The Pembrokeshire Herald 07/06/2024

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Facebook: @ThePembrokeshireHerald • Instagram: @pembrokeshireherald • Twitter: @PembsHerald Herald The Pembrokeshire Your award wInnIng local PaPer • FrIdaY June 7th 2024 • ISSue 564 • onlY £1.50 anTI-racIST acTIon Plan hopes for CounCil • p14 Mother jailed for stealing £50,000 of daughters’ inheritan C e • p12 Man acquITTed oF ‘zoMbIe knife’ attaCk Charges • p3 first minister refuses to resign following vote of no confidence • P6 GethinG won’t Go!

A40 closed due to two vehicle collision near Camrose

TWO people have been rushed to hospital following a crash on the A40 on Thursday (Jun 6).

Rescuers were called to a two-vehicle crash near Camrose, Haverfordwest at around 9.10am.

The road was closed in both directions.Both drivers were taken to hospital for further treatment, but was reopened shortly after midday.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson told The Pembrokeshire

Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police responded to reports of a two-vehicle road traffic collision at the Camrose junction on the A40, just outside Haverfordwest Airport at approximately 9.10am.

“Drivers of both vehicles were taken to hospital, with one being treated for minor injuries and the other treated for more serious injuries which are not believed to be life threatening.

“The road was closed while officers attended the scene and reopened shortly after 12pm.”

Leonard Sykes acquitted of ‘zombie knife’ attack charges

LEONARD SYKES, accused of attacking a man with a ‘zombie knife’, has been acquitted of all charges.

alleged that Sykes made a threatening comment about returning to “finish the job”.

In April, Sykes pleaded not guilty, citing selfdefence. He contended that the complainant was the one who had been armed with a knife. Sykes had been remanded in custody pending his trial scheduled for 9th July.

Sentenced for assaulting woman and child

BEN LEWIS, a 45-year-old resident of Heol Degwm in North Cornelly, near Bridgend, has been sentenced for attacking a woman and a child in Saundersfoot. The sentencing took place at Swansea Crown Court.

Lewis faced charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by beating, following an incident on January 6. Initially, he pleaded not guilty to both charges during a hearing at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on February 7. However, he

later changed his pleas to guilty at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on March 11.

At Swansea Crown Court, Lewis was sentenced to 14 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, for the assault occasioning actual bodily harm against the woman. Additionally, he received a two-month suspended sentence, also for 18 months, for assaulting the child.

The court also granted the adult victim a five-year restraining order against Lewis.

Sentenced for drug driving

A MILFORD HAVEN port engineer has appeared before magistrates after being caught driving with cocaine in his system.

Mathias is employed as an engineer with the Milford Haven Port Authority.

“As a result of this offence, he’s likely to lose his employment as the port has a strict work policy concerning drugs,” he said.

The prosecution had alleged that on 11th March, Sykes had called the complainant and “offered him out for a fight”. It was claimed that Sykes arrived at the scene in Pembroke Dock

The 28-year-old from Under the Hills, Merlin’s Bridge, faced serious accusations, including causing grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of a bladed article, and making threats to kill.

with two other men and attacked the complainant with a large machete –described as a ‘zombietype’ knife.

According to the prosecution, the complainant managed to fend off the attack, forcing Sykes to leave the scene. They further

However, in a turn of events, when Sykes returned to Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on 3rd June, prosecutor Nic Strobl offered no evidence to support the charges. Consequently, Judge Paul Thomas KC formally entered not guilty verdicts for each of the accusations, resulting in Sykes’ acquittal.

The courtroom drama concluded with Sykes walking free, his ordeal over, as the charges of grievous bodily harm, possession of a bladed article, and making threats to kill were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

S teven Mathias, 43, was stopped by officers who were carrying out routine checks at Precelly Place, Milford Haven, on the afternoon of December 28.

A roadside drugs wipe was carried out which proved positive. Further blood tests carried out by officers at the police station confirmed he had 84 mcg of cocaine in his system and 702 mcg of the cocaine derivative, benzoylecgonine.

Mathias, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to both charges.

His solicitor, David James, told magistrates that

“He made a reckless decision that day, possibly as a result of the pressure and anxiety surrounding port matters.

“It was a few days after Christmas – the party season – and he had taken the drugs at a party. But naturally they remain in the system a lot longer than alcohol.”

Mathias, of Priory Road, Millford Haven, was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £48 surcharge.

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New retail director at Haverfordwest Opticians

AN optometry practice in Haverfordwest has welcomed a new partner with an inspiring career journey and extensive experience in optical care.

Wayne Jones has been appointed as the new retail director for Specsavers Haverfordwest, joining forces with ophthalmic director Andy Britton to lead the team into an exciting new era.

Born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Mr. Jones set his sights on becoming an optometrist at the age of 14. Despite the challenges of dyslexia and through sheer determination and hard work, he qualified as an optometrist in South Africa in 1993. Just a year later, he became a partner in his first optometry practice in Zimbabwe. Under his leadership, this practice grew into the largest group of optometry practices in the country by 2006.

Mr. Jones’s entrepreneurial spirit also led him to explore various other business ventures, including retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and farming. After a severe paragliding accident, he chose to retire from fulltime optometry to focus


on his recovery, during which he became a Reiki master.

However, his passion for optometry was reignited in 2017 following a significant retinal detachment. This life-changing event inspired him to pursue a master’s degree in clinical optometry at Cardiff University, which he completed with distinction at the age of 50.

With Welsh heritage and a deep connection to the country, Mr. Jones

joined the Haverfordwest store and has since been named a finalist for Optometrist of the Year at the Optometry Wales Awards in 2023.

Reflecting on his new role, Mr. Jones says: “Joining Specsavers has been an incredible serendipitous journey. I am passionate about providing excellent eye care and look forward to leading our fantastic team at Haverfordwest. Together, we will continue to grow and serve our community with the highest standards of care.”

Welcoming Wayne,

Andy Britton adds: “As we welcome Wayne with his diverse experience into his new role at Specsavers Haverfordwest, our team is excited about the future we will build together. His remarkable journey and unwavering dedication to patient care exemplify the spirit of teamwork and innovation that define our practice.

“Together, we will continue to uphold our legacy of excellence and community service, ensuring a brighter future for all, as we look forward to moving to our new more spacious practice later in the year.”

offender flouts law with Moroccan holiday

A CONVICTED sex offender from Twycross has breached his legal obligations by travelling to Morocco without informing the police.

Wayne Mansbridge, 57, of Oak Grove, was previously convicted for sexually assaulting a serving soldier in 2014. The incident occurred when Mansbridge offered

the soldier a lift during a rainstorm between Tenby and Castlemartin. As a result of his conviction, Mansbridge was placed on the sex offender register, which required him to notify the police before any foreign travel.

Despite these requirements,

Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court heard that Mansbridge took

a holiday to Morocco from 16 January to 16 February without providing the necessary notification to the authorities.

On 7 May, Mansbridge pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the notification requirements of the sex offender register.

Subsequently, on 28 May, he was sentenced

at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court to a one-year community order. This order includes the completion of 100 hours of unpaid work and 10 days of rehabilitation activity. In addition to these requirements, Mansbridge has been ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £114 surcharge.

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Tom Sinclair

Labour candidate welcomes controversial Gething


Crundale lacks Tenby’s sandy attractions and ice cream shops, it is conveniently near the Withyhedge landfill site. Therefore, it’s a pity Labour candidate for Mid & South Pembrokeshire Henry Tufnell didn’t invite Vaughan Gething to campaign with him there.

Had he done so, Mr Gething would’ve had an unrivalled opportunity to meet voters on the doorstep and explain why he accepted £200,000 in donations from companies associated with enviro-criminal David Neal. On a warm and still day, he might even have experienced the infamous stink.

A Stop the Stink campaigner told The Herald that Mr Tufnell’s campaigning with Vaughan Gething was “hypocritical”.

Henry Tufnell knows that Mr Gething’s presence on the campaign trail will not win him votes in Pembrokeshire.

He even said so.

An article on Nation Cymru reads:

We asked Mr Tufnell whether he was one of the general election candidates who had said they didn’t want to campaign with Mr Gething.

He replied: “Yes. I have worked closely with the campaigners trying to stop the smells from Withyhedge and don’t want to be distracted from that. I am determined to be a candidate who fights for Pembrokeshire.”

Asked whether the fact that Mr Gething had accepted donations totalling £200,000 from the owner of the landfill site was seen negatively by local people, Mr Tufnell responded: “Exactly.”

A link to the whole article is here.

That’s an eyewatering rejection of the First Minister by a Labour candidate in a target seat.

You can almost imagine the telephone

hypocritical and a pretty poor move.

conversation between Mr Tufnell’s campaign team and Labour’s Welsh HQ after the article appeared.

Operation Hairshirt demanded that Henry Tufnell recant his transgression in the most public and humiliating way. A 99 cornet with the First Minister to show what good friends they are.

Within 48 hours of that article’s appearance online, Mr Tufnell’s determination “to be a candidate who fights for Pembrokeshire” was demonstrated by his presence in Tenby town centre on a walkabout with vote-losing Vaughan Gething.

It turned out that when it came to fighting for Pembrokeshire, Mr Tufnell couldn’t even stand behind his own words.

Thankfully, Tenby was full of tourists and about as far away from Withyhedge as you can get in the Mid & South Pembrokeshire constituency. At least that avoided awkward conversations with Mid & South Pembrokeshire voters about why Mr Tufnell said one thing and did another.

The sun was out, the sky was blue.

And Withyhedge was out of view.

The Herald spoke with one of the campaign group organisers.

They said: “It’s

“Our aim is to stop the stink and to prevent the regulation of the waste industry becoming a political football.

“Sure, the link with Gething and David Neal brought us some additional attention, which we welcomed at that point. However, now we must steer the conversation to the actual problem we face.

“Henry’s change of heart is not something of relevance to the campaign to stop the stink.”

This week, local MS Paul Davies continued to raise Withyhedge with Welsh Government ministers in the Senedd.

Mr Davies asked Mid & West Wales MS Eluned Morgan, the Cabinet Secretary for Health: “One of the Welsh Government’s public health priorities must be to safeguard people’s health, and yet the community around the Withyhedge landfill site in my constituency continue to suffer from a sickening stench and potentially toxic emissions.

“Residents continue to experience serious health symptoms, such as painful and swollen eyelids, headaches and nausea.

“These are real people suffering in our communities under your Government’s watch, and enough is enough.

“What action will you now take as Cabinet Secretary for Health to

Oil rig worker admits drink-driving on A40


oil rig worker has appeared before magistrates after driving from Gatwick airport to his home in Pembrokeshire despite being over the drink-drive limit.

Stuart Owen, 46, had reached Robeston Wathen at around 11 pm on April 17 when he collided with an oncoming vehicle.

protect our constituents and ensure that they don’t continue to suffer because of the scandalous actions of the Withyhedge landfill site operator?”

Baroness Morgan responded: “I’ve obviously been keeping a close eye on the situation. I have a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs to seek assurances and get an update on the action that is being undertaken regarding the Withyhedge landfill site.”

However, when it came to doing anything, Eluned Morgan fell back on the same tired line: “Natural Resources Wales, as the waste regulator in Wales, is responsible for regulating the site and ensuring compliance with the conditions of the permit. Public Health Wales does not have any regulatory responsibilities or powers around the management or enforcement of the site, but they have taken a precautionary approach in response to this issue.”

If the election in the new Mid & South Pembrokeshire seat becomes too close to call, you can guarantee a big gesture from the Welsh Government to shore up Henry Tufnell’s position.

Maybe Mr Gething will visit Crundale after all.

Gatwick airport where he’d collected a hired car which he then proceeded to drive to his home in Gwili Road, Hakin.

“Despite the collision, the defendant made off from the scene,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“Police were dispatched and they discovered the vehicle being driven by the defendant.”

Officers carried out a roadside breath test which proved positive and Owen was taken to a police custody suite where further breath tests showed he had 57 mcg of alcohol in his system. The legal limit is 35.

Owen pleaded guilty to the charge of drink-driving and was legally represented by solicitor Mr Regan Walters. Mr Walters informed the court that Owen’s alcohol consumption escalated to ‘an unmanageable’ level since leaving the armed forces, where he served for six years with postings in Bosnia, Iraq and Germany.

“As a result, he suffers from depression and takes alcohol to address it,” said Mr Walters, in mitigation.

“This has crept into his life and he recognises that when he begins to consume alcohol, he simply can’t control it. It’s become a hindrance, and has got to the point where it’s now unmanageable.”

Mr Walters said that on the day in question, Stuart Owen had flown from Aberdeen to

“He bought some food, some soft drinks and some alcohol, but there’d been an ongoing argument with his wife and this acted as a trigger. He decided to pull off the motorway, turn off the ignition and drink the alcohol before trying to sleep. But he failed [to sleep], and decided to drive home.”

Mr Walters went on to say that Owen was recently referred to the VC Gallery which assists army veterans who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorders. He also engages with Alcoholics Anonymous approximately four times a week.

“These sessions are helping him to understand why he turns to alcohol,” he said.

The court heard that in 2019 Owen retrained as a production technician, working on off-shore oil rigs where he carries out checks on pumps, compressors and valves.

“This is a high pressure placement because if he makes an error, it would lead to whichever rig he’s working on being shut down,” said Mr Walters. Owens’s employment results in him driving approximately 10,000 miles a year to various UK airports from where he catches helicopters that fly him to the oil rigs.

“He will now have to explore public transport,” added Mr Walters.

After considering the mitigation, magistrates fined Owen £923. He was ordered to pay a £369 court surcharge and £85 costs. He was disqualified from driving for 15 months.

5 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024
Jon Coles Best of friends: Henry Tufnell makes up for campaign comment with a cornet

Man steals over £200 of meat from Tesco

A DOCK man who stole over £200 of meat from Tesco has appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates for sentence.

CCTV footage showed Like Brummit, 45, concealing the meat inside a bag after walking into the Tesco supermarket in Pembroke Dock.

“He was then seen walking out of the store after making no attempts to pay,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest

magistrates this week.

Ms Jackson said that Brummit, of Edinburgh House, Queen Street, Pembroke Dock, was also identified by a store duty manager who recognised him as being a previous shoplifter.

The defendant, who has 218 previous offences, pleaded guilty to the charge of theft.

He was fined £80 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £32 surcharge. He must also pay £201.86 compensation to Tesco, as the meat has not been recovered.

Unapologetic Vaughan

• First Minister refuses to quit or apologise for lapses of judgment

• Former ministers Blythyn and Waters were absent ill

• Row hits Labour’s General Election vote in Wales

I regret nothing: Vaughan Gething will not quit


GETHING, Wales’s First Minister, lost a vote of no confidence on Wednesday, June 5.

The motion, proposed by the Conservatives and supported by every opposition Senedd member, succeeded by 29-27.

The no-confidence vote is not binding on the First Minister.

Two Labour MSs, Lee Waters and Hannah Blythyn, were unwell and did not vote. There was no pairing arrangement to offset their absence.

The Presiding Officer, Elin Jones, and her deputy, David Rees, were ineligible to vote.


Andrew RT Davies said the questions surrounding the First Minister were judgment, transparency, and honesty.

Mr Davies responded to Labour’s predictable attack line: “This is not a gimmick. This is a motion put down in opposition time that might not be binding, but will send a significant message on the First Minister’s transparency, honesty and judgment call since he assumed office.”

Plaid leader Rhun ap Iorwerth followed and appealed to history: “In 25 years of devolution, we have been relatively

fortunate that we’ve had few financial scandals infecting the politics here in the Senedd.

“We’re fortunate that opposition parties have been able to scrutinise, disagree, yes, and cooperate, of course, but also provide alternative answers and solutions to the government of the day without having to ask only once before whether the leaders of those Governments, our First Ministers, through their actions, were deserving of the trust of the Senedd.”


The prospect of a vote of no confidence was aired well before Rishi Sunak called the General Election and before Plaid quit the cooperation agreement over a week before that announcement. The Herald can confirm that the Conservatives spent considerable time and effort discussing a noconfidence vote’s wording before Plaid pulled the plug.

It was hardly a wellkept secret.

Nevertheless, the Chair of the Senedd’s Labour group, Vikki Howells MS, dismissed the vote as an electioneering

gimmick designed to deflect attention from the Conservatives’ dire polling figures.

Joyce Watson, always loyal no matter who the leader is, jumped to Mr Gething’s defence in a speech that contrived to conflate Mr Gething’s inability to attend the D-Day commemoration in Portsmouth with the suggestion that those who died were insulted by his absence.

Ms Watson’s contributions are always worth listening to. She was disappointed because her father was involved with D-Day. She suggested the nation would not forgive the opposition for not allowing Mr Gething to meet Helen Mirren.

She never addressed the substance of the motion.

Heledd Fychan of Plaid Cymru was altogether more on point and impressive: “You must know that deep down this is wrong, and you must regret accepting the money.

“It is not too late to stop hiding behind the rules and loopholes; it is not too late to apologise.

“I genuinely regret that it has come to this, and I hope today, the First Minister understands why we have been left with no choice but to support this

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Jon Coles

Gething loses no-confidence vote

vote of no confidence in him.”



Hefin David, sitting next to Joyce Watson, contributed next.

The Labour MS made an arse of himself the previous day, flouncing out of the Chamber when he was told off for barracking his former leader, Mark Drakeford, who was daring to criticise the Welsh Government.

On Wednesday, Mr David reached deep into his bag of slurs and played the race card.

Other ministers had been accused of being angry or arrogant - no names, no pack drill, of course - but Mr Gething was possibly being singled out because of his race.

It didn’t occur to Hefin David that no other Welsh minister had accepted £200k in donations from a convicted criminal, failed to disclose relevant communications about the Covid pandemic to a statutory inquiry, or sacked a government minister without the pretence of inquiry and evidence.

Hefin David suggested the vote could cause an early Senedd election, denying Labour the opportunity to implement the closed list system and add 36 extra MSs.

Mr David’s colleagues might reflect on how strange it was for a Labour MS to admit that his party might lose seats in an election.

Paul Davies kept it

“I, more than most, know from personal experience what it’s like to be held accountable for one’s actions.

“When the standards commissioner investigated allegations against me during the pandemic, I think I did the right thing by my party and country.

“I stepped down as leader of the Welsh Conservatives in this place because it was the right thing to do.

“Even though I hadn’t broken any laws or rules, it was still the right thing to do because it was about judgment and taking responsibility.

“We now have a First Minister who is denying the public valuable information, who has accepted money from a business that has been allowed to make so many people’s lives miserable and who provides no transparency over his decision-making.”

In contrast to Hefin David’s hyperbole, Mr Davies’s contribution was effective because it was unadorned and sincere.


Jane Dodds, the Liberal Democrat MS, concluded her brief contribution with a telling moral point: “Rules are rules, and we’ve often heard you say that you haven’t broken any rules. But doing the right thing is doing the right thing.”

Natasha Ashgar addressed the race question.

“As a person of colour— and I can speak from

experience here—sadly, even in 2024, people from an ethnic minority origin, especially politicians, are often held in a different light.

“We’re held in a different regard, and, more than often, there is more pressure put on us than our peers to be honest, to be the best and to uphold our positions of integrity at all times and prove ourselves to be worthy of our jobs, each and every single day, not just polling day.

“That said, I cannot stress how disappointed I am that the golden opportunity you were given was completely wasted, and the suggestion that you are receiving this level of scrutiny because of your skin colour is, quite frankly, insulting.”

Mike Hedges from Labour was next, and no Gething fan is he.

That made his scrupulously nontoadying contribution more convincing than the outrage of his colleagues.

“The reality is that Vaughan won the Labour leadership election and the vote to be First Minister. We have the election system I wanted in the Labour Party: one member, one vote. I was on the losing side, but it would be perverse of me to oppose the winner.”

He addressed the text message undisclosed to the Covid inquiry: “I was a major person in that.

“It was about using teachers’ assessed grades rather than an algorithm. Fortunately, we made the right decision.

“Vaughan was

protecting me. Do you want the truth of the matter?

Jeremy Miles wanted to use an algorithm and remove me as a Member of the Senedd for Swansea East—that is what was removed.

“It has nothing to with the COVID inquiry, but it was to protect individuals, including me.

“I don’t care. I’m prepared to fight my case, but it was an attempt to defend me, which I very much respect and like.”

As is his style, Adam Price waxed biblical and historical.

He reminded Joyce Watson of a lesson from Labour’s history.

“[Nye] Bevan himself was expelled from the Labour Party and suspended from the PLP on multiple occasions.

“One of those was when he moved a vote of no confidence in Winston Churchill’s Government that the Labour Party was part of in July 1942.

“When he was criticised for the timing of that noconfidence motion, he said the very reason we were fighting the Nazis was so that you could hold leaders to account even in wartime.”



Mr Gething was sorry but not sorry.

“I regret that the Conservatives have brought forward this motion today. I do not regret it because I think I’m above criticism. I do not regret it because I think I have

made and will continue to make mistakes.

“I am human. I am fallible.

“I do not even regret it because of the issues it raises, and I have nothing to hide. I regret the motion because it is designed to question my integrity.

“Even amid an election campaign, it hurts deeply when my intentions are questioned.

“I have never, ever made a decision in more than a decade as a Minister for personal or financial gain—never.

“I do not doubt the sincerity behind some of the questions that the motion touches on today, even if the motion is transparently designed for another purpose.”

Darren Millar wrapped up for the Conservatives.

“I’m surprised with the First Minister’s response. I didn’t hear an apology.

“This debate today is not about anything other than you, First Minister.

“It’s not about your government, it’s not about the Labour Party, and it’s not about a general election. It is about your judgment.

“I find it astonishing that we’re sat here, listening to you saying anything other than sorry because that’s the first word that should have come from your lips. And it didn’t.”


Mr Gething still has a large input into the Senedd agenda and could use that to his advantage.

He could table a

motion of confidence in the Welsh Government and dare Plaid, Jane Dodds, Hannah Blythyn, and Lee Waters to back him or cause an early election.

However, in the same way as Mr Gething and Vikki Howells slammed the no-confidence vote as a gimmick, calling a vote of confidence when one is not needed is no less gimmicky.

Using government time to do so looks even more like a desperate gimmick. Doing what’s best for Wales is getting on with government and delivering Mr Gething’s much-trumpeted priorities, not necessarily doing what’s best for Labour and the First Minister.

In addition, if the wheels fall off over the coming days, if more revelations come to light, and if either of Mr Gething’s absent MSs refuses to play ball or remains unable to vote due to illness, Mr Gething could run out of road. There is one final consideration.

Stewart Owadally heads Labour’s General Election machine in Wales. Mr Owadally negotiated the contentious donation with David Neal.

Another member of Labour’s General Election team, David Costa, the former Deputy General Secretary of Labour in Wales, was also involved. If Mr Gething loses his job due to a supposed failure of judgment, election campaign or not, they must surely follow.

7 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024 newS
Paul Davies: First Minister must do the right thing Over the hill and far away: Labour MSs Joyce Watson and Hefin David

Woman escapes police custody

A WOMAN who claimed she was suffering a panic attack when asked to step inside a police van has appeared before magistrates on a charge of obstructing police officers in the execution of their duty.

Carly Day, 40, was conveyed to Withybush Hospital by officers on the night of December 27 following an unrelated incident.

“She had suffered some injuries and the officers decided to convey her to Withybush Hospital where she could be checked over,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest Magistrates this week.

“As they escorted her back from the hospital to the custody van, she kept telling them she didn’t want to be put in custody, and ran away.”

Day, of Pembroke

Road, Milford Haven proceeded to run approximately 50 metres towards the hospital entrance where she was eventually stopped and detained by officers.

Ms Jackson went on to say that the following day, Day expressed full remorse for her actions.

”She told the officers that she didn’t want to be in custody nor spend time in a police cell. As a result, she had a panic attack.”

Meanwhile her solicitor, Tom Lloyd, said the offence was committed during a ‘particularly difficult time’ of Day’s life.

