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Fun day organised by Withybush protesters

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THE SAVE WITHYBUSH GROUP are hosting a fun day to raise funds as they continue to campaign against the proposed downgrade to a community hospital in the Hywel Dda consultation.

The event is being held tomorrow (Jun 16) at Haverfordwest Football Club, starting with a march at 11:30am to the town centre.

There, it is hoped that the public will interact with the group, and petitions will be signed. The group have invited a brass band to perform, with Peter Stock arranging the provision of Pembrokeshire flags, and there is an invitation for individuals to bring along their own, non-political banners.

The march is anticipated to last around one hour, and from 12:30pm the Football Club will host live entertainment, arts & crafts and a mini food festival, with some of the best food Pembrokeshire has to offer.

Trehale Farm will supply sausages, bacon, burgers and pulled pork, as will the Welsh Burger Company, whilst Cafe Tuk Tuk are providing coffee, teas, cold drinks and snacks. Farmers Food at Home will be bringing a lovely selection of homemade jams and pickles, with scones and wraps. Lochmeyler Farm have homemade ice creams, Torth y Tir will be selling organic wood fired pizza and Martin McGeowan is providing ice cream, lollies and slush puppies. Jar of Hearts will supply a variety of hot and cold drinks, shakes, homemade cakes, sweet pastries, cookies, sweets and popcorn cones.

There will be music from Saint City Jazz Band, Jess Dando, Seren, Jumping Fleas Ukulele Group and Cantabile Singers of Pembrokeshire.

There will be entertainment from magician Dave Hitchcott, face painting & glitter tattoos by Rosie Farrar, bungees, rodeo ride, hook a duck, tin can alley, cork shoot, swing boats and a mini steam train.
There will also be fancy dress and prizes for the best costumes. The fun day finishes at 5pm and serves as a chance to hand in completed petitions and letters for the board. Pembrokeshire Bouncy Castles are providing their services and equipment completely free of charge, in support of the attempt to try and save their A&E Department.

Those who provide activities free of charge will be advertised on a special page on the Save Withybush website, and will have the opportunity to hand out flyers and cards on the day.

Catering will have charges due to the costs for caterers, who will donate a percentage of their profits to the fundraising pot to finance posters and banners.

The group plan to hand in the petition to the Welsh Government on the steps of The Senedd in Cardiff on July 6.

The logistics are still being figured out, with plans for a pay on the day system where coaches ferry people to Cardiff. From there the group will meet with a senior member of the petitions committee on the steps and hand over the petition, with photos and press coverage.

A traditional political demonstration outside Withybush hospital is also being planned for July 7, to further remind politicians of the opposition there is in the county.

The group also plan to visit the Health Board HQ in Carmarthenshire between July 13-27 to hand them a copy of the petition, as well as the many letters sent in by members of the public.

This trip and its logistics are also being worked out, but as some of the fun day’s fundraising is being put aside to finance the trip’s coaches, it is hoped to be a free journey.

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Amroth: RNLI rescue three people swept out to sea

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THE RNLI rescued three people after they were washed off rocks by huge waves at Telpyn Point near Amroth.

At 5pm on Sunday (Dec 9) as the lifeboat crew’s children’s Christmas Party was ending, both of Tenby’s RNLI lifeboats were requested to launch after a report that three women were cut off by the incoming tide somewhere between Marros and Amroth.

The casualties had been forced to cut their call to the Coastguard short as their mobile phone battery was about to run out, so the Coastguard didn’t have an exact position for them.

The lifeboats were quickly on the water and the volunteer crew made best speed to towards Amroth to begin their search in pitch black conditions and with a large swell running into the rocks.

Despite the low battery, once the casualties spotted the lifeboat in the distance, they turned on their phone’s screen and began waving the phone towards the lifeboat. The volunteer crew on the inshore lifeboat immediately spotted the light and headed for it, closely followed by the all-weather lifeboat.

