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Milford’s sixth form could be axed

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MILFORD Haven School’s sixth form could be the latest to be axed following a consultation period.

At the Council meeting on Thursday (Oct 10), Councillors gathered to agree to the consultation period beginning.

Since 2010, the number of pupils in Milford’s sixth form has fallen by 77% with only 44 pupils enrolled on courses in September 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a letter to Pembrokeshire County Council leader, Cllr David Simpson, Pat James, Chair of Governors at Milford Haven School, said that it was ‘with deep regret and sadness’ that they were having to write to ask the Council’s Director for Children and Schools to undertake the consultation.

The basis for their request is down to falling numbers, reduced curriculum options and not meeting the needs of learners.

However, the Chair of Governors goes on to state that only through the consultation would they be able to determine the appetite for a sixth form at the school.

Pat James states: “This decision by the Governors has been one of the most difficult decisions we have ever undertaken but feel that having explored every avenue over some time, the evidence for closure is overwhelming.

We are also very concerned and mindful as to the impact the closure could have in a community where the school has suffered setbacks in the past and has been regaining confidence back through the hard work of the headteacher, staff and governors.”

Funding for sixth form education is based partly on learner numbers and for 2019/20 the school received just under £250,000 for its sixth form.

The reduction in funding as a result of the decline of pupil numbers has had a significant effect on the number of subjects on offer to learners.

In 2010, a pupil had 22 options to choose from but this has reduced to just nine in 2019.

On the morning of Thursday’s meeting, pupils gathered outside to protest against the closure of the sixth form.

If it does go it would be the latest sixth form to close following closures of Ysgol Bro Gwuan and Ysgol Dewi Sant Sixth forms.

The new build was funded jointly by the College and Welsh Government at a cost of £6.6m.

It had been proposed to move the sixth formers from Haverfordwest to the college as well but after lengthy discussions, it was agreed to keep the sixth form provision at the newly merged school.

The Council had also drawn up a Memorandum of Understanding with Pembrokeshire College but some members felt this was a method of closing sixth forms ‘by the back door’.

The Chair of Governors of Milford Haven School has asked for a stronger link with Pembrokeshire College.

However, many pupils have said they want a choice when it comes to deciding where to go after finishing school.

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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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