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A new future for tourism in Pembrokeshire revealed

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OVER the last 12 months the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership (DPP) – comprising Pembrokeshire Tourism, Pembrokeshire County Council, PLANED and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority (PCNPA) – have been working closely together to produce two key pieces of work to drive tourism growth in the County.

The first is a new five-year Tourism Strategy known as a Destination Management Plan (DMP).
Feedback from the trade and other partners through online questionnaires, face-to-face consultations and workshops have helped form the new DMP.

The new plan will run from 2020 to 2025 and will cover the priorities and aspirations for Pembrokeshire as a tourism destination.

The second is an exercise looking at whether some tourism services could be managed more effectively by operating in a different way, with the aim of supporting the multi-million-pound tourism industry.

Currently, a wide range of services are delivered by the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership with each of the partners focusing on different areas of activity.

On Wednesday, 5th February, and Monday, 10th February, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Pembrokeshire County Council respectively approved both the DMP strategy and the proposal for a new Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO).

The resources and staff from the County Council’s Tourism (Destination Marketing) department will be transferred to Pembrokeshire Tourism, the county’s tourism trade organisation, with support and resources also coming from PCNPA and PLANED.

The new Pembrokeshire Tourism organisation will be led by the trade and will be able to deliver a wider range of activities including: destination marketing activity; campaign and project delivery; industry liaison and support; research and intelligence; advocacy, and other activities such as supporting and potentially delivering some events.

Jane Rees-Baynes, chair of Pembrokeshire Tourism said: “We at Pembrokeshire Tourism are delighted that the proposals have been approved by all DPP partners. We believe this is an exciting new start for tourism in Pembrokeshire.

“We will be working hard over the next few months to establish this new trade led organisation as one of the leading DMOs in the UK.
“Our members will continue to receive the same great benefits through the transition and can look forward to an enhanced offering once the new organisation is in full operation.”

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, Paul Miller, said: “Far better than numerous, disparate entities working to support tourism in isolation, we will now have a single, joint plan together with a strong, well resourced, trade led organisation driving the Pembrokeshire ‘destination’.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for the County to further develop our incredible tourism offer and to ensure Pembrokeshire is discovered by even more visitors from right across the globe.”

Iwan Thomas, Chief Executive, PLANED, said: “The delivery of this new strategy clearly demonstrates the commitment to partnership working here by these key organisations within Pembrokeshire.
“PLANED’s role has been to support the voice particularly of communities within the county, and the importance of the tourism and hospitality sector to those communities.
“With this new and exciting approach, we will continue to support our partners and the industry, to promote the alignment of communities to this key economic driver for Pembrokeshire, and the further opportunities this now presents.”

The Chairman of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Councillor Paul Harries said: “We are very pleased to support the creation of the new organisation aimed at improving the county’s tourism offering to enhance our reputation as a leading accessible and sustainable tourism destination.
“We look forward to working with partner bodies and the tourism trade to further develop work in this area.”

The new DMP will be formally launched at the Pembrokeshire Tourism Summit at Rhosygilwen on the 26th February. Contact the Pembrokeshire Tourism office on 01646 622228 to book tickets.

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Coastal car parks at beauty spots remain closed

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THE RECENT changes in regulations reinforce that movement is restricted to your local area.

This has been identified by the Welsh Government as an approximation of a five mile radius from your home.

Members of two separate households from the same local area (not travelling more than five miles) can now meet outdoors, as long as they maintain social distancing.

You should aim to meet another local household as close to your home as possible. Always take care to maintain social distancing and hand hygiene.

Pembrokeshire County Council car parks at attractions and beauty spots (including public toilets) currently remain closed so you should check before travelling.

They remain closed as a clear message that travel remains restricted, and associated tourism amenities remain closed.

A critical point for all to note is that lifeguards are not currently patrolling beaches and toilets and other facilities are not open.

Full details of the car parking facilities which remain open for the local community can be found on the Council’s website:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/emergency-planning/service-changes

Councillor Phil Baker, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure said: “The emphasis is on careful, structured unlocking, and not to put in danger any of the recovery measures that relate to public health and not to undo the safeguarding that lockdown has delivered.

