Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

UPDATED: New deadline in Murco negotiations

Published

on

Uncertainty over deal: Murco, Milford Haven (IMAGE: MIKE HILLEN/HERALD)

Uncertainty over deal: Murco, Milford Haven (IMAGE: MIKE HILLEN/HERALD)

UPDATED – NOVEMBER 3.

THE DEAL to save Murco oil refinery in Milford Haven from closure was not finalised by an agreed deadline of midnight on Friday (Oct 31), and a new time limit has been set for the sale of the plant to the Klesch Group.

The Pembrokeshire Herald understands, from sources close to the negotiations, that buyer Gary Klesch is still interested in proceeding, but the challenges of getting all the funding in place by the original deadline proved insurmountable.

A presentation which was due to take place on Monday (Nov 3) at the refinery, where workers would have met Mr Klesch as proud new owner of the plant has been put on hold, sparking worry amongst workers and their families.

However, the best information that this newspaper has this evening (Nov 3) is that the deal – which involves a £100m loan guarantee from the Treasury and a £10m grant from the Welsh Government – has been delayed rather than cancelled. The new deadline for the plant to be sold is now Thursday (Nov 6).

Negotiations were going on at the highest levels of government over the weekend, and into Monday, the Herald has been told

Stephen Crabb MP who is central in the negotiations was in contact with The Herald on Saturday, and although was unable to comment did say that he felt that the lack of a break-though in the negotiations was “deeply frustrating”.

“This must be an awful time for the workers and their families”, said Mr Crabb.

He added: “Everyone is trying to keep the deal alive and talks continue.”

The refinery, which can process 135,000 barrels of oil per day opened in 1973 and its owner, Murphy Oil Corporation, had struggled to find a buyer since it was put on the market nearly four years ago.

KLESCH ALSO INTERESTED IN TATA STEEL

Sources: Negotiations at the 'highest levels of government' this weekend (IMAGE: MIKE HILLEN/HERALD)

Sources: Negotiations at the ‘highest levels of government’ this weekend (IMAGE: MIKE HILLEN/HERALD)

Tycoon Klesch, whose £4bn Klesch Group spans chemicals, metals, oils and trading, has also agreed last week to buy half Tata’s European steel business. The loss-making Long Products Division makes about 3m tons a year for buildings and railways

The deal sparked fears of heavy job cuts among its 6,500 workers, with almost 4,000 based at the 150-year-old Scunthorpe steelworks. Tata picked up the site when it bought Anglo-Dutch steel-maker Corus in 2007 for $13bn but has racked up heavy losses as sales slumped and cheaper Asian products flooded Europe.

Klesch insisted the sale does not include a dowry from Tata to cover redundancies, pensions, investment or future losses, but refused to give details of the terms.

Sources said the sale hinges on a deal with Tata — owner of Jaguar Land Rover — not to close Scunthorpe for up to four years. Klesch Group said: “The assertion that Tata Steel is transferring any monies in relation to this transaction is complete rubbish.”

The billionaire, who reportedly has yet to visit Scunthorpe, said he has given no guarantees on keeping sites open and has not spoken to the government.

Speaking to a reporter from The Times he said: “It’s not on the table. I’ve not been asked about it, but it’s not been something we’ve discussed. Until we go on site and determine what the right size of this workforce is, there’s not much we can do.”

Continue Reading

News

Carers Rights day goes online

Published

on

CARERS RIGHTS DAY is taking place across the UK on Thursday, November 26 and in Pembrokeshire the event will be celebrated with a programme of activities and information sessions for unpaid carers of all ages.

Across Pembrokeshire, there are about 15,000 people who provide unpaid care and support to family and friends.

Many people don’t recognise themselves as carers, but the role they play in society is invaluable and it is estimated that across Wales carers provide care worth around £8.1 billion to the Welsh economy every year.

Under normal circumstances events for Carers Rights Day are planned around the county for carers to attend.

However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, this cannot happen this year.

