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Council calms cladding concerns



PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has moved to reassure residents about the fire safety risks posed by cladding to schools and other public buildings, following the recent tragic events in Kensington and Chelsea.

Local authorities across Wales have engaged in safety tests on buildings since the disaster at Grenfell Tower in London and checks on Pembrokeshire’s buildings have, thus far, revealed no causes for concern.

Councillor Tom Tudor has raised the issue of fire safety in with county Chief Executive Ian Westley and Leader David Simpson.

Cllr Tudor has asked: “With the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire could you ensure that Pembrokeshire County Council looks at all its buildings that use these modern cladding tiles, which may include many of the new built schools; in fact, on the news it was reported that new build schools (along with hotels, motels etc) could well be fitted with these tiles.

“In the event of any building having these cladding tiles in the wall cavities, please could they be removed as soon as possible?”

Cladding has been used to insulate buildings and improve their energy efficiency; however, the cladding used at Grenfell Tower has been blamed for speeding and intensifying the blaze which consumed the block.

The Herald asked Pembrokeshire County Council what steps, if any, it had taken to assess the safety of cladding on its buildings – both new-build and old – in light of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

A spokesperson told us: ‘We are working closely with the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service to carry out a cladding survey on all local authority-owned properties. We have not encountered any cladding issues to date but if we do, the cladding will be tested. Pembrokeshire County Council does not own any high-rise public buildings’.

Moving to the broader issue of fire safety in schools, an issue which has been raised on social media since the London tragedy, we asked the Council which of Pembrokeshire’s schools are fitted with sprinkler systems.

The same spokesperson responded: “All schools built, substantially refurbished or currently under construction as part of Pembrokeshire County Council’s 21st Century Schools programme (Band A) are fitted with sprinklers, as per Welsh Government requirements.

“These schools are; Broad Haven Primary School, Ysgol Hafan y Mor and Tenby Church in Wales VC School in Tenby, Johnston CP School, Ysgol Dewi Sant, Penrhyn Church in Wales VC School  at Hundleton , Pembroke Secondary School, Gelliswick Church in Wales VC Primary School in Hakin/Hubberston, and Ysgol Bro Gwaun.

“The following schools also have sprinkler systems: Portfield School, Neyland Community School, Ysgol Glannau Gwaun in Fishguard, and Cleddau Reach VC School in Llangwm.”

The spokesperson continued: “It is important to note that the fire strategy adopted on education and public buildings is one of ‘everyone out’ as a first measure and that schools all have compliant fire detection systems and a duty to test evacuation procedures once per term.”

We were also told no other buildings owned by the local authority are equipped with sprinkler systems.

Finally, in light of increased residential development of former commercial premises in town centres, we enquired as to the steps the Council is taking to ensure that planning applications for the conversion of premises into either flats or houses of multiple occupation include the provision of sprinkler systems.

We were told: “The requirements for fire suppression systems are set out in the building regulations part B. The building control body overseeing the works will ensure that these requirements are met.”

Milford Haven Councillor, Vivien Stoddart said: “In the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy I have received several enquiries about fire safety at the new 500-strong primary school currently being constructed off Gellyswick Road, Hakin. During a recent tour of the new building, school governors, including myself, were pleased to see that there are sprinklers in every room.

“I have been assured by Pembrokeshire County Council’s project officer for the school, that the external timber cladding meets British Standards for fire retardancy, and that the building’s fire alarm system includes fire detection in all rooms. I was also told by the council that it is now mandatory to install sprinklers in all newly constructed homes, not just in public buildings.”

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Angle Lifeboat tasked to disabled yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head



Image Credit - RNLI Penny Harris

ANGLE LIFEBOAT and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

Angle Lifeboat and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

The lifeboat was launched at 10:43pm to a 26ft yacht that had reported smoke coming from their engine compartment. The casualty vessel was 22 miles south west of St Ann’s with two crew onboard.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 11:46pm. The on scene assessment was carried out and both crew were safe and well but the vessel would need to be towed to Milford Haven. The tow was set up and the casualty vessel was under tow at 11:56pm.

The conditions were perfect for the slow tow back which saw a beautiful moon rising and the early glow of dawn.

Lifeboat arrived at Milford and swapped the casualty vessel to an alongside tow to take it alongside in to the lock at Milford Marina where the casualty was safely tied up at 04:49am.

The lifeboat rehoused at 05:15am where she got her well deserved washdown and the crew headed home to get some sleep.

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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor



A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police



POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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