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Rumours resurface that Penally Camp could be turned into a camp for immigrants

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RUMOURS have circulated on social media, suggesting that Penally Camp near Tenby is being adapted from its current use with the military into an immigrant camp.

There was talk in 2016 about the proposed change, with the Home Office in London saying they had considered the move, but had not made any decision.

The UK Government said, four years ago, that no decision had been made as to the future of the site, and things went quiet.

But on Sunday afternoon (Sept 13), a widely shared post on Facebook group ‘Wales for a United Kingdom’ stated that the camp will be used as a ‘transit camp for illegal immigrants arriving in the UK’, but the post does not cite any source for its claims.

The post, which has been seen by several thousand people, then blames Plaid Cymru for the plans stating: “The reason Plaid Cymru are so unpopular in Wales is because they plan to turn Wales in to the world’s largest refugee sanctuary…”

This statement obviously has no basis, as any decision regarding the future of the camp would be taken in London, not Wales.

Penally county councillor Jon Preston issued the following statement on social media shortly after the post went up. Cllr Preston said: “Many of you will quite understandably be concerned with information that is being shared by some that suggests Penally Training Camp is to be used to accommodate asylum seekers.

“I am told that a ‘scoping exercise’ has been carried out by the home office and that no decision has yet been made.

“I have written to the Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart MP to seek clarification on the matter and how he intends to make representation for the people of South Pembrokeshire. I have also contacted the First Minister Mark Drakeford and I await their responses.

“I understand that a statement on behalf of the Home Office will be made shortly. In the meantime, please be assured that I remain resolute in protecting the best interests of the people I represent. I will also actively seek more suitable solutions to accommodate those who are in genuine need,”

In 2016 a Welsh Government spokesperson told the press: “Decisions regarding the dispersal of asylum seekers are the responsibility of the Home Office; immigration is not devolved to the Welsh government.

“The Home Office has informed us no decisions have been taken on the future use of this site.”

In 2016 the UK government said the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had been “advised on the possibility of providing temporary accommodation for asylum applicants on the Defence estate. No decisions have been made.”

The MOD and Home Office have been contacted for a statement.

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Monday 13:05HRS – PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL have confirmed that a meeting is to take place later today (Sept 14) regarding the future of Penally Camp.
A spokesperson said: “A meeting is due to take place between the Home Office and the Council later today but as of this moment we have had no official confirmation on the plans for Penally Camp…Any official confirmation would come from the Home Office itself.”

Monday 13:11HRS – County Councillor Preston told The Herald that key points to note are as follows:

  • No decision has yet been made but the situation is developing at pace.
  • Immigration officials are meeting with Pembrokeshire county council, Welsh government and the chief of police this afternoon. (my request to attend was declined)
  • If Penally training unit is to be used it would be in the ‘short term’ of approximately six months.
  • All incoming refugees are screened on arrival and placed in appropriate accommodation (for deportation or asylum)
  • The impact on the local community will be assessed

Monday 13:40HRS – Simon Hart MP said: “A number of people have asked for further information about the possible use of Penally Camp for the housing of asylum seekers whose status is being assessed. The Home Office is meeting Pembrokeshire County Council later today, after which further information should be available.”

Monday 14:22HRS – Mart Tierney, of Welsh Labour said on his Facebook page: “I have written to Simon Hart MP to ask him to clarify plans for the Penally Training Camp. Dear Simon, As I’m sure you’re aware, rumours have been circulating on social media since the weekend regarding the future use of Penally Training Camp by Landmarc on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. You will be familiar that similar claims about the use of the facility to house asylum seekers were made in 2016 which, when they were not clarified, caused concern in the local community. It is disappointing that neither Landmarc, the UK Government in Wales office nor yourself as the local MP have addressed these concerns over the weekend, despite my understanding that queries were raised as early as Saturday. I hope you will agree that Britain has an important and vital role to play in supporting those seeking refuge in our country. Voluntary organisations such as Croeso Arberth alongside Pembrokeshire County Council have played a much-needed role in supporting refugees who have been successfully resettled and now call Pembrokeshire their home. Pembrokeshire has a recognised reputation for welcoming those displaced by conflict thanks largely to the work of Croeso Arberth and Pembroke Open Doors volunteers with whom I have met on several occasions. However, I am concerned that the communication vacuum which currently exists is being filled by online suspicion and unsavoury comment by some on social media. Therefore, I would encourage you to make a statement on the future use of Penally Training Camp at the earliest opportunity. Sincerely, Marc Tierney Former Parliamentary Candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.

 Monday 14:43 HRS – Latest from Simon Hart MP: “I have now spoken to the Home Secretary, who is exploring – with a range of partners and government departments – opportunities for further Covid-19 compliant accommodation for those seeking asylum. Following the submission of a request, the Ministry of Defence has commenced scoping options across the UK. One of the sites under active consideration is Penally Training Camp. The Home Office and the Ministry of Defence are working hard to ensure Penally Training Camp is compliant with Covid-19 regulations and will have minimal impact on the local community. It is estimated by the Home Office that the site would temporarily house around 250 people if this option is agreed. I am in contact with the Home Secretary and Pembrokeshire County Council who in turn are speaking to Dyfed Powys Police and other stakeholders.”

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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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