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Frame boss and former council press officer recognised in New Year’s Honours list



THE FOUNDER of a Pembrokeshire charity that employs and trains people with disabilities and learning difficulties has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

A former employee of Pembrokeshire County Council has also been awarded.

Jennifer Ann Sims, founder and CEO of Pembrokeshire Frame, has been recognised for her tireless work with a British Empire Medal (BEM). Ms Sims established the award-winning recycling social enterprise charity in 1994, helping to change the face of recycling and disability employment provision in the county. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 75-year-old sought grant funding to launch Pembrokeshire FRAME’s Bags of Care Community Fridge Scheme.

The Royal Victorian Order, is a dynastic order of knighthood established in 1896 by Queen Victoria. It recognises distinguished personal service to the monarch, and has been awarded to the recently retired press officer at Pembrokeshire County Council, Leonard (Len) Maurice Mullins, for ‘services to the Lieutenancy of Pembrokeshire.’

Mr Mullins is the only person in Wales to become a Member of the Royal Victorian Order this year.

In a year that has truly tested the resolve and determination of those on the frontline, the New Year Honours List includes 1,239 recipients, recognised for their extraordinary contributions in all four nations of the United Kingdom.

Public sector workers make up 14.8% of the list and include firefighters, medical professionals, teachers, police officers and local government workers – all of whom are being recognised for making a huge individual impact, and in particular in the response to COVID-19.

An MBE goes to Special Chief Officer Mark Owen, who returned from retirement to lead the Special Constabulary’s response in North Wales.

An MBE goes to Karen McDowell for services to the LGBTQ community and fire service in Northern Ireland.

Charity Helpline Housing Adviser for Shelter Nadeem Khan receives a BEM – unable to return to the UK because of the Covid-19 pandemic, he worked from his personal laptop from a rooftop in Lahore, Pakistan delivering housing advice to over 500 people over three months via web chat to people over 5,000 miles away in the UK.

Included in the List are 123 (10%) health and social care workers – from British Red Cross Ambulance Crew to care home managers – all have played a part in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A BEM goes to Cath Fitzsimmons from Greater Manchester, a former palliative care nurse who came out of retirement for COVID-19.

Dr Azeem Alam, 28 years old from Harpenden, Herts receives the BEM for founding BiteMedicine, which provides free medical education for medical students, physician associates and aspiring doctors during COVID-19, teaching over 10,000 students worldwide via online, live webinars.

Deputy Director of Nursing Jacky Copping, 55 from Beccles, Suffolk, receives an MBE for initiating Face Fit Testing at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ensuring that frontline workers were properly protected against Covid-19.

This Honours List highlights how Britain’s business sector has stepped up to deliver for the country during COVID-19. From small business owners diverting their resources or changing business models to support the response effort to supermarket workers making sure all their vulnerable customers were stocked up with essential items – this Honours List showcases 111 recipients (9%) being recognised for services to business and the economy.

Publican Caroline Halfhide, aged 51 from Ash in Somerset receives MBE for changing her pub into a village shop for residents to drastically minimise the need for travel to nearby towns for food and essentials.

Founder and CEO of Pembrokeshire Frame, Jennifer Sims, 76 years old, receives the BEM for launching #Bagsofcare Community Fridge Free Bags Scheme, providing hot meals and free bags of food to the vulnerable, the elderly and those struggling financially due to the pandemic.

The majority of awards are for the contributions people have made in their communities. Of those receiving an award, 65% are recognised for their community work.

Captain Emma Henderson, living in Moray in Scotland receives an MBE for founding Project Wingman, creating a first class lounge experience in hospitals in the UK for NHS workers.

The oldest person on the list is Anne Baker from Salisbury in Wiltshire, who at 106 years old receives an MBE for fundraising for the NSPCC.

She is closely followed by 104 year old Ruth Saunders, receiving an MBE for walking a marathon to raise money for Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

The youngest recipient is 20 year old Samah Khalil, the Youth Mayor of Oldham. She receives a BEM for her work in empowering young people.

Architect David Chipperfield is awarded a Companion of Honour, for services to architecture.

Actor Sheila Hancock receives a damehood for services to drama and charity, as does conductor and musicologist Professor Jane Glover for services to music and make-up artist Patricia McGrath for services to the fashion, the beauty industry and to diversity.

A damehood is also awarded to Angela Eagle MP for parliamentary and political service. The Right Honourables Geoffrey Cox QC MP and Thomas Clarke MP receive knighthoods for parliamentary and political service, and public and political service respectively.

