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Angry campaigners ‘not prepared to roll over’



tenby campaignersTHE CLOSURE of Tenby’s Minor Injuries Unit has not stopped campaigners, who say the fight to keep it open will continue.

At a meeting last Friday, local AMs, county, town and community councillors and South East Pembrokeshire Community Health Network representatives confirmed they were not prepared to roll over.

“Although the Hywel Dda Health Board has stated that the MIU is to close, we’re not prepared to just roll over and accept their decision,” Tenby town councillor and secretary of the SEPCHN, Cllr Caroline Thomas, commented after the meeting.

She continued: “We feel that the case for maintaining the MIU in Tenby for the benefit of the whole of South East Pembrokeshire and the thousands of visitors who come to the area annually is as strong now as it always has been and we will continue to press that case.”

Chair of the Health Board, Chris Martin was invited to attend the event, but he declined leaving those who attended disappointed. Assembly members Angela Burns and William Powell, along with County Councillors, Mike Evans, Michael Williams, Phil Baker, Tony Brinsden, Jon Preston, Jacob Williams, Phil Kidney and SEPCHN chairman Mansel Thomas were all present at the meeting.

Before the meeting, Mr Martin had informed the clerk to Tenby Town Council, Andrew Davies, that the Health Board would not change their plans for the closure of the MIU, although he had stressed that no date had yet been agreed.

He had, however, agreed to meet with a small group of local county councillors to explain how the services currently provided at the Tenby MIU would be re-provided through local GP practices and ‘third party’ providers.

Members were grateful for the opportunity to meet with Mr Martin but local GP, Dr Iwan Griffiths, senior partner at the Tenby practice, expressed doubts that Mr Martin would be able to outline future provision, as Tenby Surgery had only been contacted once by the Health Board since June.

He said: “We, and I believe our colleagues in Saundersfoot, are still of the same opinion as 12 months ago, and that is that the current level of Emergency Nurse Practitioner-led service provided at Tenby MIU cannot be replicated by the GPs without an adverse effect on our role as primary care providers.”

Dr Griffiths added that promises made by Mrs Sue Lewis, the Health Board’s county director for Pembrokeshire, had not been kept. At a similar meeting with the group in June it was decided that they would look into models of provision in other areas with similarly high influxes of tourists.

He added: “If you keep reducing the services, and the times that these services are available, then ultimately you are going to reach a situation where the number of people presenting at the MIU is statistically so low as to indicate that it is not needed,” he ventured, adding that this seemed to fly in the face of the ethos of bringing care closer to the community.

Members at the meeting also felt that the Health Board had still not taken account of the poor transport links to Haverfordwest and Carmarthen, the large elderly population or the number of visitors.

Many members expressed their shock at the apparent lack of communication between the Health Board and the GPs over the last couple of months and Cllr Michael Williams even suggested that a vote of no confidence be called in the management of the Health Board.

Assembly member Mrs Burns agreed that there was certainly a case for lack of confidence in the board’s consultation and communication procedure on such an important issue, but felt that a lot more evidence would be needed to support such a letter.

Questions were also asked of the role of the Community Health Council in the matter, with East Williamston County Cllr Jacob Williams fearing that they had ‘capitulated’.

He said: “The CHC seem to have accepted the Health Board telling them that the services are going to be replicated by the GPs and other providers, but we’re now hearing from the GPs that no such agreement is in place. In fact, we’re hearing that the Health Board have not discussed the matter further with the GPs since June.”

Regional AM Mr Powell, who is also chair of the Assembly’s petitions committee, confirmed that Tenby Town Council’s petition calling for the Health Board to reverse their decision was still ‘live’ and was due to be considered again on November 11.

He also highlighted the fact Llandudno would be getting a £1.9 million investment to enhance their MIU facilities and said that the case for MIU provision in south east Pembrokeshire was no different.

The meeting resolved to keep the pressure on the Health Board to reverse their decision both through the Welsh Assembly and at local level.

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Tesco shoppers asked to check bank statements after some charged three times



ANYONE who has shopped in Tesco since Friday, June 11 has been urged to check their bank account and make sure they have been charged the correct amount.

The advice comes as some Tesco customers paid up to three times more for their shopping this weekend after a payment software glitch affected some card payments.

Shoppers who paid via online bank Monzo were charged twice on Friday, according to consumer website MoneySavingExpert.

However, another payment problem struck over the weekend when some shoppers tried to pay for their purchases using contactless payments, only to be told it had been declined.

They then tried to pay again, which worked, only to find that they had been charged twice – or even three times. Some customers on social media said they had to spend “endless time” on their day off talking to their bank.

