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HMS Pembroke supports Founder’s Day Celebrations

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Boat

BERTHING at Pembroke Dock on May 13, the 52.5 metre ship will remain in port until Saturday May 17 – and she has two rather proud Pembrokeshire locals on board.

“It is an honour to have been invited to make this journey to support the 200th anniversary of the founding of Pembroke Dock and mark that important date in both the town’s history and Royal Navy heritage”, said

Lieutenant Commander Mark Hammon RN.

It is a chance for local people to chat to members of the crew not only about HMS Pembroke and her role in the Royal Navy, but also about their experiences in the Senior Service.

At 6pm, access to the ship will be halted for Beating Retreat, which will be performed by the Royal Marines Band – members of the public can also watch this ceremonial spectacle.

On Thursday and Friday, almost 250 local youngsters – both school students and Sea Cadets – have the opportunity to visit the ship as part of a rolling schedule of pre-arranged tours. Schools involved include Greenhill School, Pembroke College, Milford Haven School and Thomas Picton School, and Sea Cadets are from Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock and Tenby.

And the ship’s company will be honoured to attend a reception organised by Pembroke County Council on Friday evening, before the ship departs at approximately 8am on Saturday.

“We are thoroughly looking forward to this affiliation visit,” said HMS Pembroke’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Mark Hammon.

“It is an honour to have been invited to make this journey to support the 200th anniversary of the founding of Pembroke Dock and mark that important date in both the town’s history and Royal Navy heritage.

“I know that my ship’s company and I are very proud to be part of the formal parade and we are then delighted to be able to open our ship up to visitors immediately afterwards – we hope to welcome many on board during the three hours.”

There are no members of the crew more proud than Pembroke locals Petty Officer Darren Lacy, 43, and Able Rate Andrew Macleod, 36.

Darren, who lives in Neyland with his partner and two children, is the coxswain on board. He is also one of the ship’s divers and is responsible for a wide range of tasks including medical, executive and administrative aspects.

“It’s really quite an honour for me to be part of these bicentenary celebrations,” he said. “Living in the Pembroke Dock area for the last eight years, I am aware of the town’s significant naval history – to be able to come home as a member of the Royal Navy on a ship called HMS Pembroke for such a significant milestone is rather special.”

Andrew is one of the mine warfare sailors on board and assists with all aspects of mine hunting, including in the operations room and the launching and recovery of Sea Fox, the mine identification and disposal system on board.

He spent his first 10 years in Pembroke Dock and attended primary school in the town’s Argyle Street and he has a big group of family coming to visit the ship.

“I joined the Royal Navy in 2011 and this is the first time I’ve been able to sail into my hometown on one of my ships,” said Andrew. “It’s a very proud moment and I’m really looking forward to showing my family round the ship.”

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Last chance to have your say on National Park’s new Local Development Plan

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THE PEMBROKESHIRE Coast National Park Authority is seeking your views, having made amendments to its forthcoming Local Development Plan following the recent Examination Hearing Sessions.

These amendments are called Matters Arising Changes and any comments received will be passed on to the Inspector for consideration.

The relevant documents and representation form are available on the National Park Authority’s website: www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/haveyoursay and in paper format at Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre, St Davids and the Authority’s main office in Pembroke Dock.

Copies of the documents are also available for inspection free of charge on publicly accessible computers at local libraries during their normal opening hours.

Representations should be sent by 4.30pm on Friday 13 March 2020, either by email to devplans@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk or in writing to:

Park Direction
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
Llanion Park
Pembroke Dock
SA72 6DY.

For further information or assistance, email devplans@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk or call 01646 624800 and ask to speak to someone in the Park Direction Team dealing with the Plan.

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Education

No opt-out for learning about religion, relationships and sexuality

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PARENTS will not be able to prevent their children from learning about religion, relationships and sexuality in the new curriculum.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams made the announcement this week, emphasising the need for ‘careful and sensitive implementation’ of the decision.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams told The Herald: “Our responsibility as a government is to ensure that young people, through public education, have access to learning that supports them to discuss and understand their rights and the rights of others.

