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WASPI campaigners and council join forces to overturn unjust pension rules

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PEMBROKESHIRE WOMEN AGAINST STATE PENSION INJUSTICE (WASPI) has taken the first step to help challenge a recent High Court decision.

It comes as Pembrokeshire County Council’s Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered a Notice of Motion which had been submitted by Cllr Thomas Tudor last month for the Authority to call on the government to make changes to a policy which has left many women born in the 1950’s ‘living in hardship’.

Thomas Tudor told The Herald: “This issue affects many women in Pembrokeshire including women from my Ward the Castle Ward of Haverfordwest hence the reason for tabling this Notice of motion to Pembrokeshire County Council.”
On October 3, the Royal Courts of Justice announced that the two justices who heard the case in June had found that the 3.8m women in the UK had not been discriminated against when their state pension age was put back by several years with little or no notice.
“We were rather shell shocked when we heard the decision to dismiss it and put it back in the hands of the Government to resolve” said Pembrokeshire WASPI Organiser, Jackie Gilderdale.

“We are convinced that the 7,000 women in Pembrokeshire, born in the 1950s who have been cheated out of several years of the pensions they paid into, have been treated unfairly.

“We heard on October 24th that enough money had been raised, so the request for permission to appeal the decision has been lodged with the High Court.
“The speed with which the funding target was met shows the strength of feeling among 1950s women and their supporters.”
A date for the hearing has not yet been set but is expected to be in November. WASPI continue to support the Backto60s campaign, whilst maintaining their own ask for transitional payments and compensation for ALL 1950s women.

Cllr Tom Tudor: Leads call for action

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on considered the following motion: “Pembrokeshire County Council calls upon the Government to make fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born on or after 6th April 1951, who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age (SPA) with lack of appropriate notification. Hundreds of thousands of women had significant pension changes imposed on them by the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2011 with little/no/personal notification of the changes. Some women had only two years notice of a six-year increase to their state pension age. Many women born in the 1950’s are living in hardship. Retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences. Many of these women are already out of the labour market, caring for elderly relatives, providing childcare for grandchildren, or suffer discrimination in the workplace so struggle to find employment.

“Women born in this decade from Pembrokeshire are suffering financially. These women have worked hard, raised families and paid their tax and national insurance with the expectation that they would be financially secure when reaching 60. It is not the pension age itself that is in dispute – it is widely accepted that women and men
should retire at the same time. The issue is that the rise in the women’s state pension age has been too rapid and has happened without enough notice being given to the women affected, leaving women with no time to make alternative arrangements.

“Pembrokeshire County Council calls upon the Government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women born on or after 6th April 1951, so that women do not live in hardship due to pension changes they were not told about until it was too late to make alternative arrangements.”

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Residents invited to a Pembroke Tunnel drop-in event

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NETWORK RAIL is inviting residents to a drop-in event to find out more about essential maintenance work at Pembroke Tunnel, west Wales, which will improve the resilience and reliability of the railway for passengers.
The work includes essential vegetation management and rock netting in the area with work taking place for a week in December before the main work takes place in January and February.
Ahead of the work residents are invited to a drop-in event on Monday 18 November from 3pm to 6.30pm at the Dutton Suite, Pembroke Leisure Centre, Bush, Pembroke, SA71 4RJ.
No appointments are necessary and members of the project team will be on hand to answer any questions.
Then between Saturday 14 and Friday 20 December Network Rail will carry out drilling work overnight to install rock anchors at the top of the railway cutting as Network Rail prepare for the main phase of the works.
That will then take place between Sunday 19 January 2020 and Saturday 8 February 2020 where engineers will work day and night to install rock anchors and bolts before installing the rock netting across the railway cutting using road rail vehicles and specialist machinery.
Michael Pinkerton, scheme project manager for Wales and Borders, said:
“We would like to thank residents in advance for their patience and understanding as we carry out this work at Pembroke Tunnel.
“All this planned essential work forms part of our commitment to maintain a safe and reliable railway that is fit for use now and in the future. We are working closely with our partners to keep disruption to the local community to a minimum and encourage anyone wishing to find out more about this work to come along to our drop-in event later.”

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“We have a duty to win” says Crabb at campaign launch

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STEPHEN CRABB has launched his 2019 General Election campaign, highlighting the ‘duty and responsibility’ the Party has to win.
The Welsh Conservative candidate is hoping to be re-elected on December 12, having served as MP for the last 14 years.
At the launch at Martha’s Vineyard on Milford Marina, Stephen addressed a crowd of supporters with a promise to continue being a strong voice for Preseli Pembrokeshire in Westminster.
Stephen Crabb has consistently been one of the hardest working Welsh MPs with a strong track record of standing up for the local community.
Speaking at the campaign launch, Stephen said: “This General Election will be the most important for many years.
“We face a choice between the Conservatives who have a clear plan to unblock Brexit and improve Britain – or a coalition of opposition parties under Jeremy Corbyn, who want more years of delay and division.
“That is not in our national interest nor is it in the best interests of Pembrokeshire. The Conservative Party has a serious duty and responsibility to go out and win this election.
“Over the last 14 years I have fought tirelessly for local people and local businesses and if re-elected, I will continue to work hard to give Pembrokeshire a strong voice in Parliament.”
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Christmas shopping misery for west Wales rail users

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RAIL USERS in west Wales face festive misery due to engineering works which will close the Carmarthen to Milford Haven link for almost a month.

The line will be closed from this Sunday, until the Sunday before Christmas, at a time when many take the train to Swansea and Cardiff shopping for gifts for friends and family.

Signs have already been posted at railway stations confirming the delays.

Trains will be replaced by buses; rail officials have said.

A spokesman from Network Rail said: “Due to essential maintenance work, rail replacement bus services will run between Carmarthen and Milford Haven from Monday, November 18 until Sunday, December 22.

“Pembroke dock and Fishguard services are also affected on Sunday November 24.

“On all other days of operation, the train services will continue to stop at Whitland, Clynderwen and Clarbeston Road, Fishguard and Goodwick, Fishguard Harbour and stations to Pembroke Dock.

“We apologise for any inconvenience.”

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