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Haverfordwest: Stephen Crabb MP’s office vandalised following controversial vote

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Graffiti on the facade of the Conservative Party office in Haverfordwest (Pic S Eastop)

Graffiti on the facade of the Conservative Party office in Haverfordwest (Pic S Eastop)

THE CONSTITUENCY OFFICE of the Secretary of State for Wales was vandalised this weekend in an apparent protest at Tory cuts to welfare.

Graffiti saying: “Why do you hate the sick” appeared on the facade of Stephen Crabb MP’s building on Upper Market Street, Haverfordwest sometime on Friday night or Saturday morning, according to a local resident.

The spray painted slogan was noticed by local photographer Simon Eastop who took a snap and sent it into The Herald yesterday (Mar 12).

The Herald contacted Mr Crabb who told our reporter: “I am aware of the graffiti and I am currently dealing with it.”

In a statement released on Monday (Mar 14), Mr Crabb said: “I’m disappointed that some individuals choose to vandalise my office instead of making an appointment to see me to discuss their concerns. Sadly all these individuals achieved on Saturday was to create an inconvenience to my office staff, local residents, and the Police.

“There are lots of ways to communicate to convey concerns but criminal damage just isn’t an option.

“The decision that was taken by MPs was to reduce the level of benefit for those in the Work-related activity group of Employment and Support Allowance. What this actually means is that those individuals who are considered to be able to work in the future will now access the same level of benefit as those on Job Seekers Allowance, but will be given better tailored support to help them into employment. It doesn’t affect those already claiming ESA.

“Of course we are protecting those that are ‘too ill to work’. There is no question about that. Those with the most severe health conditions and disabilities will quite rightly continue to get a higher rate of benefit and support.

“The truth is that not all disabilities prevent people from working, in fact I know many disabled people locally who get a great deal of satisfaction from being in work. They would be extremely offended to not be considered equal in the job market and this benefit change means that more people will be able to take these important steps from being benefit-dependent to the workplace.”

Tory MPs have voted for disabled benefit cuts again despite pleas from their own side, the House of Lords and the government’s human rights watchdog.

A dramatic battle between the House of Commons and House of Lords escalated last week as MPs rejected peers’ protests 309-274 – sending the cuts back to the Lords for a third time.

stephencrabbMost Tories voted for the cuts despite a dramatic rebellion by one of their own backbenchers, Heidi Allen.

George Osborne is reportedly poised to use a reduction of £55 a week in benefit payments to disabled people in order to fund a middle-class tax giveaway at next week’s Budget.

The decision by Ministers to remove the PIP – Personal Independence Payment – benefits from more than 600,000 disabled people over the next five years, saving around £1 billion a year, could give the Chancellor leeway to bring down taxation for the middle-class.

Mr Osborne wants to “accelerate progress” towards the Conservative manifesto pledge of raising the threshold to £50,000 at which people start paying 40p tax – a policy that could see thousands of high-earners pulled out of the higher rate of income tax.

Owen Smith, the shadow work and pensions secretary, posted on his Twitter account: “Already wicked to take another £1.2 billion from disabled, but truly obscene if switched for tax cuts at the Budget.”

On Friday a coalition of 25 disability charities wrote to the Government warning against the plans that would strip some disabled people of a key payment meant to help them live more independent lives.

Stephen Crabb has come under fire in recent days for missing the bulk of a Commons debate about Wales and not turning up to a Welsh Government reception at one of London’s most glittering addresses – but attending a Conservative party women’s lunch.

MPs were told that Mr Crabb was not present for the start of a debate focused on Wales because he was on “parliamentary business”.

Shortly before the debate kicked off, former Wales Office minister Wayne David asked about Mr Crabb’s absence.

He told the Deputy Speaker: “I am concerned about not only the Secretary of State’s absence from this important debate, but the fact that he was absent at a St David’s day reception hosted in Lancaster House earlier today. Perhaps he has died or perhaps he has resigned and not told the House.

“Perhaps you could shed some light on this.”

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Tom

    March 15, 2016 at 12:50 am

    These Tories are a greedy bunch…not satisfied with making the very sick work but now taken away their means of support is not acceptable!!

    Mr Crabb who voted for these cuts should be ashamed…maybe he should try living on £70 a week?

  2. Pete K

    March 15, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Shame on Crabb and shame on the Tory party as a whole. Their justification for reducing this benefit is tenuous to say the least, and if tax relief is announced for higher earners it will categorically demonstrate that they’re pandering to the middle classes for votes at the expense of more vulnerable members of society. Pah!

  3. Maria Miller Still Serving MP is innocent Group statement

    March 15, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Maria Miller Still Serving MP is innocent Group statement.

    As Maria was one of the true catalysts for welfare reform and the introduction of PIP was 100 percent fully supported by Maria, we feel that we must express solidarity with Mr Crabb.

    Maria also helped to change Remploy, into Remploy LTD and thus it was free to work in partnership with Maximus U.S corporation (who have taken over Atos as Work Capability Assessors) in a truly profitable enterprise by possibly supplying potential labour through each of its channels to work for the benefit of shareholders, who are the true wealth creators.

    We are sure that the Conservative women will have been delighted to have caught Crabb’s at the very special luncheon as we all would be. It’s just a great shame that this senseless act of vandilism has occurred, causing real distress to any disabled people who may have witnessed it.

