Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

NatWest branches to close across the county

Published

on

THERE are more bank closures expected across the county following an announcement by RBS this morning (Dec 1) that NatWest will be closing branches in Milford Haven, Narberth, Pembroke and Cardigan.

The Pembroke branch closes on May 21 next year, with Cardigan shutting on May 30, Milford Haven on June 21 and Narberth on June 28.

In total, 259 branches are closing across the UK, with a loss of 680 jobs.

RBS have cited the increasing trend of online banking as the main reason behind the decision.

A spokesperson for the banking group said: “The way people bank with us has changed radically over the last few years: since 2014, the number of customers using our branches across the UK has fallen by 40%.

“During the same period mobile transactions have increased by 73%; and in the first half of 2017, there were 1.1 billion mobile and online transactions carried out by our customers: an increase of 41% since 2014.”

In Milford Haven, the announcement follows the recent closures of HSBC and Lloyds Bank. The closure means that Barclays is now the only remaining high street branch in Hamilton Terrace.

Stephen Crabb MP said: “NatWest customers in Milford Haven will feel deeply let down by this decision. Although more and more banking services are moving online, many customers still prefer the face-to-face interaction of going to their local branch. It is some comfort that NatWest customers can pay money in, take money out and check balances in the local Post Office, but it is still very disappointing to know NatWest is leaving Milford.

“There is currently a flight of banks from smaller town centres all across Britain as they seek to cut their costs and move more services online. Given the important role they play for local communities, there is a big question here about what kind of branch network will be left in rural areas in years to come. I have written to the Chief Executive of NatWest to express my concern about this and seek clarification of how they intend to treat the staff currently working at the Milford Haven branch. I hope there will no compulsory redundancies.”

Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman, said: “Bank branches are still vital to local economies up and down the country. Many local business communities will be disappointed to hear they are losing their bank branch today.

“Almost all of our members are using online banking. However, small firms still hugely value the in-person support they receive at branches, particularly when it comes to completing complex transactions and making big financial decisions. For many, these are relationships that have built up over years.

“In areas of the country still blighted by poor broadband, accessing online banking is a challenge. What’s critical is that small business owners that rely on bank branches are provided with suitable alternatives well before closures happen. What we can’t have is banks shutting branches on a whim, especially at a time when plans are afoot that may diminish our cash machine network in future.

“Access to cash is a big issue here. Cash is still critical to trade in thousands of our towns and villages, especially in tourist hotspots and rural areas. More and more small firms are accepting card payments but that comes with costs they’re forced to absorb. Equally, many have customers that only deal in cash.”

FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “The closure of those 20 banks will have a detrimental effect on the towns, as they serve not only villages but many of the neighbourhoods in surrounding areas, as well as providing employment to local people.

“These banks are 70% owned by the UK taxpayer, so we have to ask why are there no conditions to the bailout that guarantees access to such services. It is clear that Governments must do more for rural Wales.”

In addition the FUW is concerned that internet banking is still not option in all rural areas across Wales as many people will not have an appropriate internet connection- if they have a connection at all, and others may be worried about banking online for cyber security reasons.

“We have run cyber security workshops in co-operation with Barclays bank over the past few months, which should help our members become more savvy internet bankers, however the problem of internet access remains a huge problem for these rural areas.

“With more and more rural services and businesses being closed down, we must also acknowledge that it is becoming less and less attractive for young families and indeed business owners to remain in rural areas.

“If the problem of rural depopulation is not addressed with some urgency it could have severe consequences for our rural communities and with that also our rural economy.

“It is clear that if we want to ensure that Wales develops its full potential in being a rural economic powerhouse, we must make it attractive for working families to stay and also encourage vital services like business banking to remain available.”

Eluned Morgan AM said: “The news that 8 NatWest branches will be closing in my region is extremely concerning when economic conditions are so tough.  For a bank, owned in the main by tax-payers, this is a terrible decision that will have a big impact on some of my most rural communities.

“I have already written to the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Ken Skates over closures by other banks and will be speaking with him in the coming days to speak up for towns like Narberth, Pembroke and Milford Haven who are directly affected by this latest announcement.”

Paul Davies AM added: “I’m very disappointed that yet another bank will be closing its doors to a community in Pembrokeshire.  Whilst I accept that the face of modern banking has changed somewhat over the years, there is still a need for banks to have a high street presence, so that vulnerable and less mobile customers are able to access their banking facilities.

