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Port funds new equipment for Wisemans Bridge Rowing Club to accommodate new members

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THE Port of Milford Haven’s Community Fund has aided Wisemans Bridge Rowing Club (WBRC) in purchasing a new set of oars that will benefit their younger members and increase accessibility. The new M2 lightweight narrow shaft extra flex Croker oars will be specific for WBRC junior rowers and its adaptive rowing crews, offering a lighter and more flexible alternative to the club’s existing equipment.

These oars are especially important as WBRC is the first sea rowing club in Pembrokeshire to be awarded the Disability Sports Wales, Bronze InSport award.

This recognises the club’s work with disabled people in making rowing inclusive for everyone and will enable members of all abilities, including participants with learning or physical disabilities from all over Pembrokeshire, to take part in outdoor rowing.

Wisemans Bridge Rowing Club has taken part in initiatives over previous seasons with ‘Learn to Row’ projects involving #ThisGirlRows in 2016 and #StrollerRowers in 2018, with both proving hugely successful in coaching different groups of people from all walks of life to row in a 12-session programme starting indoors and then heading out onto the water.

As well as this, the club has been involved with Saundersfoot Rotary Tenderfoot Team, a sporting club for disabled people from all over Pembrokeshire. Adaptable equipment has been installed by the club to assist in these projects, and the acquirement of the new lightweight Croker oars will allow the group to continue its work in teaching participants of all abilities how to row.

The lighter, more dynamic Croker oars will provide more suitable equipment for younger participants too. The tailored nature of the oars offers reduced handle size which accommodates smaller wrists and weaker hand strength. As well as this, the flexible oar and narrow blade reduces strain on the body when the blade enters the water. This will make rowing easier for inexperienced participants and reduce the strain on others on the boat if the rowers aren’t all in time with one another, giving every participant the chance to match their skill level on the water.

Simon Collings, Chairman, Wisemans Bridge Rowing Club, commented: “We are really proud of the work WBRC has been doing with participants of all
abilities. We have invested heavily over the past few seasons to build up our range of adaptive equipment and personal development of our coaching team, and the Croker oars will be a great edition to help get everyone out on the water safely. The Pembrokeshire coastline is such a beautiful place, especially out on the water, and we are fortunate to use it as our playground, it’s a very special place to be. Using the new oars, we look forward to developing new crews and offering sea rowing to people who may never have thought it possible.”

Kailea Turner, Stakeholder Engagement Officer Port of Milford Haven added: “Wisemans Bridge Rowing Club has been doing some fantastic work with rowers of all ages and abilities, and we are proud to be able to support that by funding the new Croker oars.”

The Community Fund is a financial support initiative set up by the Port, which provides funds for charities, community organisations and social enterprises that operate within Pembrokeshire. The deadline for applications is the 25 th of each month, and organisations can apply online: www.mhpa.co.uk/community-fund.

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Milford Haven: Concerns over council refuse collection staff using drugs on duty

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL have confirmed that they are conducting an ongoing internal investigation.

The probe is relating to “illegal drug use by on-duty refuge collection crews” operating from the Thornton Refuge Depot in Milford Haven.

The Herald understands that following suspicions being raised, drug testing was carried out on refuse crews on Monday (May 10) – all before they left their depot.

This newspaper has been told that a number staff, which includes bin lorry drivers, tested positive for drug use, and that the council called in the police.

That information was passed to The Herald by someone who we have confirmed to be a member of staff working at Pembrokeshire County Council, who did not want to be named.

After a request for a statement, a spokesperson for the council has stressed that none of their vehicles were involved, suggesting that, on the day in question, positive tests were arrived at before any bin lorries had left the depot.

As part of the multi-agency operation the police were called and attended Thornton Refuse Depot, but did not make any arrests, and said they had little involvement in the operation.

Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there is an ongoing internal workplace investigation and can clarify that there was no police involvement on the day in question – no Pembrokeshire County Council vehicles were involved.

“We are not in a position to comment any further at this time.”

Dyfed Powys Police told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “At the request of Pembrokeshire County Council, officers attended Thornton Refuse Depot to provide [them with] support on the morning of Monday, May 10.

“Officers attended; however they were not utilised.”

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Council’s Planning Committee approves ambitious dockyard plans

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’s Planning Committee this morning (Tuesday, May 18) approved an application for the construction of a new marine engineering project at Pembroke Dock’s Royal Dockyard.
The plans, vociferously opposed by local heritage groups, passed unanimously.

The matter will now go to the Welsh Government, which has reserved its position on the scheme’s approval.
Committee members expressed the view that the balance between heritage and economic development were balanced, with strong views expressed on either side. They decided the balance of the application favoured economic development subject to conditions regarding aspects of the site’s preservation and its ability to be restored in the future.

The Committee members who attended a site visit on Wednesday, May 12, said it was the most informative and best site visit they had this council term. Visiting the site gave them a clearer idea about what was planned and the scale of the project, which would not have been gained from a paper exercise.

While the approval of the scheme was unanimous, one element of the reserved matters caused some members concern: the height and size of the proposed massive new sheds which would be built at a later phase of the project.
Cllr David Pugh, seconded by Cllr Steve Alderman, moved an amendment which would approve the project and delegate reserved matters to officers apart from the sheds’ construction, which would return to the Committee for detailed approval.

Cllr Tony Wilcox and Cllr Mark Carter emphasised the need for certainty regarding the project’s development, a position supported by Cllr David Howlett, Cllrs Pugh, Alderman and Cllr Stephen Joseph said that little delay would be caused to the scheme by bringing the sheds’ development back to the Committee. They noted the significant intrusion of the sheds into the landscape for miles around.

Planning Officer Mike Simmons advised that the project would proceed in five phases and that the applicant, Milford Haven Port Authority, was keen to proceed with the first phase as soon as possible. The first phase would be the infilling of the docks and pool, removing a caisson gate and preserving it, before the building of new slipways.
The Port Authority already accepted the sheds would only be built if there was commercial demand for them.
The amendment proposed by Cllr Pugh passed by six votes to five with two abstentions.

It means before the sheds are built, the Committee will decide the detailed application relating to them.

All other aspects of the development will be decided by officers.

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Business

Further Covid-19 business support packages to become available soon

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PEMBROKESHIRE businesses that remain affected by Covid-19 restrictions can check their eligibility for a new package of support from the Welsh Government.

This latest support package will help those businesses eligible to meet ongoing costs through to the end of June as they prepare for re-opening and more normal trading conditions.

Businesses that stand to benefit include:

  • nightclubs and late entertainment venues
  • events and conference venues not covered by the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF)
  • hospitality and leisure businesses, including restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • supply chain business, which have been materially impacted by restrictions

An eligibility checker has opened on the Business Wales website so businesses can find out how much support they are likely to be entitled to and how to apply.

See more information and check your business’ eligibility at: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/

Funding will be calculated based on the size of the business and the type of restrictions they are under.

Businesses will be able submit applications to the Welsh Government from 24th May 2021 for grants of up to £25,000 and by the end of the month to Pembrokeshire County Council for smaller fixed Discretionary Grants.

To keep up to date and see the future application process for the Discretionary Grants please see: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

The above link will be be updated with the latest information.  

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