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Pembroke Dock: Local who lost two friends to drugs promotes government inquiry

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Drugs and alcohol: Tell the government what you think

Drugs and alcohol: Tell the government what you think

A LOCAL man who lost two friends to drugs overdoses is appealing for the people of Pembrokeshire to participate in a government inquiry into alcohol and substance misuse before it’s too late.

The Welsh Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee is conducting a review into the recent surge of ‘legal highs’ in the country, as well as the wider issues of alcohol and substance misuse, and wants to hear the public’s views by January 9.

The committee, made up of ten Assembly Members, is inviting public responses on substance misuse, the law surrounding it and also the support available, and will be publishing its report later this month.

Sean McGhan, aged 25 from Pembroke Dock, suffered two bereavements when his friend Anthony Gammer died on July 26, 2013, aged 27, after taking a concoction of drugs including cannabis, dihydrocodeine, ketamine and diazepam.

Sean McGhan: Urging locals to participate in inquiry

Sean McGhan: Urging locals to participate in inquiry

Mr McGhan’s other close friend, Paul Dalling, died in 2013 at the untimely age of 24 after brewing a deadly tea using poppy seeds. The DJ from Milford Haven thought the drink would induce a pleasant drowsy effect, however after consuming a pint of the concoction his central nervous system shut down and he died in bed.

The inquest into Mr Dalling’s death heard that he drank the infusion and smoked cannabis before going for a night out with friends. The coroner’s conclusion into the unusual death, which warned of the dangerous effects of poppy tea, garnered national press attention when it was published last year.

Mr McGhan believes there is a strong case to legalise certain drugs, to ensure their safety, and says he thinks that providing better education to youngsters would undoubtedly save lives.

Explaining to the Herald why he is so keen for everyone to participate in the Government’s inquiry, Mr McGhan said: “Every experience with drugs is important to the overall decision as to how it’s all governed. We all have our own unique views and many have direct experiences that need to be heard and respected by the government, not just the habitual users but the medicinal users too. For example, my suffering Nan could be using cannabis if not for all the stigma resulting in a huge lack of research.

He added: “Cancer sufferer’s medicines are being used by kids because the patients need money to buy a working medicine like cannabis. Weed is everywhere anyway, just expensive and blatantly funds the black market even here in Pembrokeshire. Hard drugs are being used because users aren’t getting high off the now low quality commercial cannabis, nor are they educated not to use drugs. If it’s blatant to us but not the government maybe we should point it out to them with this unique opportunity they have offered us!”

Tragic: Anthony Gammer, died in 2013

Tragic: Anthony Gammer, died in 2013

“The government are running out of excuses on keeping the drugs stigma going.  It’s true most people who don’t use drugs have absolutely no idea about them but those who use, or used them, know all too well of the dangers that follow drug use.”

McGhan said: “Anyone can send an email to the Welsh Government by January 9 by emailing hsccommittee@wales.gov.uk or you can write to The Clerk, Health and Social Care Committee, National Assembly for Wales, CF99 1NA.”

The terms of reference for the inquiry being conducted in Wales are, to consider:

  • the impacts of alcohol and substance misuse on people in Wales, including young people and university students; older people; homeless people; and people in police custody or prisons;
  •  the effectiveness of current Welsh Government policies on tackling alcohol and substance misuse and any further action that may be required;
  •  the capacity and availability of local services across Wales to raise awareness and deal with the impact of the harms associated with alcohol and substance misuse.
Died after drinking poppy tea: Paul Dalling

Died after drinking poppy tea: Paul Dalling

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “The National Assembly for Wales’ Health and Social Care Committee is a group of ten Assembly Members from across Wales who represent the four political parties who make up the Assembly. The Committee’s job is to hold the Welsh Government to account on health and social care within Wales, including finance, administration, policy and legislation.”