In sport, Director of Rugby at Exeter Chiefs Robert Baxter receives an OBE and Captain Joe Simmonds receives a MBE, both for services to Rugby Union Football. Former professional rugby player Rob Burrow receives an MBE for the awareness he has raised around motor neuron disease particularly during the pandemic. MBEs are also awarded to former England footballers Jimmy Greaves and Ron Flowers for services to football.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “In a year when so many have made sacrifices to protect our NHS and save people’s lives, the outstanding efforts of those receiving honours today are a welcome reminder of the strength of human spirit, and of what can be achieved through courage and compassion.

“The 2021 New Year Honours offer us an opportunity to salute their dedication and recognise many who have gone above and beyond in their contribution to our country.

“As we begin a new year and continue to come together to fight this virus, may their service and stories be an inspiration to us all.”

The full list of New Year’s Honours awarded to people in Wales.

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Professor Anthony Keith Campbell. Honorary Research Professor, School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University. For services to biochemistry. (Penarth)

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Sara Louise Pepper. Director of Creative Economy, Cardiff University. For services to the creative economy. (Cardiff)

David Thomas Richards. Director of Governance and Ethics, Welsh Government. For public service. (Cardiff)

Emma Swingwood. Physiotherapist, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Physiotherapy. (Monmouthshire)

Giovanni Isingrini. Group Director and Deputy Chief Executive, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council. For services to children in Wales. (Pontypridd)

Simon Keith Pirotte. Principal, Bridgend College. For services to further and higher education in Wales. (Ystradgynlais)

Susan Jane Husband. Director, Business in the Community, Cymru and lately Director, Employer and Employee Engagement, Education and Skills Funding Agency. For services to education. (Barry)

Carol Jane Mack. Chief Executive, Association of Charitable Foundations. For services to charity. (Barry)

Craig Stephenson. For services to parliament and to equality. (Penarth)

Professor Farah Naz Kausar Bhatti. Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon. For services to diversity in the NHS in Wales. (Swansea)

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Professor Laurence John Alison. Director of the National Centre for the Study of Critical Incident Decision Making, University of Liverpool. For services to critical incident handling and to the NHS during Covid-19 (Greenfield, Flintshire)

Mark Anthony Owen. Special Chief Officer, North Wales Police. For services to policing and to the community in north Wales, particularly during the Covid-19 Response (Llanynys, Denbighshire)

Reverend David John Goronwy Evans. For services to charity and to the community in Lampeter (Lampeter)

Thomas Huw Owen. Founder and managing director, Owens Group. For services to employment and to the community in Llanelli and South Wales (Llanelli)

Dr Lynn Elizabeth Sloman. Founder, Transport for Quality of Life. For services to transport. (Ceredigion)

Kathleen Beavan. For services to agriculture. (Abergavenny)

Professor Barbara Lesley Chadwick. Professor of Paediatric Dentistry and Director, Education and Students School of Dentistry, Cardiff University. For services to paediatric dental health. (Monmouthshire)

Richard Royce Lee QAM. Strategic Commander, St John Ambulance. For services to healthcare during Covid-19. (Caerphilly)

Simone Monique Roden. Headteacher, Ynysowen Community Primary School. For services to education in Aberfan. (Ebbw Vale)

Professor Tamas Szakmany. Critical Care Consultant, Royal Gwent Hospital. For services to the NHS during Covid-19. (Newport)

Dr Stephanie Joy Tyler. For services to nature conservation in the UK and Africa. (Penallt, Monmouthshire)

Richard Paskell. Western Beacons Mountain Rescue Team. For services to mountain rescue and to the community in South Wales. (Pontyclun)

Christine Powell. National Manager, 111 Wales, Welsh Ambulance Service. For services to healthcare and to the 111 service in Wales. (Bridgend)

Robert Andrew Robinson. For public and voluntary service in Powys. (Welshpool)

Professor Alka Surajprakash Ahuja. Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Royal College of Psychiatrists (Wales). For services to the NHS during Covid-19. (Cardiff)

Shane Peter Andrews. Project Operations Interface Specialist, Network Rail. For services to diversity and to inclusion. (Cardiff)

Dr Fiona Charlton Jenkins. Executive Director of Therapies and Health Sciences, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Interim Executive Director of Therapies and Health Sciences, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board. For services to healthcare. (Cardiff)

Judith Stella Rhys. For voluntary service to health and social care. (Cardiff)

Rosemary Bernadertte Stewart. Senior Private Secretary to the First Minister of Wales. For public service. (Cardiff)

Alan Thomas Curtis. For services to Welsh football. (Swansea)

Carol Cecilia Doggett. Senior Matron, Intensive Care, Morriston Hospital, Swansea. For services to leadership and nursing care for intensive care patients and staff, particularly during Covid-19. (Swansea)

Catherine Julie Palmer. Head, Change Governance, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. For services to motorists. (Swansea)

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

Vicki Broad. Head of Long Term Care, Hywel Dda University Health Board. For services to the NHS in Wales during the Covid-19 response. (Neath)

