The Pembrokeshire Herald 24/05/2024

Page 1

Facebook: @ThePembrokeshireHerald • Instagram: @pembrokeshireherald • Twitter: @PembsHerald
teenager arrested for rape following incident in haverfordwest • p5 luckY dog reScued bY lifeboat crew • p3 ExclusivE: PromisEd construction will not commEncE this dEcadE • P4 patients in limbo as hospital plan stalls
SuSPended SenTence For neglected of horses • p10 Concerned: Sam Kurtz MS

Knuckleduster found in coke dealer’s home

SIMON WILLIAMS was at his residence on Woodland Close when officers conducted the raid on March 6. Prosecutor Sian Cutter reported that the police found the knuckleduster on the kitchen table and a cannabis joint on a bedroom cabinet.

“Under the kitchen sink, a black tray contained two bags of what was thought to be cocaine, but was later found to be creatine and bicarbonate of soda,” Cutter explained.

An analysis of Williams’ phone revealed messages dating back to March last year, indicating his involvement in cocaine dealing to about 20 customers. Cutter noted that Williams had sent messages referring to “flake” and “bash” –slang terms for cocaine – and discussed “preparing baggies” and having “a stash”.

Speeding fine quashed

The court heard that Williams, 41, had 11 previous convictions for 14 offences. He initially admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine, asserting that he used cocaine to alleviate a head injury and only sold some to friends to fund his usage. However, the prosecution rejected this basis, citing further phone evidence showing he had been dealing to around 20 people.

Williams eventually fully accepted charges of being concerned in the supply of cocaine, as well as possession of cannabis and possession of the knuckleduster.

In his police interview, Williams denied being a drug dealer, claiming he was only a user of cocaine and cannabis and that the knuckleduster was “for decoration only”.

Defence counsel

Dan Griffiths stated, “It’s clear that only an immediate custodial sentence can be imposed.” He added that Williams’ involvement in drugs began many years ago with the use of cannabis and that he was introduced to cocaine by others due to its prevalence in the area. Griffiths described

Williams’ dealing as a way to fund his habit, marking an “escalation” in his offending. Judge Huw Rees sentenced Williams to two years and four months for being concerned in the supply of cocaine. No separate penalties were imposed for the possession of cannabis and the knuckleduster.

Lucky dog rescued by lifeboat crew after 250 foot cliff fall

WHIST on a coxswain training exercise on Monday (May 20), the lifeboat Haydn Miller was tasked to Rhossili, following a report that a dog had fallen 250ft from the cliffs at the Rocket Pole.

Whilst the volunteer crew made best speed to the area, Rhossili, Mumbles and Oxwich Coastguard rescue teams also made their way and deployed a cliff man to assist with the search.

Once on scene, the Y-boat was launched and the crew located the dog, which appeared to be well considering its fall. The dog was picked up

AT Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Monday (May 19), Isobel Bowen, aged 57, from Panteg Road, Solva, had a speeding offence quashed after presenting a statutory declaration.

Bowen had been convicted by Willesden Magistrates’ Court on 13 February 2023 for exceeding a 30 mph speed limit.

However, during her hearing, Bowen claimed she was a victim of

identity fraud, stating that the car involved in the offence was not hers.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) investigated and found numerous inconsistencies within the case, leading to the withdrawal of the offence.

Bowen’s declaration was made under section 14 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, and the magistrates granted it due to the compelling evidence of fraud.

I necked wine after crash

A MOTORISTS has appeared before magistrates charged with driving from a traffic collision when she was over three times the legal drinkdrive limit.

The Crown claims that Aimee Preen, 40, was visited by officers some 45 minutes after the collision that took place on October 28 when her Kia Sportage collided with a blue Hyundai on the B4329 near Haverfordwest.

But Preen, 40, claims she consumed two full bottles of wine immediately after the collision.

“She failed to stop after the accident and officers visited her home address in Crundale,”

said Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson.

“The accident had occurred at 7pm and Aimee Preen was seen by officers at 7.45pm. “When she was interviewed, she told them that she’d drunk two full bottles of wine in 45 minutes.”

A subsequent breath test confirmed Preen had 118 mcg of alcohol in her system. The legal limit is 35.

Preen, of Ashford Park, Crundale, pleaded guilty to failing to stop after the accident however she denies an additional charge of drink-driving.

The matter was adjourned for trial which will take place on July 8. Preen was released on unconditional bail.

3 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 newS
by the crew, before being recovered back to awaiting Coastguard teams at Kitchen Corner, Rhossili. The lifeboat then returned to its exercise.

No new hospital this decade

• Location decision could take years • Funding not guaranteed • Morgan ducks question from Kurtz

WORK on a new hospital to replace services at Withybush and Glangwili will not be finished this decade.

Hywel Dda UHB previously stated a new hospital was unlikely before 2029.

Now, answers given to The Pembrokeshire Herald by the health board following an evasive response by Eluned Morgan to a written question from a local MS indicate any new hospital, if it is approved and built, is many years from accepting its first patients.

Local MS Sam Kurtz raised the timescale for the hospital’s construction in a written question to Eluned Morgan, Labour’s Cabinet Secretary for Health.

Mr Kurtz asked

Jon Coles

what should’ve been a straightforward question: “When is a decision expected on the preferred location of the new hospital in West Wales?”

Baroness Morgan’s response was less than clear or forthcoming: “The decision on a preferred location will be made at the Outline Business Case (OBC) stage. This would follow considering a range of options within the OBC, including potential locations.

“As Hywel Dda University Health Board is currently preparing the Strategic Outline Case at this moment in time, it is too early to suggest a likely timescale for a decision around the


That’s as clear as mud.

The Pembrokeshire Herald sought clarification of what the Cabinet Secretary meant. So, we asked Hywel Dda UHB for an answer that someone less well-versed in jargon could understand.

The Health Board obliged with a full account of progress and timescales that everyone should understand.

The key takeaway from the response is that a new hospital’s location could take years to decide, and its construction will be years from becoming a reality.

Lee Davies, Hywel Dda’s Executive Director of Strategy and Planning, said: “We decided to build a new Urgent and Planned Care Hospital

following our consultation Our Big NHS Change in 2018, and it is now part of our long-term strategy.

“We have submitted a Programme Business Case (PBC) to the Welsh Government, which is the first stage of the business planning process.”

Mr Davies continued: “Welsh Government endorsement is not yet confirmed.

“Following submission, the Welsh Government asked the health board to develop a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) – the second stage of the business planning process.

“They also asked the Nuffield Trust to review our proposed service model independently. This report is available with the May 2024 Board papers, and additional

4 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
Hywel Dda UHB: Board provides detail as Morgan hides behind jargon

work is being scoped to complete the SOC.”

On timescales, Lee Davies said: “If the SOC is approved, the next stage would be the Outline Business Case and the Final Business Case—this could take several years to achieve.”

Mr Davies continued: “In the meantime, we continue working with our communities to prepare and deliver the best health and care services we can. This has included a consultation on a shortlist of sites for the new Urgent and Planned Care Hospital.”

On the location of a new hospital, Lee Davies said: “Following thorough consideration of the consultation findings, that were independently collated and analysed by Opinion Research Services (ORS), together with further technical and commercial information on three potential sites, the Board shortlisted from three to two sites last year.

“The two sites shortlisted are Tŷ Newydd, in Whitland, and another site in St Clears.

“If successful, construction of a new hospital would also take several years to complete.”

That’s several years to finalise a business case and several more years to build a new hospital.

Given the speed with which new hospitals are usually built, that suggests any new hospital, if built, will not be ready this decade.

We also asked about transport links to a new hospital.

While Whitland has a mainline railway station, St Clears station is still waiting for an upgrade.

In addition, the shortlisted site is a considerable distance from the station and on a greenfield site outside the town.

Lee Davies told us:

“Transport considerations were detailed in our consultation on the shortlist of land options, and we continue to work closely with partners to make the best use of active travel (where appropriate) and public transport opportunities for any new hospital.

“Work is currently being undertaken on developing a Transport Plan for accessing our existing and potential future sites.”

“Active travel”walking and cycling - is a Welsh Government policy priority that it insists planning authorities and applicants must consider for any new development. It will not always - more likely, seldom - be a viable option for patients attending a hospital for treatment. That means significant investment

in public transport and improved transport infrastructure reflecting the reality of people’s lives as they are lived instead of how Welsh Government ministers think they should be lived.

We put Hywel Dda Health Board’s clear response about timescales to Sam Kurtz, whose written question prompted our enquiry.

Mr Kurtz told us: “Rather than gaining greater clarity on the situation, I fear things are slipping towards more uncertainty on what future hospital provision will look like in West Wales.

“This could detrimentally affect both Withybush and Glangwili, who may not receive the necessary investment they need to provide excellent patient care.

“The Health Board previously raised that the new hospital would not be built before 2029. But with a final location yet to be determined, and an Outline Business Case and Final Business Case possibly taking several years to complete, patients in West Wales are yet again being left in limbo by the Labour Government’s damning health policies.”

Teenager charged with rape and threats to kill

A 19-YEAR-OLD has been charged with rape, assault, and making threats to kill a woman.

Tom Sinclair

Nathan John, of Richard John Road in Milford Haven, appeared at Swansea Magistrates’ Court facing four serious charges.

John is accused of raping a woman in Haverfordwest on 16 May. Additionally, he has been charged with

assault by beating and making threats to kill the same woman on that date. The charges also include an allegation of possessing a knife in a public place in Haverfordwest.

During the court hearing on 18 May, John

did not enter any pleas.

The case has been referred to Swansea Crown Court, where John will be required to enter his pleas on 17 June.

John was remanded in custody pending his next court appearance.

Gething kicks off Welsh Labour’s General Election campaign

TODAY Vaughan Gething launched Welsh Labour’s General Election campaign with a rousing speech at the Trade Union Congress in Llandudno.

The Leader of Welsh Labour declared: “Today is a day where we can finally envisage an end to fourteen years of this UK Tory Government. An end to fourteen years of decline, fourteen years of neglect.

“Cameron, May, Johnson, Truss, Sunak. It is finally time to turn the page on those vandals. […] We know there is another future we can chart.

“We know the difference that a Labour government makes, and we know that two Labour governments at either end of the M4 can transform Wales and transform Britain.”

Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens

echoed Gething’s sentiments, stating:

“Today we begin our campaign to turn the page on 14 years of Conservative chaos and failure.

“Labour has a long-term, serious plan to change our country. No more Tory gimmicks. No more sticking plasters. We’ve set out the first steps that two Labour governments will deliver.

“Together, we can stop the chaos, turn the page,

Christmas Eve visit results in criminal conviction

A CHRISTMAS EVE visit resulted in a court conviction this week after Luke Harvey wrecked an onslaught of criminal damage to his ex-partner’s bedroom.

Harvey was seen standing at the top of a flight of stairs that lead to his partner’s home in Gwelfor, Fishguard on Christmas Eve 2023.

“His partner knew he wasn’t allowed there and asked him to leave,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“But Luke Harvey replied, ‘Why? It’s Christmas’. He was in an aggressive mood and he began shouting abuse.”

Ms Jackson said that Harvey, 20, then walked into his partner’s bedroom.

“She heard banging from inside and at this point she texted an individual asking them to call the police,” said Ms Jackson.

Harvey then left the property and proceeded to drive off in Ms Delaeny’s blue Ford Focus. This was despite the fact that he did not hold a driving licence.

Police officers eventually discovered Harvey driving the vehicle along Heol Caradog in Fishguard. Police bodyworn footage was shown to the court during which Harvey could be heard apologising profusely to the officers and saying repeatedly, ‘I haven’t done anything wrong.

Towards the end of the footage, one of the officers could be heard shouting ‘Spray the car’.

“The court can

make of that comment what they will,” said his solicitor, Mr Tom Lloyd.

“It’s clear to see that as soon as Luke engaged with the officers, he was in a state of panic and seemed distressed.

“You can hear him clearly apologising and he was in fear of what he’d done.”

Mr Lloyd said his client suffers from Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

“This will explain why my client acted on impulse that day,” he said.

Harvey, of Allt y Carne, Goodwick, pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, using a vehicle without third party insurance, obstructing a police officer in execution of their duty and causing criminal damage to a property.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order during which he must carry out 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £500 compensation to Ms Delaney. No compensation was awarded to the police officer.

“We were aware of the comment made by the police officer [on the video footage], so there will be no separate compensation to him,” commented presiding magistrates Mary Smith. Harvey was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £114 court surcharge.

and rebuild our country. The choice is in your hands. Choose change.”

5 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024
Sam Kurtz MS: Patients in West Wales being left in limbo by Labour

Sentenced for drug-driving

A NEWPORT resident who depends on cannabis to alleviate pain as a result of an on-going kidney illness has appeared before magistrates after being found driving with cannabis in his system.

Daniel Edwards, 41, was stopped by officers just after 1pm on January 11 as he drove his Honda Civic on the A487 at Felindre Farchog.

“When the officers spoke to him, they could smell cannabis and the defendant admitted that he was a regular cannabis user and had smoked some the previous evening,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

A roadside drugs wipe proved positive and Edwards, of Long Street, Newport, was taken to a police

custody suite where further blood tests were carried out. These showed he had 3.8mcg of Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol in his system. The legal limit is 2.

Edwards was represented in court by Mr Liam Francis who informed magistrates that the defendant takes cannabis on a regular basis to relieve his pain and to help him sleep.

“He has problems with his kidneys which has resulted in numerous operations and a transplant,” he said. “He’s devastated to be here today but has now addressed his issue with cannabis and is taking medication in the correct way for pain relief.”

Edwards was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £48 court surcharge.

Attempting to engage 12-yearold girls in sexual activity

A HERBRANDSTON man has appeared before magistrates charged with attempting to incite two 12-year-old girls to engage in sexual activity.

It is alleged that Paul Chesher, 66, attempted to incite the girls in sexual activity on three separate occasions between September 2021 and October 2021 at his address in Southview,


Chesher appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday. No pleas were entered to any of the three charges.

Magistrates declined jurisdiction in the matter and the case was sent to Swansea Crown Court.

Chesher was released on unconditional bail pending his next appearance before Swansea Crown Court on June 21,

‘Honoured’ to be Narberth mayor once again

CLLR CHRIS WALTERS has been reinstalled as the Mayor of Narberth for the forthcoming year. At the Town Council’s Annual General Meeting this month, outgoing Mayor Councillor Elizabeth Rogers nominated Councillor Walters for the position, with Councillor Rigby seconding the proposal, and all council members expressing unanimous support.

A native of Narberth, Councillor Walters, who joined the council in early 2017, expressed that he was ‘honoured’ to take on the mayoral role once

more. However, he noted the bittersweet nature of his appointment, due to the passing of Deputy Mayor Councillor Sue Rees earlier this year.

Councillor Rees was a significant figure in the community and was poised to become Mayor for the 2024/25 term. She was widely recognised for her efforts in preserving numerous community facilities within the town.

In his address, Councillor Walters also paid tribute to all the

councillors who have passed away since he joined the council in the last five years.

During his term, Mrs Bron Walters will serve as Mayoress. Councillor Walters signed two copies of the Acceptance of Office as Mayor in the presence of the Town Clerk to formalise his appointment.

For the forthcoming year, Councillor C Meredydd will serve as Deputy Mayor. The proposal was seconded by Councillor Rigby and received unanimous approval from all council members.

Two hospitalised after crash closes B4318

TWO people were taken to hospital following a collision that led to the closure of the B4318 on Thursday. Emergency services were called to the scene between The Clicketts and Manor House junction at approximately 4:15 pm on 22 May.

Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed that the incident involved two vehicles and necessitated the temporary closure of the road.

Following the crash, both injured individuals were transported to hospital by ambulance. The vehicles involved were subsequently recovered, allowing the road to be reopened after roughly three hours, around 7 pm.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police received a report of a two-vehicle road traffic collision on the B4318 between The Clicketts and Manor House junction at around 4:15 pm on May 22. Two people were taken to hospital by ambulance. The road was closed whilst both vehicles were recovered and reopened at around 7pm.”

6 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

Home grown ahead, Securing Land for the people and other resources

When I set up Grwp Resilience we started by looking for land for community growing. This goal was one chosen by hundreds of people in meetings on future proofing, as we emerged from covid.

Talking to growers many said they owed their sanity, marriages and sometimes lives to having this outlet.

Nearly a year of fruitless searching for spare urban land followed. Ffynnon in Cilgerran got the first site. Then after a summer of Grwp supporting open days on existing gardens, a couple at one of these days said: We know now what we want to do with our three acres.

Shortly afterwards one of our directors had a word with his chums in the agricultural sector, and the next 1.3 acres was offered. Two large sites

offered! We wasted no time and by the following April the first garden was being cultivated.

These breakthroughs led on by stages, to the euphoria this spring of new gardens springing up like yellow rattle after a thunderstorm.

This month a new garden in Milford is awaiting earth works. One in Pembroke is seeing its first crop of potatoes, a designer has inspired ideas for a garden in a mental health centre, and there is twinkle in the eye for another site in Milford Haven, and plans for several in primary schools.

Havergardd, this year’s new garden in Haverfordwest, yards from Freemans Way is now busy three days a week. Its attendees are local people, many without a car. Children are regulars, and the health

and happiness benefits hang tangibly in the air like blossom. People spend as much time chatting as gardening, with no pressure to do either. Some say it’s the one thing that gets them out of the house.

It’s next open day is Monday 27th May, all welcome.

Parc Helyg a couple of miles up the road in Crundale is in its third year, with all 33 plots taken. The site has challenges from weather and lack of water supplies, but the intrepid gardeners have risen to the challenge of managing their site solo, carrying all the financial and administrative responsibilities with no background experience of being company directors. They even have a carbon reduction plan, bilingual, on their website. There are new community gardens finding their muddy feet in Cilgerran, Goodwick, Monkton, Narberth, Pembroke, Milford Haven as well as these in Hwlfordd. There may be more we haven’t met.

We have a fundraiser for Pembs community gardens. If you donate, your donation will be doubled (donate up to £250).It closes 31st May, in days.

Today a different resource will be discussed, finance. The big renewables – floating wind etc, expected to come to the Haven seas should provide significant money for community benefits.

Will they face a chorus of

Mine, Mine, from needy groups or can we present a single unified voice to talk to them? That will be discussed today. How can we get wise spending of the money?

We have all seen public money wasted. Yet we value public goods, from roads to recycling, from housing to healthcare. We appreciate the myriad agile community groups and enterprises who fill gaps and mop up the spills from the failures of society and the clunkiness of the hidebound bulky public sector. What is the secret of getting it right? Good leadership. Will this come from electing the right politicians? The majority doubt it. We can rely instead on the wisdom of the hive, deliberative democracy if we can organise it.

Sentenced for racial attack

A MILFORD HAVEN man who hurled racist abuse at his black neighbour on repeated occasions has appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates for sentence.

Body-worn footage captured by police officers following Ian Thomas’s arrest showed him asking the question, “Am I being done for beating up a black c***?”

Thomas, of Hamilton Terrace was brought before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday via a video link from Swansea prison after being remanded in custody following a spate of offences committed on May 4 and May 5.

“The victim and the defendant are neighbours who reside in the same block of flats,” said Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson.

“Initially, when the victim first moved in, there were no issues between them, but then he started coming home drunk, shouting, swearing, and banging on her door.”

On May 4 the victim heard Thomas, who is employed as an excavation driver. returning home.

“He was clearly intoxicated and appeared to have wet himself,” continued Ms Jackson.

“He started banging on her door and then she heard him shouting ‘Black bastards’. She knew it was him because she recognised his voice.”

The following day, the victim returned to her home after attending a church service. Once again Thomas subjected her to racial abuse.

“She had placed a black bin bag outside her flat and the defendant kicked it, causing it to split, with rubbish being strewn all over the hallway,” said Ms Jackson.

A victim impact statement was read out the court

“This has left me feeling very scared,” said the victim.

“I really don’t know what he would do if he had the chance, and since this happened, I haven’t left my flat.

“The racist comments really hurt me and I’m really upset by it.”

Ms Jackson said

that when police arrived at Thomas’ flat for questioning, he answered the door holding a knife which he was pointing downwards.

Police body-worn video footage was shown to magistrates during which the officers could be heard shouting at Thomas to lie down.

When they asked him why he was in possession of a knife he could be heard saying, ‘It’s because I have black c**** living here.’

“When he was taken into custody he told the officers that he had ‘black c****’ as neighbours and asked why he was being arrested for beating up a black c***,” added Abigail Jackson.

“This is a hate crime.”

Ms Jackson informed magistrates that Thomas has 26 previous convictions for violence issues, public order offences and weapon offences. She stated that Thomas is also alcohol dependent.

At a previous court appearance, Thomas pleaded guilty to causing his victim to fear violence; using threatening and racially aggravated words and behaviour and racially aggravated words, affray and causing criminal damage to the bin bag.

Thomas was represented in court by Mr Michael Kelleher.

“He’s found it very difficult to come to terms with the fact that these words were said,” he said. “He doesn’t consider himself to be racist but he can’t deny that those words were said. “But they were said in alcohol, and he has no recollection of what happened.”

Thomas was sentenced to an 18-month community order during which he must carry out 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

A restraining order was imposed preventing him from approaching or from having any other form of contact with the victim.

He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victim. He must also pay a £114 surcharge and £85 costs.

Election 24: What the candidates say

CANDIDATES for July 4’s General Election have responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement.

After constituency boundaries were redrawn, Pembrokeshire was divided between two new seats, Mid & South Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion Preseli.

STEPHEN CRABB MP, the Conservative Candidate for Mid and South Pembrokeshire, said: “As a local man who lives and was raised in the heart of Pembrokeshire, I’m committed to providing a strong voice for our County. I understand the needs of our community and have a trusted track record of speaking up for Pembrokeshire.

“I bring experience and a record of delivering on our County’s priorities. I always put the interests of Pembrokeshire first.

“I’ve worked hard to secure the Celtic Freeport, which will bring new investment and jobs to the area. I improved Broadband, delivered new Levelling Up money to improve our town centres, and boosted the number of police officers to keep our communities safer.

Mr Crabb continued: “Defending Withybush Hospital and local health services against Welsh Labour cuts will always remain a top priority.

“I am the only candidate in this election who has fought against Vaughan Gething’s Withyhedge landfill scandal, which has ruined the quality of life of thousands of Pembrokeshire people. This election is an opportunity for local people to send a message to Welsh Labour that Pembrokeshire must not be turned into a dumping ground.

Stephen Crabb concluded: “The new boundaries mean the seat now includes South Pembrokeshire. I’ve worked with many of the businesses there during my time as a Pembrokeshire MP, and I know the community well. But I look forward to speaking to many more people across the new constituency as I get out and about during the campaign.

“I look forward to

showing people over the next 6 weeks why they can trust me with their vote and rely on me to work hard for Pembrokeshire. It’s been an honour and privilege to care and campaign for my home county for the past 19 years – I look forward to continuing this work.”

HENRY TUFNELL, the Labour candidate for Mid & South Pembrokeshire, said: “Today presents an opportunity for the people of Mid & South Pembrokeshire to have their say.

“They can choose between more of the same of the last fourteen years: scandal, sleaze, economic mismanagement and falling living standards, or a changed Labour Party that will deliver for them.

“I want a fresh start for Mid and South Pembrokeshire, to be a strong voice to stand up for residents and to work hard for them.

“With a UK Labour Government working hand in hand with our Welsh Government, the people of Pembrokeshire will be better off.”

BEN LAKE MP, Plaid Cymru’s candidate for Ceredigion Preseli, said: “It is an honour to stand as the representative for the new seat of Ceredigion Preseli.

“It has been a privilege to serve the people of Ceredigion for the past seven years, during which I have done my utmost to fight their cause, striving every day to improve the lives of the people I am honoured to serve.

“I hope to be reelected as your Member of Parliament on July 4 and will work tirelessly to champion the issues that matter most to you. Whether that’s investing in our public services, safeguarding our NHS, or boosting our local economy for the benefit of our communities.”

Ben Lake concluded: “I will be your champion at Westminster, and I am confident that together we can build a stronger, more sustainable, and prosperous Ceredigion Preseli to enable future generations to thrive.”


Conservative candidate for the new seat, said: “It’s an honour of a lifetime to represent residents in North Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion as the Welsh Conservative Candidate for Ceredigion Preseli.

“Now that the starting gun has officially been fired, I’m ready to continue spreading positive messages across the constituency about what has been achieved under a Conservative UK government, including getting the economy growing, the furlough scheme, gigabit internet rollout, national insurance tax cuts, legalising same-sex marriage and establishing the Celtic Freeport, just to name a few.

Mr Thomas continued: “Rural communities across our constituency need stability.

“The uncertainty Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Labour Government have inflicted on Welsh farmers is unforgivable.

“As a young farmer, I feel the same pain our rural communities feel. I will always fight for farmers and wider rural communities. I know that the Welsh Conservatives share that same value.”

Aled Thomas concluded: “Conservatives also have a strong record in education, and now more than ever, I will be the only voice that speaks up for a generation of children in Ceredigion Preseli, where Labour’s current curriculum for Wales and the Plaid Cymru-run County Council are letting a generation of school children down.”

Labour’s candidate for Ceredigion Preseli, JACKIE JONES, said: “Fourteen years of Conservative government in Westminster has left families in Ceredigion Preseli worse off. Plaid Cymru won’t be able to provide solutions to the problems the UK faces.

