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No reprieve for Pembrokeshire bank branches

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BARCLAYS BANK have said they will still close the doors of Barclays Fishguard and St David’s branches despite an appeal by Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas to reconsider closure.

In a letter to Mr Thomas, Stephanie Smith, Barclays, Community Banking Director for South Wales states: “The decision to close a branch is never taken lightly, and we are particularly mindful of the impact this will have on the local community in locations such as Fishguard and St Davids.”

Mid and West AM Simon Thomas said: “It is disappointing that there will be no reprieve for Barclays branches in Fishguard and St David’s. I’d hoped that they would reconsider their decision. I’ve raised the issue of bank closures in rural Wales in the Senedd. I’d like to thank Plaid Cymru Letterston Community councillor Llyr Williams for alerting me to this issue.”

Mr Thomas demanded a statement from the Labour Government in the Senedd chamber on the situation of banking in Wales, and particularly banking in rural Wales.

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs Simon Thomas said: “I asked the Welsh Government to consider the Bill put forward by my Plaid Cymru colleague Ceredigion MP Ben Lake in the House of Commons.

“We should change the protocol on access to banking in terms of distance rather than time to access. When you think of rural areas, the distances can be quite short, but the time that it takes to access those services can be much longer, particularly if you are reliant on public transport.

“Banking regulators should look at the possibility that different banks could share premises, share equipment and even share staff, if required, of course. We will need a change of regulation to allow that, but you could see how that could be beneficial to many rural towns, and you will be aware that this has happened in the context of mobile telecommunications. So, it is something that we should be open to.

“We need to enhance the services provided by the Post Office. Often, they can provide excellent services but it’s not always appropriate for business banking, particularly businesses that still deal with cash, for example.

“I hope the Labour Government will consider these three issues to improve the situation of banking in Wales.”

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Pembroke Dock: Police track down van after terrifying experience for runner

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POLICE have tracked down two men who were in a van which allegedly followed a woman down a cycle path when she was on her morning run in Pembroke Dock.

Nina Sherratt warned women who may be running in the Pembroke Dock area to be mindful of the van after her terrifying experience.

During her run, the van pulled up and men inside started shouting at her, before turning around and following her on a cycle path.

Thankfully, another man passing in a car stopped to check on her, noticing the odd behaviour of the van, and the police were called.

The incident happened on Saturday morning (Jun 23) at around 9:30am.

Nina said in a Facebook post: “I was out this morning on Pembroke Dock top road, a large white van passed me with two men in, shouting and jeering out of the window.

“They then turned around and came onto the cycle path behind me. It followed me. I didn’t know what was happening but thankfully a man in a passing car stopped as he could see this wasn’t right.

“The van then turned back off the cycle path in the opposite direction. I can’t believe this actually happened and have contacted the police.

“At first, I couldn’t get my thoughts together but the kind stranger that had pulled over had stopped with concern unsure of their intentions. This wasn’t a bunch of youngsters messing about it was an older man 60 plus with a male passenger.”

Nina concluded: “The police have managed to track down the person/persons and the vehicle and have spoken to them. So at least this will prevent this from happening to anyone else. Keep walking/running girls!”

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Hoax call wastes RNLI time and resources following large search

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A HOAX call left RNLI crews wasting vital time and resources yesterday morning (Jun 23) as they searched for a vessel which they believed to be taking in water.

St Davids RNLI, Angle RNLI and a Coastguard helicopter were involved in the search for nearly four hours.

St Davids RNLI said in a statement on Facebook: “At 06:20 this morning our Tamar launched on service to join in a large-scale search for a vessel which was reportedly taking in water.

“We proceeded at full speed to a position south of Skokholm island and commenced a search of a designated area, which was planned by Milford Haven coastguards.

“Also involved with search was Angle lifeboat and a coastguard rescue helicopter from St Athan.

“After searching for several hours, the coastguards received information that this was a HOAX call.

“This call had tied up vital rescue resources and come at a large cost.

“With this informatio,n all SAR assets were stood down. Our Tamar was rehoused and ready for service at 10:00.”

Among the comments on Facebook, the hoax phone call has been called ‘disgraceful’, ‘disgusting’ and ‘disrespectful’.

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Police call for vigilance to report illegal raves

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is asking farmers and local landowners to be on the alert over the next few months for warning signs of any illegal gatherings planned for their land over the summer.

Gatherings – such as illegal raves – can cause considerable anxiety to the community and if they are not dealt with swiftly, they are difficult to stop or otherwise control, due often to the sheer numbers of persons involved and the safety aspects surrounding breaking up such an event.

Superintendent Robyn Mason said: “There is little doubt that these type of events are very well planned, organised and that local knowledge is important in drawing down the main group to a particular ‘vulnerable’ field, or area of land which has been targeted previously as a suitable venue.

“Farmers, landowners and local communities are encouraged to report any suspicious activity immediately to the Police; this may be an unusual numbers of vehicles, especially camper vans, vans or trucks in the locality, illegal trespassers who may be doing ‘recce’ of sites in advance of the event.

“I can assure local communities that Police will take the appropriate action to deter illegal gatherings and deal robustly with any criminal offences discovered or disclosed.”

Members of the public are also urged to be vigilant of persons who approach landowners or enquiring for land, in the guise of hiring for apparently acceptable activities such as gymkhanas and scouts/guides events.

Please contact Police on 101 with reports on any suspicious activity.

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