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Former MP calls on Pembrokeshire councillors to back final say

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THE MP who was the first minister to resign in protest at Theresa May’s handling of Brexit has written to every Conservative councillor in Pembrokeshire asking them to support a call for the public to be given a final say.

Dr Phillip Lee is chair of Right to Vote, a campaign group which claims the ‘only sensible and pragmatic solution is to put the final decision on Brexit back to the people’.

With less than two weeks until the UK is due to leave the EU on Friday March 29, MPs last Tuesday again rejected Theresa May’s deal.

In the letter, Dr Phillip Lee tells Pembrokeshire Tory councillors, “The services you provide and scrutinise day in day out will seem far more relevant to most people’s lives than the elaborate debates at Westminster, and I fully understand that most voters – however they voted in the referendum three years ago – will be fed-up with the distraction.
“I understand that frustration, and I don’t think a short delay can solve anything. There is clearly no majority for the Prime Minister’s compromise nor for the default no-deal departure which is still a terrifyingly real possibility. A long delay of two years or more would also cause anger and uncertainty and might send the whole Brexit project into the long-grass, unresolved.
“This poses a menacing threat to our economy and to local employers such as South Hook LNG Terminal Company and Dragon LNG Group. Every day there is more news of companies not committing to the UK or worse, moving their operations abroad.

In Preseli Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituencies, the UK Trade Policy Observatory, a collaboration between Chatham House and the University of Sussex, has predicted that 1295 local jobs will be lost in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The potential economic harm this deal will cause should further focus our minds.”

Earlier this month, Right to Vote polled 5,500 voters across 31 constituencies nationwide – and the research found that in the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency, 60% of voters who expressed an interest want a final say on Brexit, with 40% against.

Dr Phillip Lee, who quit the Government in June 2018, adds in the letter to local Tory councillors: “Right to Vote believes we need to stop the clock with a purpose. Government and Parliament need time to agree a coherent, credible and compelling case for an orderly exit from the EU.
“With clarity of purpose, sincere intent and collective willpower, I believe MPs could break the deadlock by the autumn, and present it to the people for the final say. This process began with the people and it should end with the people.
“If they vote for a practical and realistic proposal agreed in Parliament that would end this matter for ever. If they choose to reject it, MPs would have to respect their wishes. Either way – we get closure on Brexit by Christmas.”

Right to Vote was formed in January by several high profile MPs in response to what it describes as the Government’s failure to navigate Brexit. Co-founders include Dominic Grieve, Justine Greening, Sam Gyimah and three MPs who resigned from the Conservative Party last month: Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Dr Sarah Wollaston.

Last month, Dr Phillip Lee was invited to meet with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street to discuss the campaign’s calls for a pause in the process and a final say vote.

Demonstration for People’s vote

Campaigners from across Pembrokeshire will be making their way to London on Saturday, March 23, to join a mass demonstration to demand a People’s Vote on Brexit.
Hundreds of thousands of people from across the UK are expected to take part in the People’s Vote “Put It To The People” march in central London.
People will travel to London from every corner of the UK including Gwynedd, the Highlands of Scotland and Gibraltar.
More than 100 coaches, including 1 from Pembrokeshire and a train have already been booked by People’s Vote supporters travelling across the UK.
Some of the coaches being used to get demonstrators to the capital will be sponsored by local celebrities.
Many UK citizens living abroad are also planning to travel home to take part in the march, including Australia, the US, Malaysia, Africa and hundreds from across the EU.
The government is still desperately trying to secure the backing of the UK Parliament for its heavily criticised Brexit plan and the mass demonstration in London takes place just days before the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union.
Last October, more than 700,000 people marched through central London to demand a People’s Vote on Brexit.
The event, beginning at the Wales meeting point at 11am at Hyde Park Bandstand, before joining the main march at 12pm – “High Noon” – on Park Lane on March 23, will see people march to Parliament Square for a mass rally and keynote speeches.
Young and old from all walks of life, will be marching side by side, through the centre of London, including families pushing buggies, grandparents, teenagers, students, office workers, celebrities and Members of Parliament.
Alistair Cameron from Pembrokeshire for Europe said: “Brexit is already causing deep damage to Wales, threatening jobs, businesses, the NHS and living standards in Pembrokeshire.
“The Put It To The People march may very well be our last chance to demand a democratic final say on this mess, before it’s too late. This is High Noon for Brexit.
“Anyone who cares about the future, anyone who feels betrayed by broken promises in the last referendum, anyone who wants to prevent years more of this madness is welcome to join us to make their voice heard. It’s now or never.”

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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Tenby’s famous walrus ‘Wally’ has been spotted again

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TENBY’S most famous marine animal has been spotted again after fears she had been scared away.

Wally was spotted on Friday evening by the seaside town’s Lifeboat station.

Thought to be a two-year-old male, the walrus’s return comes after it was feared she had been disturbed by people flocking to catch a glimpse of her and “getting too close”

The animal has attracted hundreds of people to the seaside town now that the travel restrictions with Wales have been lifted to coincide with the Easter school holidays.

Wally was last seen on Monday, but  members of the public were warned it was in the animal’s “best interests” to be “left alone” as much as possible and they were urged to “avoid the temptation to get near and disturb” her.

A joint statement was issued by the RSPCA, Tenby harbour master Chris Salisbury, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Tenby lifeboat coxswain Phil John, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and CSIP Marine Environmental Rescue said that they were concerned to hear that people had tried to get close by using personal watercraft or paddle and surfboards.

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Police plan to deter badly behaved youths from gathering in Tenby

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POLICE in Tenby responded to community concerns over antisocial behaviour and groups of between 15-20 youths gathering and clashing over the Easter bank holiday weekend. They moved the youths on, seized alcohol from them and stopped matters escalating when there were clashes between the groups. And they have a clear message ahead of this weekend – there will be extra police patrols and presence in Tenby, including on the trains, so this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers used powers under the Antisocial Behaviour Act to disperse groups of youngsters meeting to drink alcohol in and around Tenby, many of whom had travelled by train to the area to meet up.

Based on these scenes from last weekend, plans are in place as part of a joint operation with Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers and British Transport Police, to address and prevent any further gatherings.

A Section 34 Order is in place covering Tenby, which allows officers to move people out of the area and prevent them from returning for up to 48 hours.

Sergeant Stuart Wheeler said: “Following last weekend we had some concern from the community of Tenby, due to antisocial behaviour related to the groups of youths from Pembroke, Pembroke Dock and Tenby, and subsequently those groups clashing. Alcohol consumption by these youngsters was a factor.

“Proactive action was taken, and we are keen to avoid a repeat of this behaviour this weekend, and have therefore put plans in place. Additional resources have been allocated, which will allow us to respond quickly and prevent matters from escalating.

“Tenby Neighbourhood Policing Team and response officers, will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the area, covering areas known to be popular with youngsters. Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers will be assisting us in ensuring youngsters can’t buy alcohol in the area by visiting shops and reminding them of the laws around selling alcohol, and if they bring it with them it will be seized. And our colleagues in British Transport Police will be patrolling the train network to prevent problematic groups getting to Tenby by train.”

Police are also appealing to parents and carers to know where their children are, and what they are doing.

Sergeant Wheeler added: “We would like to appeal directly to parents to be aware of where their children are, and prevent them from gathering in large groups. This type of behaviour is distressing for people living and working in Tenby, and we are urging you to be accountable for your children’s actions.

“We understand that the past few months have been difficult, and that children want to see their friends, but remember that only 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors still. Please do your best to ensure they are adhering to regulations that are in place for all our safety.”

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