“I’m campaigning for a fresh start for Ceredigion Preseli with a Labour Government. A thriving local economy, a modernised NHS, and opportunities for all, no matter your background. There is an alternative to Conservative chaos and Plaid powerlessness.”

8 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
Echoing Henry Tufnell’s words, Ms Jones pledged to work with the Labour government in Cardiff Bay: “A UK Labour Government, working with our Welsh Labour Government, will deliver for communities across Wales.” Stephen Crabb Ben Lake Aled Thomas Jackie Jones Henry Tufnell

Sunak calls summer General Election

THE UK goes to the polls on Thursday, July 4.

The Prime Minister announced the general election date in a sodden Downing Street at 5pm on Wednesday, May 22.

As the rain fell and “Things Can Only Get Better” blared over a nearby sound system, Mr Sunak set out his party’s key attack lines.

The Prime Minister attacked Labour for lacking a plan and Sir Kier Starmer for lacking principles.

Mr Sunak urged citizens to stay the course and trust his government to deliver stability and improvements.

The Prime Minister offered nothing new or inspirational, missing the chance to set a positive mood for the General Election campaign.

If one could detect a theme in the PM’s delivery, it appeared to be: “Things are going pretty badly; don’t let Labour ruin it”.

The weather matched the mood of the PM’s speech: wet. When Mr Sunak finished his speech and walked back into Number Ten, he was drenched.

Talking heads, the usual suspects, and the commentariat are already in overdrive.

Look! See! Scandal! Shock!

While the UK parties get ready for battle across key marginal seats and try grabbing headlines and favourable coverage, it’ll be easy to forget the importance of local issues in a General

Election campaign.

There are three seats in South West Wales, all redrawn or renamed.

The key battlegrounds for Herald readers are Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Preseli Pembrokeshire, and Mid & South Pembrokeshire.

At the last UK General Election in 2019, Pembrokeshire’s working-class voters abandoned Labour. Our County returned two Conservative MPs. In 2021, our County returned two Conservative MSs. At the Council elections a year later, the Conservative vote held up even as it went into shrank drastically elsewhere.

It would not be surprising if Labour’s performance in West Wales were worse than in the rest of the country.

As at previous elections, Labour candidates in West Wales must overcome the Welsh Government’s reeking and widespread unpopularity.

Twenty-five years of devolution has delivered nebulous benefits for the Welsh people.

A quarter of a century of “the Welsh difference” has made little or no difference to Wales’s people.

Banging on about crises in education, transport, public services, housing, and the NHS could be fruitful in England. It would be astonishing if it weren’t. However, Labour is

hamstrung by being responsible for those policy areas and their appalling condition in Wales.

Labour in Wales can’t rely on claiming things are much worse over the Severn Bridge any more than the Welsh Conservatives can claim they’re much better.

Unable to campaign on its record in the Welsh Government, Labour will have to fight on a broader battleground:

The cost-of-living crisis.

The feeling that fourteen years of a Conservative government in Westminster have not improved Welsh voters’ lives.

Pressing the case that the time has come for change.

As for Wales’s other political parties, the Liberal Democrats are nowhere, the Greens will take any protest votes on the left from those who confuse activism and virtue-signalling with politics, and Reform will take any protest votes on the right from those who think “Two World Wars and One World Cup” is a programme for government.

Plaid Cymru faces different problems, not least because it comprises several factions that loathe each other more than they dislike other parties.

A good night for Plaid Cymru would be three seats won. A great night would be four seats won. There are, however, thirty-two Welsh constituencies. Do the

Jailed for breaching domestic violence protection order

AMY Woolston, 20, of Vine Road, Johnston, Pembrokeshire, has been sentenced to six weeks in prison for breaching a domestic violence protection order.

On 15th May 2024, Woolston was found in the company of a man in a flat at The Farmers Arms, Market Street, Whitland, in violation of the order issued by Llanelli Magistrates

Court on 10th May 2024. The court deemed the offence serious due to the proximity to the original order and a previous breach involving the same victim. Woolston was not in custody and appeared unrepresented in court. Her total sentence length is 18 weeks. The case was dealt with in Haverfordwest court on May 16.

Accused of making Category A images of a child in caravan park


Plaid Cymru—like the SNP or DUP—could have considerable leverage in a hung parliament or a parliament where the governing party has a small majority. The problem is Plaid chaining itself to the Labour Government in Wales. “Vote Plaid, Get Labour” could switch off voters Plaid must win over, whether or not Leanne Wood wants them.

Plaid would be functionally irrelevant in a parliament with a large Labour majority. They would have no more say than an independent MP or the departing Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas.

In addition, fewer seats in Wales (down to 32 from 40) will almost certainly mean fewer Plaid MPs. The tiny seats in North West Wales that Plaid usually won are gone, merged with other constituencies. Ceredigion has merged with Preseli Pembrokeshire. Carmarthenshire’s new seat boundaries exclude some strong Plaid-voting areas, and the local party is divided.

Despite New Labour’s anthem, “Things Can Only Get Better,” being played over Rishi Sunak’s speech on Wednesday, Sir Kier Starmer has not tapped into the public mood like Tony Blair did.

So far, Labour’s messaging offers only vague hope of undefined improvements.

Anyone for “Stuck in the Middle with You”? It might be enough.

AHAVERFORDWEST man has appeared before magistrates charged with making six category A images of a child at a caravan site in Pembrokeshire.

John Bates 57, is further accused of making 41 category B images of a child and 103 category C images of a child.

The offences are alleged to have been committed between October 2016 and

March 2022 at the Park Hall Caravan Site, Pen y Cwm, Haverfordwest.

No pleas were entered by Bates when he appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates court on Tuesday and the Bench declined jurisdiction in the matter. The case will now resume at Swansea Crown Court on June 21. Bates, who is currently of no fixed abode, was released on conditional bail.

Driver to appear in court following crash with motorcyclist

A DRIVER will appear at Swansea Crown Court following a crash with a motorcyclist in Milford Haven.

Charlotte Harding, 38, of Murray Road in Milford Haven, has been charged with causing serious injury by careless or inconsiderate driving.

It is alleged that Harding crashed an Audi A3 into paramedic Sean Luby, who was riding his Honda motorbike on the A4076 Steynton Road at around 5.10pm on January

29 last year. For the latest crime and court news for west Wales, you can join our Facebook group here.

Harding is accused of driving without due care and attention at the time of the crash.

The case came before Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on May 14.

Harding was granted bail and will appear at Swansea Crown Court to enter her plea on June 14.

9 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024

Suspended sentence for man who neglected five horses

A WEST WALES man has been handed a suspended sentence after he was found to have neglected five horses and a foxhound.

Gregory Edward Baker, 43, of Rhydcymerau, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court for a two-day trial on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 April, and faced five offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

They were that he caused unnecessary suffering to five equines by failing to adequately investigate or address the causes of their poor or underweight bodily conditions along with skin diseases namely rain scald, mud fever and lice infestation, and also did not meet their needs.

He also caused further unnecessary suffering to one of these equines – a chestnut mare – relating to her lameness of her left foreleg and unnecessary suffering to a foxhound by failing to provide prompt or effective professional veterinary care and attention for his paraphimosis (unretracted penis) with associated ulceration and fracture.

Following a two-day trial Baker was found guilty for all offences and on Thursday 16 May he was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment which has been suspended for 24 months.

This included a 20 week sentence for the first offence, 20 weeks for the second offence, 12 weeks for the third offence, eight weeks for the fourth offence and 12 weeks for the fifth offence – which

with serious concern raised for five horses and one foxhound.

will all run concurrently.

He was also ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months. One of the horses – which had been placed in another person’s care – was also transferred to the care of the RSPCA.

In a witness statement, provided to the court, RSPCA Inspector Neill Manley said he attended the location with RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer (ARO) Rohan Barker on 19 April 2023.

As permission was not granted by the owner to access the land, police were called along with a vet. Inspector Manley and ARO Barker inspected a large number of horses and dogs at the location

Firstly they saw the chestnut mare who was in the top field and was lame on the front leg.

He said she was “in very poor body condition with her ribs, spine and hip bones prominent and her coat covered in mud and patchy in places” which looked like rain scald.

In the lower field which was steeply sloping there was a grey/cream colt with a dark mane and tail and was in “very poor body condition with a muddy and unkempt winter coat”.

He said: “Even through the winter coat you could see her ribs, spine and hip bones protruding. The field was overgrown in patches with bramble and in one bramble patch was

the decomposing carcass of a horse.”

Another horse – a grey gelding with a rug on was also “in very poor body condition with its rib hip and spine bones clearly visible”.

Whilst another horse, a grey/palomino yearling colt, was found to be in very poor body condition and a black Shetland pony mare was found to be in very poor body condition.

Inspector Manley said the pony “was quite weak and unsteady on its feet” and when they along with the vet caught her the pony collapsed and needed help to get back on her feet.

At the dog kennels there were a number of female hounds – and advice was given to the owner about one of them

who was lame on her front leg to get the dog checked by a vet.

A male hound was found with a prolapsed penis. Inspector Manley said: “He was a white entire male in reasonable body condition, but had what appeared to me to be a prolapsed penis that looked infected and misshapen.”

In a witness statement – provided to the court –by the vet who examined the foxhound, they said that there were two ulcers on the penis and the “smell of the area was of rotting flesh”. Suggested options were partial penile amputation and castrate, urethrostomy or for the dog to be put to sleep. The vet added the owner “elected for the dog to be put to sleep”.

Two of the horses were transferred to a family member but sadly one of these – the chestnut mare who was found to be severely lame – was put to sleep on advice from an independent vet on welfare grounds to prevent further suffering.

In a witness statement – provided to the court –by the vet who examined and monitored the horses they said the mare had a “discharging abscess on her left fore”, she had a body score of two out of five, rain scald and lice and was heavy in foal. Treatment was given but sadly she lost her foal and failed to improve.

The vet added: “I radiographed her left fore food and sadly but unsurprisingly found a sequestrum (infected fragment of bone) and osteomyelitis (bone infection). Enthanasia was recommend on humane grounds as there was a hopeless prognosis of successful treatment.”

The other three horses – who were placed in the care of the RSPCA –were taken to a boarding establishment.

The vet added: “All three ponies had put on a considerable amount of weight in just under a month – this was only attributable to the provision of appropriate nutrition.”

Inspector Manley also issued the owner an improvement notice advising him of the improvements that needed to be made. In mitigation the court heard that there has been no criticism since with any of the animals in his care and a disqualification order was not imposed.

10 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
Tom Sinclair

Former Post Office CEO cries over ‘mistakes’


Inquiry into the Post Office scandal, in which hundreds of postmasters and postmistresses were wrongly convicted due to a faulty computer system, heard testimony from former CEO Paula Vennels this week.

Ms Vennels admitted that she had “made mistakes” but denied involvement in a conspiracy to cover up the computer system’s flaws.

She expressed regret that she and others failed to recognise and address the issues.

The Post Office introduced the Horizon information technology system 25 years ago to automate sales accounting.

However, local managers began reporting unexplained financial shortfalls, which the company blamed on them.

The Post Office insisted that Horizon was reliable and accused branch managers of dishonesty.

Paula Vennells served as the Post Office CEO from 2012 to 2019 and was a member of the board from 2007.

She stated that she was unaware of the Post Office’s role as investigator and prosecutor of alleged offences until she became CEO. This lack of awareness seems to have been a common trait among former Post Office


HHJ Wyn Williams KC, the Inquiry Chair, wondered Inquiry chair Wyn Williams queried how Paula Vennells, who received more than £4.5m in salary and bonuses, did not realise until 2012 that the Post Office was conducting prosecutions as a state body with special powers.

She replied that she had “no recollection” of the powers being discussed.

Obviously, Ms Vennells never read everything put in front of her and was also woefully ignorant about the operations of a business she supposedly ran.

It makes a layperson wonder about the business acumen needed to secure such a prestigious post in a private business where the government is the largest shareholder.

CSE Woodwork Grade Five seems about it.

During her two days of testimony, one question stood out.

The Inquiry’s chief counsel, Jason Beer, suggested that Vennells might be considered the “unluckiest CEO in the United Kingdom.”

It is doubtful whether ignorance, lack of awareness, or believing anything she was told without question counts as


So far, taken at its highest, the combined evidence of senior Post Office managers and their legal advisors boils down to a series of simple propositions: they never knew anything about anything. They had no control over how the business ran, never read documents, and certainly had no reason to doubt that Horizon was secure.

You could hardly describe their accounts as compelling or compellingly truthful.

Ms Vennells misled MPs, officers under her control misled the courts, and the Post Office’s management denied justice to hundreds of branch managers when board members knew or should have known that the prosecutions’ foundations were built on a lie.

“One of my reflections of all of this – I was too trusting,” she said.

That’s certainly one way of putting it.

Paula Vennells used tears and tissues when the going got too tough.

Grilled about postmaster Martin Griffiths, who deliberately stepped in front of an oncoming bus in September 2013 and died weeks later after he had been falsely accused of taking thousands of pounds from his branch, she broke down.

She also stopped mid-answer for a tissue when she was asked why she had told MPs the Post Office had been successful in every case against branch managers.

Ms Vennells, also an ordained priest, apologised for her comment that subpostmasters and subpostmistresses had been “tempted to put their hands in the till”.

She said it was an “assumption” she made.

Some assumption.

Five postmasters were prosecuted the year before Horizon came on stream. Under a decade later, that number was 45 a year.

That’s postmasters alone. Over the years, 918 people were prosecuted for dishonesty using evidence from a faulty computer system.

The only rational explanation for this is that the Post Office must have assumed that many of its Subpostmasters were criminals, and Horizon was finally helping catch them.

That’s not an assumption. It’s confirmation bias reinforced by institutional arrogance on an industrial scale.

This perception that subpostmasters are easily tempted criminals, combined with stupidity, a belief in the infallibility

of computers, massively over-developed prosecutorial powers and a lack of independent scrutiny or oversight, has resulted in a scandal you can now see from space.

Asked whether she prioritised the business’s needs over the subpostmasters’ suffering, Vennells admitted there “will be many examples of where that is clearly the case.”

That called for another tissue.

Outside the Inquiry,

Alan Bates - whose struggle for justice was dramatised by ITV - said he had “no sympathy” for Vennells.

“The whole thing is upsetting for everybody, including for so many of the victims,” he said. “I’ve got no sympathy really.”

Unlike those who were bankrupted, who have died, who had their reputations trashed or who were imprisoned, Ms Vennells’s grief is cushioned by a massive pension.

Lifeboat crew plucks woman in difficulty from the water

ANGLE All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch at 10pm on Sunday night (May 19).

The Coastguard had received a call reporting a female in difficulty in the water off Fort Road, Pembroke Dock.

The Lifeboat launched and began making best speed to the area, arriving on scene just 10 minutes later.

The Police and Ambulance Service also attended and were waiting in Hobbs Point car park.

The Port Authority Pilot Vessel ‘St Davids’ had not long arrived on

scene and commenced searching, and members of the Dale Coastguard Rescue Team were on the beach with the first informant conning the Lifeboat on to the approximate position of the casualty.

The crew could hear the casualty screaming, and shortly after she came into view in the Lifeboat’s searchlights.

The crew immediately began warming and reassuring the casualty whilst carrying out a thorough casualty care assessment.

The decision was made to redirect all assets to Hobbs Point

where the Lifeboat would come alongside.

A few minutes later once secure alongside, the crew were met by members of Dale, Tenby and St Govan’s Coastguard Rescue Teams, Paramedics and Police Officers.

The casualty was safely walked ashore to an awaiting ambulance.

With no further assistance required, the lifeboat and her crew were stood down to return to station where she was readied for further service by 11:45pm.

The RNLI said: “A huge thanks to the crew

of the pilot vessel for their quick response and valuable assistance in

Coastguard for their direction to the casualty.

12 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
searching, and to the
A fantastic example of multi-agency

Milford Haven tops list of UK’s most polluted ports

NEW analysis by Transport & Environment UK (T&E UK) has revealed alarming levels of air pollution from ships at UK ports, with Milford Haven, Southampton, and Immingham emerging as the top three for harmful sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions. The study highlights the urgent need for regulatory action to address the severe environmental and health impacts associated with shipping emissions.

The findings show that in 2022, just 472 ships visiting Milford Haven produced nearly 100 times more SOx emissions than all of Pembrokeshire’s 67,000 cars. This disparity is stark, given that Milford Haven had only half the ship traffic of Immingham, which ranked second, yet still managed to emit 50% more SOx. Southampton, ranking third, saw 46 cruise ships – representing a mere 6% of its total vessels –contributing more SOx than 200 container ships.

The top ten ports for SOx pollution, according to T&E UK, collectively saw 3,700 ships emitting 30 times more SOx than the one million cars registered in their respective local authority areas. This paints a troubling picture of the pollution burden borne by port communities.

In terms of nitrogen oxides (NOx), ships in the top ten polluted ports produced nearly 1.75 times as much NOx as the 970,000 cars registered in those areas. Southampton again topped this list, with its ships producing four times more NOx than all the city’s cars, half of which came from cruise ships. The scenario was similar for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), where Southampton also led, with ships producing half as much PM2.5 as a million cars, with cruise ships contributing significantly.

Ships not only release

poisonous exhaust fumes but also discharge pollutant-laden wash water from exhaust gas cleaning systems, commonly known as “scrubbers.” This wash water, dumped directly into the sea, adversely affects marine life and exacerbates ocean pollution, a growing concern in the UK. Despite this, only a few UK ports prohibit such discharges.

T&E UK’s rankings were derived from an analysis of SOx, NOx, and PM2.5 emissions from commercial passenger and cargo ships docked at UK ports in 2022. The study included vessels mooring within a 1.5 nautical mile radius of a port’s main coordinates, with emissions compared to pollution from cars registered in the same local authority areas, based on data from the Department for Transport and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

T&E UK has called for the government to enact comprehensive policy and regulations to address air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from UK shipping. The forthcoming

refreshed Clean Maritime Plan is seen as a critical opportunity for action. Key recommendations include mandating zero-emission berths, implementing a shore-side electricity plan, charging ships for emissions while moored, and designating all UK territorial waters as Emission Control Areas. Additionally, a prohibition on scrubber wash water discharge is urged.

Jonathan Hood, UK Sustainable Shipping Manager at T&E, stated: “The awful levels of pollution revealed in this analysis demonstrate how the UK’s port cities are being choked by the harmful fumes caused by a shipping industry that, thanks to years of government inaction, has no impetus to change. The government has its last chance to chart a better course for the industry with the updated Clean Maritime Plan and it must not waste this opportunity. We need to see a rapid switch away from filthy fossil fuels, and ports must set binding targets to implement zero-emission technologies. These must include shore-side electricity, which would ensure ships can plug in at port and switch off their

polluting engines.”

The Rt Hon. the Lord Deben, former Chairman of the UK Government’s Climate Change Committee, added: “It is disheartening to see the staggering levels of emissions from ships around UK ports, as revealed by T&E’s new analysis. There is an urgent need for stringent action from the government by prioritising stricter emissions control measures around UK territorial waters, increasing the use of shore-side electricity across ports, and prohibiting the discharge of dirty scrubber water into waterways. Without decisive action, the health impacts for residents and workers in port towns, not to mention economic costs, will continue to soar, leaving communities to suffer the dire consequences of inaction.”

The Port of Milford Haven said it was “working incredibly hard, inside our own business and with our customers, to reduce emissions and deliver an accelerated transition to a Net Zero future”.

A Port of Milford spokesperson said: “The Port of Milford Haven is the busiest energy port

in the UK supporting Britain and Europe with vital energy and fuel.

As custodians of the Milford Haven Waterway, our environment is very important to us. Sustainability is one of our core values and we are working incredibly hard, inside our own business and with our customers, to reduce emissions and deliver an accelerated transition to a Net Zero future.

“This year, the Port implemented a ‘Green Ship Incentive Program’ to provide discounted rates for ships that perform better in reducing air emissions. Milford Haven is one of the first UK ports – and the only one in Wales – to financially incentivise environmental improvements to ships.

“In addition, the Port is one of only a handful of UK ports to prohibit ships that use open loop scrubbers to clean exhaust emissions from discharging their wash water within the Milford Haven Waterway.

“The Port of Milford Haven supports the British Port Association’s rebuttal of the report produced by Transport and Energy (T&E) UK and question the methodology they have used to reach their

conclusions. We are also disappointed they did not engage with us ahead of the report’s launch.

“The Port of Milford Haven has a pivotal role to play in delivering the UK’s Net Zero ambitions offering a whole energy cycle solution that will unlock accelerated transition while stimulating economic growth. Together with our customers, we are committed to a resilient, low carbon future and as a lead partner in the Milford Haven Energy Cluster we have documented a pathway to achieve this here: Milford Haven Waterway Future Energy Cluster – Delivering an accelerated transition to a Net Zero future – 2023 on Vimeo.”

The British Ports Association, which represents UK operators, said the report lacked critical context and industry research showed emissions from ports were a fraction of wider background emissions in most cities.

Mark Simmonds, the association’s policy director, said most of the industry had “ambitious” net-zero targets, which would have “a positive impact on air quality”.

14 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
Tom Sinclair

Castle Square Bike Night raises funds for Blood Bikes Wales


was abuzz with excitement recently as Castle Square hosted its much-anticipated Bike Night. The event, held on Wednesday, 22nd May, saw an impressive turnout of motorcycle enthusiasts from across the region, all gathering for a worthy cause.

Castle Square Bike Night, which began at 6:30 PM, transformed the heart of Haverfordwest. The event aimed to bring together bikers of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate their shared passion for motorcycles while supporting Blood Bikes Wales, a charity dedicated to providing free, out-of-hours transport of essential medical items to NHS facilities across Wales.

The square was a sea of colour and chrome, with bikes of all makes and models on the town square. From sleek sports bikes to vintage classics, the variety on display was a testament to the diverse biking community in Pembrokeshire. Riders

and spectators alike admired the impressive machines, swapped stories, and enjoyed the atmosphere. Donations were

collected throughout the evening, with all proceeds going directly to Blood Bikes Wales.

The charity relies entirely on volunteers

and donations to operate, and events like these are crucial in ensuring they can continue their vital service. “We are incredibly grateful to

everyone who has supported us tonight,” said a representative from Blood Bikes Wales. “The generosity of the biking community is truly heartwarming, and it makes a significant difference in our ability to provide life-saving services.”

As the evening drew to a close, the success of Castle Square Bike Night was evident in the smiling faces and the positive feedback from attendees. The event not only celebrated the love of motorcycles but also highlighted the power of community action in supporting charitable causes.

Castle Square Bike Night has firmly established itself as a key event in the Haverfordwest calendar, and the organisers are already looking forward to the next gathering. With its combination of passion, community spirit, and charitable giving, it is sure to remain a highlight for years to come.

15 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024
Friday May 24th 2024

Identity Politics: Rabbit Holes, Conspiracy and Paranoia


Vaughan Gething has not got off to the best of starts, writes Jonathan Edwards MP.

It must be very difficult emotionally for someone who has spent their whole life, like Mr Gething, climbing the greasy political pole to the top only to find everything falling apart at the summit.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss went through a similar situation, famously being outlasted by the Daily Star’s lettuce.

With a ‘Vote of No Confidence’ on the horizon and one scandal following another, the big question is, can the First Minister outlast his own metaphoric lettuce.

The key players in this drama probably aren’t Labour Senedd Members, the Welsh Media, opposition parties or even the people of Wales.

Mr Gething will be safe for as long as he retains the confidence of Labour Leader Keir Starmer.

Starmer calculates that he would prefer a loyalist as First Minister as long as the saga doesn’t start to impact Labour’s General Election campaign in Wales and especially contaminate the wider UK campaign.

There is little evidence of that on both counts as of yet, so while Welsh social media goes into meltdown, my personal prediction is that Mr Gething might well hang on.

Of course, whether he should or not is a different question from whether he will.

I will resist revisiting all the troubles that have befallen our new First Minister.

I have long argued that big money and politics don’t mix. Major political donors don’t give money out of the goodness of their own hearts; it’s a transaction with strings attached.

Mr Gething is clearly being briefed against by his own side.

The continuous drip of new revelations can only be an internal job. To some degree, this

is not surprising; most Labour Senedd Members supported Jeremy Miles in the recent Leadership contest.

When a political party has been dominant for such a long time as Labour in Wales, internal personality rivalries dominate within the establishment group. Mr Gething was always going to face difficulty controlling Labour’s Senedd team.

The sacking of Minister Hannah Blythyn was probably meant to be a signal of strength by Mr Gething but backfired. Instead of stamping his authority, he trampled his own feet.

Plaid Cymru then announced that they were ending the Co-operation Agreement, undoubtedly an act of political expediency by Rhun ap Iorwerth with a General Election on the horizon. It also fuelled the narrative that the First Minister was losing control.

At a point of meltdown, Welsh Government sources over the weekend began briefing that the attacks against Mr Gething were racially motivated.

I have no ill-feelings toward Mr Gething and think every new Leader should be given a chance. However, I held my head in my hands, watching the defensive strategies employed on his behalf.

What we are seeing is the government of our country descending into the political rabbit holes of paranoia and conspiracy.

It is not just the First Minister.

One of the best-known female political figures in our country denounces anyone who disagrees with her as a misogynist.

Has Mr Gething experienced racially motivated actions against him during his political career?

Absolutely undoubtedly.

The Daily Mail article last week about his troubles was a disgrace.