“She’s a professional woman but at the time she was living in shared accommodation and naturally she found this very difficult,” he said.

Day pleaded guilty to the offence. She was fined £300 and ordered to pay a £120 surcharge and £85 costs.

Man admits making obscene phone calls to Dock firefighters

LOCAL firemen have described how a spate of obscene calls made directly to Pembroke Dock fire station have had ‘a detrimental impact’ on their crews.

Between March 27 and April 5, crew members received persistent telephone calls from a male person ‘with a slightly high voice’.

“The man asked ‘Can I suck your cock?” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“They were answered by the fire station manager, who at first thought they were being made by a child or a young person.”

But as the calls persisted, the fire station reported the matter to Dyfed Powys Police. Following an investigation, local resident Matthew Gilbert was interviewed by officers at his home address in Water Street, Pembroke Dock and the 39-year-old admitted making the calls.

In a statement read out to the court, the fire station manager said the incident has had a major impact on his crew.

“The impact of

Dafydd Iwan’s brother admits drink-driving offence

THE brother of Welsh legend Dafydd Iwan was brought before Haverfordwest magistrates this week after being caught driving his Vauxhall Meriva when he was over twice the drinkdrive limit.

Arthur Morus, 79, was arrested by officers on

these actions has had a detrimental effect,” he said.

“We have lone officers who work at the station throughout the night and I’m not sure how safe they are now, as the fire station is less than a mile from the defendant’s house and the welfare of the crew members is paramount.

“This has had an impact on the services they provide, as the nature of the calls has caused considerable distress and concern to the station.”

Representing Gilbert, his solicitor, Michael Kelleher, stressed that the calls had not been made on the emergency 999 line.

“They were made directly to the station,” he said. “Since the offence, the defendant has been monitored on a regular basis and has admitted that what he did was extremely stupid.”

Gilbert was placed on a Community Order for 18 months during which he must carry out 30 rehabilitation requirement days. He must also carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay a £114 surcharge and £85 costs.

the evening of May 12 following reports that his vehicle had been involved in a minor road collision on an unclassified road in Boncath, near Cardigan.

“He stated to the police that there had been an accident but he couldn’t remember much,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson

told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“Officers noticed that he was unsteady on his feet and he said that he’d been drinking wine.”

A roadside breath test proved positive and Morus, of Melin Dolwerdd, Cwmpencraig, Llandysul was conveyed to a police custody suite

where further breath tests to be carried out. These showed that he had 79 mcg of alcohol in his system. The prescribed limit is 35.

When Morus was asked by the court’s legal advisor to provide his name, address and date of birth after entering the dock, he chose to respond in Welsh. Without the presence of an interpreter, he was subsequently asked to revert to English.

Morus pleaded guilty to the charge of drinkdriving and chose to represent himself.

“I apologise to the police for such behaviour,” he told the Bench in mitigation.

“This was the first time I’d been in a pub for many years and it was bitterly unacceptable.”

Morus was disqualified from driving for 18 months. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £48 surcharge.

Drunken men found by police on train tracks

A COURT has heard how two men apprehended by police officers on the railway track at Pembroke, had consumed so much alcohol they were barely able to stand.

Numerous 999 calls had been made by members of the public concerned at the behaviour the two men were displaying on May 7.

“Numerous calls had been made to the police with the result that officers discovered two males walking up the train tracks, and both were

heavily intoxicated,”

Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

Ms Jackson went on to say that Ethan Pender, 20, and Dylan Newton, 26, had been seen blocking doorways in the town centre and being abusive towards members of the public before they moved onto the train tracks.

When the officers arrived, the defendants became argumentative.

“They were also unsteady on their feet and were smelling strongly of alcohol,” said

Ms Jackson.

“Their behaviour was unacceptable.

“Both were given verbal warnings by the officers but they continued to be argumentative with the result that they were arrested and charged.”

This week Pender and Newton, of Tenby Court, Monkton, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in a public place.

They were legally represented by solicitor Tom Lloyd.

“Both defendants realise how foolish their behaviour was,” Mr

Lloyd told Haverfordwest magistrates in mitigation. “They had consumed a great deal of alcohol and were out of control.”

Pender was fined £106 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £42 surcharge while Newton was fined £80, with £85 costs and a £32 surcharge.

“You’ve been lucky, having been found on the train tracks,” commented the presiding magistrate when imposing sentence. “You’ve also upset a lot of people. We don’t want to see you here again.”

8 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

Army to undertake critical training exercise at Castlemartin

THE ARMY will be using the Castlemartin Ranges, in Pembrokeshire, for a large-scale Exercise in June and July 2024, it was confirmed this week

Exercise CABRIT TEMPEST, which runs from the 24th June to the 5th July, will provide critical training for the Royal Dragoon Guards Battlegroup, who are set to deploy in September on a NATO Operation in Estonia.

The Castlemartin Training Area will host livefiring, tactical battlegrouplevel exercises involving multiple Armoured Fighting Vehicles and the site plays a key role in maintaining full training capability for units within the UK.

This exercise will see the training area in use by around 1,000 personnel with heavy transport travelling to and from the area, including Challenger 2 tanks and Warrior infantry fighting vehicles.

Consideration to local residents remains a priority and any disruption will be kept to a minimum. Firing times will be published widely within the local

community to help minimise disruption.

The Defence Training Estate plays a vital role in providing a safe place to train ensuring our Armed Forces are prepared and ready to deploy on operations at home and abroad.

Castlemartin Ranges are managed by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, supported by Landmarc Support Services, who provide the facilities for the delivery of military training.

Deputy Commander Defence Training Estate –Wales and West Midlands

Paul Snelling said: “Our most important job is to provide the ‘safe place’ for military training and to ensure our personnel and the public don’t come to harm. We ask that the public always follow our simple steps when visiting MOD land to help keep themselves and our armed forces safe: https://www.

“Castlemartin Ranges provide essential training

opportunities for large scale exercises, such as this, which supports the training of military personnel from multiple units. We are grateful to the local population for their continued support.”

The unit undertaking the training, The Royal Dragoon Guards, is an Armoured Cavalry Regiment, currently equipped with the Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle. It is a reconnaissance force, fighting at the front of the British Army’s armoured formations. The

Battlegroup also includes elements from The Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Engineers and Royal Horse Artillery.

Captain Oliver Grell, The Royal Dragoon Guards, said: “This training exercise is the climax of our pre-deployment training, bringing together the technical gunnery preparation which has taken place on the ranges, and the tactical exercises which were carried out on Salisbury Plain earlier this year and in 2023. This exercise is

the only occasion, and Castlemartin the only place in the UK, where we can combine the tactical setting of an exercise with live firing from our vehicles, along with artillery.

“The experience we will gain from completing this training successfully will be instrumental in allowing us to deploy ready to fulfil our commitments to our NATO allies.”

firing notices’. A public briefing will also be held prior to the exercise at 18.30hrs on the 13th June at Castlemartin Camp (SA71 5EB) and post exercise on the 10th July at 18.30hrs. Pre booking is not required for either event.

The public can find out more about the exercise by visiting the GOV.UK ( website and searching ‘Castlemartin

Soldier from B Company, 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, pushed through the enemy trench during the combined arms livefire exercise (CALFEX) phase of Exercise Swift Response on the 4th of May 2024. 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team, the British Army’s global response force, is leading a force of more than 2,300 soldiers, sailors and aviators from four countries working together in Estonia on Exercise Swift Response. The training is about NATO airborne forces building their ability to respond together to crises. It is part of Steadfast Defender 24, NATO’s largest military exercise since the Cold War, which involves approximately 90,000 troops from all 32 NATO allies.

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Causing suffering to cat denied


pet owner has denied causing unnecessary suffering to her black and white cat, Max. Maria Jane Hicks, 61, of Willow End, Milford Haven, faces charges of failing to provide veterinary treatment for a cancerous tumour on Max’s nose between 6th and 17th May 2023.

The prosecution alleges that Hicks did not seek the necessary medical care for her pet, leading to the charges

of causing suffering to a protected animal.

Hicks appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court last month, where she entered a not guilty plea and elected to have her case heard at crown court. She reiterated her not guilty plea at Swansea Crown Court on Monday, 3rd June.

The court has adjourned the case for trial, scheduled to begin on October 22. Until then, Hicks has been granted unconditional bail.

Man admits assaulting tenyear-old child at Pembs school

A 40-YEAR-OLD man has admitted assaulting a ten-yearold child by beating at Caer Elen school, Haverfordwest.

Rhodri Jones carried out the assault in the school grounds on November 14, 2023.

This week Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson informed Haverfordwest magistrates that the incident was captured on CCTV footage.

“The offence was

aggravated by the loss of trust and the presence of other children,” said Ms Jackson.

Jones, of Hayston View, Johnston, Haverfordwest, pleaded guilty to the charge of assault by beating.

Following a request by the Crown, sentencing was adjourned to June 25 to enable an all-options report to be prepared by the probation service.

Jones was released on unconditional bail.

Police investigating string of burglaries in Llandysul

POLICE in Ceredigion are investigating a number of burglaries reported in the Llandysul area.

Since the 28th May six incidents have been reported, four of which were shed burglaries in New Road, which were committed sometime between midnight and 5am, Wednesday 29th May. Included in the items stolen were a chainsaw, strimmer, hedge cutter, jet wash and power drills.

Two derelict buildings have also been targeted, the old school, sometime between 8 and 8.45pm, Tuesday, 28th May and the old Awel Deg residential home, between 9pm and 11.00pm, Sunday 2nd June and between 2.30am and 10am, Monday 3rd June.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to DyfedPowys Police, either online at:

DPPContactOnline, by emailing, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908..

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting

As a result, police are advising residents to take some simple steps so they don’t become victims of burglaries or thefts.

Temporary Inspector Celt Thomas said: “The burglaries are being investigated and local officers will be targeting suspicious activity in the area and I would also ask that any suspicious people/activities are reported to the police.

“I would encourage residents to ensure that their property is secure and valuables are protectively marked and locked away.”

“There isn’t a big

problem with burglary in our area. However, a lapse of security in general can allow burglars to enter your home or your outbuildings. If you take the time to assess the security of your home, follow some useful advice and take positive action, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim”

Reduce the risk of burglary happening to you by making sure you have taken these simple precautions:-

• Fit strong locks to your doors and windows and make sure you always keep them fully locked

• Try to make your home look occupied if you are away from your property overnight. Invest in a plug-in timer for lamps and radios

• Consider installing a burglar alarm. A burglar alarm fitted properly

can deter a burglar and the sights of an alarm box outside your home may be enough to discourage them

• Prevent intruders getting to the back and sides of your home by installing strong fencing or gates

• Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place such as under the doormat, in a flowerpot or behind a loose brick – thieves know to look there first

• Use movement sensitive lights externally.

•If you are replacing or fitting new doors and windows, get ones that are certified to British Standard BS7950 (windows) and PAS 24-1 (doors)

• Fit a door chain or bar and door viewer (spy-hole) and use them every time someone calls.

• Ensure good quality locks are fitted to your shed and are securely locked. Windows should also be fitted with locks

“All too often people become a victim of burglary because their home is left insecure, no alarm is fitted and windows and doors are left unlocked,” added Inspector Thomas. “Taking some simple precautions to protect yourself and your property against crime can not only make you feel safer, it can also reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime”.

10 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
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Mother jailed for Stealing £50,000 of daughters’ inheritance

KATHERINE HILL, 53, from Alltwen in Pontardawe, Neath Port Talbot, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for stealing £50,000 of inheritance from her two daughters out of “greed and spite.”

Her 93-year-old father, Gerald Hill from Fairwood in Swansea, received a 12-month suspended sentence for his involvement in the fraud.

The sentencing took place on Friday at Swansea Crown Court, where Recorder Greg Bull KC described the defendants as “thoroughly dishonest people.” The court heard that the money was left to Katherine Hill’s daughters, Jessica and Gemma Thomas, by their grandmother, Margaret Hill, who passed away in 2013. Katherine Hill also inherited approximately £40,000 from her late mother’s estate.

Prosecutor James Hartson explained that the inheritance for the sisters was to be held in trust until they turned 25, with Katherine and Gerald Hill serving as trustees. However, between March 2016 and March 2017, the account was emptied in 10 withdrawals, with £35,000 withdrawn in just three transactions.

The fraudulent activity was uncovered in 2018 when Gemma Thomas sought to access some of the funds for a house deposit. Initially, a

civil investigation was launched, but the family eventually contacted the police.

The court was told that Katherine Hill recruited her elderly father to assist in the fraud, exploiting him to carry out her scheme. Mr Hartson highlighted that Gerald Hill’s involvement was due to coercion by his daughter, making his culpability considerably less.

The victims’ initial attempts to recover the stolen funds through insurers were thwarted by misleading submissions from the defendants, claiming the money had already been received. The stolen funds remain unaccounted for, and a proceeds of crime act will be initiated to recover them.

The theft has had a profound impact on the victims. In a statement, Gemma Thomas described the emotional and financial toll, stating she has been left in significant debt and suffers from anxiety.

Jessica Thomas, now 21, recounted her severe mental trauma and need for counselling during her teenage years. She expressed relief at the sentencing but doubted her mother would ever feel remorse for her actions.

Jessica also voiced her disgust at her grandfather’s involvement, noting how he and her mother had essentially abandoned them. Despite the family’s betrayal, she

hopes to move forward now that justice has been served.

In defence of Katherine Hill, Matt Murphy noted her lack of previous convictions and her previous role overseeing numerous accounts at a high street bank. Harry Dickens,

representing Gerald Hill, emphasised his client’s advanced age and isolation, stating he is unlikely to reoffend.

Addressing Katherine Hill, Recorder Bull condemned her actions, saying she was driven by envy and malice. “You were so annoyed that

your daughters received more money than you, that you took their inheritance,” he said.

“You did it in greed and spite, using the money as a weapon against your own daughters. I can’t imagine a more cynical breach of trust than this.”

As Katherine Hill was led away to begin her sentence, she kissed her father on the cheek, marking a sombre end to a case of familial betrayal and greed. For further updates and community news, stay tuned to The Pembrokeshire Herald.

Haverfordwest man admits to sexual assault and blackmail

A MAN has admitted to filming himself sexually assaulting a woman with a banana and subsequently threatening to release the video online.

Lukasz Hatlas, 23, of Cartlett, Haverfordwest, appeared at Swansea Crown Court where he faced two serious charges.

Hatlas was charged with sexual assault by

penetration after he was alleged to have assaulted a sleeping woman using a banana between April 21 and April 25. He was also charged with threatening to share a video of a person in an intimate state. The court heard that on April 25, Hatlas sent the woman a video of the assault and threatened to post it on Facebook.

The defendant pleaded guilty to both offences.

Judge Geraint Walters, presiding over the case, ordered Hatlas to be remanded in custody until his sentencing on June 24.

Additionally, Hatlas was ordered to register as a sex offender.

The Pembrokeshire Herald will continue to follow the case and provide updates.

12 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

Anti-Racist Action Plan hopes for Pembrokeshire County Council



is working towards an “Anti-Racist Pembrokeshire County Council Action Plan.”

Spearheaded by Cllr Thomas Tudor of the Labour Group and supported by Haverfordwest Town Councillor Cllr Randell Izaiah ThomasTurner, the plan was passionately discussed and approved at the Full Council meeting on May 9, 2024.

The action plan is inspired by the recently published Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan, which aims to establish Wales as an anti-racist nation by 2030. The plan’s primary goal is to create substantial changes in the lives of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic people in Wales. Speaking on this development, Cllr Thomas Tudor expressed his honour in presenting the Labour Group’s notice of motion, emphasising the urgency of fostering an inclusive community that values diversity and promotes equality.

“The Labour Group calls on Pembrokeshire County Council to recognise the importance of fostering an inclusive and antiracist community that values diversity and promotes equality,” Cllr Tudor stated. “Recent events have highlighted the need for proactive measures to address racism and ensure that our community remains a welcoming and safe space for all residents.”

Key Measures in the Action Plan

The Anti-Racist Pembrokeshire County Council Action Plan

outlines several critical measures to combat racism and promote inclusivity:

• Commitment to Anti-Racism: The council will reaffirm its dedication to promoting antiracism and fostering an inclusive environment within Pembrokeshire and Wales.

• Eliminating Discrimination: Efforts will be made to eradicate racial discrimination and prejudice both within the council’s operations and the wider community.

• Collaborative Initiatives: The council will work with local organisations, community leaders, and residents to develop and implement antiracist initiatives and programmes.

• Policy Review and Strengthening: Existing policies will be reviewed and strengthened to ensure inclusivity and address systemic issues contributing to racial disparities.

• Anti-Racism Training: Staff, elected officials, and community leaders will receive antiracism training to raise awareness and promote cultural competence.

• Dedicated Working Group: A working group will be established to monitor and address racism-related issues, providing

regular updates to the council.

• Community Engagement: The council commits to engaging with the community, listening to the experiences and concerns of residents affected by racism, and taking appropriate actions.

• Celebrating Diversity: Diversity will be celebrated through events, education, and community engagement initiatives.

Support and Gratitude

Cllr Tudor extended his gratitude to those who assisted in crafting the motion, particularly acknowledging the contributions of Cllr Randell Izaiah ThomasTurner and Professor Uzo Iwobi CBE, Chief Executive of the Race Council Cymru. Their support and dedication have been instrumental in bringing this action plan to fruition.

Cllr Thomas-Turner echoed this sentiment in his statement, expressing his gratitude for being involved in

promoting the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan within Pembrokeshire County Council. “It is great to know that we live in a county that is committed to ensuring it is antiracist,” he said. “I am humbled and extremely grateful to Thomas Baden Tudor and Professor Uzo Iwobi for their assistance and expertise in putting together this plan.”

The Anti-Racist Pembrokeshire County Council Action Plan signifies a strong commitment to building a more inclusive and anti-racist community.

By implementing these measures, Pembrokeshire County Council aims to foster understanding, unity, and equality for all residents, ensuring that the community remains a welcoming and safe space for individuals of all backgrounds.

Signatories: Cllr Thomas Tudor, Cllr Guy Woodham, Cllr Simon Hancock, Cllr Tony Wilcox, Cllr Maureen Bowen, Cllr Paul Miller, Cllr Jordan Ryan, Cllr Marc Tierney, Cllr Nicola Gwynn, Cllr Joshua Beynon.

Police launch appeal following Haverfordwest nightclub assault

POLICE are appealing for witnesses, or anyone who has any information, in relation to an assault that happened outside Eddie’s Nightclub on Quay Street, Haverfordwest at approximately 1.35am

on Sunday (Jun 2).

The suspect is believed to be a bald man who was wearing a white chequered shirt and blue denim jeans. If you have any information that could assist officers with their investigation, please get

in touch: Online | DPPContactOnline Email | Direct message on social media Call 101 Quote ref: 24*492032.

14 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

Funding for Wales at risk from ‘National Service raid’, says Labour

A UK government fund that has delivered almost £600m to Wales is at risk because of the Tories’ National Service gimmick, Labour argues.

The Conservatives’ first big announcement of the General Election campaign drew £1.5bn out of UK Shared prosperity fund, designed as a replacement to EU funding which the UK no longer receives following its exit from the European Union.

Since the fund began in 2022, Wales has received almost £600m for projects designed to support the government’s flagship Levelling Up plans, but the fund has been criticised for overcentralisation and political use.

As Keir Starmer made clear, when he spoke at Welsh Labour Conference in 2023: “The decisionmaking role for the Welsh government on structural funds, will be restored. It’s time for Wales to take back control.”

That is the change a Labour Government in Westminster would make.

A relationship of mutual respect, building on the partnership working that is already underway between the Welsh First Minister, Vaughan Gething and Shadow Cabinet.

On Sunday, Welsh Secretary David TC Davies has explicitly denied Wales would lose out on funding, in a statement that now appears categorically false.

The plan has received a sceptical reception, even

with Rishi Sunak’s own party, with two defence ministers rejecting the policy just days before it was announced.

The Welsh Government was not consulted on the Conservative proposals, which would see 18-yearolds taking part in some form of national service, involving military and nonmilitary service, some of which would take place in devolved areas.

Speaking on a visit to Ynys Môn (Anglesey) today with Labour candidate Ieuan Môn Williams and Welsh Labour Leader,

Vaughan Gething, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves set out her commitment to the future of structural funding that delivers for communities in Wales.

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: “The Tories are in disarray with their desperate half-baked gimmick. They’ve broken their promises on levelling up, and undermined devolution time and time again.

“When done properly, these funds can reach into communities that have experienced

deprivation to galvanise new opportunities and economic growth.

“We are committed to delivering funds that promote economic development in communities like Yns Mon, restoring the decisionmaking role on structural funds to Wales and backing the creation of good, local jobs.”

“Only Labour offers the change Wales needs. We will serve in the interests of the whole of the United Kingdom.”

Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens said: “The Tories continue to sell-out Wales when it suits them to fund their chaotic gimmicks.

“Rishi Sunak’s desperation continues to divert much-needed funding from communities like Ynys Môn, which is brimming with opportunity that his party has failed to unlock over the last 14 years.

“Only Labour offers the change Wales needs. We will work closely with the Welsh Labour government

to deliver the opportunity our country deserves.”

Welsh Labour Leader, Vaughan Gething said: “A vote for anyone other than Welsh Labour at this election, will be a vote for the Conservatives to keep using Wales as a cash machine.

“Rishi Sunak has undermined devolution and shortchanged the people of Wales with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Now he wants to scrap it entirely.

“Labour is offering to turn the page on this Conservative chaos and deliver the change our country is crying out for. Only Labour has a credible plan to invest in Wales. We will restore the power to decide how these funds are spent back to the Wales, bringing opportunities to North and West Wales as well as valleys communities.

‘With our missions for the future, Labour has a long term, serious plan to change Britain with growth and opportunity that boosts the Welsh economy.”

15 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024

Firm linked to criminal probe donated to Gething, says BBC

BBC Wales Investigates says it has discovered a company that bankrolled Vaughan Gething’s successful bid to become Wales’ First Minister was linked to a criminal investigation at the time.

Mr Gething’s leadership campaign accepted £200,000 from a firm controlled by millionaire businessman David Neal.

A criminal investigation into suspected environmental offences by one of Mr Neal’s firms, Resources Management Limited (RML), is being carried out by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

Welsh Government ministers were briefed about the investigation before Mr Gething – the UK’s only current ruling Labour leader – became First Minister.

Mr Gething, who narrowly won the Welsh Labour leader contest earlier this year, previously said he had done nothing wrong and has not broken the

ministerial code.

Responding the reports, Andrew RT Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said: “Vaughan Gething’s donations just don’t pass the smell test.

“So desperate was he to be First Minister, he accepted this dirty money despite the misery these firms have caused, and so desperate is Keir Starmer to be Prime Minister, he is prepared to stand with Vaughan Gething on this issue.

“It’s time to restore integrity to the office of First Minister.”

The continuing row in Wales is an unwelcome distraction to Sir Keir Starmer during the general election campaign – although the Labour leader has publicly backed Mr Gething. RML runs the Withyhedge landfill site near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, which people have complained since October 2023 is a “stink bomb on steroids”.

Colin Barnett started the Stop the Stink campaign to force RML to fix odour issues at the Withyhedge site. It now has more than 2,000 members.

He said: “They’re probably very surprised they’ve had such fierce resistance from a rural area that they thought was quite small, but the problem is, they’ve affected so many of those villages.”

NRW says it has identified the smell as hydrogen sulphide.

Huwel Manley, Natural Resources Wales, said the regulator was working with the local authority, local health board and Public Health Wales to fix the issues.

“We identified issues of concern late last year. The company is under investigation at the moment”.

In a statement Mr Neal said he would: “continue to fully cooperate with any pending investigations by Natural Resources Wales, and it is working

to stop the smells.” And added:

“We have never requested or expected anything in return.

Health Secretary Eluned Morgan and then-Climate Change Minister Julie James both had meetings with the regulator about problems at Withyhedge in February.

