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Vaughan Gething visits new social care schemes in Pembrokeshire

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Pictured is George, a regular visitor to Havenhurst day centre, trialling the new reminiscence interactive therapy activities (RITA) and singing along to Delilah by Tom Jones! He is pictured with (left to right) Sara Colwill, Day Services Change Coordinator; Cllr Tessa Hodgson; Tere John, Home Manager at Havenhurst; Vaughan Gething and Christopher Davies.

NEW health and social care projects in Pembrokeshire were under the spotlight yesterday (Wednesday) as Welsh Government Minister Vaughan Gething paid a visit to Havenhurst residential home in Milford Haven.

The Minister for Health and Social Services was given a tour of several innovative schemes on the site delivered largely through the Welsh Government’s Integrated Care Fund (ICF), which aims to provide integrated and preventative services through regional partnership boards.

Among the projects is a new bungalow development equipped with cutting-edge technology, which will enable individuals to be supported within the community as an alternative to hospital admission.

The Minister also heard about the work of the 3 rd sector prevention’s programme in the county; encouraging volunteering, increasing citizen participation, signposting to information and assistance to prevent social isolation and promote independence.

Vaughan Gething AM sharing a joke with George, a visitor to Havenhurst day
centre.

The programme includes close working between Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Service (PAVS) and Swansea University to embed the ‘Most Significant Change’ technique to evaluate the impact and benefit these projects have from the perspective of the person
receiving them.

Christopher Davies, Intermediate Care Project Manager for Pembrokeshire County Council and Hywel Dda, explained to the Minister how the bungalows fit in with Pembrokeshire County’s model of care which aims to provide seamless delivery of care across all partners and support for people at all stages of their life journey.

It forms an integral part of the Intermediate Care Strategy which has been developed collaboratively between the Local Authority, the Health Board and third sector partners.

Christopher Davies explaining more about the bungalow’s pioneering
technology and how the strengthening of integrated working between
services can enable people to be supported and recover in the
community.

“Our technology-enabled care project allows us to provide personalised and proactive support,” he said. “All of the schemes and projects shown today play a vital role in helping people live independently in their own homes for longer.”

The ICF-funded projects are set to be complemented by a new £12m Transformation Fund recently announced by the Welsh Government.

Christopher added that said the fund was a ‘once in a generation opportunity to accelerate the pace of change and integration of care in West Wales’.

“The funding enables us to build on changes implemented over the past few years and will be pivotal in allowing the regional partnership to develop the model in Pembrokeshire and across the entire region,” he said.

Cllr Tessa Hodgson, Cabinet Member for Social Services, said she was delighted to welcome Mr Gething to Pembrokeshire.

“There are so many innovative and exciting projects coming forward in Pembrokeshire and it was great to be able to showcase one of them to the Minster yesterday. The transformation fund gives us and our partners fantastic opportunities to implement new ideas and innovations.”

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Ambitious councillor calls for the regeneration of Pembrokeshire

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‘IT IS IMPORTANT for us to be ambitious; it’s even more important when the future success of Pembrokeshire depends on the changes we are driving to deliver.’

That’s the view of Cllr Paul Miller, Pembrokeshire’s Cabinet Member for Econony, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, who has made unequivocal his commitment that Pembrokeshire County Council will spearhead a programme of widespread regeneration across the county.

The splendour of Pembrokeshire, its celebrated beaches and its spectacular National Park coastline – the only one of its kind in the UK – cannot be questioned. To many, it is place of unparalleled beauty and the 4.2 million tourists per year are testament to a destination that consistently draws and delights visitors from all over the UK and abroad. But the notion of
Pembrokeshire as a modern business hub that is ripe for investment and development, allied with home-grown, dynamic talent ready to realise this ambition has not been a conversation on many people’s lips…until now.

‘The Regeneration of our County is long overdue. It is my commitment to get the wheels of progress turning in a way that the public are able to see and believe in,’ said Cllr Miller. ‘There has been significant change already during my time as a Cabinet Member, but I accept that’s not been very visible to date. We are perhaps, only now, beginning to see tangible progress but I am absolutely determined we build momentum around a programme that will create exciting, lasting change for Pembrokeshire. I am ambitious about what our county can be and our vision is based on an realisable agenda for regeneration that creates jobs and a thriving region in rural west Wales.’

Though Haverfordwest and Pembroke will be priorities for the town-centre regeneration programme, the public will benefit from projects throughout the whole of Pembrokeshire.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s proposals for Haverfordwest will look to re-establish the county town as a destination of choice for residents, tourists and business, providing an attractive proposition for investment. A number of ‘flagship’ projects are now tabled and the first phase of this work has already delivered Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside, a new library, tourist centre and gallery which has brought a 10% increase in town centre footfall since opening earlier this year. Amongst a number of other exciting schemes nearing fruition, phase two of the Riverside project – the redevelopment of the former Ocky White department store building – is now at an advanced stage. There is now the required political appetite alongside a robust business case to see these projects assist in repositioning Haverfordwest as an exciting place to work, live and build a business.