Do female politicians suffer from misogynism? Without a doubt.

For evidence of the experience of women actively involved in politics, we need only read the Plaid Cymru’ Project Pawb’ report.

Do gay politicians suffer from attacks based on their sexual orientation? Of course.

We still have a lot of work to do to build a more tolerant political culture and society.

However, that is a world away from the accusations that some minority groups use to deflect legitimate criticism of their political decisions.

The emergence of identity politics over recent decades has transformed our politics.

It’s a type of politics that has blossomed as social media platforms have come to dominate political discourse. It has an energy and a purpose that traditional politics lacks. It is far more alluring for politically active young people.

Activists, who would have once been more interested in pressure groups, have found an avenue into elected


MANY of you will have heard of “no mow May”.

The idea is that you encourage bugs and wee beasties to roam undisturbed across your uncut lawn and save the planet and stuff.

My wife has heard of “no mow May”.

Not only does she not care much for the health and well-being of insects, but she also regards our planet’s fate as even further beyond her control than Enfys Pritchard’s burgeoning interest in Gio, her pizza delivery driver.


Political parties of the left have deliberately gone out to capture these issues as a means of renewing their own rationale.

The culture wars of the right are the inevitable reaction, completing the damaging cycle that has befallen our politics.

Identity politics deliberately polarise, whereas good politics is the art of compromise.

Identity politics becomes a self-fulfilling narrative where the ends justify the means - and to hell with proper processes and natural justice.

Social media echo chambers mean that those who shout loudest invariably win.

The world is seen as black or white, which is disconcerting for those of us who see shades of grey instead.

Politicians who have developed their personal brand based on identity issues often find themselves in trouble in government when faced with the complexities of responsibility and the myriad of conflicting challenges.

Identity politics is important in highlighting injustices, but when it consumes traditional broad-based party politics, it becomes a danger to our democracy.

For the sake of our country, I would hope that Mr Gething will draw back from the accusation that anyone who disagrees with him or scrutinises his actions must be, by definition, a racist.

lawn. None of that namby-pamby selfpropelled stuff at Casa Edwards!

I cut the first strip of grass quickly. Despite the recent dry weather, the shoots’ bottoms remained damp.

I carried on pushing, sweating, emptying more grass bags than I could count, and silently cursing. Each pass of the blades cleared more of the lawn and, by degrees, returned the garden to approximate order.

As with Enfys’s lust for a spotty youth on a moped, “no mow May” is beyond my beloved’s Pale.

As far as she is concerned, laxity in lawn care is one step removed from embracing the universe’s chaos and voting for the Liberal Democrats.

Neither can be countenanced.

That is why, despite my late-life conversion to the cause of wildlife and rampant dandelions, I hauled our petrol mower out of the shed last Sunday.

After checking the oil and spark plug, bleeding the fuel line, and praying that the starter cord would snap, I tried starting our lawn mower.

I heaved on the cord and cursed when it started the first time.

I reasoned that bearing in mind the force of my earlier pleas to the Almighty for a cloud of smoke and a twang as the mower gave up the ghost, the Lord Himself must disapprove of “no Mow May”.

He might see the sparrow fall, but mincing and dicing minibeasts must be okay with Him, Her, Them, or Whatever.

Under a sky like a blue bowl, I pushed the mower onto the

As I reached the end of my task, I heard a rustling in the trees next door.

I stopped mowing and looked up.

To my relief, the carrion crows that had been circling over my head for the last hour and a half had gone.

As I lowered my gaze, I remembered Alfred Hitchcock’s ode to avian doom.

In the trees were birds. They gazed at the lawn, occasionally cocking their heads and shuffling their feathers. Avoiding sudden movements, I mowed the last strip of grass and cut the engine.

Silence. Eerie silence.

I wondered if the world had ended and I hadn’t noticed. I then remembered this was Pembrokeshire. The world could end, and nobody would notice. Suddenly, the normal soundscape returned. I heard the distant chug of another mower, a dog bark, and the unmistakable noise of Russell Fisher taking Gwennie Moffatt in her gazebo.

I admired my handiwork. The birds descended from the trees onto the lawn and began to feast on the newly exposed creepy crawlies. Yes, I reflected, gardening is God’s work.

17 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024

Cheesy names for Folly Farm’s five Humboldt Penguin Chicks

FOLLY FARM has announced the arrival of five new baby Humboldt penguin chicks—the first penguin chicks to hatch at the zoo since 2021!

Keepers have resumed breeding Humboldt penguins as part of a managed European Breeding Programme for the species, facilitated by their membership with the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). These chicks are the first to arrive at the zoo in three years!

Humboldt penguins are classified as a vulnerable species, facing numerous threats in the wild. Breeding had been on hold at Folly Farm, and the keepers are thrilled to be able to breed again.

The delightful new penguin chicks are growing rapidly and are snug in their nest boxes, cared for by both parents who alternate feeding duties while the other

enjoys a swim in the pool. Chicks can double or even triple in weight every couple of days! In a few weeks, they will leave their nests and be taken by experienced keepers to their Penguin Nursery facility, where they will spend a few weeks learning to feed on whole fish and swim in their small ‘baby pool’, before graduating to the main pool with the rest of the colony.

The naming theme for this season is cheese, with the chicks being named Mozzarella, Camembert, Cheddar, Halloumi, and Gorgonzola. Who doesn’t love cheese?

Penguin Keeper and Assistant Zoo Manager Caz Davies shared her excitement: “We’re so excited to have chicks again. Each breeding season, keepers choose a catchy naming theme

to easily identify the birds. Penguin chicks can’t be sexed until they’re a bit older and feather samples can be taken, so we’ll just have to wait for a gender reveal for now!”

‘Mozzarella’ was the first to hatch on 30 March to parents, ‘Magnum’ and ‘Feast’, followed by ‘Camembert’ on 2 April, whose parents are ‘Perci’ and ‘Puffy’. ‘Cheddar’ arrived soon after on 5 May to ‘Whippy’ and ‘Pippy’, and ‘Halloumi’ hatched on 10 May to first-time parents ‘Einstein’ and ‘Darwin’. ‘Gorgonzola’ is the youngest chick and hatched on 14 May to ‘Popple’ and ‘Pudding’.

Penguin Coast is currently home to 22 Humboldt and 14 Macaroni penguins. Guests won’t be able to see the newest arrivals quite yet—but keep watching Folly Farm’s website and social platforms for updates!

18 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

First drive-thru Starbucks in Pembrokeshire approved


is to get its first drivethru Starbucks coffee shop after a scheme was backed by county planners today, May 21.

An application –expected to create 20 jobs – by Magic Bean Company Ltd to site an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station and drive through Starbucks coffee shop on land adjoining Days Garage, Fishguard Road, Haverfordwest, was recommended for conditional approval when it came before the May meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee.

A report for planners said: “There are two principal elements to the proposed development. The provision of an EV charging station with eight charging points and a drive through coffee shop, which will provide 20 full time jobs.

“A further 13 parking spaces are provided to serve the development, including two spaces for people with disabilities. The coffee shop will be situated at the western end of the site opposite the proposed EV charging station, which is centrally located within the site. “

It added: “The coffee shop building will be single storey with a ‘tower’ feature in the west elevation where the customer collection point will be located beneath a timber finished pergola.”

The report said the proposal represented a more effective use of the application site than its current car parking use.

10 representations from members of the public raised concerns about the proposal, issues including: no need for additional coffee

shops locally, adverse impact on existing small local coffee shops and that the planning authority should not be supporting “multinational businesses,” and littering and highway issues.

While Starbucks was not mentioned in the planning documents, Magic Bean Company Ltd, on its website, says: “Established in 2014, The Magic Bean Company opened our first store and became the first licensee to open a Starbucks Drive Thru.

“Since then, we have gone on to become Starbuck’s only national growth partner covering England and Wales, developing our green electric vehicle Starbucks platform.”

Speaking at the May 21 meeting, Magic Bean Company Ltd agent Matthew Gray said the drive-thru coffee shop would be a Starbucks, adding: “The application is driven by

the requirement for Days to diversify, following a slowing of vehicle sales across the UK.”

He added: “It’s pretty well reported that car sales are slow in the UK in the past few years, this is an opportunity to boost the viability of their [Days’] own operation.”

He said the eight EV charging units would be provided by Ionity, one of Europe’s largest charging providers, with a need for more such facilities in west Wales.

After Cllr Alistair Cameron raised concerns from members of the public about potential littering, Mr Gray said Starbucks had a standard approach to litter management, with staff maintaining the area, and coffee outlets having a lower level of litter than some other drive-thrus.

Concerns were raised by Councillor John Cole on highways grounds, fearing the combination of the drive-thru and a nearby school, along with the nearby annual County Show, could create “havoc” with parents stopping off for a coffee.

Following an approval call by Cllr Brian Hall, members unanimously backed the application.

19 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024
20 th 2024

Milford Haven to commemorate 80th anniversary of D-Day

THE Milford Haven Town Council will be holding a Memorial Service to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day on The Rath on Thursday, 6th June 2024, at 8:45 pm. The beacon will be lit at 9:15 pm.

Tom Sinclair

D-Day, which took place on 6th June 1944, marked a pivotal moment in World War II. It was the day when Allied forces launched a massive invasion on the beaches of Normandy, France. This operation, known

as Operation Overlord, involved thousands of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and other Allied nations. The invasion was a significant turning point in the war, leading to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation.

The 80th Anniversary

of D-Day holds profound meaning for many, particularly for those who lived through the war and the families of those who served. It is a time to reflect on the immense sacrifices made by the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who took part in the operation. It is also an opportunity

to honour the bravery and determination of the veterans who survived and to remember those who did not return.

As the years pass, the number of surviving veterans dwindles, making commemorations like these even more poignant. The 80th anniversary serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of those who fought for freedom and the importance of remembering their contributions to history.

The Memorial Service in Milford Haven will provide a moment for the community to come together in remembrance. The lighting of the beacon will symbolise the light of hope and the enduring spirit of those who fought for a better future. The council encourages all residents to attend the service and pay their respects to the heroes of D-Day.


During the lead up to D-Day, part of Milford Haven was taken over by the US Navy as a place where they could dock landing craft as well as make repairs to these craft. The crews would also have been stationed nearby in the town, and a Hospital in Hakin was set up with a hut encampment. The nearby Pier at Newton Noyes was also regularly used by the US Navy.

Landing Ship, Tanks (LST) were often put into Dry Docks to carry out repairs and preparation for the D-Day Landings. The base was the largest Advanced Amphibious Base build by the American Engineers and around 1,000 servicemen and women were stationed at the base during 1943 and 1944.

All aboard for return of summer coastal bus services

TWO popular bus services will be returning to the Pembrokeshire coast from Saturday, 25th May.

The Puffin Shuttle (service 400, operated by Richards Bros) runs between St Davids and Marloes, via Little Haven, Druidston, St Brides and Martins Haven (for boat trips to Skomer Island).

The Strumble Shuttle (service 404, operated by Richards Bros) runs via the coast road between St Davids and Fishguard, including Abereiddy (for the Blue Lagoon), Porthgain, and Strumble Head.

The Coastal Cruiser (service 387/388, operated by Pembrokeshire County Council) around the Angle peninsular will also revert to its summer timetable on May 25th.

All three services will run daily from Saturday 25th May until Sunday 29th September 2024.

to Sunday, 2nd June) and throughout July and August.

In addition, the Celtic Coaster (service 403, operated by Sarah Bell) around the St Davids peninsular will run an enhanced (half-hourly) timetable during half term (Saturday 25th May

These services are have been developed by the Pembrokeshire Greenways Partnership with funding from Pembrokeshire County Council, the Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire Coast

National Park Authority. Councillor Rhys Sinnett, Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Residents Services said: “Our coastal buses are a key part of our local public transport network, making it easy for both locals and visitors to get around the

Pembrokeshire coast without having to use a car.

“We hope as many people as possible make use of these services so that they can have a hassle free way of enjoying our beautiful county.”

Extra services will also be available in the

Tenby area this summer. First Cymru’s Tenby Coaster, an opentopped double decker bus between Tenby and Saundersfoot will be returning, daily, between Saturday, 26th May and Saturday, 14th September 2024.

Taf Valley will be introducing additional journeys on the 351 service from Kilgetty and Tenby from Saturday, 20th July to Friday, 13th September, including a return journey on Sundays.

More information about these and other bus services which run to and around the Pembrokeshire Coast can be found in the new 2024 Coastal Bus timetable booklet, available soon from local libraries and information centres.

To request a copy, please contact public.transport@ or call 01437 764551. Bus timetables can also be downloaded from the Council’s website.

21 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024
Tom Sinclair

Historical discovery event returns to Carew Castle


will see the return of a popular history and archaeology-themed event later this month, offering a unique opportunity to explore the rich history of Pembrokeshire and how it has shaped the region over time.

Unearthing History: Pembrokeshire’s Past has been organised in collaboration with Dyfed Archaeological Trust, who will be joined by several other local museums and history groups to present a wide range of talks, museum collections, artefact displays, and hands-on archaeology activities for visitors of all ages.

During the event, visitors will have the chance to engage with experts and enthusiasts from various fields, as well as participate in Knight School and Have-A-Go Archery sessions.

Talks throughout the day will feature topics such

as the history of siege weapons, the history of Carew Castle, and the HMS Erebus – constructed at Pembroke Dock and renowned for the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and catastrophe in the Arctic.

There will also be two scheduled performances by Greenala Music, showcasing medieval, folk and Celtic music. In addition to this, there will be demonstrations of a range of traditional and historical instruments and the chance to explore some of the lyrics of medieval songs.

Manager of Carew Castle Daisy Hughes said: “If you’re fascinated by all things related to Pembrokeshire’s rich past, then the Unearthing History event is one not to be missed!

“We look forward to working once more with Dyfed Archaeological Trust and other local groups to bring this event to life and

raise awareness of the fascinating historical and archaeological discoveries that have shaped our understanding of the past.”

Organisations attending will include Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Pembrokeshire Prospectors, Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre, Pembroke Town Walls Trust, Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society, Friends of Friendless Churches and Castell Henllys Iron Age Village, who will be on hand for some Iron Age slingshot and face-painting activities.

Unearthing History: Pembrokeshire’s Past will take place on Saturday 1 June 2024 from 10am to 4pm at Carew Castle. The event is open to all ages and is included free with normal Castle admission.

For more information, please visit www. or contact the Castle directly at enquiries@carewcastle. com.

Pembrokeshire farm tent camping site plans backed

PLANS to expand a tent site at a Pembrokeshire farm which has diversified into tourism since the 1980s have been backed by councillors.

In an application before Pembrokeshire County Council’s May meeting of its planning committee, Mr and Mrs James sought permission to expand a tent site at South Cockett Caravan and Tent Site, Broadway, Broad Haven.

The application included a number of enhancements which would improve its visual appearance.

The Council Landscape Officer has raised no objection, advising that the additional hedgebank is to be encouraged.

Speaking at the meeting, agent Andrew Vaughan-Harris said three generations of the James family had been farming some 140 acres, in a mix of sheep, beef and cattle, and now had 70 touring caravan pitches on-site after diversifying in the 1980s.

“It’s a good news story

over the last 30 years, it’s now up to 50 per cent of their income,” he told planners, adding the applicants had invested £180,000 on-site in the last couple of years.

“They still want to have a site for tents, now we have the application in front of us for a further field,” he added.

He finished: “This is helping sustainable farming; it is creating jobs.”

Members of the committee unanimously backed a recommendation to approve the scheme.

23 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024
Bruce Sinclair Local Democracy Reporter

Team from Neyland Rowing Club to row the Atlantic unsupported

IN JANUARY, Cruising Free, a team of rowers from Neyland Rowing Club, Pembrokeshire, will begin their 3200-mile unsupported row across the Atlantic. Part of the Atlantic Dash 2025, one of the toughest endurance events in the world, the team’s challenge will set off from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and end in Antigua in the Caribbean.

The team will be attempting to break two world records and raise money for both Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Paul Sartori, Hospice at Home.

Sophie, 31, is the youngest member of the team and is living with cystic fibrosis (CF). She hopes to become the first person with the condition to row the Atlantic, and any ocean. Janine, 69, will be 70 when she undertakes the challenge and hopes to become the oldest woman to row the Atlantic, and any ocean.

Tom Sinclair

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease caused by a faulty gene. This gene controls the movement of salt and water in and out of your cells, so the lungs and digestive system become clogged with mucus, making it hard to breathe and digest food. There are over 11,000 people with CF living in the UK. Of those who died from cystic fibrosis in 2022, the

median age of death was just 33 years of age.

Sophie said: “Three years ago I was incredibly lucky to gain access to a drug trial for a modulator drug, and to put it simply, it has changed my life. With a new level of health that I never ever thought I’d have, it was time to think about

new possibilities, which led me to think about rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. Living with cystic fibrosis has given me times when I’ve not been well enough to live the life I’ve wanted to, and so I absolutely want to make the most of my newfound health. For me, this row isn’t just a crazy personal adventure, it’s also a chance to reimagine the future of cystic fibrosis and bring hope that one day, everyone with CF will be able to cruise free through life.”

Sophie grew up believing her life expectancy would be no longer than 30 years, however, with new medication her life has been revolutionised. Though these medications have

helped improve the lives of many, they do not work for everyone, and they are not a cure. Team Cruising Free are raising money for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, who through research and support, are working towards a future where everyone with CF can lead a long and full life.

Polly, 49, will be 50 when she rows the Atlantic. She said her life completely changed as a result of the pandemic, working as a nurse in the NHS. She describes the challenge as a bit of a midlife crisis, and with two teenage boys and a husband waiting at home, she said “when we are midAtlantic, I am looking forward to not having to wash muddy rugby kit or do the school-

run for 6 weeks!”

Janine, 69 has been sea rowing for over 30 years; the nearest that she has come to ocean rowing is the rowing race across the Irish Sea. She has four children and six grandchildren and is retired from the NHS. She said: “Until recently I have always rejected the idea of rowing the Atlantic – it sounds really uncomfortable and difficult! But this time I realised that if I don’t do it now, then I may never do it. I am so lucky to have such an amazing team to complete this challenge with, and who will be there to help me gain the World Record for the oldest woman to have rowed an ocean.”

Paul Sartori Hospice at Home is a registered charity offering free, specialised supportive care and advice for those in the later stages of any life-limiting illness. During the end-of-life period of both her mother and father, Janine and her family benefited from the invaluable services provided by Paul Sartori Hospice at Home. The support that the family received enabled her parents to be with their loved ones at home in familiar surroundings. As a nurse, Polly has witnessed firsthand the complexities of the provision of end-of-life care and knows the importance of Paul Sartori’s supportive care and advice to those living in Pembrokeshire. To find out more, and support Cruising Free, go to

Lifeboat crew rescues stranded yacht

THE ANGLE RNLI lifeboat crew sprang into action after two yachts were stranded due to gearbox and engine issues.

At 6:47 am on Monday, May 13, the crew responded to a Pan-Pan call – a distress signal indicating a serious issue that is not immediately life-threatening – from a yacht experiencing

gearbox failure just north of Thorn Island.

Concerns arose that the disabled yacht might drift into the shipping channel, prompting the swift launch of Angle’s lifeboat. Upon arrival, the crew conversed with the yacht’s skipper and subsequently towed the vessel to safety. The yacht was secured at Milford Marina, and the

lifeboat was back at the station and ready for further service by 9:00 am.

A day earlier, on Sunday, the lifeboat crew received a call from the coastguard regarding a yacht with engine failure south of Skokholm Island. The lifeboat was promptly launched and reached the scene within approximately 20 minutes.

After assessing the situation, it was determined that the best course of action was to tow the 12-metre yacht back to Milford Marina. Once the yacht was safely docked, the lifeboat crew returned to base, preparing the vessel for future missions by 11:00 am.

24 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
26 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels 24 - 29 May 2024 Six Days of Extraordinary Music Tickets start at just £8 (U18s go free) For tickets: scan the QR Code, Call 01437 722002, Or visit 20% discount available for all St Davids Ward residentsEmail with proof of residence Artists include: BBC National Orchestra of Wales The Choir of Royal Holloway Emma Johnson & Orchestra St Davids Cathedral Choir Children’s Festival Chorus Young Musician of Dyfed Vox Angelica Trío Preseli Alaw GŴ yl Gerdd Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi St Davids Cathedral Music Festival Scan for Tickets!

Haverfordwest walkers invited to step up for Parkinson’s UK fundraiser

WALKERS in Haverfordwest are being urged to step up and raise money to fund vital research into Parkinson’s. Haverfordwest Walk for Parkinson’s, in aid of Parkinson’s UK, will take place on Saturday 1 June.

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. It affects around 153,000 people in the UK and every hour two more people are diagnosed. There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Parkinson’s UK is the largest charitable funder of Parkinson’s research in Europe, leading the way to better treatments and a cure.

Bob Ratcliffe, 61, has been organising these walks for several years in memory of his father, with fundraising reaching

well over £45,000 so far. Leading the 7.8km circular walk, with planned refreshments

stops, Bob and the team welcome walkers at any pace, with dogs allowed on leads. It starts with registration at 10am at Haverfordwest Cricket Club, with a £15 entry donation and walkers will

set off at 10.30am.

Bob said: “I saw firsthand the impact that Parkinson’s had on my dad. He was diagnosed in his 60s and lived with Parkinson’s for many years before passing

in 2010 aged 84. But he was always very positive, so he found out as much as he could about the condition as it progressed. Dad insisted that after his death that his brain and spinal column were donated to research. So we began the walk in his memory in 2011 and it has grown into a firm fixture in the social calendar. All donations will go towards funding important research into the condition which has the potential to lead to better treatments.”

Keri McKie, Wales Community Fundraiser at Parkinson’s UK Cymru, said: “We are so grateful to Bob for organising this walk. We hope that his tireless fundraising inspires more people to support Parkinson’s UK. There are lots of ways to get involved – from volunteering at an event, to campaigning for better services. Without the

generosity of people like Bob, our work would not be possible.

“With more than 40 potential symptoms, Parkinson’s can devastate lives. We’ve made huge breakthroughs in the last 50 years, but there is still no cure and current treatments are not good enough.

Walk for Parkinson’s is Parkinson’s UK’s annual fundraising series, and this year the charity is hosting a series of walks taking in 15 locations across the UK between June and October. If you’re unable to make it to one of the events near you, you can organise your own Walk for Parkinson’s event, just like Bob.”

For further details of the Haverfordwest Walk For Parkinson’s, please contact Bob & Jane Ratcliffe on 07887 707496 or simply sign up via eventbrite.

Quadriplegic Adventurer Receives Warm Pembrokeshire Welcome

A QUADRIPLEGIC adventurer received a warm Pembrokeshire welcome this weekend after stopping off in the county as part of a record-breaking firstof-its-kind challenge.

Geoff Holt MBE DL set sail from St Katherine’s Dock, London on 13 May, circumnavigating the UK coastline in a specially adapted Wetwheels boat in just over a month. Yesterday, Geoff and his team stopped off at Milford Haven, one of 17 accessible ports to be visited during the challenge.

This marks the first time a Wetwheels boat has ever been to Wales. The aim of Geoff’s “Finishing The Dream” challenge is to raise enough funds to house a permanent Wetwheels boat in Wales.

Geoff was paralysed in a swimming accident in 1984 and has spent 40 years in a wheelchair, facing and overcoming often unimaginable challenges. His adventurous spirit and determination have seen him achieve feats most people would consider

impossible. In 2007, he became the first severely disabled person to sail single-handed around Great Britain. In 2009, he was the first quadriplegic to sail across the Atlantic Ocean unassisted.

He was awarded an MBE for Services to Sailing in 2010 and named ‘Yachtsman of the Year’ shortly after.

In 2011, Geoff set up his own charity, The Wetwheels Foundation, to enable disabled people to access the sea barrier-free in purposebuilt, state-of-the-art motor boats.

This is Geoff’s final adventure in his quest to raise £1.2 million for the Wetwheels Foundation to purchase four new specially adapted Wetwheels boats. These boats would offer lifechanging experiences to over 5,000 of the most profoundly disabled people each year.

In Milford Haven, his team paired up with South Pembrokeshire’s Blue Horizons, an

adaptive surf school that also runs accessible boat trips for people with additional needs.

Some of the CIC’s projects have included rehabilitation surf therapy for patients recovering from brain injuries in conjunction with Hywel Dda health board, taking a 96-yearold with dementia from a local nursing home out to sea, and offering

surfing experiences for all through its community projects for people with disabilities.

“Last year we were fortunate enough to win the Inclusive Tourism Award at the Croeso Awards,” said Blue Horizons’ Ollie Bird.

“We also made contact with a fantastic charity called The Wetwheels Foundation and Geoff Holt MBE, its founder.”

That contact resulted in a day of collaboration as Wetwheels and Blue Horizons ran boat trips out of the marina together, showing and inspiring the community with what can be possible.

“Our layover day at Milford Haven was filled with so much fun and laughter with the guys from Blue Horizons CIC Surf Club and Port of

Milford Haven,” said Geoff and his team. “We ran two boat trips, full of memories that will last a lifetime,” added the Blue Horizons team.

Geoff said that for the past 40 years, the sea had been his salvation. “The freedom and independence I get when I am afloat, I can forget about my disability. I have devoted most of my life to promoting the opportunities and benefits sailing offers disabled people and now this is my opportunity to spread that message throughout the United Kingdom.”

