience against abiotic stress – all while contributing to the UK’s transition to lowcarbon agriculture. Câr Y Môr’s biostimulant makes this a reality by tapping into the rich resource of farm-grown sugar kelp and oarweed, harnessing the ocean’s nutrients through an energy-efficient process to nourish and invigorate your soil. Owen Haines added: “Our seaweed biostimulant is not just a product; it’s a promise to the land and to those who nurture it. As a sustainably focused, communityowned business based in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, we will provide a cutting-edge biostimulant derived from our zeroinput ocean farm located in grade A waters in the Ramsey Sound, off the coast of St Davids.”

MIKE EDWARDS AS an accountant, I’m a big fan of numbers. Numbers are real. They indicate order. While numbers might not tell the whole truth, they show a truth. Words are shiftier. Their meaning shifts depending on the user’s intention and the listener’s state of mind. For example, take the word “shortly”. How soon is “shortly”? The person who uses that word might mean any measure of time, from days to weeks. The listener, desperate for the action that shortly modifies, might conceive a measure of time counted in seconds or minutes. As numbers don’t lie, they show that Wales lost both opening Six Nations fixtures. Yet both defeats were encouraging in different ways. So, when Warren Gatland asks Wales’s rugby fans for “patience”, how you interpret his request will be crowded around with other factors: hope, Warren Gatland’s track record, the positive that we can take away from two defeats. It’s the hope that kills you. Wales were awful for the first 43 minutes against Scotland, unmatchable for the next half an hour and clinging on at the end. Wales were not very good for the first half against England but went in at the half with a strong lead. In the second half, Wales never looked like scoring a point, as England closed the game and eliminated the worst of their first-half mistakes. I watched the game in the pub, and my hope drained away far quicker than the applebased beverage I slurped. T h e Welsh

rugby talent pool is small and shallow. I am always impressed by how a nation that treats rugby like its national sport is blind to the shortcomings of a rugby culture that produces so few truly internationalclass players. Welsh international players must learn on the job. When talent is spotted, and a player is selected for the main men’s squad, they are likely exposed to a level of speed and intensity that they will not have previously experienced. The skills needed are greater and more focused, and the demands on their minds and bodies are higher. Wales’s current team is learning how to play top-class rugby on the job. It shows. The players’ commitment is admirable, but their learning curve is steep. These are good players, some very good, but any progress they make will be thanks to their exposure to one of the world’s greatest coaches. As things stand, the poor sods are being asked to fix a nuclear reactor with GCSE maths. When Warren Gatland asks for “patience”, I’m inclined to think the record shows he knows what he’s talking about. Wales’s men’s squad will take time to rebuild. There will be frustration and disappointment. But I’m a Welsh rugby fan who remembers the 1980s and 1990s. I’m used to that. That is not resignation. It’s looking at the numbers and seeing the truth. It’s listening to someone with far greater knowledge of modern rugby than anyone else available to Wales. And it doesn’t use words intended to deceive, like “shortly”.


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RNLI in Pembrokeshire on the lookout for new beach lifesavers

THE RNLI is seeking budding lifeguards to launch their lifesaving careers on some of Pembrokeshire’s most popular beaches. Recruitment for this season’s lifeguard team has started nationally in

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preparation for providing local authorities and landowners with the service they request to keep beachgoers

safe this summer. Recruitment is still open for lifeguarding positions in south Pembrokeshire. The charity’s lifeguards not only rescue those in difficulty in the water, they also provide vital beach first-aid and

safety advice to ensure visitors can return home safely. In 2022, RNLI lifeguards provided patrols and responded to more than 18,000 incidents, helping more than 24,000 people in

need, saving 117 lives. Last summer, lifeguards rescued stricken swimmers from powerful rip currents, saved children being blown offshore in inflatables, came to the aid of paddleboarders and gave lifesaving CPR on beaches among the thousands of incidents they attended. Successful applicants will receive world-class lifesaving training, enjoy good rates of pay, the possibility of flexible working patterns and develop valuable skills for a future career. Chris Rigby Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for South Pembrokeshire said: ‘Being a beach lifeguard is great. Although the job can be very challenging at times, you get the chance to work alongside some incredible people, receive great training, be outdoors and most importantly, make a real difference to people’s lives.’ Lee Fisher, Lifeguard

Experience Manager said: ‘Beach lifeguarding is a great opportunity and a very rewarding role that changes lives – including your own – all whilst enjoying the beach as your office. ‘Our lifeguards range from teenagers all the way up to lifesavers in their 70s, as long as you meet the fitness requirements and you are over 16 years old, there could be a role for you. ‘The job also has great paths for progression – we have lifeguards who have been working for the RNLI for years, both on the beach and as part of our support teams, and the skills you gain can make an ideal first step towards many careers. It’s a great opportunity whether you want a rewarding summer job or to pursue a career in lifesaving.’ To find lifeguard vacancies in your area visit: https:// lifesavingjobs.rnli.org/ become-a-lifeguard/finda-job

Fundraiser for Palestine

ON SUNDAY (Feb 11) a successful fundraising event was held for MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians, charity no. 104a5315) which took place at Haverhub in Haverfordwest. Described by organisers as “A warm and lovely atmosphere”, there was a café area, pre-loved clothes for sale, A story time tent and play area, a raffle and book sale, name the teddy, crafts and much more. One of the busiest areas was the kite making area. A very kind donor match-funded all money taken on the day bringing the total raised to help much needed Anna: Leading the kite making (PicL Suzanne Aid reach Gaza to an Radford-Smith) impressive £1,426.

Winner: Name the teddy (Pic: Suzanne Radford-Smith)


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NEWS 21

Conference to highlight Pembrokeshire Aquaculture opportunities PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is inviting professionals, experts, and new entrants in the aquaculture industry to the county’s first Aquaculture Conference. Aquaculture, the practice of farming seafood, is a growth industry for Pembrokeshire. The conference will share knowledge, discuss innovations, and explore the latest trends in sustainable aquaculture practices. The event will be hosted at the Bridge Innovation Centre, Pembroke Dock, on Wednesday, 28th February. Throughout the day attendees will have the opportunity to engage with presentations and panel discussions led by industry experts on topics such as marine farming, marine conservation, industry innovations and much more. There will also be the chance to

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hear personal accounts from people working in the sector. Donna Page, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Aquaculture Officer, said: “This conference aims to support the sector and raise awareness of the potential for aquaculture within Pembrokeshire and Wales as a whole while reaching out to a wider audience. “We hope to attract people to come together, build and grow partnerships, and work towards having a collective voice for the industry going forwards.” The conference offers a unique platform to learn, exchange ideas, and contribute to the growth of this industry in Pembrokeshire. This event is supported by Shared Prosperity Funding via UK Government’s Levelling Up programme.


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Wales needs airports overhaul to ‘boost economy and connectivity’ IT WAS highlighted this week that Wales is significantly lagging behind other UK nations in terms of airport capacity and usage, posing a stark disadvantage to its economy and global connectivity. This concern is highlighted by the fact that while English, Scottish, and Northern Irish airports facilitate approximately four passengers per head of population annually, Welsh airports manage less than a tenth of that figure. Cardiff airport is still struggling post-Covid, and Qatar airlines – who offer connections to most major international routes – failed to make a return to Cardiff in December 2023 despite many promises. As Wales stands on the brink of potentially transformative changes Tom Sinclair in its aviation sector, the Editor@herald.email upcoming general election presents an opportunity in an article for Business for UK-wide support Live, he says that the for a project that could central issue appears significantly ‘level-up’ to be the location of the region. With the new Wales’s sole international First Minister set to take gateway, Cardiff Airport, office, prioritising a bold which is situated over ten aviation strategy could miles from the city center mark one of the most and major transport substantial economic links, essentially leaving advancements for Wales it without a significant since devolution. population base to Joel Strange, a director serve. This geographic at Grant Thornton’s disadvantage has been economic consulting linked to diminished practice, has emphasied economic benefits for the importance of this Wales, as academic pivotal moment for research from the US Wales, advocating and Europe suggests a for a comprehensive direct correlation between and forward-thinking international airport approach to aviation access and various that could redefine economic metrics, Wales’s place in the including productivity, global community. GDP, wages, and Writing employment. With the majority of Welsh

passengers and international visitors relying on airports in England, there is a growing concern that the current situation undermines efforts towards economic ‘levelling-up’ within the UK. Moreover, Wales’s inbound tourism sector is believed to be operating below its potential due to the lack of direct international travel options. In light of these challenges, discussions are underway regarding the future of aviation in Wales. Proposals include the development of a new airport hub located between Cardiff and Bristol, ideally near the Severn Bridge, irrespective of the side of the border. Such a move could potentially consolidate Cardiff and Bristol airports into a single, more accessible location, which could handle over 20 million

passengers annually, thereby transforming it into one of the UK’s largest airports outside London. This proposition is not without precedent; cities and regions around the world have seen benefits from sharing airport facilities, with notable examples including the EuroAirport BaselFreiburg-Mulhouse trinational airport. The benefits of a consolidated airport in south-west Britain could be manifold, encompassing enhanced destination access, operational efficiencies, reduced environmental impact, and financial gains. However, the idea of a new airport has been met with skepticism in the past, attributed to the perceived viability of Cardiff Airport in its current location and capacity constraints at Bristol

Airport. Nevertheless, the evolving landscape, including the development of the South Wales Metro and the approaching capacity limits of Bristol Airport, has reignited discussions about the feasibility and necessity of a new aviation strategy for Wales. The Welsh Government, having previously shown leadership through initiatives like the South Wales Metro, is now faced with the task of exploring long-term options for the region’s aviation assets. This exploration will need to consider environmental impacts, stakeholder collaboration, and the potential alignment of commercial incentives, especially with entities such as the Ontario

Teachers’ Pension Plan, the owners of Bristol Airport. Natasha Asghar MS, Shadow Transport Minister told The Pembrokeshire Herald this week: “It is deeply concerning that Qatar Airways is still not flying from Cardiff Airport. I have queried Cardiff Airport regarding this, and the response I received was inadequate, the route is still paused, and the Airport is still in detailed discussions to resume. “With over £200m of taxpayers’ money ploughed into Cardiff Airport, it’s simple, enough is enough, no more money should be pumped into this failing airport.”


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Pembrokeshire clubs boost energy efficiency with Sport Wales Grants Threats of negative reviews IN ORDER to help the jobseekers in our county to make informed decisions about employment choices, a number of Jobsfairs have been arranged by Futureworks, an arm of Pembrokeshire County Council, and supported by DWP, as follows: Fishguard Town Hall 20 February 1100 – 1500; The Haverhub in Haverfordwest in partnership with Radio Pembrokeshire 21 February 1430 – 1730; The Lord Nelson Hotel Milford Haven 27 February 1100 - 1500; and the Pater Hall Pembroke Dock 12 March 1100 – 1500. Bluestone Resorts are holding an on site recruitment open evening 5 March 1600 – 1900. There are also a great many employers advertising their hospitality and tourism vacancies in preparation for the 2024 season; jobseekers should use the gov.uk Find a Job website and the Indeed website, but not forgetting to go onto the big business websites such as Folly Farm, Bourne Leisure sites in Tenby and Lydstep, Manor Wildlife Park Tenby, Heatherton World of Activities Tenby, The Dinosaur Park Tenby, Oakwood Leisure Park Narberth, Grondre Holiday Park of the Vale Group near Clynderwen, and many many more of the caravan holiday sites in our wonderful county full of summer attractions; in all cases of searching the websites, go to search jobs and careers. In fact, there are plenty of unfilled posts across the country with overall vacancies totalling more than 934,000, which remains well above pre-pandemic levels. Pembrokeshire’s figures remain well above pre-pandemic levels also . Fred Hatton of the Pembrokeshire Employer and Partnership Team said, “Across our jobcentres, work coaches are focussed on providing every jobseeker with tailored

support, helping to build confidence and develop new skills, so breaking down the barriers for those entering or reentering employment. The Pembrokeshire statistics show that those on benefits have dropped by 3% since this time last year. A key figure is that this reduction for those customers in the 50+ age group has dropped by 8% over the same period. Increasing the labour force is a key activity to support businesses fill their vacancies, and to grow the economy. The effects of growing the economy will not only be beneficial to our country, but will also benefit Pembrokeshire. For work coaches it is really inspiring to see how the help they give to individual jobseekers makes a positive difference to their lives. For those on Universal Credit more financial support is available, as people can keep more of what they earn, while parents can receive increased childcare payments”. WALES The number of people employed is at 1.437 million, down 36,000 on the quarter and up 17,000 on the year. The employment rate (16-64) is at 71.1%, down 1.7%pts on the quarter and down 0.4%pts on the year. The number of people unemployed is at 51,000 – down 1,000 on the quarter and down 1,000 on the year. The unemployment rate is at 3.5, flat (0.0%pts) on the quarter and down 0.1%pts on the year. The number of people in workless households has fallen since April to June 2010 by 133,000. Minister for Employment, Jo Churchill MP, said:“With unemployment at just 3.8% and payroll employment at a record high, we are helping many more people

access work and all the benefits it brings be it financial, health or social. “Our pioneering welfare reforms are going further, helping reduce the number of people who would otherwise be on the highest tier of incapacity benefits by 370,000 and tearing down barriers to work for millions of disabled people through our Chance to Work Guarantee. “Meanwhile our £2.5bn Back to Work Plan will drive down inactivity, grow the economy and change lives.” Labour Market Statistics • There are 4 million more people in work than in 2010. • There are 36.8m jobs in the economy, a record high. • Payroll employment is at a record high, up by 1.3 million since before COVID, alongside seven months of above inflation wage growth. • The unemployment rate is below many of our international peers, including Canada, France and Spain. Longterm unemployment continues to fall, down over 8.3% on the year. • Our inactivity rate is lower than the average for the G7 and the EU. Back to Work Plan • The £2.5bn Back to Work plan will offer unprecedented employment and health support to over a million people, while protecting those most in need from cost of living pressures. • Benefits will be increased by 6.7% and pensions by 8.5% from April, maintaining the Government’s commitment to supporting households across the country. • Around 1.6 million households will also benefit from an increase to the Local Housing Allowance – and will be around £800 a year better off on average.

FOUR sports clubs across Pembrokeshire and one in Carmarthenshire have been awarded grants by Sport Wales, marking a concerted effort to enhance energy efficiency within the Welsh sports community. This initiative is part of a broader scheme that has seen Sport Wales distribute £1 million in funding to 58 sports clubs across the nation, aimed at reducing energy bills and contributing positively to the environment. Among the beneficiaries, Pembroke & Pembroke Dock Amateur Boxing Club has been allocated £21,194 to install solar panels, a step that promises to revolutionise its energy consumption patterns. Similarly, Narberth District Community Sports is set to receive £19,622, which will be directed towards elevating Bloomfield House’s energy efficiency through the installation of LED lighting, solar panels, and a boiler upgrade.

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Narberth RFC has also been favored with a £25,000 grant, earmarked for the installation of new, energy-efficient heating and hot water systems in the clubhouse. Neyland Yacht Club’s grant of £2,172 will facilitate the installation of energy-efficient electric showers and LED lighting, whereas Whitland Cricket Club is set to utilise its £23,360 grant for the installation of solar panels with a battery system for heating and a borehole. This financial injection not only underscores the commitment to environmental stewardship but also demonstrates a strategic approach to mitigating the financial impact of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis on sports clubs. Brian Davies, CEO of Sport Wales, emphasised the importance of financial sustainability for sports clubs, especially in light of the challenges

posed by the cost-ofliving crisis. “We are really pleased to be able to support their ideas for reducing their energy consumption, which could save them significant amounts of money in both the short and long term,” Davies remarked, highlighting the dual benefits of environmental conservation and financial savings. The initiative also represents Sport Wales’ first foray into offering energy-saving grants, a testament to the growing recognition of the importance of sustainability measures in the sports sector. The grants were made possible through £10.3 million worth of capital funding for 2023-24, allocated to Sport Wales by the Welsh Government. Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden, lauded the initiative, pointing out the necessity of aiding sports clubs in becoming more financially sustainable amid the enduring costof-living and business expenses challenges.


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End of an era: The Star of Saigon in Kilgetty to close its doors THE STAR OF SAIGON, a cornerstone of the Kilgetty community, will be serving its last meal tomorrow, Sunday, 11 February 2024. The cherished local take-away, known for its authentic Chinese cuisine and warm hospitality, has announced it will close down due to the retirement of its owners. Established in 1990 and run by the same family for over three decades, the Star of Saigon has been a fixture on Carmarthen Road, not just as a business but as a community hub. Its owners expressed their heartache over the closure, attributing the decision to a desire for retirement and the dwindling stock levels that have made it impossible to continue beyond the weekend.

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The announcement, made with a mix of humour and sadness on social media, has elicited an outpouring of support and memories from loyal customers. Patrons have shared stories of weekly rituals, special occasions marked with a meal from the Star of Saigon, and the personal connections forged with the family behind the counter. Local residents, Nigel Graham and Sharon Nowell, echoed the sentiments of many, praising the quality of the food and lamenting the loss to the community. “The Best Chinese food in Pembs. Going to miss your food. Good luck for the future,” Graham remarked, while Nowell added, “Aww Anna we

are all gonna miss you so much. A hell of a loss to Kilgetty, but welldeserved retirement.” Others, like Ellen Thomas Noot and Helen Brown, shared personal anecdotes of the role the take-away played in their lives, highlighting the unique bond between the Star of Saigon and its clientele. “So sad to read this post! Best Chinese around,” Noot commented. Brown shared, “So sad to read this, Ella will be devastated; she won’t eat sweet n sour chicken balls anywhere else!” As the community prepares to say goodbye, the Star of Saigon’s final day promises to be an emotional one, with customers planning to come together to bid farewell to a beloved local institution. The family behind the

Star of Saigon extends their heartfelt thanks to the community for

decades of support and shared memories. The Star of Saigon will

be remembered fondly by those it served, and will surely be dearly missed.

Housing crisis in Wales leaving children traumatised WALES faces a housing crisis that is pushing families into absolute despair and leaving children traumatised, the Senedd heard. Janet Finch-Saunders led a Conservative debate, warning that only 5,787 new homes were completed in 2022-23 – one of the lowest numbers since records began. The Tories’ shadow housing minister said someone on the average salary would have to spend more than seven times their earnings for an average-priced home at £212,000. She raised concerns about a rapid increase in demand in the rental market, saying supply has failed to keep up due to Welsh Government reforms of the sector. Ms Finch-Saunders told the chamber that homelessness has hit record levels, with the number of children in temporary housing reaching more than 3,000 in February 2023. She added that about 90,000 households are on the social housing waiting list.

Chris Haines

ICNN Senedd reporter

“Those figures are unsustainable,” she said. “The cost to mental health and wellbeing is serious. The impact on the lives of many families and children is one of absolute despair.” Ms Finch-Saunders said a family in temporary accommodation told her: “My children will always remember this trauma. This is not an environment where my children should live.” The Aberconwy MS warned that homelessness and spending on poor accommodation has spiralled out of control, with councils spending £60m last year. She raised the example of people on the housing waiting list in Cardiff sleeping in an old Toys ‘R’ Us building over Christmas She asked: “How can any of you allow the people of Wales to live like this?” The former businesswoman called for a taskforce to tackle the backlog in the slowest performing local authorities and a new planning apprentice post for every council.

She urged ministers to tackle the 103,000 vacant homes and support small developers to build houses on land owned by councils or the Welsh Government. ‘Vicious cycle’ Mabon ap Gwynfor, who is Plaid Cymru’s shadow minister, focused on the interrelated nature of the housing and cost-ofliving crises. He said tens of thousands of people are living in a vicious cycle of housing uncertainty. Mr Gwynfor told the Senedd: “They are forced to move regularly, they are living in rented accommodation of poor quality, or having to choose between having a roof over their heads or other essentials, such as heating and food. “This uncertainty and inappropriate housing has a detrimental impact on the physical and mental health of people, which in turn puts huge pressure on the NHS and other budgets.” The Dwyfor Meirionnydd MS argued the solution is clear: building more social housing at a scale not seen since the 1950s.

He warned that young people will pay the best part of £600,000 at today’s prices for a three-bedroom home over the lifetime of a mortgage. Mike Hedges, a Labour backbencher, pointed to the potential role of cooperative housing. He raised the example of Merthyr Valley Homes tenants voting to create the first tenant and employee mutual housing association in Wales. Mr Hedges said Cwmpas’ Communities Creating Homes programme offers comprehensive free support tailored to each housing scheme. He told MSs: “The project is expected to lead to a thriving cooperative and community-led housing sector, which is desperately needed.” The Swansea East

MS also raised concerns about empty properties – “a wasted resource in a time of substantial housing demand”. The former lecturer and council leader called for compulsory purchase powers for councils when a house or flat has been empty for four to five years. Lee Waters, the deputy minister for climate change, agreed with the Conservatives – at least on the need to build more homes and on some of the barriers. He said the house building sector has faced significant challenges including supply chain disruption, inflation in material costs, labour shortages after Brexit, and rising interest rates. Mr Waters accused the UK Government of causing an economic crisis that has made the

challenge of building homes all the more difficult. He stressed that social housing is the Welsh Government’s priority, highlighting the commitment to building 20,000 low-carbon homes in the sector by 2026. “I believe the case for investing in social housing is as strong as it has ever been,” he said, adding that almost £1.2bn has been allocated to the social housing grant over four years. He told the chamber £50m has been invested to bring up to 2,000 longterm empty properties back into use, building on the approach in Rhondda Cynon Taf.The Tory motion was voted down before ministers’ “delete all” amendment was agreed.


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Stars of stage and screen rally behind farmers IN A REMARKABLE showing of solidarity, luminaries from the realms of television and theatre have thrown their support behind a crucial campaign aimed at addressing what has been dubbed the “biggest hidden problem” plaguing the UK’s farming community today: mental health challenges. A striking study by the Farm Safety Foundation, also known as Yellow Wellies, has unveiled that an overwhelming 95% of UK farmers under the age of 40 identify poor mental health as a significant, yet often overlooked, crisis within the sector. The findings have shone a spotlight on the intense pressures and long hours that those in the agricultural industry face, which are taking a toll on their mental wellbeing. The issue of suicide within this community is particularly alarming, with

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the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics indicating that 36 suicides were registered in England and Wales among farming and agricultural workers in 2021. This stark statistic underscores the urgent need for support and intervention. In an unprecedented move, BBC Countryfile’s Adam Henson and actorturned-farmer Kelvin Fletcher have joined forces with the campaign, bringing attention to the mental health plight of farmers. Their involvement signifies the growing recognition of this issue and the collective effort required to tackle it. Adding to this, the premiere of the awardwinning short film ‘WAKE’, starring notable talents such as Alison Steadman OBE of ‘Gavin and Stacey’ and Mark Frost

of ‘Poldark’, is set to take place on launch day. The film aims to foster a deeper understanding of the mental health challenges faced by the farming community, through its poignant exploration of a family dealing with the aftermath of suicide. The backdrop to this crisis includes the increasingly unpredictable weather patterns impacting the UK, from flooding to droughts, which have added another layer of stress for those whose livelihoods depend on the land. These natural challenges, coupled with the personal and professional strains faced by farmers, paint a troubling picture of the state of mental health within the industry. Stephanie Berkeley, Manager of the Farm Safety Foundation, emphasized the evolution of the Mind Your Head campaign, initiated amidst concerns over Brexit

and its implications for the farming sector. Now in its seventh year, the campaign has achieved notable recognition, with 67% of UK farmers aware of its message and the importance of mental health continuing to gain prominence. The campaign not only aims to raise awareness but also to break down the stigma associated with poor mental health in farming, encouraging

a dialogue and the sharing of resources and support systems. It highlights the resilience and determination of the UK’s farmers, who are increasingly seeking ways to support their mental wellbeing and that of their peers. This collective effort, underscored by the involvement of figures such as Henson, Fletcher, and Steadman, alongside the impactful narrative

of ‘WAKE’, represents a significant step forward in bringing the hidden issue of mental health in farming into the light, fostering a community of support, awareness, and action. For more information on the Mind Your Head campaign and resources for mental health support in the farming community, visit www.yellowwellies. org or follow the campaign on social media with the hashtag #MindYourHead.


News 27

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Miles pledges support to help working class boys reach their full potential WELSH Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Miles has said that a Welsh Government under his leadership will do more to help working class boys thrive and achieve their full potential. Mr Miles said he firmly believes every child’s capacity to aspire is equal. To help every child realise their potential, a government he leads will continue to have unapologetically high expectations in education. To deliver that, he is committed to progressively increasing the share of the Welsh Government budget spent on schools. As Welsh Labour Minister for Education, Miles has supported schools to open their doors to parents and carers to learn how to cook low-cost meals, and understand more about financial maths and internet safety through the community focused

schools programme – all of which has a positive effect on supporting their children’s learning. But he said the evidence for the attainment challenges facing some working class boys in particular “argues for fresh, bespoke approaches.”

These include: •

Making early years a bigger priority than ever before – with the aim over the long term that all young children, wherever they live, can benefit from access to high quality universal child care and support, with parenting support. Drive up standards by driving down unnecessary workload by freeing and supporting teachers and teaching assistants to do what they excel at – focussing on the needs of

their learners and delivering excellent teaching. Driving up standards of literacy and numeracy as the best way to access the richness of Wales’ new curriculum, and opportunities in life. Take forward the work to improve the links between schools, colleges and employers – ensuring young people receive high quality work experience so they understand the new jobs available in the economy, and the skills they’ll need to do them. Build on the strong commitment to further education, delivering reform of vocational qualifications with improved progression pathways, informed by a new vocational education and training plan, and an ongoing national assessment of future

skills needs aligned to our economic policy. E x t e n d apprenticeships provision and prioritise this as resources become available.

Jeremy Miles said: “I grew up in a working class family during the 1970s and 1980s when times were incredibly tough for many people. The miners’ strike in 1984 had a profound effect on my school friends who were the sons and daughters of striking miners. The poverty and inequality I saw with my own eyes has left a deep mark on me, and has shaped the political beliefs I hold today. “I firmly believe every child’s capacity to aspire is equal. A good education is the most precious asset we can give anybody in today’s world. Investment in education is the best economic policy and it is the best social justice

policy. And that’s why increasing the funding we provided to schools is one of my main priorities. “By doing so, we will do our all to give each child the best start in life, whatever their background – because it is the right thing to do, and the best investment in our future as a nation. “I’m particularly determined that a Welsh Government I lead will do more to support working class boys to thrive and

reach their potential. Some of that is about having a curriculum that enthuses them to learn and role models to inspire. It’s also about addressing the link between attainment and the support learners have at home. I want to raise aspirations, and ensure our early years providers, schools, colleges, employers and wider society play a full part in giving them every opportunity to succeed.”