“Families and businesses in rural areas across Wales will particularly suffer because these communities don’t always have a suitable internet connection. Therefore, it’s important that banking provisions are made suitably available to rural communities and I will of course be raising these issues with NatWest at the earliest opportunity.”

News

Pembroke: Emergency services dealing with another suspicious substance

Published

on

EMERGENCY SERVICES have returned to Pembroke Castle this afternoon (July 20) following reports of another container with a suspicious substance being found.

Dyfed-Powys Police, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, and the Welsh Ambulance Service have attended the scene.

South Quay car park was closed at 1:30pm. It has since re-opened, however the pathway behind Pembroke Castle remains closed.

Pembroke Castle itself remains open.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “Dyfed-Powys Police received a report of suspicious containers found at Pembroke Castle at around 1.10pm today (Friday, July 20).

“Enquiries are continuing to safely establish exactly what substance is within the containers.

“Police would like to reassure members of the public that this is a safety precaution and that no one has been injured or harmed at this time. There is not believed to be any risk to the public at present.”

It emerged that a bottle bearing the word Novichok had been discovered last week, and the police are treating it as a hoax.

Paddle West, who offer row boat hire near the castle posted on Facebook: “Currently closed due to another bottle incident. If anyone knows the culprit please contact the police so we don’t have to do this every weekend!”

MORE TO FOLLOW

Continue Reading

News

Pembroke Dock: Indian restaurant owner sexually assaulted teenager

Published

on

THE OWNER of a Pembroke Dock restaurant who sexually assaulted the same girl three times has been made the subject of a suspended prison sentence.

Riaz Miah, aged 42, had been found guilty after a trial of three indecent assaults all committed on the same day.
Judge Paul Thomas told Miah he should feel disgusted and ashamed of himself.
Miah, of St Marks Close, Merlin’s Bridge, was jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 15 sessions of a rehabilitation activity. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Miah was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and must register with the police as a sex offender, both for 10 years.
Swansea Crown Court heard how he had kissed the 17 year old, licked her face and touched her breast and bottom.
His barrister, Carina Hughes, told the court his business had failed in January because of financial problems.
The victim wrote in an impact statement she was still too afraid to out alone in Pembroke Dock for fear of bumping into Miah. She still suffered nightmares and sometimes woke in floods of tears.
Judge Thomas told Miah, a married father of two, his behaviour had been disgraceful and he found it disappointing that he still denied the offending despite the verdicts of the jury.
“She was disgusted and repelled by what you did. She was affected psychologically and has suffered a loss of confidence. You richly deserve a prison sentence,” he added.
Continue Reading

News

Welsh Water reminds customers to use water wisely 

Published

on

WELSH WATER customers are being asked to continue using water efficiently to help the company maintain water supplies and protect the environment as the current dry spell is set to continue through July and into August.

June was the hottest on record in Wales with only 24% of long term average rainfall during the month.  With the heatwave now set to continue and only limited rainfall predicted over the next few weeks, WelshWater is working  closely with water watchdog Consumer Council for Water and Natural Resources Wales to remind customers that using water wisely will not only help protect supplies for customers but also help the wider environment.  Many of the company’s upland reservoirs are used to release extra water into rivers during these conditions to increase river levels and protect local wildlife.

The company is now spending an extra £1.5 million a week to safeguard water supplies for its three million customers across most of Wales, Herefordshire and Deeside. It has already taken extensive action to prepare for and manage this prolonged dry period including:

  • 450 people working 7 days a week to find and fix 140 leaks a day (80 in normal conditions). Whilst leakage has been halved in the last 10 years and is currently at an all-time low, customers are being encouraged to report leaks to Welsh Water as the company will also repair customers’ pipes free of charge if they have a leak;
  • deploying 40 tankers to move water around the network and installing temporary pipelines and pumping stations to help keep customers in supply where we have seen huge increases in demand; and
  • pumping over 1 billion litres a day  into the network over the past 15 days. This is 25% more than usual amount of water put into the network every day.

 Customers are being urged to use water wisely:

  • Take a break from watering the garden – the lawn will grow back quickly once it starts to rain
  • Take a short shower instead of a bath
  • Don’t leave the tap running when brushing your teeth
  • Always make sure any washing machines and dishwashers are full

 Managing Director of Water Services, Ian Christie, said:  “The level of water consumption has reached record levels in recent weeks. This is not surprising after the record temperatures in June and the continued lack of any substantial rainfall in July.