“My biggest hope is we can inspire more disabled people to join us for an experience on Wetwheels. Hopefully, this will also inspire people to raise money to achieve my dream of acquiring another four Wetwheels boats, making a total of 12 around the UK.”

To find out more about Geoff’s Finishing the Dream mission, the Wetwheels charity, and to make a donation, visit

27 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 news

A little bit of Summer has arrived at the Llandeilo Antiques & Vintage Fair

THE monthly Antiques and Vintage fair held at Llandeilo Civic Hall prides itself in giving visitors a wide choice in quality items at affordable prices prices prices Nestling into the Carmarthenshire countryside Llandeilo is a busy town ,lying on the outskirts of Carmarthen and just 15 minutes away from the end of the M4, it’s conveniently situated.

The Civic Hall can be found right in the Centre

of the town ,opposite the main Car park. Here you will find a bustling, vibrant Fair with lots of antiques and vintage on display. The variety is impressive ,with lots of variety to keep your interest.There will be a number of outside stands to compliment the inside displays.Here you will find a good selection of gardening tools and pots.

Now that Summer is here and a lot of our time is spent lounging in our gardens or on one of our glorious welsh

beaches, why not pick up a piece of classic sea side furniture,The humble deck chair can brighten up any patio or lawn and can easily be transported to our golden sands.

IF you have ever watched a traditional deckchair canvas fill with a summer breeze, and lift into the air from the frame — the similarity to a spinnaker (head-sail) is striking.

The construction uses just three open wooden rectangles (one an open

“U”) and a single hammock of loose seating material. It’s discreetly beautiful, with the soft curve and movement of the seat contrasted to the slim angularity of the frame. Its’s not surprising that these classic chairs are becoming collected.

A deckchair technically is a folding chair . It is meant for leisure, originally on the deck of an ocean liner or cruise ship. It is easily transportable and stackable, although some styles are notoriously

difficult to fold and unfold. Different versions may have an extended seat, meant to be used as a leg rest, whose height may be adjustable; and may also have arm rests.

In Northern Europe, the remains of folding chairs have been found dating back to the Bronze Age. Foldable chairs were also used in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. During the Middle Ages, the folding chair was widely used as a religious furniture piece when a busy bishop

whose duties inevitably meant him travelling around his diocese from time to time, an easily transportable version of his cathedra chair and it was a standard part of his luggage. Often this took the form of a folding stool (virtually identical to those used by ancient Roman generals and administrators), but several folding or dismantle-able armchairs were devisedof which the Glastonbury Chair is the most famous. Its rediscovery in the

28 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

early 19th century was possibly influential in the development of many folding chairs in the 19th century (despite the fact it is actually not a folding chair as such), certainly many reproduction copies of it were made.

In the United States, an early patent for a folding chair was by John Cham in 1855.Folding wooden chairs with woven or cane seats and backs, of the type now known in the UK as “steamer chairs”, began to be used on ocean liner decks from about the 1860s, and were known at the time as “deck chairs”. It is unclear whether they were first made in the US or Britain In England, John Thomas Moore (1864-

1929) took out a patent for adjustable and portable folding chairs in 1886, and started manufacturing them in Macclesfield.

Early versions of the deck chair were made of two rectangular wooden frames hinged together, with a third rectangle to maintain it upright. A rectangular piece of canvas, of the type used in hammocks, was attached to two of the wooden rectangles to provide a seat and support. The use of a single broad strip of canvas, originally olive green in colour but later usually of brightly coloured stripes, has been credited to a British inventor named Atkins in the late 19th century,

although advertisements of 1882 for a similar design refer to it as “The Yankee Hammock Chair”, implying an American origin. Other sources refer to it as the “Brighton beach chair” .The term ‘deck’ chair was used in the novels of E. Nesbitin the 1880s, and passengers on P & O liners in the 1890s were encouraged to take their own on board. The classic deckchair can only be locked in one position. Later, the strips of wood going toward the back were lengthened and equipped with supports so that there were several possible sitting positions. A removable footrest was also added to improve comfort

Folding deckchairs

became widely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The hiring out of deckchairs, on an hourly or daily basis, became established in British seaside resorts, often for use on piers and promenades, in the early 20th century. They were also often used in large public parks such as Hyde Park, and for spectators at informal sporting events such as local cricket matches. With the widespread availability of lighter and even more portable forms of seating later in the century, the use of deckchairs declined.In one of the largest English resorts, Blackpool, 68,000 deckchairs were rented out in 2003, at £1.50 a day, but

tourism officers suggested that they should be phased out, except on the piers themselves, because they were a reminder of the era of “cloth caps”, and had “had their time in the 50s and 60s”.

However there has been a resurgence in their appeal, perhaps capturing a moment at a holiday from a bye gone age or a love of all things vintage. Many are now being made by firms such as ikea and Habitat.There will be several vintage deck chairs on display at the fair in Llandeilo on the 1st June

There will also be attractive displays of gardinalia at the fair and has proved extremely popular including watering

cans , wheel barrows ,garden tools and large garden pots and urns.

The Llandeilo fair has a rich cross section of antiques and vintage on display, from jewellery,watches, books, ephemera, vintage clothes and accessories. There will also be collections of glass and up cycled and pre loved furniture, plus interior design pieces. I’m sure visitors will not be disappointed with the selection on offer at this popular fair.

Homemade refreshments will be available and doors open at 10 am until 4pm.Admission is just £2 and dogs are welcome .

29 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 advertorial
30 Friday May 24th

Will Britain Keep Circling or Soar to New Heights?

SQUAWK! Stephen Seagull here, flapping in with a fresh fishy perspective on the choppy waters of British politics. When we last cast our vote in the big sea of democracy, Britain was still roosting in the European Union, there was no pesky pandemic flapping about, and the Conservatives had been perched in power for nearly a decade. Feels like a whole flock ago, doesn’t it? Not because we’ve soared to new heights, but because we’ve been circling the same old stormy skies.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, trying to dodge the waves of disappointment, has finally set a date for the election – 4th July. Not because he’s proud as a peacock of his accomplishments, mind you, but because even a seagull knows you can’t delay the tide forever. The Conservative crew, squabbling and squawking amongst themselves, has become

as unmanageable as a flock of gulls fighting over a single chip, leaving the rest of us feeling like we’re adrift without a captain.

The time to ask the flock whether they want to renew the Tories’ flight plan is way overdue.

Sunak’s mandate was flimsy at best when he inherited it from Liz Truss. And she, well, she got it from Boris Johnson – a fellow who treated Parliament and the law with as much respect as a seagull treats a picnic.

His term was cut short by a storm of scandals, and the only reason his disgrace isn’t always fresh in our minds is because of the economic shipwreck left behind by his successor’s 44-day squawk.

Johnson and Truss left Britain poorer and our reputation as a stable democracy in tatters.

That’s why, upon taking office, Sunak pledged “to lead a government with integrity, professionalism, and accountability at

every level.” Now, the nation gets to decide if he’s managed to keep his beak clean.

But this election isn’t just about Sunak; it’s a judgement on 14 years of Conservative rule. Sunak wants us to see his tenure as different from the stormy seas of his predecessors. In his announcement, he claimed to have restored economic stability, as if it wasn’t his own party that churned up the chaos in the first place. It’s a bit rich when most folks’ incomes are no higher

now than when David Cameron first took flight, and public services are in far worse shape. Opinion polls suggest the public aren’t swallowing this bait like a hungry gull. However, the votes cast in the ballot box can differ from the squawks in a survey. Sunak hopes Labour’s lead will wane under the intense spotlight of a campaign, and that Sir Keir Starmer will make a misstep that sends voters flapping back to the Tory nest. That might be wishful thinking, but it’s true

that many haven’t really scrutinised the opposition until now.

Noisy, chaotic election campaigns have a knack for highlighting the choices on offer while obscuring the fundamental issues.

For 14 years, Britain has been under the wing of Conservative prime ministers enacting Conservative policies.

Standing on the doorstep of Downing Street on Wednesday, Sunak couldn’t offer anything new, just more of the same and a warning

that change might bring rougher seas. As we glide towards 4th July, the core question remains: will the country stick with the same old flock or take a chance on new horizons?

So, brace yourselves, fellow Brits. The election campaign will be noisy, messy, and full of flapping feathers. But in the end, it’s up to us seagulls – I mean, voters – to decide if we want to keep circling the same old crumbs or soar towards something fresh. Squawk on, and keep your eyes on the skies!

31 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024

Badger and the Search for Truth

IT’S worth remembering that the opinion others most value when you speak is theirs.

As long as you agree with them, others will ignore your axemurdering ways and give you a free pass on the firebombing campaign.

That truth is especially apparent nowadays.

If you look at the USA, it doesn’t matter that the likely next president is a sexual predator, tax evader, serial bankrupt, morally bankrupt crook who couldn’t lie straight in bed.

Mr Trump’s fans are so bound up in his self-mythologising and scattergun approach to reality that they are prepared to forgive him anything.

Any scrutiny of Mr Trump, any exposure of his faults, crimes, and failures is evidence of bias and therefore unfair.

The same applies to the attitude of some Labour supporters in Wales.

Let’s be clear, Badger thinks Vaughan Gething is a bad choice for First Minister of Wales.

He doesn’t think Mr Gething is a bad choice because Mr Gething is black.

Badger thinks Mr Gething is a bad choice because of his appalling track record as a minister, poor political judgement, and difficulty avoiding a certain economy with the truth.

Mr Gething is not attracting additional scrutiny because he is black. He is attracting scrutiny because he is the leader of the Welsh Government.

Alleging that

anyone subjecting the First Minister of a national parliament to scrutiny is motivated by racism is so manifestly a false flag that it calls into question the judgement and good faith of those alleging it.

One could even suggest that if scrutiny is unfair because Mr Gething is black, he is being held to a lower standard of accountability than others in a similar situation.

Imagine a scenario in which Rishi Sunak’s campaign to lead the Conservative Party received eighty per cent of its funding from someone who’d not only been convicted of environmental crimes but was also at the heart of an ongoing prosecution for similar offences and potentially faced similar action over another site.

How many Labour politicians would be on the news demanding Mr Sunak’s head on a plate?

If one accepts the view expressed by Mr Gething’s followers, every one of those Labour politicians would be potentially - if not actually - racist.

The same goes for criticism of Priti Patel, Humza Yousaf, Suella Braverman, James Cleverley, or Kemi Badenoch.

Conflating a person’s ethnicity with competence, honesty, intellect, and judgment is always wrong.

Furthermore, no matter your sex, sexuality, gender identity, religion, racial origin, marital condition, political affiliations, neurodivergence, class origins, or current economic status, you can always get things wrong.

Badger has no doubt at all that some members of all political parties are racists, as are some people who will vote in the next General Election.

However, it’s appalling - not to mention almost certainly libellous - to suggest that a journalist is racist because they write disobliging facts about one of your political colleagues.

Here are some facts about Mr Gething:

He was forced to correct the record after claiming Audit Wales had signed off on removing Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board from special measures. Only after Audit Wales clarified that (i) it had not done so and (ii) that function was not part of its role did Mr Gething change his version of events.

By the time that happened, Mr Gething had been a Welsh Government minister for at least six years. This was not a slip by an inexperienced minister unaware of how the Welsh Government and Audit Wales work. Despite warnings of

staff shortages and the fact that it was not ready, Mr Gething opened the Grange Hospital in Cwmbran shortly before the last Senedd election. It would be churlish and wrong to suggest any connection between the former and the latter.

Mr Gething pressed ahead with the Welsh Government’s purchase of Gilestone Farm with unnecessary haste, breaching the obligation to achieve good value for public money, without a business plan or a full property survey.

Tellingly, he responded to criticism of his decision by accusing his critics of sexism towards his preferred bidders for Gilestone Farm.

Everything is an “ism” to some people. In Mr Gething’s case, it’s an air raid shelter to shield him from scrutiny.

Mr Gething has considerable form when it comes to being less than entirely on top of his brief.

He was the Health Minister during the pandemic. First, Wales had a testing programme with a deadline by

which tests would be administered. Then it didn’t. Then it did. Then, Wales had never had a testing target. Then, the target that didn’t exist was abandoned.

He chose to delay stopping the discharge of untested patients from hospitals into care homes. He received the same scientific advice as the UK Government, but Mr Gething did nothing.

He dithered, he delayed, and people died.

That is not a trivial issue. The scandal should have debarred Vaughan Gething from ever standing for public office again.

And the same would go if Mr Gething was white or sky-blue pink.

Mr Gething deliberately misled the UK Covid Inquiry by stating that Welsh Government ministers did not conduct government business via text messages or WhatsApp. He was more than economical with the truth when he suggested a technical upgrade by Senedd IT staff was to blame for any missing material.

He and his ministerial colleagues discussed the provisions for grading students’ exams over messages. Then Mr Gething announced he would delete the messages because they might be captured by a Freedom of Information Act request.

If Welsh Government ministers did that, what else did they do?

Badger will spell this one out for the hard of thinking: It’s bad enough that ministers and officials from the UK, Scottish, and Welsh Governments used insecure messaging services to make

political decisions and tried playing politics with the pandemic.

It doesn’t matter if those ministers were Labour, Conservative, or SNP.

The core issue is that messages were exchanged, decisions were made, and the evidence trail was erased.

It is immaterial whether the decisions reached were right or even trivial. The public deserves no less than candour and honesty from their politicians, particularly during times of crisis and when the actions taken during that crisis are examined.

The public does not deserve wordplay or clever-clever answers designed to obscure the truth.

When it emerged that Boris Johnson’s phone messages were unavailable, Labour went into overdrive.

There was uproar, and rightly so.

When it transpired that Labour ministers in Wales had done exactly the same, Labour suddenly decided that wasn’t a story.

If Wales counts, it’s a story worth pursuing. Any journalist worth their salt would realise that was a story and pursue it, and a few have.

Mr Gething is no less culpable for what he did or didn’t do than any other minister.

The issues facing Mr Gething are not trivial. They must not be swept under a rug by the broad brush of alleging racist motives on the part of those scrutinising his conduct.

That’s the truth: now you have it in black and white.

32 Friday May 24th 2024

Johnny Rotten is heading to Milford Haven


I N an electrifying revelation set to captivate audiences across the UK, the legendary John Lydon, famously known as Johnny Rotten, embarks on a spoken word tour titled I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right.

The tour, will hit the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven on Thursday, 6th June 2024, promises an intimate glimpse into the life and mind of one of music’s most revolutionary figures.

Renowned as the frontman and lyricist of both the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd (PiL), Lydon’s influence transcends mere music; he’s hailed as an icon, a catalyst for cultural transformation. Through his unparalleled career, he not only shaped the sonic landscape but also ignited political discourse, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of music history.

The forthcoming tour stands as a testament to Lydon’s enduring legacy. Audiences can anticipate an evening infused with candid reflections, as Lydon

shares his unique worldview and recounts pivotal moments from his illustrious journey. Moreover, the inclusion of a dynamic Q&A session ensures an interactive experience, where attendees can engage directly with the enigmatic artist. For enthusiasts seeking an elevated encounter, VIP meet and greet packages are on offer, providing an exclusive opportunity to connect with the icon himself. The meet and greet session will commence at 6 pm, offering an intimate setting for fans to converse with the trailblazing musician. However, it’s essential to note that the performance carries a parental advisory due to its inclusion of strong language, thus recommended for mature audiences.

As John Lydon prepares to grace stages nationwide, I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right promises not only to entertain but also to inspire, offering a profound exploration of life, music, and the enduring spirit of rebellion.

Davids Cathedral Festival 2024: A harmonious celebration

E VERY SPRING , the majestic St Davids Cathedral, nestled in the heart of Wales, welcomes an eclectic array of world-class musicians for its renowned festival.

This year, from the 24th to the 26th of May, the hallowed halls of the cathedral will resonate with the sounds of orchestral classics, Celtic folk tunes, and much more, promising a delightful experience for music enthusiasts of all ages.

The St Davids Cathedral Festival has earned a reputation for seamlessly blending superb musical performances with the breathtaking backdrop of its 12th-century Nave. With its awe-inspiring

Irish oak ceiling and dramatic organ screen, the cathedral provides a setting unlike any other, transporting attendees to a realm where music and history intertwine.

Kicking off the festivities on Friday, the 24th of May, is the Festival Launch Concert featuring the talented Children’s Chorus, led by Mathew Wright MBE, renowned Artistic Director of the Barnsley Youth Choir. The evening promises to be a celebration of youthful talent and musical prowess, setting the stage for an enchanting weekend ahead.

As twilight descends, Vox Angelica and the Vicars Choral of St Davids Cathedral Choir

take centre stage for their annual candlelit concert on Friday evening. Expect an enchanting repertoire of light-hearted songs and anthems, perfectly suited to the ambiance of a late spring night.

Saturday, the 25th of May, offers a diverse lineup of musical experiences, starting with the Coffee Concert – Choristers Unplugged! Here, the Cathedral Choristers shed their formal attire to present a programme of popular and musical theatre songs, promising a refreshing twist to traditional choral performances.

Later that evening, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales returns for its highly

anticipated annual performance. Under the baton of conductor Dinis Sousa, the orchestra will present a captivating programme featuring works by William Mathias, Jean Sibelius, and Johannes Brahms, ensuring a memorable evening for classical music aficionados.

On Sunday, the 26th of May, the cathedral echoes with the timeless beauty of choral music as the St Davids Cathedral Choir leads the services for Trinity Sunday, offering moments of reflection and spiritual upliftment.

The festival draws to a grand finale on Sunday evening with the debut UK performance of the dynamic Preseli Trio.

Hailing from Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the trio, comprising a Soprano, Horn, and Piano, brings a fusion of contemporary compositions and Welsh influences to the stage, promising an unforgettable musical journey.

With its rich tapestry of musical genres, stunning setting, and world-class performers, the St Davids Cathedral Festival continues to enchant audiences year after year, reaffirming its status as one of the highlights of the British cultural calendar. For those seeking an immersive musical experience amidst historic splendour, the 2024 Festival is an event not to be missed.

34 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels w H a T’S on

IF - imaginary friends unite

John Krasinski’s “IF” bursts onto the screen with the vibrancy and boundless energy of a child’s imagination.

It’s a whimsical world populated by endearing IFs (imaginary friends), brought to life with dazzling creativity. The film’s heartfelt sincerity, laugh-out-loud humour, and a generous dose of charm are sure to captivate younger audiences.

At its core, “IF” is a love letter to the power of imagination and the importance of holding onto our inner child, especially when faced with loss and fear. Krasinski, flexing his directorial muscles in a new genre, crafts a visually stunning world inspired by beloved family classics like

“Toy Story” and “Monsters, Inc.”

The film’s emotional centre rests on young Bea (Cailey Fleming), whose ability to see IFs becomes both a refuge and a catalyst for growth as she grapples with the devastating loss of her mother and the overwhelming fear of losing her father.

However, while “IF” is undoubtedly a visual feast with its heart in the right place, its ambitious narrative sometimes struggles to connect all the dots. The abundance of characters and fantastical concepts, while brimming with potential, aren’t always fully explored, leaving the story feeling somewhat disjointed.

Despite this, “IF” ultimately triumphs due to its sheer exuberance and the genuine

waTcH THe TraIler Here!

warmth radiating from its performances. Ryan Reynolds shines as the irrepressible Cal, and Fleming delivers a heartfelt and moving portrayal of Bea. The film’s emotional conclusion, accompanied by Michael Giacchino’s poignant score, is sure to leave a lasting impression.

“IF” may not be a perfect film, but its infectious spirit and heartfelt message make it an entertaining and ultimately touching cinematic experience. Krasinski’s foray into family fantasy may be a bit messy, but it’s a mess worth embracing for its celebration of imagination, resilience, and the enduring power of childhood wonder in the face of life’s most difficult challenges.

35 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 FEATURE

Billie Eilish – ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’ review: bold, brilliant and somewhat brighter

ON THE EVE of her 2022 Glastonbury headline, Billie Eilish confessed she was “trying to find myself again” and felt “pretty trapped in the persona that people had of me.”

Such identity crises have driven her career. Her 2019 debut, ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’, captured the anxious and revolutionary Gen

Z experience. ‘Happier Than Ever’ followed, inspired by old-school cool and classic songwriters, marking a shift to pin-up dresses and bleach blonde hair.

In 2023, Eilish reflected on her purpose with ‘What Was I Made For?’, her Oscar-winning contribution to the ‘Barbie’ soundtrack. “Think I forgot how to be happy / Something I’m not, but something I can be,” she sang. This song questioned her own identity and purpose.

‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’ portrays who she is now and who she might become. The album’s no-single

rollout and occasional snippets offered few clues. However, Eilish wanted to get personal: “This whole process has felt like I’m coming back to the girl I was [in 2019]. I’ve been grieving her. This isn’t an album about happiness, but there are at least glimmers of the full human experience for once.”

The opening track, ‘Skinny’, sets the tone for the album. Eilish reflects on confidence and self-image: “People say I look happy, just because I got skinny / But the old me is still me, maybe the real me, and I think she’s pretty.” She engages with her narrative much

like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande. The song concludes with an orchestral flourish similar to her work on ‘No Time To Die’ with Hans Zimmer.

‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’ is brighter in sound and more confident. ‘Lunch’ returns to the pulsing beats of ‘Bad Guy’ and ‘Bury A Friend’, blending guitar riffs with ravey beats. Eilish is explicit in her “cravings,” embracing her queer identity:

“I could eat that girl for lunch / Yeah, she dances on my tongue / Tastes like she might be the one.”

‘Birds of Feather’ is a love song from someone who knows

how it feels to be valued, though it might not be a happy ending. Amidst one of her best vocal performances, she sings: “I don’t know what I’m crying for, I don’t think I could love you more.” ‘The Greatest’ acts as a sequel to ‘Happier Than Ever’s title track, building to a guitar solo ending. This time, explosive rage is replaced with thankless acts of service to keep a partner interested.

Overall, ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’ is a bold, brilliant, and somewhat brighter offering, showcasing Billie Eilish’s continued evolution as an artist.

Free, family day out

MILFORD HAVEN BUSINESS CIRCLE is thrilled to announce the celebration of its Founding Day 2024, packed with exciting activities throughout the town on June 8th.

Thanks to the generous support and enthusiastic volunteers from local businesses, including the Milford

Haven Town Council, the town is set for a day of non-stop fun and entertainment. Charles Street will transform into a vibrant hub of activity, featuring numerous bouncy castles, bustling stalls, and engaging activities—all offering free entertainment for children from 11 am to 4 pm.

An unforgettable day awaits, and residents and visitors should be aware of a road closure on Charles Street, starting from the junction of Fulke Street, to ensure everyone’s safety during the festivities. This fantastic community celebration is not to be missed!

36 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

Tattooist of Auschwitz

IN THE Nazi concentration camps, tattoos were etched onto prisoners’ arms in a bid to erase their humanity, reducing them to mere numbers.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, a wrenching yet ultimately uplifting six-part series adapted from Heather Morris’s non-fiction novel, counters this atrocity by presenting a stark gallery of sombre faces. These faces, among the millions lost to history, are indelibly etched into the memory of Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor Lali Sokolov (portrayed movingly by Harvey Keitel).

In 2003, more than half a century after the Holocaust, the recently widowed Lali, still overwhelmed by anger, grief, and guilt, recounts his harrowing experiences to novice writer Morris (Melanie Lynskey). His narrative unfolds as the most unlikely of love stories. In Auschwitz, assigned to tattoo numbers onto incoming prisoners— “It’s worse if you’re gentle,” he’s advised— the cautious Lali (a mournful Jonah HauerKing as the younger man) meets and is instantly smitten by new arrival and future wife Gita (the luminous Anna Próchniak). She jokes about having her tattoo done in pink, and from that moment, they will go to any lengths to be together.

They embark on a dangerous, forbidden affair, stealing clandestine moments of desperate intimacy, bribing guards, and carrying on under the watchful eye of Lali’s cruel SS handler Baretsky (the remarkable Jonas Nay from Deutschland

83). Baretsky forms a twisted brotherly bond with his captive. “We’ll get through this. I’m here for you,” he tells his appalled puppet, who recoils from his touch. The ghost of his jailer continues to haunt Lali, who often sees visions of the Nazi in his otherwise cosy Melbourne home, unsettling the sympathetic Morris with his stories.

“I don’t know if I’m capable of writing it. I’m actually terrified,” she admits when the accumulation of soul-crushing detail

becomes too much. (Viewers may well feel the same way in this unflinching dramatization.) Lali’s narrative is further complicated by his bitter awareness that, due to the status afforded by his work, he fared better than many in the camp. Yet, as a fellow inmate counsels him, “In this hell we’re in, we are only given two choices: the bad choice and the worst one.”

Lali also shares details of Gita’s struggles, including a nearly fatal infection

that, if detected and untreated, could have sealed her fate. She works alongside a woman who indulges the unwanted affections of a German officer, telling her more romantically inclined acquaintance, “There is no love here, only hate and pain.”

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, despite its horrors, insists that “Love Will Survive”—a message underscored by Barbra Streisand’s soulful new song that plays over the end credits.

