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Message stays the same: Please do not visit Pembrokeshire this bank holiday weekend

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With another Bank Holiday weekend on the horizon, visitors and
second home owners are again being urged not to travel to
Pembrokeshire during the current lockdown.

“We are extremely grateful to the vast majority of people from outside
our county who are obeying the lockdown restrictions” said
Pembrokeshire County Council’s Leader, David Simpson.

“We need that compliance and co-operation to continue over this
coming weekend when Monday the 25th is a Bank Holiday.”
“This is especially important at this time given the change of rules in
England.”

Councillor Simpson emphasised: “The message stays the same. We
will welcome our visitors back when it is safe to return.”

He stressed that journeys to holiday lets and second homes are not
classed as ‘essential travel’ and therefore constitute a breach of the
lockdown regulations.

The penalty for breaching the stay-at-home rules has recently been
increased by the Welsh Government. Details on the fine increase can
be found at: https://gov.wales/fines-increased-repeat-coronavirus-
lockdown-breaches-wales

In the lead up to the recent Easter break, the Council’s Public
Protection Division received a significant number of reports of people
arriving at various properties in the County to take up occupation –
allegedly in contravention of the restrictions.

As a result of this intelligence. a joint letter endorsed by all members
of the Dyfed-Powys Local Resilience Forum- and signed by the
Council’s Chief Executive and the Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys
Police – was sent to over 6,000 owners of second homes/holiday
properties in the County.

The letter outlined the key requirements relating to the use of the
properties.

Councillor Simson revealed that the letter had been effective as the
number of complaints over the recent May Bank Holiday was
significantly reduced.

The Authority also carried out a programme of visits to establish
whether the properties reported to the team were ‘let as part of a
business’. These visits were supported by Neighbourhood Policing
Teams.

Sixty-eight properties spread out across the county were visited with
the following results:

 thirty-six per cent of premises were found to be unoccupied

 fifty-four per cent were either the primary residence of the

occupant or they were second homes in which the owners had
taken up residence prior to the lockdown – a situation which
the regulations doesn’t prohibit

 five per cent had not sought a permit from the local authority to
accommodate key workers and other displaced individuals.

Approval was subsequently sought and the premises were
added to the list of over 60 permitted accommodation providers

 five per cent required follow up by the Public Protection
Division as there was potential occupation of a holiday
accommodation as part of a business.

Pembrokeshire County Council and Dyfed Powys Police continue to
work in partnership to protect our communities.

Council officers will continue to follow up any reliable intelligence of
‘persons renting out holiday accommodation as a business’ and will
also support police cordons that will be in place over the Bank Holiday
and are designed to stop those travelling into Pembrokeshire without
‘reasonable excuse’.

For further guidance on the position as it applies in Wales see
https://gov.wales/guidance-note-holiday-accommodation-owners-
health-protection-coronavirus-restrictions-wales

We appreciate the extreme challenges faced by many of our
businesses and would encourage those facing difficulty to visit our
web-site: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-
support for advice on financial support that you may be entitled to.

News

Garage planning appeal dismissed

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A PLANNING inspector has upheld a Pembrokeshire County Council decision to refuse planning permission for a detached garage.

The Inspector dismissed the appeal by Mr Peter Baker against the Council’s decision to refuse the proposed development at Amroth Road, Ludchurch.

Planning Inspector J P Tudor agreed that the development would cause unacceptable harm on the character and appearance of the area.

The planned garage was to be placed in front of a detached bungalow.

Other properties nearby generally have garages situated to the side or rear or integrated into the main building.

The Inspector said: “Given its size and position, the garage would appear prominent in public views along the highway and be noticeable from neighbouring properties. It would compromise the existing sense of space and openness to the front of most dwellings.

“Therefore, the development would have an adverse effect on the character an appearance of the area.”

The appeal was dismissed.

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News

New guidelines for hospital visiting during Coronavirus outbreak

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NEW revised NHS Wales hospital visiting guidance during the coronavirus outbreak will be published on Monday 30 November 2020. This supersedes previously published guidance.

