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Safety initiative wins £90k funding

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safety initiativeDYFED-POWYS Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon has secured funding of £90,000 for a new service to help vulnerable people.

The money, from the Home Office, will help fund two specially equipped vehicles to be staffed by police officers and with facilities for mental health nurses.

They will help those in mental distress when involved in an incident.Police – often first on the scene at an incident – now occasionally have no choice but to take the person into custody until health treatment can be provided.

It is hoped the Mobile Assessment and Support Team (MAST) units will reduce the need for such action. A partnership between Dyfed- Powys Police, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Powys Teaching Health Board and the Welsh Ambulance Service, the units could be operational by the end of this summer.

Mr Salmon said: “For a number of reasons, police cells are regularly used for those suffering with potentially traumatic episodes.

“MAST is the innovative alternative; it will provide the most appropriate service to people in mental distress at the earliest opportunity– and will save time and money for the police, ambulance and health services.

“I’m delighted that my application for Home Office funding has succeeded. This project will offer new support to individuals at a time when they’re particularly vulnerable and will help Dyfed-Powys Police and others become more effective on the front line.”

Dyfed-Powys Chief Constable Simon Prince said: “MAST will provide the communities of Dyfed-Powys with a mobile and dynamic assessment facility during mental health detentions.

“The vision for the project is to take bold and innovative steps to provide a better service for people suffering with issues relating to their mental health.”

Hywel Dda University Health Board Deputy Chief Executive Karen Howell said:

“We are pleased and excited by the opportunity to work more closely with Dyfed-Powys Police and other partner agencies, to ensure the needs of our population are better met.

“This innovative development will ensure that vulnerable people experiencing a mental health crisis receive timely and appropriate care and treatment more flexibly in their own communities.”

Powys Teaching Health Board Director of Nursing Carol Shillabeer said:

“We and the wider mental health partnership are committed to supporting those with mental health needs. It is important to get them the help they need swiftly.

“We work closely with a number of other public services to ensure the safety of all of our patients and I welcome the addition of the MAST service.”

Dyfed-Powys Police managed 176 such detentions in the 10 months up to February 2013. Only three (2%) resulted in a crime being recorded and, on average, it took eight hours 48 minutes in detention for the individual to be seen by the appropriate mental health team.

The Dyfed-Powys bid to the Home Office’s fledgling Police Innovation Fund was £90,701 for 2013-14. The police force and health partners will collectively contribute a further £60,468 for the year. The 2014-15 running cost for MAST will be £220,675 and met by the local partners.

Dyfed-Powys Police mental health detentions cost the taxpayer around £313,000 every year in policing budget. It is hoped that MAST will decrease such detention figures by 80% and that a £249,200 police saving will be made in 2014-15.

Among the other services provided by the project will be a 24-hour on-call phone advice service, with access to specific advice for under-25s.

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Residents invited to a Pembroke Tunnel drop-in event

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NETWORK RAIL is inviting residents to a drop-in event to find out more about essential maintenance work at Pembroke Tunnel, west Wales, which will improve the resilience and reliability of the railway for passengers.
The work includes essential vegetation management and rock netting in the area with work taking place for a week in December before the main work takes place in January and February.
Ahead of the work residents are invited to a drop-in event on Monday 18 November from 3pm to 6.30pm at the Dutton Suite, Pembroke Leisure Centre, Bush, Pembroke, SA71 4RJ.
No appointments are necessary and members of the project team will be on hand to answer any questions.
Then between Saturday 14 and Friday 20 December Network Rail will carry out drilling work overnight to install rock anchors at the top of the railway cutting as Network Rail prepare for the main phase of the works.
That will then take place between Sunday 19 January 2020 and Saturday 8 February 2020 where engineers will work day and night to install rock anchors and bolts before installing the rock netting across the railway cutting using road rail vehicles and specialist machinery.
Michael Pinkerton, scheme project manager for Wales and Borders, said:
“We would like to thank residents in advance for their patience and understanding as we carry out this work at Pembroke Tunnel.
“All this planned essential work forms part of our commitment to maintain a safe and reliable railway that is fit for use now and in the future. We are working closely with our partners to keep disruption to the local community to a minimum and encourage anyone wishing to find out more about this work to come along to our drop-in event later.”

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“We have a duty to win” says Crabb at campaign launch

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STEPHEN CRABB has launched his 2019 General Election campaign, highlighting the ‘duty and responsibility’ the Party has to win.
The Welsh Conservative candidate is hoping to be re-elected on December 12, having served as MP for the last 14 years.
At the launch at Martha’s Vineyard on Milford Marina, Stephen addressed a crowd of supporters with a promise to continue being a strong voice for Preseli Pembrokeshire in Westminster.
Stephen Crabb has consistently been one of the hardest working Welsh MPs with a strong track record of standing up for the local community.
Speaking at the campaign launch, Stephen said: “This General Election will be the most important for many years.
“We face a choice between the Conservatives who have a clear plan to unblock Brexit and improve Britain – or a coalition of opposition parties under Jeremy Corbyn, who want more years of delay and division.
“That is not in our national interest nor is it in the best interests of Pembrokeshire. The Conservative Party has a serious duty and responsibility to go out and win this election.
“Over the last 14 years I have fought tirelessly for local people and local businesses and if re-elected, I will continue to work hard to give Pembrokeshire a strong voice in Parliament.”
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Christmas shopping misery for west Wales rail users

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RAIL USERS in west Wales face festive misery due to engineering works which will close the Carmarthen to Milford Haven link for almost a month.

The line will be closed from this Sunday, until the Sunday before Christmas, at a time when many take the train to Swansea and Cardiff shopping for gifts for friends and family.

Signs have already been posted at railway stations confirming the delays.

Trains will be replaced by buses; rail officials have said.

A spokesman from Network Rail said: “Due to essential maintenance work, rail replacement bus services will run between Carmarthen and Milford Haven from Monday, November 18 until Sunday, December 22.

“Pembroke dock and Fishguard services are also affected on Sunday November 24.

“On all other days of operation, the train services will continue to stop at Whitland, Clynderwen and Clarbeston Road, Fishguard and Goodwick, Fishguard Harbour and stations to Pembroke Dock.

“We apologise for any inconvenience.”

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