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Making Pembrokeshire a place to be proud of

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“ARE YOU fed up with the way Pembrokeshire County Council keeps making headlines for all the wrong reasons?” Asks Pembrokeshire Alliance Leader Bob Kilmister. 

Writing for the Pembrokeshire Herald, Cllr Kilmister reaches out to voters and Councillors to make a concerted effort to offer effective and united opposition to the IPPG that rules County Hall. Bob told the Herald: Police investigations, unlawful pension schemes, critical reports from CSSIW, Estyn and the Welsh Audit Office, late expenses claims, using Council computers for political purposes, misleading Councillors, wasting large amounts of public money on legal fees defending the indefensible, these are just some of the problems in the last three years. “Come and join us to help make Pembrokeshire somewhere to be proud of”, is the call from the Pembrokeshire Alliance to all unaffiliated Councillors, disgruntled IPG Councillors and the public of Pembrokeshire. If you are dissatisfied with the way this County is being run then you need to do something about it. The Pembrokeshire Alliance offers the prospect of a real alternative administration based on a massive change of attitude and the re-introduction of a moral compass. When the Pembrokeshire Alliance was formed as a group of just three Councillors in December 2013 many were very sceptical of what could be achieved. In just 6 months the Pembrokeshire Alliance has managed to transform itself from these three individual Councillors into a fully-fledged organization. The Pembrokeshire Alliance has set up a proper organization, has an adopted constitution, introduced a proper financial scheme and is in the final stages of registering as a local political party. They have a rapidly expanding membership and within12 months expect to have the largest membership of any political grouping in Pembrokeshire. They have also prepared a nine page policy discussion document. So far this most of this has just been achieved using Facebook. Their leader Bob Kilmister said: “Until the middle of February I had no idea how Facebook even operated, so the learning curve has been substantial. We now have 168 members on the Facebook group we established, good discussions and over 1,000 people a week looking at our pages. We also have a website but we now need to reach the majority of people who do not use social media.” The Pembrokeshire Alliance has managed to get access to a show trailer, which means they intend to attend many public events throughout the summer including the Pembrokeshire Show. Bob Kilmister concluded: “We want to meet and greet as many Pembrokeshire people as is possible. Our next aim is to have the largest membership of any political organization in Pembrokeshire. Our message is solely about Pembrokeshire and putting the people of the County first. “If you want to see a well governed, open and transparent County please get in touch.”

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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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