Following the news that, Libby James, co-founder of, commented: “This software glitch customers experienced in Tesco over the weekend could be down to a host of technical issues varying from an intermittent internet connection, to too many transactions being processed at once – it’s hard to pinpoint the problem. However, shoppers who purchased goods from Tesco over the weekend should thoroughly check their online bank transactions to ensure they have not been overcharged. For those who were affected, they should directly contact the merchant for a refund. Although technology has failed Tesco customers on this occasion, to avoid this where possible in future instances, try not be too hasty when it comes to contactless payments and wait for the transaction to be authorised, rather than tapping again to be safe.”

If you do require more information from Merchant Advice Service, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Public urged to have say on second homes and empty properties policies



PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has begun a consultation exercise on the authority’s policies relating to second homes and long term empty properties.

Reducing the number of second homes and long term empty homes is seen as desirable as increasing the supply of affordable housing across Pembrokeshire is a priority.

Second homes and empty properties reduce the number of houses available to local residents.

Pembrokeshire currently has the second highest rate of second or empty homes in Wales and in 2017 the Council introduced a 50% Council Tax premium on second homes and a premium of up to 100% on long term empty homes.

The money raised in Pembrokeshire is used to support the development of affordable housing, such as a long-term housing project in Solva, as well as providing grants to local projects through the Enhancing Pembrokeshire Grant fund.

The consultation asks respondents to give their views on potential options from April 1, 2022, which include varying the Council Tax premium for second homes and long term empty properties.

The consultation is available here:

The closing date for responses is Monday 26th July.

If you are unable to complete the survey online, please call 01437 764 551 to request a hard copy response form.

The responses provided will be compiled into a report to be considered by Cabinet before a final decision on the options will be made by full Council on 14th October 2021.

Cllr Bob Kilmister, the Cabinet Member for Finance, urged Pembrokeshire residents to take part in the consultation.

He added: “The more feedback we get on this matter the better. The issue of second homes and empty properties is one that cannot be ignored.

“While people from elsewhere in the UK find it relatively easy to afford property in Pembrokeshire, it is much more difficult for those living and earning locally.

“A high proportion of second homes in a community also poses a threat to the viability of local schools and opportunities to nurture and grow the Welsh language.

“While further possible actions on second homes and long term empty properties are being considered by the Welsh Government, the Council is currently only able to consider the level of Council Tax premium.

“I would ask all Pembrokeshire residents to provide feedback on the options for Council Tax premiums on second homes and empty properties so we have as many viewpoints as possible to consider ahead of future decisions.” 

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Tributes to victim as police confirm fatal workshop fire in Sageston



POLICE have confirmed that a workshop fire in Sageston over the weekend was sadly fatal and is now being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.

A spokesperson for the force said: “Dyfed-Powys Police was called to a fire at a workshop at a property in Sageston at shortly after 10am on Saturday, 12 June.

“Sadly, a male was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The Health and Safety Executive and HM Coroner has been informed.”

Mr Scourfield, 56, was in his workshop in the grounds of his home at Sageston on Saturday morning when a fire broke out.

Four fire crews rushed to the south Pembrokeshire village and brought the blaze under control, but sadly, Mr Scourfield died at the scene.

A spokesman for the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “On Saturday June 12 at 10.02am, Joint Fire Control received reports of a fire in a workshop in the village of Sageston in Pembrokeshire and crews from Pembroke Dock, Tenby, Milford Haven and Haverfordwest were mobilised to the incident.

“A total of four appliances and a water bowser were in attendance of the incident.

“The fire was brought under control swiftly by the action of the initial attending crews and a joint investigation has already begun between the Service’s fire investigators and colleagues from Dyfed-Powys police to establish the cause of the fire.

“Due to the unstable nature of the building, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) were deployed to the incident to provide support in securing the scene as part of the investigation.

“The fire service left the incident at 06.11pm.

Tributes have poured in for Mike.

He was a great supporter of Carew’s sports teams and all three of the club’s cricket games were cancelled on Saturday.

Carew Cricket Club posted on Twitter on Sunday: “The thoughts of everyone associated with the club are with the Scourfield after yesterday’s tragic news.

“Michael was an integral part of the club for decades and his support and sponsorship played a major role in helping the club get to where we are today.

“Over the years he held pretty much every role within the club, from scorer to chairman, and cared deeply about the club.

“There are no words to express the shock and sorrow felt around the club yesterday.

“His loss leaves a massive hole, and he will always be remembered.”

Other clubs also sent their condolences to Carew and to the Scourfield family.

Cresselly Cricket Club posted: “Such devastating news, our thoughts and condolences to all of the family and everyone connected in the community from everyone at Cresselly CC.”

Neyland Cricket club added: “Condolences from all at Neyland CC to the Scourfield family and to all at Carew Cricket Club on this devastating news. Mike epitomised all that was good about cricket. Our thoughts to all at this incredibly sad time.”

Kilgetty Cricket Club also posted: “We’re really saddened to hear the news about Michael. All our thoughts go out to the Scourfield family, Carew Cricket Club and the whole of the Carew community.”

Cresselly seconds also held a minute’s silence for Mike before their game with Laugharne on Saturday.

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