Some Labour members have also questioned the judgement of the first minister, with the BBC learning that one senior figure within Welsh Labour offered to loan Mr Gething the money to allow him to pay back the donation – which was turned down.

But other senior party figures have also publicly backed the First Minister, including party leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens.

Speaking on the election campaign trail, she said: “Vaughan didn’t break any rules in that leadership campaign and we are just looking

forward to getting on with the general election. There’s positive reaction for him on the doorsteps.”

A spokesman for Welsh Labour said the issues had “previously been addressed by Vaughan Gething and are a matter of public record”.

Politicians in the Senedd will vote on Wednesday on whether they have confidence in Mr Gething’s leadership. If he were to lose the vote, he would not be forced to resign, but it would put him in a difficult position.

It was proposed by the Welsh Conservatives leader in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies, who said the debate will give people the chance to have their say on Mr Gething’s “judgement, transparency and truthfulness”.

BBC Wales Investigates: A Big Stink is available now on iPlayer and BBC One Wales at 20:00 BST on Monday 3 June

Milford Haven commemorates 80th anniversary of D-Day

TODAY, Milford Haven marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day with a series of commemorative events organised by the Royal British Legion. The community comes together to honour the sacrifices and bravery of those who participated in the pivotal World War II operation.

At 11am, the first service of the day took place on The Rath, organised by the Royal British Legion. Milford Haven Secretary, Jennifer Raymond, highlighted the significance of this event. She announced that there was a water-cannon salute from the Svitzer tugs in the Haven, accompanied by the sounding of their fog horns. This spectacular display marked eight decades since the historic landing in Dunkirk. In addition to the water-cannon salute, the commemoration featured the original WWII Air Sea

on 6th June 1944, was a turning point in World War II.

Rescue launch 441. This vessel, which played a crucial role in rescuing pilots from downed planes in the English Channel back in 1944, was in the water as a poignant reminder of the bravery and dedication of those involved in the rescue operations during the war. D-Day, which occurred

The Allied forces’ massive invasion on the beaches of Normandy, France, known as Operation Overlord, involved thousands of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and other Allied nations. This operation was instrumental in liberating Western Europe from Nazi occupation.

The 80th anniversary of D-Day holds profound significance for many, especially 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 soldiers, sailors, and airmen who participated 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.

Later today, at 8.45pm, there will be a second service on

The Rath, providing another opportunity 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 this evening service and pay their respects to the heroes of D-Day.

Did You Know?

During the lead-up to D-Day, part of Milford

Haven was taken over by the US Navy as a base for docking and repairing landing craft. The crews were stationed nearby, 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 for repairs and preparation for the D-Day landings. This base was the largest Advanced Amphibious Base built by American engineers, with around 1,000 servicemen and women stationed there during 1943 and 1944.

The 80th anniversary events in Milford Haven not only honour the historical significance of D-Day but also celebrate the enduring legacy of those who fought for freedom. As the community gathers to remember, the spirit of unity and gratitude shines brightly, reflecting the courage and sacrifice of the D-Day heroes.

16 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
Tom Sinclair

RNLI to hold festival at Pembroke Castle

THIS Father’s Day, a day of free family fun at Pembroke Castle will mark 200 years of saving lives at sea for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

On Sunday 16 June, Pembroke Castle will host a Lifeboat Festival in honour of the RNLI’s 200th anniversary.

The medieval venue is set to open its gates for the public to meet local lifesavers and have fun while learning how to stay safe in the water with the RNLI Water Safety team.

From 1pm to 8pm, revellers will be able to listen to live music from local choirs, shanty bands and other local musicians as well as browse the RNLI pop-up shop stocked with exclusive

RNLI 200 merchandise.

Entry is free o enter, but donations to help the RNLI’s volunteers save lives at sea are welcomed. Food and drink will be provided by local suppliers, and no alcohol is permitted on site.

The RNLI has been saving lives at sea for more than 200 years, in which time its volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved 146,452 lives – this equates to an average of two lives saved every day for 200 years.

The charity was founded in a London tavern on 4 March 1824 following an appeal from

Sir William Hillary, who lived on the Isle of Man and witnessed many shipwrecks, the RNLI has continued saving lives at sea throughout the tests of its history, including tragic disasters, funding challenges and two World Wars.

Two centuries have seen vast developments in the lifeboats and kit used by the charity’s lifesavers – from the early oar-powered vessels to today’s technologypacked boats, which are now built in-house by the charity; and from the rudimentary cork lifejackets of the 1850s to the full protective kit each crew member is now issued with.

The RNLI’s lifesaving reach and remit has also developed over the course

of 200 years. Today, it operates 238 lifeboat stations, including four on the River Thames, and has seasonal lifeguards on over 240 lifeguarded beaches around the UK and Ireland. It designs and builds its own lifeboats and runs domestic and international water safety programmes.

While much has changed in 200 years, two things have remained the same – the charity’s dependence on volunteers, who give their time and commitment to save others, and the voluntary contributions from the public which have funded the service for the past two centuries.

To donate to the RNLI, visit: Donate to the RNLI and help save lives at sea

Emergency call was false alarm with good intent

AT 11:09pm on Tuesday June 4, St Davids RNLI all-weather lifeboat was requested to launch to search for a man seen walking into the sea at Newgale.

Lifeboat and volunteer crew launched and made their way to Newgale beach. Little & Broad Haven Lifeboat inshore lifeboat were first on scene and determined that the call was a false alarm with good intent, as the man was a fisherman and not in any distress.

The lifeboat returned to station and rehoused shortly after midnight. Image: Lyndon Max/RNLI)


WHEN I was a much younger man than I am now, there was a big chart hit called “The Only Way is Up”, sung by Yazz and The Plastic Population.

Over the years, and on and off, I have occasionally wondered what became of The Plastic Population. In truth, I’ve usually only wondered about them when thinking about eighties female singers, what they’re up to now, and why I missed out on Alison Moyet from Yazoo, who looked jolly nice.

This week, I discovered that The Plastic Population are alive and well and touring the country with a new album, “The General Election.

It’s a hoot and a half!

For starters, the performers are made out of plastic and animated by some gadget that makes them seem almost, but not quite, human. If you only glance at them, you might mistake The Plastic Population for real human beings. However, the signs of artifice and artificiality become clear on closer examination.

Back in the 1980s, when they were with Yazz, they produced some banging tunes. I’m sad to report that now it’s all a bit dull. One of them drones on without ever hitting the right note, while the other just shouts. They were a bit like another pop band from the past: Two Unlimited. The one wearing the shorter trousers seemed to shout, “techno, techno, techno” quite a lot.


Two Too Limited would be a better name for the duo.

After the

duo’s (almost) live performance finished on Tuesday, I mentioned my train of thought to my beloved captor.

She gave me a funny look, picked up my glass of pop from the table next to me, and sniffed it carefully.

Then she rolled her eyes and shrugged.

“Mike, you bloody idiot. That was Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak.”

I was baffled.

“What? From Bronski Beat?” I asked. My darlingest one fixed with a gimlet stare. Every time she does that, I worry about what happened to Gimlet.

“Keir Starmer is the leader of the Labour Party and Rishi Sunak is the leader of the Conservative Party,” my wife gently yelled.

“There is a General Election in a month and, after that, Mr Sir Keir Starmer will be Prime Minister.” I hesitated. I am dimly aware of politics, but only because I always turn over the TV channel whenever I see a politician on the screen. Who needs all that waffle when you can listen to cricket commentary or watch the ritual slashing of wrists after Wales play in the Six Nations?

“So we’re going to vote?” I ventured.

“Yes, Mike. We’re going to vote. It’s our duty as citizens, even if we think all the candidates are barking mad window lickers.”

She smiled at me.

“We can go to the polling station and bring Mitzi for the walk. She’d like that, wouldn’t you, Mitzi?”

The hound raised an eyebrow, farted, and rolled over in her bed. I knew how she felt.

17 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024
Tom Sinclair

Pembrokeshire ‘puffins’ head for London to join nature demo

A FLOCK of puffins will be on their way to London from West Wales in a few weeks’ time.

They’ll be sitting on the heads of people from Pembrokeshire, south Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire who are going to join the mass ‘Restore Nature Now’ demonstration which is being jointly organised by the RSPB, The National Trust, Friends of the Earth, The Wildlife Trusts, The Woodland Trust, WWF, Extinction Rebellion, and officially supported by a very wide range of other movements, – and by Chris Packham who will speak at the rally.

A coach has been arranged to take people from this area to the demonstration on 22nd June, and seats are being booked up fast. One of the local organisers, Philippa Gibson of the West Wales Climate

Coalition, said “So many people feel really strongly about the many threats to nature. The the UK is one of the most nature-

depleted countries in the world. Rivers choking on pollution, precious woodlands destroyed, seas overfished & peat bogs burned. Nature in the UK is being assaulted.”

“The Restore Nature Now demonstration will be legal, peaceful, and very family friendly”, she explained. “It will be a celebration of nature as well as calling for policy changes to protect

nature. We’re all being encouraged to dress up to represent any part of nature which is important to us. Those on the transport from West Wales will mainly be wearing puffin headdresses, but people can go as any aspect of nature, or just go as themselves!”

The RSPB reports that warmer seas have led to a reduction in numbers of puffins near the coastline and that systematic overfishing is further depriving species, like puffins, which are already threatened with extinction.

David and Linda Grace from Cardigan went on a similar demonstration in London last year, focusing on the climate crisis. “It was the first big demonstration we’d ever been to together”, said David, “Although it was a long day, we thoroughly enjoyed it. There was

a fantastic atmosphere and we were able to add our voices to the call for action by those in power. Because of my ill health, we’re disappointed that we won’t be able to go this year, but we’ll be supporting it in any way we can from home, such as by helping to spread the word about it.”

Another of the organisers from the West Wales Climate Coalition, Jane Mansfield, will be running a workshop session to make more puffin head-dresses. “We’ll meet in Cardigan on Friday evening 7th June, and work together to make as many puffin heads as we can for all those going on the coach”, she said. “Anyone interested can get in touch on cardiganxr@ or 07787 197630 – either to book a place on the coach or to find out about making puffin heads”.

Crackdown on ‘car park abuse’ at new Home Bargains store

PLANS to install automatic number plate recognition cameras and associated works at the new Home Bargains store in Pembroke Dock to “reduce car park abuse” have been given the go-ahead.

Applicant ParkingEye Ltd sought permission to install the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) camera along with signage and associated works at the new Home Bargains store, Llanion Park.

The application, supported by Pembroke Dock Town Council, said: “The site is currently used as a car park with 99 parking bays including disabled bays. The proposal seeks to provide management of the existing car park to reduce car park abuse and ensure that spaces are available for genuine site users.”

It added: “The proposed development will have a minimal impact on the local landscape character and no landscape elements would be lost as a result of the construction and

installation of an ANPR car park management system.”

The application was conditionally approved by county planners.

Back in March, Home

Bargains owner TJ Morris Limited was given permission for external works to the former Wilkinson Stores, with a new shopfront, new goods doors and refurbishment works, along with the installation of condensers and associated works.

Home Bargains has become one of the biggest privately-owned companies in the UK and has more than 550 stores, with plans to expand to over 1,000.

A supporting statement for that application said: “The site currently

comprises a vacant retail unit formerly occupied by Wilko. The submitted application looks to bring forward modest refurbishment works to enable the store to be occupied by the national variety discounter, Home Bargains (HB), the trading

arm of TJ Morris Ltd (TJM).”

The Pembroke Dock Wilko store closed last September, after operating in the town for 15 years, along with the Haverfordwest branch, after the retail chain entered administration.

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Tom Sinclair Bruce Sinclair Local Democracy Reporter
19 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024

THURSDAY marked the 80th anniversary of D-Day, when the Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, France as part of Operation Overlord; a concerted and successful attempt to liberate Europe from the grip of German occupation under Hitler.

The invasion of Normandy (codenamed Operation Neptune) was a massive amphibious assault involving 7,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft.

A decoy plan, Operation Fortitude, led the Germans to believe the main target was Pas de Calais. It was a major milestone in securing victory for the allied forces.

Tenby, Saundersfoot, Amroth and Laugharne had already experienced their own version of the Normandy landings – in practice form.

Our local beaches were the location for an extensive two-week-long practice, Operation Jantzen. The exercise commenced on July 22, 1943, and was, thankfully, the only land invasion of Wales during World War II.

Under the watchful eyes of Winston Churchill and Lord Mountbatten (rumour

has it that Eisenhower also attended), 100,000 American, Australian, British and Canadian forces had a rare opportunity to practice every element needed for a successful attack on “Fortress Europe”, this involved the initial landings, the setting up of Headquarters and even the moving and stockpiling of vital supplies that would be needed by troops on the front line.

Newsreel footage clearly shows trucks somehow being driven onto flat-bottomed transports in preparation for the training excercise on Tenby Beach, a beach more commonly associated with bathing, swimming and making sandcastles.

The Regimental War Chronicles of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Vol3 1942-1944 records that the First Bucks Battalion had been training in Ayrshire before moving to West Wales.

The road convoy of over 200 vehicles left Ayr on the July 8, 1943, and the main body departed by train three days later. Troops disembarked at Haverfordwest station,

where three-ton lorries lifted them to Picton Park.

Picton Park, consisting of Nissen huts and tents, provided an excellent concentration area and preparations for Exercise “Jantzen,” due to start on the July 17, were pressed forward.

All was ready, but the exercise was postponed owing to bad weather, and the move to the assembly area at Cresselly did not begin until July 20.

The area allotted to No. 6 Beach Group consisted of the village of Saundersfoot and its immediate hinterland. There were two small beaches and a tiny port, and the country behind the beaches was hilly and heavily wooded, with narrow country lanes.

No. 5 Beach Group had an equally difficult area some miles to the east with a steep, shingle bank at the head of the beach which made exits and entrances serious problems.

The first key plan prepared before the exercise needed little adjustment and the deployment of thousands of men and hundreds of vehicles and guns proceeded most smoothly.

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Coasters and barges were loaded at Tenby and beached at Saundersfoot on a falling tide.

Stores were unloaded first to barge and then to lorry, and, when the coasters had dried out, direct to lorry. Folding boats were not used and the DUKW had still not made its appearance.

On August 5 (D+14) the exercise was closed.

A great many lessons had been learned from “Jantzen.” The organisation and training of the group were sound. The complicated deployment drill had worked smoothly although it had been shown how vulnerable any beach organisation is to deterioration in the weather.

The effort was not only limited to troop movements.

The first major supply exercise involving barges (36 in 3 flotillas), 36 coasters and other forces, took place at Tenby, South Wales in July/August 1943 in Exercise “Jantzen”.

As part of the preparation for sailing across the English Channel for the Normandy landings, “dumb” Thames River barges sailed from the south coast of England around Land’s End and across the Bristol Channel under their own power.

The barges acted as kitchen vessels and troop transports during the exercise.

They subsequently made even longer coastal voyages

over to Normandy as supply vessels.

The beaches of west Wales were chosen because they mimicked the conditions of Normandy being a mixture of salt flats, shingle and wide sandy areas overlooked by dunes. In addition, earlier in the war some of them had been extensively fortified and defensive measures put in place as part of the preparations for invasion.

The importance of experiencing the ‘draft’ of landing beaches was vitally important as were the changing tidal conditions around the West Wales coast.

The area’s roads were also used to give troops experience of moving along thin, rural roads with heavy armour like Tanks and Armoured Troop Carriers.

Speaking to the BBC in 2007, Bentley Howell, whose family lived at Wiseman’s Bridge Inn at the time, remembered some of the events surrounding Operation: Jantzen.

“My half-brother, who was about 40 years old, was at the time the licensee of the Wiseman’s Bridge Inn, Permbrokeshire. In his old age, he used to tell me of his wartime memories and particularly about the day that Winston Churchill called in for a pot of tea.

“A full scale invasion landing practice took place, involving up to 100,000 men, DUKW’s, other

landing craft, and troopships disgorging their loads onto the sands of the Saundersfoot bay.

“The publican, John Henry Mathias, or ‘Jack the Bridge’ as he was affectionately known, was appointed a Coastguard because of his local knowledge, and although the whole area had been sealed off for security reasons and a 10pm curfew imposed, Jack was exempt from this and wandered at will.

“Officially, the troops were not allowed to drink, but for 1s 6d they had all they could eat – home killed ham, eggs, fried bread and apple tart. Jack entertained them with tales of a ghostly monk who roamed the tunnels between Saundersfoot and Wiseman’s Bridge.

“One day, several large staff cars swept down the narrow lane to the pub. It was about 3pm, but in those days the pub was open all hours. A blonde woman in an ATS uniform carried out ‘a plain Welsh tea’ to the party of about 15 high ranking officers – later it was learned that she was Sarah Churchill; Winston Churchill surveyed the troops on the beaches together with Admiral Viscount Mountbatten. It was rumoured that Eisenhower was also present”.

For several years after the War, the letter signed by Churchill, thanking the licensee for his hospitality hung on the

wall in the pub premises.

In fact, the rumours about Eisenhower’s presence in Pembrokeshire were true, but not quite in the way supposed.

The late and much-missed Vernon Scott wrote in his book An Experience Shared: “Had residents been told on the first day of the fourth month of 1944 that the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D Eisenhower, was in Pembroke Dock, they would have surely dismissed it as an April Fool leg pull. But America’s top soldier in the European Theatre of Operations, really was in the area.”

Eisenhower came to west Wales to inspect the men of the 110th Infantry Regiment, at that time based at Llanion Barracks in Pembroke Dock.

By April 1944, the Regiment was going through last-minute training for the Normandy landings and push for victory.

The Supreme Commander Allied Forces’ visit came as a surprise to the GIs stationed in the County. ‘Ike’ arrived in secrecy at Tenby and was whisked to Pembroke Dock in a staff car kitted out with miniature stars and stripes for the occasion.

The GIs called Pembroke Dock ‘Blitz Ville’, surprised at the extent of the bomb damage in such a small town on the far fringes of Wales.

Pembrokeshire wears its battle-scars proudly, from the huge castles built hundreds of years ago to suppress the native Welsh, to the fuel depots, RAF airfields and anti-aircraft gun bases that were literally thrown up around the county to help protect Great Britain from the power of the Nazi war machine.

The south of the county bore the brunt of Hitler’s wrath. On August 19, 1940, a fuel depot at Llanreath, Pembroke Dock, was bombed by the Luftwaffe. The resulting fire spewed thick, black, oily smoke into the blue skies of Pembrokeshire for 18 days.

The dense plume of smoke could be seen from as far away as the North Devon coast and the fire claimed the lives of 5 Cardiffbased firemen who had been sent down to help deal with the raging inferno as an estimated 100,000 gallons of oil burned.

600 German prisoners of war were also imprisoned in Pembrokeshire during the conflict, with many being placed at local farms to plough, plant and help the Allied war effort ‘dig for victory’.

Looking around today, it’s hard to imagine the full military might of the Allies being put through their paces on our beaches, but our county’s role as a staging area for the biggest naval landing in human history cannot be underestimated

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Restoration of iconic Temperance Hall

TEMPERANCE HALL, cinema, wartime billet and canteen, bingo hall, tax office and Freemasons’ Hall – the stunning Grade II Listed Temperance Hall at the centre of Haverfordwest has seen it all! Now it is being given a new lease of life following its acquisition by Haverfordwest Heritage, a community-run organisation supported by the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Its Italianate façade has graced the high street since 1889, a symbol of the town’s collective social history. But after these many incarnations – and like many heritage buildings across the country – it has been unused, unloved and empty since 2009.

Now, through the work of a new Heritage Development Trust called Haverfordwest Heritage, it will once again be brought into public use. The Temperance Hall will be restored and repurposed to create a new Community Printworks which is set to open in summer 2025. This will include providing an exhibition space, print and design workspaces, and a well-equipped workshop with traditional printing presses which will host an exciting programme of courses.

Richard BlacklawJones from Haverfordwest Heritage said: ‘By opening a welcoming and accessible Community Printworks, the aim is to create services and experiences that attract local people and visitors

into the town, provide space and opportunities for creative businesses, develop skills, bring people together and enhance the town.

‘Our neglected heritage buildings symbolise the decline of our once thriving historic town. Unused and left to deteriorate further, The Temperance Hall would have epitomised this decay. But renovated and repurposed this stunning building can be part of the efforts to raise the perception of the town and provide a welcoming new facility.

‘By re-inventing The Temperance Hall as a Community Printworks, we want to help restore Haverfordwest as a vibrant and exciting place to live, work and visit. Community Printworks established in other towns have quickly become successful centres for fun and accessible art making for everyone who wants to have a go, as well as providing access to specialist equipment for professional printmakers. We can’t wait to welcome everyone in to find out more on Saturday 15 June at our open day.’

Heidi Baker, a graphic designer, art and design tutor at Pembrokeshire College and founder of Popty Press – a small design and print studio in the town said: ‘We’ve been testing the community print workshop model at our smaller studio and are thrilled to have the opportunity to move to a larger space

to accommodate more printmakers and more activities. Printmaking is a very accessible form of art enabling everyone of all ages and abilities to benefit from getting involved in creative activities.

‘Haverfordwest has so much potential, and I feel excited to be part of a new energy reviving the town. Each little pinprick of new activity may be small, but when they all join up we’ll make our town a place we can be proud of.’

Haverfordwest Heritage is one of 12 Heritage Development Trusts (HDTs) across the UK that are funded through a threeyear strategic partnership between the Architectural Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. These peoplepowered social enterprises have been created to reimagine, repair, and reuse historic buildings that communities value, reinvesting revenues to build flourishing, prosperous places in every corner of the UK. As well as funding, the HDTs will be supported with expertise and advice as they develop.

The purchase and restoration of the Temperance Hall has been made possible with funding from the Community Ownership Fund, and the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, Sir John Perrot Trust, and the Architectural Heritage Fund. Haverfordwest Heritage is now planning the renovation programme and would like to share these exciting plans with the community at an open

working with communities for nearly fifty years to find enterprising ways to revitalise old buildings by providing advice, grants and loans to put sustainable heritage at the heart of vibrant local economies.

‘We are delighted to have supported the purchase of The Temperance Hall to bring it back into community use as well as the wider work of Haverfordwest Heritage. This is just the start of their work as one of a number of Heritage Development Trusts across the UK, and we look forward to seeing how their work develops to bring about positive change in the town.’

New Chief Executive joins to spearhead wider plans

day at the Temperance Hall on Saturday 15 June when there will be tours, exhibitions and staff on hand to explain more about the plans for the building and how people can get involved.

Kelcey Wilson Lee, Director of Programmes at AHF said: “AHF has been

To drive forward the wider programme of work Haverfordwest Heritage have appointed a new Chief Executive, Stuart Berry. Stuart has joined from PLANED, the West Wales community development charity, where he has worked as the Cultural Coordinator for the past

five years. Prior to joining PLANED, Stuart worked in museums in the north of England and west Wales, focusing on connecting people with their local heritage and promoting the role heritage attractions can play in economic and community regeneration.

Stuart said: ‘I am delighted to be taking on this exciting role and look forward to working with the community in Haverfordwest in bringing new life to buildings such as The Temperance Hall. With its rich history, The Temperance Hall is the perfect starting point for Haverfordwest Heritage, and we are thrilled to be able to bring it back into use for the benefit of the town. But it doesn’t stop there, and we would like The Temperance Hall to be the first of many heritage buildings we buy, renovate and repurpose in the town.’

To find out more about the open day on June 15 and the plans for The Temperance Hall visit www. uk

23 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024
Tom Sinclair Archive image of The Temperance Hall (L) and Haverfordwest Printmakers Circle work party prepare to open the hall for a public preview before the renovation work begins (R). Credit Haverfordwest Heritage (L) and Heidi Baker (R).

Castle Square Bike Night set to draw a crowd in Haverfordwest


enthusiasts are set to gather for an exciting evening at Castle Square Bike Night in Haverfordwest. The event, scheduled for tomorrow evening (Jun 5) at 6:30 PM, promises to be a highlight for the biking community in West Wales.

