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Labour leader receives hero’s welcome in Haverfordwest

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AROUND 1000 people waited patiently in a drizzly and cold Castle Square for the Labour Leader’s visit to Haverfordwest. Despite being around an hour late, the crowd remained cheerful – listening to music from the stage, and speeches from various local contributors.

Just before Jeremy Corbyn took to the stage, Labour’s Preseli Pembrokeshire candidate, Phillipa Thompson addressed the crowd.
She is hoping to gain the the 300 odd extra votes she missed out on in 2017 to get elected.
The candidate addressed the crowd: “Good evening Haverfordwest!”
The crowd cheered loudly; Mrs Thompson went continued: “I’m delighted to be here alongside our leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. And Jeremy, the first time I met you was when you spoke to a group of us from the foreign office about working in parliament. And you spoke passionately about the shortage of housing in your constituency of Islington North. And if I remember rightly your first question as prime minister when you became leader of the opposition was about housing. So, I have the good fortune to have the opportunity later this week to be elected to represent the constituents of Preseli Pembrokeshire with just as much passion and just as much care as Jeremy has represented his constituents, and would now represent all of us for this country.

“Pembrokeshire is a fantastic place to live, and a fantastic place to visit. However, many of our young people in particular leave to find work. I would like see people Have more opportunities here in Pembrokeshire so that they have more choice. So, I hope Jeremy not to see you here only at election time but to welcome you back here again as Prime Minister.
Working together we can all make labour’s ambitious plans a reality for everyone in our country. With change coming right along the M4 and carrying on to this far-western edge of Wales.
I say on behalf of all of us here: Croeso i’r Sir Benfro – welcome to Pembrokeshire, Jeremy Corbyn!”

It was the moment the crowd had been waiting for.
Jeremy Corbyn took to the stage: “Good evening Haverfordwest… good evening Preseli Pembrokeshire!”
“Are you going to win it for Labour on Thursday? Is Phillipa going to be your next MP?
“This election is going to be about justice for people all over Britain.
“Last night you saw in the debate that was going on – you saw that the Prime Minister represents a party that is created and funded by billionaires.
“You saw that the only solution to his problems is a trade deal with the United States, which will put the NHS at risk of American companies taking it over.
“You can see what they are doing in this election campaign.
“A party for billionaires, funded by billionaires for the in equality of this country.
“Well, is it right that in the fifth richest country in the world there are five million children living in poverty? That over Christmas more than 100,000 children will know the security of a safe home in which to live? That thousands of people will be sleeping rough over Christmas in parks and tents, stations and bus stations, and all other places – they just try and find somewhere to survive. And all the while that gap between the richest and the poorest has just got wider, and wider, and wider.
“In 2010, the Tories and Liberal Democrats got together and formed a coalition government and decided to make the political choice – and it was a political choice – of austerity. They used it to cut local government spending in England – to cut the budget of the government of Wales.
“They used it to freeze benefits, to freeze public sector wages, to introduce Universal Credit – and to create – quite deliberately – poverty in the lives of very many millions of people.
“Most working-class families have a spending power of between 20 and 25% less than ten years ago. Small wonder that all over the country in Wales, England and Scotland, high streets are struggling to survive. Shops struggling to survive because of that loss of spending power. And so, we cannot go on like this as a country. We cannot go on with this degree of inequality and the levels of stress it creates in society. The growth of mental health stress and the mental health crisis. The growth of debt. Personal debt, household debt and student debt all over the UK. Surely to goodness we need to do things differently.
“And when the United Nations – yes, the United Nations – sends a special rapporteur to Britain you must ask yourself the question: Hang on a minute, we’re supposed to be a rich country. “We’re supposed to have a welfare state. We’re supposed to be a country which reaches out to everyone, and that report says that the 1940’s contract between the people and the government that says nobody should be in destitution has been “cast aside” and replaced in their words by “a cold and uncaring ethos”

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Last chance to have your say on National Park’s new Local Development Plan

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THE PEMBROKESHIRE Coast National Park Authority is seeking your views, having made amendments to its forthcoming Local Development Plan following the recent Examination Hearing Sessions.

These amendments are called Matters Arising Changes and any comments received will be passed on to the Inspector for consideration.

The relevant documents and representation form are available on the National Park Authority’s website: www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/haveyoursay and in paper format at Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre, St Davids and the Authority’s main office in Pembroke Dock.

Copies of the documents are also available for inspection free of charge on publicly accessible computers at local libraries during their normal opening hours.