Once on scene, it was apparent to the lifeboat crew that this would be a difficult rescue due to the heavy swell crashing on the rocks, just feet from where the casualties were precariously perched, so Tenby and St Govans Coastguard Rescue teams were paged in case a rope rescue was required.

With the numerous underwater rocks making it impossible for the all-weather lifeboat to get anywhere near, the bigger vessel illuminated the rocks with floodlights, whilst the inshore lifeboat prepared their anchor to veer down into the rocks through the swell in an attempt to reach the casualties.

As the crew made attempts to get close enough to shore in very tricky conditions, a large wave hit the rocks, washing one of the casualties into the sea. As the casualty struggled in the heavy swell, the helmsman managed to get the lifeboat alongside her and the crew pulled her to safety.

She was rushed to the all-weather lifeboat where the crew were waiting to assess and treat her. On their return to check on the remaining two casualties, the inshore lifeboat crew could only watch as another wave hit the rocks and washed them into the surf. Again, the helmsman managed to get inside the surf line and the crew plucked them to safety, before dropping them aboard the all-weather lifeboat.

With everyone accounted for, the boats returned to the station, where the casualties were further assessed and were delighted to be able to take warm showers. Despite the ferocity of the surf that washed them off the rocks, the women were lucky to escape with only a few minor grazes.

Once they were warmed up enough and had had a warm drink, they thanked the crew and then made their way home.

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Interviews to take place this week for £91k council job

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INTERVIEWS are to be held this week for a controversial senior role within Pembrokeshire County Council, with an advertised salary of up to £91,000.

On Wednesday (Dec 12), interviews will be held for the Head of Economic Development and Regeneration post, which has a salary bracket of £53,982 – £91,443.

In addition, the job was advertised with £5,259 subsidy for a leased car and a ‘generous pension scheme’.

Relocation assistance was also being offered for applicants outside of Pembrokeshire.

In July, at a meeting of Full Council, the new job post was approved, with most agreeing that the post should be advertised in order to ensure improvements and large investments are made around the county. The former head of regeneration recently retired.
Despite initial concern at the meeting, the only councillor strongly against the new role was Cllr Reg Owens, saying: “I really can’t see any justification in filling this post, I’ll say that from the start.

“Over the past year quite rightly we have been lectured… about the need to be far more prudent in our expenditure. When we approved the budget last year, and we approved the 12.5% [council tax] I did say at the time we are asking the people of Pembrokeshire to contribute towards Pembrokeshire County Council and we have also got to be seen to be doing our bit as well.

“When I look at the job description…we have certainly got those skills with our current chief officers and heads of services and of course the cabinet members, so I don’t think we will be cast adrift by not making this appointment, in fact, if we don’t make this appointment, we will be showing everybody that we do mean business trying to save some money.”

Despite this, Cllr Owens was ultimately persuaded by justifications of others.

Cllr Michael Williams of Plaid Cymru argued: “If you want justification just go and walk through our towns. I mean the whole economic base that used to be in these towns is now almost dead.

“To do nothing is not an option. We have got to show some ambition for the benefit of this county, otherwise the whole place is going to fail.

“I think this is an opportunity, I think we’ve failed in the past because we haven’t resourced in any way adequately enough this unit. And we have got to get that right.”

The proposition by Cllr Williams, seconded by Cllr Miller, detailed how the Senior Staff Committee recommend to the Council that the role of Head of Economic Development and Regeneration be advertised.

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Milford Haven: Defibrillator donated to town

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ON SUNDAY (De 9) a defibrillator was presented to the town of Milford Haven by The 3 Amigos & Dollies motorcycle group.

After the death earlier in the year of fellow 3 Amigo Little Bri (Brian Craig), money was raised at his funeral by the Amigos to make the donation possible.

The defibrillator is now dedicated to Little Bri, with a brass plaque hung on the wall in his honour. Brian’s widow, Kath, his friends, and the Amigos all attended the presentation.

The defibrillator can be found on the wall by Tom Neewing & Son funeral directors.

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