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Narberth: More than 1,000 fish killed after slurry pollution

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NATURAL RESOURCES WALES (NRW) is investigating an incident following reports received on Thursday (Aug 2) of pollution in an unnamed tributary of the Afon Marlais, near Narberth.

Officers have attended and confirmed that slurry was entering the watercourse, with at least two miles of the river affected, with an estimate of more than 1,000 fish killed.

The source of the pollution was a leak from a slurry lagoon at a local farm.

Slurry is a strong pollutant removing oxygen from the water, killing fish and other river life such as water insects.

Following advice from NRW officers, the farmer started emptying the lagoon yesterday and is being tankered away by contractors.

NRW officers have confirmed that no more slurry is entering the river and it is beginning to run clearer.

Andrea Winterton, Operations Manager for NRW, said: “It is concerning that slurry pollution incidents from farms continue to affect the natural environment in Wales, especially our rivers.

“Our officers will be monitoring the situation and will further assess the impact on the fish, river life and the wider environment. We will of course also be taking appropriate enforcement action.

“We’re aware people have been collecting dead fish in nets – we advise people not to eat them.

“We are keen to continue to work with the farming industry to improve working practices on farms to prevent incidents like this from happening.

“We are currently recruiting eight new posts to help prevent pollution across Wales.

“Prevention is much better than cure, but some incidents still happen. And if they do, the best thing any farmer or contractor can do is contact us immediately by calling 03000 65 3000 so we can work with them to minimise the damage.”

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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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