“We will continue to review and monitor this carefully and take cautious, measured steps only to provide the benefits of the eased regulations without putting our residents at risk.”

Motorists are reminded not to contravene parking restrictions – such as yellow lines – where they exist as parking enforcement is still being undertaken.

As with other service areas, car parks will be reviewed in line with current advice.

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Pembrokeshire County Council Leaders coronavirus update

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PEMBROKESHIRE County Council Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further coronavirus update for Tuesday, 2nd June, as follows:

‘I want to thank everyone for the continued support to myself, Elected Members and officers of the Authority.

‘We have all experienced many challenges over the years but this continued struggle is very testing for all. We continue collectively to work together to ensure we, in Pembrokeshire, remain safe and avoid catching Covid-19

‘It is clear that we still have to remain “local”. There is no remit for travelling outside our local community. You will have read and heard clear guidance on only travelling five miles from home.

‘As always and where you can, please exercise from your home. The more we can do to reduce the spread of the virus, the better we will all fare in the long term.

‘I want to highlight that today marks the 50 th anniversary of the collapse of the Cleddau Bridge. This was indeed a tragedy as lives were lost and it is a sad chapter in Pembrokeshire’s history.

‘As in any incident, people can, and do, rebuild and also learn lessons. After Covid-19 the new “normality” will look different from what we were used to. But we will all move forward and regain Confidence.

‘I’m sure, like you, I question how I should be tackling this issue. Should I be doing more? The answer is simple and direct – we need to ensure social distancing is maintained; wash our hands regularly and listen to the advice given by experts.

‘Remember: ‘Stay Strong and Stay Local.’

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‘Check in, Catch up and Prepare’ All school’s in Wales prepare to enter next phase

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ALL children will have the opportunity to “Check in, Catch Up, Prepare for summer and September”, the Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced today as she published details of the next phase for schools in Wales.

It is proposed that all schools will start the next phase on 29 June, with the term extended by a week, therefore ending on 27 July.

In the next academic year, beginning in September, the intention is that the autumn half-term break will be expanded to two weeks.

In each school there will be a phased approach. Year groups will be split into cohorts with staggered starts, lessons and breaks. It is expected that this will mean, at most, a third of pupils present at any one time, though schools may need time to reach this level of operation.

There will be much smaller classes, providing secure dedicated time with teachers and classmates. This time will include online and personalised classroom experience, getting children and teachers ready for a similar experience in September.

Next week, the Welsh Government will publish guidance to support schools, as well as further and higher education institutions. This will include information on managing their facilities and logistical arrangements, including buildings, resources, cleaning and transport.

The Government is also today publishing a paper from its COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group, representing the latest understanding of the virus with respect to children and education.

Further Education colleges are ensuring that appropriate measures are being taken to re-open for face-to-face learning from 15 June. They will prioritise those students requiring licence to practice assessments and vulnerable learners. This follows close working with Government and the joint trade unions.

Guidance for childcare providers will also be published in the next week, supporting them to increase the numbers of children in attendance alongside schools.

Kirsty Williams said:

“My announcement today gives schools three and a half weeks to continue preparing for the next phase.

“We will use the last weeks of the summer term to make sure pupils, staff and parents are prepared – mentally, emotionally and practically – for the new normal in September.

“29 June means there will have been one full month of test, trace and protect, which will continue to expand. I can also announce that teachers will be a priority group in our new antibody-testing programme. As we continue to keep Wales safe, this approach will be critical.

“The evolving science suggests that warm weather and sunlight gives us the best opportunity to ensure more time in school. Waiting until September would mean almost half a year without schooling. That would be to the detriment to the wellbeing, learning progress and mental health of our young people.

“This is and has been a worrying period for us all. I know that many will feel apprehensive. We have not rushed this work and this decision.

“The three and a half week period before the next phase also gives us time to keep watch on developments elsewhere and provides further check-points to review evidence and the roll-out of testing.

“This is the best practical option that meets my five principles which underpin my decision making.

“I am also convinced that it is only by returning to their own school that we will see increased attendance from our more vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

“Working together we will secure equity and excellence for pupils as they check in, catch up, and prepare for summer and September.”

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