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Cabinet Secretary opens new school

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THE NEW Gelliswick Church in Wales VC Primary School has been officially opened by the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM.

The school – which opened its doors to pupils and staff in the New Year – represents a £12 million investment in education in the Milford Haven area.

It is one of several new schools which have been built – or are being built – in Pembrokeshire under the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme, a collaboration between Pembrokeshire County Council and the Welsh Government who are sharing the funding.

The 515-pupil school replaces Hakin Community and Hubberston VC schools.

As well as a new build primary school, the facility provides an Early Years Unit for around 60 pupils; a Complex Needs Unit for 24 pupils and other facilities accessible to the local community.

A new 3G sports pitch has also been laid adjacent to the site.

Mrs Williams was welcomed to the school on Friday by Council Chairman, Paul Harries, and headteacher Nick Dyer along with the chairs of the School Council, pupils Mali Anne-John and Holly Pyart.

She told guests: “I am so proud that Welsh Government has been able to support your new school with match-funding of almost £5.5 million from our 21st Century Schools and Education Programme.

“This £1.4 billion programme represents the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s. It will mean the replacement and refurbishment of over 150 schools and colleges by 2019.

“This investment will also continue from 2019 onwards with further funding of £2.3 billion to ensure our education estate continues to improve while supporting our national mission to provide an education system that is a source of national pride and confidence.

“We all have a duty to our children not only to provide inspiring learning environments and the best foundation for their development but also to respect diversity in education setting.”

Earlier musical items were sung by the Gelliswick Community Choir comprising parents, grandparents, pupils, staff and other members of the public.

The choir’s formation has helped unify the new school.

After unveiling a plaque, the Cabinet Secretary toured classrooms and met pupils and teaching staff.

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Newgale: New £30m road proposed to combat coastal damage

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has revealed a preferred new route for a road around Newgale today (Sept 25) at an event in Roch.

The new stretch of road would begin at Pencym and end at a new roundabout near Roch.

A new route is needed due to fears about road closures during high tides and winds, as well as coastal damage caused by global warming.

Reports have suggested that the current Newgale road may not exist in 20 years times.

The new route could cost up to £30m – compared to £40m a proposed viaduct would cost – and would need funding from the Welsh Government.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “Transport officials will continue to work closely with the authority as they progress with their studies and firm up their proposals for addressing the current problems with the A487.

“Welsh Government is open to consider an application for funding to move forward the development work.”

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MP calls on Welsh Government to explain broadband delays

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STEPHEN CRABB has called on the Welsh Government to come clean over broadband rollout delays.

Minister Julie James AM, whose responsibilities include digital infrastructure and inclusion, has been urged to explain the reasons for delays to the rollout of superfast broadband to rural properties across Wales.

Last year, the Superfast Cymru scheme saw BT receive £425m in return for connecting the vast majority of premises in Wales to next-generation broadband.

When the contract ended, 90,000 mainly rural properties still had not been connected. Further details of another scheme to complete the work were due to be announced in July, but at the start of August, Julie James AM suddenly announced that ‘unforeseen issues’ were causing delays which could not be further discussed because of ‘commercial confidentiality’.

Stephen Crabb, MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said: “It’s simply unacceptable for the Minister responsible to announce delays to the next stage of Broadband rollout but refuse to explain why. Access to reliable, fast broadband is of increasing importance to businesses, large and small, in Pembrokeshire and I have worked with many across the constituency to improve their broadband access.

“However, the digital divide continues to exist with rural communities in Pembrokeshire suffering again. It is an inescapable fact that delivery of broadband infrastructure is devolved to the Welsh Government and Julie James AM should now come forward and explain the reasons for these delays.”

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Air ambulance lands at ‘serious’ crash scene

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THE WALES AIR AMBULANCE has landed at the scene of a serious crash this morning (Sept 25) between the Sentry Cross and Honeyborough roundabouts on the A477.

Posts on Facebook from witnesses at the scene say a man is being treated by paramedics.

Police have said one car was involved in the incident.

In addition to the helicopter, Dyfed-Powys Police, the Welsh Ambulance Service and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service are at the scene.

The road is currently closed with diversions in place.

A police spokesperson said:  “Dyfed-Powys Police is at the scene of a serious RTC between the Sentry Cross and Honeyborough roundabouts, Pembrokeshire.

“The A477 stretch between those roundabouts is currently closed while emergency services deal with the incident. One car is involved; the driver has received serious injuries.

“No further information is available at this time.”

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