“It is essential that all young people are provided with access to information that keeps them safe from harm.

“Today’s decision ensures that all pupils will learn about issues such as online safety and healthy relationships.

The announcement was made following an eight-week Welsh Government consultation on ensuring access to the full curriculum, including the teaching of Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) and Religious Education (RE).

Kirsty Williams added: “I recognise this is a sensitive matter and the consultation responses reflected a wide range of views.

“There is clearly a need for us to work with communities and all interested parties in developing the learning and teaching for RSE and RE – this work will be vital to enable everyone to have trust in how the change is implemented.”

The Minister outlined plans for implementation which include the creation of clear guidance, resources and professional learning for schools and the creation of a Faith/BAME Community Involvement Group to hold its first meeting this February.

The group will engage in the development of RSE guidance, develop a shared understanding of the new curriculum and address the concerns raised by faith and community groups during the consultation.

The Minister continued: “It is vital that we continue to work with communities across Wales to ensure parents have the right to develop, care for and guide their children into adulthood while allowing our schools to provide a broad and balanced education.  

We will build on the community engagement which accompanied the consultation with a long term investment in listening to our communities and finding ways to address the issues which concern them.

The Minister also confirmed plans to establish a new RSE Working Group that will oversee the refinement of the new RSE statutory guidance to form part of the new curriculum guidance.

The Minister added: “I want to take the opportunity in 2021 to test the approach for RSE prior to it being made statutory in the new curriculum.  

This will provide valuable intelligence to inform the refinement of our approach and will also enable learners, parents and carers and communities to see it working in practice and to feedback their views.”

Further details on this approach will be announced over the coming weeks.  The consultation also showed support for renaming the subject ‘Religious Education’.

The most popular choice from respondents was ‘Religion, Values and Ethics’ and, as a result, the Minister confirmed the subject name would change when the new curriculum comes into effect. The Terrence Higgins Trust said that the news was something they very much welcomed, and said that they have been campaigning for this for a number of years. The Trust said that Wales has very much lead the way on this one as the UK Government has resisted calls to remove the parental opt-out for lessons when RSE lessons become compulsory in England from September. Debbie Laycock, Head of Policy at the trust said: “By guaranteeing access to Relationships & Sexuality Education lessons for all pupils, Wales is leading the way. We’ve campaigned for compulsory RSE lessons for nearly four decades and until now far too many young people have learned about sex through whispers in the playground. 
“This decision by the Welsh Government will go some way to fixing this. It’s absolutely vital lessons are LGBT+ inclusive and have a strong focus on HIV and sexual health so all young people have the knowledge they need to form healthy and fulfilling relationships. We are now looking to the Welsh Government to continue leading the way by providing all schools with the resources and training they need to deliver these new lessons to the highest standard across the board.” 

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Business

Air Link Wales now flying from Haverfordwest

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AVIATION company Flitestar Private Air have launched their new Air Link Wales Programme connecting Haverfordwest, Caernarfon and Cardiff with other regional airports in the UK and Europe.

The company has opened an office in Menai Bridge on Anglesey – managed by James Blackler – and said it is particularly committed to improving air connectivity from North Wales.

The Air Link Wales network currently offers flight charter services from Caernarfon Airport to destinations such as Isle of Man, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton as well as London for connections to and from Gatwick and Heathrow.

They believe Southampton will be particularly popular for passengers connecting to cruises who wish to avoid the long road or rail trip down south.A flight to the south coast for two passengers from Caernarfon would cost £1,820 per person on a Piper PA34 Seneca plane.

Neil Baines, CEO of the Chester based company, said: “As a resident of Wales myself, I’ve often been frustrated by the lack of air connectivity and we are pleased to start to address this through our new Air Link Wales Charter programme which is ideally suited to both leisure and corporate customers.“Flying private can save hours of travel time which is of particular value to Wales-based organisations.”

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