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Merlin’s Bridge: Lorry badly damaged after hitting bridge



Police on the scene: Controlling traffic by the damaged lorry (pic. Herald)

A LORRY has been badly damaged after hitting the railway bridge in Merlin’s Bridge this afternoon (Nov 7).

Dyfed-Powys Police are at the scene and the road is now closed.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible as congestion is starting to build up.

The lorry is the only vehicle involved.

Badly damaged: The lorry after going under the bridge (pic. Herald)

This is not the first time this year the bridge has been hit by a HGV. Similar incidents have happened in March 2016, December 2016, June 2017 and May 2018.

Work will commence on a £4.25m upgrade of the railway bridges in Merlins Bridge next year, with both Pembroke Road and Milford Road railway bridges being replaced.

As part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, the decks at both bridges will be demolished and new ones installed. The existing bridges are near the end of their lifespan after 80 years of service.

Both roads will see closures during the work, however they will take place at separate times to minimise disruption to commuters.


Milford Haven: MP to visit flooding victims



STEPHEN CRABB MP has said he will be in Milford Haven on Friday (Nov 23) to visit the victims of the flooding in Lower Priory and Havens Head.

Locals who have been affected by the flooding – and those with concerns about the flooding repeating in the area – are being encouraged to voice their concerns to the local MP.

Mr Crabb’s office has said he will be arriving at 11am at Lower Priory.

Meanwhile, the Port of Milford Haven has hit back at claims from the flooded residents of Lower Priory and Havens Head that a blocked culvert was to blame.

Several people have come forward to say that something must be wrong with the drainage under the Havens Head Business Park, owned by the Port, for the flooding to have got so deep, and so quickly.

One of those people is Colin Laugharne from Milford Haven – a former employee of Milford Haven Docks Company until 15 years ago – who told The Herald that he used to be involved with maintaining the culvert over several years.

Mr Laugharne is certain that a blockage caused the flooding and that the Port was to blame.

He said: “Millions of pounds worth of damage has probably been caused by this flooding. If you go to the dock wall you can see that the water is just dribbling out. How can that be the case if it is working properly? If you look at the road in front of the library you will see water coming up and out of the drains, rather than going in. That is because the water can get as far as that point and then it has no other place to go.

“The blockage is therefore between the library and The Docks itself.”

But the Port said that water continues to flow freely through the culverts.

A press officer told The Herald on the telephone that the claim of a blockage was completely false.

A statement from the Interim Chief Executive at the Port of Milford Haven quickly followed.

Andy Jones said: “Firstly, our thoughts are with our neighbouring residents and businesses today as they deal with the devastating effects of significant flooding following the sustained bouts of extraordinary rainfall coupled with high tides.

“Since yesterday, our staff have been working collaboratively with multiple agencies, including the emergency services, to do everything possible to minimise the flooding impact.

“Our staff have been onsite throughout and we can confirm that the water continues to flow freely through the culverts which carry water from Hubberston and Goose Pills into Milford Docks. This is a system which we monitor and maintain on a regular basis.

“With regards to water levels in the dock itself, we are rapidly sluicing water out as soon as the tide allows.

Additionally, the emergency services have installed pumps to take water directly from flooded areas into the dock.
“It is important to note that lock gates are not able to resist the force of the incoming tide. We have no choice but to let the water flow into the dock as the tide comes in and close the lock gates at high tide.

“We will continue to work in collaboration with the emergency services as the situation develops. Further weather and flooding updates can be found on Pembrokeshire County Council’s website and social media channels.”

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Milford Haven: Spice addict stole £600 from St Katherine’s church collection



AN ADDICT of the highly addictive psychoactive drug ‘spice’ stole the collection money from a Milford Haven church whilst the vicar was celebrating his last meal with parishioners before moving away.

33-year-old Sam Maguire, originally from Birmingham, but now of Hawthorn Path, Mount Estate, Milford Haven, was charged with burglary following a report of a burglary at St. Katherine’s Church yesterday (Nov 18).

Cash worth nearly £600 was reported stolen, the police have confirmed.