Twiggle the turtle helps Pembrokeshire children learn how to be kind

PRE-SCHOOL children in Pembrokeshire have been learning how to manage their emotions and be kind to each other with the help of a turtle called Twiggle. They and their teachers have put social and emotional learning (SEL) at the heart of all they do through the

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‘PATHS Programme for Schools (UK Version)’ which is delivered by Barnardo’s Cymru. They have been encouraged to recognise their feelings, learn to regulate them and help create a culture in which everyone feels

valued. The approach is designed to improve mental health and equip children with problemsolving skills for life. Their achievements have now received global recognition as they have been awarded ‘SEL Worldwide Model School’ status. It recognises exceptional commitment to fostering

emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and overall mental wellbeing. Those who have been awarded model school status are Pembroke Dock Flying Start, Gelli Aur/Golden Grove Flying Start, Pembroke and Rainbow Reef Daycare, Haverfordwest. Mairead Ewart, Programme Manager at Barnardo’s, said: “To be a SEL Worldwide Model School using the PATHS Programme requires more than having teachers doing a great job of teaching the lessons in their classrooms. “These schools have worked hard to create transformative and nurturing education settings, creating a school culture in which staff and pupils feel valued and embodying social and emotional learning skills in all aspects of school life.” Delivery of the programme is supported by specialist coaches from Barnardo’s who use fun characters including Twiggle the turtle,

Henrietta the hedgehog, Duke the dog and Daphne the duck. Sally Evans, the Flying Start lead at Pembroke Dock Community School, said they had turned to the programme after lockdown as a way of helping children who had limited experience of school or playgroups. She said: “We know how vital these stages are in pre-school children, as this is where they learn and develop their early social and emotional skills. “Through the programme we have been able to empower our youngest learners to develop these key skills including social problem solving, selfcontrol, emotional understanding, peer relations and self-esteem which will hopefully enable them to make positive choices in their future lives.” Following a 100% improvement in key areas, the school has now rolled out the programme to older

children. Bronwen Parratt, coowner of Rainbow Reef, said: “We have worked extremely hard to ensure PATHS is embedded into our routine. The delight in the children’s faces when they see Twiggle and his friends come out to play is worth it all. “We have witnessed firsthand what a positive impact PATHS has had on children’s social and emotional development and how they go about their day with their peers.” Katie Lewis, coordinator at Gelli Aur/ Golden Grove, said: “Children are beginning to recognise key behaviours such as sharing, being kind and helpful. “We have also seen a difference in children’s empathy, behaviour, attention and listening as well as their overall social and emotional skills. The children enjoy getting to meet Twiggle and his friends and that has helped with their engagement.”


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Badger Plays Games Without Frontiers LET’s start with something simple. There are different types of games. Most involve a finite number of ways of playing that head towards the same outcome: one player wins, and one player loses. When both players play perfectly, some games will always end in a draw (draughts, for example). In Connect 4, even if both players play the perfect game, the person with the first move will win. Some games are so complex that they cannot so far - be solved. The idea of winning and losing is deeply embedded in the human mind. In the real world, only a psychopath believes that if one individual or group gets a benefit, someone else or another group must lose out. That sort of transactional thinking is catnip to the perpetually deranged at either end of political thinking, but it’s nonsense. Seeing life as a series of transactions - in which for “me” to win, “you” must lose - is the beginning of fascism or communism. Think of the following pitch by a politician. “The economy is a mess, but there are many rich people. Those rich people have got rich on the back of ordinary, decent people like you. You deserve - you are entitled to - more, to better, to your fair share.” The division lines are drawn. You are an ordinary, decent person. You deserve more. You deserve your fair share. And on the other side? The rich. The

unemployed. The immigrant. The Muslim. The Jew. Anyone who is not you. Anyone who is not “an ordinary decent person”. On the other side of that set of propositions is another based on progressive prejudices which ordinary decent people MUST believe We must all tackle climate change because that’s what decent people do. We must all embrace the right to self-expression of gender because that’s what decent people do. We must all support a default 20mph speed limit because that’s what decent people do. It’s one of the oldest facets of human nature - if not THE oldest. You belong to the clan. Others must be distrusted. “You are one of us and alright. Those others are not and are aliens/fascists/ communists/traitors. Those others are not even human.” What has that got to with games?

Well, quite a lot. In gaming, there’s a concept called the “zerosum game”. In a zero-sum game, each square or counter you win comes directly from your opponent. You gain a penny. Your opponent loses one. Life, however, is not a game. The concepts of advantage, disadvantage, winning and losing are imperfect interpretations of reality because real life is not a closed problem capable of solution. Even if such concepts are valid, there is no hard line between the deserving and the undeserving. Nevertheless, human nature being what it is, we all know we’re on the “deserving” side. Some politicians make the complex appear simple. If you can make issues appear black and white - for some people, that’s STILL the issue that counts - you are halfway home.

Peel back Donald Trump’s waffle and bombast; his message is simple. “I’m a winner. Vote for me and you’ll be winners, too.” To which one could add the coda: “And I’ll make you winners by getting rid of the people who’ve unfairly stopped you from being winners in the first place.” It’s a lie, but it’s a lie people want to believe. It’s politics for the digital age. A simple soundbite beats the complex truth. It plugs straight into the brains of those whose attention spans and world views are shaped by three-minute videos, AI-generated word sludge, and the instant hit of social media. However, neither life nor politics is simple. They’re messy and difficult. There are no easy solutions because too many moving and interlinked actions and reactions exist. NATO’s basis is a treaty between different nations. At its heart lies mutual defence. A nation under attack gets the support of all the other parties to the North Atlantic Treaty. Only one nation has invoked the Article that calls for members’ military support: the USA. It’s why soldiers from Canada, the UK, and Europe spent nine years dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. Donald Trump wants to tear up the treaty. Poland is a NATO member. If the Russians strike at Poland, Donald Trump says he’ll let the Russians “do whatever the hell they want to them.” In Trump’s view, NATO is a combination of undeserving allies who are cheating the Americans, The PM often mentions Kier Starmer’s presence in

Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet. Once upon a time, Mr Corbyn proposed the UK should leave NATO. Every time our tetchy PM mentions the former Labour Leader’s attachment to that notion, the Conservatives backbenches bay in approval. Donald Trump’s words paint NATO as a racket. The force that deterred war in Europe since 1948 is, in a Trumpian world, a con. Those foreigners, see, they can’t be trusted. His words imply that if NATO members come under attack from any source, the US will run away and hide like the selfish, cowardly, bullying nihilist who will represent the Republican Party in November. The world isn’t a game, zero-sum or otherwise. It’s a complex organism with many moving, interlinked parts. Words have consequences. Donald Trump’s words will force smaller nations to consider where to look for their future security, trading partnerships, and economic well-being. If they’re not looking to Western liberal democracies, they’re left with two other options: China or Russia. From that, other consequences will flow. Some British politicians will try to excuse Mr Trump and his words. They will try and rationalise them. Those foreigners, see, they can’t be trusted. They will want to be on the same side as Mr Trump. After all, he says he’s a winner; they want to be winners. There’s another way of looking at it, of course. They’re selfish, nihilistic, bullying cowards, too.


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Leisure facilities costs could rise by more than 10 per cent THE COST of using leisure centres and similar councilrun facilities in Pembrokeshire could soon rise by more than 10 per cent to help cash-strapped Pembrokeshire County Council balance its budget. Members of the county council’s Cabinet, meeting on February 12, are recommended to increase fees for leisure services by inflation plus four per cent, a rise of 10.7 per cent in total. A report for Cabinet members says: “In line with the authority’s budget strategy there is a requirement for fees and charges to increase in line with CPI (Inflation) annually. “Due to the significant financial pressures facing the local authority, an inflationary increase alone will be insufficient to contribute towards the authority’s statutory requirement to set a balanced budget.” It says that, historically, Pembrokeshire fees and charges have been lower than neighbouring authorities, but that gap

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Local Democracy reporter

has narrowed over the past two years, but it is “considered preferable to increase fees and charges rather than reduce service provision, such as reductions to opening hours or facility closures”. The proposal to increase charges follows a recent public consultation on the 2024/25 county council budget, at a time when the council is facing

a shortfall of £31.9m, and may well increase the level of council tax by as much as 21 per cent. That consultation included a question on possible rises in leisure charges of approximately 10 per cent, with the majority agreeing to a rise if needed, the report says. During this financial year, the service has seen significant growth in both usage and income, with an extra 140,000 visits and a nine per cent growth in membership

numbers. “Whilst setting leisure fees and charges, it is essential to consider the cost of provision alongside the marketplace and sector position,” the report says. “In particular, avoiding setting fees that we believe the market will not bear, as this risks diminishing returns. With this in mind, the proposed fees have been benchmarked against other local authority providers in the region.” The proposal also

maintains the Passport to Leisure scheme, with charges frozen for those who are eligible. Three options are to be considered by Cabinet members •

A 6.7 per cent inflation rate increase, which would raise £281,000, but would only cover inflationary pressures An inflation plus four per cent rate, as an average across

services – the favoured – which would raise an additional £198,000 An inflation plus five per cent rate which would raise an additional £248,000.

The last option is not recommended as it could lead to a drop in users, generating no more income than the plus-four per cent option. The report concludes: “Increases to fees and charges need to be considered carefully, balancing the need to generate additional income, with the importance of avoiding setting charges, which are unaffordable. “From our analysis, an overall increase of around 10 per cent [including inflation] is achievable, but going beyond that level risks a double impact of reduced income and less people using our facilities to improve their well-being. We are broadly in line with other leisure services in the region and remain competitive overall.”

Calls to NSPCC Over Parental Alcohol and Substance Misuse Reach Six a Day DURING Children of Alcoholics Week, running from the 11th to the 17th of February, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has issued a call to action for adults concerned about children’s welfare. Figures from the Welsh Government reveal that in 2022, over 31% of children in need of care and support were in situations where a parent was struggling with alcohol or substance misuse. The NSPCC’s dedicated helpline reported receiving an average of six contacts daily from adults across the UK, raising concerns about children affected by these issues. The charity emphasised the gravity of the situation with more than 2,000

calls recorded last year alone, underlining the importance of the awareness week initiated by the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA). In addition to these calls, the NSPCC’s Childline service provided 338 counselling sessions for children across the nation, addressing worries related to their parent’s alcohol or substance misuse. Kam Thandi, the NSPCC Helpline Director, highlighted the emotional turmoil children face in these environments, stating, “Living with a parent who misuses alcohol can leave children feeling isolated, confused, embarrassed, and ashamed.” Thandi urged adults to break the silence surrounding these issues to facilitate support for affected

families and children. The charity outlined several signs indicative of familial distress due to alcohol misuse, including noticeable changes in parents’ behaviour, children becoming withdrawn or acting out, and the visible neglect of children’s basic needs. Personal testimonies shared with Childline, including one from a 15-year-old girl, reveal the profound impact of parental alcohol abuse on children’s lives. Similarly, Childline counsellor Ashley* from Wales shared his own experiences of growing up with an alcoholic parent, underscoring the importance of support services like Childline for those in similar situations. NACOA’s Chief Executive, Hilary Henriques MBE,

commented on the societal silence around the issue, stressing the aim of COA Week to break this silence and reassure affected children that they are not

alone. The NSPCC and NACOA urge anyone concerned about a child’s welfare, including issues related to parental alcohol misuse, to reach

out for support. The NSPCC Helpline and NACOA offer dedicated services for children, adults, and professionals seeking help and advice.


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Community alarmed by river pollution levels IN A STUDY conducted by the Llanteg and Amroth Renaturing Community (LARC), alarming levels of pollution have been detected in the rivers of South Pembrokeshire, raising serious environmental concerns. The “Keep the Streams Clean Project” (KTSC), a comprehensive report initiated by LARC in 2022, aims to bring to light the deteriorating water quality in the region, particularly focusing on the New Inn stream that flows into Amroth Bay. The initiative, supported by the Fishmongers Company through their Fisheries Charitable Trust’s Small Grants Scheme, conducted over 268 water quality tests. These tests uncovered widespread pollution across the stream network, with five pollution incidents reported to Natural Resources Wales.

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The findings are particularly worrying for Amroth Bay, a cherished tourist spot, now threatened by high levels of nitrates and phosphates exceeding safe thresholds, indicating severe nutrient pollution. Despite generally low ammonia levels, instances were recorded where the toxic thresholds for aquatic life were breached. Andrew Wallace, Fisheries Director of the Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust, commended the community’s efforts: “This report exemplifies the impact of citizen-led initiatives on enhancing local waterways’ quality.” LARC’s findings suggest that the pollution sources are varied, including private sewage plants, slurry runoff from dairy farming,

and residential and commercial properties. The report stresses the community’s collective responsibility in tackling the issue, urging a collaborative approach between regulatory bodies, local communities, and businesses to find sustainable solutions. Reflecting on the study, LARC commented, “The poor quality of the river at the New Inn is a community problem, requiring collective action rather than blame. We must seek solutions that

prioritize environmental sensitivity.” In response to these findings, LARC is continuing its environmental stewardship efforts, with projects focusing on biodiversity assessments and habitat restoration, including a new initiative monitoring streams through the Colby estate in collaboration with the National Trust. A public meeting, organized by the Amroth Community Council, is scheduled for February 20th, 2024. It will address

water quality concerns in Carmarthen Bay and feature presentations from Welsh Water, Pembrokeshire County Council Environmental Health, and Natural Resources Wales. The report concludes with a call to action for the community to engage in discussions on water quality, hoping to inspire similar initiatives and foster a collective sense of responsibility towards local environmental challenges. LARC continues to be a beacon of environmental

stewardship in South Pembrokeshire, championing various initiatives to promote the region’s natural heritage. For further information or to participate in their efforts, LARC welcomes contact through their Facebook page or directly via Dr. Tom Bailey and Dr. Kevin Caley’s provided contacts. The community awaits the outcomes of the upcoming public meeting, hopeful for a path forward in restoring the health of the waterways.


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Solar farm near Pembroke Dock expected to be refused PLANS for a south Pembrokeshire solar farm, which the applicants say could generate enough power for 2,500 homes, are expected to be turned down next week. The plans for a ninemegawatt solar farm at West Farm, Cosheston, near Pembroke Dock have been made by James Wallwork of One Planet Developments Limited on land adjoining an existing solar farm. The scheme is recommended for refusal when it comes before Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee, meeting on February 13, despite the support of Cosheston Community Council, which sys the plans would be a natural roundingoff of the site, with no detrimental impact as it would neighbour the existing solar farm. A supporting statement, through agent Mango Planning &

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Local Democracy reporter

Development Ltd, says the works, together with associated infrastructure, will occupy three fields, the site extending to 9.9 hectares, and will operate for a 40-year period if

granted. The arrays will be connected by underground cabling to an inverter which is required to convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the panels, into alternating current (AC) as required to feed

into the grid. “The proposed development is a key technology in the transition of the Welsh energy system to a resilient, low carbon, and independent energy system powered by renewables.”

It adds: “The proposed development would contribute circa 9,337,000 KWh of renewable electricity to the local area, which will typically produce enough green electricity a year to power about 2,500 homes.

“The proposed development is for a temporary 40-year timescale and will be fully reinstated at the end of its operational life. There will be no loss of agricultural land.” Objections have been received from the council’s landscape officer, on adverse impact grounds, and from three objectors, citing a visual intrusion of the landscape, the proposal would double the size of the existing solar farm, and on highway safety. The application is recommended for refusal on the grounds it “would result in an adverse visual impact on, and erosion of the rural landscape of, the Cosheston Peninsula and the proposed mitigation [planting trees and additional hedgerow material along the south, west and northern boundaries] would not overcome these concerns.”

Scheme to replace turbine with one 100 foot taller expected to fail A SCHEME to replace a wind turbine next to one of the main south Pembrokeshire roads to Tenby with one nearly 100 foot taller is expected to be refused by county planners. Tim French of CWE DS Limited is seeking permission to replace a current 60.5m high turbine with one up to 90 metres, or just under 300 foot, high on land north of Summerton Farm, near the B4318 road from Sageston to Tenby. The application, some 1.5km east of Sageston and 1.6km northwest of St Florence, will be considered by Pembrokeshire County Council planners at their February 13 meeting, with an objection to the scheme by the council’s landscape officer recorded in an accompanying report. The replacement EWT DW61 wind turbine would have a generating capacity of 330kW with a hub height of 59 metres and a blade tip height of

Bruce Sinclair

Local Democracy reporter

90 metres. Agent Neo Environmental Ltd, in a supporting statement, says: “The Proposed Development would consist of a single turbine, with a rated output capacity of 330kW to ensure the existing maximum site grid capacity is met. “Whilst there is no change in the rated output capacity compared to the existing turbine, energy production onsite would be greater due to the following factors: improved reliability of newer turbine technology; increased wind speeds at higher elevations; improved wind to energy conversion efficiency of newer turbine technology; and increased swept area of wind capture. “The applicant proposes to use a EWT DW61 as a candidate turbine, with the potential to replace with a similar model, with a maximum

tip height of 90m.” The report for members says the council’s landscape officer has disputed the applicant’s Landscape Visual Impact Assessment view the change in visual impact “for a very large turbine in a rural landscape” would be ‘slight’.

The report also says supplementary planning guidance recommends a far larger scoping area for potential visual impacts on larger turbines; a much smaller 5km study area instead being used, adding the proposal “is considered to contain insufficient information

to demonstrate that the development would not have an adverse cumulative visual impact”. It finishes by saying the proposal” is considered to have a detrimental visual impact and contains insufficient information in respect of cumulative impact”.

The application is recommended for refusal on the grounds its height and scale would have a detrimental impact on the visual amenity of the locality, with the additional clause of failing to comply with supplementary guidance.


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Friday February 16th 2024

Farmers flapping in frustration

Squawk! It’s me, Stephen, your feathery pundit from the coasts, pecking through the scraps of our food system to find the meat of the issue. And what a rotten feast it is! Across Europe, my bird’s eye view spots a storm brewing, with farmers flapping in frustration as policies push them towards sustainability without easing the talon-grip of low produce prices. It’s enough to make any seagull squawk in solidarity! Meanwhile, down in the South Wales valleys, history repeats itself with the first hunger march in a century. It’s a bleak sight, mates, with food banks bulging and malnutrition cases soaring. It’s as if our leaders have buried their heads, not in the sand, but in piles of paperwork, ignoring the squawks of the common folk. Turn on the telly, and it’s clear as the waters I fish in: our food system is a shipwreck. Yet, amidst

the clamour for the next first minister, there’s hardly a peep about this crisis. It’s baffling, truly, how the bread-and-butter issues get pecked at when they should be the main course of political debate. Food banks, oh, don’t get me started! They’re popping up like chips on a beach, but they’re no picnic. The notion that everyone’s after cheap food has led us down a greasy path to ruin. Supermarkets have us chasing our tails, selling us dreams of pastoral bliss while serving up a reality of industrial nightmares. It’s no wonder our NHS bill is ballooning faster than a seagull on chips! We know, deep down in our gizzards, that we are what we eat. Yet, we’re coaxed into consuming what can barely be called food, while our vibrant local eateries, the real gems of our high streets, are left to scavenge for scraps of recognition. And the politics of it all? It’s as if farmers

and consumers are from different flocks, with manifestos that barely acknowledge the worm at the heart of the apple: food. It’s mentioned, sure, but it’s like finding a grain of sand in a beach – nearly impossible and hardly satisfying. The solution seems as clear as the skies after a storm: we need a gathering, a flocking together of interests, to peck through the problems and hatch a plan that truly feeds our nation. Wales, with its tight-knit communities and

devolved government, should be leading the flight, not trailing behind. F a r m e r s , environmentalists, and everyone in between – we’re not so different when you strip away the feathers. The stereotype of farmer-bashing and ‘Pontcanna veganism’ misses the point; there’s more that unites us than divides, but it’s lost in the squawks and squabbles of social media. Without a clear strategy for our food, we’re risking more than just a few hungry bellies;

we’re gambling with the very foundations of our society. Security, economy, wellbeing – they all nest in the same tree, and without proper nourishment, they’ll topple. It’s a squawking shame that with all our ministers for health and well-being, there’s not one for food. We need transformation, not just mitigation. Devolution promised agility, not the sluggish shuffle we’re seeing. Food isn’t just a policy area; it’s the heart of our

community, the essence of our well-being, and the root of our future. Nations have risen and fallen on the waves of food policy. Without visionary leadership, we’re not just missing a meal; we’re missing the chance to lead the way in innovation and responsibility. So, from my perch, I say: it’s time to spread our wings, unite our flocks, and soar towards a future where food is at the forefront of our minds, our policies, and our hearts. Squawk out!”


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BBC Bargain Hunt returns to film at the National Botanic Garden of Wales Antique Fair and Vintage Market

The n e x t Antiques Fair and Vintage Market to be held at the National Botanic Garden of Wales , is ‪on Saturday 24th and ‪Sunday 25th February 2024. Nestling into the Carmarthenshire countryside ,on the outskirts of Carmarthen and just 15 minutes away from the end of the M4, it’s conveniently situated. The weekend of antiques, is set to be a busy one as Bargain Hunt , the BBC Antiques programme returns to the Garden , to film their popular lunchtime show.

This w i l l be their 4th visit to film their exciting programme at the Garden. There will be a buzz of excitement as the various red and blue teams rush around the fair , in their allotted hour, selecting the best 3 bargains to take to auction to make a profit.They will be accompanied by their experts who will only be revealed to them , just before filming. However the presenter in charge has been announced as the enigmatic character Danny Sebastian. Danny is a self-taught antique dealer for close on 20 years. He started at a

very early age scouring auction houses and jumble sales with his Mum and was a market trader with all the charm and the chat that goes with it. He started on TV in “Del Boys and Dealers” and then went on to appear as a regular on “Dealing with Dickinson. Danny subsequently caught the bug leading him to pursue a career in antiques and ditching the life of a market trader. From there his TV career has progressed and he has appeared as an expert presenter on many shows including “Junk Rescue” for Cbeebies, “Street Auction” to “Bargain Hunt”. When Danny is not filming he is travelling all over the country visiting car boot sales, auctions and antique fairs and selling through his business,He certainly brings personality in bucket loads when he appears on the show Fans of classic antiques should make their way to the various Garden venues – including

the Great Glasshouse - for displays of Welsh art and pottery, quality jewellery and outstanding militaria collections.Step next door to Ty Melyn house and discover displays of quality antiques, Welsh textiles,and a superb array of books, jewellery and silver.Tucked away beside the Millenium Courtyard is the large Wedding marquee where displays of Welsh pottery, a large range of furniture ,art glass and some vintage delights, plus jewellery and records. The recently transformed Theatre Botanica will be exhibiting old favourites such as silverware and collection of Moorcroft, Lorna Bailey, Beswick and Doulton , art and treen plus collections of quality furniture including some impressive stick chairs and rare welsh blankets. Millennium Courtyard will be filled with a Vintage market housing smaller marquees displaying militaria,vintage toys,clothing, retro and upcycled furniture ,tools and gardinalia. The fair has had a reputation for showcasing Welsh areas of collecting including Welsh pottery, welsh blankets,Welsh art

and furniture. Again not to disappoint , there will be an amazing display of period Welsh oak furniture . From Welsh child’s chairs,milking stools to much larger pieces including dressers and rare stick chairs.Richard Bebb’s collection of Welsh artists is impressive and a stand not to be missed. He has an impressive display of Welsh paintings and he will be bringing original Works by leading Welsh Artists such as Kyffin Williams , Malcolm Edwards, David Woodford, Gordon Stuart, Donald Mcintyre, Wilf Roberts and John KnappFisher. Welsh pottery has also been keenly collected, especially rare examples of Llanelli pottery. Alistair and Helen Crawford and Micheal Gorton of Chapellane Antiues have built up a reputation of having an impressive stand that showcases rare Llanelli Pottery including the coveted Cockerel plates , that were produced in the Llanelli. There will also be a good selection of the popular Welsh blankets and textiles on display , the result of Wales having a rich heritage , in the the

wooden industry. The fair has a rich cross section of antiques and vintage on display, from jewellery,watches, books and silver , including ephemera, militaria and vintage clothes and accessories. There will also be collections of art glass and up cycled and pre loved furniture, plus interior design pieces including French brocante. I’m sure visitors will not be disappointed with the selection on offer at this popular fair. Militaria will again be heavily represented at the fair with rare medals, ceremonial swords and suits of armour. All this is set in and around the magnificent grounds of the National Botanic Garden of Wales . The fair opens ‪at 10am‬ and closes ‪at 4.00 pm‬ Admission is at a reduced price of £12 and the ticket lasts for 7 days and allows admission to both the Garden and the fair .Dogs are now welcome over the Antiques weekend,( except the Glass House) For more information contact Derwen Fairs 07790293367 or follow on FB,Twitter and Instagram


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Friday February 09th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels www.pembrokeshire-herald.co.uk

Diaries of victorian welsh swagman republished This week sees the extraordinary book Pity the Swagman: The Australian Odyssey of a Victorian Diarist by Bethan Phillips republished. Described by the late Jan Morris as “a truly fascinating book”, Pity the Swagman is a classic that has been out of print for over twenty years. The book is the biography of Joseph Jenkins (1818-98) who was a successful farmer in Tregaron in west Wales. Without warning, aged 50, he left his farm and family to travel Australia and live as an itinerant farm labourer. His diaries returned to Wales with him and were kept by one of his daughters

for over 70 years, until a chance encounter between the author and Joseph Jenkins’ greatgrand-daughter. In his Preface to the book, Dr R. Brinley Jones, then President of the National Library of Wales, describes it as “a very moving human story” and Bethan Phillips’ work as both “readable and scholarly”. The diary illustrates both the state of Welsh rural society at the time – with social and financial inequality between the poor and the gentry and the corruption in parliamentary elections. The hardships endured by early migrants to Australia and the travails of the Aborigines are described, as well as

the fate of the Kelly Gang. In her Foreword, written in 2002, Bethan Phillips says: “The diaries reveal him as a man seeking to exorcise his own demons by attempting to escape from them, but they also reveal him as an astute observer of the people and occurrences impacting on his own eventful life. His dogged determination in keeping a daily journal, often under the most difficult of circumstances and in the most unpropitious surroundings, has given us a uniquely valuable historical record of life in the nineteenth century.” Bethan Phillips’ spent 15 years studying the original diaries, which covered a period

of 58 years, skilfully choosing extracts from them. She also spoke to Joseph Jenkins’ descendants, still living in Ceredigion, hearing family stories, and reading further writings, including his poetry, which won prizes. She also followed Joseph Jenkins’ footsteps in Australia, which was filmed for a documentary for the BBC. Joseph Jenkins’ diary spanned 58 years and is celebrated as one of the richest sources of information about life in rural Australia. Pity the Swagman is an indepth, authoritative study of rural life in the nineteenth century and is studied on the school curriculum in Australia.

Over 1,200 children learn how the ingredients for pancakes are produced Over 1,200 children from across Pembrokeshire, aged from five to 16, learnt how the ingredients for pancakes are produced locally during a highly successful ‘Food Story / Stori Bwyd’ event, held by the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society. During the event arable, dairy, pig, sheep and poultry farmers, as well as honey producers, and from all over the county, volunteered their time to talk to the children and hands-on demonstrations. They explained to the children how they produce the ingredients for their pancakes ahead of Pancake Day, they also demonstrated how they farm sustainably and how they care for the countryside. The event was held on the Pembrokeshire County Showground where there was farm machinery and live animals for the local school and home educated children to see first-hand what is used to produce their food. The children also got the opportunity to mix pancake batter and eat pancakes with locally produced toppings with

the assistance of chefs from Castell Howell. Kathy Wilson, a former teacher and now an Honorary Pembrokeshire Show Governor, organised the event on behalf of the Society’s Food Story / Stori Bwyd. She said, “I would like to say a massive thank you to each and every one of the volunteers who took two days out from their

busy work on the farm to come and talk to the children and demonstrate how they produce food and drink. The smiles on the faces of the children said it all, they listened intently, enthusiastically took part in the demonstrations and the teachers took resources back with them to their schools to continue the learning. One of

the important elements of Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society’s work is educational and spreading the word around the county about how local food is produced by farmers. Everyone enjoyed eating the pancakes after they had learnt that the ingredients are produced by the farmers they met during their visit.”