37 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 FEATURE
July18-31Gorffennaf2024 WelshNationalOperaOrchestraPeterDonohoe MarmenQuartetNationalYouthOrchestraofWales CatrinFinch&AoifeNíBhriainCadiGlwys ClaireBooth&JâmsColemanJenniferPike&JâmsColeman WelshNationalOperaChamberEnsemble ButeWindQuintetNationalYouthChoirofWales SethBye&AlexHenshawVRï NationalYouthBrassBandofWales "Awonderfullyvariedanduniformlyimpressiveseriesofconcerts" Programme&tickets: 07941510889

Holy moly, can you believe it? After a whopping 15 years, the mind-bendingly brilliant World of Goo is getting a sequel!

Imagine my surprise when I plonked myself down to demo World of Goo 2 at this year’s GDC, thinking it had been a mere decade since the original.

“Has it really been ten years?” I asked the developers, only to be gently corrected—nope, it’s been since 2008! After diving into a few levels and feeling the swift passage of time hit me like a philosophical sledgehammer, I couldn’t help but wonder why this obvious masterpiece didn’t come sooner.

World of Goo 2, much like its predecessor, is a physics-based puzzle game where you conjure structures from adorable, gooey critters. The challenge lies in your engineering prowess, as those wobbly constructions can easily collapse under the squishy weight of your jiggly companions. Rather than completely reinventing the wheel, World of Goo 2 ingeniously builds upon its solid foundation with some wonderfully wild ideas, enhancing the puzzle-solving potential. The result? A chaotic co-op experience tailor-made for the Nintendo Switch.

During my demo, I tackled several levels in two-player

co-op. The controls were delightfully straightforward: I’d aim my Joy-Con at the screen, using motion controls to pick up and place the goo balls. The first level was a nostalgic nod to the original game, where my partner and I constructed a precarious tower of slime reaching up to an overhanging pipe. Soon, though, we encountered the sequel’s new twist: black sludge.

In one level, we released a torrent of liquid from a hanging net, sending it flowing down a twisting maze to awaken some dormant goo balls below. Next, we had to engineer a bridgelike structure to transport the liquid across a vast chasm. Later, the puzzles ramped up in complexity. We funneled sludge into a plant that spat it out in a long arc, then repositioned the plant to solve a tricky challenge—using the stream’s force to lodge a boulder into a gap, creating a safe passage for the goo balls.

The 2D Boy developers on hand explained that their confidence to craft a sequel came from the physics system, something they felt they couldn’t achieve until now with the Switch’s updated hardware. This led to some other innovative puzzle twists. A new white goo ball can soak up pools of sludge, storing


ARIES If you’re feeling like a little kid lost in the woods today, just follow the path you’re on. Eventually, as the day progresses, things will become clearer and you’ll start to feel more confident about the direction you’re headed. It’s not wise to try new experiments today. There’s just too much uncertain energy around you, and it’s motivating some people to point you in the wrong direction. Spend the day plugging away at your usual routine and avoid any heavy discussions.

TAURUS If other people around you overreact to an explosive situation today, the worst thing you can do is follow their example. Screaming at someone who has been rude or inconsiderate isn’t going to mitigate the stress, it will only increase it. Be mindful of your role in every conversation, and try to be a force for mutual respect, not power struggles. You will have to take the high road today. You can get down and dirty another day.

GEMINI Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you can’t get along with them. In fact, they could end up being one of the most rewarding relationships in your life. Think about it. If you chose not to be friends with people who think differently from you, you’d have a very boring life. The back and forth in a relationship creates exciting intellectual possibilities and lots of fun debates. You have more to offer people than your agreement.


Being diplomatic is nice and all, but you can’t let it prevent you from pushing for what you want today. Take control. It’s a good day to be assertive, and it’s going to feel good to flex your muscles and stand firm for what you want. Not only will people be surprisingly receptive to your power play, but they will probably cheer you on to take even more control of the situation. Folks need a leader right now, and you might be the perfect person for the job.

LEO People love people who make them feel good about themselves, and right now you’re

in return.


More than ever, your friends and family are providing you with the inspiration you need to keep yourself motivated and energized. Therefore, it’s time you thanked them all for their support and devotion. Why not blend your gratitude with your notorious hospitality skills and throw a dinner party for everyone? Bring your two worlds together and watch all the people you love most in the world make each other laugh. It is high time for everyone to meet each other and know what you know.


Are you experiencing a bit of a writer’s block or other obstacle that is keeping you from feeling as productive as usual? Then get outside today and take a long walk. Expanding your surroundings will help get your creative juices flowing and unblock your brain. The outdoors is a great place to find a new idea, so breathe in the fresh air and open up your mind to new ideas. Take the pressure off yourself by bringing someone along on your walk.


it in the junctions between balls. One standout puzzle had us constructing a complex structure large enough to absorb all the goo from a crevice, revealing a hidden pipe beneath.

While the few levels I played were brimming with clever twists, it was the coop gameplay that truly tied everything together. By the end of our session, my partner and I had developed a harmonious rhythm, planning our structures and taking turns adding new goo balls. It’s the kind of multiplayer game that’s perfect for collaborative problemsolving and shared laughter when things go hilariously wrong. With support for up to eight-player co-op, it promises to be a chaotic blast at parties.

Though my taste of World of Goo 2 was brief, I’m already grateful that 2D Boy finally granted its beloved creation a long-overdue sequel. The puzzle formula remains as engaging as ever, and the fresh ideas make it feel like a genuine continuation rather than a belated DLC. As the Nintendo Switch’s lifespan potentially winds down, World of Goo 2 could stand as one of its final must-have co-op games. Mark your calendars: World of Goo 2 launches for Nintendo Switch and PC on May 23.

When someone sings your praises today, be grateful but also humble. Your pride is powerful, and it might come off as arrogant to the people who don’t know you well. What these people think does matter, and unfortunately it’s important to manage how you come off to others. Your reputation is something you need to cultivate more consciously. Don’t act in a way that isn’t true to who you are, but you might want to tone things down.


Wherever your mood takes you today, you should follow it without asking any questions. Getting caught up in a routine can be comforting. Having things on your terms makes this crazy world feel a little bit more manageable. But eventually a routine can come dangerously close to creating too much monotony in your life. Mix things up today and let your whims dictate what you do and how you do it. You’re bound to discover something new about yourself in the process.


If you become too focused on one person, you’ll be cutting yourself off from great opportunities. A variety of people can help you reach your next goal or realize your latest dream, so why would you want to deal with only one? Plus, ignoring all of the other folks who could be influential in this situation might seem like an insult to them. Even if you are trying to get something romantic started, you can begin by winning over their friends.


You can expect some vibrant personalities to come into your life today. These people should serve as an inspiration to you. They took some risks and are reaping the benefits of them now, so much so that you might be a bit jealous. Stop thinking that you could never do what they did and


39 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 FEATURE
able to put smiles on faces without even trying, so get ready to see your popularity skyrocket. Let your warmth guide you in any situation today, and give people supportive feedback that makes them embrace their differences. By reaching out and spreading so much positive energy, you will be earning a ton of good karma
start thinking about taking a few more risks in life. Put yourself out there and be more daring. You don’t have to step too far from your comfort zone to see progress.
One of your closest friends is suddenly turning into a different person. Their typical level-headed behavior is gone, and suddenly they’re off being wild and wacky. Why they are acting this way is a total mystery to you, but it might have to stay that way. Ask all the questions you want, but if they don’t want to answer them, they don’t have to. Respect their boundaries and give them some space for now. They will come to you if they need your help.
gaMIng waTcH THe TraIler Here!
wITH eddIe THe gaMe guru

Highest waiting lists on record in: NHS performance under scrutiny

THE latest NHS performance figures for Wales reveal the highest waiting lists on record, sparking a wave of criticism and concern from various stakeholders. The data, which covers March and April 2024, underscores the immense pressure faced by the Welsh health service, particularly in comparison to other parts of the UK.

Conservative Criticism of Labour Government

Sam Rowlands, the Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, has sharply criticised the Labourrun Welsh Government, attributing the recordhigh waiting lists to their management. “These atrocious statistics stand as a stark warning as to what a Labour Government looks like and why Labour cannot be trusted to run the health service,” Rowlands remarked. He highlighted the contrast with England, where he claims progress is being made to cut waiting lists.

Rowlands also accused the Welsh Government of misallocating funds received from the UK Conservative Government, spending them on initiatives like 20mph speed limits and expanding the Senedd, instead of bolstering NHS resources.

The statistics are indeed sobering: the number of patient pathways increased from over 762,500 to just under 768,900 in March, the highest figure on record, equating to 1-in-4 of the Welsh population. Additionally, 599,100 individual patients were waiting for treatment in March, marking an increase of nearly 8,000 compared to February. Despite promises from the Labour Health Minister to eliminate two-year waits by March 2023, over 20,000 patients are still waiting this long.

Macmillan Cancer Support’s Concerns

Macmillan Cancer Support has also weighed in on the

troubling figures, particularly focusing on cancer treatment delays. Glenn Page, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, acknowledged some improvements in cancer waiting times but stressed that many people are still being let down. “Healthcare professionals are working around the clock, but these treatment delays are having a devastating impact on people living with cancer and throwing lives into chaos,” Page said.

In March 2024, more than 600 cancer patients in Wales waited over 62 days to start treatment from first being suspected of having cancer. This figure, representing 40% of those who started treatment that month, highlights the ongoing struggles within the NHS. While there was an improvement from the previous month, the national cancer waiting times target was still missed. Particularly concerning

are the delays faced by patients with gynaecological cancers, with only 31.8% starting treatment on time.

NHS Confederation’s Response

The Welsh NHS Confederation has provided a more nuanced perspective, acknowledging the high demand but also highlighting areas of progress. Darren Hughes, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, noted that emergency departments experienced their busiest April on record. Despite this, there were improvements in performance against four and twelve-hour targets, and the average time spent in emergency departments decreased. Hughes pointed out that the number of pathways waiting over two years has fallen for the twentyfourth consecutive month, showing a 71% drop since its peak postpandemic. However, he emphasised the need for greater investment

in prevention, primary, community, and social care to manage demand sustainably. “If governments do not act now, the situation will only deteriorate as demand continues to rise,” he warned.

Welsh Government’s Stand

In response, a Welsh Government spokesperson acknowledged the challenges but also highlighted the strides being made in reducing waiting times and improving access to care. “Long waiting times are continuing to come down – these figures show they have fallen every month for two years and there has been a 71% reduction in long waits since their peak post-pandemic,” the spokesperson said. They also pointed to improvements in diagnostic waiting times and cancer treatment performance. However, they admitted that ambulance performance

remains suboptimal, despite improvements in response times for the most critical calls. The Welsh Government reiterated their commitment to supporting NHS staff and focusing on further reducing waiting times.


The latest NHS Wales performance figures have sparked a heated debate about the effectiveness of the current management under the Labour-run Welsh Government. While some progress has been acknowledged, the record-high waiting lists and persistent treatment delays underscore the urgent need for comprehensive reforms and increased investment in healthcare resources. The coming months will be critical in determining whether these issues can be effectively addressed to meet the growing demands on the Welsh NHS.

40 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

Relationships and Sexuality Education discussed at County Hall

A CALL for Pembrokeshire

County Council to provide assurance that RSE education in the county was “both age appropriate and does not constitute grooming” was heard at County Hall last week.

In late 2022 a legal challenge against the teaching of young children about gender identity and sex in primary schools across Wales was lost.

Campaigners had launched a judicial review in the High Court against the Welsh Government’s new Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum.

The curriculum was launched that September, seeing the mandatory teaching of relationships and sexuality education to children from the age of seven.

In a submitted question heard at the May 9 meeting of Pembrokeshire County

Council, member of the public Valerie Sutherland had asked: “Given the legal challenge to the RSE curriculum by concerned parents against Welsh Government, can you confirm the council’s

safeguarding team are happy that the RSE education provided is both age appropriate and does not constitute grooming?

“Secondly, given that a number of parents are unhappy about the content of the new

curriculum and the loss of their right to withdraw children from classes, particularly in light of the Cass Review, how are you ensuring that parents’ values are respected and that trust in schools is not eroded?”

Responding, Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language Cllr Guy Woodham said: “The safeguarding and education team has been actively involved in develop age-appropriate content for schools,” adding: “In faith schools work has been done with each diocese for RSE”.

“Each school has developed a plan for RSE and shared it with parents and learners at their school, parents have been provided with information by their school on how to raise their concerns about the RSE curriculum following the decision to make RSE mandatory for all learners.

“Schools are working with families through the challenges that this brings; each school community has provided sessions for parents on the curriculum, parents are being informed and they have the opportunity to discuss this with the school.”

Exciting visit to france for pupils

LAST week, 60 children and 16 teaching staff visited the Bassin d’Arcachon in France as part of a Taith funded project.

The children, representing Pennar Community School, Neyland Community School, Prendergast Community School, Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi and Haverfordwest High School, engaged in a week of activities with French school children.

They visited lessons, took part in dancing, art, maths and playground games, all with the aim of developing modern foreign language

skills, exploring cultural similarities and differences as well as having an overarching theme of sustainability in schools and caring for the environment.

The children explored the Dune de Pilat, the largest natural sand dune in Europe, and Biscarosse beach where they undertook beach and environmental studies.

The town of Neyland has had a twinning connection with the town of Sanguinet for more than ten years and this trip allowed these friendships to develop further and pave the

way for a return visit by up to 20 French children next year.

The group was hosted by the twinning committee and the mayor at a reception in the town hall where the children had the opportunity to sample local dishes.

The children and staff were excellent ambassadors for their schools and for Pembrokeshire, laying the foundations for future collaborations.

Taith is Wales’ international learning exchange programme, with taith being Welsh for journey.

41 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 eFEATUREducaTIon educa

Why chocolate creates a risk for dogs

HUMANS love chocolate, so, it can be easy to forget how dangerous it can be for dogs.

As tempting as it is to sneak the pooch a square of chocolate, especially when they give ‘the puppy eyes’, even a small amount should be avoided to be on the safe side. At best, a toxic amount of chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, but at worst it can lead to seizures and even be fatal.

“Chocolate can be highly toxic for dogs and can cause both short and long term health problems” says James Whitten, the Marketing Manager at petGuard.

Chocolate Week, which started on Monday 16th of October this year and is the perfect time to raise

awareness of the danger chocolate poses to dogs. On this occasion, the leading pet insurer petGuard investigated why chocolate is bad for dogs, the health problems it can lead to and dog friendly alternatives.

What makes chocolate bad for dogs?

Chocolate is poisonous for dogs because it contains theobromine, a component which humans can easily metabolise, but for dogs this is a much slower process. This means it has much more opportunity to build up to toxic levels and cause potentially fatal issues. Theobromine can affect a dog’s heart, liver and central nervous system

– a demonstration of just how dangerous it can be.

How much chocolate is bad for dogs?

The amount of chocolate which would cause a dog severe health problems depends on the size of the dog and the amount and type of chocolate they have consumed. Cacao, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate are the most lethal for dogs, containing much higher levels of theobromine than milk chocolate. This means only a small amount could have serious and significant health effects.

It also depends on the size of the dog.

A small terrier eating one square of dark

chocolate will have a much higher chance of dangerous side-effects than if a Great Dane were to eat the same amount, for example.

Typically speaking, chocolate is toxic when consumed at 20 milligrams per kilogram of the dog’s weight. Though, as mentioned, significantly more milk chocolate can be consumed before toxic effects occur than is the case with dark chocolate. However, caution should still be maintained.

Even hot chocolate can be poisonous at high enough levels. While most brands will have similar or lower levels of theobromine than standard milk chocolate, it could still be dangerous, particularly for smaller dogs.

“If your dog eats an amount of chocolate which you consider to be a concern for their health, seek advice from a vet as soon as possible” warns Whitten.

What dog-friendly alternatives are there to chocolate?

There is an increasing amount of doggy chocolate available now in shops, especially around Christmas and Easter time. Alternatively, a healthy treat is never a bad thing! Dogs love apples, pineapple, cucumber, carrots and a range of other fruits and vegetables, which all provide health benefits, so rewarding a dog with cubes of these is a good place to start.

42 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels PROUDLY SPONSORING PETS CORNER P e
corner Pembrokeshire County Showground, Withybush Road, SA62 4BW Tel: 01437 454663 Moorfield Road, Narberth, SA62 7AB Tel: 01834 860590 DOG FOOD • CAT FOOD • SMALL ANIMAL FOOD • TOYS • ACCESSORIES TREATS • ENRICHMENT PRODUCTS • HELP & ADVICE WE’RE OPEN MONDAY - SATURDAY 9AM - 5PM The Burns celtic knot logo is a registered trademark and this is used under license from Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd.
Friday May 24

WG makes changes to bTB on-farm slaughter policy

WALES’s Rural Affairs Minister, Huw Irranca-Davies, has announced immediate changes to the Welsh Government’s bTB policy.

On Thursday, May 17, Mr Irranca-Davies implemented changes to the on-farm slaughter policy to reduce the numbers of cattle slaughtered on-farm in Wales.


Welsh Government rules said cattle could be slaughtered onfarm to control bTB’s spread. The rules led to the slaughter of heavily pregnant cows with calves left to die inside the womb, often visibly struggling for life. Farmers can now choose to delay the removal of a cow or heifer in the last sixty days of pregnancy and

animals that have given birth in the previous seven days, subject to biosecurity conditions to protect other cattle in the herd.

There will also be limited flexibility to isolate and delay removal on a case-by-case basis within a few days of the end of a medicine withdrawal period.

The Welsh Government, NFU Cymru, FUW and other relevant representatives from the cattle sector will set up an industryled partnership working group that will continue examining how on-farm slaughter for different reasons and its impacts can be minimised through co-design and delivery.

The Rural Affairs Secretary recently visited Rhadyr Farm, Usk, to see firsthand the direct impact of TB breakdown on farming families.

In addition to the family, the Rural Affairs

Secretary met with Farming Unions and vets during the visit to hear a range of views relating to TB and onfarm slaughter.

The Cabinet Secretary said: “We recognise the devastation a TB breakdown brings to a farming family and business.

“The slaughter of cattle on-farm can be particularly distressing to those who witness it and can have a detrimental impact on farmers’ and farmworkers’ wellbeing and mental health.

“Recognising the impact on farmers, their families, and their businesses is at the forefront of my mind.

“I’d like to thank the TAG for working at pace to deliver these recommendations on such a sensitive subject. We can now start exploring where positive changes can be made to the TB programme.

“We cannot eradicate

TB alone.

“Partnership working with farmers and vets is crucial to reaching the shared goal of a TB-free Wales.”

Andrew RT Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said: “The Welsh Conservatives have worked tirelessly to end the Labour Government’s dreadful on-farm slaughter policy.

“I am pleased that they’ve seen sense on this issue and listened to us and every Welsh farmer who faces the dreadful consequences of Bovine TB.

“The journey cannot end here, though. The Welsh Government must utilise all the tools available to eradicate this horrific disease.”



Farming unions welcomed the Welsh Government’s decision.

Dai Miles, FUW Deputy President, said: “This is certainly welcome news that the Cabinet Secretary has listened to the concerns of the industry and, most importantly, taken action by accepting these recommendations in full.”

The TAG conducted its first meeting on April 15 under the guidance of Professor Glyn Hewinson, also chair of Sêr Cymru at the TB Centre of Excellence in Aberystwyth.

Dai Miles continued: “The FUW were invited to provide written and oral evidence to the TAG for consideration, and we’re pleased that our work supported the changes announced today.

“Our recommendations aimed to reduce the number of cattle slaughtered onfarm following bovine TB breakdowns and to provide support in circumstances where

44 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels F ar MI ng

Friday May 24th 2024

on-farm slaughter is unavoidable.

“We welcome the pace at which this process has taken place and hope that these actions can be implemented as soon as possible to reduce the occurrence of on-farm slaughter. The effects of this process have a long-term detrimental impact on the health and wellbeing of our farming families.

“However, we must not forget that the need to discuss the subject of alleviating the horrors of on-farm slaughter looks to remedy the symptom rather than address the root cause of the issue. That continues to be the abysmal track record of a longstanding ineffective TB eradication programme in Wales.

“We will continue to work in partnership with the TAG and other stakeholders to address other ways in which the TB eradication programme can be improved for the benefit of all cattle farmers in


NFU Cymru TB

Focus Group Chairman Roger Lewis said: “The on-farm slaughter of bTB reactors causes untold distress to farming families across Wales. The emotional impact on those involved cannot be underestimated. It is, therefore, welcome news that the Cabinet Secretary has listened

to our concerns and has accepted the recommendations from the Bovine TB TAG to make changes to this policy.

“In the evidence we put forward to the Bovine TB TAG on this area, we set out five recommendations developed by the NFU Cymru TB Focus Group. These five recommendations sought to minimise the practice wherever possible and encouraged the Welsh Government to look at alternative approaches which could be employed

to reduce the policy’s traumatic impact without risking disease control.

“We welcome the Welsh Government’s commitment to progressing all five areas we suggested, albeit on varying timescales.

“In the short term, we are pleased to see the Cabinet Secretary agree that farmers should have the choice to delay, subject to biosecurity conditions being met, the slaughter of heavily pregnant animals until after they have calved.

“The feedback we

received from members up and down Wales unanimously confirms that it is the on-farm slaughter of these animals that causes the most distress.

“We now urge the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to implement and deliver this policy change without delay to minimise further suffering.

“Reducing the number of reactor animals slaughtered on-farm because they are within a drug withdrawal period is an area the NFU Cymru TB Focus Group believes we can make real progress on.

“We believe it is a sensible decision from the Cabinet Secretary to allow the flexibility that a farmer, in consultation with their private vet and APHA case vet, can delay reactor removal in cases where animals are very close to the end of the withdrawal period.

“Today is only the first step.

“NFU Cymru stands ready to engage further with the Welsh Government and the wider

industry as part of the working group announced by the Cabinet Secretary to consider other ways of reducing the number of bTB reactors slaughtered on Welsh farms.

“Although the policy changes announced by the Cabinet Secretary are welcome, we must recognise the devastating impact that this dreadful disease continues to have.

“However, on-farm slaughter is only part of the picture.

“In Wales, we continue to see around 10,000 cattle slaughtered annually because of bovine TB.

“In 2023, we saw more farms operating under TB restrictions and more new breakdowns than in the previous year.

“NFU Cymru is grateful to the Cabinet Secretary for listening to our concerns about the issue of on-farm slaughter but continues to call for a comprehensive eradication strategy that deals with the disease wherever it exists.”

news please check
social network channels
For up to date


A gear change for Welsh farming

What a difference a week makes! We’ve not only had one but two announcements on agricultural policy from the Welsh Government in the past week. They do say that things come in three… will there be any more news and developments from the Senedd this week I wonder?

As a Union, we are delighted that the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) to support Welsh farmers alongside the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) preparatory phase has been secured for next year. It was one of our key asks to ensure stability and a solid foundation for meaningful discussions to progress.

It shows that the Cabinet Secretary, Huw Irranca-Davies, is listening and that he wants to work in partnership with the farming industry. We know the amount of change that is needed to the Sustainable Farming Scheme to get it off the ground within the proposed time frame. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re ready to burn the midnight oil to get this policy to the right place for Welsh farmers.

The development of the SFS is the most significant change in agricultural policy in Wales for decades so it is reassuring that the Cabinet Secretary continues to say that the Scheme will not be introduced until it is ready. The continuation of direct financial support for the sector is welcomed while we work to design a scheme that delivers for farming businesses, our rural communities and the environment.

The second piece of welcomed news that was announced last week was a suite of measures that will provide flexibility to farmers having to deal with on-farm slaughter of cattle with bovine TB. This came following recommendations presented to the Cabinet Secretary by the newly established Technical Advisory

Group. The FUW was invited to provide written and oral evidence to TAG for consideration, and we’re pleased that our work supported the changes announced last week.

Our recommendations were aimed at reducing the number of cattle slaughtered on-farm following bovine TBbreakdowns and to provide support in circumstances where on-farm slaughter is unavoidable. Farming families, already under emotional and financial pressure from TB breakdowns in cattle have been reduced to tears due to the harsh and harrowing experience of watching cattle being put down on their farmyards. The majority of onfarm slaughter cases are due to cattle testing positive for bovine TB whilst under medicated withdrawal periods. Slaughtering also occurs on farmyards when cows are heavily pregnant or within the first week post-calving and are not permitted to be transported off farm under animal transport regulations. It is a breath of fresh air to see a gear change in attitude and timings from the Welsh Government. Discussions around the table are certainly bearing fruit in recent weeks and we welcome the pace at which these changes have been made

However, we must not forget that the need to discuss the subject of alleviating the horrors of on-farm slaughter looks to remedy the symptom rather than address the root cause of the issue. This continues to be the abysmal track record of a long standing ineffective TB eradication programme in Wales.

We also need clarity on what exactly the SFS preparatory phase will entail for Welsh farmers. Our members are at the heart of our organisation and we will continue to do our utmost to ensure that we achieve the best possible outcomes for our family farms and the wider industry.

HCC launches Meat Minds

RED MEAT promotion agency

Hybu Cig Cymru— Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is recruiting young people from all areas of the red meat supply chain to be the first members of its new and exclusive programme, Meat Minds.

Launched on Monday, May 20, the new initiative aims to bring passionate and enthusiastic individuals together to develop their knowledge and experience of industry structure and red meat production from farm to fork.

By participating in five themed days and one other day with an assigned mentor in the workplace, the successful applicants will benefit from making invaluable Welsh, UK and global connections. They will also be given an opportunity to work collectively as a group on an industry-focused project of their choice, with the aim of producing results, new information and data to inform the

industry as a whole.