  4. Maria Miller Still Serving MP is innocent Group statement

    March 15, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    * should have read Crabb’s presence

  5. Rob

    March 15, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    I’m sure a bit of paint on a selfservatives office wall will cause far less distress to disabled people than having extremely necessary money taken away from them. As is evident across the country, many sick and disabled people have already died, if not from cuts to their support networks then from being forced to work when they are actually unable (thank ATOS for that), and some cases, suicide. There’s blood on Stephen Crabb’s hands already. Good on the disabled people who can work, but its not them I’m worried about. It’s the people that can’t.

    If you are sympathetic with the Conservative cause, then you are either a) heavily influenced by the propaganda in the right wing press (who all benefit from conservative ideology, let’s not forget) b) have vested self interests that can only be realised by a conservative government (this means you are holding yourself in higher importance than other people (which means you are selfish, callous and possibly sociopathic)) or c) You’re brain doesn’t work properly, in which case, I do feel for you. It must be rubbish being that disiilusioned.

  6. chizy

    March 17, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Well done you Steven for knowing many disabled people locally.
    I will lay a wager that you once happened upon a person who you believed came from the continent of Africa and heard tittle tattle at your club of a gentleman who prefers the company of other gentlemen.
    How can you make it look so very easy to miss the point?
    Mr Crabb, you are so 19th Century and a prime example of a Selfservative career politician.

  7. chizy

    March 17, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Forgot to mention that as I stated on the Western Telegraph site, I in no way condone the daubing of the building belonging to the local Conservative Association.

  8. Junius

    March 19, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    @ Maria Miller Still Serving MP is innocent Group statement:
    I do enjoy grammatically correct satire.

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Fishguard: Terminal could close for three months for improvement to infrastructure

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FISHGUARD’S ferry terminal could be closed for up to three months, the operator Stena Line has revealed.

A replacement of the mechanised bridge which connects the ferry to the dock could cause the temporary closure.

The project would cost £5m and is expected to start in February 2019.

Commenting on the project, Stena Line said it was ‘committed to examining the possibilities of investing in key elements of the port infrastructure’.

The spokesperson continued: “It is expected that the port will close for approximately three months. However this is yet to be confirmed.”

In an online planning application to Pembrokeshire County Council, the company lists replacing the Linkspan provision, which allows vehicles to disembark and board at various tide heights.

Tenders for the project are currently being sought by the company.

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Neyland pervert jailed for downloading child pornography

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A NEYLAND man who “learned absolutely nothing” after being caught by the police downloading child pornography has been jailed today for doing it again.

David Leonard Smith, aged 59, of Kensington Road, had been under a suspended prison sentence when police called at his home to check on his internet activity.
 
Dean Pulling, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that he pretended to own only a mobile telephone but officers discovered that an internet router was linked to a Samsung laptop.
 
Smith refused to accept he had one but a search revealed the computer hidden under a pile of magazines.
 
As soon as the machine was opened an adult pornography website flashed onto the screen.
 
A closer examination showed that Smith possessed 13 indecent images of children and nine of extreme pornography involving women and animals.
 
It was also clear, said Mr Pulling, that Smith had swapped indecent images with another internet user.
 
Smith admitted possessing and making indecent images, distributing them and breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order made when he was sentenced in August, 2016.
 
Judge Geraint Walters said Smith was “hugely” in denial about what he had been doing and had learned absolutely nothing from his previous court experience.
 
“There was a fair amount of deviousness involved this time,” he added.
 
Smith was jailed for 16 months and Judge Walters activated 12 months of the suspended sentence, making 28 months in all.

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Motorbike safety campaign launched across Wales

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A CAMPAIGN aimed at reducing the risk of motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on the roads is underway across Wales.

As the weather improves police see more bikers on the roads, taking advantage of the beautiful routes across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.

Dyfed-Powys Police is urging motorcyclists to ride safely and warns that until October there will be an increased focus as part of the campaign, named Op Darwen.

Superintendent Huw Meredith, Head of Specialist Operations, said: “Motorcyclists have long been identified as particularly vulnerable road users and reducing the number of road deaths and casualties on the roads of Dyfed-Powys is a priority for our Roads Policing Units.

“We have always welcomed motorcyclists from outside our borders to enjoy the magnificent landscape, but they must be aware that Dyfed-Powys Police is doing all it can to ensure our roads are used safely by all, with our Roads Policing Units taking robust action to prevent fatal or serious road traffic collisions on our roads.

“Everyone must take responsibility for their own and others safety on our roads and be aware of their riding and driving manner. Action will be taken against anyone choosing to ride or drive anti-socially, recklessly or illegally on our roads.

“Our officers see far too many tragedies, many preventable. Roads Policing officers will be out in numbers throughout Dyfed-Powys using a combination of education, engagement and enforcement to prevent further tragedies.”

Officers will also be encouraging riders to improve their biking skills by taking part in BikeSafe workshops, which
offer an insight into what can be achieved with further advanced training. The workshops, run by police forces around the UK, use a mix of discussions, on-road observed rides and information videos. They are designed to enhance the skills of all riders who have already passed their tests and are suitable for all abilities, from the most seasoned rider to those returning to biking after a period of absence.

Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates praised the campaign: “Our roads continue to be amongst the safest in the world.

“However, the number of motorcyclists being killed or seriously injured is still too high.

“Campaigns like this are a key part of a wider range of measures aimed at making our roads safer and preventing future motorcycling casualties. This holistic approach includes ensuring motorcyclists are prioritised in our road safety funding, supporting Go Safe’s operation of speed cameras and funding local authorities to deliver Bikesafe and other motorcyclist training.”

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