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Haverfordwest: Teachers on strike following redundancy concerns

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TEACHERS from Tasker Milward and Sir Thomas Picton schools are on strike in Haverfordwest today (Jun 12) during an important exam period for pupils.

Nearly 100 teachers are involved in the strike over fears of job losses as the two schools merge to form a new one – Haverfordwest High VC School, which will open in September.

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) members voted to strike as frustrations hit a new high last month.

This morning a protest was held outside County Hall, with members of staff brandishing signs with phrases such as ‘let down by governors’ written on them.

Those on strike are asking for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for at least two years once the new school is formed – something that Pembrokeshire County Council say they cannot promise.

A spokesperson for the Council said: “The local authority and the governing body are disappointed by the decision of the NASUWT to pursue industrial action after a period of protracted negotiations where there has been compromise on both sides.

“They do not accept that they have refused to continue negotiating with the NASUWT. Indeed the offer to the trade union to meet with the local authority and governors remained open last week but no response was received from the NASUWT.

“It is however true that the temporary governing body cannot concede to the demand of the NASUWT that there be no compulsory redundancies for two years.

“This is because there are no guarantees of funding at a national or local level and this could leave a legacy funding position that would be untenable for the permanent governing body.

“Agreement has been offered for an 18 months guarantee to ensure staffing remains consistent during the period the school is on a split site and if this arrangement was to continue then the staffing model would also continue.”

The teachers will be protesting later against this month on June 28, then again on July 11.

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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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