HCC’s Senior Market Intelligence and Research and Development Officer, Elizabeth Swancott, said: “We are very excited to be launching this new programme and are looking forward to providing individuals with a whole host of worthwhile experiences and opportunities.

“We are targeting people between the age of 21-35 and they could be farmers, processors, butchers, retailers or chefs – or anyone else who is involved in the red meat supply chain. They must be passionate about red meat production and promotion, interested in research and development and keen to see developments within the industry.

“During the six days of the programme, which will be spread across 12 months, we will introduce the group to assigned industry mentors which will lead to a practical experience in the workplace. We will also present themed modules with expert speakers

on topics ranging from the farmed environment to processing and consumer awareness, and encourage them to work on a research project to inform the industry.”

She added: “In addition, there will be optional opportunities for the members to work with HCC on future promotional activity and become informed spokespeople for our red meat sector here in


“If you would like to be amongst the first members of Meat Minds, have knowledge, understanding and ideas on how to develop the sector in the future but are also keen to develop and learn even more, apply today!”

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, June 7. The application form can be downloaded from the HCC website.

46 Friday May 24th 2024
up to date news please check our social network channels


John Cooper Works to Debut at 24 Hours of Nürburgring

MINI enthusiasts and motorsport fans are eagerly awaiting the debut of the highly anticipated New MINI John Cooper Works. It is set to make its first appearance at this year’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring, one of the toughest endurance races in the world, challenging drivers and teams to conquer the iconic NürburgringNordschleife over a grueling, day-long battle of speed, skill, and reliability.

The new petrolpowered MINI John Cooper Works, cloaked in a bespoke camouflage designed by the MINI Design Team, pays homage to the iconic red and white color schemes used for classic Minis in motorsports in the 1960s.

Celebrating its world premiere in fall 2024, the New MINI John Cooper Works marks a significant milestone in MINI’s commitment to innovation and heritage. In a bold move, the new MINI John Cooper Works lineup, developed to push the boundaries

of speed and agility, will be available in both petrol and all-electric versions.

In a nod to Mini’s historic victory of the Mini Cooper S at the 1964 Rallye Monte Carlo 60 years ago, the racecar features a distinctive “37” logo, commemorating this milestone achievement. This emblem serves as a homage to MINI’s rich

motorsport tradition.

The New MINI John Cooper Works #317 will be entered by the private racing team from Nürburg, Bulldog Racing, and will be competing in the SP 3T category.

Dubbed “MINI John Cooper Works PRO”, the MINI TwinPower Turbo racecar represents the perfect fusion of MINI’s iconic

design and reliability and Bulldog Racing’s track-tested expertise.

The second entry will be the beloved black MINI John Cooper Works #474 manual transmission, which showcased its prowess by securing a podium finish at last year’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring, proving its mettle against fierce competition in the VT-2

category, cementing its status as a formidable contender in endurance racing.

As anticipation builds for its debut, MINI fans and automotive enthusiasts alike can expect an unforgettable showcase of the New MINI John Cooper Works capabilities at this year’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring from June 1st to June 2nd 2024.

47 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 FarMIng
o T or

New McLaren Artura Spider debuts in UK

THE new McLaren Artura Spider made its public UK debut this week in front of an audience of media personalities and McLaren customers in London.

The event took place at the glamorous Outernet venue, which opened in 2022 and was named London’s most visited tourist attraction by The Times newspaper in 2023, and showcased the latest addition to the McLaren supercar family.

Guests arriving for the unveiling of McLaren’s newest open-top supercar were greeted by films of the Artura Spider shown on giant LED screens overlooking Tottenham Court Road.

Michael Leiters, CEO of McLaren Automotive, joined McLaren EMEA Regional Director, Brett Soso and other McLaren executives in hosting the 120 guests.

Among those seeing McLaren’s HighPerformance Hybrid convertible for the first time were singer Sam Ryder, rapper Tinie Tempah,

internet sensation Francis Bourgeois, former Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore and Soul II Soul founder Jazzie B. The new Artura Spider is introduced with significant upgrades to power, performance and

driver engagement, which combine with the sensory pleasures of open-top driving to add a remarkable new dimension to the Artura range.

Easily the lightest car among its convertible supercar competition at

1,457kg*, the Artura Spider enjoys a weight advantage of up to 83kg over rivals, which in combination with the 700PS output of its high-performance hybrid-powertrain delivers a power-to-weight ratio of 480PS/tonne. This in

turn enables astonishing performance with a top speed of 330km/h and an acceleration of 0 –100km/h in 3.0s.

“Unveiling the new Artura Spider in McLaren’s home market is an immensely proud

moment for us. The new Artura is the complete next-generation supercar, with more power, more dynamic performance and even higher levels of connection with the driver – without any compromise in everyday driving. The introduction of the convertible Spider adds a thrilling new dimension to the driving experience of this extraordinary car.”

Brett Soso, Regional Director - Europe, Middle East & Africa

In parallel with the introduction of the new Artura Spider, a new Artura coupe that shares the same enhancements is now available, further enhancing its status as the next-generation supercar.

Further information about the new convertible supercar, including full specifications and options availability, can be found together with an online configurator to explore colour and equipment choices, at: en/artura-spider

50 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
51 Friday May 24 2022 72 TOYOTA AYGO 1.0 X PURE AUTOMATIC, 5dr, white, 1 owner, 5k £15,500.00 2022 22 PEUGEOT 208 GT EV 18K, blue 18k £18,000.00 2021 21 PEUGEOT 208 GT EV PREMIUM, 27k, yellow,....................................................... £15,000.00 2021 21 FORD FIESTA 1.0 ST LINE EDITION, 5dr, black, 1 owner, fsh, £15,495.00 2020 70 MINI COOPER S ELECTRIC. 3dr, grey. 19k, 1 owner £13,995.00 2020 20 FORD FIESTA 1.0 TREND, 5dr, blue, 15k ............................................................... £12,995.00 2019 19 FORD KUGA 2.0 ZETEC TDCI 4X4, red, 1 owner £8,995.00 2019 19 PEUGEOT METROPOLIS 399cc 3 wheeler trike 2000 miles £6,450.00 2019 19 CITROEN C3 AIRCROSS 1.5 BLUE Hdi Flair, 19k, ............................................... £11,995.00 2019 19 FORD FOCUS 1.5 TDCI ZETEC, grey, 5dr, 1 owner, service history £7,995.00 2019 19 VAUXHALL INSIGNIA DESIGN 1.6 TD, 5dr, service history, blue £7,995.00 2018 18 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 2.0 GT TDI 5dr, B/motion, white,1 owner ......................... £11,995.00 2018 18 VAUXHALL ASTRA 1.6 CDTI DESIGN ESTATE, silver, 1 owner £7,995.00 2018 18 CITROEN C3 1.5 HDI black, 5dr £6,450.00 2018 18 PEUGEOT 108 1.2 ALLURE, purple, 46k, £6,795.00 2018 18 CITROEN C3 1.5 HDI black, 5dr £5,995.00 2017 67 PEUGEOT 208 1.6 HDI, 5dr, grey £5,695.00 2017 67 HYUNDAI TUCSON 1.7 CRDi 2wd, grey, 1 owner, 76k, fsh £10,995.00 2017 67 FIAT ABARTH 1.4 AUTOMATIC, blue, 2000 miles, 1 owner, fsh £14,750.00 2017 67 CITROEN C1 1.2 FEEL 5dr, white, £5,595.00 2017 17 PEUGEOT 208 1.5 HDI, 5dr, black £6,750.00 2017 17 TOYOTA AYGO 1.0 EXCITE, yellow, service history £6,995.00 2017 17 FIAT 500 1.2 POP, white, 33k ..................................................................................... £6,995.00 2016 66 FORD FIESTA 1.4 EDGE Tdci 5dr, silver £5,495.00 2015 15 RANGE ROVER SPORT 3.0 AUTOBIOGRAPHY HYBRID, red, £23,500.00 2015 15 VOLKSWAGEN POLO 1.2 TSI SE, 4dr, black, 61k, .................................................. £8,495.00 2015 15 VAUXHALL CORSA 1.2 CDTI, 5dr, silver, £3,995.00 2015 15 CITROEN C1 1.0 AIRSPACE, orange, 5dr, 59k £5,495.00 2013 63 CITROEN C1 1.0 VTR+ white, 5dr, £4,995.00 2013 13 AUDI A1 1.6 SPORT Tdi, black, 3dr £3,995.00 2013 13 VAUXHALL CORSA 1.2 CDTI LTD EDITION, 3dr, red, service history £4,995.00 2011 11 AUDI A1 1.6 TDI S LINE, 3dr, white, 71k £6,495.00 2011 11 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 1.6 TDI PLUS, silver, 5dr, ..................................................... £3,995.00 2010 60 FORD FIESTA 1.2 EDGE, 3dr, silver, service history £3,995.00 2010 10 FORD FIESTA 1.4 ZETEC TDCI, silver, 5dr, £2,995.00 2004 53 PORSCHE BOXSTER S 3.2 CONVERTIBLE, blue, 54k, s/history ........................... £7,995.00 1999 S BMW Z3 2.8 SPORT CONVERTIBLE, 2dr, silver, genuine low mileage £7,995.00 COMMERCIALS Prices inclusive of 20% VAT 2022 22 HARDLIFE XN 2.3 LWB MINI EXCAVATOR (KUBOTA DIESEL ENGINE) ......... £8,000.00 2019 69 MERCEDES SPRINTER CAR TRANSPORTER 2.1 Cdi, 1 owner, 71k £29,995.00 2019 19 FORD TRANSIT CUSTOM 2.0 Tdi, yellow, 1 owner £12,495.00 2019 19 MERCEDES SPRINTER DROPSIDE Lorry, 2.1 Cdi, 1 owner, £15,000.00 2019 19 VAUXHALL COMBO 1.6 CDTI SPORTIVE white, service history ......................... £8,995.00 2019 19 PEUGEOT PARTNER 1.6 BLUE HDI, white, service history, 71k £9,500.00 2019 19 PEUGEOT PARTNER 1.6 HDI, white £8,350.00 2018 68 FORD TRANSIT 2.0 CUSTOM Tdi, yellow, 74k, 1 owner, £13,500.00 2018 68 FORD TRANSIT CUSTOM 2.0 Tdi, white, 1 owner ................................................ £12,500.00 2018 18 PEUGEOT PARTNER 1.6 HDI, white £7,995.00 2017 67 VAUXHALL COMBO 1.3 CDTI CREW CAB, white, 74K £8,495.00 2017 17 CITROEN RELAY 2.0 HDI, white, 6 rear seats £8,495.00 2017 17 FORD TRANSIT DROPSIDE LORRY LWB, ........................................................... £10,000.00 2017 66 FORD TRANSIT CUSTOM 2.2 TURBO DIESEL, white, 1 owner, 2 rear seats £7,495.00 2016 16 MERCEDES SPRINTER 2.1 Cdi FRIDGE VAN £6,250.00 2014 64 FIAT FIORINO 1.2 DIESEL, blue £3,995.00 2013 63 RENAULT TRAFFIC 2.0 DCI HIGH TOP, white ...................................................... £5,995.00 2013 13 ISUZU TRUCK 5.2 TURBO DIESEL TWIN CAR TRANSPORTER £14,400.00 2012 62 FORD TRANSIT TIPPER 2.0 TDI, white (no vat) £5,000.00 2017/17 JAGUAR F-TYPE 5.0 V8R SUPERCHARGED CONVERTIBLE AUTOMATIC ONLY 7000 MILES, WHITE WITH BLACK ROOF

Brave Bella, 6, inspires Phil’s close shave in aid of children’s hospital

A bakery “hero” shaved off his bushy beard in aid of a children’s hospital.

Phil Lancelotte, a driver at the Jones Village Bakery in Wrexham, was inspired to raise money for Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool by the courage of the six year old daughter of workmate Wayne Jones.

Brave Bella has undergone two operations to remove a tennis ball sized tumour and the remaining cancerous cells from her neck.

Colleagues and friends have already chipped in with £425 while Village Bakery managing director Robin Jones and his brother, projects director Christien, are contributing £1,000.

Phil has a track record of raising money for good causes. Back in 2013 he was honoured for his 30 years of service to a local charity, Wrexham Phab –Physically Handicapped and Able Bodied Club, when he was named as the company’s first Village Hero, an award set up to recognise effort or contribution of employees.

He also goes back a long way with Wayne who joined the company straight from school aged 16, mentoring him and showing him the ropes.

Wayne is now the man in charge of crumpet production at the bakery –and he’s never forgotten the help he received from Phil.

But nothing prepared Wayne and Bella’s mum, Shereice David, for the worry they’ve endured for the past three years.

Problems first started to emerge when they found a small, rubbery lump on Bella’s neck.

Unfortunately, the cause was misdiagnosed for two years before it was finally established she was suffering two forms of cancer, Ganglia Neuro Blastoma and Neuro Blastoma which was found in the biopsy after the first surgery.

Wayne said: “The first surgery was in August last year to remove the tumour which was obstructing her airways. It was a huge lump the size of a tennis ball inside her neck and her airway is now an L

shape because it’s been bent by the tumour.

“Earlier this year they found something on her lymph nodes so she had to back into hospital for another surgery on her neck and they took away the lymph nodes in that area because they had found a trace of the cancer there, which they thought was left there from the previous operation.”

According to partner Shereice they’re taking things day by day and allowing Bella to just have fun and play with her friends as much as she can.

She said: “Alder Hey have helped us save Bella. Their surgeons are second to none – they did a fantastic job and the staff on the ward do a brilliant job too. They keep the kids motivated and uplifted and Bella made a lot of friends there.

“She had some tests done and the results are really good at the moment – we’re just waiting for one test result. She has to go now every three months to be tested.

“If the next one comes back and they’re still clear then I think we should be on a journey to remission. We’re keeping everything crossed.”

Wayne added: “I’ve always known Phil as a giving man and the fact that he is doing this for

my daughter is extremely touching. He’s a fantastic guy. He’s had a lot of issues with his own health but he never stops caring about other people.

“The Village Bakery have been nothing but supportive. The minute they found out what I was going through we have had nothing but support.

“It’s been really nice knowing that no matter what’s going on at home, they have let me know that’s my priority – and that they’ve got my back. I’ve had incredible support from the Village Bakery.”

The beard had been a semi-permanent fixture on Phil’s chin for more than 30 years but it didn’t take much persuasion to get him to shave the hipster whiskers to raise money for Alder Hey.

He said: “The work Alder Hospital do in general for young children is amazing but I wanted to raise money for them in respect of the care they have given to Bella.

“Due to her having been diagnosed with Ganglio Neuro Blastoma cancer, she has needed to be treated there on many occasions. I just want to do my bit to help raise funds for the great work they do.

“I don’t have any kids so I can’t really imagine what Wayne and Shereice must be going through –it’s a real nightmare.

“I hope they’ve got it sorted and that Bella will grow up to be a lovely young lady.”

Managing director Robin Jones said everybody at the Village Bakery had been deeply touched by little Bella’s bravery.

He said: “We raised money for the family last year so they could go on holiday and they wanted a trampoline for Bella as well.

“Now is the time to give back to Alder Hey Hospital and that’s why Phil got involved because the Wayne and Shereice have been through hell. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.

“But Bella is a brave little fighter and even today she’s full of beans and has smile that lights up the room. She’s a real giggler.

“It’s been a huge worry for Wayne – the last few years have been an emotional rollercoaster for him. He’s a great chap and we are proud to work with him.

“Wayne is one of the true Village People and he’s been with us a long time. We’ve supported him throughout and we’ll continue to do that.

“Phil’s been with us since 1985 – he was also my mentor when I first started. What he did with his beard shave was absolutely fantastic – he’s still the real deal when it comes to being a Village Hero.”

Anybody wanting to contribute to the appeal can do so by going to the Go Fund Me page that’s been set up by Phil: https://

52 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
eal TH

First in Wales Arts and Health Charter launched by Hywel Dda UHB

Hywel Dda University Health Board has officially launched its Arts and Health Charter, a promise to the public to integrate arts into the work of the health board.

The Charter is a first in Wales, if not the UK, and will be delivered through a set of eight Arts and Health principles and pledges, making it an integral part of how we deliver health and wellbeing services.

Eleanor Marks, Vice Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board and Chair of the health board’s Arts and Health group, said: “Our Arts and Health Charter has been built on the growing evidence that the arts have a key role to play in preventing ill-health, improving wellbeing, treating ill health, helping people live well with illness, promoting healing and recovery and encouraging healthy behaviours.

“Co-created in

partnership with health and arts professionals, patients, communities, and staff, we are proud to be the first NHS organisation in Wales to ensure the arts are integrated into the strategic objectives of the health board.”

During an online celebration launch held as part of UK Creativity and Wellbeing Week, patients and staff came together to share their

experience of, and their hopes for the arts in health services across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Guests were greeted with live music being played for patients and staff our new acute frailty ward at Withybush Hospital, by Music in Hospitals and Care.

Patient Lyn Mura, who is currently receiving treatment in Bronglais’s

Cancer Treatment Unit, shared how integrating art into the patient environment can provide a welcome distraction:

“When you’re sitting for up to six hours in a chair, the difference is going to be very tangible.

“To have artwork in the patient environment, there is something about it that pulls you in and takes your mind somewhere else. Art can calm and occupy you in

a moment in time where you’re just fearful of what’s next.”

Services who have already seen the benefits of integrating the arts into the care of their patients also shared their experiences.

Senior Nurse in Medicine, Sarah Williams and Junior Sister Donna Major, shared how Friday afternoons in Glangwili Hospital are filled with pottery, silk painting and pom pom making for patients with dementia with artists from Arts Care Gofal Celf.

Lara Schmidt, Occupational Therapist at St Nons, Withybush Hospital shared how her patients are benefitting from singing and music provided by Forget Me Not Chorus. She told of how her patients appear a lot less distressed and how lovely it has been to see her patients smile and be more relaxed.

Guests were also able to stay for an additional Singing and Breathing

session delivered by the Welsh National Opera’s vocal specialist and mezzo-soprano Jenny Pearson. The Welsh National Opera have been leading these sessions across Wales, improving outcomes for our patients with long covid.

Eleanor concluded, “I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to our celebration launch of this important Charter with music and the sharing their stories and experience as of arts in healthcare and what it means to them.

“If this sounds like something you can believe can work in your service or team, please do get in touch with our Arts and Health team.

“This is the start of a very exciting journey and I encourage everyone to consider how integrating the arts into our services could benefit the health and wellbeing of patients and staff.”

53 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024

bu SI ne SS

Grants of upto £10k available for retail, hospitality and leisure

THE Welsh Government has made funding available of up to £10,000 for micro, small and mediumsized businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector to help with running costs.

The Welsh Government Future Proofing Fund is designed to help businesses invest in renewable energy sources, carry out any improvements to business premises and upgrade systems or machinery to reduce energy use. The £20 million funding will help around 2,500 businesses across Wales to strengthen their trading position, increasing profitability.

Businesses must meet the below criteria to be considered for this funding:

• Be located in Wales and employ people in Wales

• Employ between 1 and 249 people

• Have been trading before 1 April 2023

• Operate from a property with a rateable value between £6,001 and £51,000

• Either own or leasing the business premises on a

minimum 3-year lease, extending beyond 1 April 2026

Carmarthenshire County Councils Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Culture,

Leisure and Tourism, Cllr Hazel Evans commented: “The Council welcomes this grant funding which will ensure that micro, small and medium sized businesses are supported finically. I encourage these business owners to take advantage of this opportunity and apply for funding to significantly increase their profitability and success”.

Applications are now open.

To check your eligibility, please visit:

Welsh Government Future Proofing Fund | Business Wales

To see what other opportunities grant funding can offer your business, please visit Carmarthenshire County Councils UK Shared Prosperity Fund business pages for more information.

Jeremy Miles outlines economic vision for Wales

THE Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy and Welsh language, Jeremy Miles, has today set out his immediate economic priorities for Wales during a keynote speech at AMRC Cymru in Broughton.

In setting out the challenges and opportunities presented by a just transition towards a greener economy, the business and skills audience was left in no doubt as to the scale of the prize for being at the forefront of that transition - not just for the business community in Wales but across public services and wider society. Immediate action being taken will include:

Establishing a national economic council, replacing the Ministerial Advisory Committee

Short turn around reviews in five key areas, looking at practical and actionable delivery in areas such as net zero skills, AI, and maximising growth opportunities in renewables.

A series of regional events where all businesses will be invited to share their views with the Cabinet Secretary


Developing a national approach to future skills planning, spanning all sectors of the economy

The Economy Secretary explained:

“I have always believed that the foundation of all that any progressive Government seeks to achieve, rests on the health of our economy and its ability to support our wellbeing.

“If we have an

economy which is growing truly sustainably, delivering prosperity and more opportunities for better paid work, in all parts of Wales, then we have the best opportunity to ensure that people can flourish.

“All the other challenges which any government grapples with – tackling health and educational inequalities, alleviating poverty, delivering effective and supportive

public services, in our case - ensuring strong communities for the Welsh language to flourish –these all ultimately turn on the strength of our economy and what it does to increase prosperity and solidarity.


“I want Wales to be a place where young people with great ideas want to start a business, whether they are from Wales, have come here to

study or choose to come to live here because of the welcome they will get, the entrepreneurship and mentoring support they can rely on and that sense of optimism and belonging which runs through our country.”

“I want them to know they can make it in Wales - a can do, creative nation where people flourish. That’s the economic future I know we all want for Wales.”

54 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

Seafish begins formal industry consultation to revise levy structure

SEAFISH, the public body that supports the UK seafood industry to thrive, has started formal consultation with its levy payers and the wider seafood industry on proposals for a new levy model.

Levy is due on the first sale of seafood, both domestically landed and imported, in the UK. It is not charged on farmed salmon, trout, and freshwater fish species because these species are excluded by primary legislation. Nor is it currently charged on canned, bottled and pouched seafood products.

The levy collected is used by Seafish to provide support, advice and services across the whole UK seafood supply chain. During the Seafish Strategic Review in 2021, the seafood industry recognised the need for a review of the levy system given it had not changed since 1999. There was general agreement that an improved levy model was needed to ensure Seafish had a stable financial model and could continue to provide the support industry needs, now and into the future.

The Seafish Board held

informal consultations with the seafood industry in spring 2023 on proposed changes to the levy system. In December 2023 the Board released a response to the Informal Consultation which set out how it had considered the feedback received from stakeholders and had revised the package of levy amendments in response.

The Seafish Board is now holding the statutory consultation on the proposed changes. The consultation will be open for twelve weeks until Friday 9 August.

Seafish is collecting feedback via an independent online survey and anyone with an interest in the Seafish levy as well as the wider seafood industry are invited to respond. They will also be hosting a series of webinars for stakeholders interested in learning more about the proposed changes.

Information on the consultation, which consists of the Formal Consultation Paper (available in Welsh and English), the draft Regulation, and an Economic Impact Assessment can be downloaded from the Seafish website here.

The proposed changes to the Seafish levy include:

• The current sea fish levy rate of 0.903p/kg will be increased to 1p/ kg. This will be renamed the “Category 1” levy.

• The current levy rate that applies to mussels, cockles, and pelagic fish (as defined in regulation) will increase from 0.258p/kg to 0.5p/ kg over a three-year period.

• The current levy rate for whelks will increase from 0.4515p/kg to 0.5p/kg

• The levy for mussels, cockles, pelagic fish (as defined in regulation) and whelks will be renamed the “Category 2” levy.

• The levy rates for manufactured fishmeal and ‘fish destined for’ fishmeal will also increase, as follows:

• Manufactured fishmeal will increase from 0.175p/kg to 0.315p/kg.

• Fish destined for fishmeal will increase from 0.035p/kg to 0.05p/kg.

• For the first time levy will apply to canned, bottled, and pouched seafood products, for those species within the scope of the levy.

• The levy for all seafood and seafood products would be adjusted annually, subject to a cap on the annual adjustment of 2%.

• Minor changes to the administration of the levy to make collection and payment more efficient.

Mike Sheldon, Chair of the Seafish Board, said: “After our informal consultation last year, we have taken industry feedback on board and made further revisions to refine the proposed levy adjustments. It is our priority

to make the levy fit for purpose, fairer for all and ensure we can continue to deliver the support industry have told us they need, now and in the future.

While we appreciate that the seafood industry is under financial pressure, our proposed changes strike a good balance, minimising impacts on the industry while allowing us to effectively support the seafood sector as an organisation.

This consultation is an important step in shaping a levy that better serves our stakeholders.”

Once this formal

consultation process ends Seafish will make formal recommendations to government, and these will be considered by relevant Ministers across the UK Government and the Devolved administrations. There is not a timeframe for when Ministers will reach a decision yet, but businesses will have as much notice as possible before any changes come into effect so that they can plan ahead.

Any queries about the consultation should be sent to SeafishLevyReview@

UK inflation falls to 2.3%, raising questions over interest rate cuts

UK inflation has dropped to 2.3% in April, marking its lowest level in nearly three years. However, the decline fell short of analysts’ expectations, dampening hopes for an imminent interest rate cut by the Bank of England.

City analysts had anticipated a reduction to 2.1%, closer to the Bank’s 2% target. This discrepancy led markets to adjust their forecasts, now predicting that the Bank’s current rate of 5.25% may not be reduced until August, rather than next month as previously speculated.

