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Free swimming sessions for kids and older people

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The Welsh Government is changing the way it funds free swimming in Wales with the objective of ‘enhancing opportunities for those from deprived areas and those facing the biggest barriers to participation’.

Free swimming will continue to be available to over 60s and those under 16 however there are going to be changes.


Under 16’s

Under the new scheme there will be a free sessions every weekend in every swimming pool in Pembrokeshire throughout the year for those 16 and under.
Adults attending with their children during the designated weekend free swimming session will be eligible for a discounted rate.

Those registered for Pembrokeshire Leisure’s Passport to Leisure – those in receipt of benefits – will be eligible to free swimming during all school holidays.

An annual swim membership for public swimming will be available to all children aged 16 and under for £25/year.

Over 60’s

For those 60 and over there will be a free session available every Monday in all facilities throughout Pembrokeshire.

Those in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee will be eligible for free swimming at all public swimming sessions.

There will continue be a discounted rate for over 60’s Aquatic Classes & Public Swimming from Tuesday to Sunday.

A six month swim membership, providing access to all public swimming sessions, will be available to over 60’s for £25.

Councillor Paul Miller, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said: “We fully recognise the value that swimming can and does play in the health and wellbeing of everyone.

“The young and not so young across Pembrokeshire make excellent use of our swimming pools and we want everyone to continue to do so in a manner that is affordable to them.

“Through its review, Welsh Government has reduced its free swimming funding throughout Wales by 50%. As a means of addressing the newly identified priorities of the initiative we have tried to react to those, in line with the reduction in funding, by trying to make sure that no-one who’s under 16 or over 60 is prevented from swimming because of the costs.

“The changes are due to take effect from October 2019 and we’ll be carefully monitoring the impact of these changes on swimmer numbers.”

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Police urge visitors to stay safe and respect Wales as travel ban is lifted

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POLICE are urging visitors to say safe and respect Wales as they get set to welcome visitors this weekend.

Dyfed-Powys Police has issued a message to people preparing to travel to mid and west Wales after the requirement to stay local was lifted on Monday (Jul 6), asking them to be safe, sensible and respectful.

With people now able to travel around Wales and to cross the border into the country, coupled with a fine weather forecast, police are expecting visitors to arrive in droves to enjoy the Dyfed-Powys area.

Temporary Chief Inspector Andy Reed said: “We are very lucky to police beautiful areas across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, which attract thousands of visitors every week over the summer months.

“With restrictions having been in place since March, we understand that people are now keen to venture further afield and enjoy the beaches, mountains and countryside they’ve missed, and are anticipating a busy weekend ahead.

“Our officers look forward to welcoming you, and will be here if you need any help, but we ask that you help us by being respectful of the areas you visit, and by planning your journey before you set off.”

For anyone travelling to areas they are not familiar with, police are recommending that they plan their route in advance, check traffic updates regularly online and by listening to local radio stations, and be prepared to turn around or reroute if necessary.

T/CI Reed said: “Many of the areas that are popular with tourists aren’t served by main roads, but by B roads that can become backlogged very quickly.

“Nobody wants to spend hours stuck in traffic when they could be enjoying a day out, and there are ways to avoid this.

“If you’re heading to the beach in Pembrokeshire, for example, don’t set your sights on one place. Make a list of beaches you could visit, and be prepared to change your plans if you hit traffic off the main road.

“If you’re planning a hike in the Brecon Beacons, take a look at a few different walking routes – there are plenty of options besides Pen y Fan, which frequently gets overrun on sunny weekends and can cause problems on the roads with high volumes of traffic and parked cars.”

Over the past three months, Dyfed-Powys Police has implemented Operation Dovecote – an engagement, encouragement, education and enforcement approach to ensuring people adhered to the restrictions. With the ease in regulations, officers across the force will take a different approach this weekend – engaging with visitors, clamping down on antisocial behaviour and working with partner agencies to ensure places are left as they were found.

T/CI said: “Our officers will be out and about across the force, making sure everyone is staying safe and respectful. With that in mind, we ask that you be mindful of people who live in the areas you are visiting by acting responsibly – we will not tolerate antisocial or illegal behaviour that will impact on them or other tourists.

“Please park considerately, leave gates and property as you find them, be careful with barbecues and don’t light fires, keep dogs under control, and check what facilities will be open before you start your journey.

“We will be working closely with partners to protect beaches, countryside and waterways – you can help us by making sure you take all your rubbish and belongings with you, and leaving no trace of your visit.”

If you need to report an incident while visiting the Dyfed-Powys area, you can use one of the following options: Online: bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, Email: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or Call 101

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Always call 999 in an emergency

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Former teacher to stand trial accused of Pembroke Castle Novichok hoax

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A FORMER teacher accused of carrying out a Novichok hoax at a Pembroke Castle following the Salisbury poisonings has appeared in court.

John ap Evans, 66, from Pembroke, is accused of putting bottles of a hoax noxious substance in Pembroke Castle five times during July 2018.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard two bottles labelled “Novichok” were placed in Wogan’s Cavern at the castle.

He denied the charges on Wednesday, telling Westminster Magistrates’ Court that he wanted to appear at crown court to “explain to the judge what happened”.

The discovery of the bottles caused fear and the castle was evacuated, the court heard.

More were placed later in the month before police set up a covert camera.

Evans, who gave his address as Northgate Street, Pembroke, represented himself.

He was released on unconditional bail until his trial at the Old Bailey on July 24.

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Call to be respectful in the countryside

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WITH further reductions of lockdown restrictions expected over coming weeks, those planning to get out and enjoy Pembrokeshire are being asked to be respectful to the countryside.

Pembrokeshire has some of the most stunning countryside and coastline in Wales and is easily explored by the Coastal Path or the network of inland paths that crisscross the county.

At this time of year it is particularly beautiful. The hedgerows and coastal slopes are bursting with flowers and birds and wildlife are in abundance.

However, the countryside is also a busy, working place. Crops are growing and livestock are out in the fields.

You may see Pembrokeshire potatoes being harvested along with silage and hay being made ready for winter.

Please be aware when using Rights of Way in the countryside that you are crossing private land.

Whilst most of the paths are open some may still have advisory signs on them. There will be good reasons for this and we request that you respect landowners’ privacy and business.

During normal times routes are normally unrestricted, but at present there are some routes that aren’t available.

Therefore please follow and observe any signs you may come across.

Please be courteous and take particular care where the route passes through the curtilage of private residences or through working farm yards.

Be considerate and try to use an alternative waymarked route where possible.

The countryside is a working environment and visitors need to be aware of the following:

• Follow any diversion signs provided by landowner.

• Keep a safe distance from other people and use wide areas to pass each other safely.

• Respect landowners as they may be self-isolating or have vulnerable people living with them.

• Ensure dogs are kept on a short lead, but beware of livestock as they may chase your dog.

• Do not let your dog come into contact with other dogs or livestock.

• Clean up after your dog – do not leave dog fouling bags behind, please take your bags home with you.

• Keep to the line of the path, do not allow your dog to run free through crops or chase livestock.

• Ensure gates are not left open allowing livestock to escape

• Respect the property and business you are passing through.

• Keep away from livestock and watch out for farm machinery.

• As part of good personal hygiene always wash your hands after visiting the countryside, take your litter and any used masks or gloves home with you so you can dispose of them safely.

Please respect and look after each other and safely enjoy beautiful Pembrokeshire.

Rights of Way issues can be reported to either Pembrokeshire County Council or the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

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