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Welsh Government considering tourism announcement for July

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PEMBROKESHIRE’s tourism businesses, so badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, were given a small measure of hope for the summer season on Wednesday (June 10).

Tourism in Wales is collectively responsible for over £6.2Billion to Welsh GDP and over 172,000 jobs.
During the Welsh Government’s daily media briefing, Minister for the Economy Ken Skates cautiously pencilled-in July 9 as the date when the Welsh Government could announce the easing of lockdown restrictions for tourism in Wales.

He did so after reminding the public the five-mile limit on travel could be tailored to local needs. For example, if the nearest supermarket is ten miles away, ten miles is ‘local to you’.

Addressing a question from ITV Wales’ Adrian Masters, Ken Skates referred to the consistent approach of the Welsh Government to easing lockdown restrictions and highlighted the perils of making policy ‘on the hoof’ in the way the Westminster Government did over schools’ reopening.

He said that non-essential retail should have taken a hint on timelines from the last restriction review, which gave a date at which non-essential retail restrictions could be eased.

Mr Skates said the important factor was that the public needed confidence that it was safe to reopen tourist attractions so, when the time came, the public would be ready to go to them.

A subsequent question from Paul Martin from BBC Wales picked up the Minister’s words on tourist attractions and asked when restrictions on travel might be lifted.

Mr Skates responded: “As we look to reopen the tourism sector, we will have to review our current guidance. We must not ruin the prospects of the visitor economy for 2021 by prematurely opening up the economy in the summer of 2020. We have a regular rhythm of reviews.

“The next review point is on June 18 and the date of the next on July 9. In other parts of the UK, the dates being considered for reopening the tourism sector on July 4; in Northern Ireland, the date under consideration is July 20. There is no significant difference between us, other devolved governments, and the UK Government on the timing of reopening some parts of the tourism and hospitality sector. Our review dates are fixed and we hope to have positive news for that sector.”

Later the same afternoon, Conservative leader Paul Davies raised tourism with First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Referring to Mr Drakeford’s weekend comments which warned that Wales would remain closed to visitors until the Welsh Government’s scientific advisors approved a change in approach, Mr Davies said: “Your comments were met with some anger and frustration by some tourism operators across the country, who, understandably, fear that this could lead to the collapse of the Welsh tourism sector.”

Mr Davies spelt out his and his party’s understanding that public health concerns remained paramount, and asked: “Will you and your Government take the opportunity today to spell out exactly what the Welsh Government’s current plans are for the tourism industry here in Wales? And can you also tell us what discussions you’ve had with representatives of the tourism industry to ascertain how your Government can better support them throughout this pandemic? And will you commit to providing further support to tourism operators across Wales until they can reopen, to ensure their viability for the future?”

Mr Drakeford responded: “The future of the tourism industry is very much in my thoughts and in the work that we do within the Welsh Government. I absolutely appreciate what an enormous impact the virus has had on that sector here in Wales.”
He continued: “There are some ways in which we might yet be able to resume some tourism activity during the current season, but it will have to be, as Paul Davies has rightly said, with safety at the forefront of our thinking. We have very regular contact with tourism organisations and interests in Wales.
“I had a meeting only yesterday with the Minister responsible (Dafydd Elis Thomas), with senior officials here, reporting on those conversations and thinking ahead to what we might be able to offer in terms of lifting the lockdown.
“If it is possible, then, beginning with self-contained accommodation, where people are not sharing kitchens and toilets and showers and so on, seems to be a sensible and safe way of thinking about how we can resume activity in the tourism industry.”
In a debate on economic recovery later in the same session, Ken Skates said the Welsh Government’s message to tourism businesses – and all businesses – was clear: “You’ll be able to plan for reopening, where we believe that it can be carried out safely and that those physical adaptations that are required for a business to reopen, or an attraction to reopen, can be implemented in a timely fashion.”

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Angle Lifeboat tasked to disabled yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head

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Image Credit - RNLI Penny Harris

ANGLE LIFEBOAT and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

Angle Lifeboat and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

The lifeboat was launched at 10:43pm to a 26ft yacht that had reported smoke coming from their engine compartment. The casualty vessel was 22 miles south west of St Ann’s with two crew onboard.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 11:46pm. The on scene assessment was carried out and both crew were safe and well but the vessel would need to be towed to Milford Haven. The tow was set up and the casualty vessel was under tow at 11:56pm.

The conditions were perfect for the slow tow back which saw a beautiful moon rising and the early glow of dawn.

Lifeboat arrived at Milford and swapped the casualty vessel to an alongside tow to take it alongside in to the lock at Milford Marina where the casualty was safely tied up at 04:49am.

The lifeboat rehoused at 05:15am where she got her well deserved washdown and the crew headed home to get some sleep.

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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor

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A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police

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POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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