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Pembrokeshire County Council: Leader’s update on coronavirus

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FURTHER to the Leader’s announcement at the Cabinet meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council on Monday, 9th March, the Authority’s Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further update:

“As you will no doubt be aware, the Government yesterday announced that the country has now moved into the ‘delay’ phase of the response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and as a consequence has brought in a number of additional control measures.

“I firstly want to emphasise something that the Prime Minster announced yesterday. Importantly, it is now requested that anyone who develops a temperature or new continuous cough to self-isolate for seven days regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas.

“The advice is that in such circumstances people do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation but, if their symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days, they should contact NHS 111 online at: 111.nhs.uk

“I reassured you on Monday that our services will continue. I want to provide you some feedback as to what we are doing.

“The management and organisation of the response is being co-ordinated through our senior officers with a number of planning cells established to co-ordinate the Council’s work.

“Each is led by a senior member of staff and addresses:

• the impact on our community. Vulnerable people are potentially a major concern. Plans and actions are being reviewed and put in place to address this
• the huge concerns which exist about the local economy, employment, poverty impacts, support to businesses, and the like. We are also in the process of putting in place advice and providing signposting for matters such as announcements in the March Budget, Public Health Wales advice and links, and advice services from the Council

• a review of plans to deal with this difficult situation so that services can continue to function with as little disruption as possible. We are looking at which of our services are critical. The plans that are already in place are being fine-tuned towards this specific issue.
• the collection and analysis of data, statistics. We are looking ahead as much as possible to ensure we have as complete a picture as possible of the situation not only in Pembrokeshire but nationally.
• a review of operational arrangements covering matters such as cleaning management, care support etc.
• updating media and communications. This includes sharing information, signposting people to advice, and dealing with enquiries we are receiving.

“Some of the tangible things we have already done include:

• posting advice on the Coronavirus on the main Pembrokeshire County Council website and our social pages with links to Public Health Wales; advice on the Coronavirus for places of education and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance
• issuing Human Resources guidance to internal staff
• signing off communication guidance for Social Services. This covers communications, reporting requirements, finance and payments and infection control and personal protection equipment
• offering advice to schools and governing bodies.

“This is a fast-moving situation and is unprecedented. A further important message from the Government yesterday was that, given now the need for people to self-isolate if they develop symptoms, this will have a huge impact on our community.

“We are doing all we can, working with our key partners such as the Health Board, to put in place planned measures to support our community.

“But it is also important that we work together and start to consider what we can do to help the more vulnerable people in our community. We are also developing community help initiatives for the coming weeks and this also forms part of our planning work.

“I also want to thank the work of Council staff, our partners and all those involved in helping to develop these plans and solutions to the difficult situation that exists.

“I want to close by continuing to reassure you that the detailed planning arrangements mentioned above are well underway and, that by working together, we can ensure that the County Council and Pembrokeshire are as well placed as possible for whatever challenges we may face.”

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Campers from Cardiff sent packing

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PEMBROKESHIRE Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) have this morning, June 5, reported nine individuals for breaching coronavirus regulations.

The occupants of the three vehicles, all from the Cardiff area, had moved barriers that had been in place to close off the carpark to the public and set up camp for the night.

A Pembrokeshire RPU spokesperson said ‘Three vehicles from the Cardiff area located at Abereiddy this morning.

“The occupants of the vehicles, who’d travelled down overnight, had moved the barriers that had been used to close the car park. Having done so they then set up camp nearby.

“All nine persons present were reported for breaching coronavirus regulations. One was further dealt with by means of an out of court disposal for possession of cannabis.

“Rubbish cleaned up, car park closure reinstated, vehicles escorted out of Pembs.”

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Police urge visitors to ‘check the rules’

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POLICE in Powys are reminding people to check the rules before they travel, as tourists from the Midlands, London and Bristol continue to visit despite lockdown restrictions.

Last weekend more than 1,000 cars were turned around by police in the Brecon Beacons after visitors attempted to access the area around Ystradfellte known as ‘waterfall country’.

Many of those stopped claimed they thought the rules around travel were the same as in England, while others had deliberately flouted them.

Seventy-two per cent of people reported for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in Powys since March 27 have been from outside the police force area.

“I would like to thank the communities of Powys for their cooperation in recent months in complying with requirements of the Covid 19 legislation and also reassure them we are still working hard with our partners to police the restrictions that remain in place across Wales,” said Superintendent Steve Davies.

“Our officers have worked hard to engage with the public at every opportunity throughout these unprecedented times by explaining what we are doing and why, and encouraging people to make the best choices to protect public health in Wales.

“But where people have clearly flouted the rules we have dealt with them appropriately and issued fines.”

He said officers will continue to conduct stop checks throughout Powys and across the force area this weekend.

In England, people can now travel an unlimited distance for exercise and to access so-called ‘beauty spots’.

But the Welsh Government has said people must remain local – ideally not travelling further than five miles from their home – for exercise or limited leisure pursuits, and this also applies to anyone travelling across the border.

Wales’ three national parks – which include popular sites such as Snowdon, the Elan valley and the Pembrokeshire coast – currently remain closed to the public, as do all National Trust car parks and properties.

The latest Welsh Government advice is available at gov.wales/coronavirus.

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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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