Philip Deacon and Anthony Brown will be making a special appearance on their blood bikes, representing the admirable charity, Blood Bikes Wales. The charity, known for its life-saving work, will have a donation bucket circulating throughout the evening. Attendees are encouraged to spare some change to support this worthy cause.

Adding to the evening’s atmosphere, Celtic Memories and Lilly’s Photography will be on hand to capture plenty of photos of the attendees’ bikes. A marshall will be present on the square to assist with parking arrangements, ensuring that all bikes are parked decently to accommodate everyone.

The organisers are calling on everyone to share the news of the event and invite friends, aiming to make this the largest bike meet in West Wales.

Bike enthusiasts are encouraged to head to Castle Square, SA61 2AA, tomorrow evening at 6:30 PM, for what promises to be a fantastic gathering. Don’t miss out on the chance to be part of this exciting event and support Blood Bikes Wales.

The Castle Hotel Haverfordwest and Friars Vaults will be serving a variety of beverages, including pints, cold drinks, and tea/coffee, ensuring that everyone stays refreshed. For those feeling peckish, Smash N Shake Haverfordwest and Friars will be providing a selection of food.

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Friday June 7th

Vision arts announces third annual summer youth projects

VISION Arts is thrilled to announce the third annual Summer Youth Project, providing outstanding performing arts education and experiences for children and teens in Pembrokeshire. The project includes two events this summer - the Minis Project for younger children and the Youth Project musical production for

older students. The Minis Project, sponsored by the generous support of Valero, is a free one-week workshop from Monday 29th July to Friday 2nd August. Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will participate in singing, dancing, and acting workshops, culminating in a “mini performance” at the end of the week.

Following the Minis Project, Vision Arts presents the full-scale Youth Project with the madness musical “Our House” from 5th-15th August. Students in Years 3-13 will rehearse and stage this exciting musical production over a two-week period. Thanks to fundraising efforts and donations, the cost for participants is only £50 for the entire fortnight.

“These Summer Youth Projects provide vital opportunities for young people to explore their creativity and passion for the arts,” said Drew Baker, Creative Director of Vision Arts. “The skills they develop in teamwork, confidence, and self-expression are invaluable. We believe the performing arts enrich lives and bring communities together.

Once again, a huge thank you to Valero for allowing us to make the minis project free of change and another big thank you to Vision Theatre Company for fundraising and donating so we can continue to make such projects accessible to everyone”

Performances of “Our House” will take place on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th August at

the Boulevard Theatre in Milford Haven. This year, Vision Arts is encouraging students interested in technical theatre and backstage work to get involved as well. To register for the Minis Project or Youth Project musical, please visit the Vision Arts website at www. or call 01437 723493.

27 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024 news

Drowning charity ‘concerned’ as drowning rate more than double the UK average

WITH 28 accidental drownings in Wales in 2023, the UK’s leading drowning prevention charity has highlighted the UK nation as an area of concern.

In the last five years, data from the National Water Safety Forum shows there have been a total of 121 accidental drowning deaths in Wales. Recent figures show that Wales had a drowning rate of 8.94 per million people in 2023, more than double the UK National average of 3.49 per million.

With Wales reporting drowning rates well above the UK average, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is urging residents and visitors alike to stay vigilant when in, on or around water in Wales this year. It’s reminding everyone to familiarise themselves with the Water Safety Code via its video animation as part of its annual Drowning Prevention Week campaign, taking place from 15-22 June 2024.

Targeted at young children and families,

the national water safety education campaign aims to ensure as many people as possible are equipped with vital lifesaving knowledge that will keep them and their families safe in, on and around water.

Matt Croxall, Charity Director at RLSS UK, said: “The high drowning rates reported in Wales emphasise just how

important it is that families are aware of the importance of water safety and have the correct knowledge to make the right decisions around water.

“With warmer summer days on the horizon, we will inevitably see people flock to open water sites across Wales, as well as taking opportunities to enjoy water at home in

the garden. We want to ensure that everyone can enjoy water this summer, by having the knowledge to do so safely.”

“Bringing water safety to the forefront of everyone’s mind, Drowning Prevention Week equips people with the appropriate skills and knowledge to be summer ready when it comes to enjoying water

safely during the summer months and beyond.”

During the 2023 campaign, RLSS UK materials and resources were used to educate over 1.85 million children in vital water safety knowledge and skills.

Matt Croxall added: “For this year’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign, we are looking to educate even more

young people on water safety, providing children with the skills to enjoy a lifetime of fun in the water.”

For Drowning Prevention Week, RLSS UK has a range of free new and updated educational resources available on its website in both Welsh and English, for children, including lesson plans for schools and downloadable resources for parents, as well as an engaging video animation to support families in learning the Water Safety Code.

For more information around Drowning Prevention Week, please visit our website www. Follow us on Instagram and X - @ RLSSUK

Visit our Facebook or Instagram rlssuk/

Find your local RLSS UK affiliated club here: Find A Lifesaving Club | Royal Life Saving Society UK ( RLSS UK ) Call – 0300 323 0096

Mid and South Pembrokeshire candidate for Plaid Cymru announced

THE Plaid Cymru candidate for Mid and South Pembrokeshire is Cris Tomos.

Cris is a well known community and political activist in Pembrokeshire and has previously been the county councillor for Crymych ward and Pembrokeshire cabinet member for Environment, Public Protection and Welsh Language.

Cris concluded

“There needs to be a fundamental change in British politics, a new vision of economic focus on communities and supporting small and medium size businesses within those neighbourhoods. We need to ensure communities can support and scrutinise development such as harmful waste processing sites in their neighbourhood and have the final say when harmful developments can be permanently blocked, such as the waste site in Withyhedge.”

He has lived all his life in Pembrokeshire, from a farming background. Cris now works for the community development charity PLANED, based in Narberth. Cris noted, “It is a great privilege to have been chosen as the Plaid Cymru candidate to stand in the general election of the 4th of July” he added “I will be focussing my campaign on how greater powers can be given to communities and neighbourhoods to address local employment, energy and home building opportunities and develop neighbourhood plans to support carers and those affected by the spiraling day to day expenses and cost of living .”

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Family fun awaits at Broad Haven beach this Saturday

THE Havens Events Crew is set to host an exciting Family Beach Fun Day this Saturday, 8th June, starting from 12 noon onwards at the picturesque Broad Haven Beach. This highly anticipated event promises a delightful array of activities and mini-games that are sure to entertain both young and old alike.

The organisers have meticulously planned a day filled with classic beach activities. Participants can look forward to testing their skills in the Pebble and Spoon race, engaging in a game of Dominoes, and exploring the beach during a thrilling Scavenger Hunt. For those who enjoy a bit of strategy and dexterity, Jenga and Quoits will be available, alongside the exciting Parachute Games.

Additional fun-filled activities include Skittles and the Rugby Shark Mouth challenge, which are sure to bring out the competitive spirit in everyone. Families can also participate in the

Tom Sinclair

Bucket Relay and get creative with Pebble Painting.

The fun doesn’t stop there! The event features a variety of mini-games designed to amuse and entertain. Test your coordination in the Holey Bucket Race or embrace

your inner cowboy in the Hobby Horse Race. For a bit of humour, join the Knobbly Knees Competition, and show off your best moves in the DJ Circuits.

Classic favourites like the Sack Race and Bucket Relay will also make an appearance, ensuring that there’s never a dull moment. The day will culminate in an

exciting Tug of War finale, where teams can put their strength and teamwork to the test.

The Havens Events Crew invites everyone to come down to Broad Haven Beach and join in the festivities. It’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy the beautiful beach setting while partaking in a variety of entertaining activities. Whether you’re

looking to compete, create memories with your family, or simply enjoy a day out in the sun, the Family Beach Fun Day has something for everyone.

Mark your calendars and don’t miss out on this fantastic day of family fun and games!

Event Details: Date: Saturday, 8th

June Time: 12 noon onwards

Location: Broad Haven Beach Organiser: Havens Events Crew

Bring your family, friends, and a spirit of adventure for a memorable day at the beach!

RenewableUK Cymru demands next government supercharge green energy

AS the UK General Election heats up, Britain’s energy policy is taking centre stage. RenewableUK Cymru is calling on the next UK Government to fasttrack Wales’ transition to renewable energy.

Wales must quadruple its wind power capacity— from both onshore and offshore—within the next decade to meet the rising demand for clean electricity. Our 2024 Manifesto urges the creation of a ‘Four Nations Taskforce’ to streamline policies between the UK and Welsh Governments.

Only a quarter of all energy generated in Wales today comes from renewable sources like wind, solar, hydro and tidal. A shift to renewable energy will bolster energy security, lower electricity costs, enhance the competitiveness of Welsh businesses, and

Tom Sinclair

create thousands of jobs nationwide.

Voters are clear: they want the next UK Government to prioritise clean energy. A poll by Opinium of 10,021 UK residents reveals that nine out of ten people in Wales see renewables as a key issue for the next government, and 63% want their MP to push for more investment in this sector. Despite some opposition to new grid infrastructure in Mid Wales, 62% of Welsh respondents support building a new grid network to speed up renewable energy rollout, with only 6% opposed. Support increases when people learn about local community benefits and how it fits into a national plan for low-cost clean


Jess Hooper, Director of RenewableUK Cymru, said: “For Wales to succeed, we need a bold and swift action plan. In 2022, we had no projects connecting to the grid and only 6kW of wind energy consented—barely enough to power a single household.

“We are not building enough renewable energy projects to meet our growing electricity demand. We urge the next UK Government to establish a four nations taskforce, in collaboration with the Welsh Government and industry, to accelerate the transition to renewables across the UK. At this crucial moment in a competitive global market, we need a government ready to stand up and seize this opportunity for Wales.”

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30 Friday June 7th

Bad timing for Labour: Gething’s leadership in crisis

CAW! Caw! Gather ‘round, dear readers, and listen to this seagull’s squawk on the latest in Welsh politics. The air’s been thick with drama, and it’s Vaughan Gething who’s found himself at the centre of a storm that could well blow him off course.

Caw! The way Vaughan Gething secured his victory in the race to become Labour’s leader in Wales – and the nation’s first minister –was always going to cause squabbles and squawks.

It was bad enough that the largest trade unions weighed in heavily, their thumbs pressing down hard on the scales in his favour. But worse still was Gething’s decision to fund his campaign with a £200,000 donation from a company linked to a businessman guilty of environmental crimes. With such dubious support, it was inevitable that his narrow win over Jeremy Miles would be questioned. Caw! The real issue was always going to be whether Gething could

mend the bridges burned during his campaign and lead his party into the next devolved election in May 2026. But Wednesday’s events in the Senedd suggest that’s looking unlikely. While Gething and his dwindling band of supporters insist that it doesn’t matter if the first minister loses a confidence vote in the Welsh legislature, wiser heads are seeing the writing on the wall. His position is becoming untenable, and it’s only a matter of time before the inevitable happens.

Caw! Two factors have brought Labour’s leadership crisis to a head. First, it seems Gething forgot the golden rule of party management: learn how to count. Labour won half of the 60 seats in the 2021 Senedd election. Gething secured the support of about a third of his Senedd Labour colleagues in his bid to succeed Mark Drakeford. Given this slim margin, one might have thought he would focus on winning over those who hadn’t supported him. But no, Gething’s conciliatory efforts were woefully lacking, and the dangers of ignoring his opponents were glaringly obvious.

Caw! Future historians will have their work cut out trying to untangle the mess Gething made when he attempted to assemble his first cabinet. The result was a disaster. His high-handed behaviour alienated opponents and disappointed supporters expecting rewards for their loyalty. He ended up with a disjointed and divided government – the worst of all worlds.

Caw! Gething’s attempt to distance his administration from some of the more controversial policies of Drakeford’s tenure only added fuel to the fire. This move directly led to the end of Welsh Labour’s collaboration with Plaid Cymru, which had provided stability since 2021. Unsurprisingly, this approach also strained relationships within the Labour group, especially with those tied to the

now-abandoned policies.

Caw! Notable among the disgruntled is Lee Waters, the Senedd member for Llanelli. Waters, once a progressive transport minister, has become a vocal critic of Gething’s and was absent from Wednesday’s vote due to illness. The situation escalated further when a public spat broke out in the Senedd chamber between the usually mildmannered Drakeford and the new education secretary, Lynne Neagle. This led to a dramatic walkout by a key Gething supporter, unhappy with the former first minister’s audacity in challenging a government decision to abandon a manifesto commitment.

Caw! Throughout this turmoil, Gething’s attitude has been “my way or the highway.” But while such an approach might work for Sir Keir Starmer, if he secures the expected landslide majority on 4 July, the numbers in Cardiff simply don’t support it.

Caw! The other challenge for Gething is the mounting evidence that his troubles are resonating with the public and damaging the Welsh Labour brand. It’s unlikely this will affect the general election result significantly – Labour is set to dominate in Wales as it has for a century. But it’s a distraction the UK party leadership doesn’t need as it tries to distance itself from a weary Conservative party. More seriously,

Gething’s unpopularity could be very problematic for Welsh Labour in the next devolved election.

Caw! Since the news of the controversial donation to his campaign broke, Gething’s defenders have argued that only those deeply interested in Welsh politics care about the story. But polling shows the electorate disapproves of his decision to accept the money. Data from the latest ITV Wales/ Cardiff University tracker poll reveals 57% of respondents think Gething is performing badly as first minister, compared with only 15% who view him positively. That only Rishi Sunak has worse ratings in Wales highlights the extent of the problem. The same poll also shows a significant drop in Labour support at the devolved level.

Caw! With support eroding among party members and the wider electorate, there’s little to suggest Gething’s situation can be salvaged. On the contrary, the longer he stays in post, the greater the damage to the Welsh Labour party and even to devolution itself.

Caw! So there you have it, folks. The squawks and flaps in Welsh Labour continue, with Vaughan Gething at the eye of the storm. Only time will tell if he can weather it or if he’ll be blown away. Until next time, keep your beaks sharp and your eyes on the horizon. Caw!

31 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024

Badger explores idiocy’s final frontier

BADGER spent last week wittering about the dangers of artificial ignorance.

Thanks to the General Election campaign, there’s been plenty of the real thing on offer this week.

Because Badger is a Pembrokeshire badger, he will discuss the parties’ hot-button issues as they affect Pembrokeshire.

However, before doing so, he wants to examine the more vacuous, nonsensical, and twofaced aspects of the parties’ campaigns.

Badger believes in fairness, so he’s picked whoppers that fairly reflect just how dismal the campaigns have so far been.

Let’s start with Plaid Cymru. Plaid will not figure in Mid & South Pembrokeshire, save as a protest or die-hard vote. That’s electoral reality. In Ceredigion Preseli, the Plaid candidate, the very able Ben Lake, will likely hold onto a parliamentary seat.

Plaid’s big claim is that only they can hold Labour in check - and, incidentally, keep the Tories out of Wales.

Let’s deal with the first claim.

Where do we start with such transparent nonsense?

Keeping Labour in check: you must be joking!

Plaid Cymru and the Labour Government in Wales are joined at the hip. If you examine policy ideas in Wales, you will find Plaid MSs’s fingerprints all over Labour’s worst.

The Sustainable Farming Scheme. Check.

Your future representative being selected from a party list by unelected and unelectable insiders.


Abandoning the M4 relief road. Check.

Cuts to rural road building. Check. Peddling a hair shirt dressed up as a green fantasy. Check.

As for keeping the Tories out of Wales, it is (just) conceivable that Plaid might win Ynys Mon. The reality is that where the Conservative vote is strongest, Plaid aren’t within striking distance of second place, let alone winning.

And - after spending a decade and more in internal faction fighting and being captured by activists with more in common with the tokenistic politics of a rabid students’ union than real votes in real constituencies - that’s no more than Plaid deserves.

When it comes to “deserves”, Badger takes due care when expressing views about Labour in Wales.

After all, he’s not a racist and - as everyone knows - any criticism of Labour in Wales comes only from those affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan and The Afrikaner Broederbond.

Starting at the beginning, Labour’s record in government in Wales shines in the same way as a turd half-heartedly rolled in glitter.

Labour’s big weapon is the cost-of-living crisis. It’s an easy punch to land, and they should throw it nonstop in Wales. They have to: they’re responsible for everything else that’s been cocked up in Cardiff Bay.

The Labour Party

has managed the NHS, education, transport, housing, and economic policy for twenty-five years.

The NHS is a broken shambles.

Education outcomes are dismal for those most in need of a good education.

Welsh transport infrastructure is as disjointed as it was in 1999.

There is a chronic housing shortage, and the Welsh Government has made building affordable new homes unaffordable.

The number of children and families in Wales living in poverty is as high as it was 25 years ago despite the Welsh Government spaffing hundreds of millions of EU money up the wall tinkering around the


And regarding EU money, the Welsh Government has not yet spent all of its last allocations.

Finally, when it comes to Labour in Wales, please, readers, ponder the following.

Labour is so devoid of electable talent in Wales that it cannot trust local candidates to stand here. Yet Labour thinks it has more than enough to fill extra seats in Cardiff Bay. Quality counts, readers. Remind your Labour candidates of that in 2026 - if you can find out who they are, that is.

The Conservatives are fighting as an opposition in Wales and a government in Westminster.

That means the amnesia afflicting Labour’s campaign in Wales is also a cornerstone of the Conservatives’ approach.

Austerity? Not us, guv.

Cost-of-living crisis? Don’t know what you mean.

Immigration? The Welsh Government should shut up while we drone on and lie about it endlessly.

In the meantime, let’s talk about how the Levelling-Up Fund has made a real difference in multi-storey car parks and painting town centres to make empty buildings look nice. Meanwhile, our Conservative councillors in Pembrokeshire will blame Labour for Westminster’s decisions on which projects to fund.

With so many open goals to hit, the Welsh Conservatives have managed to blaze away and kick the ball into the stands or their own net.

The Welsh Conservatives have a fundamental problem with

their communications. Frankly, it’s amateur hour. Relentless focus and attention to detail are a collection of meaningless syllables to the Welsh Conservatives. Worse, they don’t put their best media performers before the radio microphone or TV cameras. Buggins’ turn is no way to run a professional media campaign.

Naturally, the Conservatives are hamstrung by Rishi Sunak’s appalling personal ratings and the burden of being too closely tied to an unpopular government that’s been in power for fourteen years. Having neglected the chance to build a separate political identity, the Welsh Conservatives must move whichever way the Westminster wind blows.

Consider this, readers: Andrew RT Davies has led the Welsh Conservatives on and off through five prime ministerial terms in Westminster. He’s supported whatever policies each has devised, even when mutually contradictory.

No matter who leads the Conservative group in the Senedd, until the Welsh Conservatives put clear blue water between them and the ideology-driven loons in Westminster, they may as well be a foghorn remotely activated from Conservative HQ in London or whichever alleged “think tank” or “campaign group” has caught the attention of the Daily Mail’s leader writers that day.

Badger’s best advice is this: consider what matters to you, your families, and your lives in Pembrokeshire. Think local when you vote national.

32 Friday June 7th 2024

JYlt tribute concert and music release for Nia

TWENTY years ago, the world lost a shining star to cancer.

Nia George, a beloved member of the rising rock band JYlt, left an indelible mark on those who knew her and on the music world. Nia and JYlt had garnered praise from Radio 1’s John Peel, completed a UK tour including a memorable performance at Glastonbury, distributed over 20,000 CDs, and were in discussions with Sony for a promising record deal.

Nia was just 21 years old when she passed away after a courageous year-long battle with leukemia.

This summer, JYlt is releasing a collection

of previously unheard songs to celebrate Nia’s life and legacy. Additionally, they will be hosting a tribute concert at Haverhub on August 10th.

The lineup for this heartfelt event includes Bryde (former JYlt singer), Tom Jenkins (an up-and-coming talent), Persona B (featuring two JYlt members), and Slak (a local, nextgeneration sensation). There’s even the possibility of a special guest appearance, though we can’t confirm details just yet.

This event is not just a celebration of Nia’s life but also a poignant reminder of the indiscriminate nature of cancer and a

call to support a truly remarkable place: the Withybush Cancer Day Unit.

All proceeds from the event, after covering venue staff costs, will be donated to the Withybush Cancer Day Unit. This exceptional facility supports countless individuals during their most challenging times, often providing stories of hope and triumph. It is a lifeline to many, and we want to give back to this vital institution.

As Tesco’s clever slogan reminds us, every little helps. Let’s come together to honor Nia’s memory and support a cause that continues to make a profound difference.

Milford’s Concrete Beach returns after 25 years

TWENTY-FIVE years ago, Pembrokeshire’s Concrete Beach abruptly walked off stage and disbanded for reasons that remain a mystery even to the band members themselves.

Now, after a quartercentury hiatus, the iconic local band is back together, practicing and preparing for a series of gigs across the county.

The surprising reunion started with a suggestion from drummer Gareth Evans, who has been keeping busy with his current band, Honeyhead. Evans proposed a jam session with his former Concrete Beach bandmates Kev Davies, Dave Critten, and Al Muir. It didn’t take long for the group to realise that they had reunited the lineup, which hadn’t played together since the year 2000.

The decision to reform came about casually. After a few beers and a spontaneous remark

along the lines of, “we should do a gig or something,” the band members decided to give it another go. Excitement grew as they began planning their return to the stage.

To mark their comeback, Concrete Beach is set to release a new single titled “A Day in the Sunshine” on June 14th. This release comes just in time for their much-anticipated return performance at The Three Crowns in Hakin on June 15th. The band members are eagerly looking forward to this gig, which will be their first as this version of Concrete Beach in over two decades. And with an album following in august featuring 2 new tracks and a host of remixed and remastered oldies, there is plenty to look forward to.

Fans old and new can expect to hear both classic hits and fresh tracks, as Concrete Beach reintroduces

themselves to the Pembrokeshire music scene. The band’s unexpected return

promises to be a nostalgic and thrilling experience for the community, reigniting the spirit of a group that along with a host of other bands defined local rock music.

34 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels w H a T’S on
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Eminem’s ‘Houdini’ is goofy but fun

EMINEM’S latest single, ‘Houdini’, showcases his cartoonish instincts in a playful yet nostalgic track that serves his long-time fans.

Despite the criticism directed at Apple Music’s Top 100 albums list, it has rekindled our love for some classic favourites. ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ is one such album; we listened to it endlessly in our teens, but seldom revisit it. The familiarity with every bar meant there was little need. However, revisiting Eminem’s intense,

autobiographical masterpiece reminded us of his compelling allure.

In this context, ‘Houdini’ arrives as a perfectly timed piece of cartoonish fan service, blending vibrant and occasionally shocking elements with a dose of ultra-colourful chart rap. Reclaiming his Slim Shady persona, ‘Houdini’ targets those who never quite outgrew their youth, the adults who still share South Park memes from 2004. The track opens with a sample from Steve Miller

Band’s karaoke classic ‘Abracadabra’ and the line “guess who’s back?”, a deliberate nod to his past hits.

As always, Eminem treads a fine line between satire and offence. The use of gay as a slur, even in character, is still jarring, and the verse about Shady’s “transgender cat” (“identified as Black, but acts Chinese”) is undeniably corny.

Nonetheless, ‘Houdini’ is entertaining. Eminem’s rapid-fire flow is impeccable, and his knack for witty double

entendres remains unmatched. The single is a time capsule, the work of an artist who seems detached from modern society. After all, why else would Eminem release a track called ‘Houdini’ in the same year as Dua Lipa, if not because he’s impervious to current pop culture trends?

‘Houdini’ delivers nostalgic thrills, yet it doesn’t escape the outdated aura of the era it encapsulates. The Noughties: a nostalgic visit, but not a place we’d want to reside.

Free, family day out


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 June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

Bad Boys: Ride or Die hits the spot

BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE — the fourth instalment in Sony’s action franchise starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence — premiered to the public on Wednesday night, and early reactions are already circulating on social media.

Smith and Lawrence made a surprise appearance at a fan screening at AMC The Grove 14 in Los Angeles. Additional screenings were held in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia,

and Washington, D.C.

