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Call to be respectful in the countryside

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WITH further reductions of lockdown restrictions expected over coming weeks, those planning to get out and enjoy Pembrokeshire are being asked to be respectful to the countryside.

Pembrokeshire has some of the most stunning countryside and coastline in Wales and is easily explored by the Coastal Path or the network of inland paths that crisscross the county.

At this time of year it is particularly beautiful. The hedgerows and coastal slopes are bursting with flowers and birds and wildlife are in abundance.

However, the countryside is also a busy, working place. Crops are growing and livestock are out in the fields.

You may see Pembrokeshire potatoes being harvested along with silage and hay being made ready for winter.

Please be aware when using Rights of Way in the countryside that you are crossing private land.

Whilst most of the paths are open some may still have advisory signs on them. There will be good reasons for this and we request that you respect landowners’ privacy and business.

During normal times routes are normally unrestricted, but at present there are some routes that aren’t available.

Therefore please follow and observe any signs you may come across.

Please be courteous and take particular care where the route passes through the curtilage of private residences or through working farm yards.

Be considerate and try to use an alternative waymarked route where possible.

The countryside is a working environment and visitors need to be aware of the following:

• Follow any diversion signs provided by landowner.

• Keep a safe distance from other people and use wide areas to pass each other safely.

• Respect landowners as they may be self-isolating or have vulnerable people living with them.

• Ensure dogs are kept on a short lead, but beware of livestock as they may chase your dog.

• Do not let your dog come into contact with other dogs or livestock.

• Clean up after your dog – do not leave dog fouling bags behind, please take your bags home with you.

• Keep to the line of the path, do not allow your dog to run free through crops or chase livestock.

• Ensure gates are not left open allowing livestock to escape

• Respect the property and business you are passing through.

• Keep away from livestock and watch out for farm machinery.

• As part of good personal hygiene always wash your hands after visiting the countryside, take your litter and any used masks or gloves home with you so you can dispose of them safely.

Please respect and look after each other and safely enjoy beautiful Pembrokeshire.

Rights of Way issues can be reported to either Pembrokeshire County Council or the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

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A4076 reopens following accident where everyone ‘miraculously walked away’

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THERE was a road traffic accident in icy and snowy conditions on the A4076 Dredgemans Hill on Sunday afternoon.

Emergency services were called to the scene at around 1.30pm to an accident involving a number of vehicles.

A number of readers sent photos in to the Herald.

The road re-opened at 3pm after a brief closure.

A witness said: “It was a miracle but we have all walked away from this.”

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News

Welsh Conservatives appoint new Senedd Leader

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IT HAS been announced that Andrew RT Davies MS has been appointed as the new Leader of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Welsh Parliament.

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “Becoming leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd once again is a great honour and privilege, and I’m pleased to enjoy the unanimous support of my colleagues to take us forward after a difficult few days for us all.

“On behalf of the Group I want to pay tribute to Paul Davies for his service as leader. Paul is not only a colleague but a trusted friend, who has served his constituents and party with distinction, and will continue to do so.

“There is urgent work in front of all of us and our immediate focus will be continuing to hold the Labour administration in the Senedd to account on vital issues such as the vaccine rollout, and fighting May’s election alongside our excellent slate of candidates and dedicated volunteers.

“We are in a moment like no other, and the COVID-19 pandemic has sadly only served to shine a spotlight on the challenges in people’s everyday lives; challenges that have been made all the harder by twenty of Welsh Labour Government failure.

“From our fragile economy to ever increasing NHS waiting lists, people in Wales have been badly let down by successive Labour administrations. Let me be clear; devolution isn’t the issue, it is the socialists in the Labour Party, and Wales deserves better.

“In just over 100 days, the Welsh public will head to the ballot box to decide on the future they want for our country and in the coming weeks and months the Welsh Conservatives will put forward a positive plan to get Wales moving again and build back our country better than ever.

“This will be in tough election during a tough time for our country and whereas other parties want to use this period to divide and separate, we’ll seek to unite our country and deliver a strong voice for Wales, in a strong United Kingdom.”

Chairman of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Senedd, Janet Finch-Saunders MS said: “Following a meeting of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Senedd this morning, I’m pleased to confirm that Andrew RT Davies has been endorsed unanimously as our new leader in the Senedd.

“As Chairman of the Group, I want to say thank you to Paul Davies for his immense efforts in the post since 2018. Paul played a key role in our record-breaking General Election in 2019, whilst setting the groundwork ahead of May’s Senedd election.

“Our attention now turns to May and taking the fight to the Labour Party.”

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Health

Health Board makes vaccination U-turn after queue-jumping complaints

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HYWEL DDA UHB today (Jan 23) announced a U-turn on its vaccination policy and will stick to the national priority scheme.

The move came after allegations it allowed Pembrokeshire County Council employees and other non-front-line workers to jump the queue for inoculations against Covid-19.
While surgeries in Pembrokeshire are still waiting for vaccines to inoculate its most eligible patients, the Health Board’s approach to delivering vaccinations breached Government guidance.

Yesterday (Friday, Jan 22), Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda University Health Board told The Herald: “The decision was made this week to extend the vaccine invitation to staff groups critical to the COVID response, without which we would not be able to run essential COVID response services.

“Many of these staff are currently redeployed from the frontline and patient-facing roles and employed by the health board, social care services, independent or third sector care services and fall within the JCVI’s priority group 2.”

The Welsh Government’s strategy is to inoculate frontline staff and then Over 80s. People in those categories are JCVI Priority Group 1.

However, this afternoon the Health Board issued the following statement: “In the past week, after offering frontline staff the opportunity to book vaccination, we expanded our eligibility criteria.

“We have reviewed the guidance and will now not be able to offer or vaccinate this group of staff currently. This is because it is increasingly difficult to draw the line around which staff should be included in this group and because we risk vaccinating before they are eligible.
“We must stay within the JCVI guidance which permits us only to vaccinate frontline health and social care staff, to protect patients and service users, at this point.
“We know that many other groups who are not part of the health and social care workforce are also critical to the wider COVID response and therefore it would be inequitable.
“We are so grateful to all key workers. We have throughout the pandemic continually strived to do the best for our staff and population, and we apologise for any confusion there has been around this issue over the past few days.”

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