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Councillors back ‘vitally important’ tourism department

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MEMBERS of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny Committee have given their unanimous support to the continuation of the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership.

The committee were unanimous in their decision that tourism was a vital part of the economy and that they did not want to see the partnership cease.

The Partnership was set up in 2010 to coordinate the work of key partners supporting the tourism sector. The work focuses upon destination management, destination marketing and sector collaboration and diversification.

The Council has been looking at a number of different models of delivery in order to take the work forward but has not yet found a sustainable plan.

At the meeting on Thursday (Jan 10), the Council’s Head of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mike Cavanagh, said there is fierce competition between areas in trying to get people to come to certain areas and added that tourism was vitally important to the economy.

He added that if the service was cut it would save the council in the region of £132,000 but went on to say that editorials in newspaper and magazines were just as important in getting people to come to the county.

Cllr David Bryan suggested that individual firms such as hotels, B&B’s or pubs should be making a contribution to tourism.

Jane Rees Baynes from Pembrokeshire Tourism added that this was something they would be looking at as part of the new model.

Cllr Phil Kidney said the report was quite ‘scathing’ of the council and added that the general feel of it was that there wasn’t a ‘great appetite’ to see the partnership forward.

Welsh Government officer Gerwyn Evans added that if the local authority stopped its support it would make things more difficult and said they would be looking for the council to be making a commitment.

Questioning whether or not the Partnership should cease, Cllr Simon Hancock said: “Absolutely not.”

He went on to say: “We should actually re-dedicate ourselves to tourism in Pembrokeshire. In the past we haven’t had decisive decision making or leadership and there is a worrying trend that there has been no increase in spend over the past decade and there has been a slight decline in seasonality.

“We are suffering from a stagnation and other areas are stealing a lead on us and I hope the message from us is that it is extremely important.”

Cabinet member Paul Miller said Cllr Hancock was right to point out the lack of decision making or leadership but did say that they had the right view in setting up the partnership.

Cllr Miller said: “We can only do this collaboratively, it got confused in the past in all sorts of things that it shouldn’t have done. Let’s get this show back on the road and let’s make this partnership work.”

Cllr Vic Dennis spoke of the number of tourism businesses in the county with 1,576 paying business rates but only 346 of those are signed up with Pembrokeshire Tourism. He went on to say there was significant potential for development and added that the industry needed to ‘take ownership’.

James Parkin from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park added that small and medium business enterprises were the back bone of tourism. He added that a review of the service was done in 2014 but because nothing came of that they saw a ‘significant drop’ in its membership.

Cllr Dennis highlighted the work that was going on in Narberth and added that it was a model that could be replicated elsewhere.

Mike Cavanagh added that in recent years the tourism service had been ‘cut through the bone’ and said they only have two officers working on the service as well as himself at the moment.

Cllr Michael Williams said that Tenby and Saundersfoot had been packed over the winter weekends adding that a ‘core season’ no longer exists. He said: “I don’t think the service should cease, it is vitally important. The businesses are the main beneficiaries and they have to play their part.”

Speaking on the Tenby Tourist Information Centre Cllr Williams said his heart says to keep it but his head says perhaps not. He suggested that Pembrokeshire Tourism might take it over as the council would be struggling to find £45,000 to keep it going.

“We’ve got to step up and do it better than we have in the past”, he concluded.

Cllr Bryan added that cinemas were an important part of the tourism offer while Cllr Williams added that a cinema in Tenby ‘could be a huge success’.

Cllr Bryan concluded by saying that tourism was a ‘vital part’ of the economy and recommended that the Committee would like to see the Council continue with the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership and give it their ‘utmost support’.

That was supported unanimously.

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Angle Lifeboat tasked to disabled yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head

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Image Credit - RNLI Penny Harris

ANGLE LIFEBOAT and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

Angle Lifeboat and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

The lifeboat was launched at 10:43pm to a 26ft yacht that had reported smoke coming from their engine compartment. The casualty vessel was 22 miles south west of St Ann’s with two crew onboard.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 11:46pm. The on scene assessment was carried out and both crew were safe and well but the vessel would need to be towed to Milford Haven. The tow was set up and the casualty vessel was under tow at 11:56pm.

The conditions were perfect for the slow tow back which saw a beautiful moon rising and the early glow of dawn.

Lifeboat arrived at Milford and swapped the casualty vessel to an alongside tow to take it alongside in to the lock at Milford Marina where the casualty was safely tied up at 04:49am.

The lifeboat rehoused at 05:15am where she got her well deserved washdown and the crew headed home to get some sleep.

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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor

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A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police

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POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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