The plot of Bad Boys 4 centres on corruption within the Miami Police Department, with Captain Conrad Howard (Joe Pantoliano) accused of longterm collusion with drug cartels.

Detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) form a team to clear Howard’s name, but in doing so, they become outlaws themselves.

The film also features Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Paola Núñez, Eric Dane, and Welsh actor Ioan

Gruffudd. Franchise regulars Joe Pantoliano as Captain Conrad Howard and John Salley as Fletcher also make their return.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die is directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the Belgian duo known for their work on Bad Boys for Life. They gained notoriety when their $90 million Batgirl project for Max was shelved by Warner Bros. Discovery in 2022.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die hits cinemas on 7th June.

Tenby Street Food Festival is back

THE eagerly awaited Pembrokeshire Street Food Festival is back, and this year it boasts a new venue.

The festival will be held at Salterns Car Park in Tenby (SA70 8DU) from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th June, offering a weekend packed with culinary delights and entertainment.

The festival promises an unforgettable experience with over

25 top street food traders from across the UK. Attendees can look forward to a diverse array of dishes, from Indian to Vietnamese, Thai to Moroccan, Mexican to Afghan, and Caribbean to Uzbek. The festival caters to all dietary requirements and offers a variety of sweet treats.

In addition to the food, the festival will feature craft beer, fresh cocktails, market stalls, and a new stage for live entertainment. The

best part? Entry is free.

One unique aspect of the Pembrokeshire Street Food Festival is that no two traders offer the same cuisine. Whether visitors are keen to try something new or simply want a delicious burger paired with an ice-cold lager while enjoying live music, the festival aims to satisfy all tastes.

This year, the festival has introduced reusable cups to reduce single-use plastic. For a one-off fee of £2 with

the first drink purchase, attendees will receive a branded cup to use throughout the event and take home as a souvenir.

Organisers are encouraging residents of Pembrokeshire and beyond to join in the festivities. The event promises a weekend of great food, refreshing drinks, and entertainment suitable for the whole family. It’s set to be a memorable weekend for all who attend.

37 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024 wHaT’S on
waTcH THe TraIler Here!

Confessions of a teenage fraudster

ELLIOT “Fiddle”

Castro led a lavish lifestyle by stealing other people’s card details. Scotland’s most audacious teenage scammer became so skilled that he could persuade credit card companies to issue fraudulent cards in his own name.

Elliot “Fiddle” Castro devised this scheme to maintain a lifestyle funded by thousands of stolen card details during an astonishing crime spree. In a candid documentary, Castro, from Glasgow, recounts how he became a globetrotting fraudster by the age of 18. By 20, he had spent over £1 million of other people’s money and was wanted by the police both domestically and internationally.

Now 41, Castro reflects on his extraordinary years as an elusive young conman in the BBC’s “Confessions Of A Teenage Fraudster”. He says: “By age 20, I’d spent well over a million pounds of other people’s money all over the world. Once you’ve had a taste of something nice it’s very hard to go back. You don’t do all of that without getting banged up now and then. But no level of guilt or length of sentence had ever persuaded me to stop.”

Castro, who was born in Aberdeen, first got involved in crime after securing a job at a call centre selling mobile phones. At 16, he pretended to be 18, allowing him access to customers’ personal details. Although he was eventually sacked, he left with enough

sensitive data to obtain credit cards sent to his home.

He said: “Other 16-year-olds were trying to get into a nightclub on fake IDs, while I was cheating innocent cardholders out of their money. And I wasn’t bad at spending it either. I lived a life you could only dream of. The best hotels, the finest restaurants, first class as standard and none of it paid for from my own pocket. I’d love to tell you I got away with it all, but for every night I enjoyed in a five-star hotel, I endured many more behind bars.”

Castro once spent a staggering £11,000 in a three-day spree. As his scams escalated, he found himself in bizarre situations. Once, after stealing a medic’s details, he was on a train and paid for his ticket with a card identifying him as a doctor. When a call for medical help was made over the Tannoy, Castro was in trouble.

He recalled:

“The train inspector remembered the card was in the name of a doctor.” Moments later, still just a teenager, Castro found himself assisting a stricken woman with two other medics rather than revealing the truth. He said: “She took me through the buffet car where there was another passenger and two other doctors. I had no proper idea of what was going on with this lady, but I thought it looked like a panic attack — in my ‘expert medical opinion’. Fortunately, the other two doctors agreed with my diagnosis.”

During his criminal days, he even posed as an officer from the Serious Fraud Office to contact credit card firms and gauge his “wanted level”. He said: “I asked to be put through to their fraud departments and explained that I was calling from the Serious Fraud Office. One by one, they all said the same thing. I had the Irish and UK

police after me, along with one of the world’s largest travel retailers. Now I could add the biggest credit card companies to that list.”

He moved to Belfast and switched from credit card scams to a scheme where he would have hard cash wired to him. This led to a period of chaotic spending, including purchasing a £50,000 BMW, shopping trips to Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, and a £10,000 casino splurge in Monte Carlo. However, as he struggled with the guilt of living a lie, he became careless. He said: “The thrill had gone. I was spending and partying on autopilot.”

He was eventually caught after a shop assistant became suspicious when he bought £2,000 worth of gift vouchers from Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh. In 2005, he was sentenced to two years in an open prison at the age of 21. Castro said: “Things could have gone one of two ways for me, but the last time I came out of prison, I decided I would never go back.” Owen Miller, fraud investigations manager at Expedia, said: “In my time at Expedia, I investigated around 1,000 individual cases, and Elliot is in the top five — if not the top.” The reformed con artist, who now produces music and advises on fraud prevention, felt it was the right time to speak out. He said: “One of the best things to come out of this is that over the last ten years or so, I’ve had the opportunity to give advice to other young people who have gotten in touch after hearing my story.”

“Confessions of A

38 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

Ah, the cosmic carnival of calamity that is Killer Klowns From Outer Space, that 80s cinematic oddity blending dark comedy, coulrophobia, and the unapologetic sleaze of that bygone era.

Let’s not forget the infectious opening theme from The Dickies. So, when Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game was trumpeted in August 2022, I found myself both intrigued and wary. Now, as we fast forward through the mists of time to 2024, the moment of truth is here. After a tumultuous preview at PAX East, the burning question is: has anything shifted to win over the players? In a word: no.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game* is, without a doubt, one of the trickiest beasts I’ve tried to review this year. The 7v3 gameplay setup, a curious concoction in theory, falls flat in execution. While assembling a full party occasionally happens, more often than not, the matchmaking ordeal stretches to a painful fifteen minutes, often ending in a bot-laden compromise.

This issue loomed large even back at PAX, especially with a title this niche. Sure, the

initial days post-release might see bustling lobbies, but, as with many asymmetrical multiplayer games, sustaining that momentum is a Herculean task. Now, if the bots were competent, this wouldn’t be such a tragedy. I fondly recall the bot brilliance of Perfect Dark, where AI players operated seamlessly within the game’s framework. Alas, in Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game, the bots meander aimlessly, failing to engage with the escape objectives. They’re mere cannon fodder.

The game tries to carve a unique niche, seemingly evolving from Illfonic’s previous venture, Friday The 13th. Players are thrust into the map with clues on how to escape, scavenging for objects while dodging the menacing Klowns to unlock fleeting escape routes. There’s also a nifty homage to the movies with a final escape plan, but I won’t spoil that delight.

On the Klown side, it’s a macabre hunt, turning humans into cocoons and thwarting their escape plans. This can be a riot with the right crew but rapidly descends into tedium. Notably, humans can incapacitate Klowns by targeting their




urging you on, that invitation could be especially irresistible. Oh, well. Put your nose to the grindstone and spend the evening immersed in a pile of brochures and maps for a future time.


Expect some conflict between exterior and interior, public and private, or extroverted and introverted to emerge now. Perhaps someone else (your sweetie, your friend) is applying the pressure to get you out and about when all you want is to curl up with a good book. Or maybe you’re longing to cut loose and no one else wants to come out to play. Consider taking the middle path. There’s a compromise here that will work well. You just have to find it.

LEO You have a stellar opportunity to smooth over an uneasy interpersonal situation now. You’ll want to be diplomatic but truthful, tactful yet fair. Luckily, you’re extra capable of all of these things at the moment. Once the tension is broken, the conversation could be far easier than you ever imagined. Even if it isn’t a total cakewalk, the care you take with this matter will be well worth it in the end.


Fixing a communication breakdown can be a pain, but avoiding it creates a whole new bottleneck. Get out your flashlight and assess the situation, then start rooting through your toolbox to find what you need to get back on the road. A forthright attitude and willingness to work with it may be all that’s really required. Start an open and honest dialogue, and insist that the other parties involved join in.

LIBRA You have been amply endowed with charm, the ability to persuade, and an absolutely illegal amount of allure. Not surprisingly, others find those qualities irresistibly attractive, and you know that you need to be careful where you aim that charm. You know how potent it is. You’ve had to turn away more than one admirer who mistook your friendliness for flirting. At the moment, though, whoever you’re taking romantic aim at is definitely your mark, and you’re doubly lethal at the moment, so good luck to them.


noses with guns and knives, offering brief respite when the Klowns intensify their assault. However, once the humans are sufficiently armed, escape becomes relatively easy due to the Klowns’ lengthy respawn timers.

Despite some fun moments, the game is plagued by bugs that range from minor texture pop-ins and hilariously distorted models to matchcrashing catastrophes. One particularly egregious bug left us all in limbo, unable to spectate or escape, forcing us to abandon the game and forfeit our progress. In essence, Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game often feels like it’s fighting you every step of the way.

Friday The 13th allowed players to bask in its eerie world before its untimely demise. In stark contrast, Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game feels like a missed opportunity. Despite my fondness for Illfonic’s previous work and my deep-rooted love for the original movie, this game feels like a swing and a miss. There’s a tantalizing glimmer of potential here, but in its current state, it’s just not enough.

Admit it: You have a tendency to hold things in when you should let them out and let the chips fall where they may. Spilling the beans now is endorsed by the stars, and the feeling of relief you’ll get is a reward in and of itself. As for what happens afterward, you’ll need to relinquish your desire to control that too. Whatever will be, will be, and you’ll handle it much more gracefully if you let it be.


Your trademark freewheeling approach might have landed you in a little bit of a deficit, and economizing isn’t your specialty. However, chances are that someone close to you is an expert in this particular field, and they’ve been offering to help you for quite some time. Don’t waste time feeling sheepish or embarrassed. Just take them up on it. The first step is the hardest. Once you’re with the program, it will be relatively painless.


Your financial situation might feel a bit shaky at the moment, or is it only that you’re worried because you’ve been distracted by more important professional matters? Regardless of how or why it’s happened, return your attention to career, just for a bit. If your concerns are for real, they won’t go anywhere, definitely not in the time it takes to balance the checkbook, sort through the credit card receipts, and get back to the basics of your organized life.


You don’t relish the thought of it happening, but every now and then your verbally rebellious streak gets a little out of control and becomes a bit hard for you to handle, much less to explain to the rest of the world. For now, though, since you’re perfectly entitled to let someone have it who’s had it coming for some time, why not indulge yourself? They need to be told, you need to tell them, and it’s

39 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024
comes to someone
you, it’s easy to
how staying at home might not be your favorite activity, at least not on
regular basis,
certainly not alone,
absolutely, positively not now,
the heavens are fairly bursting with rebellious energy.
you just can’t force yourself to stay in, even if you’re tired, don’t.
you can always catch a power nap tomorrow, right?
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Your conservative side may put up a red flag when some information comes from an unorthodox source, but don’t reject it outright. Sometimes the best gifts arrive in banged-up packages with tacky wrapping
And worrying about what other people think while you’re unwrapping this
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Remember when Dorothy is trying to decide whether to go back to Kansas or stay in Oz with her
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time. PISCES An idea about a big change could surface in your life now, one related to work or a relationship or a big trip or your living situation or all of the above. So it’s a whale of a concept, but that doesn’t mean you have to panic and start raising alarms on the ship of your life. Watch it calmly and see how you like the looks of it. What you should do will become clear in the fullness of time. Horoscopes gaMIng waTcH THe
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Annual Stakeholder 2024 Meetings

As a trust port, we are accountable to our stakeholders in our actions. Our Annual Stakeholder Meetings are an opportunity to discuss how the Port is performing. It’s a public event, open to anyone who would like to know more about our plans or who has queries about the Port.

19 th June | 5.30pm – 8pm

Torch Theatre, Milford Haven

21st June | 10.30am – 1pm

Pater Hall, Pembroke Dock

Scan to register or visit


Welsh Government delay school year reform

THE WELSH GOVERNMENT has kicked plans to reform the school year into the long grass.

Any decision to change the school year will only happen after the 2026 Senedd election.

The decision follows a mixed response from the biggest Welsh Government education consultation on record, generating well over 16,000 responses, which sought views on changing the school calendar to spread school holidays out more evenly across the year.

Proposals included moving a week from the start of the summer break into the autumn break and creating a two-week half-term.

The Welsh Government claimed the change would improve the education experiences of young people, especially the most disadvantaged, and align more effectively with how families live and work.

The Education Secretary, Lynne Neagle, said: “My starting point is always the best interests of children and young people. That means ensuring reforms are properly planned and have the time and space to succeed.

“Opinion was hugely divided on this. To ensure we get this right, we must continue

listening to and engaging with schools, teachers, unions, children, young people, and parents on how best to implement future changes.

“I am acutely aware we are asking a lot of teachers and schools. I want to prioritise ongoing school reforms and improving attainment. Therefore, no changes will be made to the school year during this Senedd term.

“In the meantime, our priority will be to maximise the support available to learners during the summer holidays including doing more to target that provision towards the poorest communities through a range of policies

and activities including the School Holiday Enrichment Programme and Community Focused Schools.”

Tom Giffard MS, Shadow Education Minister, said: “Education in Wales is in crisis with soaring absenteeism, the worst PISA results in the UK and rising incidences of violence plaguing our schools.

“We have long called for the Labour Government to scrap this distraction and tackle the problems they have created in education over the past 25 years.

“Kicking this into the long grass is not good enough. Labour cannot ignore every teacher’s union, let alone the

tourism and business sectors. The policy must be scrapped completely.”

Nicola Fitzpatrick, Interim Wales Secretary for the National Education Union Cymru, said: “NEU Cymru members will be pleased that the Welsh Government has seen sense and decided not to change the pattern of the school year.

“We were clear in our response to their consultation that there was no clear rationale for reform and that any changes needed to be evidence-based to show how they would benefit children and young people in their learning whilst also ensuring the wellbeing of the workforce.

“It remains a really difficult time in education.

The education workforce has seen significant periods of change, including implementing the new curriculum and significant additional learning needs reform. We also have a funding crisis, major workload issues, pupil behaviour and attendance issues, and mental health challenges for both staff and students.

“These should be the Cabinet Secretary’s main priorities and we look forward to discussing these with her as part of her commitment to listening and working in partnership with the workforce.”

Education support for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children

JUNE is Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month and a chance to celebrate and learn more about the rich culture and heritage of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in Wales.

In 2024-25 the Welsh Government is providing £11m to local authorities to support Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people who experience barriers to learning, accessing the curriculum, or education in general.

In December 2023 new guidance was published to help schools

support Gypsy, Roma, Traveller children and young people. Over 40 children and young people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in Wales helped contribute to the new guidance by highlighting what’s important to them. This guidance is an integral part of the work being driven forward by the Welsh Government and statutory bodies, as well as schools, to create and embed an anti-racist education system, and a truly anti-racist Wales by 2030.

The Welsh

Government is embedding anti-racism into the education system and driving equity in education, so that every child and young person feels valued in school. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic histories and experiences are now a mandatory part of the curriculum.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Lynne Neagle said:

“Inclusive practice is vital in our education system so that every child and young person is included, their identities celebrated, and their educational outcomes


“I encourage everyone, not just teachers and education practitioners, to find out more about the diversity of rich cultures and heritage of our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in Wales.”

Schools such as Monkton Primary School in Pembrokeshire are designing their curriculum focusing not just on their school, but also the distinct character of their local area, with 33% of pupils from the school being from the gypsy traveller community.

Community Focused Schools provide services and activities for the wider community including schools who help Gypsy, Roma and Traveller parents continue their education and develop their skills.

At Maindee Primary School in Newport where over 40 languages are spoken, the community focussed approach has had a positive effect on community cohesion and engagement with families. This sense of belonging helps to ensure all learners are supported to reach their full potential.

41 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024 eFEATUREducaTIon educa TI on

Keep your pets cool this summer!

AS summer temperaturesare set to rise, pet owners face the critical task of keeping their furry companions cool and comfortable.

Owners vow to keep pets

With the risk of heatstroke and other heat-related issues looming, here are some essential strategies to ensure your pets stay safe during the hot weather.

Hydration is Key

Ensuring your pets have access to fresh, clean water at all times is paramount. Multiple water bowls placed strategically around the house and yard can encourage frequent drinking. Adding ice cubes to the water can help keep it cooler for longer periods.

Timing Outdoor Activities

Walks should be scheduled during the cooler parts of the day— early mornings and late evenings. The pavement can become scorchingly hot, potentially burning your pet’s paws. A simple test: if the ground is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pet.

Creating a Cool Haven

Provide a cool, shaded area for your pets to retreat to. Indoors, fans or air conditioning can help maintain a comfortable environment. For outdoor pets, ensure they have shaded spots and consider cooling mats or damp towels for them to rest on.

Cars Can Be Deadly

It’s a stark but vital reminder: never leave your pets in a car.

Temperatures inside a vehicle can skyrocket within minutes, posing a fatal risk even with windows slightly open.

Grooming for Comfort

Regular grooming helps to keep pets cool. However, avoid shaving them too closely. Instead, remove excess fur and consult with a professional groomer about the best practices for your pet’s breed and coat type.

Watch for Heatstroke Symptoms

Heatstroke can be life-threatening. Warning signs include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and collapse. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cool area immediately, offer small amounts of water, and contact your veterinarian without delay.

Cool Treats and Water Play

Frozen treats can be both refreshing and hydrating. Consider making pet-safe popsicles or freezing their favorite snacks. If your pet enjoys water, supervised swimming or gentle misting can

provide relief. For those less enthusiastic about water, a small kiddie pool can also be a hit.

Adjust Activity Levels

Reduce strenuous activities on hot days. Overexertion can lead to overheating. Instead, opt for indoor play or allow your pets to rest more during peak heat times.

Pet-Safe Sunscreen

Pets, especially those with short or light-colored fur, are susceptible to sunburn. Applying pet-safe sunscreen to exposed areas like the nose and ears can prevent burns. Avoid using human sunscreens, as they can be toxic to animals.

By following these guidelines, pet owners can help their furry friends beat the heat. Stay attentive to your pet’s needs and behavior, as proactive care can prevent heat-related issues and ensure a safe and enjoyable summer for all.

For further information on keeping pets cool, consult your veterinarian or visit reputable pet care websites. Stay cool, and make this summer a safe one for your beloved pets!

DOG lovers in Wales are steadfast in their commitment to their pets, even as economic uncertainties prevail, research has revealed.

Only 29 per cent said they were worried that they would not be able to afford to keep their dogs if the “cost of living” crisis continues.

“These findings suggest that owners are taking proactive steps to ensure that their pets can remain an integral part of the family, even amidst potential economic downturns,” said Lynne Fisher, Associate Director of Cliverton, which provides specialist insurance cover to animal-related services.

“While foreign holidays are sacrificed and plans for a new car may need to be put on hold, when it comes to keeping a pet dog, it’s strictly non-negotiable.”

The Cliverton survey also found that ‘companionship’ was cited as the main reason for getting a dog in the first place.

“In difficult times, a dog offers unconditional love and priceless emotional support. It can give people a reason to keep going,” Fisher said.

“Spending time with a pet, and grooming and exercising it, can be very therapeutic and help improve mental and physical wellbeing.

“It comes as no surprise that people are so determined to keep them.”

The attitude of dog owners in Wales was reflected across the UK, with only 32% of those surveyed expressing concern over their ability to keep their dogs.

“The constancy that a dog provides is invaluable,” said Fisher.

42 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels PROUDLY SPONSORING PETS CORNER P e
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Friday June 7

Farmers Union of Wales announce new Head of Policy

The Farmers Union of Wales is delighted to announce that Gareth Parry has been appointed as Head of Policy just a few days before his wedding.

It was a double celebration for Gareth, born and bred in Llanfarian near Aberystwyth, as he and Catrin, the FUW headquarters Office Manager, were recently married. They have already settled on the family’s dairy, beef and sheep farm in Llanafan, Ceredigion.

Gareth, who graduated from Aberystwyth University with a first class honours degree in agriculture and business studies, has been working for the Union as a Policy Officer for the past five years. He recently led the Union’s 20,000 word response to the Welsh Government’s most recent Sustainable Farming Scheme consultation. He is the public face of the Union supporting the President in meetings at both Westminster and

the Senedd, including regularly meeting with the Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary and his team. He also meets and guides members throughout Wales and is regularly seen interviewed by the media.

Gareth has already started in his role and is proud of the work that the Union achieves: “I am extremely proud of this opportunity and grateful to everyone for their support over the last few busy months. We have a team of hard-working staff with great expertise at the FUW and it is a privilege to work with them as we represent the interests of our members.

“I’m looking forward to the agricultural shows over the summer months, the opportunity to chat with Welsh farmers, to discuss the issues of the day with other organisations and to prepare for the next exciting period for the industry. It is no mean feat to set a new agricultural support policy for Wales as it is the foundation of the

countryside, the economy, culture and heritage. I’m looking forward to playing a part in this important historical moment for Wales’ rural communities.”

When the Union’s work allows, Gareth has a keen interest in car rallies and has competed on many occasions with his codriver. Navigating these off road tracks with his driving partner, Scott Faulkner, they came home with the ‘British Trials and Rally Drivers Association’ cup back in 2019. The new head of policy has travelled the world rallying and he also enjoys restoring cars and vehicles.

Welcoming the appointment, FUW President Ian Rickman said: “We are delighted that Gareth has been appointed FUW’s Head of Policy. He is an accomplished, professional and intellectual ambassador for agriculture. We are very fortunate to have benefited from his expertise and sharp mind during the past few months. We look forward to continuing to

work with Gareth, as we step into the next part of this important journey within Welsh agriculture.

Guto Bebb, FUW Chief Executive said: “Many congratulations to Gareth on his appointment to this prominent role and to Catrin and him on their recent wedding. We are proud of the quality of our staff and are grateful to all our staff members throughout Wales for their dedication to the Union.

“Whilst we celebrate Gareth’s announcement, I would like to take this

opportunity to pay tribute to Nick Fenwick, our former Head of Policy for his work for the FUW and for Welsh agriculture. Nick’s contribution to the Union’s work and the industry during a long period of time is very much appreciated. Staff and members have had the privilege of working with an agricultural expert who showed great commitment and professionalism to working on behalf of Welsh farmers. We wish him and his family well for the future.”

44 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels F ar MI ng

Red meat trade bonus hopes as EU livestock numbers shrink

EARLY year beef export figures are upand there could be more to come as latest statistics indicate an internal decline in EU red meat production.

During quarter one, Britain exported 27,150 tonnes of beef, up 3.7 per cent on year earlier figures, with the value of exports up 0.7 per cent. 85 per cent went to the EU, with non-EU countries receiving 66 per cent more and Hong Kong seeing a huge 84 per cent increase on year earlier figures.

Lamb exports also had a healthy increase in January and February and only fell in March due to increases in domestic demand; nevertheless, export value in quarter one up was 13 per cent and volumes were higher than both 2021 and 2022.

“These figures, from HMRC, are very encouraging and it seems beef production, according to a EU Commission report, is expected to drop by 2.3

per cent in 2024, due to the internal structural adjustments of the suckler and dairy herd,” said Elizabeth Swancott, Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC) Market Intelligence, Research & Development Senior Officer.