Maguire appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court this morning (Nov 19) where he admitted the theft.

The money was stolen whilst parishioners were at a ‘bring and share’ lunch at the Royal British Legion to celebrate Father Harri Williams’ last service before he leaves town.

Father Harri, who was previously a curate in Haverfordwest, moved to Milford Haven in 2013 aged just 27.

He said: ‘’The last six years have been a fantastic time, I’m amazed at what has happened here. Our congregation on a Sunday has nearly doubled, we’ve got children here every Sunday, teenagers in our youth group, lots of young families, it’s really a proper church family.

‘’To see the volume increase in attendance is remarkable. When I first came there were no children, the church was just quiet. And now there’s life here, and it’s brought so much joy to many of the older members of the congregation too, who have found a new lease of life.

‘’We’ve got toddlers walking around and people in their 90’s, that’s how it should be.’’

Within his time he has doubled the congregation figure – which now sits at 120 regular worshipers.

He strengthened his community bond in his influence in the re-opening of the Mount Community Centre early 2018.

“The Mount has been very important to me,’’ he told the Milford Mercury.

“When we think of the significant social and economic problems in our community, providing a centre that people can access, that they can gain skills and build friendships, and have a safe place even, I think is so important.

“Hopefully, we’ve changed people attitude towards the church, and shown that it’s here to serve people.’’

Father Harri Williams confirmed to The Herald that someone had taken the collection from the church and added that he did not want to give a comment on the matter as ‘the gentleman had been arrested and was being dealt with by the police’.

Earlier this year, Sam Maguire and his girlfriend Shannon Saunders were stars of a viral social media video of their complaint to the Job Centre regarding late payment of benefits.

WARNING: Contains offensive language.

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RSPCA investigating after five cats seemingly poisoned



AN RSPCA appeal for information has been launched amid concerns a number of cats have been poisoned near Whitland.

RSPCA officers have been contacted with reports that five cats have died in suspicious circumstances in the vicinity of Whitland and Lampeter Velfrey. The incidents happened on High Street.

Three of the cats were owned by local resident Michelle Davies. All her cats faced similar symptoms – appearing lethargic, and – in some cases – had blood appearing from the mouth.

Ms Davies’ cats died between November 6-9. Freya died first (Nov 6), while the two other owned cats – Sox and Smudge – had to be put to sleep last Friday (Nov 9).

Two feral cats in the area, meanwhile, are also understood to have endured the same fate.

It is unclear whether the incidents were deliberate, or a tragic accident – but RSPCA say for five cats to be impacted is a ‘major cause for concern’.

The RSPCA has now issued a warning to cat owners in the local area to be vigilant, and urged anyone with any information potentially related to these feared poisonings to contact their 24-hour emergency line.

Keith Hogben, RSPCA inspector, said: “Our thoughts are with Michelle, following the loss of these cats in the Whitland area of Pembrokeshire.

“To lose a cat is horrendous, but for three to experience such a horrible fate is unthinkable. Indeed, the number of cats we understand have been poisoned in the area is a major cause for concern.

“We’re urging cat owners in the local community to be vigilant and know the signs of a suspected poisoning.

“Vomiting, a depressed or sleepy demeanour, appearing drunk or uncoordinated, seizures, and breathing difficulties could all be symptoms of a cat being poisoned.

“Anyone fearing their cat may have been poisoned should try and remain calm, move the moggy away from the source and contact a vet immediately.

“Potentially hazardous substances – like antifreeze – should also be used and stored responsibly, and safely away from any curious felines.

“The RSPCA does not know if these suspected poisonings in Whitland were deliberate or a tragic accident – but anyone with information can call our emergency line on 0300 1234 999, 24 hours a day.”

Michelle Davies, the owner of the cats, added: “It is absolutely awful. We saw all of the cats display similar symptoms – becoming very lethargic and unwell so quickly. It was horrible to see – and vets were absolutely sure the cause was antifreeze poisoning.”

Should you wish to help RSPCA Cymru with rescues like this, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.

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