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Wales archaeology App is a world first

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Wales archaeology App is a world firstEXPLORATION of Wales’ archaeological treasures is set to be transformed, not only for those with limited knowledge of archaeology but also seasoned archaeologists alike, with the launch of the fun and interactive Archwilio APP –a world first for Wales.

The Archwilio APP, commissioned by the four Welsh Archaeological Trusts and designed by the University of South Wales’ Centre for Excellence in Mobile Applications and Services (CEMAS), is the first time a whole country’s archaeological records have been listed in one APP. Free to download, the Archwilio APP, will be launched on Thursday 7th November by The Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths, at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff.

The APP, which has been designed from scratch in Wales, is a highly flexible new tool for anybody wishing to explore thousands of archaeological sites across Wales. The APP will enable professionals as well as members of the public to access the extensive records held for Wales from anywhere – be it a city centre, beach or mountainside.

The APP holds information on a vast range of archaeological sites from the well known to the quirky. These include details on a conservation project undertaken on a substantial ‘lost’ coastal medieval settlement near St Ishmaels in Carmarthenshire.

Another record provides details of a Roman trading settlement alongside the Menai Strait on Anglesey. The site was investigated by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust following significant finds of Roman date. Geophysical survey and excavation have revealed evidence for a substantial settlement of a rare type in Wales. There are no surface remains, but the APP would allow walkers on the Anglesey coastal footpath which runs through the site to be made aware that they were walking through a 2,000 year old settlement.

At Strata Marcella Abbey, to the north of Welshpool, the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust has been investigating the site of the Cistercian abbey of Strata Marcella. Founded in 1170 it was already partially ruined at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries n 1536 and today there is very little left o see of a once grand religious site.

Louise Austin, Head of Heritage Management, Dyfed Archaeological Trust, said, “The launch of this free APP is a world first for Wales and enables archaeological records for the whole of the country to be available on one APP.

“However, the archaeology of Wales is a truly moveable feast and that is the beauty of the new Archwilio APP. The technology enables us to update records as soon as new evidence for existing archaeological features is found or as new sites are uncovered in Wales.

“We want to make archaeology as easily accessible as possible for all. Downloading the APP will enable users to access millennia of archaeological information specific to Wales, providing a fun resource to improve education and understanding of the importance and sheer variety of Wales’ archaeology. The APP will also enable locals and visitors alike to go out and explore the unique heritage and archaeological sites across Wales.”

John Griffiths, The Minister for Culture and Sport, added, “The new Archwilio phone APP puts the heritage of Wales on the map. Available to download for free, it makes it possible for anyone with a suitable smartphone to access information on the thousands of known archaeological and historic sites in Wales. The historic environment records of Wales were already available online, but with the launch of the Archwilio APP Wales will make this wealth of information, collected by generations of investigators, available to mobile users, allowing them a glimpse of the hidden heritage all around us.

“The Archwilio app marks an important leap forwards in using technology to discover the heritage of Wales. As well as allowing users to check records, the app can be used to add information, opening up opportunities for volunteers to get directly involved in archaeological recording and investigation. The Archwilio app truly opens archaeology to everyone in Wales.”

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42 new officers for Dyfed Powys Police in the first wave of police recruitment

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DYFED Powys Police has a recruitment target of 42 new officers in the first wave of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to increase officer numbers across the UK.

The Home Office on Wednesday (Oct 9) confirmed the officer recruitment targets for every police force in England and Wales for the first year of the unprecedented drive to increase their ranks by 20,000 over the next three years.

Stephen Crabb, Preseli Pembrokeshire MP has said that this is ‘a strong start’ to helping Dyfed Powys tackle new forms of crime and keep West Wales as one of the safest parts of the country.

Following the Home Office announcement, Stephen Crabb said: “Forty-two additional police officers for Dyfed Powys Police is a strong start to strengthening frontline policing and making people feel safer.

I praised the good work local officers do in tackling County Lines drug gang in Parliament earlier this year and asked that additional resources be provided to help them stamp out this and other terrible crimes. I’m pleased the Prime Minister listened and is delivered on his pledge to increase officers numbers.”

Strengthening police numbers is a priority for the government, which is providing £750 million to support forces to recruit up to 6,000 additional officers onto our streets by the end of 2020-21, the first stage in this new uplift. This is thanks to the additional funding announced by the Chancellor in the Spending Review.

Every single police force in England and Wales will be able to recruit additional officers this year to help keep all of our communities safer.

All officers recruited as part of the 20,000 uplifts will be added to those hired to fill existing vacancies. They are also on top of the extra officers already being recruited because of the £1 billion increase in police funding for 2019-20, which includes money from council tax and for serious violence.

Government funding for recruitment in 2020-21 will cover all associated costs, including training and kit.

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Anti-Slavery campaigner receives medal

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A Pembrokeshire woman who has committed herself to combating modern slavery has been presented with the British Empire Medal.

Dr Anne Kelly of Saundersfoot was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June.

A Swansea University lecturer, she sits on the Dyfed Powys anti-slavery forum that meets in Carmarthen. Much of her work is done
through the Soroptimist International organisation.

Through her personal commitment, she is contributing to more victims of slavery being identified, recovered and supported as well as
bringing their perpetrators to justice.

It is partly through her determination and constant lobbying of MPs that the Modern Slavery Act became law in March 2015.

Dr Kelly was presented with the British Empire Medal by the Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, in a ceremony at County
Hall on Friday (Oct 11).

Dr Kelly was accompanied by family members.

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A letter and petition in support

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PUPILS from Milford Haven school were outside County Hall on Thursday (Oct 10) handing out letters to Councillors as they entered the main building to attend a meeting which had Milford Haven School on the agenda.

A PLEA TO DECISION MAKERS

Stevie Joseph, 14, who wrote the three-page letter said that it contained the reasons why she felt that the sixth form should stay open.
“The college is just not the same for some of us”, she said, “we need the pastoral care and support that a sixth form gives us”.

“The decline in pupil numbers is something we have noticed but Milford now has one of the biggest primary schools in Wales so its stupid to close the sixth form…. The numbers are going to go up. We should not close it now and then wait to see that improvement.”

Stevie’s classmate Rebecca said: “I would like to be in an environment where I know people. I have known these teachers for many years, and it will be weird [if I go to college and] they will not be there.”

PETITION AGAINST CLOSURE

A petition to Pembrokeshire County Council has been started on Change.org.

At the time of going to press around 500 people had signed.

Organiser Jenny did not give her last name but wrote on the page: “Milford Haven School may have to close the doors to their current sixth form department.

“The residents of Milford Haven hold the sixth form very close to their hearts as a lot of them attended themselves.

“As a community, we are all deeply saddened to hear this could be coming to an end. In previous years, this sixth form was thriving.

“As a collective, hundreds of thousands have been raised for Children in Need as well as other good causes and charities.

“Sixth form has provided pupils with vast amounts of opportunities and helped them to mature into respectable young adults. It has given students the chance to further their education in subjects they are extremely passionate about. In some instances, Milford Haven Sixth form has provided options that wouldn’t be offered anywhere else in the county.

“As it stands, if our sixth form was to close down, all pupils in year 11 and younger would have to attend either Pembrokeshire college or one of the last remaining sixth forms in the county which is Haverfordwest High which would be the closest in distance to attend.
“But in college you lose the family and community connection you have when you become part of the sixth form family.”

To sign the petition online click the link on the Pembrokeshire Herald Facebook page.

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