As well as food production, the event was an opportunity to teach the children about the seasonality of what farmers produce locally and how the weather and climate affects the work farmers do as well as the different food groups and healthy eating. Pupils from over 30 schools and colleges took up the opportunity to

attend the event. These ranged from progression step 1 up to BTEC in Agriculture students. Thank you to NFU Mutual, the CLA Charitable Trust and Women in Wales,for their financial support. Thanks also to the NFU, the FUW, Wynnstay, CCF and Lantra for providing educational resources for the schools and pupils.


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Painting the modern garden: monet to matisse

Described as “immersive and enriching” by The Guardian and as “breathtaking detail”

by the Daily Mail, art fans will be delighted with Exhibition on Screen’s Painting the Modern Garden: Monet

to Matisse at the Torch Theatre this March. For many great artists the garden has long been considered a

desirable subject for the expression of colour, light and atmosphere. Claude Monet is perhaps the most well-known painter

of gardens but other greats such as Van Gogh, Pissarro, Matisse and Sargent all viewed the garden as a meaningful

focus for their talents. The work of these great artists, along with many others, feature in a major exhibition, ‘Painting the Modern Garden’, from The Royal Academy, London. This dazzling film takes a magical journey from the gallery to the gardens, to Giverny and Seebüll and other glorious grounds favoured by artists. Here we discover how early twentieth century artists designed and cultivated their own gardens to explore contemporary utopian ideas and motifs of colour and form. Monet said: “Apart from painting and gardening, I’m no good at anything”. For lovers of art or lovers of gardens, this is an ideal film. Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse will be shown at the Torch Theatre on Sunday 3 March at 4.45pm. Ticket price: £13. For tickets phone the Box Office on 01646 695267 or visit torchtheatre.co.uk.

Building society appoints Business Development Manager S W A N S E A BUILDING SOCIETY has appointed a new Business Development Manager to cover the Pembrokeshire area, reinforcing and expanding its commitment to West Wales. Paula John, who has been with the Society since July 2016, will be based at its Carmarthen branch and will spearhead its strategic initiatives across Pembrokeshire. Paula brings a wealth of experience to her new role, having served in various capacities within Swansea Building Society, starting as a Manager’s Assistant and later excelling as a Mortgage Advisor for the past two years, since January 2022. With seven and a half years of dedicated service, Paula John’s promotion underscores Swansea Building Society’s dedication to nurturing and advancing

its internal talent. In her new capacity, Paula will leverage her 35 years of comprehensive experience in the finance industry. Her new role as Business Development Manager will see her fortifying relationships with key stakeholders in the Pembrokeshire area, including brokers, solicitors, accountants, valuers, and estate agents. Paula’s professional journey has equipped her with a diverse skill set, ranging from cashiering duties to the role of Financial Adviser. She holds notable qualifications, including Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMap), Certificate for Financial Advisers (CeFa), and Diploma in Retail Banking Conduct of Business (DipRBCB), and her strengths lie in delivering a personalised approach to each applicant, resulting in

positive outcomes for all parties involved. With a focus on customer-centric practices, she aims to guide clients through the mortgage application process seamlessly. Paula John of Swansea Building Society, said: “I am thrilled to take on the role of Business Development Manager covering the Pembrokeshire area. With over 35 years of experience in the finance industry and the last two years dedicated to mortgage advice, I am eager to leverage my skills to solidify and expand our engagement in the far West of Wales. I am committed to providing a welcoming and professional service, guiding our clients through the mortgage application process, and building positive relationships within the local community. I look forward to contributing to the continued success of Swansea Building

Society and assisting both new and existing clients in achieving their homeownership goals.” Alun Williams, Chief Executive of Swansea Building Society, said: “We are delighted to announce the promotion of Paula John to the role of Business Development Manager

for the Pembrokeshire area. Paula’s dedication and wealth of experience within Swansea Building Society make her the ideal candidate to lead our expansion efforts in the West of Wales. Her expertise in mortgage advice, coupled with a proven track record of building positive

relationships with local professionals, will play a pivotal role in strengthening our presence. We have full confidence that Paula will excel in her new role, and we look forward to witnessing the positive impact she will undoubtedly have on our operations in the region.”


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‘The Way’ - made in Wales

WHAT’S ON

UPPER MARKET ST, HAVERFORDWEST,

The release date for Michael Sheen’s latest venture, the BBC drama “The Way,” has finally been unveiled. This three-part series, filmed in the Sheens hometown of Port Talbot, boasts an ensemble cast, including Hollywood stars and familiar faces from popular British productions such as Gavin & Stacey, It’s A Sin, and Hinterland. The show, created by Sheen, James Graham, and Adam Curtis, offers a compelling narrative that delves into the complexities of family

dynamics against the backdrop of a civil uprising. The Welsh actor, who also takes on a role in the drama, shared insights into the challenges of directing a project close to his heart on The Graham Norton Show. Sheen, set to portray NHS founder Nye Bevan at the Wales Millennium Centre, expressed his enthusiasm for the directing process: “I loved it. Some people say the hardest thing about directing is being asked so many questions all the time, but that’s the bit I like. I

Click here for more info about the making of here!

With Micheal Sheen and Producer Derek Richie

am a control freak and I want it to be my decision. I really enjoyed it.” Now, let’s delve into the intriguing details surrounding “The Way.”

The Cast: A Stellar Lineup Leading the pack is a stellar cast, featuring Steffan Rhodri (known for Steeltown Murders and Gavin and Stacey), Mali Harries (Keeping Faith, Hinterland), Sophie Melville (The Pact, Iphigenia In Splott), Callum Scott Howells (It’s A Sin, Cabaret), and the multitalented Michael Sheen (Staged, Good Omens) portraying the Driscoll family. Maja Laskowska (Trigonometry, Baptise) also joins the ensemble as a young woman entangled in the family’s escape. The star-studded lineup further includes Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast, Fast and

Furious), Tom Cullen (The Gold, Weekend), Danny Sapani (Killing Eve, The Diplomat), Mark Lewis Jones (Outlander, The Crown), Paul Rhys (Discovery of Witches, Chaplin), Erin Richards (The Crown, Gotham), Aneurin Barnard (The Catch, 1899), Catherine Ayers (The Light in the Hall, Keeping Faith), Jonathan Nefydd (Pobol y Cwm, Grav), Matthew Aubrey (Keeping Faith, World on Fire), and Andria Doherty (It’s a Sin), all playing pivotal roles across the series.

The Plot: An Ambitious Tale “The Way” unfoldsas an ambitious, powerful, and surprising narrative, envisioning a family thrust into a civil uprising within their small industrial town. Forced to flee their homeland amidst the chaos, the Driscolls grapple with

the uncertainties of an unknown future while confronting the ghosts of their past. With a blend of wit and powerful emotion, the series taps into the tumult of today’s world through the lens of an ordinary family navigating extraordinary circumstances.

How to Watch:

Premiering on BBC One and BBC iPlayer BBC has confirmed that “The Way” will be available in its entirety on BBC iPlayer from 6 am on Monday, February 19. The series will also be broadcast on BBC One at 9 pm, with episodes airing weekly. As the anticipation builds, viewers can look forward to immersing themselves in the gripping narrative and the outstanding performances delivered by this impressive ensemble cast when “The Way” makes its debut on screens.


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WHAT’S ON 39 For up to date news please check our social network channels

Prepare for Flamingo Bingo!

intermittent dance breaks, the entertainment never falters. Equipped with dabbers, attendees are ready for a night of fun. The fast-paced game becomes a whirlwind of excitement, made even more memorable by the confetti that falls from the ceiling. Despite the challenge of keeping track after a few drinks, the exhilarating experience is well worth it. Unlike the stereotypical image of silent bingo halls, this event infuses music into the game. Classic songs like Mousse T’s “Horny” blast through the venue, creating a vibrant atmosphere. Every time the number 69 is called, the crowd erupts into dance, making the entire Hangar come alive with smiles and positive energy. Throughout the night, false calls and unexpected moments add an element of unpredictability to the game. Attendees have

the chance to win wacky prizes including a Henry Hoover. The marathon-like bingo experience becomes a night to remember, filled with laughter, dancing, and the anticipation of quirky prizes – who wouldn’t want to take home a Henry Hoover late at night? The Hangar in Milford Haven is set to host a Flamingo Bingo event that promises an electrifying and entertaining twist on the traditional game. Get ready for an evening of music, dancing, and the chance to win some truly unique prizes.

tickets

Prepare for an unforgettable night as Flamingo Bingo takes over The Hangar in Milford Haven on March 9th. Gone are the days when bingo was just for grandmas in quiet social clubs – this event promises an electrifying experience with smoke machines, music, and confetti cannons. As the attendees arrive at The Hangar, the atmosphere is already buzzing with anticipation. The venue is filled with a diverse crowd, ready to dive into the night’s festivities. Books in hand, attendees grab reasonably priced drinks and head to their tables, creating an energetic and lively scene. The games feature the classic bingo format, with five rounds offering two chances to win – a full line and the first full house. The fast-paced nature of the game requires focus, but with


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Show explores balancing act challenges “I’m not saying I’m not beautiful. I’m saying I’m fat AND beautiful” Meet Rachel - a 20-something actress from Boro whose funny, celebratory and politically powerful one-woman play explores her true-life experience of weight gain from size eight to 18. Written and performed by Rachel Stockdale and directed by Jonluke McKie, Fat Chance at the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven on Wednesday 3 April will ask all sorts of questions and raise eyebrows. From audition nerves and throwaway comments to literally breaking a leg this play is for anyone who has felt like they had to shrink themselves; anyone who has adapted to be more palatable to others; anyone who’s ever put on or lost weight and been treated differently; anyone who had free school dinners and anyone who feels that they don’t fit. Having received a rave review by the North East Bylines who gave the drama five

stars and described by The Arts Business as “A remarkable first production,” Fat Chance is one of those must-see shows. And as NARC Magazine writes, why change ourselves? “Juxtaposing sadness and laughter, Rachel’s story speaks to us all of how we look at ourselves and others, posing the question ‘Instead of trying to change you, why not

try and see the beauty now?’ There is beauty in this performance. Like Rachel, let’s champion beauty and talent wherever we find them. “The script is well considered... taking the audience on a roller coaster ride through the life and struggles of this incredibly stubborn (her words – and I would add ‘resourceful’) young woman, working out how to succeed with a career

choice that sometimes feels more like self-harm than anything else.” Fat Chance will be performed on the Torch Theatre stage on Wednesday 3 April at 7.30pm. Suitable for ages 14+. Includes strong language and adult themes including “disordered eating (aka diet culture)”. Ticket prices: £13. For tickets phone the Box Office on 01646 695267 or visit torchtheatre.co.uk

Gavin & Stacey set for comeback this Christmas In what has been deemed a Christmas miracle for fans of the beloved sitcom, Gavin & Stacey is set to make a triumphant return to our screens this festive season, as reported by Deadline. The forthcoming episode, currently in development and preproduction, is slated to mark the first appearance of the iconic BBC series in five years. The brainchild of James Corden and Ruth Jones, Gavin & Stacey is set to start filming the new episode this summer, with plans for it to grace our screens in time for the holiday season. This development follows the tremendous success of the 2019 Christmas special, which garnered over 18 million viewers and secured its place as the most-watched show in a decade.

Produced by Steve Coogan’s Baby Cow, Jones’ Tidy Productions, and Fulwell 73, co-owned by Corden, the upcoming episode is eagerly awaited by fans who have long speculated about the fate of Nessa and Smithy following the tantalizing cliffhanger in the last episode, where Nessa proposed to Smithy. While the majority of the main cast is expected to make a return, including Matthew Horne and Joanna Page

in the titular roles, as well as Rob Brydon, Alison Steadman, Larry Lamb, and Julia Davis, the BBC has chosen to remain tight-lipped about the details. Addressing the possibility of a reunion, Joanna Page expressed mixed feelings, stating, “I can see them never doing any more because it was nice to leave it on a cliffhanger because it’s up to the viewer to imagine what would have happened. So

I can imagine them ending it like that.” She went on to add that the uncertainty surrounding a potential return keeps the excitement alive for both the cast and viewers. Alison Steadman, who plays the memorable character Pamela, shared her emotional experience upon wrapping the last Christmas special. In an interview with The Mirror, the 77-year-old actress expressed the unique bond among the cast and crew, describing it as “the only show I have ever worked on where when we finished each character’s final scenes... everyone used to put their heads down and cry.” Steadman remains hopeful that the creators, Ruth and James, will pen a reunion episode, reflecting on the magic that made the series beloved by both the cast and the audience.


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Alex Garland’s dystopian epic “Civil War” coming in April

Alex Garland’s upcoming dystopian thriller “Civil War” is generating significant buzz, positioning itself as one of the most anticipated movies of early 2024. The visionary director, known for his groundbreaking works like “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation,” offers a chilling portrayal of a fractured United States gripped by an allencompassing civil war. The trailer, unveiled in late December 2023, provides a tantalizing glimpse into the tumultuous world Garland has crafted, although key plot details remain shrouded in mystery. Set against the backdrop of a second civil war, the narrative unfolds as the U.S. military clashes with the enigmatic Western Forces. The film boasts a star-studded cast, including Kirsten Dunst, Nick Offerman, Wagner Moura, and the ever-compelling Jesse Plemons, with Dunst and

Moura portraying journalists documenting the harrowing events. A notable milestone for the revered independent production company A24, “Civil War” marks their inaugural foray into major blockbuster territory. With a substantial $75 million budget, it stands as A24’s most ambitious production to date, signaling their commitment to exploring the mid-budget marketplace. A24’s resilience during industry strikes in 2023, attributed to their flexibility in negotiating new conditions, underscores their prowess in both production and distribution. Jesse Plemons, celebrated for his intense performances, is set to deliver a standout portrayal in “Civil War.” Whether his character takes center stage or makes a brief cameo remains uncertain, but Plemons is expected to leave an indelible mark on the film, reminiscent of his acclaimed

intensity in “Breaking Bad” over a decade ago. Garland’s return to the dystopian genre, echoing his earlier success with “28 Days Later,” suggests a deliberate choice to revisit his actionpacked and intense storytelling roots. This decision promises a suspenseful and thrilling narrative that captivates audiences and keeps them on the edge of their seats. The unexpected alliance between politically divergent yet prideful states, California and Texas, adds a layer of intrigue to the “Civil War” trailer. Garland’s explanation for this improbable pairing is eagerly awaited, hinting at a drastic catalyst compelling these states to unite under a singular flag, alongside other states in the Western Forces. Boldly presenting a dystopian premise, “Civil War” resonates with current societal tensions, prompting online discussions about its

significance as a cautionary tale. A24’s ambitious venture pushes the boundaries of dystopian fantasy, raising questions about the impact of contemporary events on creative decision-making in the film industry. Nick Offerman’s portrayal of a fictional tyrannical President engaged in a war against the Texas-California alliance and the Western Forces adds a compelling layer to “Civil War.” Known for his comedic roles, Offerman’s dramatic versatility, showcased in projects like “The Last of Us,” promises an entertaining departure from his usual on-screen persona. The timing of the “Civil War” trailer, coinciding with the buzz surrounding Netflix’s dystopian thriller “Leave the World Behind,” invites comparisons. Both films explore similar themes, providing audiences with unique yet realistic perspectives on the collapse of American society. The

potential overlap in concepts suggests a shared exploration of societal breakdown and its consequences. As anticipation builds for “Civil War,” conspiracy theories have already emerged, speculating about the film’s potential as a form of “Predictive Programming.” If the movie proves as thoughtprovoking and thematically impactful as indicated, it is likely to fuel discussions and theories surrounding the intentions behind its creation. In essence, “Civil War” emerges as a bold cinematic venture that pushes boundaries, both creatively and financially, for A24. With Garland at the helm and a stellar cast bringing his vision to life, the film promises to be a thoughtprovoking exploration of a divided and dystopian United States, captivating audiences and sparking discussions in the process.


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WHAT’S ON 43 For up to date news please check our social network channels

GAMING

HOROSCOPES

With eddie the game guru

The Lucky Signs This Week: Taurus, Gemini and Cancer

ARIES Major changes are on the horizon in various areas of your life! You’ll feel justifiably proud of your achievements and will make the necessary efforts to ensure your business runs smoothly. TAURUS It’s It time to rejuvenate yourself; bask in the present moment and relax. Someone close to you will require your help. If you’re an artist, you’ll find inspiration this week. Inner guidance is within your reach. GEMINI You’ll manage a large-scale project. This will bring together various people around you. Despite the challenges of getting donations from those involved, you’ll be incredibly efficient and receive praise for your success after some effort.

WATCH T E TRAH ILER HERE !

CANCER Big responsibilities await you, both at work and at home. Your dedication will be noticed and could be rewarded with a promotion and a pay raise. There’s plenty to celebrate! LEO The idea of embarking on a spiritual journey will take root in your mind. It will require several months of careful preparation to blossom and become a source of inspiration, ultimately allowing you to find profound meaning in your existence. VIRGO motions are powerful around you. You may need to rethink your relationship to flourish. At the very least, you’ll no longer accept compromises. You’ll need to reflect deeply about your relationship.

Alright, mate, let me unravel the tale of the MiniMarios and their triumphant return in the ;atest installment of Mario vs. Donkey Kong, yeah? Picture this: back in the Game Boy Advance heyday, these pint-sized clockwork legends ruled Nintendo. With their cutesy moustaches and squeaky voices, they practically became the Game Boy Advance’s rockstars, fronting the Mario vs. Donkey Kong franchise for a solid decade, even spinning off into new adventures. Fast forward to 2024, and guess what? The Mini-Marios are back, and in this revamped Mario vs. Donkey Kong, they’re still as charming as ever. It’s like an upgraded remix of the OG game, keeping that puzzlecentric gameplay but tossing in a bunch of fresh, mind-bending levels to really give your brain a workout. So, in each level, you’re on a mission: snag a key, unlock a door, and rescue a Mini-Mario, all while dodging block switches, pesky enemies, and other tricky obstacles. If you’re a Mario vs. Donkey Kong OG, there’s not a ton of new stuff, but the vibrantly remastered levels and a batch of extra challenges make it worth a revisit to this early 2000s gem.

Across the initial four worlds, Mario vs. Donkey Kong flexes its puzzle prowess, keeping that delightful brain-tickling charm from the 2004 era. Difficultywise, it’s got a sweet balance, offering two gameplay flavors: a chill non-timed mode with extra lives or the standard timed, single-hit mode for the hardcore puzzle enthusiasts. Whether you’re strolling through the park or diving headfirst into the chaos, Mario’s navigating tricky puzzles that escalate in danger. Piranha Plants lurk with menacing teeth, and mischievous Shy Guys stir up trouble in spike pits. Luckily, you can opt for the easy mode, taking your sweet time to strategize before making those crucial jumps. But beware, even with infinite time, these puzzles can still throw a curveball your way. Every block switch becomes a ticking time bomb, forcing you to weigh the consequences of toggling red, blue, or yellow switches. Timing is everything, mate, especially when you’ve got to drop a key that’s only chillin’ for 15 seconds, then rush through obstacles to catch it on the flip side. And let’s not forget the themed levels adding extra layers of mayhem – lava worlds,

monkey-dependent jungles, and beats you gotta groove to. By the time you hit the fourth world, the difficulty cranks up, revealing Mario vs. Donkey Kong’s bag of surprises. But fear not, the bite-sized puzzles are satisfying and never overstay their welcome. Complete six levels in a world, and you unlock a wicked puzzle stage where Mini-Marios take the spotlight. These MM Levels are a real treat, demanding more brainpower than your average platformer. You guide your rescued MiniMarios, collecting letters T, O, Y to unlock a toy box and send ‘em home. It’s a bit more cerebral, mate, but that’s why it’s a blast – careful planning, strategic moves, and a dash of risk analysis. Even when the Mini-Marios aren’t in the limelight, they’re the heart of the show. With its commitment to straightforward, snappy platforming puzzles and a heap of challenges, Mario vs. Donkey Kong is a joy ride worth taking in 2024. Plenty more peaks to conquer, but these opening worlds bring back a dynamic little platformer that’s begging for a revisit. Cheers to the Mini-Marios and the everlasting charm of Mario vs. Donkey Kong!

LIBRA Although there may be some tension, your strong teamwork skills will help you make great progress. If you’re in a new relationship, you’ll have to overcome concerns that challenge your commitment and define a better future between you. SCORPIO At work, you’ll see the benefits of your work, even if it means feeling exhausted. As your customer base grows, you’ll need to double down your efforts to solidify your financial future. SAGITTARIUS Your self-esteem needs a boost. You passionately devote yourself to others. However, it’s important to direct some of that attention toward yourself. This is especially true if some people tend to take your kindness for granted and don’t recognize your sacrifices. CAPRICORN You’ll devote a substantial amount of your time to family this week. You may think about moving in the short term. At the very least, a significant change in your personal or professional environment will be beneficial. AQUARIUS You’ll expand your social circle, thanks in large part to your increased presence on social media. Your talents and professional activities will become better known, improving your financial situation. PISCES You’ll be given the green light to finance a project. Act now! This will be a good week to pay off some of your debt, making your financial situation more flexible. Think of it as a kind of fresh start.


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FRIDAY’S TV 16.2.24 CHOICE

Alison Steadman Here We Go BBC1, 8pm In a very timely episode of the family sitcom, it’s Valentine’s Day and Amy has received a huge bunch of flowers. She’s not the only member of the Jessop clan with an admirer though, as Rachel is worried that Paul has also caught someone’s eye. Trainee police officer Paul is less concerned with matters of heart than he is with his career.

Listings supplied by PA Media

BBC1

BBC2

ITV1 WALES

S4C

CHANNEL 5

DIGITAL

6.00 Breakfast. 9.30 Morning Live. 10.45 Dr Xand’s Con or Cure. 11.15 Homes Under the Hammer. (R) 12.15 Bargain Hunt. 1.00 BBC News at One; Weather. 1.30 BBC Wales Today; Weather. 1.45 Father Brown. 2.30 Clean It, Fix It. 3.15 Escape to the Country. 3.45 The Repair Shop. (R) 4.30 Antiques Road Trip. (R) 5.15 Pointless. (R) 6.00 BBC News at Six; Weather. 6.30 BBC Wales Today; Weather. 7.00 The One Show. Live magazine show, hosted by Angellica Bell and Roman Kemp. 7.30 Celebrity Mastermind. Michelle Heaton, Nihal Arthanayake, Aaron Evans and Maisie Adam compete. 8.00 Here We Go. The Jessops attempt to expose Paul’s secret admirer. 8.30 Amanda & Alan’s Italian Job. The DIY duo take on a medieval tower room and the cellar. 9.00 Would I Lie to You? Babatunde Aléshé, Mike Bubbins, Jessica Knappett and Claudia Winkleman join the regulars. 9.30 Not Going Out. (R) 10.00 BBC News at Ten. 10.30 BBC Wales Today; Weather. 10.40 The Graham Norton Show. 11.30 RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK Versus the World. (R) 12.45 Film: Just Jim. (2015) 2.05 Weather for the Week Ahead. 2.10 BBC News.

6.30 Escape to the Country. (R) 7.15 Clean It, Fix It. (R) 8.00 Sign Zone: Inside the Factory. (R) 9.00 BBC News. 12.00 Live Snooker: The Welsh Open. Coverage of day five. 4.30 The Farmers’ Country Showdown. (R) 5.15 Flog It! (R) 6.00 Richard Osman’s House of Games. Former winners Kaye Adams, Alex Brooker, Kiell Smith-Bynoe and Isy Suttie take part. 6.30 Rick Stein’s Food Stories. The chef immerses himself in the rich food traditions of the northwest. 7.00 Live Snooker: The Welsh Open. Further coverage of day five. 7.20 Scrum V Live. Scarlets v Munster (Kick-off 7.35pm). All the action from the United Rugby Championship match, held at Parc y Scarlets. 9.30 Live Snooker: The Welsh Open. Continued coverage of day five. 10.30 Newsnight. 11.00 Weather. The latest forecast. 11.05 Snooker: The Welsh Open. Quarter-final highlights. 11.50 Amityville: An Origin Story. The Lutz family turn their story into book and film. (R) 12.35 Coast. (R) 12.40 Film: Homebound. (2021) 2.00 Sign Zone: Alzheimer’s: A Turning Point? – Panorama. (R) 2.30 Gladiators. (R) 3.30 This Is BBC Two.