This follows a 2.8 per cent decline in production in 2023, when the suckler numbers dropped by 160,000 head and the dairy herd by 344,000 head. EU sheep meat production has also dropped by five per cent following a longer-term scaling down- amounting to a reduction of 6 million head since 2019.

“While it’s always difficult to gainsay the marketplace, any supply shortfalls offer potential opportunities for further UK exports to a major trading partner. Alongside these positive beef opportunities, sheepmeat has scope with low availability, and resultant high prices, predicted to result in a 2.5 per cent increase in exports to

the EU throughout 2024,” said Elizabeth.

She said underlying trends reflect a tight supply of lambs in all marketplaces, with less British lambs available

for export and more lamb staying on the domestic market because of high demand in March.

“This was aided by the religious festivals of Easter, Eid al-Fitr and Ramadan, when lamb is traditionally eaten,” explained Elizabeth.

“Our largest trade partner in terms of exports- France- received an additional 13 per cent supply from Britain on the year; a good sign for upcoming trade, as France now takes over half of total export volume with around 54 per cent,” said Elizabeth.

45 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024

Europe’s largest youth festival in the heartland of Sir Drefaldwyn

Last week was the culmination of years of preparation as the largest youth festival in Europe descended on Montgomeryshire and Mathrafal farm near Meifod. This was the first time since 1988 that Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s National Eisteddfod visited the area and there’s no doubt that it was a resounding success.

With around 90,000 festival goers expected to have descended on the area it was a great opportunity to showcase not only Welsh culture and the language but also the stunning landscape of Maldwyn. It was estimated that the event would bring in £6 million to the local economy through business opportunities, holiday lets, caravan rentals and opportunities for food and drink outlets.

The FUW County Branch in Montgomeryshire were the sponsors of one of the main events of the week, the Crowning ceremony, when the crown is awarded for the best portfolio of work from a young writer. It is a prestigious competition with a formal ceremony to announce the winner from the stage, and as the spotlight moves around the

darkened audience, the winner stands up to be greeted and their name disclosed to the crowd. They will have had to keep the win a secret for a few weeks, not an easy task!

We are delighted that there was a worthy winner in Tegwen Bruce-Danes from Llandrindod Wells. Tegwen is no stranger to the Eisteddfod as she won the chair at Carmarthenshire’s Urdd Eisteddfod last year, making her only the second ever to accomplish the “double win”.

Tegwen composed a piece of prose over 2,500 words on the theme ‘Terfynau’ (limits / boundaries). 19 entries were received and the adjudicators, Elin Llwyd Morgan and Caryl Lewis were full of praise for the winning entry: “This is a simple but powerful story... and without question, is the most polished and sophisticated piece in the competition. The author has a gritty voice and a natural talent for sensing the rhythm of a story. We were both completely immersed in the situation and forgot that we were judging. That is the talent of a writer - to create an illusion that we can believe, taking our thoughts to new places.”

In 2022 Tegwen graduated in Welsh from Bangor University. She now

HCC highlights traceability credentials

APPLYING the latest technology and working with the supply chain is essential when it comes to protecting the credentials of PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef. Maintaining their role as brand guardians for the red meat sector, Hybu Cig Cymru –Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), therefore, works closely with Oritain, who uses innovative forensic science to verify the origin of red meat products.

lives in Bangor and works for BBC Radio Cymru.

Our very own Mari Eluned from Mallwyd created the Crown. A renowned jeweller and silversmith, Mari is no stranger to creating beautiful commissioned pieces to convey a sense of place and emotion.

“From receiving the original brief from the FUW team at Montgomeryshire, my intention was to create a crown with a contemporary feel which conveys the Urdd’s valuable contribution and importance to the agricultural communities of this area. Maldwyn has an important place in the future of our culture and language,” Mari explains.

Emyr Wyn Davies, FUW Montgomeryshire County Executive Officer said: “We were delighted to sponsor the crown at Meifod this year. We thoroughly enjoyed the process, and were delighted with the crown that Mari designed for us. The FUW work with people at the heart of rural communities and it was fitting that we were able to invest in showcasing a prestigious award here on our home turf. Congratulations to Tegwen on her win and to Mari for sharing her talent with the nation.”

Joining HCC recently to discuss developments in the field, the delegation visited 4th generation farmer Will Evans, who farms at Hendreseifion near Machynlleth, to see first-hand how the Welsh Way of farming ensures a sustainable, nutritious red meat product that is produced in harmony with the environment.

The land here encompasses a mix of lowland and upland/ hill land, and the Evans family is passionate about working towards a resilient farming business that will be fit for future generations. Taking a modern, forward-thinking approach to their farming system, Will, along with his wife Nia and 3 young sons, is moving away from the more traditional beef and sheep farm system to a sheep and dairy heifer rearing enterprise on a rotational grazing system.

HCC’s Producer and Processor Senior Officer Jenni Evans said: “Oritain have worked with HCC to develop a dataset where they are able to determine the origin of PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef. The objective of this verification of origin is to enhance the traceability of PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef products in order to strengthen the scheme and safeguard the brands for the future.”

In 2018, Oritain and HCC formed a pioneering partnership with a world first in the protection of Welsh Lamb through forensic

science. In 2021, the programme increased its reach to Welsh Beef, providing an extra layer of reassurance to an already strong system of traceability from farm to fork. Oritain’s database for lamb, beef and other red meat has been developed through a unique combination of forensic and data science.

“Consumers today demand greater transparency around the origin of the products they consume, and studies have proved this influences the purchase of red meat. Oritain is proud to have partnered with HCC for over 7 years to underpin the integrity of PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef,” said Henry Ryan, Oritain Client Manager.

“It’s been rewarding for us to see firsthand the commitment of Welsh farmers, as evidenced by the Evans family, to sustainable, high quality red meat production that works with the natural environment rather than against it, and we’re confident the partnership with Oritain will continue to support the growth of Welsh red meat for many years to come.”

“Wales is known for its sustainable, low-intensity

agriculture based on our outstanding natural environment. Using land unsuited for other food production and plentiful natural resources of grass and rainwater, topquality beef and lamb is produced with far fewer emissions than many other farming systems across the globe. The good news is that we can also scientifically prove it,” explained Jenni.

“The forensic science that is used to prove our credentials is the same science used in the criminal investigations field. It is incredibly accurate and robust, and doesn’t rely on extra barcodes or packaging— the product can be tested at multiple points through the supply chain. This also means that Welsh farmers can be confident that the quality meat they produce and the excellent reputation this affords is protected as it moves through the supply chain. That in turn provides both buyers and consumers, both at home and abroad, the assurance that the Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef they buy is the same great meat that has been reared and raised in Wales,” she added.

46 Friday June 7th 2024
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Dacia opens orders for the UK’s most affordable new electric car

The All-New Dacia Spring – the UK’s most affordable new electric car – is now available to order, costing £169 per month on a 3.9% APR representative*, fouryear Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deal, with a customer deposit of £2,325.

Priced at only £14,995 on-the-road, the pure-electric supermini provides the solution to all those who cite a high initial purchase cost as a barrier to switching to an EV, while Dacia’s launch offers make it even more accessible.

For an additional £10 on top of the monthly cost of the entry-level Expression version, customers can opt for the Expression 65 that boasts a more powerful motor. On the same 3.9% APR representative PCP finance package, it can be purchased for £179 per month following a deposit of £2,7221.

A further £10 per month, on top the monthly cost of an Expression 65, puts car buyers behind the wheel of the flagship Extreme 65 version. Combining the biggest electric motor with the highest level of standard

equipment, the Extreme 65 costs £189 per month following a £2,763 customer deposit via the 3.9% APR representative PCP2.

There’s also the opportunity of matching your deposit with your monthly payment. This sees the Expression, Expression 65 and Extreme being available for £2173, £2354, and £2465 per month respectively on a four-year, 3.9% APR representative PCP. For even more ease, Dacia’s inhouse electric vehicle charging solutions provider, Mobilize Power Solutions, enables customers to add the cost of a home charger6

to their monthly payment for under £20 per month. Buyers can benefit from installing a domestic charger that takes advantage of smart offpeak tariffs from as little as 7 pence per kilowatt7. This means you can fully charge your Dacia Spring for less than £2.

Rewriting the EV rulebook, the All-New Dacia Spring combines its incredible value with a comprehensive standard specification and everyday usability. It offers a choice of Expression and Extreme trim levels and has a range of up to 140 miles (WLTP mixed cycle) or 186 miles (WLTP urban cycle).

Spring can be ordered with a 45 hp, or a more powerful 65 hp/48 kW motor. Using its 7kW charger, the compact 26.8 kWh battery can be charged from 20% to 100% on a suitable domestic outlet in less than 11 hours, or in just four hours on a 7kW charger.

Starting from Expression trim, available with the Electric 45 or 65 powertrain, standard equipment includes a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, height-adjustable 3-spoke steering wheel, Media Control system with USB port, speed limiter, cruise control, steering wheel mounted controls, central locking

with remote control, electric front windows, rear parking sensors, 12V socket, manual air conditioning and 15-inch wheels (only on Electric 65).

The Extreme trim, exclusively paired to the Electric 65 powertrain, adds copper interior and exterior finishes, electric mirrors and rear windows, the Media Nav Live multimedia system with 10-inch centre screen, two USB ports and wireless connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a bi-directional charger allowing you to use the All-New Spring as a power source for external appliances.

All-New Spring also offers the best storage volume in its class and betters the segment standard. In fact, such is its luggage carrying capability – up to 1,004 litres with the rear seats folded down – it offers space on par with many vehicles in the segment above.

The All-New Dacia Spring can be ordered online via www.dacia. or at any official Dacia retailer, with deliveries later this year.

47 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024 FarMIng
o T or

The new Golf GTI Clubsport celebrates its world premiere

THE race gets underway with a world premiere. Germany’s largest motorsport event has already provided its first memorable moment: on Friday, as part of the legendary Nürburgring 24 Hours, the new Golf GTI Clubsport1 was presented to numerous fans. The sporty, optimised version of the classic model stands out thanks to its sharper exterior design, an enhanced interior, impressive performance data and high-end sports suspension.

A fitting way to make its debut. The new Golf GTI Clubsport was unveiled on the Ring Boulevard at the legendary race track in the Eifel region in front of an enthusiastic crowd of motorsport fans.They were the first to get a look at the new enhanced model which, with its completely redesigned front end, now looks even more powerful and distinctive. The standard LED Plus headlights have been revamped. For the first time, the vehicle also features the illuminated VW logo at the front. A large roof spoiler at the

rear ensures maximum downforce. The LED tail light clusters have also been redesigned. Designed for performance inside and out. The 19-inch Queenstown2 alloy wheels are also new. With their striking design of five oval semicircles, they evoke the classic Detroit wheel, which was introduced for the fifth-generation Golf GTI. As a further option, the Golf GTI Clubsport can now be configured with the new 19-inch Warmenau2 forged wheel. With a weight of only eight kilograms per wheel rim, the forged wheels reduce the unsprung masses and thus optimise performance. The Golf GTI Clubsport’s various functions and systems are coordinated using a newly developed multifunction leather sports steering wheel and a new infotainment system. It is intuitive and makes it possible for the driver to concentrate even better on the road

ahead. The new topof-the-range GTI model also features the new IDA voice assistant with ChatGPT integration.

Impressive performance. The new Golf GTI

the road via an electronically controlled front

Clubsport is as impressive inside as out: the GTI turbocharged engine (EA888 LK3 evo4) delivers a torque of 400 Nm and an output of 221 kW (300 PS), which are brought to

available as optional equipment.

Another highlight of the Golf GTI Clubsport is the exclusive Special driving profile. This matches systems relevant for driving

dynamics to the special track characteristics of the Nürburgring – in order to compensate for the undulations typical of the Nordschleife, maximum performance is achieved by means of a specific vertical setup of the DCC adaptive chassis

control and a modified lateral dynamics setup of the standard Vehicle Dynamics Manager. The Golf GTI Clubsport accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds; the top speed of this most powerful of GTIs is electronically limited to 250 km/h. However, this limit can be lifted with the Race package –which raises the top speed to 267 km/h.

50 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels
differential lock. The DCC adaptive chassis control is
51 Friday June 7 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 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 VOLKSWAGEN T-ROC 1.6 RLINE TDI, 5dr, white, service history £12,995.00 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 £13,595.00 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 VAUXHALL CORSA 1.2 SPECIAL CDTI ECOFLEX, 5dr, silver £3,995.00 2015 15 RANGE ROVER SPORT 3.0 AUTOBIOGRAPHY HYBRID, red, £23,500.00 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 PEUGEOT 308 1.6 TDI, silver, 5dr £4,250.00 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

The medical solutions of tomorrow, developed in Wales today

A wound-healing product made from maggot secretions and a blood test for Multiple Sclerosisthe first of its kind in the world - are among the Welsh innovations to secure support from the Welsh Government.

Economy Secretary, Jeremy Miles, today announced £900k funding for 5 projects which promise to deliver real-life medical benefits

through cutting edge life sciences technology.

Bridgend-based Zoobiotic Limited are developing products from larval secretions which speed the removal of dead or infected skin tissue to help a wound heal.

Using a different approach, Corryn Biotechnologies in Swansea are working on a handheld medical device which can deposit a layer of

microscopic polymer fibres over a wound, creating a dressing using “electrospinning” technology.

Today marks World MS Day [Thursday 30 May] and one of the cutting-edge projects being announced is to develop T-Cell tests, which are used in diagnostics and precision medicine. Immunoserv’s technology will be a Cardiff-developed,

clinically validated diagnostic blood test for MS - the first of its kind worldwide.

Arcitebio Ltd in Aberystwyth has developed a low-cost diabetic-friendly and tooth-friendly natural sweetener using a biotechnological solution to produce xylitol from biomass.

Finally, Copner Biotech in Ebbw Vale are exploring using bioprinting technology to produce organ replacements.

Known as SMART FIS, the programme is a new approach to research and development. It is not restricted to businesses and research organisations: it is open to any organisation wishing to engage in research, development and innovation, including the third sector, local authorities and health boards.

For a new organisation this might mean accessing technology to get a new idea off the ground. For a developing one, it could be help with a project which has potential, and for an established

organisation it might be about specialist know-how to give an international edge by opening-up new markets.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said:

“We launched our Flexible Innovation Support (FIS) programme last summer to help Welsh businesses and organisations improve people’s everyday lives by driving cuttingedge research and innovation.

“We want to build a stronger and fairer nation with an economy based on fair work, sustainability and sectors of the future –this support programme provides a strong footing for this ambition.

“As can be seen with these inspiring projects, Welsh companies are developing worldchanging ideas which could ultimately save people’s lives. Any kind of organisation is welcome to apply for this support – please do see if yours could benefit too.”

Welsh three peaks challenge raises over £15,000 for charity

A GROUP of friends completed the Welsh Three Peaks challenge in under 15 hours and raised a fantastic £ 15,179 for the Acute Response Team, Community Response Team and District Nursing Team in Ceredigion.

Dylan Parry, Dafydd Williams, James Williams, Carrie Hermitage, Tony Davies, Mark Lloyd, Eurig Davies, Chris Hill and Gareth Thomas all took on Pen y Fan, Cadair Idris and Snowdon in memory of their close friend Richard Evans, who sadly passed away following treatment for cancer.

Dylan Parry said, “We started the challenge on September 15, 2023, and

completed it in 14 hours and 15 minutes. We all found the experience very challenging and emotional.

“We wanted to show our appreciation for the district nurses who took care of Richard at home. This type of care is very important in rural Wales, and Richard was very thankful for the home visits that he received.

“We would like to thank everyone who donated money to this important cause, the response was amazing.

A special thank you and mention to the individuals and companies that sponsored our challenge: The Hive Aberaeron, E&M Motor Factor, JWR Rallying, TD Tyres Recycling, MSD, I&E

Davies Civil Engineering, Station Self Drive, Eugene Mason, Chris Hill. Thank you to our dedicated bus driver and to our families for their support pre- and postclimb. Without this help we would not have been able to do the challenge.”

Sian Owen Lewis,

Clinical Lead Nurse, said:

“Many thanks to Richard’s family and friends who went above and beyond to raise this amazing sum of money for Ceredigion Community Nurses and Acute Response Team.

“The funding will support us to deliver care to patients within

their own homes to avoid hospital admission and support discharge from hospital. The nursing team is extremely grateful for this donation, and humbled to have been able to support Richard and his family during his illness.”

52 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels H eal TH

Welsh Government data shows its NHS failings

THE WELSH Government published its programme for transforming and modernising planned care and reducing waiting lists in Wales in April 2022.

Despite that, waiting lists in Wales remain stubbornly long. Meanwhile, modernisation has gone so well that Eluned Morgan is waiting for a Labour government in Westminster to deliver on Cardiff Bay’s priority with some of the extra money Keir Starmer hasn’t promised from HS2.

Backlogs in routine care inevitably built up during the pandemic, resulting in long waits for diagnostics and treatment. However, NHS performance in Wales was dire before Covid-19.

The Welsh Government says it is determined to make the best possible use of additional investment to increase capacity, accelerate progress and build a long-term health and social care system.

After twenty-five years of continuous Labour government in Wales,

that’s the sort of stunt Rishi Sunak is trying to pull by ignoring who’s been in power in Westminster for the last fourteen years.

Gething was still Health Minister when he pledged to integrate health and social care.

Seven years later, the Welsh NHS is still a money pit, and social care is in crisis.

The Welsh Government says addressing backlogs in routine care cannot happen overnight. It would be nice if they were happening at all. However, performance is dire.

Data on NHS waiting

times are published every month on StatsWales.

The data show the number of patient pathways rather than the number of patients, and one patient can be on several pathways.

Each pathway covers the time from a GP or other medical practitioner’s referral to a hospital for treatment in the NHS in Wales. It includes waiting for hospital appointments, tests, scans or other procedures before treatment.

The data shows the number of patient pathways waiting longer than 53 weeks rather than

longer than one year and the number of people waiting longer than 105 weeks rather than longer than two years.

The performance graphs are here.

Once one considers that the Welsh Government’s own data is used to produce the graphs, the extent of Labour’s collective delusion about health service performance becomes clear.

On every performance measure, the Welsh Government is off target - in some cases, way off even their amended targets - and faced with

its rhetoric running into patients’ lived experiences of the Welsh NHS.

In March, the number increased from just over 762,500 to just under 768,900, the highest figure on record.

The number of patient pathways is not the same as that of individual patients because some people have multiple open pathways.

Management information suggests that, in March, when there were just under 768,900 open patient pathways, there were about 599,100 individual patients on treatment waiting lists in Wales, the highest figure on record.

In March, the proportion of patient pathways waiting less than 26 weeks decreased to 56.0%.

That figure has been relatively stable after falling significantly from the levels pre-pandemic.

In March, the number of pathways waiting longer than 36 weeks increased to just under 251,300, remaining high in historical context.

Just over 20,600

pathways were waiting more than two years, over two-thirds (70.7%) lower than the peak and falling for the twentyfourth consecutive month. The target was zero two years ago and zero by this March.

At the end of March, the average (median) time patient pathways had been waiting for treatment was 21.8 weeks, 0.5 weeks higher than the previous month.

The planned care recovery plan established a target to eliminate two-year waits in most specialities by March 2023.

The target was unmet in March (2023), and in March (2024), ten specialities had pathways waiting more than two years, accounting for 2,776.

Meanwhile, Welsh ministers cower behind the public’s high regard for NHS staff and the Conservative government in Westminster, hoping nobody points out that health spending in Wales has been under Labour’s control for a quarter of a century.

53 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024


Budding TV series sprouts from Wales

A Welsh animation company’s children’s series encouraging young audiences to take an interest in nature and the world around them has been picked-up to air by some of the UK’s leading broadcasters, including S4C and ITV.

With support from the Welsh Government’s Creative Wales agency, Bumpybox’s new TV show under the working title of Mini Buds / Egin Bach, will be available in Welsh on S4C and English on ITV. The series also has the potential to be distributed globally.

The 26 five-minute episodes of Mini Buds / Egin Bach explores the big adventures of six tiny, budding explorers navigating the vast wilderness of a small back garden. Each story

focuses on different aspects of the garden environment such as flowers and seeds, the insects and the creatures that live there and the elements like the rain or sunshine.

The creation of Mini Buds / Egin Bach expanded Bumpybox’s team from 4 to 12, securing jobs for 12 months. The series’ success will improve the company’s sustainability and further strengthen its track record as a renowned production company.

With a strong reputation in children’s animation, Bumpybox has previously created over 75 episodes of My Petsaurus for BBC’s dedicated children’s channel Cbeebies.

The team are also awaiting the theatrical

release of Michael Morpurgo’s Kensuke’s Kingdom, featuring Cillian Murphy and Sally Hawkins. Bumpybox joined the production team as an animation partner, providing their expertise in CGI, colouring and compositing.

Sam Wright, producer and director at Cardiffbased Bumpybox, said:

“We’ve been working on developing Mini Buds / Egin Bach for a long time, it actually started out as an idea we had while still studying at University of South Wales over 13 years ago. It’s amazing that with the help of Creative Wales, we’ll be able to finally bring this to audiences.

“The production means a lot to our company as it will allow us to expand our staff, offer training for new

animators, work with new broadcast partners and sell overseas greatly increasing the outlook of our business.

We’re very grateful to all the assistance we’ve received in getting to this stage.”

Minister for Creative Industries, Sarah Murphy, said:

“The animation industry is a key priority for Creative Wales and I’m delighted that

we have been able to support this exciting new development from the team at Bumpybox.

“It’s fantastic news that this funding has allowed a home-grown company to build its workforce for such largerscale projects. This growth will also provide excellent opportunities for new graduates to stay in Wales and find work closer to home in this exciting sector.”

Tata chief executive threatens to speed up closure of blast furnaces

UNITE, the UK’s leading union, says it is preparing to escalate industrial action at Port Talbot and Llanwern after Tata showed its true colours and threatened to cut redundancy pay in response to the announcement earlier this week that Unite members will begin an overtime ban and work to rule later this month. In a further significant threat Tata has told workers that next month’s

general election will not affect it plans to close its blast furnaces. It said: “Neither the general election nor its outcome has any impact on the timings or our decision to proceed with the winding down of our heavy-end operations (blast furnaces).” In the same communication the company has threatened “to bring forward” the closure of blast furnaces.

The company’s statement on its closure plans is a direct rebuff to

the Labour Party, which is committed to creating a £3 billion investment steel fund to preserve steel making in the UK. On Thursday when launching Labour’s campaign in Wales, Labour leader Keir Starmer said on Tata: “I will fight for every single job and fight for the future of steel in Wales.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite and its members will not tolerate Tata’s bully boy tactics and neither

should Labour. The union is now preparing to escalate industrial action in direct response to the company’s threats.

“The company is trying to hold the country to ransom, while needlessly throw thousands of workers on the scrapheap. If Tata is not prepared to do the right thing, then an incoming Labour government must ensure it does.

“Tata’s actions show the fundamental problem with private multinational

companies owning the UK’s foundation industries. It has no concern for the long-term economic damage and harm its action will cause in the UK.”

The redundancy pay cut threat was part of an extraordinary 900 plus word communication to Tata workers sent by chief executive officer Rajesh Nair that was sent late on Friday evening (31 May) to the company’s workforce

Unite believes that the threat of speeding up the closure of the blast furnaces is the latest part of Tata’s plans to turn Port Talbot into a satellite site for at least the next five years, while it imports hot rolled coil and slab steel, from India and its other overseas operations and badges it as produced in the UK.

Unite secretary for Wales Peter Hughes said: “Workers will not be blackmailed. Unite never takes a backward step in supporting our members in their fight to preserve their jobs pay and conditions and the workers at Tata have the union’s complete support.”

54 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels bu SI ne

Pembrokeshire Hotels Join Exclusive Tourism Consortium

A hotel group which comprises three historic Pembrokeshire properties has joined an exclusive consortium of Wales’ finest hotels and accommodation providers.

