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Fort Hubberstone Sold

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A PEMBROKE DOCK town councillor exchanged contracts with Milford Haven Port Authority on Friday, September 25, to complete the purchase of Fort Hubberstone, which overlooks Gelliswick Bay and the Haven Waterway.
Guy Anderson, a project manager who designs electrical installations for major global construction projects, including football and Olympic stadia, spoke to The Herald about his plans for the iconic building.
The Fort is a Grade II* Listed Building and one of a number built along the Haven during the 1850s and 1860s. Together with Popton Fort on the opposite shore, it provided an interlocking field of fire and represented the last layer of defence before reaching the Royal Naval dockyard at Pembroke Dock.
“I grew up in Pembroke, I went to Pembroke School and Carmarthenshire College. When I was growing up, I used to walk around the area looking at the second world sites and the forts along the Haven.
“My work has taken me around the world, but this has always been my home. Every time I’ve come back to Pembrokeshire, I’ve always been frustrated to see so much of our local heritage locked up and inaccessible to people.”
We asked about the size of the challenge he faced and Guy Anderson told us: “I’m used to working on massive projects for stadia around the world. This is, if you think about it, just a small derelict stadium in need of TLC.
“I’m not rebuilding anything. The idea is to make the fort safe to work in first and then carry out work to make it safe for the public to come to as a ‘managed ruin’.
“I reckon rebuilding something like the fort would take a minimum of seven million pounds. You’d never get any sort of return on that. I plan to open the fort up to the public to allow them free access to its grounds, as far as can safely be done.
“Buildings like these are white elephants, the cost of redeveloping them is prohibitive. I’m not going to redevelop or rebuild. I am going to clear the site to provide the public with access to their heritage.
Mr Anderson told us that he plans to have the first part of the project open to the public in around two years.
“Covid’s thrown the timing a little off but I believe the nine gun casemates, the gun towers overlooking the Bay, can be cleared and made safe for people to get into in two years. We’ll put some explainers in and tables for people to sit and have a picnic and overlook the river. Ideally, we’d like schools to be able to visit and see the buildings and we’re going to preserve as much of the wildlife in the fort as we can.”
As for funding, Guy Anderson told us the project was being funded from his own resources and that any approach for public or heritage funding would depend on the future progress of the project and what sort of experience people wanted when they visited.
He said: “The casemates will take two years. It will take two years’ planning to put together how to deal with the upper fort, the large D-shaped structure that dominates the site. We won’t know until that is cleared what we have to work with and what will be possible. I’m optimistic that the condition is not as bad as people believe. I’m told its one of the five most endangered buildings in the country; I’d say I can find five buildings in worse condition in Pembrokeshire.”
Responding to the news the fort had been sold, local Town and County Councillor Viv Stoddart said: “I am delighted that the Fort now has a future and the plans will benefit the local community by allowing them to experience our heritage first hand.”

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Electrician has ‘fallen from height’ at Neyland Community Hub

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EMERGENCY SERVICES are attending to an injured electrician who has fallen from a height at Neyland Community Hub, whist working on the project.

The air ambulance has been called and is now in Neyland, ready to medivac the casualty.

Cllr Paul Miller, Development Director at Neyland CIC said in a statement: “This afternoon one of our electrical contract staff has unfortunately fallen from height during the course of his work. He has been attended to on site by paramedics and is currently being prepared for “transfer to hospital by air ambulance.

“The thoughts of everyone at Neyland CIC are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

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Local politician reacts to Corbyn’s suspension

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A LOCAL politician has commented on Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension from the Labour party.

With the announcement that former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the party, local parties have reacted.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who became leader in April, suspended predecessor Jeremy Corbyn from the party after Corbyn said the scale of it’s anti-Semitism problem had been dramaticall overstated.

In an official statement, Labour said that the suspension came after Corbyn’s failure to retract his words.

Jeremy Corby reacted to the suspension by stating he was going to strongly contest it, calling the move ‘political’.

Corbyn in Haverfordwest before election

Commenting on the news that Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party after an inquiry found the party was “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” during his time in charge, Paul Davies MS, Leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament said:

“Mark Drakeford was the first Senedd Member to back Jeremy Corbyn for leader of the Labour Party. He needs to confirm whether he supports Sir Keir Starmer in suspending Corbyn or if he backs his political idol.

“The Jewish community in Wales, alongside all those who have fought against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, deserve to know whether he’s with them or against them.”

The decision was made by Starmer following the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report.

Speaking on the findings, Starmer said the report had brought forward a day of shame for the Labour party.

The report found 23 instances of what they called ‘inappropriate involvement’ by Corbyn’s office – with the Labour party responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act.

These were: Failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints, Harrassment and political interference in Anti-Semitism complaints.

Speaking on the suspension, Jeremy Corbyn said: “I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me. I’ve made absolutely clear that those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong.

“It’s also undeniable that a false impression has been created of the number of members accused of antisemitism, as polling shows: that is what has been overstated, not the seriousness of the problem.

“I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism. And I urge all members to stay calm and focused – while this problem is resolved amicably, as I believe it will be – to defeat this awful government, which is further impoverishing the poorest in our society.

The implementation of the recommendations following the report will be ‘as soon as possible in the New Year’ promises Sir Kier.

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Penally asylum seekers warned for breaking Fire-Break Lockdown rules

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POLICE have warned asylum seekers staying at Penally camp that there is currently a Firebreak Lockdown in Wales, and that they must follow the rules or face legal action.

Residents in Penally have said that they have groups of asylum seekers from the facility walking through the village.

“They were shouting, and drinking with a police van following them” one resident said.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police issued the following statement on the incident: “On the evening of Tuesday, October 27, police were made aware that a number of men were on the village green in Penally, breaking the current Welsh Government restrictions.

“The men, from the Penally Asylum Accommodation Centre, were spoken to and advised to return to their accommodation. Officers followed the men to ensure they returned to the centre.

“Officers will always aim to engage, educate and encourage adherence to the national measures with enforcement being the last action.

“The management team at the centre will be advised so that the firebreak requirements can be reinforced to the service users resident at the centre,” they added.

Last weekend police issued a fixed penalty notice to a female who was deemed to be breaking the current lockdown rules by traveling to the Centre.

A spokesman told The Pembrokeshire Herald said: “A female who was spending time with the asylum seekers over the weekend was advised about her non-essential travel to the asylum accommodation centre”

“After failing to adhere to a warning she was issued with a Covid fixed penalty notice and made to leave the area.”

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