Robert Malcolm Davies. Special Constable, South Wales Police. For voluntary service to Policing. (Neath)

Reverend William Glynne George James. Principal Police Chaplain, South Wales Police. For services to Police Chaplaincy and to the community in Gorseinon, Swansea. (Swansea)

Karen Jane Kembery. Clinical Nurse Specialist, Neath Port Talbot Hospital. For services to Nursing in West Glamorgan. (Swansea)

Theresa Valerie Conway. Treasurer, Aberconwy Physically Handicapped and Able Bodied Club. For services to People with Disabilities and to the community in Llandudno. (Conwy)

George Leonard Ellis. For services to Young People and to the community in Abergele (Conwy)

Professor Alexander Toogood. For services to People with Intellectual Disabilities. (Ruthin)

Richard Llewelyn Griffiths. Lifeboat Operations Manager, Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station. For services to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Wales. (Aberyswyth)

Sandra May Morgan. For political and public service in Wales. (Ammanford)

Lisa Jane Randell. Senior Support Worker. For services to Health and Social Care during the Covid-19 Response. (Carmarthenshire)

Helen Refna Williams. For services to Vulnerable Young Parents and to the Elderly in Borth during Covid-19. (Ceredigion)

Alexander John Anderson. For voluntary and charitable services to People with Autism in Caerleon. (Newport)

Sharon Higgins. For services to the Performing Arts in Newport. (Newport)

David Charles Knight. For voluntary service to Newport Community Cricket Club. (Newport)

Michael John Knight. For voluntary service to Newport Community Cricket Club. (Newport)

Sharon Grace Thorpe. Clinical Team Leader, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust. For services to Paramedics and Ambulance Staff. (Newport)

Richard Burnell. For services to Young People and to the community in Holyhead. (Anglesey)

Steven Jones. Systems Auditor and Analysis Manager, South Wales Police. For services to Policing. (Bridgend)

Dennis Murphy. For services to Veterans’ Football in Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan. (Merthyr Tydfil)

Jennifer Ann Sims. Chief Executive Officer, Pembrokeshire Frame. For voluntary service. (Milford Haven)

Lorna Keylock. Fundraiser, Brecon and Sennybridge Branch, Cancer Research Wales . For voluntary and charitable services in Brecon. (Brecon)

Brian Frederick Keylock. Fundraiser, Brecon and Sennybridge Branch, Cancer Research Wales . For voluntary and charitable services in Brecon. (Brecon)

Catherine Knapp-Evans. For services to the Arts and to the community in mid Wales. (Caersws)

Jeanne Olive Nuttall. Head, Service Nutrition and Dietetics, Powys Teaching Health Board. For services to Dietetics and Nutrition in Wales. (Llanidloes)

Margaret Sims. For voluntary service to the NHS and to the community in Bronllys, Wales. (Brecon)

Catharine Sinnadurai. For services to Dance Education, Training and Performance. (Brecon)

Harilal Narandas Patel. For services to Community Cohesion in Cardiff. (Cardiff)

David Lincoln Williams. For services to the Arts in Wales. (Cowbridge)

Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)

Sergeant Timothy John Barrell. South Wales Police

Royal Victorian Order

Leonard Maurice Mullins. For services to the Lieutenancy of Pembrokeshire. (Pembrokeshire)

Lee David Brooks. Director of Operations, Frontline Emergency Ambulance Response, Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service and Clinical Contact Centre Services, Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
Clare Elizabeth Langshaw. Ambulance Operations Manager, Resilience and Specialist Operations, Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust.


£66m in Covid-19 business grants paid to Pembrokeshire businesses



WHAT has been described as an incredible team effort has seen Pembrokeshire County Council pay out more than £66m to county businesses in Covid-19 support grants so far.

And across Wales more than £1bn has now been paid to businesses since the start of the pandemic.

In Pembrokeshire 9,171 grants have been paid across the 10 grants introduced by the Welsh Government.

The total amount of £66,370,548 paid in Pembrokeshire is the fourth highest amount paid out so far across Wales.

And the figures are growing all the time with further payment runs undertaken this week.

The team is now currently focussed on the Restrictions Grant and working their way through the applications.

Cllr Paul Miller, the Cabinet Member for the Economy, said: “I would like to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to ensure that the money available to support businesses through this
difficult period gets to them as soon as possible.

“The sheer number of applications processed and the money delivered is a testament to those efforts and we’re not done yet.

“We have now moved onto the Restrictions Grant and we’re ready to continue the effort to help Pembrokeshire businesses for as long as it takes.”

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Health Board’s vaccination priorities questioned



THE HEALTH BOARD has denied claims that the wait for Covid vaccinations has been ‘queue-jumped’ by Council employees and other non-front line workers.