Twr y Felin Hotel, Roch Castle and Penrhiw Priory – which form The Retreats Group – have joined the Rarebits Collection, a curated selection of Wales’s best places to stay.

Joining the Rarebits Collection is a significant milestone for the three properties, aligning them with a network renowned for quality and distinction.

Emma Bowen, General Manager of Twr y Felin Hotel, Roch Castle, and Penrhiw Priory, said:

As part of the Rarebits Collection, the three properties will gain access to a broader audience of travellers seeking the finest accommodation Wales has to offer.

Twr y Felin Hotel, a former windmill transformed into a contemporary art hotel, offers a blend of heritage and modernity. Located in St Davids, the hotel features more than 250 commissioned art pieces. Roch Castle, a 12th-century Norman

“We are delighted to be joining Rarebits, an important consortium for the Welsh hotel industry. They work hard to promote Wales and its accommodation providers to a national audience, encouraging the use of traditional booking methods, which create longstanding relationships between the hotels and their guests.”

fortress, offers a stay in one of Wales’ most iconic landmarks.

Penrhiw Priory, an elegantly restored Victorian priory, is in the

heart of private grounds within walking distance of St Davids Cathedral and Whitesands Bay, it is perfect for those seeking a serene and intimate escape. The property’s luxurious rooms and tranquil setting make it ideal for wellness retreats, romantic getaways and special occasions.

Both the castle and priory operate as a bed and breakfast or can be reserved for exclusive use.

Pembrokeshire to benefit from Openreach’s huge broadband upgrade

FULL fibre heading to nearly 6,500 homes and businesses –from St Davids to Saundersfoot and Newport to Letterston

Full fibre broadband is heading to a further 16 Welsh city’s, towns and villages, as part of a huge broadband upgrade by Openreach.

People living in St Davids, Saundersfoot, Newport and Letterston are among the communities that are next in line for full fibre. In total more than 23,000 additional properties across Wales are set benefit from Openreach’s latest investment.

They join the nearly 900,000 homes and businesses across Wales that already have access to the UK’s most reliable broadband technology, thanks to Openreach’s work.

Across the UK, the company has published updated plans to build full fibre broadband to a record 517 more locations – covering a further 2.7 million homes and businesses.

Martin Williams,

Openreach partnership director for Wales, said: “This is a huge infrastructure success story across Wales. No company is building faster or further in Europe, that we’re aware of.

“We won’t be stopping either. We plan to build

even further across the region, to more cities and towns, and our most rural communities.

“And our engineers, of which more than 2,200 live in Wales, are doing this at a rapid pace – despite this being a hugely complex engineering project.

“Our fibre checker has the latest information about our work in your area. It’s also worth noting that upgrades aren’t automatic. Once full fibre is available where you live, you’ll need to place an order to get connected and we’ll do the rest!

“Openreach’s network

offers the widest choice of providers such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen – which means people have lots of choice and can get a great deal.”

The work is all part of Openreach’s £15 billion project to upgrade the UK’s

broadband infrastructure – making gigabit-capable technology available to 25 million homes and businesses by the end of 2026, including 6.2 million in harder to reach more remote and rural areas.

More than 4.7 million homes and businesses across the UK have already upgraded to Full Fibre and demand continues to flow, with more than 50,000 orders being placed each week.

Openreach has also refreshed its online map and postcode checker to give a clearer, regularly updated view of its plans and progress between now and 2026.

The map now shows the levels of current and future expected full fibre coverage as of today, taking data from all of its build programmes, whilst the postcode checker continues to offer the most personalised view of the connectivity available to an individual home or business.

Further updates will be provided as any additional locations are added in future.

55 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024 buSIneSS

cSDismal debate shows leaders’ shortcomings

THIS reporter watched the first debate of the General Election campaign.

He did it to spare you the bother.

He wishes he hadn’t spared you because now he’s bothered.

There are several ways to approach reporting on such an event: a stringent analysis of the facts, a comparison of the policy pledges both leaders made, and even bemused indifference.

Instead, here’s a balanced and informed personal response.

If that’s the choice the country faces, we are all doomed.

On the one hand, tiny, tetchy, and oh-so-shouty Rishi, who couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge his party has been in power for fourteen years.

On the other hand, Keir Starmer couldn’t help but remind people that he came from humble oranges and believed in something, even if he couldn’t identify it under questioning.

In the middle, Kate Etchingham from ITV News needed to be subbed out in favour of Nigel Owen as soon as she let Rishi Sunak repeat the same lie repeatedly without allowing Keir Starmer to address it.

Mr Sunak’s message was simple: “WOOOOOO! Labour! Spooky! Beware!”

Mr Starmer’s was also simple: “My dad was a toolmaker.”

If that is the best the two largest political parties in the UK can come up with, you have to wonder how bad their own parties’ alternatives are.

(This reporter also watched the Senedd this week; he knows).

You don’t have to wonder hard, of course.

Liz Truss, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, and the Steve Miller Band have all had a go and all been disastrous.

In the interest of introducing some facts into fact-free exchanges, The Herald looked at the big claims both made.

Mr Sunak argued for a £2000 tax rise under Labour. Here’s how he came up with that number: his policy advisors created a list of “Labour policies”, made assumptions about them, and then asked Treasury civil servants to cost them.

In short, the Prime Minister’s figures are garbage, and he knows they are.

Mr Sunak also said a Labour government would tax people’s pensions. Since he, as Chancellor, pulled hundreds of thousands of pensioners into paying taxes by freezing tax thresholds only to pledge an unaffordable pension “quadruple lock” after fourteen years in office, his words ring hollow.

Onto Sir Keir Starmer.

Did he mention his father was a toolmaker?

More seriously, it’s hard to think of a single thing Keir Starmer said that amounted to a policy that would improve people’s lives. He was sad for the lady with cancer. He sympathised with the student. He would be firm but fair.

In other news, the sky is blue, the grass is green, and the rain is wet.

Messrs Sunak and Starmer profess to be big football fans. The debate was like

watching a dismal midtable fixture between two teams, unaware that the important thing to do with the ball is kick it towards the other side’s net in the hope of scoring a goal.

Mr Sunak wanted to concentrate on the future. That’s not a surprise. His biggest achievement is staying in office long enough to undo the worst economic effects of his predecessors’ administrations.

You would never associate Mr Sunak with chutzpah. However, for sheer nerve, accusing Mr Starmer of not coming up with a better idea in fourteen years than his brilliant one for National Service was like a child who’d murdered their parents asking a court for mercy because they’re an orphan.

It would be churlish to point out his own Armed Forces Minister ruled out National Service only two days after Mr Sunak called the election because the armed forces didn’t want it.

Mr Sunak’s claim that, on the contrary, many in the armed services supported the scheme means either his minister was wrong and those briefing him from the armed services were wrong, or - and it’s a possibility - one of his friends on Call of Duty said it was a vote winner.

Back to Keir Starmer.

Did you know his dad was a toolmaker?

The studio audience liked Sir Keir’s pledge to crack down on those using non-domiciled tax status to avoid paying taxes. He could’ve rubbed it in by saying that since Mr Sunak’s campaign team had identified £2.5bn in tax avoidance that could be recovered quickly after fourteen years of looking for it, he might be persuaded to let the sons-in-law of Indian billionaires off the hook.

However, apart from non-dom status, the only thing approaching a firm policy commitment from the Labour leader was his observation that his dad was a toolmaker.

That’s a dreadful verbal tic, and he will have to do more than swap it out for “my mum was a nurse”.

Spiky exchanges on immigration were as heated as they were unenlightening.

When discussing migration, Mr Sunak claimed small boat arrivals are down by “a third” in the last 12 months.

Small boat arrivals did fall by around a third in 2023, comparing year-on-year. However, provisional figures show that in 2024, small boat arrivals have risen 38% compared to the same

period last year.

Mr Sunak had a nice line prepared for Keir Starmer’s predictable attack on going to the country before a single plane took off for Rwanda. On the one hand, Mr Starmer had spent two years calling for an election, only to complain when one was called.

The Labour comms team must work on that.

However, the Labour leader was surely correct when he said only international cooperation would stop the organised gangs involved in people trafficking. Glorious isolation will achieve nothing and probably - as those who backed Brexit to curb immigration have found out - make things far worse.

As for who “won”?

The Labour leader shaded it by being less obnoxious

We must also remember that those commenting online or offering an opinion on broadcast media had made up their minds before Keir Starmer or Rishi Sunak opened their mouths.

It’s always best to watch for yourself and make up your mind.

In this case, don’t bother.

Summing up the debate is easy: seventy minutes wasted.

56 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels P ol ITI
The undynamic duo: Sunak and Starmer squabbled while Etchingham struggled to keep control

Firefighters “failed by leadership”

A SENEDD Committee has found that firefighters have been let down by the people responsible for governing fire and rescue services.

The Equality and Social Justice Committee heard evidence that Fire Authorities were not up to the task and that some members lacked the skills needed to do their jobs.

Sound The Alarm, a report launched on June 6, details concerns about Stuart Millington’s appointment as interim Chief Fire Officer at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Members of the Committee said the lack of clarity and defensive tone of the response to these concerns risked reinforcing negative perceptions about some senior management.

Jenny Rathbone MS, the Chair of the Equality and Social Justice Committee, said: “Fire service staff in Wales are being let down by the leaders responsible for the governance of the fire and rescue services, and we need urgent change to restore faith so all staff feel safe in the


“We were disturbed by how many people at the top of the current governance system didn’t seem aware of the problem’s seriousness.

“We urge the Welsh Government to take radical steps to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the governance structure – no change is not an option.”


The Committee launched the inquiry into the governance of fire and rescue services following the alarming findings of the Culture Review of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) headed by Fenella Morris QC.

The Welsh Government subsequently ordered independent reviews into the North and Mid & West Wales FRSs as well.

The culture review raised a key question about the role of the Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs).

The Fire Officers’ Association told the Committee that members

of South Wales FRA lacked the “requisite skills to provide the level of oversight, scrutiny and challenge required when providing governance,” and that many FRA members “make little or no contribution” during meetings and “become confused with regard to the content” of papers.

They concluded that the FRA members were “unlikely to be in a position to provide the level of effective strategic oversight needed to assist the organisation in achieving the required cultural change.”

The Committee says the Welsh Government should reform how FRAs work, including reducing their overall size and encouraging people with outside knowledge and expertise to be co-opted into each FRA.


Members heard concerns about the South Wales Commissioners’ appointment of Stuart Millington as interim Chief Fire Officer at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service following the culture review, despite



THE election has been called and the battle lines are being drawn up. From all the predictions and polls it is pointing to a catastrophic event for the Conservatives.

And it may have got even worse, with the announcement that Nigel Farage has taken up leadership of Reform. He will also stand as a candidate in Clacton.

that. The Rwanda plan will work and will reduce the volume of Channel crossings. Australia has already shown that processing immigration plans in a safe third country works. It is also why there are so many European countries looking at implementing similar plans.

unresolved alleged misconduct relating to bullying.

The Committee found the lack of clarity and the defensive tone of several individuals responding to these concerns troubling and were worried that this could reinforce existing negative perceptions amongst staff and the public about senior management’s commitment to improving the culture in the fire service.

Messages from staff sent to individual Committee members in their constituency roles have not formed part of the formal evidence considered by this inquiry – but have reinforced Members’ concerns that staff confidence in management has been undermined.

The report recommends that the Welsh Government work closely with Fire Commissioners to bring fresh individuals with skills and experiences from outside the sector into the key roles responsible for organisational culture, starting with the upcoming recruitment process for a new Chief Fire Officer for South Wales.

His announcement has made the Election campaign much more exciting and I think it has brought it to life. His celebrity persona has attracted more media attention and interest in the other leaders and candidates. Personality is important, as it can tell us a lot about how genuine the person is when they declare their respective policies. It is those policies we need to be examining and considering when we mark our cross in the box in the ballot box. And it is the policies of who is most likely to be governing after the 4th July which are of consequence. We also need to be aware of who is most likely to be Prime Minister.

Defence of the country is the first and most important duty of any Government and here there are clear differences between the parties.

The Conservatives are committed to increase spending on defence to 2.5% of GDP and will retain the nuclear deterrent. Labour has made a similar pledge, but when you look at previous announcements by them they have been far from convincing in their message.

On immigration all the parties have made announcements to reduce the numbers coming into the country, but Labour is completely unable to give any details on how they will achieve

The NHS is not working properly and has some serious issues to address. And the exchange between Sunak and Starmer in the televised debate identified a clear divide between them. Sunak would use private health care for a family member, but Starmer would refuse to use it and rely on the NHS. Does Starmer not realise that, if a person can afford it, allowing access to private care reduces the burden on the NHS and frees up resources for those who need it. Does he really think it is acceptable for a multi-millionaire like him to take resources from these who can’t afford it? You only need to look at Wales to see how Labour runs the NHS.

One thing that we do know is how Labour would govern if they win the election. We have over 20 years of experience in Wales and Starmer looks here and considers it a “blueprint” for the UK.

This election is important and I urge you all to think carefully when casting your vote. Do you want a celebrity, or policies which will work?

57 For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024 PolITIcS
Fire and Rescue Service: Committee found Fire Authorities not up to scratch

on doors during the election campaign that many voters are disillusioned with politics. One reason is because some of our elected representatives in both the UK Parliament and the Senedd have become embroiled in scandals. This has tainted the public perception of politicians.

From my own experience, many whatever their party go into politics for genuine reasons to serve the public. However, I can understand why many are sceptical due to the succession of scandals we have seen in both Welsh and UK politics. Loss of faith in our politicians undermines public faith in democracy and this can have serious consequences for the way we are governed.

Welsh Lib Dem Leader Jane Dodds recently outlined how the Liberal Democrats would restore faith in our political system. At a UK level, this would include introducing a fairer voting system for electing MPs using proportional representation,

democratic and providing a written constitution for the UK.

Within the Senedd, Jane Dodds has called for an immediate cap on political donations of £10,000 and for voters to be given the right to recall their Senedd Member if they are embroiled in a scandal of sufficient magnitude. This already exists at Westminster where MPs can be recalled and required to stand for re-election. There is no reason why Senedd Members should not face the same accountability.

I am writing before the Senedd vote on 5 June on the motion of no confidence against the Labour First Minister of Wales, Vaughan Gething, for failing to live up to the required standards. Jane Dodds will be voting in favour of the no confidence motion. We should expect our leaders to meet high standards and the First Minister has failed to do so.

Whatever the outcome of the no confidence vote, we need the right measures in place to prevent similar scandals in the future. An immediate £10,000 cap on the amount which an individual donor can give to a political party would be a first step in cleaning up our politics.

We also need to the right to recall Senedd Members if they fail to live up to the necessary standards.

Our democracy is precious, but it relies on our elected members demonstrating high standards of conduct. We must take this opportunity to clean up our politics.

If you wish to discuss these issues, please contact me at Facebook: AlistairCameronPembs

Twitter: AlistairPembs


‘Safe seats’ skew votes’ value

THE MYTH that all votes count equally has been exploded by the Electoral Reform Society.

An ERS report reveals that over 100 seats haven’t changed hands for 100 years or more, meaning over eight million voters live in ‘one-party fiefdoms’.

Accounting for predecessor seats, 111 (17% of total seats) have been held by the same party since at least 1924, with 8.1 million potential voters living in these seats.

More than a quarter of seats in Parliament, 179 (28%), have been held by one party since the end of World War II. 13.1 million potential voters live in these seats.

Meanwhile, 247 seats (38%) have been held by one party for 50 years or more, with 18.1 million potential voters in these seats.

The Conservatives hold 94 seats that have not changed hands for 100 years or more, whereas Labour hold 17 seats.

In South-East England, the average time for a single party to

hold a seat is 75 years. In Wales, the average period is 46 years It cements the impression that selecting a donkey wearing a blue or red rosette would make no difference to voters in far too many seats.

Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “Our research shows that hundreds of seats across the country haven’t changed hands for decades, meaning millions of people have not seen any change in representation in their lifetime.

“Huge swathes of the country are effectively competition-free zones, with ‘safe’ seats leaving voters feeling ignored and left behind by politics.

“Elections should be about the whole country. However, under the First Past the Post system, the focus is reduced to just the handful of ‘swing seats’ that change hands betwen parties.

“With trust in politics at rock bottom, it is imperative that we address the distrust and alienation being caused by the current

Westminster voting system.

“The next government must bring in a fairer proportional voting system that ensures every vote counts and Parliament accurately represents the way the whole country voted.”

Across all 650 UK constituencies, the average (mean) length of time since a seat last changed hands is 45 years.

• 104 Conservative seats have not changed hands since World War II (1945)

• 145 Conservative seats have not changed hands for 50 years (1974)

• 75 Labour seats have not changed hands since World War II (1945)

• 99 Labour seats have not changed hands for 50 years (1974)

Average number of years since:

• A UK parliamentary seat (total: 650) last changed hands – 45 years

• Conservative-held

seats (360) last changed hands – 49 years

• Labour-held seats (205) last changed hands – 51 years

• The review maps existing constituencies onto their closest current geographical match.

Top four longest-held Conservative seats

• Exmouth and Ex

• eter East – held by Conservatives since 1835

• Goole and Pocklington – held by Conservatives since 1837

• Aldershot – held by Conservatives since 1857

• North East Hampshire – held by Conservatives since 1857

• Top three longestheld Labour seats

• West Ham and Beckton - held by Labour since 1906

• North Durham – held by Labour since 1906

• Makerfield – held by Labour since 1906

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The winning candidate: Voters in safe seats left without a voice

New Chancellor faces reality check

LOW investment, policy mistakes, political instability, and Brexit have combined to hold back growth by more than in many comparable nations, says a report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

Like most other developed countries, income and productivity growth has been very slow in the UK since the financial crisis of 2008–09. However, on a perperson basis, economic growth was slower than in the US, the EU27, and Germany.

The slowdown has been particularly stark given that the UK economy and its productivity grew quickly before 2008.

While employment growth has been strong, average earnings growth has been dreadful - for which read almost nonexistent.

Gross Domestic Product per head is now nearly £11,000 lower than it would have been had precrisis trends continued.

Much of that slowdown is a result of international factors well outside the control of any government: the fallout from the financial crisis, Covid, and the energy price spike. However, low

investment, policy mistakes, political instability, and Brexit have combined to hold back growth by more than in many comparable nations.

In a contribution to Anthony Seldon and Tom Egerton’s forthcoming book

The Conservative Effect, 2010-2024, the IFS reviews tax and spending decisions.

The government’s response to the deficit created by the financial crisis was a remarkable period of spending cuts: about a 4% real-terms cut in public service spending between 2010 and 2019, even as the economy and population grew— something wholly unprecedented in modern times. Other countries also responded to fiscal problems created by the crisis, but most used tax increases relative to spending cuts.

The period since 2019 has been very different. Taxes and spending have risen substantially, so taxes are now close to their highest level as a proportion of national income in more than 70 years.

Tax policy has been notable for its inconsistency. Corporation tax rates

were cut then increased; the income tax personal allowance was raised substantially then cut hard; the lifetime allowance for saving in pensions was tightened dramatically and then abolished; NIC rates were increased then cut.

Tax changes have favoured those on average earnings and hit those on high incomes hardest. Benefit changes have reduced the incomes of many poorer households.

Nick Ridpath, Research Economist at the IFS, said:

‘The period between 2010 and 2024 has been economically remarkable. For most of the period, interest rates were at their lowest level in history.

“Earnings grew at their slowest rate in more than 200 years. The 2010s saw the biggest and most sustained cuts in public spending since World War II, while the current parliament has seen a bigger increase in tax revenues as a share of national income than any other over that same period.

“At the heart of it all was a period of abysmal growth in productivity, and with it, living standards.”

Carl Emmerson,

Plaid Cymru urges Wales’s rural communities to support the party at the General Election on 4 July to guard against the Tories’ Brexit betrayal’s ‘damaging legacy’.

Ann Davies, Plaid Cymru candidate for Carmarthen, said that Plaid Cymru’s mantra for the countryside was to “protect, preserve and promote”, and set out some of his party’s key rural pledges for the General Election.

Ann Davies, says:

“It’s difficult to recall a more challenging time for the agricultural sector.

Deputy Director at the IFS, said: “Britain’s slow recovery from the Great Financial Crisis was far from unique among developed economies, but the gap between Britain and its neighbours in household income has widened.

“Lower investment than the rest of the G7, particularly in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union, will not have helped and risks storing up challenges for the future.

“Whoever is Chancellor after the forthcoming election will face the unenviable mix of a weak outlook for growth and the combination of muchelevated debt and higher interest rates leading to much greater spending on debt interest than we have become accustomed to.

“Taxes are high by UK standards, but many public services are under visible strain.

“There are evident opportunities to improve growth through shifting policy on investment, education, planning, tax, trade and elsewhere, but an incoming government will need to pursue any such policies from the starting point of a difficult fiscal situation.”

“The hammer blow dealt by Brexit and the broken Tory promise of ‘not a penny less’ means that our farmers are now lumbered with the damaging legacy of Conservative betrayal.

“By next year, the UK Government will have cut about £290 million from the agricultural budget compared to what we used to get from the EU before Brexit, with many sectors within the industry facing more, not fewer, obstacles.

“Food production is just one example. At present, there is an extractive element to production in Wales as a result of poor local processing capacity. That’s why Plaid Cymru wants to improve local supply chains to ensure that the value of the food remains within local communities.

“During the EU referendum, the Tories promised to ‘cut red tape’, but the reality of the postBrexit landscape means that the industry is now facing more checks, more hurdles, and more delays whilst competitors on the continent have unfettered access to the UK. “No

Farmers, No Food” is as much a harsh reality as it is a powerful rallying cry.

“That’s why Plaid Cymru will always do everything within its power to support measures which ensure that food production regulations are fair for the farmer and the consumer.

“The wider context in Wales at this General Election is one of the undermining effects of new trade agreements, an increase in farming costs, the Labour Welsh Government’s NVZ regulations and the failure to tackle TB in wildlifeall of which are being felt acutely within the farming community.

“Plaid Cymru also welcomes Labour’s pause to review the roll-out of the Sustainable Farming Scheme in Wales – a call we made some time ago - which clearly requires greater consultation with farmers about how best to deliver its goals.

“Finally, the ‘rural premium’ where living in rural areas can cost more than living in urban areas whilst services are less easily available, must become a thing of the past if we are to secure a viable and sustainable future. Our pledge to increase GPs in Wales will help communities access the healthcare they need while we will work to invest in local high streets to keep shops open.

“Protect, preserve and promote is Plaid Cymru’s mantra when it comes to our countryside.

“A vote for Plaid Cymru on 4th July will be a vote to support rural communities to maintain their culture and way of life, guarding against the twin threat of the Tories and Labour.”

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Filling the spending gap: New Chancellor has an impossible task

death notices



DAVIES John Idwal

Narberth Passed away peacefully at home on 22nd May 2024. Private cremation will take place at Parc Gwyn Crematorium on Thursday June 13th at 12.15pm. Family flowers only, donations if desired to go to either “Dianne Hart the sheepdog/Collie Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre” or “R.S.P.C.A” c/o Funeral Directors W & M J Rossiter & Sons Ltd, Landsker House, 21 Station Road, Narberth, SA67 7DR or via www.



WESTLAKE Margaret of Simpson Cross Margaret passed away peacefully at Withybush General Hospital, Haverfordwest on the 16th May, 2024 aged 91 years. Dearly loved, she will be sadly missed by all who knew her. Funeral service, Friday 7th June, 3.15pm at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth. Family flowers only. Donations in memory of Margaret for the Downs Syndrome Association can be made at All enquiries to Roy Folland & Son Funeral Directors (01437) 763821



JEREMY Dorothy Jane Doris Wolfsdale Peacefully at her home on Tuesday

14th May Doris passed away aged 95 years. Devoted wife of the late Islwyn, loving mother and mother-in-law to the late Denzil and Helen, Bryan and Caroline, cherished grandmother of Edward and Nina, Nicola, Lynette and Bruce, Geraint, Richard and Sarah, great grandmother to Harry, Alfie, Cerys and Phoebe. The funeral service will take place on Friday 7th June, 10:30am at Keyston Chapel followed by interment at Keyston Cemetery. Family flowers only. Donations in lieu, if desired, made payable to the Paul Sartori Foundation may be sent directly to Paul Sartori House, Winch Lane, Haverfordwest SA61 1RP or contact Paul Sartori on 01437 763223 for payments over the phone. Further enquiries to F. G. Rees & Sons, Haverfordwest. Tel: 01437 764418.