6.00 Good Morning Britain. 9.00 Lorraine. 10.00 This Morning. 12.30 Loose Women. 1.30 ITV Lunchtime News; Weather. 1.55 ITV News Cymru Wales; Weather. 2.00 Jimmy’s Taste of Florida. 3.00 Lingo. (R) 4.00 Tipping Point. 5.00 The Chase. 6.00 ITV News Wales at Six; Weather. 6.30 ITV Evening News; Weather. 7.00 Vanished Wales. A look at a ghostly mansion perched on a clifftop. 7.30 Emmerdale. There is a shock for Tracy as Caleb is eager to rectify things with his family. 8.00 Coronation Street. Maria and Gary make a horrifying discovery about Liam’s state of mind, Lauren reveals a secret source of income, and David urges Nick to voice his doubts to Leanne. 9.00 Beat the Chasers – Celebrity Special. Bradley Walsh hosts as Omid Djalili, Richard Whitehead, Jenny Eclair and Clive Mantle take on the six quiz experts, hoping to win big money for their chosen charities. (R) 10.00 ITV News at Ten; Weather. 10.30 ITV News Cymru Wales; Weather. 10.45 Film: Lucy. (2014) Sci-fi thriller, starring Scarlett Johansson. 12.15 Shop on TV. 3.00 Monster Carp. (R) 3.50 Unwind. 5.05 Jimmy’s Taste of Florida. (R)

6.00 Cyw. (R) 12.00 Newyddion S4C a’r Tywydd. 12.05 Codi Hwyl America. (R) 12.30 Heno. (R) 1.00 Ar Werth. (R) 1.30 Y Fets. (R) 2.00 Newyddion S4C a’r Tywydd. 2.05 Prynhawn Da. 3.00 Newyddion S4C a’r Tywydd. 3.05 Noson Lawen. (R) 4.00 Awr Fawr. (R) 5.00 Stwnsh. (R) 6.00 Cymru, Dad a Fi. (R) 6.30 Parti Bwyd Beca. (R) 7.00 Heno. 7.30 Newyddion S4C a’r Tywydd. 8.00 Hen Dy Newydd. (R) 8.55 Newyddion S4C a’r Tywydd. 9.00 Am Dro! (R) 10.00 Yn y Lwp. 10.30 Taith i Gaeredin. (R) 11.35 Diwedd. Channel 4: 6.10 Countdown. (R) 6.50 Cheers. (R) 7.40 3rd Rock from the Sun. (R) 8.30 Everybody Loves Raymond. (R) 10.00 Frasier. (R) 11.00 The Great House Giveaway. (R) 12.00 Channel 4 News Summary. 12.05 Sun, Sea and Selling Houses. (R) 1.05 Find It, Fix It, Flog It. (R) 2.10 Countdown. 3.00 A Place in the Sun. (R) 4.00 A New Life in the Sun. 5.00 Chateau DIY. 6.00 Come Dine with Me. 6.30 The Simpsons. (R) 7.00 Channel 4 News. 8.00 Extraordinary Extensions. 9.00 Gogglebox. 10.00 The Last Leg. 11.05 Film: Little Fockers. (2010) 12.55 Film: 47 Metres Down. (2017) 2.25 Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA. (R) 3.15 Come Dine with Me. (R) 5.20 Kirstie’s House of Craft. (R) 5.30-6.20 Undercover Boss USA. (R)

6.00 Milkshake!: 9.15 Jeremy Vine. 11.15 Storm Huntley. 12.45 Alexis Conran & Friends. 1.40 5 News at Lunchtime. 1.45 Home and Away. (R) 2.15 Film: Don’t Steal My Husband. (2020) 4.00 Bargain-Loving Brits in the Sun. An expat who runs a busy butcher's shop. (R) 5.00 5 News at 5. 6.00 Susan Calman’s Grand Day Out. The comedian visits Shakespeare Country. (R) 6.55 5 News Update. 7.00 Coastal Devon & Cornwall with Michael Portillo. Michael begins this leg of his journey at Devon’s most southerly point; (R) 5 News Update. 8.00 Cruising with Susan Calman. The comedian concludes her epic trek to Antarctica, and the ship’s onboard submersible gives Susan the chance to take in a very different view of the region. Last in the series. 9.00 Sue Perkins: Lost in Alaska. The presenter follows the old gold trail route. 10.00 When TV Goes Horribly Wrong. Unforgettable moments involving TV guests. (R) 12.05 Police Interceptors. (R) 1.00 PlayOJO Live Casino Show. 3.00 Britain’s Favourite 90s Songs. (R) 4.40 House Doctor. (R) 5.05 Wildlife SOS. (R) 5.30 Entertainment News. 5.35 Fireman Sam. (R) 5.45 Paw Patrol. (R)

BBC Four 7.00 Top of the Pops 9.00 When Bob Marley Came to Britain 10.00 Bob Marley Reimagined 11.00 Reggae at the BBC ITV2 5.00 Dress to Impress 6.00 Celebrity Catchphrase 7.00 Ant & Dec’s Limitless Win 8.00 Superstore 9.00 Love Island: All Stars 10.05 Shopping with Keith Lemon 10.35 Family Guy 11.30 American Dad! ITV3 3.45 Foyle’s War 5.55 Heartbeat 8.00 Doc Martin 10.00 Trial & Retribution 11.30 The Ruth Rendell Mysteries ITV4 3.40 Minder 4.50 The Professionals 5.55 BattleBots 6.55 The Chase Celebrity Special 8.00 Film: Rocky Balboa (2006) Boxing drama, starring Sylvester Stallone. 10.10 All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite E4 4.00 Young Sheldon 5.00 The Big Bang Theory 7.00 Hollyoaks 7.30 Modern Family 8.00 Below Deck Down Under 9.00 Film: Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) Fantasy adventure sequel, starring Dwayne Johnson. 11.20 Naked Attraction Film4 2.30 The Iron Petticoat (1956) 4.25 Dr Who and the Daleks (1965) 6.10 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) Sci-fi adventure sequel, starring Shia LaBeouf. 9.00 Save Yourselves! (2020) Premiere. Sci-fi comedy, starring Sunita Mani. 10.50 The Thing (1982)

SATURDAY’S TV 17.2.24 CHOICE

Joel Dommett The Masked Singer: The Final ITV, 7.20pm We started out with 12 celebs in a variety of elaborate costumes but now only three remain. Tonight, we finally get to find out who they all are. Panellists Rita Ora, Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan are joined by special guest Rob Brydon as they try to decipher the final clues, while presenters Joel Dommett presents.

F

R T, AN OFFE T S IN SH A EC RE

BBC1

BBC2

ITV1 WALES

S4C

CHANNEL 5

DIGITAL

6.00 Breakfast. 10.00 Saturday Kitchen Live. 11.30 The Great Food Guys. (R) 12.00 Football Focus. 1.00 Live Snooker: The Welsh Open. Coverage of the opening semi-final. 4.30 Final Score. 5.30 BBC News. 5.40 BBC Wales Today; Weather. 5.50 Gladiators. 6.50 Michael McIntyre’s Big Show. Guests include Tom Allen, Chesney Hawkes, Alex Jones, Jermaine Jenas and James Nesbitt, while Eric Cantona performs a track from his debut album. Last in the series. 7.50 The Weakest Link. Donna Preston, Nikita Kuzmin, Jon Culshaw, Jamelia, Simon Calder, Dianne Buswell, Ekin-Su Cülcüloglu and Zoe Lyons face general knowledge questions against the clock. 8.35 Pointless Celebrities. A star-studded version of the general knowledge quiz. 9.20 Casualty. Rash makes an illadvised return to work after his day off ends badly, but things go from bad to worse when he is forced to go into quarantine due to contact with a patient. 10.10 BBC News; Weather. 10.30 Match of the Day. Highlights of the latest matches. 11.55 Film: Eastern Promises. (2007) Gangster thriller, starring Naomi Watts and Viggo Mortensen. 1.30 Weather for the Week Ahead. 1.35 BBC News.

6.20 Hey Duggee. (R) 6.25 Go Jetters. (R) 6.40 Grizzy and the Lemmings. (R) 6.45 Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed! (R) 7.00 Danger Mouse. (R) 7.10 Shaun the Sheep. (R) 7.20 Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese. (R) 7.30 Pokemon: Sun and Moon – Ultra Legends. (R) 7.50 The Football Academy. (R) 8.20 Blue Peter. (R) 8.50 Newsround. 9.00 Gardeners’ World. 10.00 12 Puppies and Us. (R) 11.00 Alaska: Earth’s Frozen Kingdom. (R) 12.00 The Hairy Bikers Go West. 1.00 BBC News; Weather. 1.15 Weatherman Walking. (R) 1.30 Film: Escape to Athena. (1979) 3.30 Wild Tales from the Village. (R) 4.30 Amanda & Alan’s Italian Job. (R) 5.00 The Hairy Bikers Go West. (R) 6.00 Gardeners’ World. In the last of four compilations, Monty Don plants out sweet peas. Last in the series. (R) 7.00 Live Snooker: The Welsh Open. Coverage of the second semi-final. 10.00 Movie Themes at the BBC: Volume 2. Archive performances of songs from the big screen. 11.00 What We Do in the Shadows. Guillermo has a visitor from overseas. 11.25 What We Do in the Shadows. Baby Colin reaches that awkward age. Last in the series. 11.55 Coast. (R) 12.20 Film: Quadrophenia. (1979) 2.15 Film: Papadopoulos & Sons. (2012) 4.00 This Is BBC Two.

6.00 Love Your Garden. (R) 7.30 Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh. (R) 9.25 ITV News. 9.30 James Martin’s Saturday Morning. 11.40 John and Lisa’s Food Trip Down Under. 12.40 James Martin’s French Adventure. (R) 1.10 ITV News; Weather. 1.30 ITV Racing: Live from Ascot. Coverage from Ascot, Wincanton and Haydock Park. 4.00 Tipping Point: Lucky Stars. (R) 5.00 The Chase Celebrity Special. (R) 6.00 ITV News; Weather. 6.10 ITV News Cymru Wales; Weather. 6.20 Wheel of Fortune. Doctor Ati, corporate assistant Adam and social care worker Tracey compete. 7.20 The Masked Singer: The Final. The final three compete. Last in the series. 8.50 The 1% Club. New series. Quiz, hosted by Lee Mack. 9.50 The Jonathan Ross Show. New series. The host welcomes Jack Whitehall, Lashana Lynch, KSI, and Paloma Faith. 10.50 ITV News; Weather. 11.10 Boris Becker: The Rise and Fall. A look into the divorce that led to Boris Becker’s financial decline. (R) 12.05 English Football League Highlights. (R) 1.20 Shop on TV. 3.00 Grand Slam Years: Wales 2019. (R) 3.50 Unwind. 5.05 Jason Atherton’s Dubai Dishes. (R)

6.00 Cyw. (R) 8.00 Stwnsh Sadwrn: Stwnsh Sadwrn Byw. 8.05 Seligo. (R) 8.30 Oi! Osgar. (R) 9.10 Larfa. (R) 9.25 Prys A’r Pryfed. (R) 9.35 Prosiect Z. (R) 10.00 Taith Bywyd. (R) 11.00 Cymry ar Gynfas. (R) 11.30 Bois y Pizza: Chwe’ Gwlad. (R) 12.00 Y Fets. (R) 12.30 Sgorio Byw. Bala Town v Flint Mountain (Kick-off 12.45pm). 2.50 Yn y Ffram. (R) 3.45 24 Awr: Tomi Roberts-Jones. (R) 4.00 Karl Jenkins: Pencerdd Penclawdd. (R) 5.00 Clwb Rygbi. Cardiff v Connacht (Kick-off 5.15pm). 7.15 Newyddion a Chwaraeon. Weekend news and sport. 7.30 Clwb Rygbi. Glasgow Warriors v Dragons (Kick-off 7.35pm). 9.45 Stryd i’r Sgrym. The team have a frank discussion about mental health. (R) 10.30 Radio Fa’ma. (R) 11.35 Diwedd. Channel 4: 6.20 Cheers. (R) 7.35 The King of Queens. (R) 8.55 Everybody Loves Raymond. (R) 10.25 The Simpsons. (R) 12.50 Film: The Legend of Zorro. (2005) 3.20 Four in a Bed. (R) 5.55 Location, Location, Location. (R) 6.50 Channel 4 News. 7.20 New Zealand by Train. 8.20 Lost Temples of Cambodia. 9.20 Film: Moonfall. (2022) 11.55 Film: The Girl on the Train. (2016) 1.50 Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA. (R) 2.40 Couples Come Dine with Me. (R) 3.35 Hollyoaks Omnibus. (R) 5.35 Sunday Brunch Best Bits. (R) 5.45-6.15 Supermarkets Unwrapped: Fruit & Veg Aisle. (R)

6.00 Milkshake! 9.55 SpongeBob SquarePants. 10.20 Entertainment News. 10.30 Friends. (R) 12.00 Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly. (R) 2.00 Happy Campers: The Caravan Park. (R) 5.00 The Good Life: Secrets & Scandals. (R) 5.55 5 News Weekend. 6.05 Buckingham Palace with Alexander Armstrong. The actor looks at how Queen Victoria fled the palace after Prince Albert died in 1861, revealing how the government persuaded her to return for a public garden party in 1868. (R) 6.55 Hampton Court: A Royal Residence. A look behind the scenes at Henry VIII’s beloved royal palace on the Thames, which is now a popular tourist attraction. (R) 8.50 The Big Freeze: Winter ’63. The most devastating weather event to hit Britain is examined, with the assistance of celebrities including Joanna Lumley, Pete Waterman and John Craven. (R) 10.20 1968: Most Shocking Moments. Controversies, scandals and shocks in TV, film, music and politics. 12.10 999: Criminals Caught on Camera. (R) 1.10 PlayOJO Live Casino Show. 3.10 Britain’s Favourite Songs: 1998. 4.40 House Doctor. (R) 5.15 Wildlife SOS. (R) 5.40 Entertainment News. 5.45 Paw Patrol. (R)

BBC Four 7.00 Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez 8.00 South Pacific 9.00 Film: Full Time (2021) Premiere. Thriller, with Laure Calamy. 10.25 Parkinson: Billy Connolly and David Attenborough 11.15 Mark Lawson Talks to Michael Parkinson. An interview with the broadcaster. ITV2 4.45 Film: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012) 6.30 Film: Valentine’s Day (2010) 9.00 Love Island: All Stars: Unseen Bits 10.05 Family Guy 11.30 American Dad! ITV3 2.50 Foyle’s War 7.00 Midsomer Murders 11.05 Endeavour ITV4 3.10 Monster Carp 4.15 Film: Shalako (1968) 6.30 Film: The Sea Wolves (1980) 9.00 English Football League Highlights 10.35 Film: Total Recall (1990) E4 3.50 Brooklyn Nine-Nine 4.50 The Big Bang Theory 6.40 Film: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Action adventure, starring Harrison Ford. 9.00 Celebrity Gogglebox 10.00 Gogglebox Film4 2.45 Baby’s Day Out (1994) 4.40 Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (2010) 7.05 Skyscraper (2018) Action thriller, starring Dwayne Johnson. 9.00 The Running Man (1987) Sci-fi action adventure, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. 11.00 Predator (1987)

We’ll buy your property quickly A certain, hassle-free property buying service

We’ll buy any type of property in any condition including: Houses, flats, bungalows, apartment blocks, short leases, inherited, portfolios, HMO’s, land and property in need of modernisation or redevelopment.

✔ Vacant, rented or occupied on any type of agreement: Sitting tenants, assured, regulated, HMO and AST’s. ✔ Confidential house buying service with no “for sale” sign ✔ No selling fees and we pay your legal costs too ✔ A guaranteed sale within your chosen timetable CALL FREE ON

0800 157 7476

email: info@openpropertygroup.com

www.openpropertygroup.com


Friday February 16th 2024 www.pembrokeshire-herald.co.uk

WHAT’S ON 45 For up to date news please check our social network channels

SUNDAY’S TV 18.2.24 CHOICE

David Tennant Bafta Film Awards 2024 BBC1, 7pm David Tennant is our host for the awards ceremony honouring the best in British and international film. Two very different blockbusters, Barbie and Oppenheimer, dominated the summer box office, and ‘Barbenheimer’ is making its presence felt here Oppenheimer leads the field with 13 nominations, including Best Film, Director and Actor, while Barbie has five.

Listings supplied by PA Media

BBC1

BBC2

ITV1 WALES

S4C

CHANNEL 5

DIGITAL

6.00 Breakfast. 7.30 Match of the Day. (R) 9.00 Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. 10.00 Sunday Morning Live. 11.00 Love, Faith and Me. (R) 11.45 Homes Under the Hammer. (R) 12.15 Bargain Hunt. (R) 1.00 Live Snooker: The Welsh Open. The opening eight frames of the final. 4.30 Wynne’s Welsh 80s. (R) 5.00 SOS: Extreme Rescues. (R) 5.30 BBC News. 5.50 BBC Wales Today; Weather. 6.00 Countryfile. Joe Crowley and Anita Rani are at the Colesbourne estate in the Cotswolds, where the gardens are home to millions of snowdrops at this time of year. 7.00 Bafta Film Awards 2024. David Tennant hosts the annual movie awards ceremony. Samantha Morton is receiving this year’s Bafta Fellowship, and the show features music from Sophie Ellis-Bextor. 9.00 Death in Paradise. A famous chef is poisoned during a cooking competition. 10.00 BBC News; Weather. 10.25 BBC Wales Today; Weather. 10.30 Match of the Day 2. The day’s Premier League action. 11.30 The Women’s Football Show. Highlights of the latest matches in the Women’s Super League. 12.20 Film: In the Loop. (2009) 2.00 Weather for the Week Ahead. 2.05 BBC News.

6.35 Countryfile. (R) 7.30 Breakfast. 9.00 Life in a Cottage Garden with Carol Klein. (R) 9.30 Saturday Kitchen Best Bites. 11.00 Young MasterChef. (R) 12.00 Nadiya’s British Food Adventure. (R) 12.30 The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure. (R) 1.00 BBC News. 1.10 Weather for the Week Ahead. 1.15 Songs of Praise. 1.55 Escape to the Country. (R) 2.55 Film: Coco. (2017) 4.30 Planet Earth: An Elephant’s Tale. (R) 4.35 Flog It! (R) 5.15 Ski Sunday. 6.00 Wilderness with Simon Reeve. Simon travels across the Kalahari desert in southern Africa, going on a hunt with a group of San trackers before heading to the oasis of the Okavango Delta. Last in the series. (R) 7.00 Live Snooker: The Welsh Open. Ian Hunt presents coverage of the second and concluding session of the final from Venue Cymru in Llandudno. 10.00 Inside the Factory. The complex work that goes into building a sofa. 11.00 Film: Benediction. (2021) Premiere. Drama based on the life of war poet Siegfried Sassoon and his life-long quest for personal salvation through his writing. Starring Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi. 1.10 Film: The Roads Not Taken. (2020) 2.30 Sign Zone: Question Time. (R) 3.30 This Is BBC Two.

6.00 James Martin’s American Adventure. (R) 6.30 James Martin’s Spanish Adventure. (R) 7.30 James Martin’s Saturday Morning. (R) 9.25 ITV News. 9.30 Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh. 11.30 Raymond Blanc’s Royal Kitchen Gardens. 12.30 Love Your Garden. (R) 1.00 ITV News; Weather. 1.10 Midsomer Murders. (R) 3.05 Film: Bruce Almighty. (2003) 5.00 Wheel of Fortune. (R) 6.00 ITV News; Weather. 6.15 ITV News Cymru Wales; Weather. 6.25 Dancing on Ice. The remaining seven celebrities perform. 8.00 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Jeremy Clarkson hosts the bigmoney quiz. 9.00 Trigger Point. Alex contacts the police with critical information about a new attack planned for that day. 10.00 ITV News; Weather. 10.15 The Dry. In the messy aftermath of the family meeting, animosity towards Shiv grows and sets her on a new and perilous path. 10.45 Joanna Lumley’s Spice Trail Adventure. (R) 11.40 English Football League Highlights. (R) 12.55 Shop on TV. 3.00 Raymond Blanc’s Royal Kitchen Gardens. (R) 3.55 Unwind. 5.10 Karen Carney’s Leaders of the Pack. (R) 5.35 Made in Britain. (R)

6.00 Cyw. (R) 8.50 Penblwyddi Cyw. 9.00 Cynefin. (R) 10.00 Y Fets. (R) 10.30 Y ’Sgubor Flodau. (R) 11.30 Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol. (R) 12.00 Dan Do. (R) 12.30 Tir Cymru. (R) 1.30 Ffilmiau Ddoe. (R) 2.00 Ty am Ddim. (R) 3.00 Ar Werth. (R) 3.25 Drych: Dyfodol i Dewi. (R) 4.20 Siân Phillips yn 90. (R) 5.35 Cefn Gwlad. (R) 6.10 Pobol y Cwm Omnibws. Extended edition of the soap. (R) 7.15 Newyddion a Chwaraeon. 7.30 Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol. 8.00 Am Dro! Featuring a walk up Gyrhyd Mountain in Cwmtawe. 9.00 Gogglebocs Cymru. (R) 10.00 Paid a Dweud Hoyw. (R) 11.00 Y Ditectif. (R) 11.35 Diwedd. Channel 4: 6.15 Cheers. (R) 7.40 Everybody Loves Raymond. (R) 8.30 The Simpsons. (R) 9.30 Sunday Brunch. 12.30 The Simpsons. (R) 2.25 Film: Tooth Fairy. (2010) 4.25 Film: Secret Headquarters. (2022) 6.15 Channel 4 News. 6.45 Ancient Egypt by Train with Alice Roberts. (R) 7.45 The Great Pottery Throw Down. 9.00 Concorde: The Race for Supersonic. (R) 10.00 Gogglebox. (R) 12.00 Remarkable Places to Eat. (R) 1.00 Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA. (R) 1.50 Film: Keeping Up with the Joneses. (2016) 3.35 Come Dine with Me. (R) 5.50-6.10 Kirstie’s House of Craft. (R)

6.00 Milkshake!: 9.55 SpongeBob SquarePants. 10.20 Entertainment News. 10.30 Friends. (R) 12.00 Inside the Tower of London. (R) 3.00 The Vikings in Britain: Fire & Fury. 5.00 Text Scams: Don’t Get Caught Out. (R) 5.55 5 News Weekend. 6.00 When TV Goes Horribly Wrong. Moira Stuart narrates a compilation of TV news disasters, from reporters out in the field who are up against the elements to kids running amok in the studio. 8.00 Bargain-Loving Brits in the Sun. New series. Graham Boland welcomes new love into his life in the form of a puppy. 9.00 Into the Congo with Ben Fogle. New series. Exploring the remote rainforests of the Congo. 10.00 Police: Suspect No 1. A man claims to have been coerced into running a drugs gang. Last in the series. (R) 10.50 Film: Rambo: Last Blood. (2019) John Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in one final mission. Action thriller sequel, starring Sylvester Stallone. 12.35 Criminals: Caught on Camera. (R) 1.05 PlayOJO Live Casino Show. 3.05 Britain’s Favourite 90s Songs. 4.40 House Doctor. (R) 5.05 Wildlife SOS. (R) 5.30 Entertainment News.

BBC Four 7.00 Attenborough’s Birds of Paradise 8.00 The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank 9.00 The River: A Year in the Life of the Tay 10.30 The Coal War – Panorama 11.20 Timeshift: When Coal Was King ITV2 3.30 Film: Space Jam (1996) 5.15 Film: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) 7.00 Film: Dolittle (2020) 9.00 Love Island: All Stars 10.05 Olivia Attwood: Getting Filthy Rich 11.05 Family Guy ITV3 3.30 Downton Abbey 5.30 Film: Downton Abbey (2019) 8.00 The Larkins 9.00 Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home – Travels in My Own Land 10.00 Trial & Retribution 11.30 Agatha Christie’s Poirot ITV4 3.05 Film: Aces High (1976) 5.20 Film: MacArthur (1977) 8.00 Film: Uncle Buck (1989) 10.00 Film: The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) E4 3.50 The Big Bang Theory 5.25 Lego Masters New Zealand 6.25 Film: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) 9.00 Film: Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) 11.15 The Inbetweeners Film4 2.35 Dunston Checks In (1996) 4.15 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) 6.25 Hidden Figures (2016) 9.00 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) 11.20 Sleepy Hollow (1999)

MONDAY’S TV 19.2.24 CHOICE

Joanne Froggatt Breathtaking ITV, 9pm ITV1 is bringing viewers a drama inspired by a true story. The three-parter is based on the Covid memoir of journalist-turned-doctor Rachel Clarke. Joanne Froggatt heads the cast as mother-of-two and Acute Medicine Consultant Dr Abbey Henderson, who finds herself on the frontline in the battle against the greatest public health crisis in living memory.

F

R T, AN OFFE T S IN SH A EC RE

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BBC2

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CHANNEL 5

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6.00 Breakfast. 9.30 Morning Live. 10.45 Animal Park. (R) 11.15 Homes Under the Hammer. (R) 12.15 Bargain Hunt. 1.00 BBC News at One; Weather. 1.30 BBC Wales Today; Weather. 1.45 Doctors. 2.15 Clean It, Fix It. 3.00 Escape to the Country. 3.45 The Repair Shop. (R) 4.30 Antiques Road Trip. (R) 5.15 Pointless. (R) 6.00 BBC News at Six; Weather. 6.30 BBC Wales Today; Weather. 7.00 SOS: Extreme Rescues. Multiple teams join forces to find a missing person. 7.30 EastEnders. Denise starts having hallucinations of Keanu. 8.00 Wynne’s Welsh 80s. Wynne Evans looks back at 1982, including the Pope’s visit to Cardiff. 8.30 Weatherman Walking. Derek Brockway walks a route around Hirwaun in Rhondda Cynon Taf. (R) 9.00 The Way. New series. Drama following a family fleeing an uprising in Port Talbot. 10.00 BBC News at Ten. 10.30 BBC Wales Today; Weather. 10.40 Hamas’ Secret Financial Empire – Panorama. John Ware investigates Hamas’ network outside Gaza. 11.10 Have I Got News for You. (R) 11.40 Domino Day. Domino’s dangerous ex returns. (R) 12.30 The Graham Norton Show. (R) 1.20 BBC News.

6.30 Bargain Hunt. (R) 7.15 Clean It, Fix It. (R) 8.00 Sign Zone: The Hairy Bikers Go West. (R) 9.00 BBC News. 12.15 Politics Live. 1.00 Impossible. (R) 1.45 The Tournament. (R) 2.30 The Farmers’ Country Showdown. (R) 3.00 Saved and Remade. (R) 3.30 Murder, Mystery and My Family. (R) 4.15 Animals with Cameras. (R) 5.15 Flog It! (R) 6.00 Richard Osman’s House of Games. Previous winners Mark Chapman, Will Kirk, Amanda Lamb and Rachel Parris return. 6.30 Rick Stein’s Food Stories. Rick tries rhubarb pizza and goes coracle fishing in Wales. 7.00 The One Show. Alex Jones and Lauren Laverne present topical stories and celebrity chat. 7.30 Mastermind. 8.00 Only Connect. (R) 8.30 University Challenge. 9.00 The Space Shuttle That Fell to Earth. Nasa’s analysis of the debris that struck the shuttle after launch. 10.00 Our Flag Means Death. 10.30 Newsnight. 11.10 Weather. 11.15 Film: The Keeper. (2018) Biopic of Bert Trautmann, starring David Kross. 1.05 Sign Zone: Countryfile. (R) 2.05 Waterloo Road. (R) 3.00 Great British Menu. (R) 4.00 This Is BBC Two.

6.00 Good Morning Britain. 9.00 Lorraine. 10.00 This Morning. 12.30 Loose Women. 1.30 ITV Lunchtime News; Weather. 1.55 ITV News Cymru Wales; Weather. 2.00 Dickinson’s Real Deal. (R) 3.00 Lingo. (R) 4.00 Tipping Point. 5.00 The Chase. 6.00 ITV News Wales at Six; Weather. 6.30 ITV Evening News; Weather. 7.30 Emmerdale. Ruby approaches Kim with an offer. 8.00 Coronation Street. Maria takes Liam to see Dr Gaddas, Steve makes an effort to impress Tracy, Alya grows suspicious of Joel, and Sean receives a wake-up call from Dylan’s phone. 9.00 Breathtaking. New series. Three-part drama surrounding NHS staff during the pandemic. 10.00 ITV News at Ten; Weather. 10.30 ITV News Cymru Wales; Weather. 10.45 Sharp End. Political discussion. 11.40 Big Zuu’s 12 Dishes in 12 Hours. The rapper takes Sindhu Vee on a culinary tour of Valencia. Last in the series. (R) 12.10 Face to Face. (R) 12.35 Shop on TV. 3.00 Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific. (R) 3.50 Unwind. 5.05 Ainsley’s Fantastic Flavours. (R)

6.00 Cyw. (R) 12.00 Newyddion S4C a’r Tywydd. 12.05 Wil ac Aeron: Taith Rwmania. (R) 12.30 Heno. (R) 1.00 Caeau Cymru. (R) 1.30 Dan Do. (R) 2.00 Newyddion S4C a’r Tywydd. 2.05 Prynhawn Da. 3.00 Newyddion S4C a’r Tywydd. 3.05 Stryd i’r Sgrym. (R) 3.50 Bwyd Epic Chris. (R) 4.00 Awr Fawr. (R) 5.00 Stwnsh. (R) 6.00 Cegin Bryn. (R) 6.30 Rownd a Rownd. (R) 7.00 Heno. 7.30 Newyddion S4C a’r Tywydd. 8.00 Y Byd ar Bedwar. 8.25 Y Fets. 8.55 Newyddion S4C a’r Tywydd. 9.00 Cefn Gwlad. 9.30 Ralïo+. 10.00 Sgorio. 10.35 Clwb Rygbi. 12.20 Diwedd. Channel 4: 6.10 Countdown. 6.50 Cheers. (R) 7.40 3rd Rock from the Sun. (R) 8.30 Everybody Loves Raymond. (R) 10.00 Frasier. (R) 11.00 The Great House Giveaway. (R) 12.00 Channel 4 News Summary. 12.05 Sun, Sea and Selling Houses. (R) 1.05 Find It, Fix It, Flog It. (R) 2.10 Countdown. 3.00 A Place in the Sun. (R) 4.00 A New Life in the Sun. (R) 5.00 Chateau DIY. 6.00 Come Dine with Me. 6.30 The Simpsons. (R) 7.00 Channel 4 News. 8.00 George Clarke’s Old House, New Home. (R) 9.00 24 Hours in Police Custody. (R) 10.00 First Dates. (R) 11.05 Embarrassing Bodies. (R) 12.05 Who Shot Sasha Johnson?: Untold. 12.40 24 Hours in A&E. (R)

6.00 Milkshake!: 9.15 Jeremy Vine. 11.15 Storm Huntley. 12.45 Alexis Conran & Friends. 1.40 5 News at Lunchtime. 1.45 Home and Away. (R) 2.15 Film: A Date with Deceit. (2023) 4.00 Shoplifters: Caught Red Handed. (R) 5.00 5 News at 5. 6.00 Susan Calman’s Grand Day Out. Susan discovers beautiful parts of Northern Ireland’s coastline. (R) 6.55 5 News Update. 7.00 Police Interceptors. Dog handler James ’Coups” Coupland chases down a boy racer. (R) 7.55 5 News Update. 8.00 Traffic Cops. A woman is caught driving her partner’s car with no licence. 9.00 Killer Crocs with Steve Backshall. The naturalist gets up close and personal with crocodiles - one of nature's most fearsome predators - immersing himself in their world to reveal what makes them so deadly. 10.00 Casualty 24/7: Every Second Counts. A man arrives with a 13cm-long laceration on his thigh from a DIY accident. (R) 11.05 999: Critical Condition. A man suffers his second heart attack in two weeks. (R) 12.05 Traffic Cops. (R) 1.00 PlayOJO Live Casino Show. 3.00 Britain’s Favourite 90s Songs. (R) 4.40 House Doctor. (R) 5.05 Wildlife SOS. (R) 5.30 Entertainment News.

