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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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New Eco Feature For Haverfordwest

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Plans have been submitted for a ‘living green wall’ to be planted in the centre of Haverfordwest in a bid to enhance local biodiversity and wildlife.

The green wall would be situated alongside the river opposite Glan-yr-Afon, the town’s library and cultural centre, and planted with 25 species of native plants including ferns, grasses, flowers and wild herbs including basil, sage and clary.

As well as providing an important habitat for pollinators, the wall would also be an attractive natural feature in its own right, says Sara Morris, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Development Plans and Conservation Manager.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to re-introduce nature in the heart of Haverfordwest,” she said. “As with all planting, it will take some time for the plants to grow and flourish but given time it will look very attractive.”

The maintenance of the wall, which is scheduled for installation towards the end of October, would be carried out by a team of volunteers. New benches made from Welsh slate would also be installed to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy spending time in the area.

The green wall is part of the Cleddau Reaches partnership project which forms one of the priorities in the Haverfordwest Regeneration framework.

The Cleddau Reaches partners are Pembrokeshire County Council, the Bridge Meadow Trust, Haverfordwest Town Council, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Haverfordwest Kayak Club.

Pembrokeshire College and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority have also supported the project.

The aim is to improve and enhance the rights of way network in and around Haverfordwest and in particular, around the Western Cleddau, through several different inter-linked schemes.

Grant funding of approximately £250,000 has been provided by the NRW, Haverfordwest Town Council and the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, says the project’s focus on the river follows recognition that for too long, it has been an under-utilised resource despite being one of the town’s key natural assets.

“The Cleddau Reaches project brings together many ideas which the community has put forward over the last 20 years,” he said.

“As well as boosting biodiversity, the project forms part of the wider package of investments we are bringing forward to support Haverfordwest Town Centre.

“This administration is determined to revive the fortunes of the County Town, transforming Haverfordwest Town Centre from a traditional retail centre that’s being left behind into a vibrant leisure destination where residents and visitors alike want to spend their time.”

Some of the work currently taking place as part of the Cleddau Reaches project includes new riverbank paths near the Bridge Meadow with plans to create a new footbridge connecting to the Old Mill Grounds.

Other plans include creating habitats for sand-martins, otters and lampreys upriver, creating a trail linking up with the Town Council’s Priory Saltings project, and installing five interpretation boards along the route describing the flora, fauna and history of the local area.

The green wall planning application is currently registered with Pembrokeshire County Council for determination.

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Homes in Pembrokeshire can get free boilers and insulation

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PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD is teaming up with Blackburn based company Euro Insulation, who are working on a Pembrokeshire County Council backed energy scheme called the ECO: Help to Heat programme.

The scheme intends to utilise government funding for the reduction of fuel poverty within the county.

The council says that it has worked for many years to improve homes locally, and is keen for as many households to sign up as possible.

The local authority is working with ECO energy installers.

Funding is only available for private owner occupiers and private rented tenants. Qualification of flexible eligibility in Pembrokeshire will be determined by certain criteria.

Grants are available to a range of households including those with someone aged over 60, with a child under 5, and homes with children in primary or secondary school, or with a pregnant mother.

The Pembrokeshire Herald is letting as many homeowners know as possible about the scheme and has a call centre open to take queries on behalf of Euro Insulation who will be doing the work.

The aim is to reduce C02 emissions and make homes more energy efficient in Wales.

They are with the Welsh Assembly Government to show homeowners how they can get a brand-new boiler, internal wall insulation and room-in-roof insulation

The funding is only available until December.

To be considered for a FREE boiler or INSULATION call our call centre on 01437 70 70 70

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Fishguard: Armed police presence at Fishguard port

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ARMED officers from Dyfed-Powys Police were on scene at the port in Fishguard this morning (Sept 18).

Border Force and the RNLI were involved in the operation, which reportedly involved a vessel being escorted into the harbour.

Details of the incident are still unfolding, and the police have been contacted for a statement.

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