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Toilets ‘top of the pile’

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New Charge: A charging system has now been installed in the ASDA car park in Pembroke Dock

New Charge: A charging system has now been installed in the ASDA car park in Pembroke Dock

PUBLIC toilet provider DANFO has received praise for the work it has carried out in Pembrokeshire in 2015.

The Council’s Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee met on Tuesday, (Mar 15), to hear a presentation from DANFO.

DANFO highlighted that charging systems were being installed in Narberth, Tenby South Beach, Pembroke Dock and Broad Haven to go with the other four that had already had charging systems put in place.

They also highlighted a number of cases of vandalism in toilets in Felindre and in Castle Lake, Haverfordwest, which was the subject of fire damage in January 2016.

Pictures were shown of the damage at both sites alongside what they looked like after DANFO had finished repairs.

Nine members of staff were also employed DANFO, of which none of them had been in previous employment.

Jon Mills, Operations Manager at DANFO, said: “By December 2015, DANFO had received £40,000 worth of contributions towards the running costs of public toilets in the county and this was through introducing charging mechanisms.

“We’ve had significant investment in refurbishing a number of facilities across the county and employed additional local people to our full time staff cleaning service. Through those people we have delivered an award winning service.

“We’ve also spent approximately £50,000 just through our trade and maintenance of all the toilets and over 1000 maintenance repairs were carried out in 2015.

“There was a provision within the tender contract to install charging mechanisms to generate income. The income generation goes to the operational costs of the service and invested back into local public toilet provision.

“You’ll notice that there are four more sites listed, two of them are being installed today (Mar 15) so Narberth and Tenby South Beach are being installed. Broad Haven and Pembroke Dock were installed last Tuesday so we will have eight sites now collecting income.

“All the efforts put in by the team over 2015 has led us to achieving something that we are very proud of which was the External Cleaning Contractor of the year for 2015 across Wales and the UK. That’s for the work we are doing here down in west Wales. All the toilets are inspected by an independent inspector from the Loo of the year organisation.

“Pembrokeshire’s toilets achieved the platinum award. Pembrokeshire’s toilets became top of the Premier League in 2015 as compiled by the Loo of the year Awards so we are top of the pile at the moment.”

Cllr David Howlett congratulated DANFO on their award and asked whether or not there had been any success in finding the people that had committed the acts of vandalism.

Jon stated that no one had been caught for the damage caused to the toilets in Felindre but that people had been caught for the damage caused the toilets in Haverfordwest.

Richard Brown, Head of Environment & Civil Contingencies at the council, told councillors of the jobs that the cleaners have to go through with some experiencing excrement in handdryers.

He added: “There’s a tender price so we pay DANFO every month so we’ve got a fixed price and when they submitted their price to us it was based upon the assumption that £45,000 would be generated so their price was x-minus £45,000 so anything above that then comes to the council.

“The charging has been well received and I think we have had 120,000 visits in two months. The income generation has exceeded expectations but we actually have a problem now where there is no incentive for DANFO to invest in any further charging. “We didn’t really know from the outset how many people would take to charging.” DANFO Operations Manager Andrew Mcilduff added that he was delighted with how things had turned out and also said that Keswick was watching what had been done in Pembrokeshire and added that they wanted exactly the same as what had been installed in Tenby. Cllr Jonathan Preston said that DANFO’s involvement was a success story and asked if they had considered alternative methods of payment such as a contactless card. It was agreed there may be some benefits to that but that there would be more costs involved.

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COVID-19 tests being encouraged for wider range of symptoms

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PEOPLE living in Pembrokeshire are being encouraged to have a free COVID-19 test if they have a wider range of symptoms.

Previously, only those with either a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss/change of taste and smell, were advised to seek a test. The health board is now also encouraging people to have a test if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Flu-like symptoms, including myalgia (muscle ache or pain); excessive tiredness; persistent headache; runny nose or blocked nose; persistent sneezing; sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Generally feeling unwell and a history of being in contact with a known COVID-19 case
  • Any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test

The change aims to find hidden COVID-19 cases in our communities and drive down the numbers of onward transmissions.

Identifying infections, which could otherwise go undetected, is particularly important as new variants of the virus emerge. The more tests carried out, the easier it will be to spot early clusters of cases and possible virus mutations. This will help with easing restrictions in the future.

The new testing regime will initially run for at least 28 days and will then be reviewed. Swansea Bay University Health Board is also expanding its offer of testing in this way.

Alison Shakeshaft, Director of Therapies and Health Science at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “Overall, we are seeing a positive picture across the three counties and there has been a steady fall in the number of COVID-19 cases.

“Also, the demand for tests has come down considerably since the end of 2020, so we have capacity to expand the offer of testing to those with a wider range of symptoms.

“We know the wider group of symptoms do occur in COVID-19 but are not reported as often as the ‘classic three’ symptoms. With the very low rates of flu circulating at the moment, it is more likely that wider flu-like symptoms are due to COVID-19.

“Our aim is to find as many COVID-19 cases as possible so we can prevent the virus being passed on to others. We want to do everything we can to help bring the pandemic to a close as fast as possible and help restrictions to be lifted.”

If you have any of the symptoms outlined above, please stay at home and get a test by booking online via the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ringing 119.

As these are national contacts, you may automatically be asked about the ‘classic three’ symptoms. However, to book your test simply choose either one of these options: “You have been asked to take a test by your local council” or “You are part of a government pilot project”.

Once you have had your test, you must continue to self-isolate until you receive your result, which will usually be within 24 hours of the test. If your result is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date your symptoms started. You will also be contacted by the local Tracing Team.

If your result is negative, you can end your self-isolation, when you feel well enough to do so.

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Dale Morgan charged with murder of Judith Rhead, police confirm

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DYFED POWYS POLICE have charged a man in connection with the alleged murder of 68 year old Judith Rhead who was found dead in her home in Market Street, Pembroke Dock on Saturday (Feb 20).

Dale Morgan, 43, will appear at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court today by video link.

Dale Morgan, in court today

A spokesman for the force said: “Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm that Dale Morgan, aged 43, has been charged with the murder of Judith Rhead, aged 68, who was found in a property in Market Street, Pembroke Dock.

“He is due to appear before Llanelli Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday, 25 February).”

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Judith Rhead murder investigation – Detectives given more time to question suspect

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POLICE have been given more time to question a 43-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder.

The man has been in police custody since Saturday night, after being arrested over the death 68-year-old Judith Rhead.

She was found in a residential property in Market Street.

The police now have until Thursday afternoon (Feb 25) to question the suspect.

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