So, a group of organisations supporting unpaid carers in Pembrokeshire, including the Pembrokeshire Carers Information and Support Service (PCISS) run by Hafal Crossroads, Action for Children, PAVS, Alzheimer’s Society and Pembrokeshire County Council, with support from Hywel Dda University Health Board, have put together a timetable of events for unpaid carers to access on and around Carers Rights Day.

These activities are free and will provide an opportunity for carers to access advice, support and a chat with other carers too.

Events include wellbeing workshops, quizzes and information sessions and more information can be found on the Connect Pembrokeshire website: https://connectpembrokeshire.org.uk/campaign/carers-rights-day

If you aren’t online or would like some support to build your confidence about using a laptop or tablet, so that you can join carers groups and activities over the winter, then the Community Hub can help.

Call the Community Hub on 01437 776301 for assistance to get connected.

Cllr Mike James, the Elected Member Carers’ Champion said: “Carers Rights Day may look and feel a bit different this year but it remains an important event to celebrate the hard work of carers in Pembrokeshire and provide information and support where required.

“The theme of this year’s event is ‘know your rights’. Whether you are a new carer or have been caring for someone for a while, it’s important that you understand your rights. It is critical that you are able to access the support that is available to you, as soon as you need it.

“Please get involved and have a look at the different events and support information being offered.”

If you look after a family member or friend, there is lots of information and support available in Pembrokeshire to help you look after yourself as well as the person you care for:

Pembrokeshire Carers Information and Support Service is available on 01437 611002 or by emailing: pciss@hafal.org 

Pembrokeshire Young Carers Service can be contacted on 01437 761330.

 

Continue Reading

News

Bluestone National Park Resort achieves international environmental award

Published

on

PEMBROKESHIRE’S Bluestone National Park Resort has achieved the international Green Key award in recognition of its excellent environmental standards.

With awarded establishments in 65 countries, Green Key is the fastest-growing eco-label for the tourism industry. In Wales, Green Key is operated by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, who also manage the iconic Blue Flag programme.

Bluestone has joined an exclusive group of prominent hospitality industry leaders in Wales who have been awarded Green Key accreditation, where the award clearly demonstrates their ongoing commitment to the high environmental standards being implemented.

Marten Lewis, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Bluestone National Park Resort said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the prestigious Green Key eco award. Our team have worked so hard to achieve this and we are so proud to be accredited.

“At Bluestone, we take sustainability – and protecting and supporting our environment – very seriously. Free Range Future is our sustainability movement. We thank Green Key, our guests and our teams for all their fantastic efforts and great support as we all work towards a more sustainable, and Free Range Future.”

Bluestone has committed to sustainability since the resort first opened in 2008, but dedicated improvements have been made across the site over the past year to meet Green Key standards.

These have included a staff engagement programme, halving the amount of general waste produced and using a local anaerobic digestion facility to turn all food waste into biofuel and fertiliser. Bluestone is also investing in new infrastructure to help reduce shower and tap water usage by more than half.

Lesley Jones, Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy said: “It’s fantastic to see one of Wales’s leading holiday resorts taking action to help protect and enhance our environment. We’d like to congratulate the Bluestone team on their success and welcome them to the Green Key family.

“After a difficult period for the tourism industry, Green Key provides an opportunity to put Wales on the map as a 21 st century, sustainable destination. By opting to visit a Green Key establishment, you can be sure that you are visiting somewhere with the highest possible environmental standards.”

For more information or to apply for Green Key visit the Green Key website www.greenkey.cymru

Continue Reading

News

Camp security boss threatened unpaid staff

Published

on

  • Guards walked out last week over wage dispute, police on stand-by

SECURITY staff guarding the Asylum Seekers Accommodation Centre in Penally have told The Pembrokeshire Herald they have not been paid regularly or on-time.

They claim their managers have been putting profit before safety.

One shocking revelation is that those tasked with ensuring the safety of asylum seekers have been told to ‘toss any weapons found, such as knives over the fence’.

