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Minister’s schools announcement for children aged 3 to 7 welcomed



WELSH Education Minister Kirsty Williams has confirmed that children in Foundation Phase (aged three to seven) will start to return to school on Monday, February 22 after the half-term break.

Pembrokeshire County Council says it welcomes the announcement.

Director for Education, Steven Richards-Downes, said: “Today’s announcement gives clarity to school staff and families and about a phased return to school for Foundation Phase learners.

“Schools have been working closely with the Council and planning and preparing for this announcement for some time. Schools will now move into an operational phase, building on the knowledge and experience of the past year to ensure that schools are as Covid-safe as they can possibly be.

“Please check your school’s website and social media pages over coming weeks for details of how the return to school will look for your child/children.

“It is important to remember that for those learners not included in this announcement schools will still continue to provide distance learning provision. Again please contact your child/children’s school directly if you have any queries on distance learning.

“Provision for the children of key workers and vulnerable learners will also continue.

“I would like to once again thank everyone, school staff, learners and parents and carers for the way they have embraced learning at home and adapted to the current situation.

“We look forward to welcoming more learners back to schools when safe to do so.

“In the meantime, please continue to follow the guidance to keep driving down the spread of Covid-19.”

The phased return to schools is only possible because people have stuck to the rules, the Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said.

Responding to the latest Welsh Government update on the Coronavirus pandemic, Darren Hughes told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Everyone in Wales wants to see our children go back to school as soon as it’s safe to do so. Teachers, the NHS and anyone who works with children understands the need to get them back to face-to-face learning as soon as possible.
“That’s why we’ll need the public to be particularly careful as we bring some children back to school, it’s not a return to normality. The phased return to schools is only possible because people have stuck to the rules and the vaccination programme roll-out has continued to progress, at speed.

“It is fantastic to see we have passed the milestone of having administered half a million vaccinations, meaning more than one in six people in Wales have now had their first dose. The rapid acceleration of the vaccination programme roll-out is a credit to our staff and all of the organisations working in partnership and individuals involved. Every person we vaccinate is another step closer to safer communities.

“Whilst the overall picture is looking positive, pressure on the NHS remains high, and we continue to have a high level of hospitalisations. Let’s not go backwards now.”
The National Deaf Children’s Society has responded to the announcement that schools in Wales will reopen to younger children on February 22nd. There are around 2,500 deaf children in Wales, of whom around 1,100 are of primary school age.

Debbie Thomas, Head of Policy at the National Deaf Children’s Society Cymru, said: “Families of young deaf children in Wales will have mixed views on the return to school. Remote learning has brought real challenges during the pandemic, but deaf pupils have faced barriers in the classroom too, such as face masks and difficulties in accessing their specialist teachers.

“As schools prepare to reopen, it’s vital that they consider the needs of their deaf pupils at this very difficult time because many of them face a huge battle to catch-up. They will need ongoing, tailored support to help them succeed.”


Permit applications open for Tenby pedestrianisation scheme



PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is now accepting applications for vehicle access during this year’s Pedestrianisation of Tenby.

The scheme, which is due to start on Monday, July 5 and conclude on Friday, September 10, will again see the walled town divided into three ‘zones’, each having varying degrees of vehicle access.

Whilst all necessary plans are being put in place for it to start and finish on the above dates, the scheme will remain under constant review in light of Government guidance relating to Covid-19, and the Council will provide any updates as necessary.

Possession of an ‘access permit’ does not provide any exemption from Government restrictions, and any regulations relating to travel and the occupation of holiday accommodation or second homes must be observed at all times.

Following the success of last year, the permit application process will continue online, with paper application forms and guidance notes no longer being delivered to residents and businesses.

The application form and guidance notes are available from

Residents and business within Tenby are encouraged to complete the application process as soon as possible, to ensure that there is sufficient time for the application to be processed.

Permits will be issued approximately 7-10 days prior to the start of the scheme.

For enquiries, e-mail

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Join the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel as an independent member



THE Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel is looking for two members to join them in their work to support and challenge the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Panel is made of up of members nominated by Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys county councils along with at least two independent members.

Opportunities have now arisen for two independent members to join the Panel and carry out key statutory roles that will support the Commissioner exercise his role effectively.

Members will be expected to attend and take part in regular meetings and take part in decision making, creating reports and making recommendations to the Commissioner.

They will review the Commissioner’s annual draft Police and Crime Plan and annual draft budget, review and scrutinise his decisions and actions, and if necessary review the proposed appointment or removal of the Chief Constable and other senior police force appointments.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they can take a balanced and objective approach in supporting the Panel and the Commissioner, make strategic and well-informed decisions, and interpret and question financial, statistical and performance related information.

They will also need to be able to act as a ‘critical friend’, challenging views or proposals for change constructively.

Applications close on May 31, and appointments to the Panel will be made until October 31, 2024. 

For further information, visit

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Successful Fire Service and Health Board partnership to enhance COVID-19 vaccine roll out comes to end



TUESDAY 11 May 2021 marked the end of a hugely successful partnership between Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Hywel Dda University Health Board, initiated to enhance the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to the communities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Since February, Community Safety Staff from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have transported 125 passengers over 9450 miles to ensure they were able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

Chris Davies, Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Recognising the configuration of our Service, the areas we cover and indeed the people we employee, this seemed an ideal opportunity for us to widen our response to the pandemic and support our partners in safeguarding our communities.

“Whilst we already collaborate with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, this opportunity enabled us to expand our assistance further within the health arena. This partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board was the first of its kind for Fire and Rescue Services in Wales and paved the way for a number of similar partnerships for us and the other Fire and Rescue Services in Wales.

“I am extremely proud of our staff who have participated in this collaboration and have made a huge difference to the lives of so many people. Their contribution has without doubt had a positive impact on our response to this global pandemic”.

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, coordinated the Service’s response to this call for assistance.

“Our communities are at the heart of our core business. Knowing we were in a position to make an impact, we put in place a robust solution in record time, to not only ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, but to also safeguard those who were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, but may have had barriers preventing them from attending their appointments.

“Using this partnership as template within which we could expand, we have since been able to offer our assistance to other Health Boards across the Service area. Indeed, a group of 10 vaccine heroes from our Service have joined Powys Teaching Health Board’s vaccination team, playing their part in distributing vaccines at mass vaccination sites in Newtown and Builth Wells. This is another fantastic example of how working together has been vital in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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