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AM calls for dedicated support for coastal and market towns

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CARMARTHEN West and South Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Angela Burns has called for more targeted funding to be made available to support towns and villages in west Wales.

During a Welsh Conservative debate held on Wednesday into Community Regeneration Angela highlighted how towns the length and breadth of Wales are changing and raised her concerns that a contribution of changing customer expectations and high rates are driving a significant increase in shop vacancy rates.

A recent House of Lords enquiry found that “the seaside and our coastal heritage is a vital part of our country’s greatest assets” however they concluded that “their location on the periphery of the country places them on the periphery of the economy, bringing consequential social problems. This combination of challenges warrants dedicated attention and support.”

Mrs Burns said that a Welsh Conservative Government in Cardiff Bay would look to establish a seaside town fund and a market town fund to help regenerate local communities which would see £200 million earmarked to be invested over a five-year period with the aim of creating a more level playing field around investment between towns and cities. It would also plan to give more power to local communities to take control of their local regeneration efforts.

Commenting later Mrs Burns said “The constituency of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire is home to such diverse towns and communities as Laugharne, so closely linked to Dylan Thomas, through to Whitland with its ties to Hywel Dda, Tenby and its wonderful beaches and in the far west, Pembroke the birthplace of Henry Tudor and the historic military town of Pembroke Dock where royal yachts were built. We are blessed to live in such a varied constituency but what links all these areas and many others throughout Wales is that they have all seen better days.

“After visiting the Christmas Fair at Pembroke Castle I walked back along the length of the High Street. It really brought home to me how the High Street has changed over the past decade. Banks gone, boarded up shop fronts and the growth of charity shops. This scene is replicated elsewhere in my constituency and we need imagination, focus and resource to reinvent our high streets for today’s public expectations.

“We believe that strong towns will help to develop strong communities, and cohesive and engaged communities will help to improve the whole area for the benefit of all. And that has an enormous spin-off effect into education and health and the economic drive.

“We need to remind the Welsh Government that they need to look further than the cities along the M4 and the South Wales valleys to stimulate economic growth and regeneration and that there are other parts of Wales which also need support.

“I am disappointed that the Welsh Government were not able to back our motion, but will continue to press for towns across my constituency to gain the support from the Welsh Government that they desperately need.”

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Pembroke: Leave teenage girls alone, sex offender told

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A SEX OFFENDER from Ashdale Lane, Pembroke has been jailed for repeatedly ignoring court orders which were put in place to protect young girls.
Gareth Thomas James Flynn, aged 41, frightened a 14-year-old girl who refused to get off a bus in case he managed to find out where she lived.
41-year-old Gareth Thomas James Flynn scared a 14-year-old girl because she refused to get of a bus, frightened he would learn her address.
He admitted breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was jailed today for a year.
Sitting at Swansea Crown Court, Judge Geraint Walters berated the defendant.  His Honour said that Flynn had shown a complete disregard for the original SHPO.
The judge said: “Leave teenage girls alone. They are scared of you”
He told Flynn he would be on licence for 12 months after his release from prison, and he reminded him that the SHPO remained in place.

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Narberth: ‘My mum’s camper was stolen and found burned out down the road’

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A CAMPER VAN stolen on Thursday night in Narberth was found burned a short distance from where it was parked, the owner’s son has said.

Zachary Bunce posted an appeal on Facebook on Friday morning saying: “Can every single one of my friends please share this my mother’s Ford transit campervan was stolen last night in the Narberth area can people please be on the lookout for this van as my mother is completely heartbroken.”

But three hours later he updated the post to say: “Thank you everyone who shared, sadly my mums van was driven 1.3 miles down the road and driven into a ditch and burnt it out.

Mr Bunce has said on that the incident has been captured on CCTV, and took place at 2.10am in the morning (Jan 24).
Anyone with any information should contact the police on 101.

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Hook: Police and school confirm death of boy, 13

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POLICE are investigating the sudden death of a 13-year-old boy from Hook on Wednesday (Jan 22)

A police spokesman told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 13-year-old boy, from the Hook area of Pembrokeshire.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious at this time. Next of kin have been advised and are being supported.”

A letter was sent out to parents and carers by Haverfordwest High VC School headteacher Jane Harries following the death. The letter reads: “It is with great sadness that I have to inform you about the sudden death of a year nine pupil at our school.

“The children in Year nine were told this morning by myself and other pupils were told by their teachers during their lesson this afternoon. The full detail surrounding the death are not known at this stage – but children have been reassured that this is something that does not happen very often. Your child may or may not want to talk bout it, but it is likely that he/she will need your special care, attention and reassurance at this difficult time.

“We are deeply affected by the death, but we are trying, for the children’s sake, to keep the school as normal as possible over the coming days, whilst allowing the children opportunities to talk about the pupil if they wish to. Trained support staff and counsellors are helping to support us through this difficult time. If you feel that your child needs extra support, please let us know.

“Our thoughts are with the pupil’s family at this difficult time, and the whole school community sends them our sincerest sympathy and support. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s achievement leader, or Miss Thomas, pastoral support manager. Paul Lucas, chairman of the governing body at Haverfordwest High VC School, said: “The governors are shocked at the tragic loss of this young student. The family are in our thoughts at this very sad time.”

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