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£1.25m town centre cash for Port to develop ‘private rented accommodation’

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stores2AN EXAMINATION of the minutes of the meeting of a key council committee that took place in June reveals that the Milford Haven Town Centre Regeneration Scheme, for which the county council secured funding from the Welsh Government, was focused on the improvement, repair, and refit of the former Motorworld building in the town’s Charles Street until at least June this year.

However, during the meeting of the council’s Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee, not a single councillor mentioned Milford Haven at all, and, while the other five towns targeted for town centre regeneration had a number of projects as part of plans affecting them, the only item under consideration for the whole of Milford Haven’s town centre was the former Motorworld building.

And while the committee ‘noted progress’ it is impossible to ascertain what progress had been made regarding Milford Haven – if any – as it is barely referenced – other than on one line listing the Charles Street building – in the report councillors received.

plan
The funding intended to regenerate the town centre has now been directed to the controversial Masterplan submitted by the Milford Haven Port Authority, with the council directing the funding that should have gone to the town centre to the Port’s plans for the Old Quay Stores.

The fact that the Port development is not related to the town centre of Milford Haven is shown by the content of the original planning report on the Port Masterplan, which states “The application describes the development as delivering a new commercial and leisure quarter for Milford Haven, a distinctive place with its own unique character and revitalising the fishing port and leisure marina.”

And, in relation to the proposed retail development of the docks, the same report draws a firm distinction between the port and the town centre: “The proposed food and non-food retail stores will be within walking distance of the town centre. Indeed, the proposals are between, and adjacent to, two parcels of the defined town centre…. It has been concluded that there will be only a limited impact on the town centre and there is a lack of suitable alternative sites within the town centre.”

Bearing in mind the ‘limited impact’ on the town centre of the proposed retail development, it is difficult to make the idea that town centre regeneration funds should be allocated to the Port as anything other than a considerable stretch, not least as the Port masterplan is keen to draw a distinction between the facilities on offer there and those in the town itself.

Moreover, when the council’s Cabinet discussed the matter on September 12, the fact that the Old Quay stores is not part of the town centre is demonstrated by the preamble to its discussion in the Cabinet papers: “Following a meeting with Milford Haven Port Authority, an application has been submitted to assist with the start of the delivery of their Masterplan. The focus of the bid will be the Quay Stores building and adjacent land, which will assist with connecting the town centre with the marina.”

The development shown on the Masterplan for that building is a hotel. However, the plan discussed and approved by Cabinet for the location is to provide private rented accommodation.

There appears to be the familiar signs of a hasty re-jig of policies against a timetable that has become tight due to council inertia, and warnings were given at the Cabinet meeting on September 12 that there was a deadline imminent for drawing down the funds. The details of the meeting between the county council at the Port Authority which apparently stitched up the deal were not before the Cabinet and remain unpublished.

Neil Jenkins, Destination Director at the Port of Milford Haven, said: “The Port of Milford Haven has applied for the maximum loan amount of £1.25m from the Welsh Government Town Centre Loan Fund to assist with the redevelopment of the Quay Stores building, a listed building within the Port’s property portfolio. Under the terms of the loan scheme the sum would be repaid over five years.

“If the application is approved, detailed planning permission would be sought from Pembrokeshire County Council, along with listed building consent. Subject to gaining the necessary consents and entering into tenancy agreements, work would hopefully start on site in 2017.”

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Pembrokeshire residents can quickly check symptoms for variety of conditions on NHS 111 Wales online

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NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker can save Pembrokeshire patients time by helping them find the right NHS service for treatment. Symptoms can be quickly checked for a variety of conditions and advice given on the best way to treat them by visiting www.111.wales.nhs.uk which is hosted by the Welsh Ambulance Service.

The way we access NHS services has changed as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with more options now becoming increasingly utilised, including the NHS 111 Wales online service which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can be used for both health information and advice and to access urgent primary care in Welsh and English.

In a recent YouGov survey, a third of Pembrokeshire residents had not even heard of the NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker and only 19% had used it during the past 12 months.

Andrew Carruthers, Director of Operations at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We are asking everyone to help us by reconsidering the way you access NHS services. The methods available have changed but we are still here for you. It is worth getting to know the different ways you can access the NHS so you can be seen and treated quicker with your first port of call being NHS 111 Wales.”

According to the YouGov survey, carried out for the Welsh Government’s Keep Wales Safe campaign, only 67% of Pembrokeshire residents had heard of the NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker. However, 86% said they felt it was important to have access to the service.   

NHS 111 Wales online can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. The way it works is: You answer questions about your symptoms on the website and depending on the situation you will:

  •           Get self-care advice
  •           Be told how to get any medicine you need
  •           Find out what local service can help you
  •           Be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP
  •           Get a face-to-face appointment if you need one
  •           Be given an arrival time if you need to go to A&E – this might mean you spend less time in A&E

For those who don’t have confidence going online to seek advice, there is the NHS 111 Wales phone service. This is also a free service where patients can contact the NHS by dialling 111 to receive advice on the best way to manage their issue or gain further assistance if needed. The bilingual telephone service is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Eighty-four percent of Pembrokeshire residents had heard of the NHS 111 Wales phone service when asked for the recent YouGov survey but only 20% had used the telephone service during the last 12 months.

 

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Trial date for son accused of killing mum

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THE SON of Judith Rhead, 68, who was found dead in her home in Market Street, Pembroke Dock on Feb 20 will now appear in Crown Court again in October.

Dale Morgan, 43, said to be a scout master, appeared in court only to confirm his name, date of birth and address – which was listed as Honeyborough Green, Neyland.

A plea and trial preparation hearing date was set for March 26 with a provisional trial date set for October 4.

He was remanded in custody.

In court papers it stated that the alleged murder took place between December 10, 2020 and February 21, 2021.

The paperwork demonstrates that the police are unsure of the exact date that Ms Rhead died. The large date range, two months, points to the likelihood that this will be a challenging case for all those involved.

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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