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Welsh countrysides and beaches to reopen as five mile restriction is lifted

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Barafundle beach

FIRST MINISTER Mark Drakeford has lifted the five mile travel restriction in Wales as of today (Mon Jul 6).

Prior to the easing, residents in Wales were unable to travel more than five miles from their homes with the ‘stay local’ restriction still in force.

The easing of the restriction will see Wales welcome back visitors to its beaches and countryside for the first time in over three months.

The new measures are said to “pave the way” for the tourism sector, which will begin to re-open from July 11, but Mr Drakeford has made it clear this will only happen “if conditions allow”.

The First Minister has urged those intending to visit beaches, countrysides and beauty hotspots to do so safely – by protecting others, protecting the environment, and following the social distancing rules.

Saturday (July 4) saw the re-opening of pubs, restaurants and cafes open in outdoor spaces in England.

The Welsh Government has set a date of July 13 for the re-opening of pubs, restaurants and cafes outdoors in Wales, this will only go ahead providing there is no spike in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

As the five-mile travel restriction is lifted in Wales, Pembrokeshire County Council has moved to reassure the local community and visitors that it will continue to work hard to inform and support them.

“Our communities will start to welcome visitors this week,” said Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council. “Although the public have a huge responsibility to act responsibly – as consistently stressed by senior politicians both in Westminster and the Senedd – we as a local authority also have an important role to play.

“We are working closely with partners behind the scenes to make sure that we have procedures and measures in place to ensure the unlocking process is as safe as possible.”

Among the measures are a specific team being brought together by the Council and key partners to coordinate intelligence and information to monitor and manage any day to day issues, using data from the tourism sector, traffic measurements, and various teams on the ground.

Other measures include the production of a promotional film by Visit Pembrokeshire to welcome back tourists – with useful information on the concerns faced by local residents and constructive suggestions of what visitors can do to help.

“The Welsh Government’s Stay Local rule was kept in place to help every part of Wales manage the spread of the virus and properly welcome back visitors safely,” said Cllr Simpson.

“Visitors are an important part of our economy and so it’s important that local communities are welcoming towards them as we safely open up more of the visitor and tourism economy.”

Other measures include the use of electronic road signs (including the ones approaching Pembrokeshire and those in the County) to provide useful and relevant information to anyone travelling. Electronic signage in bus stops will also be used and extra signs are being considered.

A street trading arrangement has already been put in place to support café culture once restrictions ease, and an operational document has been produced to inform the local authority’s work for reopening the public realm – including facilities like car parks and public toilets.

Highways improvements are being considered including the potential re-allocation of road spaces, thanks to grant funding from the Welsh Government for sustainable transport solutions in response to Covid-19. The Council has worked up proposals for reallocation of road space in a few key towns which it will be sharing with communities as soon as possible.

The NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service is also well underway across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion to track the virus and give extra protection to communities.

Cllr Simpson said it was vital to remember that coronavirus has not gone away, despite some restrictions being eased by Welsh Government. “It continues to be as important as ever to maintain social distancing, keep washing your hands regularly, and to self-isolate if you or someone in your household has symptoms,” he said.

“Pembrokeshire and the rest of Wales is safely and gradually reopening. Together, we’ve made some great progress. But we’re still not back to normal and there are still risks. It’s important that we respect each other, our communities, and the local environment.”

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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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