The spokesman added: “We have recently been doing some work on new psychoactive substances which are sometimes called legal highs – our report will be out in the New Year. We want to build on that work, and so we are now looking into issues of alcohol and substance misuse. As part of our inquiry, we want to know about the effect that alcohol and substance misuse has on people in Wales, how well these issues are currently being tackled, and whether the right local services are in place across Wales to help people and make sure that they know about the possible harms. Giving us your views will help us make sure that we can take into account how alcohol and substance misuse affects real people in Wales on a daily basis.”

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Blue Gem Wind begins digital aerial surveys for 300MW Valorous floating wind project

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BLUE GEM WIND, the joint venture between TotalEnergies, one of the world’s largest energy companies, and Simply Blue Energy, has begun offshore digital aerial surveys for a proposed 300MW floating wind project.

APEM Ltd have been chosen by Blue Gem Wind to deliver 24 consecutive monthly bird and marine mammal surveys of the early-commercial scale Valorous site. The high resolution data obtained will support baseline environmental characterisation of the site and environmental impact assessments for key ecological receptors.

The survey programme commenced in March 2021 and four of the 24 monthly surveys have been completed
to date.

Sean Evans, Environmental Specialist at Blue Gem Wind said, “It is important for us to begin long-lead in items
such as bird and marine mammal surveys as early as possible. These surveys will provide crucial species specific
data on the number, spatial distribution and activity of individuals across the Valorous site. This enables us to
undertake robust environmental impact assessments ahead of our planned consent application submission in
2023.”

Matt Rohner, Senior Consultant at APEM, “APEM Ltd are delighted to be able to support Blue Gem Wind’s
proposed Valorous offshore wind farm with our best-in-class survey design approach. Imagery captured using
state-of-the-art cameras is of ultra-high (1.6cm) resolution, providing industry leading image quality that is
essential for species level identification.”

The Celtic Sea is poised to play a key role in Net Zero, the Committee on Climate Change’s 100GW offshore
wind target, and crucially, the UK Government’s target of 1 GW of floating wind by 2030. The ORE Catapult also
estimated that the first GW of floating wind in the Celtic Sea could potentially deliver over 3,000 jobs and
£682m in supply chain opportunities for Wales and Cornwall by 2030.

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Three arrests as suspected cocaine worth £12,000 seized in Milford Haven

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POLICE in Milford Haven have disrupted the supply of cocaine in the town in a major operation which saw people detained and a large quantity of drugs found.

Three people were arrested and suspected cocaine worth up to £12,200 was seized, police said.

Dyfed-Powys Police carried out a warrant at a house in Hubberston on the evening of Friday, June 11, “where 122g of what is believed to be cocaine was found.”

This is estimated to have a street value of between £9,760 and £12,200 depending on its purity.

The occupant of the address – a 59-year-old man – was not present at the time, however he was later arrested on suspicion of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.

He has been released under investigation pending the result of forensic, digital and financial enquiries.

As enquiries progressed, officers made two further arrests over the weekend.

A 33-year-old man from Manchester, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession of an offensive weapon after police stopped the car he was driving.

A quantity of white powder was seized by Greater Manchester Police during a warrant at the address he gave officers in custody.

A 27-year-old woman from the Stockport area was also arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

Both have been released on bail with the condition not to enter Pembrokeshire.

Detective Constable Phillip Jones said: “This was a significant drugs seizure, and we will continue our enquiries with the view to securing a swift outcome.

“I would like to thank all officers involved over the weekend for their dedication and diligence.”

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Major blaze destroys well known Tenby chip shop

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EMERGENCY services have sealed off part of Tenby following a major fire at a chip shop.

Fire fighters rushed to Park Road Fish & Chip Shop after a blaze broke out late on Tuesday morning (Jun 15).

Emergency services are still at the scene. Police are asking people to avoid the area.

Diversions for traffic are in place.

Four fire appliances responded to the blaze at the Tenby chip shop (Image G Davies Photography)
Fire fighters take off BA kits after the blaze was put out (Image G Davies Photography)

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