The Office for National

Statistics (ONS) reported that the decrease from March’s 3.2% was primarily due to lower energy and food costs. The last time inflation was this low was in July 2021. Significant contributions to the drop included a record 27% fall in electricity and gas prices over the past year and a modest 2.9% annual rise in food and soft drink prices, the smallest increase since November 2021.

Illustrating the ongoing strain on household budgets, furniture retailers reduced prices by 0.9% between March and April, while overall goods prices dropped by 0.8% month-

on-month. However, annual services inflation, reflecting inter-company charges, remained stubbornly high at 5.9%, only slightly down from March’s 6%.

Despite the overall fall in the consumer prices index (CPI), the ONS noted that higher property rents and mortgage costs kept the alternative CPIH measure, which includes housing costs, elevated at 3% yearon-year. Petrol and diesel prices rose last month, although the price of Brent crude has recently stabilised around $83 (£65) per barrel.

KPMG UK’s chief economist, Yael Selfin,

suggested that the chance of an interest rate cut next month had diminished. “Falling inflation nears the Bank of England’s target but may not suffice for an early rate cut,” she stated. Echoing this sentiment, Paula Bejarano Carbo of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research noted that core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, remains high at 3.9%. Combined with robust wage growth, this persistence could compel the Bank’s monetary policy committee to maintain rates.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak heralded April’s CPI figure as a “major moment for the economy, with inflation back to normal,” asserting that it validated the government’s economic strategy. Conversely, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves argued that it was premature for the Conservatives to celebrate, highlighting the ongoing pressures of soaring prices, mortgage bills, and taxes.

In the eurozone, inflation held steady at 2.4% in April.

Separate ONS data indicated a larger-thanexpected rise in public

borrowing for April, with the monthly deficit reaching £20.5bn. Despite a decrease in debt payments, the high cost of servicing government debt exceeded expectations, potentially ruling out pre-election tax cuts.

Economic adviser Martin Beck from the EY Item Club described the public finance figures as disappointing, suggesting that continued higher borrowing costs would likely prevent any significant fiscal easing before the next general election.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Economy and Energy, Samuel Kurtz MS, praised the inflation drop, attributing it to the UK Conservative Government’s effective economic policies. He called on the Welsh Labour Government to support the economy by fully implementing business rates relief and reforming growth taxes.

Paul Butterworth, CEO of Chambers Wales South East, South West, and Mid, noted that while the reduction in inflation was significant, it remained above the Bank of England’s target. He

expressed hope that the continued downward trend might prompt an interest rate cut soon.

Meanwhile, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) warned that despite the fall in inflation, the cost of living crisis continues to severely impact mental health. Their recent survey revealed that 74% of respondents felt their mental health was worsened by the crisis, with particularly high impacts on those with pre-existing conditions, women, ethnic minorities, and lowerincome households.

BACP’s Director, Dr Lisa Morrison Coulthard, emphasised the need for government action to address these mental health challenges. The BACP has proposed a 13-point action plan to improve access to mental health services, stressing the importance of funding and support for vulnerable populations. As the nation grapples with economic and mental health pressures, the government’s response to these intertwined issues will be crucial in the coming months.

55 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 buSIneSS


we will have reached the end of foster care fortnight (13 – 24 May). This is the Fostering Network’s annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives. The campaign showcases the commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers. It also supports fostering services to highlight the need for more foster carers. Thousands of new foster families are needed every year to care for children, with the greatest need being for foster carers for older children, sibling groups, disabled children and unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

According to a survey by the Fostering Network, an estimated 400 more foster families are needed in Wales to meet current demands. The same survey found that only 57% of carers feel treated as equals by children’s social workers. Concerns have also been raised over a lack of consultation and a poor support network.

Last week in the Senedd, Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats called on the Welsh Government to

Up, Step-Down scheme. In this scheme, a family support foster carer is assigned to help a family through meeting the parents regularly and providing mentoring for them as well as short breaks. The Fostering Network provides training for the family support foster carers and the parents on the programme. The evidence so far is that when used, this has been a success with one grandmother stating: “Step Up Step Down has been the best thing that could ever have happened for our family.”

Jane Dodds, who worked as a Child Protection Social Worker for 20 years before entering politics, also called on the Welsh Government to consider giving foster carers a salary.

Jane said: “Foster carers provide an invaluable service to our society, they are the bedrock of which our social services are built upon. However, I fear that their hard work and dedication is often overlooked.

“This cannot continue, we must recognise the important work done by our foster carers whilst also ensure that they are getting the right levels of support. Most importantly they must be salaried.

Decades of failure and denial over tainted blood scandal revealed

ON MONDAY evening, Rishi Sunak apologised on behalf of the British government to the victims of the contaminated blood scandal.

After a five-year public inquiry, the Prime Minister offered an “unequivocal” apology for the findings published in Sir Brian Langstaff’s report earlier on May 20.

The findings were damning.

They included the revelation that ministers, doctors and civil servants knew the risks of the blood products given to haemophiliacs and people needing blood transfusions.

Victims were “gaslit” by claims that the mass infection of those patients with HIV and hepatitis C was inadvertent, that screening started as soon as it could, and that no one could have stopped it sooner.

None of those things were true.

Under successive Labour and Conservative Governments, the Department of Health and HM Treasury fought against a public inquiry and the idea of paying compensation to those affected by being given tainted blood products.

Officials fobbed off ministers who tried to look into what had happened, complaining that they had too much sympathy for the victims.

“They should not be expected to not be paid when they don’t have children with them.

Would we expect the same when people take time off from work?”

To find out more about fostering in Pembrokeshire please ring 01437 774650 or pembrokeshire. wales

If you wish to discuss these issues, please contact me at Facebook: AlistairCameronPembs Twitter: AlistairPembs Email:

When briefing documents for ministers got close to revealing the truth, civil servants doctored their content to misrepresent their authors’ findings.

While Mr Sunak apologised for the failures of the British state and Sir Kier Starmer for a “failure of politics”, the blame doesn’t rest only at Westminster’s door.

Welsh Government ministers are specifically mentioned for refusing to hold a public inquiry and not seeking advice specific to Wales. Instead, despite having responsibility for the NHS in Wales, they slavishly followed Westminster’s line.

Welsh Government ministers failed to examine the strength of the evidence UK ministers and officials relied upon or assess the evidence available in Wales.

Had they done so, they would have found key claims - that all infections were inadvertent and patients received the best possible treatments - were untrue and unfounded.

Only in 2017 did the Welsh Government change tack, when thenHealth Minister Vaughan Gething wrote to his UK counterpart, Jeremy Hunt, to request a UK-wide public inquiry.

Ironically, only Theresa May’s political weakness following the 2017 General Election led the Westminster Government

to order a public inquiry. Mrs May feared losing a Commons vote on the demand for one.

The worst elements of the scandal are clinical and institutional.

Clinicians, Department of Health officials, and others concealed the truth to avoid blame and liability.

The inquiry pointed to medical advice on the dangers of blood and plasma dating back 40 years and court rulings that showed other countries had started screening sooner.

Doctors claimed they hadn’t seen evidence of infection through those products even while treating people who had contracted AIDS from their treatment with them.

Documents disappeared, were “lost”, and patient records were deleted.

Leading clinicians withheld critical information from patients and their families.

Children with haemophilia were treated as guinea pigs.

The list of severe historic and continuing failings is almost unending.

The government’s easiest task is paying compensation. Addressing the culture of secrecy and institutional arrogance will be much harder.

For more on this story, see this week’s Politics section.

56 Friday May 24th 2024
check our social network channels P ol ITI
For up

Henry Tufnell says “no more half measures to NRW over Withyhedge”

WELSH Labour’s general election candidate for Mid & South Pembrokeshire, Henry Tufnell, has today called on Natural Resources Wales (“NRW”) to take immediate and decisive action after the 14 May enforcement notice deadline passed and yet failed to stop the odour emanating from the Withyhedge

landfill site.

Since September 2023 the local population has had to put up with a foul odour emanating from the site. The odour is understood to be hydrogen sulphide and is being emitted in large quantities from the site due to a mixing of biodegradable waste and calcium sulphide (plasterboard). Residents were reporting the stink

over the weekend, as people were forced to stay inside despite the sunny weather as the odour continued to plague Pembrokeshire communities.

The situation at the Withyhedge landfill has become increasingly desperate, largely because the local community has lost faith that NRW are willing and able to adopt the necessary measures

to take control of the situation. Tufnell was out in Crundale on Thursday 16 May, two days after NRW’s 14 May enforcement deadline, where the foul odour was still present. Residents were incredibly angry and told Tufnell that they had simply given up reporting the odour issues to NRW because it was not making any difference in resolving the problem. The NRW website indicated that as of last week they were assessing compliance on the landfill site.

There will be a rally taking place on Saturday in Castle Square in Haverfordwest organised by the Stop the Stink campaign group.

Henry Tufnell said: “I have written directly to NRW today, calling them to action. It is deeply concerning that the stink from the Withyhedge landfill site is still blighting the lives of so many Pembrokeshire residents after the recent enforcement deadline from NRW has passed. The time for half measures is over – NRW must take immediate and decisive action.”

WE may not care to admit it, but as a society we have become increasingly dependent on digital connectivity. When listening to the radio before leaving for work in the morning, messaging various Whatsapp groups throughout the day, or streaming the latest episode of a TV series of an evening, fast and reliable broadband and mobile coverage has become an essential amenity facilitating a wide range of daily activities. The experience of lockdown merely served to underline just how important access to good digital connectivity had become.

When I was first elected in 2017 securing better digital connectivity for Ceredigion was at the top of my agenda, and I am pleased to say that we have seen significant improvements in recent years. Initiatives such as Project Gigabit have been particularly useful in rural areas, providing government funding to deliver gigabitcapable broadband to areas that commercial suppliers are unlikely to reach. This project has already included parts of Ceredigion in a cross-regional procurement, with thousands of premises set to benefit from improved broadband connections.

In addition, the Gigabit Voucher Scheme has facilitated several projects across the county, connecting remote communities with fast, reliable internet. These voucher projects, expected to be completed by March 2025, are instrumental in bridging the digital divide that often exists between urban and rural Wales. We have also seen an improvement in mobile coverage since 2017. The enhancements brought about by the Shared Rural Network, a £1 billion initiative which extends 4G coverage across

rural UK has been particularly important in this regard. In Ceredigion, the scheme has supported new masts along major road routes, in addition to upgrading existing infrastructure to improving signal strength and coverage in rural communities.

Despite the progress made to date, too many areas across Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire remain without the benefits of adequate digital connectivity. Not only does faster broadband and more reliable mobile signal help make our daily lives a little easier, they also support businesses to thrive in our rural areas. Indeed, improved digital infrastructure can even attract businesses to west Wales from larger urban centres.

Recently, a technology company decided to relocate from London to Llandysul. Thanks to improved broadband infrastructure, the company can base its operations – and serve a global customer base –from the heart of the Teifi Valley, in the process bringing jobs and new opportunities to residents. We all know that west Wales is a wonderful place in which to live and to raise a family, but with digital infrastructure fit for the 21 st century we can also compete with more urban areas of the country to host a wider range of sectors. Despite the welcome boost to the Teifi Valley, it is no time to rest on our laurels. Improved digital connectivity can play a key role in making our daily lives easier, as well as unlocking Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire’s longterm economic prosperity. As such, I am determined to continue working with Government and other bodies to ensure that every community in west Wales benefits from reliable and modern digital infrastructure.

57 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 PolITIcS

THERE are currently 3 operational wind farms off the Welsh coast.

Situated 8km north of Prestatyn, North Hoyle was Wales first offshore windfarm. It consists of 30 Wind Turbines, with a generating capacity of 60 MW, and became fully operational in 2003. This windfarm was part of UK Governments Round 1 of windfarm licences and was limited in size to act as a trial in order to prove the technology and help establish a supply chain for future wind farms.

Situated 8km north of Colwyn Bay, Rhyl Flats was a similar project to North Hoyle, consisting of 25 Wind Turbines with a generating capacity of 90 MW and became fully operational in 2010.

Located 18km north of Abergele, to the north of the existing windfarms referred to above, Gwynty-Môr was the first fullscale offshore windfarm to be built in Welsh waters. It consists of 160 Wind Turbines with a generating capacity of 576 MW and became fully operational in 2015. This windfarm was part of Round 3 of windfarm licences and was awarded to a consortium led by German energy company RWE. It is currently the world’s 5th largest offshore windfarm.

Two further wind farms are in development off the North Wales Coast:


This field is situated around 30km north of Llandudno, and was awarded in 2023 as part of Round 4 of offshore licensing to a consortium consisting of BP and the German operator EnBW (Energie BadenWürtemburg). This project was given consent in 2024 and is expected to have 96 wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 1.5 GW (or 1500 MW) and be operational by 2026/27.


This was proposed as an extension of the original Gwynt-y-Môr windfarm to be developed by the same operator RWE, and is located 10km north of Llandudno, immediately to the west of Gwynt-y-môr.

The project received consent in 2023 and is expected to have

around 50 turbines with a capacity of 500 MW and should become operational in 2029.

While all the windfarms mentioned above are in the Irish Sea off the north coast of Wales, there are several in development in the Celtic Sea off the south-west coast of Wales. However, these are very different from the windfarms described above which are installed directly on the seabed. The Celtic Sea proposals are in deeper waters around 3050 km south-west of the Milford Haven waterway and it is planned to develop these as floating wind farms which is a newer technology. The current proposals include:


This is a ‘Test & Demonstration’ project of 96 MW capacity to develop and prove the floating windfarm technology. This was awarded to Blue Gem Wind – a consortium of Simply Energy and Total Energy – and received planning consent in 2023 and should become operational around 2026.

Llŷr 1 & Llŷr 2

These two fields are also planned as development projects and are expected to have an operating capacity of 100 MW each. These were awarded in 2023 to Floventis Energy (a joint venture between SBM Offshore and Cierco) and is planned to become operational around 2030 Future Round 5 Fields

Following the earlier development fields, there are plans to develop up to 5GW of floating windfarms in the Celtic Sea as part of the Round 5 of Offshore Windfarm licencing process. This includes Project Development Area 1 (PDA1) which is within Welsh waters, and could have a capacity of 1.5 GW and a target operational date of 2035. Further areas could be developed later Wales has plenty of potential when it comes to the development of clean energy. More to follow next week.

‘A day of shame for the

British state’

THE PRIME MINISTER addressed the House of Commons after the Langstaff Report’s publication.

The Prime Minister said:

This is a day of shame for the British state.

Today’s report shows a decades-long moral failure at the heart of our national life.

From the national health service to the civil service, to Ministers in successive Governments, at every level the people and institutions in which we place our trust failed in the most harrowing and devastating way.

They failed the victims and their families, and they failed this country.

Sir Brian finds a “catalogue” of systemic, collective, and individual failures, each on its own serious, and taken together amounting to “a calamity”.

The result of this inquiry should shake our nation to its core. This should have been avoided.


It was known that these treatments were contaminated. Warnings were ignored, repeatedly.

Time and again, people in positions of power and trust had the chance to stop the transmission of those infections.

Time and again, they failed to do so.

Sir Brian finds “an attitude of denial” towards

the risks of treatment. Worse, to our eternal shame, and in a way that is hard even to comprehend, they allowed victims to become “objects for research”.

Many, including children at Lord Mayor Treloar College, were part of trials conducted without their or their parents’ knowledge or consent.

Those with haemophilia or bleeding disorders were infected with HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B through NHS treatment, through blood clotting products such as factor 8, including those who had been misdiagnosed and did not even require treatment.

Many were infected through whole blood transfusions.

Others were infected through their partners and loved ones, often after diagnoses had been deliberately withheld for months or even years, meaning that these infections should easily have been prevented.

I find it almost impossible to comprehend how it must have felt to be told that you had been infected, through no fault of your own, with HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C; or to face the grief of losing a child; or to be a young child and lose your mum or dad.

Many of those infected went on to develop horrific conditions, including cirrhosis, liver cancer, pneumonia, TB and AIDS, and to endure debilitating treatments, such as

interferon, for these illnesses —illnesses the NHS had given them.


Many were treated disdainfully by healthcare professionals, who made appalling assumptions about the origin of their infections.

Worse still, they were made to think that they were imagining it.

They were made to feel stupid.

They felt abandoned by the NHS that had infected them.

Those who acquired HIV endured social rejection, vilification and abuse at a time when society understood so little about the emerging epidemic of AIDS.

With illness came the indignity of financial hardship, including for carers, those widowed and other bereaved family members.

Throughout it all, victims and their loved ones have had to fight for justice, fight to be heard, fight to be believed and fight to uncover the full truth.

Some had their medical records withheld or even destroyed.

The inquiry finds that some Government papers were destroyed in “a deliberate attempt to make the truth more difficult to reveal.”


Sir Brian explicitly

asks the question: “Was there a cover-up?”

Let me directly quote his answer for the House: “there has been”.

He continues: “Not in the sense of a handful of people plotting in an orchestrated conspiracy to mislead, but in a way that was more subtle, more pervasive and more chilling in its implications. To save face and to save expense, there has been a hiding of much of the truth.”

More than 3,000 people died without that truth.

They died without an apology.

They died without knowing how and why this was allowed to happen.

And they died without seeing anyone held to account.

Today, I want to speak directly to the victims and their families, some of whom are with us in the Gallery.


I want to make a wholehearted and unequivocal apology for this terrible injustice.

First, I want to apologise for the failure in blood policy and blood products and the devastating—and so often fatal—impact that had on so many lives, including the impact of treatments that were known or proved to be contaminated; the failure to respond to the risk of imported concentrates;

For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday November 24th 2023

the failure to prioritise self-sufficiency in blood; the failure to introduce screening services sooner; and the mismanagement of the response to the emergence of AIDS and hepatitis viruses among infected blood victims.

Secondly, I want to apologise for the repeated failure of the state and our medical professionals to recognise the harm caused. That includes the failure of previous payments schemes, the inadequate levels of funding made available, and the failure to recognise hepatitis B victims.

Thirdly, I want to apologise for the institutional refusal to face up to these failings—and worse, the denial and even the attempt to cover them up—the dismissing of reports and campaigners’ detailed representations; the loss and destruction of key documents, including ministerial advice and medical records; and the appalling length of time it took to secure the public inquiry that has delivered the full truth today.


There is layer upon layer of hurt, endured across decades. This is an apology from the state to every single person impacted by this scandal. It did not have to be this way.

It should never have been this way.

On behalf of this and every Government stretching back to the 1970s, I am truly sorry.

Today is a day for the victims and their families to hear the full truth acknowledged by all and, in the full presence of that truth, to remember the many, many lost loved ones.

But justice also demands action and accountability, so I make two solemn promises.

First, we will pay comprehensive compensation to those infected and those affected by this scandal, accepting the principles recommended by the inquiry, which builds on the work of Sir Robert Francis. Whatever it costs to deliver the scheme, we will pay it. My right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office will set out the details tomorrow.

Secondly, it is not enough to say sorry, pay long-overdue

compensation and then attempt to move on. There can be no moving on from a report that is so devastating in its criticisms. Of course, in some areas medical practice has long since evolved, and no one is questioning that every day our NHS provides amazing and lifesaving care to the British people. But Sir Brian and his team have made wide-ranging recommendations. We will study them in detail before returning to the House with a full response. We must fundamentally rebalance the system so that we finally address the pattern so familiar from other inquiries, such as Hillsborough, where innocent victims have to fight for decades just to be believed.


The whole House will join me in thanking Sir Brian and his team, especially for keeping the infected blood community at the heart of their work. We would not be here today without those who tirelessly fought for justice for so many years. I include journalists and parliamentarians in both

Houses, especially the right hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Dame Diana Johnson), but most of all, the victims and their families.

Many of them have dedicated their lives to leading charities and campaign groups, pouring their own money into decades of running helplines, archiving, researching and pursuing legal cases, often in the face of appalling prejudice.

It is impossible to capture the full pain and injustice that they have faced. Their sorrow has been unimaginable.

They have watched loved ones die, cared for them as they suffered excruciating treatments, or provided their palliative care.

Many families were broken up by the strain.

Hundreds of thousands of lives have been knocked off course; dreams and potential unfulfilled.

But today, their voices have finally been heard.

The full truth stands for all to see.

We will work together across Government, our health services and civil society to ensure that nothing like this can ever happen in our country again.

Labour calls for job support and training guarantee for any Port Talbot redundancies

Labour has called for a job support and training guarantee to cover workers who could be made redundant from Port Talbot steelworks in a matter of weeks.

With the first blast furnace planned to shut at the end of June, Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens has demanded that the government act faster to get support in place for workers and communities, by drawing on existing funding already committed to support workers and local economic growth in the area.

The party has called for dedicated employment advisors to be placed in the community to coordinate and deliver support for those affected. This includes acting as a consistent point of contact, setting up employment hubs and job fairs, matching privatesector vacancies with those who have relevant skills and identifying gaps in support on an ongoing basis.

The Labour Party has

also called for a separate pot that can be bid into for retraining based on a needs assessment of the workforce by employment advisors. This would help fund anything beyond what is already funded via existing entitlements.

This support would be paid for by a small portion of the funds already committed to support workers and local economic growth. The rest of the money could be used on local regeneration and future economic growth as per the Board’s aims for the funds.

The TATA Steel / Port Talbot Transition Board, chaired by the Welsh Secretary, has access to £100m to support workers and the regional economy.

In the six months since the Transition Board was formed, it has met five times, formed two sub-committees and achieved little else. At present, none of the money has been committed to support on the ground. It’s next meeting is tomorrow (Thursday).

The government’s deal with TATA means Blast Furnaces will close at the end of June and September, costing up to 3,000 direct jobs, across south Wales.

A leaked report received by the Transition Board has suggested that the figure could be much higher, with up to 9,500 jobs at risk in the wider supply chain.

Labour has also committed to invest up to an additional £2.5bn - on top of the Government’s planned £500 million - in the UK steel industry during the next Parliament if it wins the general election. Party figures have repeatedly urged TATA not to make any irreversible decisions about the future of Port Talbot prior to a general election.

A formal period of consultation between Tata Steel and the unions over its plans has ended, and the company as indicated it intends to press ahead with the closure of both Port Talbot blast furnaces by the end of September.

Jo Stevens, Labour’s




Landfill site has made headline national news yet again this week and is putting Pembrokeshire at the top of the news agenda.

It has already been uncovered that there is questionable financial connection between Withyhedge landfill site owner David Neale of Dauson Environmental Group and First Minister Vaughan Gething. Political donations of over £200,000 are unheard of in Wales. Alongside my Welsh Conservative colleagues in the Senedd, I have been calling for Vaughan Gething to return this money and to take action on the site. It was reported yesterday that Welsh Labour have reluctantly agreed to not keep the remaining £31,600 following intense political pressure.

But Welsh Labour unsurprisingly are still not being clear about where this money will actually end up. A Welsh Labour spokesperson has said that the First Minister is ‘donating surplus funds from his campaign to wider progressive causes’.

of the public health and environmental investigations at Withyhedge showed their true colours a few weeks ago when they voted to block an independent investigation into the financial dealings between the owner of the site and the First Minister.

I have now met with NRW, Pembrokeshire County Council and Public Health Wales (PHW) separately in the past few weeks to discuss the concerns held by residents and to call for action to be taken against the site operator.

Earlier this week I met with the Chief Executive of Public Health Wales (PHW) and her team to discuss the role of PHW in tackling the ongoing problems at the Withyhedge landfill site after they expressed objection to one of my recent Facebook posts where I was critical of the lack of clear information and advice being given to the public regarding any risks from the polluted air.

Shadow Wales Secretary, said:

“Thousands of jobs are at risk in Port Talbot and steel communities across south Wales because Conservative ministers have failed to act, with devastating economic shockwaves that will reverberate for decades. The Welsh Secretary’s Transition Board looks more like a talking shop.

“Our steel fund will ensure the future of the industry will be fuelled by the skills, talent and ambition of Welsh steelworkers and we have repeatedly said no irreversible decisions should be made before a general election.

“Labour doesn’t want to see a single job go at the site, but Conservative Ministers must up their game and prepare at much greater speed to protect workers and communities. Our jobs support and training guarantee offers workers reassurance that we will have their backs whatever happens.”

I think a better use of the money would be for the residents in the local villages of Spittal, Crundale, Rudbaxton and Treffgarne, whose lives are still being made a complete misery due to the horrendous stench from the Withyhedge site. They have had to endure months and months of having to compromise on the way they live by having to follow the latest public health advice which forces residents indoors when the smell is present. As we head into the summer months, it is outrageous to think that people will not be able to open a window or spend time in their gardens enjoying the sunshine. It is these residents that should be compensated by the leftover money, not given to friends of the Welsh Labour Party in whatever guises that may be.

Welsh Labour Ministers with oversight

PHW say they have been actively working on the Withyhedge problem since January, and are cooperating closely with Natural Resources Wales and Pembrokeshire County Council. However, they were keen to stress that they have no enforcement role and that their role is only advisory.

My key question was where is the public health risk assessment for Withyhedge. We know that some emissions from landfill sites can be harmful, so when will we be told what is causing the foul smell at Withyhedge and what are the risks of the polluted air to the local community? This seems to be a question that no one can answer. What has become crystal clear over the last few months is that no one is prepared to take responsibility and take clear decisive action on the activity at the site. Paul Davies MS and I continue to fight for answers for the community, and Pembrokeshire residents.