With rail and road infrastructure strategies well underway, alongside a desire for highspeed fibre broadband throughout the county, Cllr Miller talks candidly of a mission to make Pembrokeshire ‘the best connected rural county in the UK.’

Plans for the redevelopment of South Quay in Pembroke are beginning to come together and the decision on the appointment of the architects for the scheme will be made imminently.

While Cllr Miller is careful to acknowledge that progress will be measured on results, he is determined that the next few years will demonstrate a sea change in Pembrokeshire’s drive towards regeneration and he is clear about how he sees this being realised: ‘We’re going to show some leadership and that’s going to prove the catalyst for bringing partners, investors and businesses to the County. With connectivity at the heart of our programme we are going to invite the nation to embrace the attractive possibility of living and working in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Pembrokeshire is a dynamic, connected, ambitious place and we’re open for business!’

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Could Haverfordwest Youth Club’s puppet project help you find happiness?

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AN EXCITING creative project has been launched by Haverfordwest Youth Club giving young people the chance to create a large-scale puppet exploring what makes them feel happy.

Youth workers, together with local Artist Di Ford will deliver five workshops, during which the young people will create the puppet. The final creation will be exhibited at the Haverfordwest Summer Carnival on Sunday 28th July 2019.

“Project Puppet will be an expression of what matters collectively to the young people – how they exercise their desire to be happy, to feel a sense of wellbeing and to stay safe,” said community youth worker Steve Lewis from Pembrokeshire County Council.

The first workshop will be on Wednesday 19th June at St. Martin’s Hall, Haverfordwest. The workshops, each lasting two hours (7pm to 9pm) will encourage ideas about what the puppet represents to the participants as well as teaching them the skills required to create it.

The funding for the project has come from the Patricia May Memorial Grant which was awarded to the West Wales Branch of The Arts Society.

  • If you are aged 11-25 and would like to participate in Project Puppet: Looking for Happiness, please contact Steve Lewis on 07810 681746.
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Pembrokeshire Liberal Democrats wants more pensioners to keep their free TV Licences

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Pembrokeshire Liberal Democrats have expressed their concern at the decision taken by the BBC to save £450m a year from 2020, to remove the free TV licence for those over 75 years of age from those pensioners not in receipt of Pension Credit.

This could see 3.7m pensioners currently benefitting from a TV licence, having to start paying from 2020. The decision was made by the BBC following the government’s decision to transfer the funding of licences from the government to the BBC.

Liberal Democrat Department of Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson Jane Bonham-Carter said “Concessions for over 75’s are a social cost which should not be paid from the licence fee, but from central Government funding.

Government, not the BBC should be responsible and accountable for their social policies. If the Conservative Government does not want to pay for free licences for over 75’s then they should be upfront about their policy. However, passing the buck onto the BBC is underhand and risks undermining the BBC’s financial viability to provide what the license fee payer expects.”

Age UK have said that 1 in 4 over the age of 65 say that TV is their main form of companionship.

Alistair Cameron, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire said “There has been much coverage of this issue on TV and social media since the BBC made the announcement that it was withdrawing free TV licences from all pensioners except those on Pension Credit.

Many pensioners over the age of 75 are not able to get out a lot. For them, the TV is a really important part of their lives.

A lot of pensioners have to survive on a low income, including those who do not claim pension credit. Having to pay for a TV licence will be very hard on them.”

Andrew Lye, the Chair of Pembrokeshire Liberal Democrats said “Many people are annoyed at the decision and rightly so.

I can appreciate that the wealthy over 75 currently receive a free TV licence as do those on a basic state pension. We must remember that there are many pensioners not in receipt of pension credit and struggle to manage on their pension. MP’s need to remember that the Conservative 2017 Manifesto committed them to free TV licenses for the over 75’s for the duration of this Parliament, and the ‘grey vote’ will remember this broken promise at the next General Election.”

Andrew Lye went on to say, “Of course with the latest released figures showing £3.1bn of unclaimed Pension Credit in the UK, I would call upon pensioners in Pembrokeshire to phone 0800-991234 as the website https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim states that phoning them is the quickest way to find out if you qualify. Who knows, you may get money that you are entitled to”.

Andrew Lye added, “We call upon the Government to resolve this issue as it is unfair that it will affect millions of pensioners and we hope that Pembrokeshire MP’s, Stephen Crabb and Simon Hart will make representations to the Prime Minister. Just because you do not claim or get Pension Credit, you cannot automatically assume that they are all well off on their pension. With the growing problem of loneliness in the elderly, especially where a partner has died, the TV is a vital lifeline and we should treat our pensioners better”.

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