JONES David Llewellyn Pembroke Dock The death occurred peacefully at home on Sunday 19th May 2024 of Mr. David Llewellyn Jones, aged 97 years of Front Street, Pembroke Dock formerly of Llanboidy. Dearly loved David will be sadly missed by all his family and friends. The funeral service will take place on Monday 17th June 2024 at St. Deiniol, St. Asaph with St. Giles Church, Upton Castle, Cosheston SA72 4SE at 11:30am. There

will be family flowers only with donations in lieu for The Royal British Legion c/o E.C. Thomas & Son Funeral Directors, 21, Main Street, Pembroke SA71 4JS (01646) 682680 & Zoar Chapel Funeral Home, Llanteg, Narberth SA67 8QH (01834) 831876 or via www.ecthomasandson.



LYNAS Cynthia Ann

Angle The death occurred peacefully on Thursday 23rd May 2024 at South Pembs Hospital, Pembroke Dock of Mrs. Cynthia Ann Lynas, aged 80 years of Angle, Pembroke. Dearly loved Cynthia will be sadly missed by all her family and friends. The funeral service will take place on Thursday 13th June 2024 at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth at 11:30am. There will be family flowers only with donations in lieu if desired for PATCHPembrokeshire Action To Combat Hardship c/o E.C. Thomas & Son Funeral Directors, Zoar Chapel Funeral Home, Llanteg, Narberth SA67 8QH (01834) 831876 & 21, Main Street, Pembroke SA71 4JS (01646) 682680 or via www.ecthomasandson.



ROWLANDS Maureen Whitland The death

occurred peacefully on Saturday 25th May 2024 at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen of Mrs Maureen Rowlands, aged 80 years of Whitland. Devoted and much-loved Wife of Wyndham. Loving Mother of Alison and Lynne. Deeply loved and respected Mother-in-law of Andrew & Adam. Proud Gran of Sadie & Zara. A dear of Sister to Alun and Sister-in-law, Heather. Sadly missed by Grandogs Cia, Huggy and Teddy. The funeral service will take place on Friday 14th June 2024 at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth at 11.30am. The family request that traditional funeral wear or Maureen’s favourite colour, blue be worn. There will be family flowers only with donations in lieu, if so desired for League of FriendsGlangwili Hospital. c/o E.C. Thomas & Son Funeral Directors, Zoar Chapel Funeral Home, Llanteg, Narberth SA67 8QH (01834) 831876 & 21, Main Street, Pembroke SA71 4JS (01646) 682680


ALLEN Bill Captain William James Allen, Bill 21/11/1928 14/05/2024: 95 years Bill joined the Merchant Navy as an apprentice, serving initially on RRS Discovery stationed on the Thames. However, due to the shortage of officers he was fast tracked to 3rd Mate with the Clan line. He did not exploit the opportunity offered by the War office to change to the Royal

Navy.After the Clan Line he signed with the British Tanker Company and sailed the Atlantic Convoys. After the War Bill gained his Masters “ticket” and sailed across the globe, although he realised that “life at sea” wasn’t conducive to his family life. After he married Anne in June 1956, he was in search of a second career. There was a brief opportunity with the UK Atomic Energy Authority at Capenhurst , but unfortunately with the absence of a School Certificate (having been evacuated to North Wales, Bill did not learn Welsh) this wasn’t to be, so he enrolled as a Public Health Inspector at Liverpool School of Health. On qualification, Bill had a number of appointments including Meat Inspector and Rat Catcher with the Liverpool Corporation, then to Boston as a Public Health Inspector. When the position of Chief Port Health Inspector came up in the Port of Milford, he grabbed the opportunity and was appointed in 1962. Over the years he developed the Port Health from a “one man band “ to a staff of 10 with a dedicated Ambulance Launch, retiring in 1993. Unfortunately, the plans he and Anne had made for their retirement never came to fruition when he lost Anne a year later to pancreatic cancer. Bill had many friends in Pembrokeshire and was an active member of the Welsh Livery Guild, later

the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. In 2010 he decided that the hills in Milford Haven were too much and moved to stay with his eldest daughter Kim in Cudham, Kent, where he spent many a day undertaking rope work on HQS Wellington, then the floating Livery Hall of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, of which he was a Liveryman and thus a Freeman of the City of London. He enjoyed livery events with both livery companies, especially the curry lunches on the Wellington, and the formal celebrations of new Masters. He was always recognisable as he insisted on wearing his kilt and brandishing his Sgian-dubh to “protect” the “loving cup” drinker in the ceremony. In 2018 becoming frailer he headed up to Bridge of Earn, Perth to his youngest daughter, Jôe who later became his carer. On 14th of May 2024 Bill’s final watch was over and his 8th bell chimed. He has joined his beloved Anne again. He was blessed with 3 daughters, one son and 13 grandchildren. The funeral for family and close friends will take place at St John the Baptist Catholic Church, Perth, Scotland and later at the Perth Crematorium. Donations in lieu of flowers to The Wellington Trust https:// www.thewellingtontrust. org.

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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





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COPA is a national charity run by older people for older people in Wales. We want to make sure that older people are listened to, and their opinions acted on in everything that affects us.

COPA wants to recruit new co-opted Trustees for the Board from across Wales. The Board of Trustees guides the direction of COPA as it develops and implements an agenda to forge a more impactful voice for older people, working closely with 50+ Forums in local authority areas. We are looking for individuals that will increase the knowledge, experience, and skills of the Board – provide added value - and who

are enthusiastic about making Wales a great place to grow older. We are keen to attract people who would improve the diversity of our Board. You do not need to be an older person to apply.

COPA would like to invite any individuals who may be interested in joining our Board to contact us. This is an opportunity for some of your readers to directly influence and contribute to the work of a charity that is making a difference to the lives of older people across Wales. There is no payment for being a Trustee, but COPA will cover expenses. A recruitment pack is available.

For more information about Cymru Older People’s Alliance and about how to apply to be a Trustee, your readers can send an email to Cymru.older.peoples. . Please contact us as soon as possible as the deadline for receipt of applications is 31 July 2024.

(Dr) Chair



Volunteers’ Week runs from 3rd – 9th June 2024 and at national healthcare charity, Sue Ryder, we want to mark the week by saying a huge thank you to our volunteers for the admirable contribution they make, to raise awareness of the benefits of becoming a volunteer and the volunteering roles that the charity has to offer. With the cost-of-

living crisis continuing to hit us hard, now more than ever, we are relying on the support of our dedicated volunteers, who are a lifeline to our shops. In the last year, our volunteers have supported our retail shops to contribute over £17 million to deliver our end-of-life care and bereavement services and given over 1.3 million volunteer hours.

Unfortunately, we are still seeing around a 10 per cent increase in the total costs to keep our palliative care services running and without the support of our retail volunteer team, we simply could not operate.

Despite these challenging times, our retail volunteers have continued to stand by us, and we want to recognise the fantastic contribution they make, by offering every opportunity for

them to progress and develop in their role. We have fantastic Lead Volunteer opportunities nationwide, and in the last year, 68 volunteers have taken on paid positions at Sue Ryder. Not only are our volunteers making a huge, positive impact on people’s lives, they play a crucial role in strengthening our organisation. Sue Ryder is committed to making volunteering a rewarding, inclusive and empowering experience for everybody. We would like to appeal to any of your readers who would like to find out more about joining our team. No matter how much time you have, we would love to hear from you. To make a difference as a Sue Ryder volunteer, please visit: www. for more information.

62 Friday June 7th 2024
PIc Ture oF THe weeK! Nice views oveR to calDey By aNDy BRiGGs Friday June 7th 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

Cymru succumb to stalemate with Ukraine

CYMRU lost their top spot in Group B4 of the Euro 2025 qualification campaign after conceding a last-minute goal, resulting in a 2-2 draw with Ukraine in Poland.

Cymru started strong but were caught on the break, allowing Yana Kalinina to score after a clever dummy by Roksolana Kravchuk. Just when it seemed Ukraine had withstood Cymru’s pressure, Kayleigh Barton was fouled in the box. She calmly converted the resulting penalty, striking it into the roof of the net.

Minutes later, Jess Fishlock delivered a stunning 25-yard strike into the top corner, giving Cymru the lead. Ukraine, however, didn’t relent, and in the last of the seven added minutes, substitute Nicole Kozlova’s powerful header beat Olivia Clark, earning Ukraine a draw.

This result drops Cymru to second place in the group, one point behind Croatia, who they will face next. The silver lining for Rhian Wilkinson’s team is their guaranteed play-off spot

following Kosovo’s defeat. Wilkinson made four changes from last Friday’s 1-1 draw against Ukraine, including giving Lois Joel her first start. Sophie Ingle moved back to central defence, replacing Rhiannon Roberts, whose error had led to Ukraine’s goal in the previous match. Carrie Jones, Kayleigh Barton, and Rachel Rowe were also recalled to the starting line-up for their impactful performances at Parc y Scarlets.

At Monday’s news conference, Wilkinson expressed her general disappointment with first-half performances since taking charge but noted a better start in this game. Cymru nearly scored in the first minute when Rachel Rowe was played through by Gemma Evans’ long ball, but Darya Keliushyk saved the attempt. Cymru continued to press, earning three corners in the opening stages that troubled the Ukrainian defence. The best chance came from Kayleigh Barton, who, unmarked at the

front post, missed her header from 10 yards out.

Barton almost redeemed herself 15 minutes in, chipping the ball over Keliushyk only for Lyubov Shmatko to clear off the goal-line. Despite Cymru dominating, Ukraine took the lead against the run of play. The Welsh defence failed to mark Olha Ovdiychuk, whose cross was dummied by Kravchuk, leaving Kalinina an easy tap-in.

The second half mirrored the first, with Cymru in control and Ukraine penned back. Ceri Holland nearly scored with a cross that Keliushyk tipped onto the crossbar. A sense of déjà vu emerged when Cymru were awarded another penalty after Barton was fouled, which she again converted, thumping the ball down the middle.

Fishlock then ended the déjà vu in spectacular fashion, scoring a thunderous strike from 25 yards, moving her within one goal of Helen Ward’s alltime Welsh record of 44 goals. Ukraine, having struggled to maintain possession, became more adventurous in the

closing stages. The seven minutes of injury time caused anxiety in the Welsh dugout. Cymru were fortunate when Gemma Evans’ defensive header hit her own post, but Ukraine found the equaliser in the final minute. A cross to the back post was met by Kozlova, who headed it powerfully into the net.

Reflecting on the match, Cymru manager Rhian Wilkinson told BBC Radio Wales: “If you lose a lead in the last seconds, it always feels like a loss. It was a tough and important camp because these performances won’t help us make history. We know that. We aimed for six points and leave with two. But perhaps it’s what we needed to realise our standards aren’t good enough. A positive is that we came from behind in both games, showing character. However, being 2-1 up in the last seconds, we can’t concede. The players need to unwind, recharge, and return ready to work, as we have another crucial window ahead.”

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FooTball: woMen euroS 2025 qualIFIcaTIon
T InTernaTIonal

InTernaTIonal FooTball: MenS InTernaTIonal FrIendlY

Embarressing goalless draw

CYMRU endured one of the most humiliating results in their history as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Gibraltar, a team ranked 203rd in the world. Despite Gibraltar’s dismal record of losing their previous 13 games by an aggregate score of 50-0, Cymru failed to secure a victory against one of the weakest sides in international football.

This low-key friendly, played at Gibraltar’s temporary home in Portugal, has done little to boost the reputation of Cymru manager Rob Page. The Football Association of Wales had shown their support for Page following the team’s failure to qualify for Euro 2024, but discontent among fans is likely to grow after this disappointing result. Gibraltar’s draw marked their first match avoiding defeat since beating Andorra in November 2022.

Page fielded a youthful side with a total of just 44 caps. The match ended in frustration at the Estadio Algarve, with Brennan Johnson, Daniel James, and Kieffer Moore all on the pitch, desperately seeking a goal.

Liverpool’s teenager, Lewis Koumas, came off the bench for the

final 17 minutes and nearly scored six minutes later, only to be denied by Gibraltar goalkeeper Jaylan Hankins.

This encounter was only the second between the two nations, with Cymru having comfortably won 4-0 in their previous meeting last October in Wrexham.

Bolton midfielder Josh Sheehan captained the team, earning his sixth cap and first start. Full-backs Fin Stevens and Jay Dasilva also made their debuts, along with 17-year-old Leeds midfielder Charlie Crew. None of the starting line-up had played in the Premier League in the recently concluded season.

Rabbi Matondo, the most experienced player in the squad with 10 caps, posed an early threat with his pace. Ben Cabango headed over from a Sheehan corner as Cymru struggled to break down Gibraltar’s resolute defence.

Gibraltar defended deep, content to sit back with the game largely taking place in their own half. Wes Burns impressed on the right flank, but was unable to steer Charlie Savage’s pass past the onrushing Hankins. Sheehan was booked for a high challenge on Tjar De Barr by Northern Irish referee

Jamie Robinson, a foul that might have warranted a harsher punishment in a competitive match.

Cymru increased the tempo after the half-hour mark, with Hankins saving a well-struck low shot from Liam Cullen and Cabango heading over once more. Matondo also had a shot blocked, and Gibraltar reached half-time with their goal intact, no doubt pleased with their first-half performance.

Sheehan’s set-pieces caused problems for Gibraltar, with Joe Low missing a close-range chance and Sheehan’s corner hitting the inside of the post. Page introduced James, Johnson, and Moore on the hour mark to add urgency to the attack.

The pressure grew, with Savage’s shot being blocked and Bernardo Lopes clearing Cabango’s header off the line. Koumas, who had scored debut goals for Liverpool and Cymru Under-21s in recent months, nearly found a fairy-tale finish, but was again thwarted by Hankins. The final whistle was met with jeers from the travelling fans, disappointed by Cymru’s lacklustre performance.

Page faced criticism after Cymru were humiliated at home by Armenia

last year and went on to miss out on qualification for Euro 2024, and the reception he got in Portugal after the Gibraltar game was the most hostile he has received so far.

“They are entitled to their opinion, absolutely. I get it, I completely get it,” Page said when asked about being booed.

“I’m a Welsh supporter as well as the manager, I’m disappointed. But I have to keep saying about the bigger picture and I’ll probably get criticised for that.

“It’s the bigger picture and we’re not going to lose focus on what we’ve done.”

Page’s tenure has been one of huge highs and lows, from the ecstasy of qualifying for a first World Cup in 64 years to the disappointment of Cymru’s dismal performance at the tournament itself in 2022, and then the despair of failing to qualify for Euro 2024.

Cymru missed out on this summer’s competition in agonising fashion as they lost their play-off final to Poland on penalties in March, but the real damage was done during the regular qualifying campaign.

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Steering failure ends podium hope for James Williams

A RALLY driver from Newcastle Emlyn faced a challenging day in his latest race in Scotland.

James Williams had to retire from the Jim Clark Rally due to a power steering failure, dashing his hopes for a podium finish.

The 26-year-old, along with his codriver Ross Whittock, previously won the Protyre National Asphalt Championship and was eager to add another victory to his record.

The setback was particularly disappointing as the pair had secured second place in the Jim Clark Rally in 2022. Williams, driving a Hyundai i20 Rally2 sponsored by Orange Amps, was confidently aiming for his first podium of the year in the British Rally Championship.

The race started strong for the duo in their vibrant Orange Amps Hyundai, but an unexpected obstacle arose on the Langton Mill stage, a favourite among rally fans. Spectators watched in dismay as a puncture forced the team to stop, causing a slip in their ranking. Despite

this, the determined pair managed to claw back to seventh place by the end of the first test day.

The following morning brought further misfortune when the car’s power steering failed after the opening test. With the car unmanageable, Williams and Whittock were forced to pull over, losing their chance at a strong finish.

Williams expressed his disappointment: “It’s never easy retiring from an event; it’s pretty souldestroying. We thought we could pick up a good result here. Our pace would have been okay, and I think a second or third place in the British Championship and a podium on the National Tarmac series might have been on the cards – but that’s all ifs, buts, and maybes now.”

However, he remained hopeful: “We have a long break ahead of us, which is good as we can have some downtime and reprep the car ready to go again in August. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who supported me during the event – it was great to have their backing.”

Williams also noted the heightened competition, with other racers also failing to score: “The only consolation to the weekend is that a few others retired, which has made the championship quite tight on points –making the title fight exciting for the fans in the second half of the year.”

Fans should mark their calendars for the next round of the Protyre British Rally Championship, the Grampian Forest Rally, taking place on 9-10

August near Aberdeen, Scotland. Williams extends his thanks to his partners and welcomes new partnerships.

Old rivalry reignited by Haverfordwest and Neyland

AN old rivalry has been reignited with Haverfordwest returning to the first division, rekindling the excitement of the Neyland vs. Town fixtures that have produced some thrilling cricket over the past decade.

This time, Neyland entered the match as strong favourites, with Town struggling in their return to the county’s top division.

Haverfordwest won the toss and chose to bat first. Their innings started on a solid note with opener Mikey Jones scoring 54 from 112 deliveries. However, the rest of the top order struggled, with only number seven Will Phillips making a notable contribution by scoring 28 from 62 balls. Phillips

displayed maturity and determination, helping his team reach a respectable, though not overly competitive, total of 144/9. Neyland’s bowlers delivered impressive performances: Hannon and Miller conceded just two runs per over, with Hannon also taking 2/18. Jack John was the standout bowler, claiming 4/31, while Tom Pritchard added two more wickets. At the interval, Neyland remained strong favourites. However, Town possessed bowlers like James and White, capable of dismantling any top order on their day. Unfortunately, it was not their day. White bowled seven wides and two no-balls in his four overs, while James conceded 37 runs in his three-over spell. Credit

must go to the Neyland openers, who made life difficult for the Town bowlers. Koomen scored a rapid 53 from just 43 balls, including four sixes, while his partner Murray remained unbeaten on 64, featuring nine fours. Neyland chased down the total in just 20.4 overs, losing only two wickets. Neyland now sit comfortably at the top of the table, though they have Cresselly close behind. In contrast, Haverfordwest are at the bottom with only one win from five matches, that solitary victory coming against a weakened Llangwm team. Despite having some quality players, Town appear to struggle with depth, which remains a concern moving forward.

70 Friday June 7th 2024 For up to date news please check our social network channels

Thomas carroll Pembrokeshire league


The league table is starting to take shape, with another weekend of thrilling cricket across the county.

In Carew, the hosts successfully chased down a decent total posted by Whitland, who have struggled for wins this season. Scott Newton (65) and Gopal Ramasamey (58) scored the bulk of the runs for the visitors, while Rhys Davies, Jon Rogers, and Shaun Whitfield each claimed three wickets. All-rounders Davies (76), Rogers (20), and Whitfield (25) also made key contributions with the bat, securing Carew’s win. This victory moves Carew into third place, while Whitland continues to search for their second win of the season.

Narberth, a dangerous outfit in the league, failed to fire on all cylinders on Saturday, being bowled out for 111. Tom Arthur (3-15) and Iori Thomas (3-19) were the standout bowlers,

with hard-hitting batsman Kyle Quartermaine topscoring with 25. Cresselly chased down the total with little drama, losing only two wickets, keeping them close to Neyland at the top of the table.

Haverfordwest were comfortably beaten by top-of-the-table Neyland. You can find a detailed report on this feature game on our website or social media platforms.

Llangwm demonstrated their strength with two of the county’s best players in their ranks, proving they can beat anyone on their day. Steve Mills (118) and Steve Inward (77) dominated Lawrenny’s bowling attack, leading their team to a total of 249-5. Mills continued to shine with the ball, taking 5-37, earning him the man of the match accolade.

Karl Rhead’s brilliant unbeaten 99 was not enough to secure a win for his team, as they lost to Saundersfoot by six

wickets. Rhead anchored the Tish innings, helping them reach 187 all out, but lacked significant support. Saundersfoot’s innings was a team effort, with Tom Mansbridge (49), Sam Franklin (51), and John Mansbridge (35*) making vital contributions with the bat.

These results leave Haverfordwest at the bottom of the table, just behind Narberth,

Whitland, and Llangwm. We predict a tight battle at the bottom, as all four teams have quality players capable of steering them away from trouble, despite lacking depth. Llangwm will be particularly pleased with the form of Mills and Inward, and any team with these two in good form should have enough to avoid relegation.

71 NEWS For up to date news please check our social network channels Friday June 7th 2024 DIVISION 1 P W D L T AB Pts Neyland 5 4 0 0 0 1 91 Cresselly 5 4 0 0 0 1 88 Carew 5 4 0 1 0 0 81 Saundersfoot 5 3 0 2 0 0 72 Lawrenny 5 2 0 3 0 0 60 St Ishmaels 5 2 0 3 0 0 56 Whitland 5 1 0 4 0 0 45 Llangwm 5 2 0 3 0 0 45 Narberth 5 1 0 4 0 0 37 Haverfordwest 5 1 0 4 0 0 35
DIVISION 2 P W D L T AB Pts Herbrandston 5 5 0 0 0 0 88 Burton 5 4 0 1 0 0 84 Carew II 5 3 0 1 0 1 75 Johnston 5 2 0 2 0 1 62 Hook 5 2 0 2 0 1 56 Pembroke 5 2 0 2 0 1 54 Llechryd 5 1 0 3 0 1 44 Pembroke Dock 5 1 0 3 0 1 41 Llanrhian 5 1 0 4 0 0 37 Lamphey 5 1 0 4 0 0 34 DIVISION 3 P W D L T AB Pts Cresselly II 5 5 0 0 0 0 98 Neyland II 5 4 0 1 0 0 80 Stackpole 5 4 0 1 0 0 78 Burton II 5 3 0 2 0 0 70 Fishguard 5 3 0 2 0 0 63 Hook II 5 2 0 3 0 0 61 Haverfordwest II 5 1 0 4 0 0 44 Kilgetty 5 1 0 4 0 0 41 Narberth II 5 1 0 4 0 0 34 St Ishmaels II 5 1 0 4 0 0 26 DIVISION 4 16 11 0 1 0 4 223 Laugharne 5 4 0 1 0 0 85 Hundleton 5 4 0 0 0 1 76 Pembroke II 5 3 0 2 0 0 67 Carew III 5 3 0 2 0 0 62 Llangwm II 5 2 0 3 0 0 52 Pembroke D II 5 2 0 2 0 1 46 Saundersfoot II 5 2 0 2 0 1 44 Lawrenny II 5 1 0 4 0 0 39 Llanrhian II 5 1 0 4 0 0 37 Llechryd II 5 0 0 2 0 3 6 DIVISION 5 P W D L T AB Pts Herbrandston II 5 4 0 0 0 1 78 Crymych 4 4 0 0 0 0 73 Haverfordwest III 5 3 0 1 0 1 67 Whitland II 5 3 0 2 0 0 67 Neyland III 4 3 0 1 0 0 66 Cresselly III 5 1 0 4 0 0 40 Laugharne II 5 0 0 5 0 0 15 Stackpole II 5 0 0 5 0 0 7 DIVISION 6 P W D L T AB Pts Hundleton II 5 3 0 0 0 2 59 Kilgetty II 4 2 0 1 1 0 49 Whitland III 4 2 0 1 0 1 43 Haverfordwest IV 3 1 0 0 1 1 30 Pembroke III 4 1 0 2 0 1 30 Llechryd III 5 0 0 2 0 3 14 Lamphey II 5 0 0 3 0 2 11
SPorT Cymru women in stalemate with Ukraine

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