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One of Pembrokeshire’s ferry ports could close because of reduced freight traffic

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THE HEAD of Rosslare Europort has claimed that one of Pembrokeshire’s Irish Sea ports could close because of reduced trade traffic between Ireland and the UK.

The volume of freight traffic between Wales’ three Irish Sea ports has significantly fallen since the New Year.

While the Prime Minister has dismissed the issue as one of Brexit’s ‘teething problems, Glenn Carr, the General Manager at Rosslare Europort, said: “A lot of the major retailers in Ireland are bringing their products for their shelves directly in from mainland Europe now, We’re seeing big customers, the likes of Amazon, now bringing in a lot of freight on a daily basis.”

Rosslare Europort has aggressively targeted the increase of direct sailings between the Irish port and mainland Europe.

Most trade between Ireland and the EU takes place via the UK ‘land-bridge’. However, although that remains the case, trade volumes to mainland Europe from Rosslare has increased over 450% since the end of the EU transition period.

Mr Carr claims that only one port in Pembrokeshire is needed to meet the demand for freight traffic and that increased sailings to and from that single port would make more commercial sense for Irish businesses and hauliers.

The changes needed, he claims, must be made on the Welsh side of the Irish Sea.

While customs delays in the UK have been blamed for a fall in traffic, delays also affect trade entering and leaving Ireland due to IT and customs problems at Irish ports.

January is a quieter time for ferry services but commercial freight sustains vital trading connections all year round.

On-board Isle of Inishmore: The bridge

Stena, which operates Fishguard, reports a sharp decline in Irish Sea traffic in the first fortnight of January when traffic fell by 78% year-on-year. Since then, freight numbers have recovered but remain at little more than 50% of normal levels.

Daily ferry services have operated between Fishguard and Rosslare for the last 115 years. Pembrokeshire’s ports support a significant number of jobs, not only at the ports but also indirectly in the wider local economy. The routes are operated by separate companies and the ports of Pembroke Dock and Fishguard are under separate ownership.

Speaking on ITV Wales’ The Sharp End on February 2, Stephen Crabb MP said: “The ports of Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke Dock are key assets for the Welsh economy and it is essential they remain competitive.

“I hope that some of the initial problems we have seen over the last few weeks will get ironed out as companies get used to the new processes. But there is more work to be done to ensure the long term health of our ports.”

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Eligible unpaid carers encouraged to register for COVID-19 vaccine

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UNPAID carers in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire who are not already registered as a carer with their GP practice are being asked to complete an online registration form if they wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that unpaid carers are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine as part of priority group 6, subject to certain eligibility criteria.

Revised national guidance from the JCVI describes unpaid carers as those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.

Those clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 include children with severe neuro-disabilities, those who are designated Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV), adults who have underlying health conditions, and those who need care because of advanced age. Eligible carers should be vaccinated in priority group 6.

Anna Bird, Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Unpaid carers play a vital role offering care and support and it is in everyone’s interest that they are supported.

“For many years now, the health board has built strong links with unpaid carers across our three counties through initiatives such as our Investors in Carers scheme, designed to help organisations focus on, and improve, their carer awareness and the help and support they give to carers.

“There are over 10,000 unpaid carers registered with GP practices or the local authority across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire but we know there are many more people out there who may not recognise themselves as an unpaid carer and are unaware that support is available for them, including their eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine.”

If you believe you may be eligible, are aged 16 or over and are not registered as an unpaid carer with your GP, please complete this online form https://hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/services-and-teams/carers-information/covid-vaccine-for-unpaid-carers/covid-vaccine-for-unpaid-carers/ to register your details. People without internet access can contact the health board on 0300 303 8322.

Those already registered as an unpaid carer with a GP will be contacted directly to receive a COVID vaccination and do not need to do anything further.
Please wait to be invited for your vaccination and do not contact your GP or health board to ask about your vaccine appointment. You will be contacted when it is your turn, thank you for your patience and understanding.

To find out more about the support available for unpaid carers in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire please visit https://hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/services-and-teams/carers-information/

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Welsh pet food company launches new pet store in Haverfordwest

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FRIDAY (March 5) Carmarthenshire based pet food company, Burns Pet Nutrition, launched a brand-new pet store in the stunning town of Haverfordwest. The new shop will sell a variety of pet goodies, such as food, toys, and accessories, and even provide a wellness service offering advice and guidance to local pet parents.

The Haverfordwest location will be the sixth pet store to-date for the beloved Welsh pet food brand, who are known for their award-winning, natural and healthy pet food, along with their generous support of rescue centres and shelters, charitable donations and community projects.

The shop launched officially on March 5, as a welcome addition to the personality of the local area. Haverfordwest Mayor, Alan Buckfield, says: “I’m very pleased to welcome the opening of the Haverfordwest Pet shop. This new business in Withybush Road adds to the range of shopping available in our Town and obviously fills a gap in the market as well as providing new job opportunities.”

Burns Haverfordwest store offers toys, treats and accessories, and of course, plenty of Burns Natural Pet Food to keep local pets happy and healthy. Burns pet food is renowned for its use of natural, holistic and simple ingredients in hand-cooked recipes, which is why they’ve sold over 2 billion bowls to date and received numerous awards and accolades, including an incredible 92% in the latest Which? Consumer poll of best pet foods.

With stores in Llandeilo, Carmarthen, Cardigan, the new shop is a benchmark in the efforts of the company to champion the local high street and support communities in Wales. The company has launched a variety of charitable campaigns and initiatives in Wales over its long history, mainly to support community initiatives, help local rescue centres and give back to pets and their owners in every part of Wales and beyond. On the launch of the new store, John Burns, veterinary surgeon and founder of Burns Pet Nutrition, says:

“Launching a sixth pet store in the stunning location of Haverfordwest is very exciting for us. We believe it’s important to invest in our highstreets and communities, as they can be the lifeblood of a local community. We hope that the new Burns Haverfordwest Pet store will become a favourite amongst local pet owners.”

Burns new shop has opened on The County Showground, Withybush Road in Haverfordwest, and for one week only lucky customers can get a free 2kg bag of dog food for every 12kg bag they purchase.

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No deaths of people with coronavirus in Wales in the last 24 hours

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THERE have been no further deaths of people with coronavirus in Wales reported in the latest 24-hour period, Public Health Wales (PHW) has confirmed.

A further 164 positive cases were also reported.

The total number of PHW reported deaths remains at 5,403.

Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, added the dashboard is designed to be a “rapid reporting tool which is subject to ongoing reconciliation” and that “official data are provided by the Office for National Statistics”.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said stay at home rules could be revised, following a review of lockdown measures this week.

Wales’ overall case rate has fallen to 45 cases per 100,000 people.

PHW said it should be noted there is often a lag in reporting deaths following the weekend.

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