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Politicians pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

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mandelaON HEARING the sad newsthat Nelson Mandela passedaway this week, Pembrokeshirepoliticians have been quick to pay their tributes to one ofthe greatest world leadersto have ever lived.

Following a long period of ill health, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away on Thursday, December 5, aged 95. He will always beremembered for bringing the apartheid regime to an end in South Africa and served as president of the country from 1994 to 1999.

Imprisoned in 1962 for conspiracy to overthrow the South African racist state, he spent 27 years in the prison of Robben Island before being released in 1990.

He then set about negotiations with the then president, F.W De Clerk, to bring about the end of the apartheid regime, a process that ended in both men receiving the Nobel prize for peace.

MP Stephen Crabb had this to say in tribute to Nelson Mandela: “Like many of my generation, I first got to know the name of Nelson Mandela through some of bands of the 1980s. I remember seeing U2 in Cardiff in 1987 when the crowd in the Arms Park was urged to ‘remember Mandela’.

“The Anti-Apartheid cause was in the very bloodstream of popular music at the time and, for us, Mandela became a word that represented struggle against oppression and injustice. What we didn’t really understand at that moment was the quality of Nelson Mandela as a man – the sense of hope and optimism that poured out of him, and the seemingly limitless reserves of forgiveness he was able to draw on following his release from prison.

“His extraordinary appearance at the 1995 rugby world cup final showed us Mandela as a man and a leader. Wearing the Springbok jersey, hated by black South Africans as a symbol of white tyranny, he was asking his nation to embrace the forgiveness and reconciliation which defined his own life.

“As a politician I regard him as one of the outstanding examples of someone driven by a sense of purpose and mission, but rooted in eternal values, with the capacity to endure extreme pain and hardship and yet forgive, and with the vision to change the face of his country. Truly, a life well lived”.

Simon Hart, MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire said: “Nelson Mandela was remarkable in that few world figures have ever touched the lives of so many people from so many different cultures. So, whether it is the people of South Africa, or even those in our own county, this man has changed our lives and our world for the better.”

Angela Davies, AM for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said: “Few people and certainly no other politician has inspired generations of people like ‘Mandiba’ Mandela. He truly was a father to so many, whether in South Africa or any other country in the world; he became a beacon of hope and forgiveness to us all”.

Pembrokeshire County Council Leader, Jamie Adams, added to the tributes, saying: “Nelson Mandela’s legacy will live on for generations in South Africa and his name is etched on the pages of history”.

His legacy will be one of peace as he sought to end apartheid not through a process of revenge and retribution but through reconciliation and truth.

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Masks now advised in all secondary schools

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PUPILS across Wales are now being advised to wear facemasks in all communal areas of secondary schools (including playgrounds), colleges and on transport to and from places of learning by the Welsh Government.

Although not compulsory, the new recommendations have been made by ministers to ensure a consistent approach in tackling COVID-19 across Wales.

People picking up and dropping off children are also advised to wear face coverings too to minimise the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19.

The new guidance, aimed mainly at secondary schools, which the Education Minister has described as ‘easy to follow’ was announced today and now means that the only spaces where staff and pupils can safely remove their facemasks is in the classroom.

The majority of councils already require secondary pupils and staff to wear masks in corridors and on most school transport with those rules extended to primary pupils too in some areas.

Education minister Kirsty Williams said: “It is vital that young people, parents, adults and the workforce feel confident that all measures are being taken to ensure the educational environments are as safe as possible.

“We have been clear that we will keep every policy under review and will continue to follow scientific advice. The policy we are announcing today does just that”.

The new advice has been recommended by the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Group (Tag), which has been looking at the “possibility of wearing face coverings for older age groups in more circumstances, including on public and dedicated transport” and could “even include in the classroom on a risk assessed basis…. balancing benefits with harms to overall wellbeing of students.”

Tag is also looking at how feasible a mass asymptomatic testing programme in schools and colleges could be, the Welsh Government has said it is considering that approach.

Debbie Thomas, Head of Policy at the National Deaf Children’s Society Cymru, said: “Face masks and coverings in communal areas could have serious consequences for Wales’ 2,500 deaf children, almost all of whom rely on lip reading and facial expressions to communicate.
“Socialising in corridors, break time chats and playground games are all rites of passage, but deaf young people now risk missing out because they can’t understand what others are saying. They’re also more likely to experience loneliness, isolation and bullying.
“Public health is the priority, but schools and colleges must move quickly to introduce reasonable adjustments to help deaf young people during this difficult time.”

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Two day centres to close temporarily as a precaution

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TWO north Pembrokeshire Day facilities for older people and people with learning disabilities are to close temporarily as a precaution following the rise in coronavirus cases in Ceredigion.

Bro Preseli Day Centre in Crymych and Wintern Day Centre, Goodwick, are to close temporarily from tomorrow (Tuesday, November 24).

The decision to close each site will be reviewed regularly.

It is emphasised that there have been no positive cases of Covid-19 detected at either site and the temporary closures have been put in place as a precaution.

 

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North Pembrokeshire schools remain closed

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THE SIX North Pembrokeshire schools which were closed today (Monday, November 23) as a precaution following the increased spread of coronavirus in South Ceredigion, will remain closed tomorrow (Tuesday, November 23).

The Pembrokeshire schools are:

• Ysgol Preseli
• Ysgol y Frenni
• Ysgol Llandudoch
• Ysgol Eglwyswrw
• Ysgol Cilgerran
• Ysgol Clydau.

The Pembrokeshire schools are closed as a precaution as they share services – such as transport – with the Ceredigion schools.

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