BBC Four 7.00 Dynasties II 8.00 Art of America 9.00 Mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry 10.00 Brian Cox: Seven Days on Mars 11.30 Mars: A Traveller’s Guide – Horizon ITV2 5.00 Dress to Impress 6.00 Celebrity Catchphrase 7.00 Ant & Dec’s Limitless Win 8.00 Superstore 9.00 Love Island: All Stars: The Live Final 10.35 Family Guy 11.35 American Dad! ITV3 3.45 Foyle’s War 5.55 Heartbeat 8.00 Rosemary & Thyme 9.00 Long Lost Family 10.00 Trial & Retribution 11.30 The Ruth Rendell Mysteries ITV4 3.35 Minder 4.40 The Professionals 5.45 BattleBots 6.45 Live Snooker: Players Championship. Coverage of day one. 10.15 Film: Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) E4 4.00 Young Sheldon 5.00 The Big Bang Theory 7.00 Hollyoaks 7.30 Modern Family 8.00 Below Deck Down Under 9.00 Celebrity Gogglebox 10.00 Gogglebox 11.05 First Dates: Valentine’s Special 2020 Film4 2.30 Three Hours to Kill (1954) 4.05 Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) 6.55 The Iron Lady (2011) Biopic of Margaret Thatcher, with Meryl Streep. 9.00 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) Spy thriller sequel, starring Tom Cruise. 11.40 Bad Boys (1995)

We’ll buy your property quickly A certain, hassle-free property buying service

We’ll buy any type of property in any condition including: Houses, flats, bungalows, apartment blocks, short leases, inherited, portfolios, HMO’s, land and property in need of modernisation or redevelopment.

✔ Vacant, rented or occupied on any type of agreement: Sitting tenants, assured, regulated, HMO and AST’s. ✔ Confidential house buying service with no “for sale” sign ✔ No selling fees and we pay your legal costs too ✔ A guaranteed sale within your chosen timetable CALL FREE ON

0800 157 7476

email: info@openpropertygroup.com

www.openpropertygroup.com


46

Friday February 16th 2024

SIX NATIONS 2024

For up to date news please check our social network channels www.pembrokeshire-herald.co.uk

SIX NATIONS 2024: RO

Sam Costelow back from injury

WALES fly-half Sam Costelow is back in contention for the upcoming Guinness Six Nations clash against Ireland. The Scarlets’ number 10 missed Wales’ match against England at Twickenham due to a neck injury sustained during the first half of the previous game against Scotland. Costelow was forced to leave the field before halftime, making way for Ioan Lloyd to take over the number 10 shirt. Wales’ head of physical performance, Huw Bennett, provided an optimistic update on Costelow’s status, stating, “He (Costelow) is looking good and trained this morning.” This news comes as a boost for Wales, as they gear up for a challenging encounter in Dublin on Saturday week. However, not all news is positive for the Welsh squad, as Bath prop Archie Griffin has been released from the Six Nations

squad. Griffin, who made his Test debut against England, suffered a knee injury during that match. The Welsh Rugby Union announced that the 22-year-old would continue his rehabilitation at Bath, and a replacement for the squad would be confirmed soon. The remaining tightheads in the squad include Keiron Assiratti, Leon Brown, and Dillon Lewis. Brown, who picked up a shoulder knock during the Six Nations opener against Scotland, was not involved in the Twickenham match. In addition to Griffin, back Tom Rogers will remain with the Scarlets after sustaining a chest injury during their European Challenge Cup victory over Clermont Auvergne on January 13. Wales, having narrowly lost to both Scotland and England, faces the formidable task of taking on an Ireland team that has secured bonus-point

victories over France and Italy in pursuit of successive Six Nations titles and Grand Slams. Adding to the challenge, Wales has not won a Six Nations game in Dublin since 2012, with one draw and four defeats in subsequent encounters. Former Wales hooker Huw Bennett acknowledged the formidable nature of the Irish team, stating, “Ireland are well up there at the minute in the way they are playing.” He emphasised the need for Wales to be ruthless, back their gameplan, and stay focused for the entire 80 minutes. Bennett highlighted the importance of minimizing mistakes, avoiding penalties, and being vigilant in defense against a strong Irish attack. As Wales prepares for the crucial clash against Ireland, the team recognises the significance of every game in proving themselves and seizing the opportunity to overcome challenges on the field.


Friday February 16th 2024 www.pembrokeshire-herald.co.uk

FEATURE 47 For up to date news please check our social network channels

OUND 3 NEXT WEEKEND!

What’s happening elsewhere?

Ireland’s head coach Andy Farrell made six changes to his squad for the clash against Italy, showcasing the depth and versatility of his team following their commanding win over France. The tactical rotation not only demonstrated the squad’s strength but also resulted in an impressive 36-0 triumph in Dublin. Of particular note was the fact that Ireland prevented Italy from scoring any points, marking the first occasion since 1987 that they have held an opponent scoreless in the tournament. This defensive prowess adds an extra layer of confidence as Ireland seeks to make their mark in the Six Nations. Fly-half Jack Crowley, who notched the opening try, delivered another standout performance, prompting comparisons to the legendary Johnny Sexton in his ability to control the game. Six Nations Rugby Special analyst Davies praised Crowley, suggesting that, given the current trajectory, he could evolve into a worldclass player. “In that side and the way they are playing at the moment, Crowley could grow into a worldclass player,” remarked Davies, emphasizing the young fly-half’s confidence and game awareness that belie his early career stage. With the upcoming fixture against Wales scheduled for 24 February in Dublin, Farrell’s side aims to maintain their momentum and stay on course to achieve the rare feat of back-to-back Grand Slams in the Six Nations. Welsh fans and rugby enthusiasts alike are eagerly anticipating this crucial clash between two formidable sides.

France secured a dramatic 20-16 victory over Scotland, with Louis Bielle-Biarrey’s late try proving to be the decisive moment. The win marked a crucial turnaround for Les Bleus, who suffered a 38-17 defeat to Ireland in their opening match last weekend. The game saw Scotland take an early lead through Ben White’s seventh-minute try, putting the French team in a precarious position. However, Bielle-Biarrey’s inspired play in the 70th minute allowed France to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, complementing Gael Fickou’s earlier contribution in the first half. Despite the Scots’ late rally and a contentious decision not to award them a try in the final moments after a thorough TMO review, France emerged victorious. The hosts, already without key back-three players Blair Kinghorn and Darcy Graham due to injuries, faced further challenges when wing Kyle Steyn withdrew due to the impending birth of his child. The uncapped Harry Paterson was called in to start at full-back, while Kyle Rowe shifted to the wing. Scotland’s initial lead, crafted through a wellexecuted try by Duhan van der Merwe, Paterson, and Huw Jones, set the tone for an intense battle. Toulon scrum-half White’s resilience in holding off French defenders secured the early advantage for the Scots. However, France slowly closed the gap, with Thomas Ramos converting a penalty in the 12th minute and Fickou’s try narrowing the scoreline. Despite a couple of Finn Russell penalties extending Scotland’s lead, the French threat remained evident. Fickou’s second try in the 31st minute, with Ramos converting, brought Les Bleus within three points of their hosts, setting the stage for a gripping contest that ultimately swung in France’s favor.

Steve Borthwick’s England narrowly secured victory against a spirited Welsh side. Despite setting the goal of making Twickenham an intimidating venue for opponents, England found themselves challenged as Wales appeared more comfortable for substantial periods of the match. The turning point came in the 72nd minute when George Ford secured England’s first lead with a successful penalty, taking advantage of Mason Grady’s yellow card for a deliberate knock-on. However, England’s triumph was not without a tense defensive struggle, as Wales fiercely pressed in the dying moments. Maintaining an unbeaten record, England now sits atop the table following Scotland’s narrow loss to France. Yet, it’s the youthful Welsh team that garnered praise for their courageous performance, having lost their first two matches by a mere three-point margin. Warren Gatland’s side demonstrated resilience, experiencing defeats with a combined total of three points, highlighting the razorthin margins in this Six Nations championship. England’s win, characterized more by containment than domination, is noteworthy. Borthwick’s team has already equaled the total wins of the past three Six Nations campaigns. Looking ahead, the real test awaits England in the upcoming rounds against Scotland, Ireland, and France. Having not defeated Scotland, Ireland, or France in the Six Nations since 2020 and 2021, respectively, these upcoming matches will reveal the true standing of England’s rebuilding phase.


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Mam yn canmol manteision sylweddol rhaglen Dechrau’n Deg i’w merch

Cymru wedi cyrraedd ei tharged diweddaraf ar gyfer cam 2 yng nghynllun ehangu’r rhaglen, gyda 4,500 o leoedd gofal plant ychwanegol yn cael eu cynnig yn ystod 202324. Mae ehangu rhaglen Dechrau’n Deg yn rhan o broses raddol i ehangu’r ddarpariaeth blynyddoedd cynnar i bob plentyn dwyflwydd oed yng Nghymru, gan roi pwyslais penodol ar gryfhau’r ddarpariaeth

“Mae datblygiad enfawr wedi bod yn ei sgiliau cymdeithasol a’i gallu i gyfathrebu. “Mae hi nawr yn paratoi i ddechrau mynd i’r ysgol am hanner diwrnodau ym mis Mawrth, ac rwy’n gwybod y bydd y profiad hwn yn helpu’n aruthrol gyda hynny. “Ni chafodd fy merch arall, sydd bellach yn yr ysgol, yr oriau o ofal plant am ddim. Mae fy merch ieuengaf filltiroedd ar y blaen o’i chymharu â fy merch arall ar y pryd.” Dywedodd y Dirprwy Weinidog Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol, Julie Morgan: “Mae hon yn garreg filltir arwyddocaol yn ein hymdrechion i roi’r dechrau gorau posibl mewn bywyd i bob plentyn yng Nghymru. “Mae Gofal Plant Dechrau’n Deg yn wasanaeth hanfodol sy’n helpu plant i ddysgu, i dyfu ac i ffynnu. “Yn ei sgil, rydym yn cyrraedd at fwy o deuluoedd a all elwa o’r cynnig hwn ac yn gwneud

gwahaniaeth cadarnhaol i’w bywydau. “Byddwn yn parhau i weithio’n agos gydag awdurdodau lleol, darparwyr gofal plant a phartneriaid eraill i sicrhau ansawdd a chynaliadwyedd gofal plant Dechrau’n Deg.” Dywedodd Siân Gwenllian, Aelod Dynodedig Plaid Cymru:”Mae gennym raglen uchelgeisiol i wella gofal plant yng Nghymru ac rwy’n falch iawn ein bod yn gwneud cynnydd sylweddol ar ein hymrwymiad i gynnig gofal plant i bob plentyn dwyflwydd oed yng Nghymru, gyda 4,500 o leoedd gofal plant yn cael eu cynnig fel rhan o’r cynllun ehangu. “Hoffwn ddiolch i bawb sydd ynghlwm â’r cynllun am eu gwaith caled wrth ein helpu i sicrhau bod plant iau yng Nghymru yn gallu cael mynediad at ofal plant. Byddwn yn parhau i weithio gyda’n gilydd i ddarparu ein rhaglen gofal plant.”

NEWYDDION

MAE mam sydd wedi elwa o ehangu rhaglen Dechrau’n Deg Llywodraeth Cymru wedi canmol y cynllun am y fantais y mae wedi’i roi i’w phlentyn ieuengaf. Mae merch Stephanie Thomas yn mynychu meithrinfa ddydd Little Sprouts yng Nghastellnedd fel rhan o’r fenter, ac mae Stephanie’n dweud bod ansawdd y ddarpariaeth yn rhagorol. Mae Llywodraeth

Gymraeg. Dyma un o ymrwymiadau’r Cytundeb Cydweithio rhwng Llywodraeth Cymru a Phlaid Cymru. Mae Dechrau’n Deg yn helpu teuluoedd sydd â phlant ifanc yn ardaloedd mwyaf difreintiedig Cymru. Mae cam presennol ehangu Dechrau’n Deg yn canolbwyntio ar ddarparu gofal plant rhan-amser, wedi’i ariannu, o ansawdd uchel i blant rhwng dwy a thair oed sy’n byw yn yr ardaloedd hynny. Dywedodd Mrs Thomas: “Pan ddechreuon ni gyntaf roedd gan fy merch broblemau ymlyniad, felly roedd hi’n anodd iawn ei gadael. Ond roedd y staff mor dda gyda hi, fe wnaethant y broses o bontio mor hawdd. Mae hi wrth ei bodd yn mynd yno nawr.” Dywedodd Mrs Thomas ei bod yn teimlo bod ei merch wedi elwa’n sylweddol o’r gofal a gafodd diolch i’r rhaglen. Ychwanegodd:

Ysgoloriaeth HCC yn helpu i ddeall yn well sut mae cig coch yn cael ei gynhyrchu a’i brosesu MAE’r chwilio wedi dechrau am ysgolor Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) 2024! Mae Ysgoloriaeth HCC yn agored i unrhyw un dros 18 mlwydd oed sy’n gweithio yn y sector cig coch yng Nghymru. Mae’n werth £4,000 ac mae’n gwobrwyo unigolion sydd am astudio agwedd ar gynhyrchu neu brosesu cig coch unrhyw le yn y byd. Mae’r ysgoloriaeth deithio bellach ar agor a bydd yn cau ar 1 Mawrth 2024. Ymhlith enillwyr blaenorol mae academyddion, ffermwyr, cigyddion, proseswyr a newydd-ddyfodiaid i’r diwydiant, ac mae’r pynciau a astudiwyd yn amrywio o’r defnydd o borfa a bridio detholus i wella costau cynhyrchu a systemau graddio rhyngwladol ar gyfer cig eidion. Gall ysgolorion ddewis astudio unrhyw bwnc o fewn y gadwyn gyflenwi cig coch, sydd o fudd iddyn nhw eu hunain ac i’r diwydiant yn gyffredinol. Gall teithiau astudio bara hyd at chwe wythnos

a disgwylir i ysgolorion ysgrifennu adroddiad a rhannu eu canfyddiadau â’r diwydiant ar ôl iddyn nhw ddychwelyd. Dywedodd Swyddog Gweithredol Datblygu’r Diwydiant yn HCC, James Ruggeri: “Mae Ysgoloriaeth HCC yn bodoli ers dros ugain mlynedd ac mae’n gyfle heb ei ail i unrhyw un sy’n ymwneud â’r diwydiant cig coch yng Nghymru i astudio agwedd ar y sector mewn unrhyw ran o’r byd. Mae Ffrainc, Seland Newydd, UDA a Chile ymhlith y nifer fawr o wledydd bu Ysgolorion HCC yn ymweld â

nhw yn y blynyddoedd diwethaf. Yn wahanol i Ysgoloriaethau eraill, does dim terfyn oedran ar Ysgoloriaeth HCC. Rydym yn chwilio am unigolion uchelgeisiol sydd wedi ymrwymo i wella eu dealltwriaeth eu hunain, ac ar yr un pryd chwarae rhan yn natblygiad y diwydiant cyfan.” Dywedodd Ysgolor HCC 2023, Tudor Roderick: “Mae’r ysgoloriaeth yn gyfle gwych i deithio a dysgu am systemau ffermio gwahanol. Yn ystod fy nhaith i Awstralia, cefais gyfle i gyfarfod â nifer fawr o fridwyr defaid ysbrydoledig ac angerddol a roddodd

fewnwelediad manwl i mi o’u busnesau. Byddwn yn argymell unrhyw un sydd â diddordeb mewn teithio a dysgu mwy am ffermio mewn gwlad dramor i wneud cais am yr ysgoloriaeth.” Dywedodd Ysgolor HCC 2023, Dan Jones, a fu’n astudio arferion ffermio yn UDA a’r DG er mwyn deall y technegau a’r datblygiadau diweddaraf mewn pori cadwraethol a ffermio’r ucheldir: “Byddwn yn annog unrhyw un sy’n gymwys i wneud cais am y cyfle hwn! Mae’n gyfle gwych i deithio a gweld diwylliannau gwahanol. Mae’n agor eich meddwl ac yn eich herio. Mae HCC yn cynnig cyfle gwych i bobl fuddsoddi yn eu hunain a’u gyrfaoedd – felly, gwnewch gais.” Ychwanegodd James Ruggeri: “Mae HCC yn ymdrechu i sicrhau bod gan y diwydiant cig coch yng Nghymru ddyfodol sy’n broffidiol, effeithlon a chynaliadwy. Mae’r ysgoloriaeth hon yn golygu y gallwn feithrin gwell dealltwriaeth a chefnogi’r rhai sy’n teimlo mor angerddol â ni am ein diwydiant ac sy’n gweithio

tuag at weld y weledigaeth honno’n ffynnu. Rwy’n dymuno pob lwc i bawb sy’n ymgeisio!” Mae gan Gymdeithas Ysgoloriaeth HCC aelodaeth unigryw o ffermwyr arobryn, academyddion o fri a phobl nodedig o fewn y diwydiant – a phob un ohonyn nhw wedi cwblhau Ysgoloriaeth HCC. Cadeirydd presennol y Gymdeithas Ysgoloriaethau yw’r ffermwr defaid a chig eidion, Will Evans o Fachynlleth, a’r IsGadeirydd yw James Powell. wneud cais am yr Ysgoloriaeth, dylai unigolion sydd â diddordeb lenwi’r ffurflen gais ar wefan HCC, a bydd cyfweliad yn dilyn i ymgeiswyr ar y rhestr fer. Y cyfnod ymgeisio yw o ddydd Llun 12 Chwefror 2024 tan 5pm ar 1 Mawrth 2024. Mae’r manylion llawn a chyfarwyddyd ynghylch sut i wneud cais ar gael yma:https:// meatpromotion.wales/ en/industry-resources/ scholarship-and-careers/ hcc-scholarship


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The importance of getting the Sustainable Farming Scheme right

FARMING

Farmers’ Union of Wales President, Ian Rickman, has written to all members urging individuals and businesses to formally respond to the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) consultation and to make their voices heard. “We need only look at the statistics from the Farm Business Survey to understand the significance of agricultural and rural development funding to our food supply chains and the wider rural economy. “This is the third and final consultation on the SFS proposals and the importance of getting it right cannot be underestimated. “We have already spoken directly with over 1500 farmers at our local county meetings across Wales in recent weeks, and our team of farming experts have been pushing for changes and amendments to the Welsh Government’s plans over a number of years. This is a crucial juncture for Welsh agriculture and its future Modelling on the potential economic effects of the Sustainable Farming

Scheme published alongside the consultation suggests: • • • •

a reduction in farm business income of up to £199 million a reduction in farm output of £125 million 122,000 fewer livestock units an 11% decline in on-farm labour requirements.

“The reality is that if the scheme remains in its current form, and if the modelling report is correct, farmers uptake will be minimal and everyone will lose out - Welsh farmers, the environment, the public and ultimately the Welsh Government. “There is a real worry that even under a scenario

where scheme payments come nowhere near to compensating for the loss of the Basic Payment Scheme, there will be some farm businesses that will have no choice other than to participate in the SFS. This will, no doubt, place further pressure on farmers’ workload and mental health. “The Sustainable Farming Scheme must be accessible by all, and provide long-term stability for farming businesses and the wider rural economy that relies upon agriculture. The SFS needs to provide a meaningful income stream which properly rewards farmers and underpins the importance of a high quality food supply chain, produced here in Wales” said Mr Rickman. The uncertainty around

the future of agricultural support in Wales comes against a backdrop of continuous bovine TB breakdowns and the slaughtering of thousands of Welsh cattle every year. This is in addition to an all-Wales approach to bureaucratic pollution regulations which will cost the industry in excess of £400 million to comply with. “The recent meetings at Welshpool and Carmarthen livestock markets made a clear statement about the frustration felt by many farmers. It illustrated the groundswell of concern with regards to the current situation and future direction of agricultural policy here in Wales. “As a farmer myself I fully understand and comprehend the

frustrations of many at these meetings. We need to ensure that we work together and that the voice of Welsh farmers is being heard by decision makers in Wales and Westminster. Both farming unions will be meeting with Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, to discuss the way forward. “I cannot, however, overstate how important it is for every individual and business that will be affected by these proposals to formally respond to this consultation by the 7th of March. It is absolutely crucial that we all do so. “I would also ask you to contact your local elected representatives at every opportunity, whether they are county councillors, local and/or regional Members of the Senedd or Members of Parliament at Westminster. “We need to ensure that they also hear your voice and your concerns in order to ensure that we can continue to bring pressure on the Welsh Government to revise the scheme in a way that promotes a sustainable agriculture industry in Wales and safeguards it for the future.”


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Huge turnout in Carmarthen as Welsh farmers protest government reforms A P P R O X I M AT E LY 3,000 Welsh farmers and their supporters converged at the Carmarthen showground in Nantyci this week (Feb 8), voicing their stern opposition against the planned reforms by the Welsh Government. This significant gathering followed a similarly packed meeting in Welshpool last week, which saw over 1,000 attendees. The protests have been ignited by the Welsh Government’s proposed changes to farming policies, aimed at encouraging “sustainable” agricultural practices. Under the new subsidy scheme, set to be implemented from 2025, farms would need to dedicate 10% of their land to tree planting and another 10% to wildlife habitats to qualify for payments. These measures are part of a broader effort to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. However, the reforms have been met with widespread criticism from

the farming community. A mock coffin, bearing the inscription “In memory of Welsh farming,” was paraded by protestors at the demonstration,

symbolising the perceived threat to the industry. Signs with messages like “RIP Welsh farming” and “no farmers, no food” were also prominently

displayed, underscoring the deep concerns within the agricultural sector. The Welsh Government has urged farmers to engage in the ongoing

consultation process regarding the reforms, suggesting that changes to the plans could still be made. Despite this, the sentiment on the ground

reflects a profound fear of the future, with many farmers feeling the new requirements would impose unmanageable burdens and significantly


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increase administrative work. The farming industry’s leaders have not minced words, describing the current moment as a “crunch point” for Welsh agriculture. They argue that the scheme’s rigid requirements on tree and habitat creation, coupled with the lack of clear details on payment rates, will have disastrous effects on farm businesses. An impact assessment accompanying the consultation predicted a substantial reduction in livestock numbers and a potential loss of 5,500 jobs, further exacerbating the industry’s anxieties. In response to the mounting pressure, the Welsh Government, represented by Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths, has acknowledged the sector’s concerns, emphasising the importance of the consultation process and suggesting that adjustments to the proposals are likely. The government insists that the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) aims to ensure the long-term

viability of Welsh farming, alongside environmental sustainability. Nevertheless, the farming community remains skeptical. The current and final consultation period represents a critical juncture for Welsh farmers to express their concerns and potentially influence the future direction of agricultural policy in Wales. With a history of farming that runs deep in the Welsh countryside, the outcome of this dispute will undoubtedly have farreaching implications for the region’s rural economy and way of life. Samuel Kurtz MS, said on X: “Immensely proud and in awe of every farmer at Carmarthen Mart tonight. The sleeping dragon that is rural Wales is awakening after years of neglect by Labour. “Fed up, frustrated but not taking a backward step.” The Welsh Conservatives say that the Labour Government does not listen to Welsh farmers. “The farming community is understandably frustrated at being ignored for so long”, they said on social

media. WELSH FARMERS AT A CROSS ROADS With just a month remaining in the final consultation period for the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS), agricultural leaders in Wales have sounded the alarm, declaring the sector at a critical juncture. The scheme, which has been under development following the Welsh Government’s commitment to sustainable agriculture, faces mounting scrutiny from the farming community. Concerns hinge on the government’s insistence on a 10% land allocation for both tree planting and habitat creation, with many in the sector calling for a reconsideration of these requirements amid fears of significant operational and financial impacts. The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has been at the forefront of opposition, highlighting the scheme’s potential to cause a near 10.8% reduction in livestock numbers and an 11% decrease in agricultural

labor, equating to an estimated £199 million loss in farm business income. FUW President Ian Rickman emphasised the urgency of the situation, urging all stakeholders to engage in the consultation process to advocate for necessary adjustments to the scheme. Amidst this backdrop of concern, individual farmers like Tudur Parry, a dairy, beef, and sheep farmer from Caernarfon, express apprehension towards the SFS’s rigidity, particularly around land use for trees and habitats. Parry’s concerns reflect a broader sentiment that the scheme’s current form could undermine the viability of traditional farming operations in Wales. The consultation process has also shed light on the anxiety permeating the farming community, with only a fraction of attendees at a recent FUW meeting indicating their willingness to participate in the SFS under its present conditions. This reluctance underscores the perceived incompatibility of the scheme with

Responsible dog ownership vital to protect livestock As the days lengthen and more of us are getting out into the countryside, people are being reminded to keep their dogs under control around livestock. With lambing season well underway, and ewes and lambs a common sight in fields across Wales, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths and Rural and Wildlife Crime Coordinator Rob Taylor want to ensure dog owners understand their responsibilities. There continues to be too many dog attacks on sheep and other livestock which have emotional, financial and animal welfare implications. Research has found most incidents involving dogs attacking sheep take place on land not accessible to the public. Dog owners should familiarise themselves with Natural Resources Wales’ Countryside Code. This includes: •

keeping dogs on a

lead or in sight and owners should be confident they will return on command. dogs should not stray from the path or area where there is a right of access. on open access land, dogs must be on a lead between 1 March and 31 July, even if there are no livestock present. This is a legal requirement.

Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “Responsible dog

ownership is key in keeping lambs, sheep and all other livestock safe. “We know most dog owners do the right thing in keeping their dogs under control, but there are some who do not. “There have been harrowing images of when attacks do happen and by taking the appropriate steps these can be prevented.” Wales Rural and Wildlife Crime Coordinator, Rob Taylor said: “Attacks on livestock are completely

preventable through responsible dog ownership. Sadly, attacks on pregnant ewes or newborn lambs at this time of year do still occur. “We ask that owners are aware of the risks, use a precautionary approach in controlling their dog and understand the route on which they take them to exercise. “An attack on livestock may result in their pet being shot, or euthanised on a court order. Nobody wants to see that happening.”

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) says that the Scottish Government’s confirmation that direct farm support will continue in Scotland highlights the fundamental flaws inherent in Wales’ Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) proposals. Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf told NFU Scotland’s spring conference on Friday (9th February) that 70% of future support will constitute direct farm payments to support food producers. The remaining 30% will be targeted at environmental measures, a ratio similar to current Scottish arrangements. “By comparison, the Welsh Government’s proposed SFS, due to be introduced next year, would bring direct farm payments to an end completely while introducing a mountain of costly restrictions and requirements,” said FUW President, Ian Rickman. “This would mean Welsh farmers competing at a huge disadvantage compared to our counterparts in Scotland, despite both our countries having a similar proportion of disadvantaged land where only livestock farming is possible.” Around 85% of Scotland is classified as Less Favoured, while the proportion in Wales is 80%. In England it is just 17%. Mr Yousaf also confirmed that a form of Less Favoured Areas support, which was abandoned in Wales in 2013, would continue in Scotland. “The Welsh Government’s economic analysis published alongside their SFS consultation paper suggests all the rules and restrictions would lead to an 11% reduction in livestock numbers. It would also

see a fall in average Welsh farm incomes of between 25 and 35 percent. This figure would rise to between 48% and 85% in the absence of possible ‘top-up’ payments,” said Mr Rickman. “Now that we have left the EU, the UK effectively has its own single market but without the common payment rules. If Wales diverges from Scotland in the way proposed by Welsh Government, we would not only be disadvantaging our own farmers by introducing a mountain of rules not present for EU producers, but would also be placing our own industry at a huge competitive d i s a d v a n t a g e compared to Scotland and handing business to the Scotts on a plate,” said Mr Rickman. The FUW was a principled opponent of Brexit and after the vote to leave in 2016, argued for a robust replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy that minimised such unfair competition between UK nations. This was apparent in our comprehensive Filling the Void paper published in July 2018. “This very sensible and economically advantageous move by the Scottish Government needs to be reflected by the Welsh Government when it considers the vast number of improvements that must be made to its current SFS proposals. What is proposed at present is destructive and economically naive, and would be a massive own goal for Wales’ farms, society, culture and economy. “As we predicted, Brexit has failed Welsh farmers on many levels and the Welsh Government’s plans would merely add to the challenges we have faced since 2016,” he added.


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Poorly dog fly-tipped with rubbish

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RSPCA Cymru has initiated an appeal for information subsequent to the discovery of an ailing dog, heavily matted and abandoned in Bridgend. The Shih Tzu, estimated to be around 10 years old, was found in the Coytrahen area on 24 January. Providentially, a passerby noticed the distressed canine near a hedge and promptly facilitated her transfer to a place of safety, prompting a call to the RSPCA. Immediate veterinary attention was sought, and the dog is currently under the care of an RSPCA foster caregiver while investigations are underway. RSPCA Inspector Keith Hogben, leading the inquiry in collaboration with Deputy Chief Inspector (DCI) Gemma Cooper, noted that the dog was discovered in an area known for illegal dumping. “We express our gratitude to the individual who discovered her, understandably distressed by her condition, and even took the initiative to trim the hair around her eyes as she could hardly see.” Keith revealed that the dog, affectionately named Patsy Pancake, has endured a challenging few weeks. “Upon entering RSPCA care, she promptly received essential veterinary attention. Initially, her heavily matted coat, contaminated with feces, was removed. Regrettably, she experienced a deterioration in health, contracting sepsis; however, she is now on the path to recovery. Patsy Pancake is presently thriving in her new environment with a

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foster caregiver.” DCI Cooper added, “Her survival was uncertain, but the veterinary staff displayed incredible dedication, contributing to the miraculous turnaround.” An appeal for information has been launched to aid ongoing inquiries. “If anyone possesses firsthand information regarding this dog and her owner, we urge you to contact us at 0300 123 8018, quoting reference number 01213820,” appealed Keith. As the RSPCA commemorates its bicentennial year, the charity seeks to inspire a movement of one million supporters for animals, striving to “forge a superior world for every animal.”

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Welsh coalition says ‘no’ to proposed school year changes

week peak season where the weather is far more favourable for visitors to enjoy the countryside and Wales’ visitor attractions. Under the proposals, visitors will be faced with limited time in the summer to enjoy Wales at its finest. Organisers of the Royal Welsh Show claim that it could lose £1 million a year if the change goes ahead. The show is the largest agricultural event of its kind in Europe and, as such, affords Wales the opportunity of international attention. The coalition is calling upon the Welsh Government to withdraw these proposals and redirect its energies to the real challenges that face Wales and to stop fighting unnecessary battles. Open letter to Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education, regarding the reform of the school year Copied to Welsh Government Cabinet Dear Minister, We write to you to express our deep concern at the decision of the Welsh Government to engage in a public consultation over the reform of the school year, when there has been no serious attempt to engage appropriately with the sectors and organisations that represent the many people across Wales who will be detrimentally affected by the recommendations that have been presented. We believe that there is limited recent and relevant research that supports the recommendations and that they are based upon a longheld prejudice regarding the school summer break. This proposal runs the risk of fixing a problem that does not exist, when there is also little public appetite for such a change. In the Welsh Government- commissioned Beaufort Report, the key findings state that ‘the majority

of participants were content with the shape of the current school year’ All of the education unions are in complete agreement that the reform of the school year proposals are unacceptable. The summer break is already amongst the shortest in Europe. The educational reasons the Welsh Government give for the reforms are not substantiated by research, including the view that there is a detriment to children’s learning. Countries that appear above Wales in the PISA league tables have significantly longer summer breaks. We would argue that the proposed changes will actually do damage to secondary learners, as a week is taken from the crucial autumn term and transferred to the quieter postexamination period. Every secondary teacher knows that this is a serious error. The education unions are also incredulous that, at a time when schools are facing a crisis in funding, recruitment and pupil behaviour, the Welsh Government should be so engaged in this entirely unnecessary distraction. Representatives from the tourist industry, the second largest employer in Wales, have also expressed their dismay at the formal consultation. The proposed change to the summer break will lead to some attractions closing and jobs being lost. Many attractions take over 45% of their entire annual income in the current summer holidays. The proposal to add a week to the October half term would be a disaster for many, especially those in rural/ mountainous areas where the weather at that time of year can be grim, and would mean an 80% reduction in revenue for that week if compared to the one lost in the summer term. Last October, in half term, Wales endured a named storm and many

attractions had to close on the Thursday of that week and did not reopen for the rest of the week. The tourist industry also employs many young people during the summer break period. The current six-week period allows time to train and properly engage with, youngsters, many of whom are experiencing their first opportunity in the workplace. Many will be denied this opportunity if the holiday periods are cut short by these proposals. Farming representatives also have concerns about the proposed reform – arguing that many farming businesses that have diversified into the tourism sector benefit from a six-week peak season where the weather is far more favourable for visitors to enjoy the countryside and Wales’ visitor attractions. Under the proposals, visitors will be faced with limited time in the summer to enjoy Wales at its finest. There is also concern where there are ‘honey pot’ areas, confining the timeframe with an increased number of visitors to these parts, will impact on those running farming businesses in rural Wales causing disruption, especially in coastal areas or National Parks. The prospect of shorter days associated with an extended October halfterm break will not be as enjoyable and could result in the loss of these visitors as holidays are taken abroad. Farmers are also concerned about the impact on the Royal Welsh Show. This is a wonderful vocational educational experience for the next generation of farmers as well as being the one opportunity a year when many farming families are able spend time together away from the farm. The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS) has already publicly stated that schools

remaining open during show week could lead to an estimated £1 million loss of revenue and thus endanger its future viability. Sixty-eight per cent of show visitors attend as part of a family group. If it is term time in Wales during Royal Welsh Show week, young people and those working in schools will be denied the opportunity to attend the show legally with their families. They will also be denied the opportunity to compete in its events, and the show will be denied its role in the education of Welsh youngsters, which is to help them develop into rounded individuals who will contribute to Wales’ future prosperity. The RWAS has stated that it does not wish to negatively impact other agricultural shows and national events, such as the Eisteddfod, which follow the Royal Welsh Show in the calendar by moving its own dates. Indeed, as many of these events share the same contractors and vendors, it is unlikely that moving show dates to accommodate a change in school holidays would be viable. The show is the largest agricultural event of its kind in Europe and, as such, affords Wales the opportunity of international attention. It embodies the Welsh Government’s vision of a Wales which, as outlined in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, prospers in regards to its people, culture and economy. Endangering the show’s future by having schools open during the event also endangers Wales’s future prosperity. We call upon the Welsh Government to withdraw its proposals to reform the school year. Experts in education, tourism and agriculture have all argued strongly against these proposals as the Welsh Government is not addressing these concerns. We believe that these proposals do not come from relevant and recent research and will not best support children in their learning. The arguments against these proposals that we state in this letter are just a few of many arguments that we have all repeated time and again to Welsh Government officials, but no one is listening. Possibly of greater concern are all the unintended consequences that will surface only after the damage is done. We call upon the Welsh Government to withdraw these proposals and redirect its energies to the real challenges that face Wales and to stop fighting unnecessary battles.

EDUCATION

A COALITION of trade unions, Welsh tourism organisations, and farming, are calling on the Welsh government to scrap its proposed reform of the school year. This proposed Government reform would reduce the number of weeks in the school summer holidays from the present six weeks down to five. The week taken from the summer holidays would be added to the Autumn half term. However, the Welsh Governments long term aim would be to further reduce the summer school holidays down to just four weeks! The Welsh Association of Visitor Attractions state that many attractions take over 45% of their entire yearly income during the school summer holidays, and any loss of summer revenue would lead to closures and job losses. To put a key summer week into an extra week in the Autumn half term would mean a loss of tens of thousands of pounds for many Welsh attractions. Furthermore, the past two Autumn half terms have been plagued by massive storms leading to some attractions being forced to close. At a time when established attractions are closing down it is unfathomable why no research has been done by the Government as to the likely damage this proposal would do to tourism in Wales. The tourist industry also employs many young people during the summer break period. The current six-week period allows time to train and properly engage with, youngsters, many of whom are experiencing their first opportunity in the workplace. Many will be denied this opportunity if the holiday periods are cut short by these proposals. The Teaching Unions claim that a week taken from the crucial autumn term and placed in the quieter postexamination period, is not supported by research and would damage learning. The summer break is already amongst the shortest in Europe. The educational reasons the Welsh Government give for the reforms are not substantiated by research, including the view that there is a detriment to children’s learning. Countries that appear above Wales in the PISA league tables have significantly longer summer breaks. Farming representatives (NFU) also have concerns about the proposed reform – arguing that many farming businesses that have diversified into the tourism sector benefit from a six-


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Isuzu UK Celebrates Dealer Excellence at Dealer Awards 2024

MOTORS

Isuzu UK proudly hosted its highly anticipated yearly Dealer Awards on 1st February 2024. The event, held in two distinguished parts, showcased Isuzu’s commitment to excellence and its significant role in the sports sponsorship arena. Before the awards evening, Isuzu UK dealers were invited to the conference, held at Hampden Park, Scotland’s National Stadium, which was a testament to Isuzu’s deeprooted involvement in sports sponsorship. With a rich partnership in football, Isuzu’s association with the FA Trophy and FA Vase highlighted its unwavering commitment to the beautiful game. Furthermore, Isuzu’s sponsorship extended beyond football, with a strong presence in rugby through its partnership with the Welsh Rugby Union. The company also proudly sponsors prestigious events like the Scottish Cup and Irish Cup, further solidifying its position as a key player in the sports sponsorship landscape. The awards evening,

hosted at Hilton Glasgow, was a glamorous affair that recognised and celebrated the outstanding performance of Isuzu’s dealers throughout 2023. Following the successful events in the previous years, the whole network of UK dealers was once again invited to the glamorous event set in the 80s theme to celebrate another year of greatness and the most successful year of D-Max sales since its introduction in 2012. During the event, guests were greeted by Isuzu Motors International Operations Thailand executives and enjoyed the appearance of sports personalities, including Sky TV’s famous sports presenter Eilidh Barbour, who presented the awards, and former Scotland and British and Irish Lions full-back Gavin Hastings, who joined her on stage to get insight into his legendary achievements. The evening closed with a surprise set from Martin Kemp, actor and bassist in the new wave band, Spandau Ballet. A range of prestigious awards were presented, acknowledging excellence in various categories:

Isuzu Dealer of the Year and Accessories Dealer of the Year: RVT Commercials claimed top honours, s h o w c a s i n g exceptional performance. Parts Dealer of the Year: Roger Young demonstrated excellence in parts services, securing the Parts Dealer of the Year award. D e a l e r s h i p Community Award: Livery Dole’s commitment to community service earned them this esteemed award. Marketing/Social Media Dealer of the Year: Crawfords A u t o m o t i v e Group’s innovative marketing and social media strategies

were recognised with this award. Events Dealer of the Year: J W Rigby took home the award for outstanding event management. New Dealer of the Year: Desira Group made a remarkable entry into the Isuzu family, securing the New Dealer of the Year award.

Isuzu also took the opportunity to celebrate regional performance, honouring the best Sales, Accessories, Parts, and overall performance dealers in each of the four regions. Graham Joll, covering the south region, was awarded the Regional Sales Manager of the Year, highlighting his exceptional leadership and contribution to Isuzu’s

success. Alan Able, Isuzu UK Managing Director, expressed his enthusiasm about the event, stating, “The Isuzu UK Dealer Awards 2024 was an incredible celebration of our collective success. With the best year of Isuzu D-Max sales ever, we are proud to honour our top-performing dealers and recognise their exceptional contributions. The event was a great success, and we look forward to what 2024 holds for Isuzu.” The Isuzu Dealer Awards 2024 showcased the brand’s commitment to excellence in the automotive industry. As Isuzu continues to set new benchmarks, the company anticipates a year of continued success and growth in 2024.


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TOYOTA AYGO - 2012

SUZUKI ALTO - 2011

DACIA SANDERO - 2019

KIA SPORTAGE - 2014

FORD FIESTA - 2015

1.0 VVT-I FIRE AC 3d 67 BHP ** PETROL......5 SPEED......YES ONLY 60,065 MILES FROM NEW.......SERVICE HISTORY 9 STAMPS.......2 KEYS........2 PREVIOUS OWNERS.........£0 ROAD TAX.........LOW INSURANCE GROUP 3..

1.0 SZ2 5d 68 BHP **PETROL....£20 ROAD TAX....LOW INSURANCE GROUP....LOW MILEAGE - 43,934 MILES....64MPG....REMOTE CENTRAL LOCKING..

0.9 COMFORT TCE 5d 90 BHP ** PETROL......5 SPEED......YES ONLY 53,589 MILES FROM NEW....... 1 PREVIOUS OWNER.......2 KEYS.......LOW INSURANCE GROUP 10..........57 MPG.

1.7 CRDI 2 ISG 5d 114 BHP ** DIESEL....SIX SPEED....54MPG....CRDI 2 EDITION....MAIN DEALER SERVICE HISTORY - 7 STAMPS....TWO KEYS.... PANORAMIC ROOF....SIDE STEPS

1.5 TITANIUM TDCI 5d 74 BHP ** DIESEL....5 SPEED....ONLY 26,122 MILES...MAIN DEALER SERVICE HISTORY - 6 SERVICES....£ZERO ROAD TAX....78 MPG.

KIA CEED - 2014

BMW 1 SERIES - 2013

SMART FORTWO COUPE - 2010

TOYOTA AYGO - 2015

1.6 CRDI 2 ECODYNAMICS 5d 126 BHP **DIESEL.......ESTATE......6 SPEED......87,389 MILES.......SERVICE HISTORY 4 STAMPS......2 KEYS.....,.£35 ROAD TAX.......64 MPG.......SPORTS WAGON ....

1.6 116I SE 5d 135 BHP ** PETROL........8 SPEED AUTOMATIC.......2 PREVIOUS OWNERS........YES ONLY 68,313 MILES FROM NEW....... SERVICE HISTORY 4 STAMPS........2 KEYS.........£150 ROAD TAX..........50 MPG....

PASSION MHD ** PETROL......AUTOMATIC......YES ONLY 59,859 MILES......... SERVICE HISTORY 8 STAMPS.........£20 ROAD TAX........74 MPG........PASSION EDITION.......AIRCON..

1.0 VVT-I X-CLUSIV 5d 69 BHP ** PETROL.....5 SPEED.......YES ONLY COVERED 36,629 MILES FROM NEW........FULL SERVICE HISTORY 8 STAMPS........2 KEYS........£0 ROAD TAX...

MERCEDES-BENZ A-CLASS 2015

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1.5 A180 CDI BLUEEFFICIENCY SE 5d 109 BHP **DIESEL....6 SPEED.....£0 ROAD TAX.......74 MPG.......2 KEYS....... SE EDITION.......HALF LEATHER SPORTS SEATS.......MEDIA SCREEN....

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CITROEN DS4 - 2012

DS DS 3 - 2016

HYUNDAI TUCSON - 2016

VAUXHALL CORSA - 2012

MERCEDES-BENZ C-CLASS - 2014

1.6 HDI DSTYLE 5d 110 BHP ** DIESEL......6 SPEED.....2 PREVIOUS OWNER........96.829 MILES........SERVICE HISTORY 6 STAMPS.......£150 ROAD TAX.......60MPG.........2 KEYS........ DSTYLE EDITION.....

1.6 BLUEHDI ELEGANCE S/S 3d 98 BHP ** DIESEL.......5 SPEED...... ONLY 81,373 MILES......2 PREVIOUS OWNERS.......2 KEYS........£0 ROAD TAX.......83 MPG.....

1.7 CRDI SE NAV BLUE DRIVE 5d 114 BHP ** DIESEL .......6 SPEED.....1 PREVIOUS OWNER........SERVICE HISTORY 10 STAMPS ALL MAIN DEALER.......2 KEYS....

1.2 ACTIVE AC 5d 83 BHP 88 PETROL.....5 SPEED......1 PREVIOUS OWNER........YES ONLY COVERED 38,510 MILES FROM NEW........2 KEYS.......£150 ROAD TAX..

2.1 C220 CDI AMG SPORT EDITION 2d 168 BHP ** DIESEL.......COUPE...... AUTOMATIC 7 SPEED.......YES ONLY 83,149 MILES........£180 ROAD TAX........53 MPG........AMG SPORT EDITION.......HALF LEATHER

CITROEN C4 GRAND PICASSO

VOLVO XC60 - 2011

BMW 1 SERIES - 2010

VOLKSWAGEN UP - 2013

DACIA LOGAN MCV - 2015

1.6 E-HDI AIRDREAM EXCLUSIVE PLUS 5d 113 BHP ** 7 SEATER.... DIESEL....6 SPEED....£20 ROAD TAX....70 MPG.......EXCLUSIVE PLUS EDITION.......HUGE SPEC...

2.4 D5 R-DESIGN AWD 5d 212 BHP ** DIESEL.......AUTOMATIC......ESTATE......4 WHEEL DRIVE......ONE PREVIOUS OWNER.....SERVICE HISTORY 10 STAMPS......R DESIGN EDITION

2.0 118D SPORT 2d 141 BHP ** CONVERTIBLE.....DIESEL........6 SPEED.......2 PEVIOUS OWNERS.......YES ONLY 91,740 MILES FROM NEW.......SERVICE HISTORY 8 STAMPS...

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1.0 ROCK UP 3d 74 BHP ** PETROL.......5 SPEED.......YES ONLY COVERED 42,131 MILES FROM NEW........FULL SERVICE HISTORY 5 STAMPS........2 KEYS........£20 ROAD TAX.......60 MPG..

0.9 AMBIANCE TCE 5d 90 BHP ** PETROL.......ESTATE......ONE PREVIOUS OWNER.......5 SPEED......£20 ROAD TAX .......LOW INSURANCE GROUP 8.........57 MPG......AMBIANCE EDITION.....

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01792 814 110 after hours 07976 731 199 • BEVANS GARAGE, PENIEL GREEN ROAD, SKEWEN, SWANSEA, SA7 9BU

www.junction44motorcompany.co.uk • junction44motorcompany@gmail.com


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2017/17 JAGUAR F-TYPE 5.0 V8R SUPERCHARGED CONVERTIBLE AUTOMATIC ONLY 7000 MILES, WHITE WITH BLACK ROOF 2022 72 2021 21 2020 70 2020 20 2020 20 2019 69 2019 19 2019 19 2019 68 2018 68 2018 18 2018 18 2018 18 2018 18 2018 18 2017 67 2017 67 2017 17 2017 17 2016 66 2015 65 2015 15 2015 15 2013 13

TOYOTA AYGO 1.0 X PURE AUTOMATIC, 5dr, white, 1 owner, 5k .....................£15,500.00 FORD FIESTA 1.0 ST LINE EDITION, 5dr, black, 1 owner, fsh, ...........................£15,995.00 MINI COOPER S ELECTRIC. 3dr, grey. 19k, 1 owner ............................................£14,995.00 PEUGEOT 108 1.0 COLLECTION, black, 8k, 1 owner, 5dr, ....................................£8,995.00 FORD FIESTA 1.0 TREND, 5dr, blue, 15k ...............................................................£13,595.00 TOYOTA C-HR DYNAMIQUE 1,8 HYBRID, 5dr, silver, fsh, 1 owner....................£14,995.00 CITROEN C3 AIRCROSS 1.5 BLUE Hdi Flair, 19k, ...............................................£11,995.00 VAUXHALL INSIGNIA DESIGN 1.6 TD, 5dr, service history, blue .........................£7,995.00 FORD FOCUS 1.0 125 ZETEC, 5dr, silver, 43k, 1 owner, fsh ...................................£11,995.00 BMW I3 600cc RANGE ENTENDER, blue, 21k, 1 owner, fsh .................................£19,995.00 CITROEN C3 BLUE HDI FEEL 5dr, grey, 1 owner, ..................................................£6,495.00 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 2.0 GT TDI 5dr, B/motion, white,1 owner .........................£11,995.00 VAUXHALL ASTRA 1.6 CDTi DESIGN ESTATE, silver, ..........................................£7,995.00 PEUGEOT 108 1.2 ALLURE, purple, 46k, ................................................................£7,495.00 VAUXHALL ASTRA 1.6 CDTi DESIGN ESTATE, black, fsh ....................................£7,995.00 HYUNDAI TUCSON 1.7 CRDi 2wd, grey, 1 owner, 76k, fsh ...................................£11,995.00 FIAT ABARTH 1.4 AUTOMATIC, blue, 2000 miles, 1 owner, fsh ..........................£14,750.00 SKODA FABIA 1.4S Tdi ESTATE, grey, 1owner, .......................................................£6,995.00 FIAT 500 1.2 POP, white, 33k .....................................................................................£7,650.00 FORD FIESTA 1.4 EDGE Tdci 5dr, silver ..................................................................£5,495.00 PEUGEOT 208 GT LINE1.6 HDI, 3dr, black, ...........................................................£4,595.00 FORD FIESTA 1.0 TITANIUM TURBO, 5 dr, grey, fsh, ...........................................£4,995.00 CITROEN C1 1.0 AIRSPACE, orange, 5dr, 59k .........................................................£5,495.00 RENAULT CLIO 1.2 DYNAMIQUE, yellow, .............................................................£3,750.00

2013 13 2013 13 2013 13 2012 62 2012 12 2011 11 2011 11 2010 10 2010 10 2004 53 1999 S

AUDI A1 1.6 SPORT Tdi, black, 3dr ..........................................................................£5,000.00 VAUXHALL CORSA 1.2 CDTI LTD EDITION, 3dr, red, service history ................£4,995.00 PEUGEOT BIPPER 1.3 TEEPEE AUTOMATIC, 70k, grey, fsh ................................£4,250.00 FORD FIESTA 1.4 EDGE Tdci 5dr, silver ..................................................................£4,250.00 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 2.0 GT TDI CONVERTIBLE B/motion, white, ...................£5,995.00 FORD FIESTA 1.2 ZETEC 3dr, silver, 56k, ................................................................£5,495.00 PEUGEOT 107 1.0 ENVY, 5dr, red.............................................................................£3,650.00 BMW 710 DIESEL M SPORT 4dr SALOON, black, .................................................£7,995.00 FORD FIESTA EDGE 1.4 Tdci, 1 owner, fsh, silver ..................................................£4,250.00 PORSCHE BOXSTER S 3.2 CONVERTIBLE, blue, 54k, s/history ...........................£7,995.00 BMW Z3 2.8 SPORT CONVERTIBLE, 2dr, silver, genuine low mileage..................£7,995.00

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Prices inclusive of 20% VAT 22022 22 HARDLIFE XN 2.3 LWB MINI EXCAVATOR (KUBOTA DIESEL ENGINE) .........£8,500.00 2019 69

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2019 19

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2018 68

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2018 18

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2017 67

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2016 16

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2016 16

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2013 63

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Calls to declare health emergency in Wales narrowly rejected

HEALTH

THE WELSH PARLIAMENT narrowly rejected calls to declare a health emergency due to the “existential threat” facing the NHS. With the vote deadlocked at 26-26, Elin Jones – the Senedd’s speaker or Llywydd – used her casting vote against the Plaid Cymru motion in line with convention. Mabon ap Gwynfor, the shadow health minister, urged the Welsh Government to recognise an unfolding emergency and bring the NHS “back from the brink”. The Plaid Cymru MS warned that without a drastic course correction, the health service faces a highly uncertain future. He said: “We have brought forward this debate today with one clear purpose: to try to convince the government we need to recognise the existential threat facing the NHS, which is so valuable to us, by declaring a health emergency in Wales.” Mr Gwynfor, who represents Dwyfor Meirionnydd, pointed out that waiting lists have hit record highs in July, August, September and October. ‘Limbo’ He told the chamber

Chris Haines

ICNN Senedd reporter

that there are 582,000 people waiting for treatment – almost a fifth of Wales’ population, who are “stuck in this everexpanding limbo zone”. Turning to cancer services, Mr Gwynfor said only around 54% of patients started treatment within the recommended 62 days against a target of 75% which has never been met. He added that ambulances spent a combined total of 22,000 hours parked outside hospitals waiting to drop off patients in December alone. Mr Gwynfor quoted Wes Streeting, Labour’s shadow health minister at Westminster, as saying: “You would have to be living on Mars not to see the NHS is in an emergency.” He urged Welsh Labour to “come back to earth and open their eyes to what is happening here on their watch”. Pointing out that the Senedd was the first parliament in the world to declare a climate emergency, he urged Welsh ministers to do the

same with health. ‘Collapse’ Russell George, the Conservatives’ shadow minister, raised concerns about a GP crisis, saying the number of patients per GP has risen by a third in less than a decade. Mr George accused the Welsh Government of failing to sufficiently recruit, train and retain NHS staff more broadly than GPs. He moved the Conservatives’ amendments, which urged the Welsh Government to develop a workforce plan and set a target to eliminate two-year waits by September. The Montgomeryshire MS said: “The staffing crisis is so acute that we do need to act now to prevent the collapse of our NHS. “Those aren’t my words, those are the words straight from the British Medical Association.” Mr George told MSs that 25,000 people are waiting more than two years for treatment in Wales but in England and Scotland such waits have been virtually eliminated. ‘Miracles’ Huw Irranca-Davies recognised the challenges but said it must be balanced against the

miracles being performed daily by the health service. The Labour backbencher praised the “amazing” treatment he has received from the NHS, saying he has not experienced long delays. The Ogmore MS, whose wife works in A&E, said: “It isn’t because, as somebody will say ‘well, you’re an MS, your name goes up the list’ – it isn’t that. “The NHS treats me like any other citizen. It’s seen me, it’s seen me promptly and it’s getting me through the system as fast as it possibly can, and I’m having the best of service.” Jane Dodds, the Lib Dems’ leader in Wales, focused her contribution on rural communities, calling for a rural GP premium to help with recruitment and retention. The Mid and West Wales MS warned that GPs are continuing to say they have had enough. She raised a Royal College of GPs survey which found that one in four did not expect to be in their current role in five years’ time. ‘Crisis’ Eluned Morgan, Wales’ health minister, said: “I don’t accept there

is a health emergency and I’m not really sure what we hope to achieve by declaring a health emergency.” During the debate on February 7, she told the chamber that the Welsh Government has prioritised the NHS in the face of more than £1bn of real-terms cuts. She said achieving performance targets has been difficult because demand has gone through the roof, with referrals increasing by 10% last year to 1.5 million. Baroness Morgan pointed out that almost 300,000 people – about the population of Cardiff – are seen as out-patients every month by the Welsh NHS. She said more than 2,500 people attend A&E and about 1,100 people call 999 every day. The minister stressed: “I think the vast majority of these people would say that there is not a crisis. People fall over themselves to tell me how great their treatment has been…. “You’ve got to balance it. We’ve got to balance all of the criticism with the great work that is being done in the NHS.”


