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Funding cuts hit Pembrokeshire College jobs

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Funding cuts hit jobs: Pembrokeshire College

Funding cuts hit jobs: Pembrokeshire College

PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE confirmed to The Herald on Friday (March 7) that part-time courses will be hit following Welsh Government funding cuts.

Recent funding allocations issued to colleges across Wales show that funding for part-time courses would be cut by 50 per cent for academic year 2015/16 – however funding for basic skills, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Learners with Learning Difficulties or Disabilities (LLDD) would be protected.

Overall the cuts will mean a £14.1 million reduction in funding for the further education sector in Wales.

As well as cuts to part-time funding, colleges will also need to make an efficiency gain of 2.6 per cent in the delivery of their full-time courses which is consistent with the efficiency gains required to be made by school sixth forms.

Pembrokeshire College is currently in the process of planning for this change and is working with staff to look at alternative delivery methods to try to minimise the impact on course delivery as much as possible.  In reality the College is facing a cut in funding of £800,000 for 2015/16.

In addition to the Welsh Government cuts, there is also uncertainty regarding the Sector Priorities Fund aimed at providing part-time provision for employed adults over the age of 19.  During 2014/15 this provided the College with funding in the region of £1 million but, as yet, the funding position for 2015/16 is unclear.  As such, the College has entered into voluntary redundancy talks with its staff.

Trade Unions UCU, ATL and UNISON who represent members in FE Colleges across Wales said they are outraged by the scale of funding cuts announced by the Welsh Government, which have been imposed on Welsh FE Colleges through decisions made in Westminster.  Speaking on behalf of the joint trade unions, Hugh McDyer, Area Organiser for Unison, commented: “We are working closely with Pembrokeshire College to avoid compulsoryredundancies and will continue as unions to campaign for a fair deal for FE.  There has to be government commitment to provide adequate funding to the FE sector, to protect ‘second chance’ learning and the life changing opportunities that this can provide for thousands of adults in both Wales and the rest of the UK.”

The funding cuts will not affect the College’s ability to deliver full-time courses aimed at 16-18 year olds.  College Principal, Sharron Lusher, commented: “Here, it is very much a case of business as usual to ensure our young learners achieve excellent results again this year.  Our outstanding A-level results last year resulted in 33.3% of our students achieving A – A* and 37% of students studying Extended Diplomas achieved Distinction/Distinction*.  In 2014 we saw 165 of our learners progressing into universities and higher education – a significant number.  Upskilling the unemployed and adults in the most need of basic skills training will also remain as a core activity of the College.”

She commented further:  ‘I met with staff today and recognise that it is a difficult message to deliver to a team of staff who have shown their dedication to delivering high quality part-time education and training to learners from across Pembrokeshire for many years – we are working hard to minimise the impact of the funding reductions.”

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Multi-agency response to house fire in Siskin Close, Haverfordwest

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FIRE crews are attending a domestic fire in a property on Siskin Close, Haverfordwest.

As of 11.45pm on Monday evening crews were still dampening down a fire which enfulfed two floors of a domestic property.

It is understood the alarm was raised after 10pm.

Our reporter on the scene said that there were four fire crews in attendance as well as three ambulances as well as police, who had set up a perimeter, controlling access to the scene.

A large number of local residents were watching on from a safe distance as the incident was being dealt with.

At the time of writing the street was blocked off to traffic with a large number of emergency vehicles parked up, all the way around the corner to the top of Harrier Road.

All of the emergency services have been contacted for a comment.

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Outdoor hospitality given go-ahead and rules on mixing outdoors relaxed in Wales

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SIX people will be able to meet outdoors in Wales from Saturday 24 April while outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26 April as cases of new COVID-19 infections continue to fall, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed today.

The current rule provides for up to six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) from a maximum of two households to meet outdoors.

The new rules from Saturday will allow six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) to meet outdoors.

People should observe social distancing from people from outside their household or support bubble when meeting others outside.

The rules for meeting indoors remain unchanged.

The First Minister has also confirmed outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26th April 2021.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford said: “The public health context in Wales remains favourable, with cases falling and our vaccination programme continues to go from strength to strength. Because meeting outdoors continues to be lower risk than meeting indoors, we are able to bring forward changes to allow any six people to meet outdoors.

“This will provide more opportunities for people, especially young people, to meet outdoors with their friends. This will undoubtedly have a significant positive impact on people’s wellbeing.

“I’m also pleased to confirm outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26th April.

“These changes will help the hospitality sector recover after a difficult twelve months.

“It is thanks to the continuing efforts of people across Wales we are able to introduce this change. Together, we will continue to keep Wales safe.”

On Friday (23rd April 2021), the First Minister will confirm further relaxations to the covid rules that will come into force on Monday 26 April 2021.

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Police ‘enforcement and engagement’ to curb anti-social behaviour in Tenby

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POLICE in Tenby will be using enforcement and engagement in a bid to curb future incidents of anti-social behaviour, they said on Monday (Apr 17)

The announcement comes after Tenby was left with empty cans, broken bottles and fast food wrappers strewn everywhere, after over two hundred young people gathered to enjoy the weekend – perhaps expected whilst pubs remained closed.

Licensed establishment have not yet been able to open in Wales, but they are open in England for outdoor refreshments. They are opening on Monday.

There were reports of young people walking through the town with boxes full of alcohol, with other people buying takeaway drinks from licensed premises before making their way to the harbour.

The sheer number of people meant people were urinating in the streets, some residents told The Pembrokeshire Herald.

A Dyfed-Powys police spokesperson said: “With the continued easing of the regulations designed to keep us safe and the weather getting warmer we have seen an increase of people visiting and out and about in the Pembrokeshire area.
“While it’s great that people are now able to visit Pembrokeshire again, the behaviour of some placed additional pressure not only on the police but on the local authority as well.
“Tenby in particular attracted a large crowd on Saturday evening, April 18, resulting in anti-social behaviour, especially in the harbour area.

Chief Inspector Louise Harries said: “We recognise the concerns of residents and businesses after the anti-social behaviour seen in Tenby on Saturday evening. We are working with partners to avoid these issues re-occurring in the future.
“Police officers will be patrolling the area over the coming weeks and while the priority will be to engage with the public, enforcement action will be taken where necessary”
“We want to see people enjoying and the majority of people are doing so in accordance with the regulations, however the minority who don’t are spoiling it for others.
“We will continue to engage with our communities and visitors to the area to ensure that everyone enjoys in a safe manner.”

(Cover photo courtesy Pure West Radio)

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