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Mustang fights to stay afloat

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stay afloatOVER 100 jobs are at risk after Mustang Marine, the Pembroke Dock-based boat building facility, announced it could enter administration within days.

The plight of the troubled company was exclusively revealed in The Pembrokeshire Herald’s February 7 edition. It had been hoped that a cash inection involving the Welsh Government, Milford Haven Port Authority and a third party would keep Mustang afloat.

Managing Director Stewart Graves said:

“Unfortunately last week, after completing its review of the business, the external party withdrew its offer and without that party the long-term funding package could not proceed.

“The directors over the past few days have, with their professional advisers, sought other funding and are still trying to find a rescue package to secure the future of the business.

“It’s possible the company will go into administration later this week or early next week if a rescue package cannot be found.”

Mustang is currently taking professional advice from Grant Thornton, the international accountancy firm.Earlier this month Stewart Graves admitted that the business was growing extremely quickly and was therefore “tight for cash”.

He told the Herald on February 10: “There are no plans as we speak to call in the administrators to Mustang Marine Wales. “Our company is productively employing a hundred people and we have a pipeline of work to continue beyond the middle of the year.’

When asked at the time if the company was considering calling in the receivers, Mr Graves simply said: “No comment.”

In November the Herald reported on Economy Minister Edwina Hart opening a new construction hall at Mustang Marine as part of a planning expansion of the company. Mr Graves took over from Mr Kevin Lewis as managing Insolvency rumours denied director recently.

Chief Executive of the Port of Milford Haven, Alec Don told The Pembrokeshire Herald a few weeks ago:

“We are aware Mustang Marine is facing challenges as it undertakes two projects that are bigger than anything it has done before. We know these challenges have put some strain on their cash flow and appreciate this is concerning for local businesses. Mustang Marine is an important player in the local economy and we have been working hard with Mustang and with the Welsh Government to see the company through these challenges. It is important to point out that Mustang has a healthy order book and its customers are very impressed with its products. “

It now seems that the future is beak for the beleagured firm, who reportedly owe local businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor Jamie Adams, said:

“This is a sad day for the employees of Mustang Marine and their families who now have to go through some days of uncertainty. I have the utmost sympathy for them.

“It was only a few months ago, in November, that the prospects for the company seemed so rosy with the Economy Minister Edwina Hart travelling to Pembroke Dock to open Mustang Marine’s new £1.5 million boat building construction hall.

“It was hailed as a new dawn for boat building in the town and I hope that a rescue package can still be put together even at this late hour.”

Councillor Adams said that the County Council’s Futureworks and Workdays teams would be contacting the company to arrange to meet staff and help them to find alternative employment should the company fail in the next few days.

Practical help which can be given includes identifying any future training needs which could assist in securing work or advice on compiling CVs.

Councillor Adams added: “We will be working in close collaboration with other agencies such as Jobcentre Plus to offer as much support as we can.”

Alec Don told The Pembrokeshire Herald yesterday:

“We are deeply concerned by news of a potential appointment of an Administrator to the business of Mustang Marine (Wales) Limited. As a 50% shareholder in the business, we have been and will continue to be working with the company and other stakeholders to see if a solution can be found that ensures this business can continue to operate. “An external third party did have a fully agreed package of support from the Welsh Government and the Port and it is disappointing that the third party decided not to proceed.

“We understand this situation is causing anxiety for the staff at Mustang. We need to remain positive that Mustang Marine will find a way through current challenges and that it will come out of this as a reinvigorated business with a sound plan.

“As a Trust Port we are committed to focussing on our core mission which is the operation and development of the port as well as to encourage and promote jobs and economic growth in the region. We will continue to work hard with Mustang Marine’s management and any Administrator to that end.”

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Electrician has ‘fallen from height’ at Neyland Community Hub

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EMERGENCY SERVICES are attending to an injured electrician who has fallen from a height at Neyland Community Hub, whist working on the project.

The air ambulance has been called and is now in Neyland, ready to medivac the casualty.

Cllr Paul Miller, Development Director at Neyland CIC said in a statement: “This afternoon one of our electrical contract staff has unfortunately fallen from height during the course of his work. He has been attended to on site by paramedics and is currently being prepared for “transfer to hospital by air ambulance.

“The thoughts of everyone at Neyland CIC are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

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Local politician reacts to Corbyn’s suspension

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A LOCAL politician has commented on Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension from the Labour party.

With the announcement that former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the party, local parties have reacted.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who became leader in April, suspended predecessor Jeremy Corbyn from the party after Corbyn said the scale of it’s anti-Semitism problem had been dramaticall overstated.

In an official statement, Labour said that the suspension came after Corbyn’s failure to retract his words.

Jeremy Corby reacted to the suspension by stating he was going to strongly contest it, calling the move ‘political’.

Corbyn in Haverfordwest before election

Commenting on the news that Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party after an inquiry found the party was “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” during his time in charge, Paul Davies MS, Leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament said:

“Mark Drakeford was the first Senedd Member to back Jeremy Corbyn for leader of the Labour Party. He needs to confirm whether he supports Sir Keir Starmer in suspending Corbyn or if he backs his political idol.

“The Jewish community in Wales, alongside all those who have fought against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, deserve to know whether he’s with them or against them.”

The decision was made by Starmer following the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report.

Speaking on the findings, Starmer said the report had brought forward a day of shame for the Labour party.

The report found 23 instances of what they called ‘inappropriate involvement’ by Corbyn’s office – with the Labour party responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act.

These were: Failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints, Harrassment and political interference in Anti-Semitism complaints.

Speaking on the suspension, Jeremy Corbyn said: “I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me. I’ve made absolutely clear that those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong.

“It’s also undeniable that a false impression has been created of the number of members accused of antisemitism, as polling shows: that is what has been overstated, not the seriousness of the problem.

“I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism. And I urge all members to stay calm and focused – while this problem is resolved amicably, as I believe it will be – to defeat this awful government, which is further impoverishing the poorest in our society.

The implementation of the recommendations following the report will be ‘as soon as possible in the New Year’ promises Sir Kier.

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Penally asylum seekers warned for breaking Fire-Break Lockdown rules

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POLICE have warned asylum seekers staying at Penally camp that there is currently a Firebreak Lockdown in Wales, and that they must follow the rules or face legal action.

Residents in Penally have said that they have groups of asylum seekers from the facility walking through the village.

“They were shouting, and drinking with a police van following them” one resident said.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police issued the following statement on the incident: “On the evening of Tuesday, October 27, police were made aware that a number of men were on the village green in Penally, breaking the current Welsh Government restrictions.

“The men, from the Penally Asylum Accommodation Centre, were spoken to and advised to return to their accommodation. Officers followed the men to ensure they returned to the centre.

“Officers will always aim to engage, educate and encourage adherence to the national measures with enforcement being the last action.

“The management team at the centre will be advised so that the firebreak requirements can be reinforced to the service users resident at the centre,” they added.

Last weekend police issued a fixed penalty notice to a female who was deemed to be breaking the current lockdown rules by traveling to the Centre.

A spokesman told The Pembrokeshire Herald said: “A female who was spending time with the asylum seekers over the weekend was advised about her non-essential travel to the asylum accommodation centre”

“After failing to adhere to a warning she was issued with a Covid fixed penalty notice and made to leave the area.”

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