“These challenging weather conditions are set to continue, and behind the scenes, we’re working day and night to maintain supplies by finding and fixing leaks, using our integrated pipe network to move water around and also using tankers to feed into our network directly.

“We’d like to thank customers for working with us and urge them to continue reporting any leaks and follow the advice we have issued on how to use water efficiently so that we can help protect water supplies also play our part in safeguarding the local environment.”

Natalie Hall, Water Manager for Natural Resources Wales, said:“We’re responsible for securing the proper use of natural resources in Wales and making sure there is enough water available for all needs including the environment and people.

“We’re seeing some very low flows in our rivers and low rainfall totals across Wales during this prolonged period of dry weather and there are concerns that water quality and the environment will suffer if the dry weather continues through the summer.

“Every drop of water we use is taken from rivers or groundwater, so we are asking people to conserve water as much as they can.

“Saving water is something anyone can do and doing things differently can make a big difference – like having a shower instead of a bath, turning taps off when brushing your teeth, reducing sprinkler use and using water butts.”

Tom Taylor, Wales Chair for the Consumer Council for Water, said:“Customers are much more willing to use water wisely if they can see their water company is going the extra mile to maintain a reliable supply of water, so we’re pleased Welsh Water is taking exactly the sort of action we would expect.”

“With no end in sight to the hot weather, we’d urge people across Wales to keep playing their part by making every drop of water count in the home and garden. Customers can soak up some great tips on our website and Welsh Water’s too – it’s amazing the difference small changes can make.”

 

Saving water in the GARDEN

 

·         Use a watering can or handheld hose pipe instead of a garden sprinkler

·         Fit a hose trigger gun when using a hose, available from our Product Portal

·         Add water retention crystals to pots, tubs and hanging baskets to help keep compost moist, available here on our Product Portal

·         Don’t cut lawns too short and save the clippings to use as mulch to improve soil health

 

 

Saving water in the BATHROOM

 

·         Take a shower and reduce the number of baths you have

·         Put the plug in the basin when you wash and use the collected water instead

·         Don’t leave the tap running when brushing your teeth

·         Always make sure taps are turned off fully

·         Fix a water efficient showerhead

·         Fix any leaking taps to avoid wasted water

·         If you are installing a new bathroom, always choose water efficient products

 

Saving water in the KITCHEN

 

·         Use a washing up bowl when washing up

·         Fix any leaking taps

·         Wait until you have a full load before doing your washing

·         Only fill the kettle with the water you need

·         If you are purchasing a new appliance which uses water, be sure to check how waterefficient it is

 

Continue Reading
News1 day ago

Pembroke: Emergency services dealing with another suspicious substance

EMERGENCY SERVICES have returned to Pembroke Castle this afternoon (July 20) following reports of another container with a suspicious substance...

News1 day ago

Pembroke Dock: Indian restaurant owner sexually assaulted teenager

THE OWNER of a Pembroke Dock restaurant who sexually assaulted the same girl three times has been made the subject...

News1 day ago

Trade union says health board’s proposed changes are inadequate

UNISON has released its formal submission to Hywel Dda’s consultation and said the lack of detail of how and when...

News2 days ago

Pharmacy burglars smashed through ceiling

THE POLICE have issued a warning following a burglary at a chemist in Milford Haven in which a large quantity...

News2 days ago

Council and teaching union come to agreement over possible redundancies

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL and The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) have come to an agreement about the...

News2 days ago

St Davids: Police to deal ‘appropriately’ with prank call

POLICE responded to a prank phone call in St Davids yesterday (Jul 18) after receiving a report which raised concerns...

News3 days ago

Pembroke Castle: Police investigating novichok hoax which wasted thousands

DYFED-POWYS POLICE has told The Pembrokeshire Herald that the operation at Pembroke Castle on Friday and Saturday (Jul 14-15) is...

News3 days ago

‘Concerning incident’ school letter worries parents

PARENTS have been worried about the vague details released about a ‘concerning incident’ which took place at Ysgol Glan Cleddau in...

News4 days ago

Inquest concludes a tank barrel flaw was responsible for deaths

A CORONER has reached the conclusion that a fatal explosion in a British Army tank was the result of a...

News4 days ago

Rapist councillor will still receive pay despite conviction

THE PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCILLOR convicted of child sex abuse will receive his monthly pay despite his 18-year jail sentence. David...

Popular This Week