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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.”

Health

Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

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THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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Joinery learner through to Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year Finals

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PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE joinery learner, Conor Ratcliff has made it through to the final ten in this year’s Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year competition.

Now in its seventh year, the competition celebrates the next generation of tradespeople as they start out on their career. With over 2,500 nominations, Conor was shortlisted to the top 30 where he had to deliver a video presentation to industry-leading judges and trade body representatives. Judged on professionalism, creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and knowledge of their trade, Conor impressed the judges and is now in the final 10.  

Simon Jackson, Screwfix Customer and Digital director, commented: “Every year we are amazed by the outstanding quality of entrants and, this year, we are on the lookout for apprentices who go above and beyond to succeed within their chosen trade.

“We’ve seen how this career-boosting accolade and £10,000 prize bundle helps kickstart an apprentice’s career. I’d like to wish everyone through to this stage the best of luck!”

The prize package includes everything a future tradesperson may need to start up their own business including £5,000 of tools, a £3,000 training budget and £2,000 worth of technology. The college where they study will also receive £2,000.

Conor is thrilled to have made it through to the finals and commented: “I am extremely honoured to have made it is this far in the competition and I am very excited for the final event. It would be an amazing opportunity for me, if I won this competition.

“I hope it encourages more people to consider an apprenticeship in a trade, the Carpentry and Joinery department have been incredibly supportive during my studies.”

The Final is due to take place imminently where the judges will conduct an online interview with the ten finalists before selecting and announcing their overall winner.

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Warrant without bail issued for Milford Haven man who failed to attend court

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A WARRANT without bail has been issued for a Milford Haven man who failed to appear in court yesterday.

Gareth James Mann, 45, of Bunkers Hill was stopped in his VW Golf on October 31, 2020 in Milford Haven.

Mann is accused of driving without a licence, insurance, under the influence of cocaine and whilst in possession of an ounce of cannabis.

Police are now instructed to find Mann, arrest him and bring him before the courts.

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