59 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday November 24th 2023 PolITIcS

death notices



It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Raymond Frederick Pierce, who left us on the 14th of May, 2024, at the age of 96. A beloved member of the community, Raymond will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

Raymond was born on the 2nd of January, 1928. His long and fruitful life was marked by kindness, dedication, and a deep love for his family and friends. He leaves behind a legacy of cherished memories and a lifetime of stories that will continue to inspire those who knew him.The funeral service for Raymond Frederick Pierce will be held on the 31st of May, 2024.

Details of the day are as follows:

10.15 am: Service at St David’s Church, Hubberston, Milford Haven.

11.30 am: Committal at Parc Gwyn Crematorium.

12.15 - 12.30 pm: Wake at the Royal British Legion, Small Bar, Milford Haven. The family extends their heartfelt gratitude for the support and love they have

received during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the British Heart Foundation, a cause close to Raymond’s heart.

Raymond’s family expresses their love and appreciation to all who join them in remembering a remarkable man. May his soul rest in peace.


HAVARD Margaret Elizabeth Peacefully at Llwyndyrys Care Home, Llechryd on Thursday 9th May 2024 aged 94. Margaret, of Maes Ingli, Trefdraeth, devoted wife of the late Essex Snr, much loved mother of Robert, Dennis, John, Jane, Essex Jnr and Alison. A loving mother in law, grandmother and great grandmother. Fond sister of Mavis. Public funeral service at St Mary’s Church, Newport at 11am on Thursday 23rd May 2024. Family flowers only. Donations in lieu if desired for ‘Preseli Practice’ c/o Paul Jenkins & Sons Funeral Director, Feidr Castell, Fishguard, SA65 9BB. Tel: 01348 873250.


MAYNARD John 18/01/1931 19/05/2024. John Maynard aged 93 years of Crymych, passed away peacefully at Parc Y Llyn Residential Home on Sunday 19 th May 2024. He leaves behind his loving wife Gloria (Nee

Jones of Hakin), son Paul of W.Sussex, daughter Jill Cable of Crymych and niece Dawn of Lichfield. Loved by and will be sorely missed by his whole family. The funeral will be held at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth on Saturday, June 1 at 12.15pm and all who knew John are welcome to attend. Family flower only, donations to the ‘Alzheimers Society’ c/o Colin Phillips and Daughters Funeral Directors 4 Morgan Street, Cardigan (01239 621192).



DAVIES Alice Joan Narberth

Peacefully on Saturday, 10th May at Park House Court, Nursing Home, Tenby. Joan of Stoneyford, Narberth, beloved wife of the late Deryk dear mother of Helen and Martin, Alison and Martin, loving grandmother and greatgrandmother, cherished sister and sister-in-law and auntie. Funeral Service at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth, on Wednesday, 29th May at 1.45p.m. Family flowers only. Donations if so desired The Paul Sartori Foundation, c/o of Ken Davies & Sons, Funeral Directors, Blaenwern, Bro Waldo, Clunderwen. Tel 01437 563319


DAVIES Sylvia Louvain (nee Williams) Formerly of Pelcomb Cross, Haverfordwest and retired

teacher from Mount Airey School. Sylvia died peacefully at her care home in Aberystwyth on Tuesday, 7th May 2024 aged 88 years. Beloved Wife of the late William (Bill), Loving Mother of Bethan and Justin, Cherished Grandmother of Carys, Gareth and Meredydd and Great Grandmother of Oscar, Much loved Motherin-Law of Dave and Nicola. The funeral service will take place on Tuesday, 4th June 2024 at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth at 1pm. Family flowers only. Donations in lieu to “Save the Children” c/o D.J. Evans (Funeral Director), Kairali, Penrhyncoch, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3EQ, Tel: 01970 820249


TURPIN Elaine Peacefully at her home on Saturday, May 11, Elaine of New Moat. Beloved daughter of the late John and Carole, loving sister of Andrew, she will be missed by her family and friends. Funeral service on Tuesday, May 28 at St Brynach’s Church, Llanboidy at 11am. Family flowers only. Donations in lieu if desired, made payable to the ‘Paul Sartori Foundation’ c/o Paul Jenkins & Sons Funeral Directors, Feidr Castell, Fishguard. Tel: 01348 873250.


JAMES William David Hywel Narberth Peacefully on Saturday, 11th May at Withybush Hospital,

Haverfordwest, Hywel, of Northmead, Narberth, formerly of Rest Cottage, Clunderwen, beloved husband of Elizabeth, dear brother of the late Doreen, Alun and Goronwy. Funeral Service at Blaenconin Chapel, Llandissilio, on Thursday, 23rd May at 2p.m. Family flowers only. Donations if so desired towards The Paul Sartori Foundation, c/o Ken Davies & Sons, Funeral Directors, Blaenwern, Bro Waldo, Clunderwen. Tel: 01437 563319



MAXWELL Morris Richard Penarth (formerly of Cosheston), passed away peacefully Friday 10th May 2024 at Llandough Hospital aged 75. Beloved husband to Sue, loving Dad to Craig and father-in-law to Tracey, much loved and devoted Papa to Isla and Zach and dear brother to Roger, Ray and Alan. Resting at James Summers Funeral Care. Funeral Service will be held at Barry Crematorium on Thursday 6th June 2.00pm. Family flowers only please, donations in lieu if desired to Velindre Cancer Center


REDD David Thomas Johnston The death occurred suddenly on Saturday 11th May 2024 of Mr. David Thomas Redd, aged 78 years of Redstock Lane, Johnston. Devoted

Husband of the late Meriel. Cherished Father to Bethan and Matt. Much loved father-in-law to Greg. Treasured Grandfather to Joseph and Llinos. For all those who wish to celebrate David’s life, the funeral service will take place on Wednesday 29th May 2024 at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth at 12:15pm. Should you wish to make a donation in memory of David please kindly forward direct to Wales Air Ambulance www.walesairambulance. com Funeral arrangements are being carried out by E.C. Thomas & Son Funeral Directors, Zoar Chapel Funeral Home, Llanteg, Narberth SA67 8QH (01834) 831876 & 21, Main Street, Pembroke SA71 4JS (01646) 682680.


OWENS Audrey Tenby The death occurred peacefully at Belmont Court Nursing Home, Tenby on Thursday 9th May of Audrey Owens of Tenby who was 94. She is survived by sister Dulcie, her four children Keith, Linda, Anne and Shan, seven grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren and her great great granddaughter. The funeral service will take place at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth on Friday 24th May at 10.45am. There will be family flowers with donations if desired in lieu payable to Alzheimer’s Society c/o Funeral Directors, Messrs W & M J Rossiter & Sons Ltd, The Old Rectory, The Norton, Tenby SA70 8AB or via

60 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
61 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels good Food guIde 01646 681 369 REGULAR, RELIABLE AND FLEXIBLE DELIVERIES greaT PlaceS To eaT ouT In PeMbrokeSHIre


S & no TI

PIc Ture oF THe week!




The decision of Carmarthenshire County Council to cancel the building of a new school to replace the no longer fit for purpose Heol Goffa was greeted with dismay and incredulity by our members and other staff working at the school. For years our members have worked in what can only be described as appalling conditions and what has kept them going is their dedication to pupils, their professionalism and the understanding that the reward for their diligence and patience was that the council were going to build a modern school where there would be no black mould, all toilets would have running water. The building would be hygienic, the windows safe and the wood not rotten.

The decision to cancel the building of the school by the Council’s Cabinet is said to be

based on the soaring construction costs but surely the council would have budgeted for this as we assume you have done for the construction of Pentre Awel. We are in part gratified to hear the council is now carefully considering how it spends taxpayers money but if this had started years ago the council might be in a better financial position than it now finds itself in. Perhaps more thought should have been given to placing hundreds of council staff in a damp and dilapidated ex-psychiatric hospital or lining the pockets of the company that built Eastgate. There are many examples of what we consider is the council wasting money but this would not be the case with building a new school to replace Heol Goffa this would be money wisely spent improving the quality of life and life chances of pupils and improving the working conditions of our members and other staff. It’s not as if the council is having to find the full cost of building the school. The Welsh

Government are finding 75% of the cost.

The fears of our members for the future have been added to by the press releases made by the council and by quotes from yourself. Our members have been left in mid -air by the comment attributed to you that the council ‘has committed to exploring the delivery of alternative facilities on different sites’ and ‘we believe that it will be possible to deliver new facilities through an alternative scheme’. Later you are quoted in the article saying’ discussions around the future provision of ALN education in Llanelli are ongoing and we are hopeful of making announcement on our alternative proposals over the next few weeks’.

We would like to know when the council is going to consult Unison and the other unions about what proposals you are considering. We have to say that this decision appears to be rushed as you have no alternative proposals in place when you made

between a Labour NHS and Conservative NHS, two completely opposite forms of a national institution.

A Labour NHS invites all adults to donate blood, freely and eagerly, out of love for other, unknown people. The Conservative NHS, sharing the same beliefs and culture as the USA, thinks that money is a clever inducement, to pay convicts for blood, and for that reason, British Tories at all levels, thought it efficient to mix blood from these contrasted sources. Why not?

the announcement. Our members should not be treated like mushrooms ( kept in the dark). We demand the council open the books to show us how they reached the decision you reached. We call for an immediate meeting between you, the council leader and all the trade unions. We oppose your decision to cancel the building of a new school and intend with others to campaign for the decision to be reversed.

Mark Evans Branch Secretary UNISON

Carmarthenshire County Branch





The reality of the NHS in Britain, over the last 70 years, is an opportunity for any citizen who has developed mentally beyond selfcentredness, celebrity worship, Market Forces as human destiny, or wasting billions on Sport, to distinguish

You should be able to recognise the true explanation of contaminated blood and decades of criminal deception in our Department of Health, has less to do with scientific knowledge, than the absence of Ethical Principles, in the minds of authorities selected to control thousands of conscientious doctors. Human society is shaped by just those forces, the beliefs of each voter, when Altruism is downgraded by greedy self-interest. Labour NHS is supported by citizens proud to pay taxes, for Ethical Principles. A Conservative NHS has been corrupt for 70 years, where public taxes paid into the NHS have been siphoned off into an army of privatised Agencies, where it disappears as dividends amongst shareholders who might have no interest whatsoever in the nation’s health.

Educated haematologists would always wish to test blood from these different sources, scientifically, to discover if it contained Hepatitis C. But the stupidest adult should be able to see now, that ambitious Conservative politicians, have exactly the same indifference to Truth as the voters who sent them there.

Lucy Preston, On behalf of Breast Cancer Now

62 Friday May 24th 2024 SEND yOUR LETTERS
For up to date news please check our social network channels
le TT
S Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels 63 leTTerS























01834 482022 SerVIceS


To adVerTISe In THe local SerVIceS SecTIon email SaleS@Herald.eMaIl

TSP or

young Pembrokeshire footballers set to play at Stamford Bridge

A group of talented young footballers from Pembrokeshire Schools are gearing up for an unforgettable experience as they prepare to play on the hallowed turf of Stamford Bridge, the renowned home of Chelsea F.C on Sunday 26th May.

The eight-team tournament, taking place on Sunday, will see the teams divided into two groups of four. The top two teams from each group will progress to the semi-finals, while the remaining teams will compete for final placements.

With every match being played on the actual Stamford Bridge pitch, the boys are in for a memorable experience. In addition to the matches, the team will enjoy a two-night stay in a London hotel and have their own coach transport to and from the stadium.

At Stamford Bridge,

the young players will embark on a stadium tour and make a grand entrance through the tunnel onto the pitch for their first game. Regardless of the final standings, each child will receive a Chelsea medal. The boys have previously impressed at Carrow Road, Norwich

City, and the King Power Stadium, Leicester City, demonstrating their ability to rise to the occasion.

Pembrokeshire Schools Under-12s will field two teams in the tournament, with several local schools represented. Haverfordwest High

boasts the highest number of selected players, showcasing the depth of talent in the area.

The coaching team, consisting of Matthew Price, Mikey Loveridge, and Niall Kinsella, brings a wealth of experience to the event. At Chelsea, Loveridge will coach

one team and Kinsella the other, while Price will oversee the entire operation to ensure the weekend runs smoothly.

“We are all very excited about this one,” said Matthew Price. “At Pembrokeshire Schools FA, we strive to give the boys the best football experiences as they grow up. However, it all comes at a cost, and we would like to thank all our sponsors for making this possible, with special mention to Minster Diesel Services, Pure Waters Window Cleaning, and Rising Stars, who have sponsored a new kit for the boys to wear at Chelsea.”

The boys and their coaches are looking forward to a weekend filled with football and memorable experiences, with the opportunity to play at one of the country’s most iconic stadiums marking a highlight of their young sporting careers.

St. Davids Rugby Club bids fond farewell to popular tenants

ST DAVIDS Rugby Club has announced with great regret that Carol and Jeff Pick, beloved tenants of the club, are stepping down from their position.

The couple, who moved to St. Davids primarily for this opportunity, expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the past year, which they described as an extraordinary experience.

Carol and Jeff took over the tenancy of St. Davids RFC in Pembrokeshire at the end of last summer, a significant period as the rugby season commenced. Unlike most rugby clubs that employ a steward or stewardess, Jeff and Carol owned the tenancy, meaning they managed the entire operation, making decisions that could make or break their venture. Despite the challenges posed by the seasonal influx of St. Davids’ population, which swells from 2,000 to 12,000 during the summer months, they thrived.

Their tenure has been marked by a series of successful initiatives. Jeff’s background as a former player and coach undoubtedly facilitated his integration with the club’s members. Carol’s personal touch was evident through her creative contributions, such as sewing cushions

in the club’s colours for the lounge, which added a genuine club feel to the place. The club became a hub of activity with weekend entertainment, including bands, open mic nights, and Carol’s popular Sunday lunches.

In a heartfelt statement, Carol and Jeff shared their appreciation for the warm and welcoming community they have come to cherish. “We have met so many wonderful people and made countless friends; words cannot describe how fantastic this last year has been,” they said.

Although they are leaving their roles as tenants, the couple emphasised their ongoing commitment to the club. Jeff will continue his involvement with the rugby team, and Carol remains a dedicated supporter. They extended their thanks to the club’s committee for their unwavering support and for providing them with

this unique opportunity. Special acknowledgements were given to Jack, the coaches, and the players, who have contributed to the fun and camaraderie within the club. Carol and Jeff also highlighted the continuous support from the mini and juniors section, as well as the St. Davids Penknife Club, whose encouragement has been invaluable. The couple expressed their gratitude to all the club members and patrons who have visited for a pint, noting the joy they found in these interactions. They also thanked their friends and family for visiting and sharing in the wonderful times at the club.

Concluding their message, Carol and Jeff expressed their sincere thanks to everyone who has supported them throughout the year. “It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know all the friends we’ve made,” they remarked.

68 Friday May 24th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
Ramsey ‘still has a lot to offer’

ROB PAGE, the manager of Cymru, has encouraged captain Aaron Ramsey to focus on preparing for another demanding Championship season with Cardiff City.

Ramsey, aged 33, endured a season plagued by injuries for both his club and country after rejoining the Bluebirds last summer. Following Cymru’s exit from Euro 2024 in a play-off final penalty shootout loss to Poland, there was speculation about Ramsey contemplating his future in international football. However, Page assured BBC Cymru Sport, ” He is our captain at this moment in time, he wants to get his body into a position where he is fit and can cope with the demands of Championship football which is not easy.

“If he can do that I have no doubt he will carry on.”

Ramsey, a three-time FA Cup victor with Arsenal and a Serie A champion with Juventus, made merely seven starts and six substitute appearances for Cardiff in the last term, netting three goals. His involvement in Euro 2024 was limited to two outings, and although he was part of the squad for the playoff matches against Finland and Poland, he did not feature due to a recent return from injury.

With 21 goals in 84 caps for Cymru, Ramsey’s frustration with last season’s injuries is palpable, according to Page.

“We will have that conversation when the time is right.

“But right now he is looking forward to getting fighting fit and getting his body in a position where he can play and have the demands of a domestic season with Cardiff two games a week. If he can do that then no doubt he will continue.”

With Cymru scheduled for friendlies against Gibraltar and Slovakia next month, Ramsey’s inclusion in the squad, set to be announced at the end of May, remains uncertain. Tottenham

Hotspur defender Ben Davies, who stood in as captain during Ramsey’s absence, is also questionable for the summer tour due to a calf injury that sidelined him for the final five matches of Spurs’ Premier League campaign. Page acknowledged Davies’ status as “touch and go” for the friendlies and emphasised the importance of not overburdening players post a strenuous season.

Reflecting on Cymru’s Euro 2024 elimination, Page admitted the disappointment but highlighted the progress made.

“It was undoubtedly a bitter pill to

Who could be on the move?

THE English football season has wrapped up, and that means it’s transfer speculation time.

Clubs across the country are pondering their summer moves. Although the transfer window officially opens on June 14th, talks are already underway for several potential deals. So, who among Cymrus’ national squad might be on the move?


Wales’ top goalkeepers have had limited playtime lately.

swallow, but reaching the cusp of qualification speaks volumes about our advancement. Although we fell short, our trajectory is promising. We are in a transitional phase, integrating young talents to bolster the squad for the future.”

Despite scrutiny following the Poland defeat, Page’s position as Cymru manager remains secure, affirmed publicly by the Football Association of Cymru (FAC), with whom he holds a contract until the next World Cup. Expressing gratitude for the backing received, Page reiterated his commitment to nurturing young talents within the squad.

Page shared these sentiments during an event in Manchester, where representatives from all four home nations united to support a new initiative aimed at facilitating coaching opportunities for individuals from low-income backgrounds. Under this programme, Chase Bank will fund access to coaching qualifications and professional bursaries. Page encouraged aspiring coaches in Cymru to seize this opportunity, underscoring the potential benefits for Welsh football.

Danny Ward, despite rumours of leaving Leicester City after their Premier League relegation last summer, stayed on as a squad player at the King Power Stadium in the 2023-24 season. With a year left on his Leicester contract, will he stick around for their return to the top flight?

Wayne Hennessey, without a minute of senior club football last season, is seeking new opportunities. His Nottingham Forest contract ends this summer, making him one of three senior players released by the club.

Adam Davies at Sheffield United and Tom King at Wolves face uncertain futures, though King has secured a new long-term deal.


There’s talk of Ben Davies leaving Tottenham Hotspur this summer. Despite his long tenure and over 300 appearances, he’s not been a regular this season. With just a year left on his contract, a

move could be on the cards. Joe Rodon, also with a year left at Spurs, might make a permanent move to Leeds United after a successful loan spell, depending on Leeds’ promotion chances. Connor Roberts returns to Burnley after his Leeds loan, still with a year left on his contract. Chris Mepham at Bournemouth, Ben Cabango at Swansea, and Morgan Fox at QPR are all nearing contract ends. Joe Low, at Wycombe, was a target for Blackpool in January.


Jordan James attracted interest from Serie A clubs in January, and Crystal Palace and Leicester are now linked. With a year left on his Birmingham City contract, a move could be likely after their relegation. Ethan Ampadu’s name pops up often, especially if Leeds doesn’t make it to the Premier League. Fans have long seen him as top-flight material. Joe Morrell might move after Portsmouth’s promotion from League One.


Kieffer Moore shone at Ipswich Town, helping them to Premier League promotion. But as he returns to Bournemouth with a year left on his contract, his future is uncertain. Other forwards like Brennan Johnson, Daniel James, and Nathan Broadhead seem settled with their clubs. Liam Cullen at Swansea and Tom Bradshaw at Millwall recently had their contracts extended until next summer.

69 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 SPorT

Thomas carroll Pembrokeshire league


The weather smiled upon us once more, graciously allowing a full slate of fixtures in the premier division. In a gripping encounter, Lawrenny edged past Narberth by the narrowest of margins, just one run.

Harry Thomas and Will Nicholas starred for Lawrenny, each notching up 78 runs, supported by a commendable collective effort from the bowling contingent, securing Lawrenny’s inaugural victory of the season. Nonetheless, credit is due to Narberth for their spirited chase. Ben Quartermaine’s 54, Jamie McCormack’s 53, and Jack Bowen’s 49 all constituted valiant efforts with the bat, though ultimately falling short.

Carew showcased their bowling prowess, dismantling Haverfordwest for a paltry 49 runs, a total never likely to threaten Carew’s formidable batting lineup. Carew cruised to victory in a mere 9 overs, losing only one wicket along the way.

Meanwhile, Llangwm endured their second successive heavy defeat, bowled out for a mere 87 runs against reigning champions Neyland. James Lewis fought valiantly, reaching 46 runs for Llangwm, without whom the total would have been considerably less respectable. Unsurprisingly, Neyland comfortably eclipsed this target without losing a wicket, affirming a flawless start to their campaign, while Llangwm faces the prospect of a challenging season ahead.

In another low-scoring encounter, St Ishmaels and Cresselly battled fiercely. Opting to field after winning the toss, St Ishmaels appeared justified as they restricted Cresselly to just 93 runs.

Alex Bayley led the charge for Cresselly with 30 runs, with opener Phil Williams labouring to 21 off 80 balls, indicative of the challenging conditions. Charlie Arthur’s contribution of 16 proved pivotal.

St Ishmaels’ response commenced with a fatherand-son opening pair, Karl and Lewis Rhead. Karl provided a solid foundation with 35 runs from 80 balls, yet wickets tumbled at the other end. Despite Alex Bayley’s support, with nobody else reaching double figures, St Ishmaels succumbed for 71, a total surely frustrating for them, emphasizing the significance of gritty performances in adverse conditions.

Tom Mansbridge was the standout performer in Saundersfoot’s triumph over Whitland, contributing significantly with both bat and ball. Mansbridge’s impressive knock of 75 runs laid a solid foundation, complemented by Sam Franklin’s 34, propelling their team to 154 runs.

Scott Newton shone with the ball, claiming 5-21 and playing a pivotal role in restricting Whitland to 109 runs. Danny Caine, having chipped in with 10 runs, continued his form with the ball,

securing figures of 3-14 alongside man of the match Mansbridge, who bagged 2-19. Despite promising starts from Jon Thomas (27) and Gopal Ramasamey (18), Whitland failed to ignite a substantial innings.

Results division one 18/5/24:

Carew (50-1) defeated Haverfordwest (49) by 9 wickets.

Lawrenny (244-5) defeated narberth (243-8) by 1 run.

Llangwm (87) lost to neyland (93-0) by 10 wickets.

st Ishmaels (71) lost to Cresselly (93) by 22 runs.

Whitland (109) lost to saundersfoot (154) by 45 runs.

71 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday May 24th 2024 DIVISION 1 P W D L T AB Pts Neyland 2 2 0 0 0 0 40 Cresselly 2 2 0 0 0 0 37 Carew 2 2 0 0 0 0 33 Lawrenny 2 1 0 1 0 0 27 Saundersfoot 2 1 0 1 0 0 26 St Ishmaels 2 1 0 1 0 0 25 Haverfordwest 2 1 0 1 0 0 17 Narberth 2 0 0 2 0 0 13 Whitland 2 0 0 2 0 0 12 Llangwm 2 0 0 2 0 0 3
DIVISION 2 P W D L T AB Pts Carew II 2 2 0 0 0 0 40 Burton 2 2 0 0 0 0 38 Herbrandston 2 2 0 0 0 0 34 Johnston 2 1 0 1 0 0 23 Lamphey 2 1 0 1 0 0 23 Pembroke 2 1 0 1 0 0 22 Hook 2 1 0 1 0 0 19 Llanrhian 2 0 0 2 0 0 10 Pembroke Dock 2 0 0 2 0 0 8 Llechryd 2 0 0 2 0 0 7 DIVISION 3 P W D L T AB Pts Cresselly II 2 2 0 0 0 0 40 Neyland II 2 2 0 0 0 0 40 Stackpole 2 2 0 0 0 0 35 Burton II 2 1 0 1 0 0 25 Hook II 2 1 0 1 0 0 25 Haverfordwest II 2 1 0 1 0 0 25 Narberth II 2 1 0 1 0 0 23 Kilgetty 2 0 0 2 0 0 12 Fishguard 1 0 0 1 0 0 6 St Ishmaels II 2 0 0 2 0 0 4 DIVISION 4 16 11 0 1 0 4 223 Hundleton 2 2 0 0 0 0 38 Laugharne 2 2 0 0 0 0 36 Saundersfoot II 2 2 0 0 0 0 35 Pembroke II 2 2 0 0 0 0 35 Carew III 2 1 0 1 0 0 24 Lawrenny II 2 0 0 2 0 0 8 Llangwm II 2 0 0 2 0 0 7 Llanrhian II 2 0 0 2 0 0 7 Llechryd II 2 0 0 1 0 1 4 Pembroke D II 2 0 0 1 0 1 2 DIVISION 5 P W D L T AB Pts Whitland II 2 2 0 0 0 0 37 Cresselly III 2 1 0 1 0 0 21 Herbrandston II 2 1 0 0 0 1 20 Neyland III 1 1 0 0 0 0 20 Crymych 1 1 0 0 0 0 17 Haverfordwest III 2 0 0 1 0 1 9 Stackpole II 2 0 0 2 0 0 4 Laugharne II 2 0 0 2 0 0 3 DIVISION 6 P W D L T AB Pts Whitland III 1 1 0 0 0 0 19 Lamphey II 1 0 0 1 0 0 5 Hundleton II 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 Llechryd III 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 Haverfordwest IV 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 Pembroke III 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
Young Pembrokeshire footballers HEAD to Stamford Bridge • P68

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.