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Fundamental challenges remain for troubled Betsi Cadwaladr Board

Betsi Cadwaladr UHB: Plagued by poor performance and scandal changes to the board membership over the last 12 months and a period of upheaval and churn, the follow-up report that we’re publishing today describes a board that is now more stable. The dysfunctionality we described in our previous report is no longer present. A new substantive Chair and Chief Executive provide refreshed and focused leadership to tackle the organisation’s challenges. Reliance on interim appointments to senior roles is reducing, and action is being taken to strengthen corporate governance leadership arrangements. Audit Wales says further action is still needed in several areas despite that progress. Work must continue to build a cohesive, highperforming executive team. The Board must also move as quickly as possible to ensure it has a full complement of substantive executive directors and independent members. G o v e r n a n c e structures suspended in 2023 following the resignation of the previous independent members must be rebuilt. In addition, the issues that led to the suspension of staff in the finance team need to be resolved. The report highlights

the need for the organisation to develop its internal capacity and resilience to sustain improvement without requiring continual external support. Auditor General Adrian Crompton said: “It’s assuring that the dysfunction within the health board’s senior leadership we described last year is no longer present. “There is now a need for the board to build upon this progress and provide the unified organisational leadership needed to address the significant and ongoing challenges facing it.” WG’s DISASTROUS RECORD OVER NORTH WALES BOARD Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board entered special measures in 2015 when Mark Drakeford was Health Minister. The Welsh Government acted after an independent investigator uncovered gross mismanagement of the Board’s mental health services. The Board’s thenCEO, former Hywel Dda head Trevor Purt, was placed on wellremunerated gardening leave for over twelve months before leaving. Meantime, the Welsh Government took direct

control of the Board’s activities. Betsi Cadwaladr remained Wales’s worstperforming health board throughout the period of Welsh Government control. Its reputation was not helped by a determined ministerial effort to suppress the publication of reports on financial mismanagement and poor clinical practices. Even in Wales’s dysfunctional NHS, it stood out for all the wrong reasons. A series of probes into “never” events and clinical mismanagement suggested that improvement remained elusive. It was, therefore, a surprise when the Welsh Government removed the Board from special measures. The decision, made by then-Health Minister Vaughan Gething, was in no way connected to a pending Welsh parliamentary election. Mr Gething and his boss, Mark Drakeford, expressed horror that anyone would suggest mere political calculation played any role in removing the troubled North Wales health board from special measures. They pointed to advice from Audit Wales that suggested the Board could be removed from them. Except, as the

Auditor-General Adrian Crompton made clear, Audit Wales offered no such advice or assurance, was never asked to, and wouldn’t have done so if asked. After misleading the Senedd, Mr Drakeford and Mr Gething - by then Economy Minister - kept schtum about the Board until a dramatic intervention by new Health Minister Eluned Morgan. F i n d i n g dysfunctionality in the Board’s operations that had eluded her predecessor. To her evident astonishment, the same Board members whose leadership led it from special measures were fighting like rats in a sack. Independent Board members complained about senior staff’s obstructive approach and failure to act over a financial scandal. So, Eluned Morgan sacked the independent members, put in a series of Welsh Government nominees, and returned the Board to special measures. Meanwhile, the Board continued bumping along the bottom of Wales’s NHS performance statistics. Now that all Welsh health boards are in one form of special measures or another, North Wales’s experience looks more and more like a template for the future.

HEALTH

AN AUDIT WALES report says that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is progressing from the dysfunctionality found within its board one year ago. The report finds that the Board is more stable after significant disruption during 2023, with more positive working relationships among its senior leaders. However, the report says there are still fundamental challenges to address. Those include building a highperforming executive team, recruiting substantively to remaining posts on the Board, and ensuring the new Board demonstrates the unified and effective leadership needed to tackle continuing challenges. In February 2023, the Auditor General published a report in the public interest that described a worrying level of dysfunctionality within the Board at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. The report highlighted a need for immediate action to address fractured working relationships between the health board’s senior leaders that fundamentally compromised its ability to tackle its substantial challenges. Following significant


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UK Research and Innovation funds new Welsh economic partnership

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Shared-spaces.co.uk SSH@businessinfocus.co.uk Unit 6 Riverside Shopping Centre Haverfordwest SA61 2LJ

BUSINESS

A WELSH initiative designed to improve lives and economic opportunities in rural Wales will get £5m in new funding. The Rural Wales Local Policy Innovation Partnership will strengthen collaborations and knowledge exchange in rural Wales to: •

develop integrated and innovative solutions to challenges facing rural Wales. empower local communities to respond to local challenges through c o m m u n i t y led research and innovation, contributing to inclusive sustainable development. It will collaborate with communities in five pilot areas around Corwen, Newtown, Trawsfynydd, n o r t h e r n C e r e d i g i o n and north-west

Pembrokeshire to build a regenerative economy and support the move to net zero. The Director of the Rural Wales Local Policy and Innovation Partnership (LPIP), Professor Michael Woods, said: “Rural Wales faces significant challenges in growing its economy, providing good jobs and housing for local people, and maintaining services to ensure the wellbeing of communities. This is an exciting opportunity to bring together expertise from universities, businesses, the public sector and communities to work towards an inclusive, sustainable future for the region.” Part of UKRI’s work to create opportunities and improve outcomes across the UK, the four Local Policy Innovation Partnerships (LPIPs) will bring together devolved governments, local authorities, businesses and communities to

harness the power of research and innovation in addressing local challenges. The partnerships will drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth and reduce regional disparities in the UK. Professor Alison Park, Head of UKRI’s creating opportunities, improving outcomes theme, said: “Local Policy Innovation Partnerships demonstrate UKRI’s commitment to bringing together a diverse range of partners, from local and devolved government, communities and businesses. Through these long-term collaborations, we will accelerate the use of research and innovation to reduce regional inequalities and drive sustainable, inclusive growth.” The other partnerships are: •

A Scottish project, which will focus on

building inclusive e c o n o m i c opportunities, including jobs, around an abundant natural resource – water; and A Northern Irish collaboration that will focus primarily on boosting skills to tackle unemployment and improve economic growth. A Yorkshire partnership to support inclusive and sustainable j o b - g r o w t h , businesses, culture and tourism with a focus on low-income, marginalised and isolated communities. The four projects are supported by a Birminghambased LPIPs hub, which will gather and share data, evidence, learning and best practice with the UK government, local authorities and

researchers who are focusing on regional inequality. The LPIPs programme is funded by UKRI through the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Innovate UK. It used an innovative two-phase competitive process. In phase one of the programme 10 LPIPs each received up to £50,000 of seed corn funding to build local partnerships and work with communities and other agencies to develop strong, evidence-based proposals for phase two. C r e a t i n g opportunities and improving outcomes is one of five crosscutting strategic themes for UK Research and Innovation. Work funded under this theme will improve outcomes for people and places across the UK by identifying solutions that promote economic and social prosperity.


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Caldey Island’s ambitious growth plan IN WHAT could be a significant boost to the local economy and an enchanting proposition for those dreaming of island life, Caldey Island has announced a host of job vacancies as part of an ambitious growth strategy aimed at enhancing its offerings and infrastructure. This unique opportunity opens up the possibility of working and living in one of the most picturesque locations in the UK, known for its serene beauty, historic monastery, and vibrant community. The island, situated off the coast of Pembrokeshire in Wales, is taking steps to expand its operations and services, which has led to the creation of several key positions. Among the roles advertised are Island Manager, Retail Manager, Confectionery Production Manager, Property Maintenance

Operative, and various assistant positions in retail and confectionery sectors. The recruitment drive is seen as a pivotal moment for Caldey Island, which is renowned for its tranquil setting and as a retreat for those seeking peace and spirituality. However, with these new roles, the island aims to broaden its appeal, increase its economic activity, and provide a sustainable way of life for its residents and the monastic community that calls it home. As Island Manager, the selected candidate will oversee the daily operations and strategic direction of Caldey, ensuring that it remains a welcoming and efficiently run location for both residents and visitors. The Retail Manager will be responsible for managing the island’s gift shops and retail outlets, vital for the tourist experience and

the island’s revenue. The Confectionery Production Manager will head the production of Caldey’s famous chocolate and sweets, a tradition that has delighted visitors for years. Additionally, the Property Maintenance Operative will ensure that all buildings and facilities on the island are maintained to the highest

standards, preserving the island’s heritage and ensuring safety for all. The Retail and Confectionery Assistants will play a crucial role in delivering exceptional service to visitors, enhancing their experience of Caldey Island. These positions not only offer a unique work environment but also the chance to be part of

a close-knit community, living in harmony with nature and contributing to the island’s future. I n t e r e s t e d candidates are encouraged to apply before the closing date of 16th February 2024, marking an exciting chapter in the island’s history and an unparalleled opportunity for those

seeking a change of pace and lifestyle. This initiative is expected to draw attention from across the country, attracting individuals passionate about contributing to the development of Caldey Island while embracing the chance to live in one of the most peaceful and idyllic settings in the UK.


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positively All political parties liberal With ANDREW LYE

POLITICS

It has not been a good week for Labour after Sir Keir Starmer announced the scrapping of the £28bn a year Green Prosperity Plan, cutting it to under £15bn. They wisely blamed the Tories for their latest U-turn for leaving the country’s finances in a mess. However, they have joined the Tories in rowing back on promises to deal with the climate change crisis that is affecting our planet. Kicking the can down the road won’t solve the problem and younger voters thinking of voting Labour, will feel let down. Meanwhile, growth in the UK in recent years has seen the economy to be treading water and staring at a possible recession. It was only a few years ago that growth was at around 3% per annum. However, analysis by the Liberal Democrats in England has revealed that around 2.2 million people are seeing their work impacted by being stuck on waiting lists for NHS treatment, including many going on long-term sick leave or reducing their hours. Undoubtedly, the problem also exists here under the Welsh Labour Government as the NHS struggles across the whole of the UK. This is up from 1.41 million people whose work was being affected by waiting for NHS treatment in January 2023. It comes after Rishi Sunak admitted this week he has failed to meet his pledge to bring down NHS waiting lists. The Liberal Democrats said it showed the Conservative government’s failure to tackle soaring NHS waiting lists was dealing a “hammer blow” to the economy. The figures are based on the latest Office for National Statistics survey looking at the impact of being on an NHS waiting list, conducted between October 2023 and January 2024. The survey found that over one in four adults report they are waiting for a hospital appointment, test, or to start receiving medical treatment through the NHS.

Among those who said their lives had been impacted by waiting for NHS treatment, 24% said their work had been affected, equivalent to over 2.2 million people across the country. Of these, the survey suggests that around 626,300 (29%) people had reduced their hours, 367,000 (17%) had gone on long-term sick leave and 151,000 (7%) had stopped working to go on illness related benefits. The Liberal Democrats are calling on Rishi Sunak to implement an urgent plan to bring down waiting lists. This would include cancelling planned realterms cuts to NHS funding in the Budget, introducing a 24 hour patient advice line to prevent avoidable cancellations and making it easier for patients to travel for treatment. Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: “Rishi Sunak’s broken promise on NHS waiting lists is dealing a hammer blow to the economy and to millions of lives”. “People are being left in limbo, stuck on longterm sick leave or having to cut back their hours because they can’t get the treatment they desperately need”. “It couldn’t be clearer that to fix the economy, we must fix the NHS and care. The Conservative government needs to take responsibility for this mess, reverse their planned cuts to NHS spending and come up with a proper plan to bring waiting lists down.” With the General Election on the horizon, health is likely to be one of the main issues that will decide the outcome. Sunak pledged to cut NHS waiting lists, but his failure to settle the strike actions within the NHS is ensuring that the list is longer now, than when he became Prime Minister. Whilst Sunak is happy to blame striking doctors, the fact is that the power to settle the strike action lies in his own hands. He has chosen to dig his heels in and in typical Tory fashion, find someone else to blame ...... the doctors.

If you have any issues or comments, please contact me at andrew.lye@pembslibdems.wales

Jonathan Edwards: Politicians have underestimated rural Wales’s rage THE NEWS that a reported 3000 people attended a protest meeting at Carmarthen Mart should send s h o c k w a v e s through the political establishment, writes Jonathan Edwards MP. Rural Wales is very angry, and the simple slogan of “Enough is Enough” indicates that the farming community have had a guts-full of governments at both ends of the M4. At the UK Government level, Ministers have used domestic food markets as bargaining chips during post-Brexit Trade Deal negotiations. I remember attending a meeting in a Whitehall bunker with a few select MPs, Trade Ministers, and Chief Negotiators on the eve of a Commonwealth summit. We were told of all the new markets that would be opened up for the banks of London worldwide. I asked what all these countries would be asking for in return,

and when I had to answer on their behalf, “access to our food markets”, ministers and negotiators were genuinely perplexed. “Team UK” seemed unaware that trade deals are a give-and-take process. For aspiring trade partners, access to UK food markets, thereby undercutting our farmers, was an obvious red line. M e a n w h i l e , macroeconomic failure heightened by Brexit resulting in inflationary pressures has hit farming particularly hard due to the fine margins the industry has to operate within. Higher input costs are not being replicated in better prices for food producers, resulting in squeezed incomes. If the Tory UK Government is guilty of neglecting farming interests, then the Welsh Government under Labour is openly hostile. TB policy, NVZs and the new SFS all openly undermine farming as an industry.

The tipping point was the powerful Ffermio programme on the cull of the Castell Howell Farm herd following a positive bTB test. One of the most emotionally difficult meetings I have had as an MP is on location at a farm that has been struck down with the disease. It’s difficult to explain the mental health impact on those affected. The Ffermio programme unmasked those horrors graphically as Mr and Mrs Davies had to witness their cattle shot in front of them one by one. It was harrowing for the viewer and utterly despairing for the family. What you don’t see on the footage are the officials who were supposed to be at the cull. Where were they? Was this too upsetting for them to witness? What is the Welsh Government doing to its own officials with this policy? Surely, they know their bosses are asking them to pursue an ideological policy that


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have failed rural Wales Dame Nia Griffith MP Member of Parliament for Llanelli & Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, Welsh Labour

Back to square one: The Welsh Government should reconsider its rural policies, says Carmarthenshire MP isn’t working. The new SFS policy, which replaces previous European funding, has been the final insult. As Jon Coles wrote recently in this paper, based on the Welsh Government’s figures, the scale of job losses in the agricultural sector would be around double the expected steel job losses at Port Talbot. Unamended, the new policy would also lead to a loss of £199m to farm incomes and an 11% reduction in livestock numbers. The knock-on effect on the wider rural economy will be catastrophic. Imagine agriculture as an anchor industry supporting a vast supply chain. When farming declines, it hits all other sectors. The Welsh Government, as I understand it, now claim to have revised proposals. However, faced with those figures, they should have gone back to square one and started again. Labour in Wales

cares little for farmers and farming. There are no votes for them, and it suits them to employ culture war tactics against the agriculture industry. Rural policy is often not designed with what’s in the best interests of rural communities but rather what plays well in Labour-voting urban areas. This creates a political problem for Plaid Cymru on two fronts. Firstly, since the last Senedd elections, they have propped up a Government that is openly hostile to rural Wales. People don’t like junior governmental partners at the best of times: no wonder their politicians are desperately trying to decouple from Labour as events spiral. It won’t wash, especially as the agriculture commitments in the Partnership Agreement relate to tree planting, agricultural pollution and the introduction of the SFS.

They are up to their necks in Labour’s hostile environment to farming. There is absolutely nothing on bTB in the Cooperation Agreement. Plaid entered such an agreement to protect their core voters, and family farmers are traditional core Plaid voters. A nod is made in the agreement, but Plaid cannot live up to this, let alone ensure Labour do. To farmers, the aims of the Cooperation Agreement are antithetical. I expect the political backlash to be fierce. Labour has effectively led Plaid Cymru down a never-ending 20-mph road to nowhere. Secondly, from my discussions with those involved in the sector, it is obvious that they have lost faith in devolved government. This has been building for many years. With a new electoral system entrenching Labour control over Wales, I fear that many farmers would prefer direct Westminster

control of the industry. Neglect trumps hostility every day of the week. Over the years, I have thought about how to get to an independence referendum and how to win one. I am happy to share with Herald readers my conclusions that even if it were possible to create the political conditions for a referendum, it would be impossible to win it when the farming sector was opposed. The general population would never vote for major constitutional change if they thought their food producers were wholeheartedly against it. The rural uprising, therefore, has enormous political implications for the future of Wales. With the immediacy of a general election on the horizon, the big question is where the rage of rural Wales will be channelled especially as all the political parties have failed them.

The sad loss of so many jobs at Tata Steel in Port Talbot will be felt deeply across the whole of Wales. Steel is a foundation industry that underpins much of the Welsh manufacturing economy. Thousands of people are either employed directly at the Port Talbot site or indirectly via the company’s extensive supply chain which stretches all the way from East to West Wales. They will all be feeling uncertain as to what the future holds and the possible closure of its blast furnaces raises several unanswered questions about where the UK steel industry goes from here. The company has now entered into a consultation period on its proposals and, along with other Welsh Labour MPs, Senedd Members and local councillors including those here in Pembrokeshire, I will be doing everything that I possibly can to fight for those jobs at risk and, instead, urge Tata Steel and the UK Government to deliver a more just transition to greener steel. Other countries are managing the transformation of a rapidly changing steel industry so much better, so why can’t we do the same? Once again, it seems that the Tory UK Government has been asleep at the wheel, effectively using

taxpayers’ money to help subsidise Tata Steel in putting thousands of people out of employment and leaving us as the only major economy without the ability to make our own primary steel. At no point in the last fourteen years have they had any serious long-term plan for steel or any other manufacturing industry. I have already spoken out against the proposals in Parliament and will keep campaigning to defend steel jobs and livelihoods for as long as is necessary. They are far too important to many hardworking families to just negotiate away in the manner that the Tories seem more than happy to do. Speaking with steelworkers and trade unions, I know that the British steel industry can have a bright future and continue to provide jobs and much needed income for our local economies. A future Labour UK Government has already earmarked £3 billion for investment in steel and pledged to work alongside industry and steel communities to ensure the transition to green steel comes with jobs. We need sensible, well thought out investments through an industrial strategy that protects livelihoods, grows our economy and safeguards our national capabilities rather than throwing British steelworkers on the scrapheap.


Friday November 24th 2023 For up to date news please check our social network channels www.pembrokeshire-herald.co.uk

New lord appointments criticised NEARLY ONE MONTH AGO, the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales released its longawaited findings from its year-long consultation with the people of Wales. The Commission was chaired by Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and academic and former international footballer, Laura McAllister. The panel also included former Labour MP, Albert Owen and former Plaid Cymru Leader, Leanne Wood. The work of the Commission was also supported by professionals and academics across various organisations such as Electoral Reform Society Cymru, the Institute of Welsh Affairs, the Fraser of Allander Institute, London Met University and Welsh Government. The Commission sought to address four key issues, consisting of challenges to democracy, the state of inter-governmental relations across the UK, new devolved areas to protect the current devolved settlement and the presentation of three options for the future of Wales, namely, enhanced devolution, a federal UK (where Wales has equal powers to the rest of the UK, or at least increased and guaranteed powers), and an independent Wales. The last part seems to have gone unmentioned in most major UK-based media outlets however the implication is clear, the yearlong work of the Commission has concluded that independence IS a viable option for Wales. Nor, could the report’s findings be described as fanciful. Over the duration of the Commission’s work, as well as engaging with the public via online consultations and face to face workshops, evidence was received from Professor Mark Barry of Cardiff University, ASLEF, RMT, Joe Allen of the TUC, Public Law Wales, Prison Officers Association and Jane Hutt MS and Hannah Blythyn MS among others. The contributors to a workshop on the fiscal and economic implications of the three constitutional options featured in the report included David Phillips of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Guto Ifan, Wales Governance Centre and Professor John Doyle, of Dublin City University.

Suffice to say, the report does not appear to tell those of us engaged in the independence movement, anything that we did not already know. Rather, the report emphasises the problems that exist within the current devolution settlement. For instance, the report revealed that action is required to strengthen people’s engagement and participation in democracy. This is something we have highlighted previously. Education and engagement in democracy is crucial to ensuring full confidence, in democratic institutions. Despite a relatively high level of confidence in Welsh Governance, particularly among those aged 16 – 34, many respondents misunderstood the remit of Welsh Government powers. The report also recognised that additional measures are needed to safeguard and strengthen devolution in Wales. These include improving intergovernmental relations across the UK. Nowhere was the need for this more apparent than during the Covid Pandemic. The report also recognised that the Sewel Convention – requiring the consent of devolved institutions to make changes to devolved powers – was also needed to safeguard devolution, as well as the removal of constraints on Welsh Government budget management, devolution of broadcasting, energy (including energy projects managed on the Crown Estate), justice and policing and rail services. Again, while the conclusion of the report may be groundbreaking, the findings are not, and while we acknowledge that devolution needs to be strengthened, there is no evidence that the political will exists. Even senior figures in UK politics have cast doubt on the Labour party’s aspirations to reform the House of Lords. However, if the House of Lords cannot be reformed, there is little hope for strengthening devolution in Wales. The UK political system remains outdated and inflexible, and we propose that independence is the only way to reform all UK institutions – for the better.

Carmen Smith: From Plaid staffer to energy company lobbyist to House of Lords in less than a year LATE on Friday (Feb 9), the Government slipped out its latest honours list. The new peers add 13 new members to the already-heaving House of Lords. Among the newlyennobled are the usual clutch of party donors and advisors. The public, sick of honours being handed around like sweeties, wants change. NO RESTRAINT DOLING OUT PEERAGES The latest honours list showcases the collapse of restraint in Westminster regarding peerages. The Government and political parties are stuffing more and more of their supporters and donors into the bloated Lords, undeterred by the fact it is already at an incredible 800 members. Before this latest batch of peers take their places on the crimson benches, House of Lords data shows it already has 818 members overall, with 784 eligible to participate in the chamber. The Lords is already the second-largest legislative chamber in the world after China’s National People’s Congress. Having so many peers places the UK in the embarrassing position of having a majority unelected Parliament, as Lords considerably outnumber the elected MPs in the Commons.

PLAID APPOINTMENT IS A LOBBYIST FOR CONTROVERSIAL ENERGY COMPANY The list caught the media’s attention partly due to Plaid Cymru’s nomination of Carmen Smith, who is 27. Ms Smith’s appointment is doubly controversial. While the House of Lords and Parliament desperately need younger voices, Ms Smith’s nomination illustrates the conveyor belt between being a party insider, becoming a lobbyist, and gaining political preferment. Until Adam Price was forced to quit as Plaid leader, Ms Smith was the party’s Senedd Chief of Staff. When Mr Price left, so did she. Since her departure from Plaid Cymru’s staff, she’s become a political lobbyist for Bute Energy, whose subsidiary companies want to build two different electricity distribution infrastructure lines that have generated considerable opposition in Carmarthenshire. Jonathan Edwards MP said: “It’s an insult for Plaid Cymru to nominate an employed lobbyist for the company for a seat in the House of Lords. “It is really rubbing the noses of the people of Carmarthenshire in the mud for Plaid Cymru to secure a Peerage for an individual that works for

a company that wants to desecrate our county with metal infrastructure. “Come the election, we will see what the people think about Plaid’s love-in with Bute Energy.”

ministers and party leaders ladling out jobsfor-life in Parliament with abandon.”

A GROWING SCANDAL

REFORM UNITES VOTERS ACROSS POLITICAL SPECTRUM

Carmen Smith’s appointment comes less than a year after Boris nominated two aides in their late twenties and early thirties for life-long peerages. Peerages are jobs for life, which means someone given one in their 20s could feasibly legislate for six decades without any accountability to the public affected by the laws they shape. For a reason yet to be fathomed by mortals, Conservative Party Treasurers and donors appear to have a VIP lane straight to the Second Chamber. The Electoral Reform Society said: “This system is not fit for the last century, let alone the modern age. “The Lords has long been an unelected carbuncle in the middle of our constitution. “The way it is used to dish out patronage to party donors and supporters risks seriously damaging the public’s trust in democracy. “As people in this country endure a cost-ofliving crisis and a sharp drop in living standards, they are treated to the sordid spectacle of prime

Polling for YouGov shows that more than half of people want to see the Lords replaced with an elected or mostly elected chamber, whereas support for an appointed chamber hovers under 10%. Moreover, a chamber composed of mostly elected members is the preferred choice of those who support every major party and both Leave and Remain voters. In a polarised political system, it’s rare to see a policy that can bring everyone together. ERS continued: “The unelected, unlimited Lords is well past its sellby-date and now risks eroding the fabric of our democracy. “The relentless stuffing of the upper chamber with new peers is unsustainable. “We urgently need to scrap the current chamber and replace it with a smaller, elected chamber where the number of members is set, as is how long they sit in it. “The only people who should decide who sits in our Parliament, making our laws, are the public who live under those laws.”


