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Council commissions report into flooding at Lower Priory and Havens Head

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is to spend £40,000 on a feasibility study investigating alleviating the risk of flooding at Lower Priory and Havens Head in Milford Haven.

The local authority has included the cost in its capital budget for consideration at Monday’s (Jan 13) Cabinet meeting.

The £40,000 cost of the feasibility study will be met through a £38,000 grant from the Welsh Government. The Council will contribute £2,000 towards the study, although the report accompanying the budget notes that funding may be secured from alternative sources.

Lower Priory and Havens Head were both subject to flooding in November 2018.

The flood at Lower Priory was catastrophic, causing damage to properties and inundating the Priory pub, causing its closure for many months.

Residents of Lower Priory pointed the finger at the massive amount of infill work on land leading from watercourses passing through the area towards Havens Head and the docks beyond. They also claimed failures of maintenance had blocked the trash screens on culverts.

Stephen Crabb MP visited flooded resident last year (Pic: Herald)

Natural Resources Wales observed at the time: ‘The area affected contains two smaller watercourses that flow through a small valley through a culvert under a road/railway and into Milford Haven marina. The bottoms of the valleys are always wet and one has also been partially impounded to form a lake, which means the area can become tide-locked during high tides.
‘That coupled with the rain meant lots of water coming down the valley and lots coming in via the tide’.

While maintenance of the two minor watercourses is the responsibility of the County Council, once the watercourses pass on to land owned by Milford Haven Port Authority, responsibility passes to it to ensure its culverts are maintained and trash screens kept clear.

The Council does not have any powers to make landowners amend existing culverts to increase their capacity.

New developments have to comply with specific planning guidance from the Welsh Government. That guidance means surface water from an impermeable area created by a development (ie at Haven Head) must be dealt with through sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) which allow water to seep out via soakaways.
That standard has applied to all new developments for several years now.

The current situation, in which a large area of land is concreted over at the end of a watercourse, would no longer be permitted.

Following the flooding in November 2018, both the Port Authority and the Council tried to blame each other for the flooding.

A large amount of work subsequently took place to clear the areas around the affected culverts, including the removal of a significant amount of fallen trees and other vegetable debris.
In June last year, the Port Authority claimed that it was not liable for the flood damage and said the major factor in the flooding was a large increase in levels of silt in the lakes at Havens Head and Lower Priory combined with high tides and unprecedentedly levels of rainfall.

Emotional moment: Ian Bannister from Lower Priory clearly upset by the damage caused in 2019 flood (Pic: Herald)

However, under questioning before a Council Committee, a Port Authority representative conceded its electronic flood warning system had been a casualty of the flooding and had stopped recording the water volumes at Lower Priory well before the peak of the inundation.

Information about how much infill was used around the watercourses is unavailable.

A recommendation in a report by contractors Atkins, who proceeded only based on information provided by the Port Authority, recommended the culverts should be increased to handle three times the volume of water they dealt with currently.

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Angle Lifeboat tasked to disabled yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head

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Image Credit - RNLI Penny Harris

ANGLE LIFEBOAT and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

Angle Lifeboat and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

The lifeboat was launched at 10:43pm to a 26ft yacht that had reported smoke coming from their engine compartment. The casualty vessel was 22 miles south west of St Ann’s with two crew onboard.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 11:46pm. The on scene assessment was carried out and both crew were safe and well but the vessel would need to be towed to Milford Haven. The tow was set up and the casualty vessel was under tow at 11:56pm.

The conditions were perfect for the slow tow back which saw a beautiful moon rising and the early glow of dawn.

Lifeboat arrived at Milford and swapped the casualty vessel to an alongside tow to take it alongside in to the lock at Milford Marina where the casualty was safely tied up at 04:49am.

The lifeboat rehoused at 05:15am where she got her well deserved washdown and the crew headed home to get some sleep.

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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor

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A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police

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POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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