On Thursday evening, a member of the public contacted The Herald via our Facebook page and asked us:

‘Can you please investigate and shine a light on the Pembrokeshire council employees, (some of whom are office staff who have been working from home since March, some are repair and maintenance guys.)

‘They have had phone calls to book and are booking appointments to have their vaccines done at the new vaccination centre in Haverfordwest at the records office run by the council. Some have been for jabs today and others have appointments for the weekend. They are definitely not in any of the first few priority groups and are taking vaccines away from those who need it more.”

When we put the issue to the local authority, Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “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 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 invitation was only extended once we were absolutely certain frontline staff had been provided ample opportunity to receive a vaccine and once all stand-by reserve lists were exhausted. This approach has led us to having one of the lowest vaccine wastage figures, despite the challenges of our rural location.

“I’d like to reassure the public that vaccinating this essential group of staff has in no way delayed our rollout to the wider population and I can confirm the first invitations for members of the public to attend our mass vaccination centres will be issued this week.”

The Welsh Government’s strategy is to inoculate frontline staff and then Over 80s – that is its First Priority. Other people fall into different Priority Groups. With so many unvaccinated in the First Priority Group – over 80s – the question goes begging as to the basis upon which their claims to the vaccine were bypassed in favour of those in the Second Priority Group.

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb told us: “I am very concerned about the claims being made of vaccine queue jumping. From the explanation given by Hywel Dda University Health Board, it looks like the priority list drawn up by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has now been ripped up and lots of other people are being invited to get vaccinated who are not in the priority groups.

“The whole reason for the priority list, which was agreed to by all four Chief Medical Officers from across the UK, was to save the greatest number of lives by vaccinating the most vulnerable people first.

“I have consistently raised concerns about the slow rollout in Wales. We are not where we should be by now especially when it comes to vaccinating the over 80s. There is limited supply of vaccines and the Health Board should be using these for the most vulnerable people in our community. It’s important for building confidence in the roll-out that people can see there is a clear plan being followed. I’m afraid situations like this undermine that confidence.”

The Welsh Government faced increasing criticism this week about its management of Wales’ vaccine distribution. On Monday, there was outrage about the First Minister’s remarks on Wales’ strategy which the Welsh Government spent the next four days trying to stem.

On Tuesday, Vaughan Gething, Wales Health Minister, claimed that 70% of over 80s would receive their first vaccine dose by this weekend. On Wednesday evening, figures released by Public Health Wales showed less than a quarter of over 80s had got their first shot.

Mr Gething later claimed he’d made “an innocent mistake”, saying: “There was a minor amount of confusion about the difference between care home residents, where we had vaccinated a majority, and over 80s.”

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Asylum seekers to be moved out of the former Penally Army Training Camp



ASYLUM SEEKERS are to be moved out of the former Penally Army Training Camp; the Home Office have confirmed.

Camp residents will be moved out of the camp in small numbers, it is understood.

The confirmation by the government that they are intending to move all of the asylum seekers at Penally Camp into “suitable dispersed accommodation as soon as reasonably practical” has been welcomed by many local politicians.

The statement that they were hoping to start moves for small numbers of people from was made by Home Office Minister, Chris Philp MP, in an answer to a Parliamentary Question from Liberal Democrat MP, Wendy Chamberlain.

Home Office minister Chris Philp said: “It remains our intention to move all individuals in contingency accommodation into suitable dispersed accommodation as soon as reasonably practical. We are hoping to commence moves for small numbers of people out from week commencing January 18. However our immediate priority is to ensure that we continue to meet out legal duty to house destitute asylum seekers and ensure their safety and wellbeing.”

As we previously reported 20 residents of the camp were moved out following two protests in Tenby over standards of food, sanitation and accommodation.

The cost of policing the camp has been higher than expected (Pic Herald)

In welcoming the news, Alistair Cameron, Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd Candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire said: “Whilst the Welsh Liberal Democrats welcome this emerging information, we need to see evidence that people are moving out.

“The Asylum Seekers are staying in the middle of Winter in army barracks which are unsuitable as long-term accommodation.

“They are sleeping six to a room and run the risk of being infected with coronavirus. Many will have fled areas of conflict and they will have been deeply traumatized by their experiences.

“As a caring country, we should provide safe, warm and clean accommodation just as we would expect if we were in similar circumstances.

“I now urge the Home Office to move all of the asylum seekers out of the Camp as quickly as possible and to process their claims for asylum.”

There are 123 residents left at the camp, it was recently confirmed.

The crippling cost of running the Penally camp, with policing and security being more than expected, along with legal challenges regards conditions have most certainly contributed to the Home Office’s new position on Penally.

There was also an outbreak of Covid-19 in a similar facility in Kent where more than one hundred asylum seekers backing up the concerns of camp residents that there was insufficient social distancing in ex-military camps.

Demo to support asylum seekers in Penally (Photo Herald)

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