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The public currently has ‘no appetite to return to our auditoriums’ says theatre

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THE TORCH THEATRE in Milford Haven will remain closed until at least the end of October, it has been confirmed.

Ben Lloyd, Executive Director, on behalf of the Torch Theatre made the announcement in a press statement this week, made on behalf of the venue’s Senior Management Team.

Amongst ‘several reasons’ as to why the theatre will remain closed for so long was a consultation with audiences, which suggests that people are not yet ready to return to venues.

The statement reads: “Consultation with audiences suggests that there is no appetite to return to our auditoriums whilst there is so much uncertainty over the reproduction rate of Covid-19.

To open any part of our operation without an audience is not economically viable and would quickly lead to redundancies.
“Film distributors are unable to confirm release dates and producers of live shows are cancelling and rescheduling tours to ensure that their businesses remain viable. As such we are unable to deliver a theatre programme.

Ben Lloyd added: “We take our civic responsibilities seriously and do not believe that it would serve our audiences, staff, volunteers or artists well to rush in to opening before we can reassure them that the Torch is a safe place to return to.”

He further stated: “The need to undertake essential maintenance and remedial works on the fly tower renders an immediate opening impractical – with these factors in mind, we have made some difficult decisions on how we will operate from November 1, 2020”

“The past months in lockdown, although incredibly demanding for all involved, have given us an opportunity to plan, to seek emergency support through grants and funding, and to give back to our community. As a not-for-profit registered charity, we have been fighting to survive through this difficult period. We have been successful in applications to the BFI, Film Hub Wales and the National Lottery Resilience Fund, the Arts Council Wales Stabilisation Fund, as well as being eligible for two Welsh Government Business Rates Grants.

“This crucial support has given us the security to plan essential maintenance, maintain audience and community engagement, and develop new modes of working in view of Covid-19, without drawing on our precious extremely limited reserves. Nevertheless, whilst this support has allowed us to take the vital first steps toward recovery, it does not provide the solutions to the longer-term challenge of surviving the Covid-19 crisis.

Speaking of the damage suffered to the building during the winter, Mr Lloyd said: “We have recently received the hugely significant news that funding has been secured to repair our fly tower which was damaged in the February storms. This essential support will come from both Pembrokeshire County Council’s Enhancing Pembrokeshire Fund and Arts Council Wales who will each cover a proportion of the costs of repairs following the settlement of our insurance claim, and we thank them for their backing at this crucial moment. We hope to undertake these remedial works through August and into September this year, weather depending.”

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Johnston: Police appeal after boy on scooter injured in collision

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POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a collision in Johnston, near Haverfordwest, on Wednesday (Aug 5).

A boy on a scooter sustained minor injuries during the collision, which took place at around 4.20pm.

A red 4×4 is also believed to have been involved.

Anyone who was in the area of the St Peters Road pelican crossing, or nearby Langford road, and either witnessed the collision or who has CCTV that covers this area is asked to get in touch with Dyfed-Powys Police

As spokesman said: “You can telephone 101 or email contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired you can text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Please quote Dyfed-Powys Police Ref DP-20200805-249.”

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Police ask communities to stay alert to prevent raves this weekend

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Police are asking communities to stay alert to prevent raves this weekend.

As we head into the weekend, police are urging members of the public in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire to help them prevent illegal raves from setting up in their communities.

A police operation, called #OpFlamenco, is urging people living in rural communities, including farmers and landowners, to report anything suspicious to Dyfed-Powys Police.

The information will help police respond swiftly as illegal raves arise and hopefully prevent them from happening or at the very least allow police to respond before they become established.

Superintendent Jon Cummins, Head of Specialist Operations for Dyfed-Powys Police, said:

“We know raves can cause anxiety to the community they are held in, and if not dealt with swiftly are difficult to stop due to the sheer numbers of people involved. There is also a safety concern involved in breaking-up such events. And as we’re currently faced with the pandemic, it is absolutely crucial that these types of gatherings do not take place.

“As a force, action is taken as soon as we gather any intelligence of an event being planned. We will continue to respond swiftly to reports of illegal gatherings, and where appropriate will prosecute those responsible in order to protect our communities. Officers will also be conducting proactive patrols of areas identified as possible sites for these types of gatherings.

“However, these types of illegal events are carefully co-ordinated to avoid police attention, and organisers will always try to find new ways to avoid being found out.

“We rely on the support of communities to report any suspicious activity immediately, so action can be taken to disrupt illegal gatherings swiftly. And there has never been a more important time for us all to look out for each other, and report anything that seems suspicious.

“I would encourage farmers, landowners and local communities to report anything they feel is suspicious or out of the ordinary either online at: http://bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, or by email at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101.”

Know the signs:

Unusual numbers of vehicles, especially camper vans, vans or trucks, seen in the locality.
Illegal trespassers may recce sites in advance of any rave

People may approach landowners and ask around for land, in the guise of hiring it for acceptable activities such as gymkhanas or scout camps.

If you suspect anyone who approaches you for land hire might not be who they say they are, please do not hesitate to contact police.

Social networks make it easier for organisers to spread the word – rave attendance numbers can grow hugely in short spaces of time, and locations can change quickly.

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Haverfordwest: Appeal for information following incident at Morrisons

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POLICE are investigating a shoplifting and assault allegation which occurred at approximately 3.20pm on Saturday (Aug 1) at Morrisons, Haverfordwest.

A teenage male was involved in an altercation with the store security guard after he and two older people, a male and a female, were stopped for the purpose of checking receipts as they exited the store.

All three had left the store before police arrival.

Police said: “There were a number of customers of the store who may have witnessed the incident.

“Anyone with information which could help the investigation is asked contact police.”

“Police can be contacted at contactcentre@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.”

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