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Simon Hart MP ‘delighted’ at boost to re-open St Clears station

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THE CAMPAIGN to reopen St Clears railway station has taken a step closer to reality. It has been chosen by the Department of Transport as one of four station reopening bids out of 12 to go through to the next level.

Simon Hart MP has been working with the town council in its bid to get the station reopened.

“I am delighted to hear that the St Clears bid was considered strong enough,” said Mr Hart.

“It was chosen because it’s in the village and because there is a gap in the rail provision in this area.”

The campaign to reopen the station has been running for decades. It was closed in 1964 and there has been a sustained effort to reopen it since the 1970s.

Mr Hart wrote to the Welsh Secretary of State Alun Cairns earlier this summer to lobby for the station to be considered for reopening. It had made it on to a shortlist of 12 in the country for consideration but then everything went ominously quiet.

“I wrote to the Secretary of State to try to chivvy things along, there was a fear that the whole issue was being swept under the carpet.

“The feasibility study was carried out in 2015 but after making it through to Stage 2 it seemed to get stuck in limbo. Mr Cairns pledged to make sure that the Department for Transport, which is considering the bids, did consider the St Clears bid.

“I am delighted that seven weeks after I wrote, this news has come through.”

Mr Hart is now writing to Transport Minister Grant Shapps to make the case for St Clears.

“It’s full steam ahead for the community and I will continue to do all that I can to try to make this a reality,” he added.

The station first opened on 2 January 1854. It was on the section of the South Wales Railway which opened that day between the temporary station near Carmarthen and Haverfordwest, and was situated between Sarnau and Whitland.

The station closed on 15 June 1964.

An attempt to reopen the station in 1973 was made by five local authorities and organisations, together with the Department of the Environment, which jointly agreed to fund construction of a new station at a total cost of £5,400 (equivalent to £24,900 in 2018).

The new station would consist of concrete platforms adjoining both tracks and timber waiting shelters provided with electric lighting It had been hoped that works would be swiftly completed so that the first trains could call at St Clears by the end of Summer 1973, but this did not materialise.

There is a local campaign for the reopening of the station, supported by Angela Burns AM and William Powell AM.

Locals started a Facebook campaign to reopen the station in 2010 and drew in thousands of supporters. The St Clears Times ran a community poll from 2010 and 95% of people who voted were in favour of opening the station.[citation needed] There have been recent proposals to reopen the station as part of the Welsh Governments Rail infrastructure investment.

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Give the gift of fitness this Christmas

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PEMBROKESHIRE LEISURE is offering the ‘gift of fitness’ this Christmas, with a limited time only membership offer.

A three-month membership can be purchased for £99 from any leisure centre until December 23, 2019.

Membership includes the use of gyms, group exercise classes, public swimming and lessons, health suites and exercise programmes at any of Pembrokeshire County Council’s leisure centres (located at Haverfordwest, Milford Haven, Pembroke, Fishguard, Tenby, St.Davids and Crymych).

The membership gifts must be activated by January 31, 2020.

For more information, please visit:
https://www.facebook.com/pembrokeshireleisure/

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National Lottery gives £63m to Pembrokeshire over 25 years

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THE National Lottery celebrates its 25th Birthday today and charities and community groups in Pembrokeshire are marking the incredible impact of the £63 million awarded to more than 2,400 good causes in the area over the last quarter of a century.

The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994 and the 25th Birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact the National Lottery has had on good causes in Pembrokeshire – large and small – in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community.

Whether it’s funding for large iconic projects and landmarks; small community projects which make a big difference; producing the most amazing films; or supporting grassroots sports clubs – it’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise more than £6.4 million each month for good causes in Wales, that brilliant projects which support our communities and make a vital and sustained contribution to our national life are possible.

As part of the celebrations today, an unique map of Wales, featuring 14 of the most iconic landmarks funded over the last 25 years will be unveiled. The map, created by Welsh artist Hannah Davies, will be on display at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff from November 19th – 25th, features Skomer Island, which was awarded more than £1.6 million from the National Lottery in 2004 for renovation and conservation work, including refurbishing the 150-year-old farmhouse and outbuildings. The map also features St Davids Cathedral which was awarded a £524,000 grant from the National Lottery in 2004 to restore the historically important Cloisters at St Davids Cathedral. The cloister walks were built on the exposed foundations of the original 14th century Cloisters and have been reconstructed to their original heights. New educational facilities, meeting rooms, vestries and lavatories were also built and a new Treasury housing unique artefacts.

A wide variety of other local projects in Pembrokeshire have received National Lottery funding over the last 25 years, including:
· £4.8 million towards modernising and redeveloping the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven – a vibrant centre for the arts;
· £2 million to Revitalise, renovate and conserve historic properties in Haverfordwest town’s conservation area so they can become more attractive and commercially viable; and
· £427,000 to build Haverfordwest Skatepark – a free to access outdoor skateboarding, skating and biking facility in the town which opened in 2013. Wales and Pembrokeshire’s own World Champion wheelchair sports superstar, Lily Rice, can often be seen practicing her tricks here.

70% of all National Lottery grants however have been for small amounts worth up to £10,000, bringing benefits to communities far and wide. These include:
· £10,000 for Pembrokeshire based The DPJ foundation in 2016 to launch and raise awareness of Share the Load – a 24/7 telephone and counselling service for people with mental health problems in rural communities. The charity was established by 31-year-old Emma Picton-Jones, whose 34-year-old husband, Daniel Picton-Jones, an agricultural contractor, tragically took his own life in 2016 after battling with depression and anxiety;
· £4,885 for the Fishguard Unit 142 of the Sea Cadet Corps to create an IT suite which will benefit the cadets and the wider community; and
· £1,500 for Fishguard and Goodwick Jemima Rowing Club to purchase new equipment and coaching training.

In the last 25 years, more than £166 million of National Lottery funding has been invested to 17,300 grassroots sports projects in Wales – creating opportunities for everyone to get fit and improve their lives through sport. The National Lottery has also helped develop some of Wales’ most successful and recognisable athletes to thrive. Those currently reaping the rewards from the National Lottery funded World Class Programme include 30-year-old Matt Bush from Neyland who became the first British man to claim a title at the World Para-taekwondo championships in Turkey this year. The World Class Programme affords athletes coaching, training, and competition support, medical, technology and scientific services. Matt, who stands at 6ft 5in is joined by Welsh Taekwondo star Jade Jones on the programme and has his sights firmly set on representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.

Highlighting the impact of the National Lottery in Wales over the last 25 years, Nick Capaldi, Chair of The Wales National Lottery Forum and the Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Wales, said: “For 25 years, The National Lottery has been creating possibilities and making us proud of our communities whilst protecting the things we’re most passionate about in Wales. Without the funding, many of our most loved and iconic landmarks wouldn’t exist and many charities wouldn’t be changing lives to the scale they are now. The 25th Birthday is a time to recognise and reflect on the momentous and positive impact the National Lottery has had on the lives of people in communities throughout Wales.”

Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has had on your community over the past 25 years by visiting www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using hashtag: #NationalLottery25.

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Rosemarket man to appear in court on rape charge

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A 40-YEAR-OLD man is due to appear at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court today (Nov 20) after being charged with rape.

Christian Edward Macleod of Rosemarket, is charged with raping a woman aged 16 or over in Milford Haven on September 22.

He is also charged with common assault.

It is likely he will appear before Swansea Crown Court next month due to the nature of the charges.

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