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Don’t come to Pembrokeshire

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AS THE Bank Holiday weekend approaches, visitors and second home-owners are being urged to continue to stay away from Pembrokeshire.

The message from the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership is that the County will still be here once the crisis is over.

Confusion has been caused by the difference between the advice given by senior police officers in England on permitted travel for leisure and Welsh Government rules. The Welsh Government has kept the lockdown tighter in Wales to delay and suppress the spread of COVID-19 into Wales’ popular tourist areas, overwhelmingly situated in rural West and North Wales. So far, that strategy has largely proven successful; however, growing discontent at the lockdown’s restrictions in England could – it is feared – cause a spike in travel over the delayed Bank Holiday weekend.

The UK broadcast and print media’s reporting of a projected relaxation of the lockdown in England could also lead to an influx of travellers to Wales. Some English right-wing tabloids have stoked expectations, while misinformation on social media and a few crackpots appear determined to push the limits.

“Pembrokeshire is a beautiful place and when the time is right, we will welcome you. But that time is not now,” said Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council.

“My thanks go to all those who have observed the restrictions and stayed at home so far.”

The Chairman of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Cllr Paul Harries, added: “Pembrokeshire has earned its reputation as one of the UK’s leading tourist destinations, so it doesn’t come naturally to ask visitors to stay away.
“However, protecting our rural communities is our priority right now and this can only be achieved by adhering to Government guidelines.

“We are urging people to remain patient, to stay at your primary home and only visit when the time is right.”
Jane Rees-Baynes, Chair of Pembrokeshire Tourism, said there was still ‘a lot of concern within the sector that people will be tempted to visit our beautiful area despite it being unlawful to do so’.

“We urge you in the strongest possible terms not to travel to Pembrokeshire this bank holiday,” she said.
“We will be here ready and waiting to welcome you back when the restrictions have been lifted and it is safe to return.”

Together with Dyfed Powys Police, Pembrokeshire County Council has written to some 6,000 owners of holiday homes (including second homes and holiday lets) at their primary address, urging them to remain where they are.

“The single most important action to stop the infection spreading, to reduce the pressure on our stretched emergency services and ultimately to save lives is for everyone to stay at home,” reads the letter, signed by Chief Executive Ian Westley and Chief Constable Mark Collins and supported by Dyfed Powys Local Resilience Forum.

It adds: “The response from both the public and businesses has on the whole been exceptional, with the majority of people acting in the interests of our communities, notwithstanding the extreme challenges that this can present. We are therefore grateful for the commitment and sacrifices made.

“However, over the period that the ‘lockdown measures’ have been in force, we have received reports of people arriving at various properties in the County to take up occupation – allegedly in contravention of the restrictions. If correct, this risks compromising the disease control measures and puts lives at risk.”

Iwan Thomas, Chief Executive of PLANED, added: “Our communities across Pembrokeshire have respected and worked within the lockdown guidelines. However, there is a growing nervousness of potential visitors from elsewhere at this current time, who could expose our population to external risks which would be unfair and unwelcome during the lockdown.
“We need to prioritise the protection and safeguarding of our communities at this time, and then welcome visitors again, only when it is safe to do so.”
The Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership is made up of Pembrokeshire County Council, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Pembrokeshire Tourism and PLANED.

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Flo Evans: Was Cooper responsible?

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‘THE PEMBROKESHIRE MURDERS’ has brought the crimes of local man, John Cooper, back to the forefront of our minds.
A notorious and brutal man, his crime spree, which could have started as early as 1961, would go on to leave 4 people dead, 30 homes burgled and 2 serious sexual assaults.

But now many local people worry that Cooper, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2011, may have been responsible for more.

This weeks ‘The Pembrokeshire Herald’ printed edition takes an in-depth look at 2 mysterious deaths in Llangolman, but there’s another death far closer to Cooper’s former stomping ground that the family believe could be connected to ‘The Bullseye Killer’.

At the time of her death in 1989, the same year that the Dixon’s met their grisly demise on the coastal path near Little Haven, frail 77 year old Flo Evans lived in Jordanston, a stones throw from Cooper’s house and well within his patch, in fact Mrs. Evans was mentioned by Cooper during police interviews.
It was later revealed that both John and Pat would visit Flo and John would do odd-jobs around her home.
Flo, it’s believed, liked the couple so much that she tried to help them secure land nearby for a small-holding.

Days after telling her friends that she was unable to find her house keys, Flo Evans was found dead in her bathtub, fully clothed.

Mrs. Evans death was, at the time, believed to be the result of her slipping and banging her head before falling into the bath and drowning.
Flo’s family never believed that version of events, talking to The Sun, Flo’s great-niece Rena Murphy said: “Aunt Flo was very set in her ways, she did things in a particular fashion.
“But the way she was found fully clothed in a cold bath and with no money in the house . . . we knew it was suspicious.”

Flo’s niece, Jean, said “Cooper knew my aunt. He visited her regularly and would have known there was always money in her handbag and more hidden upstairs.
“He lived across the fields from her and that fits with the way he approached his other victims.

“We could never understand why Aunt Flo was found dead in the bath with all her clothes on.
“She always lit a fire in the kitchen to heat the water before taking a bath and that fire wasn’t lit.”
“Money was missing, she didn’t have her false teeth in, the TV wasn’t switched off properly and the front door was open.”
Jean went on: “Hopefully, the police will now reopen the case. It would give us some closure.”

Rena finished by saying: “Even if they never charge him, we will still have the satisfaction of knowing he is locked up for good.”

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Puppies and ‘large quantity’ of alcohol stolen from Bramble Hall Farm

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DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of four puppies and a large quantity of alcohol from Bramble Hall Farm, Pembroke Dock, at approximately 5pm on Sunday, January 10.

It is understood that one of the puppies, believed to be blind, was found wandering in Monkton and has been recovered.

A source close to the farm said they believed that the culprit or culprits may have driven to the farm in a retired local taxi.

Anyone with information about the theft or knows the whereabouts of the dogs please contact PC 773 quoting reference DPP/0053/10/01/2021/01/C.

This can be done online at: http://orlo.uk/0GKuU, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

(Photo: Police at Bramble Hall Farm as part of a previous investigation into animal welfare. Herald photographer)

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Business grants: Find answers to frequently asked questions

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A SERIES of frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to Covid-19 business grants has been put together by Pembrokeshire County Council.

It is hoped the FAQs will answer many of the queries being received from local businesses.

Understandably, given the number of different grants schemes that have been announced by the Welsh Government over the last year there have been a lot of questions about which grant to apply for, how the money will be distributed, anticipated timescales for payments etc.

The current grants being processed are the Restrictions Grants. The Firebreak grants have now closed.

One of the most frequent questions received is about the automatic payments of the Non Domestic Rates related grant.

The FAQs explain that where possible automatic payments for the Restrictions Grant were made at the end of December and start of January.

All automatic payments have now been processed.

If you have not received an automatic payment relating to the Non Domestic Rates grant then you will need to apply.

The Council has a dedicated team working hard to process the grants to ensure that the money reaches Pembrokeshire businesses as soon as possible.

The FAQs can be found here https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support under the Restrictions Business Fund heading.

Further information on business grants and how to apply can be found via the same link.

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