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WG mustn’t scrap Council Tax notices

blue view

With SAmual Kurtz Farming Needs a Friend

By Sam Rowlands MS, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Local Government In a digital age, when increasingly everything in our lives is becoming paperless, it can be easy to forget that not everyone is plugged into the World Wide Web. But I’m sure most, if not all of us, have a relative or a friend who doesn’t use the internet. They may not have a computer. Perhaps they’re unable to use one. It’s not as uncommon as you might at first think. According to the ONS, 6.3% of UK adults have never used the internet. When you look at the statistics for over-75s, nearly 40% have never used the internet. In a digital age, for those 2 in 5 over-75s who have never used the internet, it can

become much more difficult to do things that used to be easy and part of their routine. Banks are closing on high streets, for example, with customers told that they can go online to handle their finances. But for some people who don’t know how to go online, or can’t, or frankly don’t want to, they find themselves unable to access a service that used to be as early as heading to their local branch. And that’s why you cannot completely digitise democracy. Because when you do, you risk disenfranchising people and excluding them from parts of the democratic process. At the moment, there’s a requirement for councils to publish notices of council tax changes in newspapers like this one. But under plans the Welsh Government is consulting on,

this requirement would be replaced by a requirement to publish the notices on council websites and a requirement to put ‘suitable alternative arrangements’ in place for those who have difficulty accessing online facilities. I believe that removing the requirement to publish council tax notices in papers would exclude many people, particularly older people, from an important part of the democratic process. Our local newspapers are part of our communities. They’re institutions. They’re sold in local shops, and often in large supermarkets too. There are few better places to ensure that people in all sections of our communities can access information about council tax changes than in the

pages of a wellestablished and trusted local newspaper. This is an important part of democracy, accountability and transparency. It may even give councils pause for thought when they’re setting council tax rates, knowing that changes will be in every newsstand rather than on websites that not everyone will know how to access and which can sometimes be clunky and confusing. As a former council leader, I know that local authorities are not full of people who are trying to dodge transparency. People are doing the best they can for their communities. But by ensuring council tax notices are published in newspapers, we can safeguard voters’ interests, so they are well informed, and so nobody is excluded from the democratic process.

Welsh farmers will soon be protesting outside the Welsh Parliament. That much is now clear given the Welsh Government’s current relationship, or lack thereof, with rural Wales. This movement, this momentum of farmers and rural Wales coming together in Welshpool and Carmarthen Mart’s to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other while their livelihoods could well be at stake, is unlike anything I’ve seen in my life. But this undercurrent of bubbling frustration within rural Wales started long before the Sustainable Farming Scheme consultation. Whether it be the Welsh Government’s failure to eradicate Bovine TB in Wales. Or perhaps an all-Wales NVZ regulation that demands ‘farming by calendar’ from Wales’ food producers. It could even be the proposed changes to the school term, potentially impacting one of Wales’ most important cultural events, the Royal Welsh Show, to the tune of £1 million. In fact, it’s all this and more. Being the Rural Affairs Shadow Minister isn’t just a portfolio for me, it’s personal. As a farmer’s son and a former Young Farmer, I’ve seen and heard from those in the sector my whole life. I’ve had friends in tears on the phone as their cattle are taken away to be slaughtered due to Bovine TB. Farmers from across Wales have reached out to me in desperation to share the situation they find themselves in. I’ve seen the frustration in my father’s eyes as more and more bureaucratic pressure is put on Welsh farmers. I’ll make no apology for standing up for my friends, the farmers, or my father, against this Labour Government. These protests weren’t always inevitable.

I wrote to the Rural Affairs Minister asking her to pause the consultation given the strength of feeling. Pause, allow the temperature to cool and really work with farmers and the unions to produce a workable policy. I’ve raised before the need for a wholistic approach to eradicating TB in Wales, dealing with it in livestock, and wildlife. I’ve pushed for changes to the NVZ rules so that farmers aren’t at the mercy of the weather or the calendar. On every occasion these calls were ignored. NFU Cymru and the FUW have both worked tirelessly on behalf of their membership, trying to get the real-world implications of Labour policy through to Welsh Government. It is not as if farmers are reluctant to change. Farmers know that they are best placed to help tackle some of the environmental issues facing Wales and they are ready to play their part. But don’t take them for fools. Don’t undervalue what they are already doing in helping protect our environment all while producing sustainable, traceable, high-quality food that we should all be rightly proud of. What happens next though is important. How the Welsh Government reacts to this feeling of frustration, anger and despondency could define the tenure of Wales’ next First Minister. Farming needs a friend. Only in the Welsh Conservatives does that friend exist.


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Death Notices

Elwyn Morris

MORRIS Elwyn of St.Davids Peacefully on 4th February at Parc y Llyn Nursing Home. Elwyn of St.Davids. Beloved husband of the late Rose . Dearly loved father of Colin, Ruth and the late Wynne. Funeral service Wednesday 14th February, 2.00pm at the W.G.Mathias Chapel of Rest, New Street, St.Davids to be followed by burial in St.Davids Cemetery. Donations if desired for Parc y Llyn Nursing Home c/o W.G Bernard Mathias & Daughter, 62 New Street St.Davids SA62 6SU

Gordon Reginald Manwaring

MANWARING Gordon Reginald of Crundale and formerly of Wiston. Gordon passed away suddenly but peacefully at Southmeads Hospital, Bristol on February 1st aged 85 years. Beloved husband of the late Doreen, loving father of Carole, Stuart and Simon and dear fatherin-law and grandfather who will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all his family and

many friends. Funeral Wednesday February 21st service 1.45 pm at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth. Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made payable to either Withybush Hospital Cancer Day Unit Appeal c/o Trish George, Treasurer, 12, Mariners Way, Steynton, Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, SA73 1AZ or Wales Air Ambulance c/o Ty Elusen, Ffordd Angel, Llanelli Gate, Dafen, Llanelli. SA14 8LQ. All enquiries to Roy Folland & Son Funeral Directors (01437) 763821

Malcolm (Mac) Evans

EVANS Malcolm (Mac) Peacefully on Saturday 3rd February 2024 Malcolm (Mac) Evans of Haverfordwest formerly of Hill Mountain aged 80 years. Beloved husband of Marion, much loved father of Allison and Phil. The funeral service will take place on Friday, 16th February, 10:45am at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth. Further enquiries to F. G. Rees & Sons, Haverfordwest. Tel: 01437 764418

Mike Cuddy

CUDDY Mike Fishguard Peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on Friday 2nd February, Mike of Fishguard. Beloved husband of Fiona, and devoted father of Giles and Alasdair. Funeral service on Monday 19th February at St Gwyndaf’s Church, Llanwnda at 1:30pm. No flowers by request. Donations in lieu, if desired, made payable to ‘Withybush Hospital’ c/o Paul Jenkins & Sons, Funeral Directors, Feidr Castell, Fishguard, SA65 9BB. Tel - 01348 873250.

Mary Evans

EVANS Mary Cresselly The death occurred peacefully at Withybush Hospital on Sunday 4th February of Mrs Mary Ruth Evans, aged 81 years of Whitehill, Cresselly. Devoted wife of David. Loving Mum of Paul, Sam and Mark. Much Loved Sister of Mair and sister-inlaw to Peter. Dearly loved Aunt. Funeral Service will take place on Thursday 22nd February at Parc Gwyn

Crematorium, Narberth at 1.00pm. There will be family flowers only, with donations, if so desired for the Chemotherapy Day Unit, Withybush Hospital. c/o E.C. Thomas & Son Funeral Directors, Zoar Chapel Funeral Home, Llanteg, Narberth SA67 8QH (01834) 831876 & 21, Main Street, Pembroke SA71 4JS (01646) 682680 or via www. ecthomasandson.co.uk

James Barrie Thomas

THOMAS James Barrie Fishguard Peacefully on Monday 29th January at Withybush Hospital, Barrie of Fishguard. Beloved husband of Ann, loving father of David and Rachel. Funeral service on Friday 16th February at St Mary’s Church, Fishguard at 1pm followed by interment at St Mary’s Cemetery. Family flowers only. Donations in lieu if desired, made payable to ‘Fishguard District Nurses’ c/o Paul Jenkins & Sons Funeral Directors, Feidr Castell, Fishguard, SA65 9BB. Tel: 01348 873250.

David Shanklin

SHANKLIN David Redberth The death occurred peacefully on Thursday 1st February 2024 of Mr David Shanklin, aged 73 years of Redberth. Beloved Husband of Janet. Loving Son of Megan and the late Tom. Devoted Dad of Trevor, Lynda and Andrew. Dearly loved Father-in-law to Chris and Emma. Cherished Bampi of Jaz, Phoebe, Kaitlyn, Ffion, Lewie and Lowri. Much loved Brother to Joan. The funeral service will take place on Wednesday 21st February at Zion Free Church, Meyrick Street, Pembroke Dock at 2.00pm followed by interment at Llanion Cemetery. There will be family flowers only with donations in lieu, if so desired for The British Heart Foundation c/o E.C. Thomas & Son Funeral Directors, Zoar Chapel Funeral Home, Llanteg, Narberth SA67 8QH (01834) 831876 & 21, Main Street, Pembroke SA71 4JS (01646) 682680 or via www.ecthomasandson. co.uk

Colonel David Davies MBE

DAVIES Colonel David Davies MBE, TD, FRAgs, DL The death occurred peacefully on Wednesday 31 January 2024 of Col. Dai Davies, aged 85 years. His family were at his side. Devoted husband of Linda, dearly loved father of Richard and Siân, cherished father-in-law of Amelia and Alex and adored Gramps of Will, Ollie, Evie and Elsie. Dai will be greatly missed and remembered by all who knew and loved him. A celebration of Dai’s life will be held on Saturday, 24 February 2024 at 2pm at St David’s Church, Prendergast, Haverfordwest followed by refreshments at The Pavillion, Pembrokeshire County Showground. Family flowers only; memorial donations if desired may be made to Alzheimer’s Research UK c/o Mr Alex Devereux, 36 Heritage Gate, Haverfordwest, SA61 2RF or via the JustGiving page - Dai’s memorial fund for Alzheimer’s Research UK.


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NEWS 69

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LETTERS & NOTICES

send your letters to: The editor, 11 hamilton terrace, milford haven, Pembrokeshire, sa73 3al email us at: editor@herald.email

certain environmental goals may inadvertently undermine other critical areas of public welfare and economic stability. As a proud Welshman and a dedicated observer of our nation’s policies and their outcomes, I urge the Welsh Government and its constituents to reconsider these initiatives. It is imperative that we strike a balance between environmental stewardship and economic vitality, ensuring that the actions taken today do not compromise our future . Terry Breverton FIC FRSA FCIM FRHistS

Human Society

DEAR SIR,

Picture of the week! Tenby by Joseph Thomas

Do not compromise our future

DEAR SIR,

Farmers across Europe, including in Wales, face unprecedented challenges due to bureaucratic hurdles, rising operational costs, and the impact of cheap imports. In Wales, a region where agriculture has shaped the landscape for centuries, new government mandates threaten the very fabric of this industry. The Welsh Government’s requirement for farmers to allocate 20% of their land to environmental initiatives—10% for afforestation and another 10% for rewilding—risks reducing agricultural output significantly. This policy could lead to a reduction in farm animal populations and the loss

of jobs within the sector, potentially driving many farmers out of business. It appears that no comprehensive costbenefit analysis has been conducted to assess the impact of these mandates. This oversight is particularly perplexing given the Welsh Government’s recent actions, such as the removal of millions of trees to facilitate wind farm development, which seems to contradict their stated environmental goals. For example, around Brechfa, Carmarthenshire, 3.8 million trees were felled to make way for wind farms, with plans for hundreds more wind turbines by foreign companies. These developments not only compromise Wales’ natural beauty but also its tourism industry, another critical sector of our

economy. Moreover, the prioritization of climate change initiatives, with a budget equivalent to that of education, raises questions about resource allocation and transparency. With £12.6 billion allocated to climate change initiatives over the next two years, the lack of independent oversight regarding the efficacy and impact of these investments is concerning. It often seems that evaluations favoring these projects are conducted by those who stand to benefit the most financially, rather than by impartial experts. The consequences of these policies extend beyond the agricultural and environmental sectors, impacting Wales’ socio-economic standings, health, and education levels. As a nation, we find ourselves at a crossroads, where the pursuit of

Politics is the study of shaping human society, after the long struggle for Democracy gave us the optimum method to select those best suited for temporary authority. However, it is impossible to find a basis for Politics, until each citizen has reached a mental stage more profound than their ignorant bigotry. What is the purpose of human life? If my belief is that my life is just about me, or my family, or do I feel an obligation to all the next generation, must that be the basis of Politics? Conservatives have always solved this problem in a Classdominated society, where the privileged, ‘superior’ Classes excluded the lower classes from educated thought over centuries, lest ‘Jack should know as much as his master.’ The Conservative Party opposed Universal Education, paid by taxes, passed by Liberals in 1870. What Liberals saw as intelligent investment of knowledge in young British citizens, outraged Tories as ‘legalised theft’. Then, as with all radical policies, Tories pretended to change their beliefs. In 1945, the human sacrifice of WWII brought a new perspective of Ethical Principles, Egalitarianism, Justice and Truth to radical Political Parties,

Lab/Lib, which produced the NHS, and paid fees for me to attend university, to become a more valuable citizen. Conservatives wished to return to the society of the Twenties and Great Depression. The present devolved Scottish Government still believes that State investment into the minds of young citizens as students, is good value by every possible standard, for everyone else. Do you understand? Liz Truss MP believes in investing money in industry, for ‘growth’ for shareholders. The Scottish people believe in investing public money into the productive lives and careers of the next generations, to create a better world. Name and address provided

Future generations and the global community DEAR SIR,

In 2019, 14 million British adults cast their vote for the Conservative Party, endorsing Brexit and the notion of UK sovereignty. This choice represented a significant departure from the international principles established post-WWII, which were based on a collective global commitment to justice and peace. It seems that the preference was for laws that aligned with Conservative values rather than those rooted in a broader, more inclusive understanding of justice. However, after 14 years under Conservative leadership, a palpable sense of disillusionment has settled among these voters, hinting at a potential divide in the upcoming elections. It appears likely that Conservative voters will split into three distinct factions: 1. Traditionalists who adhere to class divisions and a belief in their inherent superiority, yet seem to lack a grasp of fundamental ethical principles such as egalitarianism, justice,


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or truth. Their ranks may also include libertarians. 2. Those swayed by extreme right-wing rhetoric, characterized by personal attacks and devoid of moral principles or substantive policies. This group may reflect the broader, international rise of personality politics and the influence of conservative market economics on societal values. 3. A significant number may pivot towards the Labour Party, perhaps not fully acknowledging the contributions of radical political movements in preserving the foundational elements of truth and science, which are essential for civilization. The Conservative preference for profit over honesty is seen as a betrayal of future generations. This political climate suggests a deep-seated need for reflection on our societal values and the principles we

wish to govern us. As we approach the next election, it’s crucial for all voters to consider the broader implications of their choices, not just for themselves but for the well-being of future generations and the global community. C. N. Westerman

hink twice before purchasing or adopting designer cats’ DEAR SIR, National pet charity, the Blue Cross is urging people to think twice before purchasing or adopting a Scottish Fold Cat amid a rising trend in demand for ‘designer cat breeds’. Scottish Fold Cats have significant issues due to a mutation that affects the development of cartilage, most obvious

in the cat’s ear fold which bends forward, giving them their famous appearance. This affects the rest of the cat’s skeleton and causes defective bone and cartilage development and leads to severe and painful arthritis. As well as being incredibly uncomfortable for the cat, potential new owners may not be aware of the heavy vet costs likely to be incurred as a result of this. Furthermore, these characteristics may impact communication between cats due to the breed not being able to move their ears ‘normally’, and likewise, owners not being able to understand how their pet is feeling. We’d ask people to consider more than just the looks and consider rehoming an animal from a rescue charity like the Blue Cross who will match them to a pet who has been vet checked and assessed and is right for them .

Caroline Reay


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Robins knock Vikings off their perch Hakin United 2- 4 Milford United The Obs has been a tough place to go for many years now. Hakin have had the bragging rights in Milford for many years too. However, times are changing and Hakin’s reputation and aura seems to be fading. Granted it’s a young team at Hardings disposal, the Robins smelt blood, and took full advantage. Both teams came into this derby fixture in good form with Hakin wanting to extend their lead at the top of the table and Milford climbing the table into the top five. The game kicked off on a sticky pitch making playing conditions difficult, it was Hakin who started the quickest with some good moves down both flanks with crosses into Milford’s box but the back four of inform goalkeeper Charley Malloy & back three of Griffiths, Goodall & Hubbuck marshalling the ball well to keep Hakin out. It was on the 15th minute when Tyler Shiel drove down the left and linked with Parks who took on two Hakin defenders out wide to drive a low ball into the box that was

meet by Scott Reid who smashed home for 0-1 to the Robins. Four minutes later Sheil was fouled out wide and Morgan Picton from 35 yards out swung the ball into the box which found the bottom corner of the goal 0-2 the Robins, Parks men hadn’t finished there when Rhys Brawn flew down the right wing and launched a diagonal ball to Reid in the box who twisted onto his deadly left foot to put

the Robins 0-3 up. Half time came and unhappy with his team Harding made changes and Hakin came out the strongest. Hakin won a corner which was swung in and was met by Walsh who made no mistake with a back post header 1-3. Four minutes later on the 58th minute Milford failed to clear their box and Harding popped up in a scramble to score to make it 2-3. Both teams

SPORT

Christopher shows class is permanent The main pitch was ruled unplayable at the Gerald Hicks Recreation Ground today, so the first division clash between Carew and in form Monkton Swifts took place on the lower pitch. Conditions were still difficult, with the pitch not being quite as well looked after, and conditions definitely favoured the home side. Missing a number of players across the squad, Carew still managed to put out a strong 11, and whilst Monkton were also missing a few key players Carew were set a tough game, league standings mean wins are vital for the Rooks at the minute. The first half saw Carew start strongly, Jack

Christopher leading the line brilliantly, and Sam Southcott marshalling the defence equally as well. Swifts couldn’t quite find their normal free flowing football, but the boggy conditions certainly didn’t help that. The busy Jimmy Wilkes usually breaks the line regularly, but as much as he tried today, the sticky conditions held him up enough for Carew to keep him quiet. A great header from the superb Jack Christopher and a Dylan Morgan goal put the hosts 2-0 by half time, and despite the Monkton team pushing hard in the second half, they couldn’t get past a determined Carew defence. Some brilliant performances across the board, Jack Christopher and Sam Southcott the

pick for the home team, Sam picked up an injury in the second half so we wish him well, and Gareth Finnegan, Stuart James in goal and the excellent Josh Dearsley for the visitors. A game played in good spirits with no malice over the 90 minutes made it an enjoyable afternoon for referee Marty Jones, and overall a deserved win for Carew. With quality players such as Sam and Jack Christopher, Southcott and Jonty Bennett in their ranks, relegation seems very unlikely. Scott Richards will be hoping his team can now put some results together and climb the league table into a position that is more reflective of the quality they posses.

pushed for goals and Parks could have sealed the win when he broke the offside track to drive the ball over the bar. Charley Malloy made a great goal line save to keep Milford in front. Milford’s midfield trio of Grimwood, Picton & Parr worked tirelessly to make sure they kept the ball and feeding Milford quick forwards and wingers. On the 76th minute Grimwood knocked a long ball into the right

channel for Parks to chase who nipped in front of the Hakin full back to hold the ball up, turned the defender in a tight space to run into the box and square the ball to Reid who made no mistake for his hattrick. The final whistle came and Milford deserved their win and three points and now climb into 5th place and only one point off third spot.


SPORT 77 www.pembrokeshire-herald.co.uk

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Manderwood Pembrokeshire league DIVISION 1

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

Hakin United

15

11

3

1

+25

36

Goodwick United

13

11

2

0

+47

35

Merlins Bridge

16

7

4

5

+17

25

Clarbeston Road

15

8

0

7

-9

24

Monkton Swifts

17

6

5

6

+5

Tenby

15

6

4

5

Milford United

15

6

3

Pennar Robins

15

4

Kilgetty

11

Carew

Fixtures

Results

10th February 2024

3rd February DIVISION 1

Division 1 Carew v Monkton Swifts Fishguard Sports v Neyland Goodwick United v Kilgetty Hakin United v Milford United Pennar Robins v Clarbeston Road Tenby v Merlins Bridge

Hakin United

7

3

Monkton Swifts

23

Tenby

3

1

Clarbeston Road

+3

22

-

-

-

-

6

+1

21

-

-

-

-

5

6

-10

17

-

-

-

-

4

1

6

-10

13

-

-

-

-

14

3

3

8

-3

12

Neyland

16

3

3

10

-41

12

Broad Haven

0

4

Monkton Swifts II

Fishguard Sports

12

0

3

9

-25

3

Carew II

5

3

Camrose

DIVISION 2

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

Cosheston

1

0

Narberth

Monkton Swifts II

16

13

2

1

+49

41

Johnston

2

1

Hakin United II

St Clears

0

3

Herbrandston

-

-

-

-

Goodwick United II

4

0

Neyland II

Haverfordwest CC

1

0

Kilgetty II

Lawrenny

2

1

Clarbeston Road II

Pembroke Boro

5

3

St Florence

Solva

5

2

Letterston

-

-

-

-

Goodwick United II

1

3

Pennar Robins II

Solva

4

2

Pendine

DIVISION 2

Herbrandston

15

10

3

2

+21

33

Merlins Bridge II

18

9

3

6

+1

30

Narberth

15

9

2

4

+27

29

Hakin United II

19

7

4

8

-7

25

St Ishmaels

13

6

3

4

+16

21

Camrose

17

5

6

6

+6

21

Johnston

13

5

3

5

+9

18

Broad Haven

15

4

4

7

-21

16

St Clears

16

2

5

9

-21

11

Carew II

18

2

3

13

-29

9

Cosheston

13

2

2

9

-51

8

DIVISION 3

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

-

-

-

-

Lawrenny

11

11

0

0

+28

33

-

-

-

-

Goodwick Utd II

15

10

1

4

+31

31

-

-

-

-

Solva

15

10

1

4

+12

31

-

-

-

-

Neyland II

15

7

4

4

+7

25

St Florence

13

7

1

5

+4

22

Clarbeston Road II

14

6

0

8

+1

18

Herbrandston II

2

1

Milford Athletic II

Pennar Robins II

17

6

0

11

-15

18

Haverfordwest CC

11

5

1

5

-10

16

Letterston

15

4

2

9

-10

14

Pembroke Boro

14

3

3

8

-12

12

Kilgetty II

13

3

1

9

-25

10

Pendine

11

3

0

8

-11

9

DIVISION 4

P

W

D

L

GD

Camrose II

15

13

0

2

+44

N H & Sfoot

12

10

0

2

Newport Tigers

12

9

1

Tenby II

11

8

3

Angle

17

8

Monkton Swifts III

15

St Ishmaels II Fishguard Spts II

DIVISION 3

Division 5 Hundleton v Milford Athletic II Pembroke Boro II v Lawrenny II St Clears II v Herbrandston II

DIVISION 5 Lawrenny II

0

8

Haverfordwest CC II

Manorbier United

8

3

Broad Haven II

Narberth II

2

1

Cosheston II

2

Letterston II

St Clears II 11

0

Lawrenny II

Division 3 Clarbeston Road II v Pembroke Boro Kilgetty II v Goodwick United II Lawrenny v Haverfordwest CC Pendine v Letterston Solva v Pennar Robins II St Florence v Neyland II Division 4 Carew III v Tenby II Milford United v Angle Monkton Swifts III v St Ishmaels II N Hedges & Saundersfoot v Camrose II Prendergast Villa v Newport Tigers

DIVISION 4

Pembroke Boro II 14

Division 2 Camrose v Broad Haven Cosheston v Carew II Merlins Bridge II v Herbrandston Monkton Swifts II v St Clears Narberth v Johnston St Ishmaels v Hakin United II

DIVISION 5

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

Pts

Hundleton

15

13

2

0

+78

41

39

Pembroke Boro II

17

10

2

5

+47

32

+29

30

Narberth II

15

10

2

3

+25

32

2

+20

28

Haverfordwest CC II

17

10

1

6

+31

31

0

+25

27

Johnston II

16

9

3

4

+32

30

1

8

+13

25

St Clears II

15

9

1

5

+21

28

6

1

8

-5

19

Manorbier United

14

7

3

4

+29

24

13

5

2

6

+1

17

Herbrandston II

17

8

0

9

-10

24

17

4

1

12

-40

13

Broad Haven II

15

5

3

7

-23

18

Prendergast Villa

13

3

2

8

-26

11

Letterston II

18

3

4

11

-43

13

Milford United

12

3

1

8

-3

10

Milford Athletic II

15

3

1

11

-56

10

Milford Athletic

13

2

3

8

-18

9

Lawrenny II

15

2

2

11

-52

8

Carew III

14

2

3

9

-40

9

Cosheston II

13

0

0

13

-79

0

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Pembr

With a formidable assembly of over one hundred volunteers, it’s hardly surprising that Pembroke RFC, affectionately known as Pembrokeshire’s Scarlets, stands out as one of the most forward-thinking and impeccably organised rugby clubs in the region. I had the pleasure of being welcomed by stalwarts of the club: Darrell Willington, Richard Jelley (Chair), and Dilwyn Williams (President). These three individuals personify the essence of dedication and are the pillars upon which the club rests. The senior men’s team, under the leadership of Captain Lloyd Davies, competes in Division 3 West (A), with most matches played within the scenic bounds of Pembrokeshire. The team also partakes in annual

rivalries, vying for the Eric Brown Cup against the Quins, the Palmer Cup with Llangwm, the Ian Jones Cup against Milford, and the Willington Slate in matches with St Davids. Since its inception in 1896, Pembroke RFC has been a cradle for rugby talent, contributing numerous players to the international stage from the early twentieth century. Notables include Edwin Hay, Eddie Lewis, Mike Knill, and, more recently, Jonathan Thomas, who boasts 67 caps for Wales and has coached alongside the esteemed Warren Gatland. Dominic Day has made his mark with Saracens and Wales, Luke Hamilton with Scotland, and Rhys Fawcett, the current WRU Hub Officer at Harri Tudor School, has represented Welsh Schools, Scarlets, Ospreys, and Dragons.


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TEAM OF THE WEEK

roke RFC

The club’s youth sector shines brightly with talents like Lewis Dennison (U16), Bowyn Clarke, and Megan Cole (both U18s), who have excelled in Scarlets age groups. The coaching team for the men’s seniors comprises Gary Price, Darren Gilbert, and Rob Hear. The club’s roll of honour includes victories in the Pembrokeshire KO Cup during the 1950s and ‘60s, with a notable finalist position in 2018. That same year, both the Youth and First XV men reached the WRU National Bowl Finals at the Principality Stadium within a week of each other, setting a record for Welsh clubs. Introduced in 2018, the senior women’s team, The Panthers, led by Izzy Dufresnoy and coached by Keiron Burrows and Dale Humphreys, has rapidly grown and

achieved significant milestones in just six years. Following in the footsteps of Wrexham, they’ve recently secured the New York Welsh Association, based in Manhattan, as their kit sponsors for upcoming seasons. The club has recently bid farewell to revered members Eifion Powell, Keith Hulbert, Johnny Jones, and former player Tony Hodge. Their contributions and memories remain a cherished part of our legacy. Our new website, pembrokerugbyclub.co.uk, offers a wealth of historical insights and upto-date news. With a rich history and a vibrant future ahead, Pembroke RFC’s success is testament to the unwavering commitment and enthusiasm of its volunteers and a forward-looking management committee.


SPORT


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