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Pembrokeshire schools will return to face to face teaching from January 11

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has said that it welcomes the statement from the Welsh Government and the WLGA (below) on the start of next term.

Given that Covid-19 transmission levels continue to increase across the local authority, by taking the decision at this stage it provides families with much needed clarity on the arrangements for the start of the Spring Term.

Pembrokeshire schools will provide distance learning for learners from the start of next term, Monday January 4 until Friday January 8.

Schools that have INSET days planned at the start of the term will be closed and will not be offering learning on those days.

Childcare for critical workers and vulnerable learners will be available on all school sites from Wednesday 6th January, this will include Portfield Special School and the Pembrokeshire
Learning Centre. Please contact the school directly regarding this provision.

All schools will return to face to face learning from Monday, 11th January unless a situation occurs where a school is unable to open for significant health and safety reasons.

Where this happens the school and the Council will place notifications on their websites.

WLGA STATEMENT ON THE RETURN OF SCHOOLS IN JANUARY

Following extensive discussions a common approach has been agreed by the Welsh Government and the Welsh Local Government Association for the return to school in January.

With transmission levels continuing to increase across Wales, and uncertainty over what impact that might have on school staffing levels over the Christmas break, there will be some flexibility built in at the beginning of term. However, minimising disruption to our children and young people’s education remains a priority and face to face learning should be the default position unless there are clear public health and safety reasons for moving to remote learning.

For most of our learners, the new school term will start on 4th January, although there will be some schools who have planned INSET days in this first week. As schools assess their staffing levels ahead of, and during, the first week, our expectation is that schools will be providing face to face learning for the majority of their pupils by 11th January, leading to a full return in the days before 18th January at the latest.

Where a school has moved to remote learning because of exceptional and specific local circumstances, local authorities and schools will be expected to make arrangements for vulnerable learners and the children of critical workers (including school staff) to attend, as is the case now.

A WLGA spokesperson said: “The plan to return to schools in January will give some certainty, whilst also allowing for flexibility to take account of local circumstances.
“Teachers, school staff, learners, and parents and carers’ response has been remarkable throughout this challenging year. It has not been easy, and we thank them for their continued patience and perseverance to help keep our communities safe.
“To help curb the rapid spread of the virus, we must all continue to do all we can to protect ourselves, each other and our communities.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We all recognise that these are unprecedented times and that we have to be agile in how we respond to the impact the virus has on our communities.

“By agreeing to a flexible approach during the first two weeks of the new school term in January enables our schools to put in place proportionate arrangements which reflect their specific circumstances and is guided by public health and safety considerations.

“We know from our children and young people that they learn best when in the classroom receiving face to face learning so any measures we put in place must look to minimise further disruption to their education.”

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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Business

Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence

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GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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Appeal from Fire and Rescue Service to install working smoke alarms

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AT 01:17am this morning, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, crews from Milford Haven were called to a property fire in the Hakin area of Milford Haven.

The fire was confined to a pan on a stove in the kitchen area and extinguished by firefighters using two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera.

Crews also ventilated the property and fitted smoke alarms within the property.

The Fire Service left the incident at 02:00am.

Watch Manager Alun Griffiths, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “This fire was the result of cooking left unattended. It is so important to remove all pots and pans from a heat source when you are called away from the cooker.

“Thankfully, the occupiers of the property managed to exit the property before our firefighters arrived, but it could have ended very differently as there were no smoke alarms fitted in the property.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of installing working smoke alarms in your homes and testing them regularly. In the dreadful event of a fire, they can alert you to the danger sooner and could mean the difference between life and death.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, we provide Home Fire Safety advice which is free of charge. We also offer Safe and Well Visits which you can arrange by phoning us on 0800 169 1234 or by visiting the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website.”

For further Home Fire Safety advice or to talk about the possibility of a Safe and Well Visit by Fire and Rescue Service personnel, please phone us on 0800 169 1234.​​​ Alternatively please complete an online Request a Safe and Well Visit​ form on the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website: https://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/eng/your-safety/in-your-home/

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