Representations should be sent by 4.30pm on Friday 13 March 2020, either by email to devplans@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk or in writing to:

Park Direction
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
Llanion Park
Pembroke Dock
SA72 6DY.

For further information or assistance, email devplans@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk or call 01646 624800 and ask to speak to someone in the Park Direction Team dealing with the Plan.

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Education

No opt-out for learning about religion, relationships and sexuality

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PARENTS will not be able to prevent their children from learning about religion, relationships and sexuality in the new curriculum.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams made the announcement this week, emphasising the need for ‘careful and sensitive implementation’ of the decision.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams told The Herald: “Our responsibility as a government is to ensure that young people, through public education, have access to learning that supports them to discuss and understand their rights and the rights of others.

“It is essential that all young people are provided with access to information that keeps them safe from harm.

“Today’s decision ensures that all pupils will learn about issues such as online safety and healthy relationships.

The announcement was made following an eight-week Welsh Government consultation on ensuring access to the full curriculum, including the teaching of Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) and Religious Education (RE).

Kirsty Williams added: “I recognise this is a sensitive matter and the consultation responses reflected a wide range of views.

“There is clearly a need for us to work with communities and all interested parties in developing the learning and teaching for RSE and RE – this work will be vital to enable everyone to have trust in how the change is implemented.”

The Minister outlined plans for implementation which include the creation of clear guidance, resources and professional learning for schools and the creation of a Faith/BAME Community Involvement Group to hold its first meeting this February.

The group will engage in the development of RSE guidance, develop a shared understanding of the new curriculum and address the concerns raised by faith and community groups during the consultation.

The Minister continued: “It is vital that we continue to work with communities across Wales to ensure parents have the right to develop, care for and guide their children into adulthood while allowing our schools to provide a broad and balanced education.  

We will build on the community engagement which accompanied the consultation with a long term investment in listening to our communities and finding ways to address the issues which concern them.

The Minister also confirmed plans to establish a new RSE Working Group that will oversee the refinement of the new RSE statutory guidance to form part of the new curriculum guidance.

The Minister added: “I want to take the opportunity in 2021 to test the approach for RSE prior to it being made statutory in the new curriculum.  

This will provide valuable intelligence to inform the refinement of our approach and will also enable learners, parents and carers and communities to see it working in practice and to feedback their views.”

Further details on this approach will be announced over the coming weeks.  The consultation also showed support for renaming the subject ‘Religious Education’.

The most popular choice from respondents was ‘Religion, Values and Ethics’ and, as a result, the Minister confirmed the subject name would change when the new curriculum comes into effect. The Terrence Higgins Trust said that the news was something they very much welcomed, and said that they have been campaigning for this for a number of years. The Trust said that Wales has very much lead the way on this one as the UK Government has resisted calls to remove the parental opt-out for lessons when RSE lessons become compulsory in England from September. Debbie Laycock, Head of Policy at the trust said: “By guaranteeing access to Relationships & Sexuality Education lessons for all pupils, Wales is leading the way. We’ve campaigned for compulsory RSE lessons for nearly four decades and until now far too many young people have learned about sex through whispers in the playground. 
“This decision by the Welsh Government will go some way to fixing this. It’s absolutely vital lessons are LGBT+ inclusive and have a strong focus on HIV and sexual health so all young people have the knowledge they need to form healthy and fulfilling relationships. We are now looking to the Welsh Government to continue leading the way by providing all schools with the resources and training they need to deliver these new lessons to the highest standard across the board.” 

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Business

Air Link Wales now flying from Haverfordwest

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AVIATION company Flitestar Private Air have launched their new Air Link Wales Programme connecting Haverfordwest, Caernarfon and Cardiff with other regional airports in the UK and Europe.

The company has opened an office in Menai Bridge on Anglesey – managed by James Blackler – and said it is particularly committed to improving air connectivity from North Wales.

The Air Link Wales network currently offers flight charter services from Caernarfon Airport to destinations such as Isle of Man, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton as well as London for connections to and from Gatwick and Heathrow.

They believe Southampton will be particularly popular for passengers connecting to cruises who wish to avoid the long road or rail trip down south.A flight to the south coast for two passengers from Caernarfon would cost £1,820 per person on a Piper PA34 Seneca plane.

Neil Baines, CEO of the Chester based company, said: “As a resident of Wales myself, I’ve often been frustrated by the lack of air connectivity and we are pleased to start to address this through our new Air Link Wales Charter programme which is ideally suited to both leisure and corporate customers.“Flying private can save hours of travel time which is of particular value to Wales-based organisations.”

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