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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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Flooding across the county as heavy rain continues to fall

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Photo credit: Chris Didcote

THE FOLLOWING incidents have been reported in Pembrokeshire today (Nov 22):

  • roads in Maenclochog said to be impassable because of floodwater
  • reports that the entrance to Milford marina near Victoria Bridge has flooding across the road
  • flooding in Haverfordwest affecting: Bridge Street; Perrots Road; the main road outside Withybush Hospital and the car park at McDonald’s.
  • Glan Cleddau School in Haverfordwest allowing children home early due to flooding in the car park
  • one lamp blown from post at Bryn Teg, St Davids.

There has been flooding in the following locations:

  • Trafalgar Road junction with St Davids Road in Pembroke Dock
  • railway bridge at Lower Thornton, Milford Haven, impassable due to hedge collapse into road
  • A477 Sentry Cross to Neyland road and towards Johnston
  • Herbrandston village towards Rickeston Mill
  • Freystrop, near Haverfordwest
  • Tiers Cross (near Harvest Care Home)
  • Tiers Cross to Haverfordwest road at railway bridge near Winsel tip
  • Haverfordwest (Albany Terrace; North Crescent; Oakwood Grove; Glenover Park; Swan Square; outside multi-storey car park; Withybush showground; Fleming Crescent)
  • Newbridge Farm between Crundale and Clarbeston Road
  • Clarbeston Road village
  • Clarbeston village
  • A478 Blaenffos to Cardigan road
  • Brynberian
  • Eglwyswrw to  Boncath road
  • Cwmmins, St Dogmaels.

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Redberth: Police appeal following fatal crash

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POLICE are appealing for information following a fatal crash yesterday evening (Nov 21) on the A477 at Redberth.

The crash happened on the stretch of road between Pembroke Dock and Kilgetty and involved a red Renault Clio and Red Mazda 6.

The incident happened at approximately 6:40pm.

Tragically, the 80-year-old driver of the Clio died.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “At approximately 6.40pm on Tuesday, November 21, a fatal road traffic collision occurred between two vehicles on the A477 at Redberth between Pembroke Dock and Kilgetty.

“A red Renault Clio travelling towards Kilgetty, and a Red Mazda 6 travelling towards Pembroke Dock have collided, and the driver of the Clio sustained fatal injuries.

“Anyone who witnessed this incident is asked to contact PC 1049 Griffiths of the Roads Policing Unit on 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”

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High winds could cause disruption to travel

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DRIVERS have been warned that high winds which are hitting the county today (Nov 22) may lead to the closure of the Cleddau Bridge.

Pembrokeshire County Council has said that a closure for high-sided vehicles is likely. A full closure to all vehicle is ‘less likely’, it was said.

The sustained high winds may also cause debris to be blown onto roads causing delays.

Drivers are advised to take caution at all times.

A spokesperson for Pembrokeshire County Council said: “Pembrokeshire is forecast to be hit by strong winds over the next 48 hours.

“With a view to helping road users plan any journeys during this period, and given that the disruption may extend through the peak commuter times, please be advised of the following:

“Looking at the current forecast for the bridge, it is thought likely that the bridge will be closed to high sided vehicles tomorrow morning (Wednesday, 22nd November) possibly from as early as 7 am or 8 am, and lasting through the majority of the working day untill say 5 pm or 6 pm.

“Please note that this information is indicative only and it is impossible to give any guarantees. A small change in wind direction may result in no closures being implemented.

“A full bridge closure is not anticipated, at this time.

“Road users are advised to monitor the situation carefully and adjust travel plans accordingly.

“It is stressed that the above information is based on current information and experience and provided to give maximum notice of possible disruption. However, the bridge status can change at any time, and no guarantees can be given.”

To check Cleddau Bridge closures either:

· Visit www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/bridge
· Text BRIDGE or PONT to 80039. (Texts are charged at standard network rates)

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