The revised guidance sets out the baseline for visiting in Wales during the pandemic, but allows health boards, trusts and hospices to have more flexibility to depart from the guidance.

This flexibility is due to the changing picture of coronavirus transmission across Wales, with significant variations in community transmission across different parts of the country and differences in the rate of nosocomial transmission.

The new guidelines allow health care providers to asses local factors and work with local infection prevention and control teams and Public Health Wales when agreeing visiting arrangements.

Healthcare providers may depart from the guidance in response to:

  • rising levels of covid-19 transmission in their localities, including levels which result in a national lockdown and/or evidence of nosocomial transmission in a particular setting; or
  • falling levels of transmission in their local area.

In addition to allowing for this flexibility the revised guidance has been amended for maternity services after listening to feedback from women and families and consulting with Heads of Midwifery and Sonography/Radiography Services. Visiting in maternity services will now be based on a risk assessment approach by health boards. This will take into consideration local environmental factors such as room sizes, ability to socially distance and infection prevention and control risks in enabling partners to safely accompany pregnant women and new mothers. This risk assessed approach should be taken in collaboration with relevant health professionals, local infection prevention and control teams and Public Health Wales. All women will be supported to have at least one partner with them during active labour, birth and for the period immediately after the birth, except in an extremely limited number of circumstances.

The updated guidelines also recognise that some people may require an essential support assistant for specific additional support eg a support worker or interpreter. Essential support assistants will not to be classed as visitors, in some circumstances, where people receive care and support from a family member or partner, they may nominate this person as their essential support assistant.

Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething, said: “We recognise that the restrictions on visiting has a huge impact on patients, their families and loves ones. We have announced further changes to the guidelines today to provide health boards, trusts and hospices with flexibility to depart from the guidelines in response to local levels of Covid-19 transmission. It is important to remember that the virus has not gone away and the health, safety and wellbeing of patients, communities and NHS staff remains an absolute priority for both the Welsh Government and health care providers. Tough choices will still need to be made but we hope the revised guidelines will allow more flexibility for health care providers. ”

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Education

Ysgol y Preseli in Crymych named Welsh secondary school of the decade

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NEWS that Ysgol y Preseli in Crymych is the Sunday Times Welsh State Secondary School of the Decade has been welcomed by the local authority.

The school is named in Parent Power, the Sunday Times Schools Guide, which identifies the 2,000 highest-achieving schools in the UK, ranked by their most recently published examination results.

The news will be published in The Sunday Times and online this Sunday, November 29th.

Nick Rodrigues, the deputy editor of Parent Power, said: “This bilingual school has risen around 300 places in our rankings since 2012 and now stands 186th overall. Last summer’s results were the best we had captured. The school is consistently moving in the right direction.

“Head teacher Michael Davies and deputy head Iola Phillips are both retiring this year which makes it especially poignant that Ysgol Y Preseli wins the Welsh State Secondary School of the Decade award. It marks the end of a fantastic era of dedication by two exemplary educators and is a fitting testament to their hard work.

“Under their leadership teachers have fostered productive working relationships with their pupils ensuring they are highly motivated.

“Officials noted during its last Estyn monitoring that ‘Ysgol y Preseli is an extremely homely community with an inclusive and caring Welsh ethos’ and emphasised teachers’ conscientious aim to support every pupil, making clear why this school is the perfect recipient for our Welsh State Secondary School of the Decade award.”

Cllr Guy Woodham, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear that Ysgol Preseli has been awarded Welsh State Secondary School of the Decade.

“This is a fantastic achievement and recognises the hard work and dedication of the whole Preseli education community. It is particularly poignant and timely that this comes as the Head and Deputy Head retire. My thanks and congratulations to all who have contributed to this award.”

Head teacher Michael Davies said it was fantastic news for everyone associated with Ysgol Y Preseli.

“To be ranked the top Welsh State Secondary School of the Decade is an incredible achievement,” she said.

“This is the culmination of ten years of hard work and I would like to dedicate the award to all the team at Ysgol Y Preseli, governors, senior management, staff, pupils, parents and the Pembrokeshire community.”

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