The company in charge, AK security, does not want any complications which could jeopardise its contract with the Home Office, it seems.

One security guard provided The Herald with a recording of what he says is a telephone conversation between the managing director of AK Security and himself.

In the phone call, the security guard is apparently threatened after asking for £1,000 in unpaid wages.

AK Security managing director Ali Mohammed Khan is heard in the recording of a mobile telephone conversation.

Mr Khan says: “If you show up again, I promise you I am going to do something.

“And trust me you don’t want me to do it. I do not like threatening people, but I am not a kid my friend. You’re a boy, listen to me innit – you don’t want me to do it.”

In the phone call with AK Security’s MD, the security worker is heard politely asking for his pay to which Khan replies: “Do you understand English? Are you thick in your head? Do you have a brain? Do you know how the bank system works? I am a company.

“When companies do transfers it isn’t done within minutes. It’s coming from the company account…. It takes three working days for your payment to come through. I told you yesterday that within three working days the money will be in your account.”
A previous payment had been made instantly. The worker consequently questioned the 3-day transfer – normally reserved for substantial companies who pay using the now-outdated BACS system.

The guard questions Khan again saying: “How is it you paid me alright on Sunday, but it is taking forever now?”

Kahn answers: “The last payment was done differently – why are you asking so many questions. The payment has been done. I am not a guy who is going to run away with someone else’s money – I am bigger than that!”

Other security guards told this newspaper they were instructed to throw any weapons they found at the camp ‘over the wall’ and not to report the weapons’ presence at the Camp.

The reason given for this was to prevent AK Security from losing their contract with the Home Office to guard the asylum seekers in Penally.

Police were put on standby on Tuesday night (Nov 17), after reports security staff had walked out in protest over non-payment of wages.

The Tenby Observer reported: “[Because] they had not received any wages from their employers at the firm ‘AK Security’, the staff ‘downed tools’ and refused to work, standing outside the gates for a period of time on Tuesday night, with one eye-witness stating that police officers were also on hand to monitor the situation.’

Since the Home Office repurposed Penally Camp almost two months ago, the facility has been dogged by controversy and unrest. The facility currently houses around 170 asylum seekers, with scope for that to increase to 234.

This week’s incident is the latest in a string of controversial events surrounding AK Security.

The firm, whose base is in London, has been contacted by The Pembrokeshire Herald to respond to this article’s content.

The Herald also contacted the Home Office regarding the serious allegations.

As we went to press, neither the Home Office nor AK Security had responded to our invitation.

Continue Reading
News3 hours ago

Camp security boss threatened unpaid staff

Guards walked out last week over wage dispute, police on stand-by SECURITY staff guarding the Asylum Seekers Accommodation Centre in Penally have...

News22 hours ago

Jessica ready to help in access officer role

Pembrokeshire County Council has a new Access Officer. Jessica Hatchett took up the role earlier this month and has always...

News2 days ago

Milford Haven: Footage of police pursuit released as dangerous driver is jailed

POLICE have released footage of a drug driver who drove through a stretch of roadworks on the wrong side of...

News2 days ago

North Pembrokeshire school closures explained

PEMBROKESHIRE’S education chief has explained the decision to keep six North Pembrokeshire schools closed today (Tuesday, 24th November). The schools...

News3 days ago

Two day centres to close temporarily as a precaution

TWO north Pembrokeshire Day facilities for older people and people with learning disabilities are to close temporarily as a precaution...

News3 days ago

North Pembrokeshire schools remain closed

THE SIX North Pembrokeshire schools which were closed today (Monday, November 23) as a precaution following the increased spread of...

News4 days ago

Tenby: Investigations continue following death of woman at caravan park

POLICE are still investigating the cause of death of a woman found dead at a caravan park in Tenby on...

News5 days ago

Tenby: Man arrested after woman found dead in caravan

A MAN was arrested following the death of a woman in the south of the county. A woman has been...

News1 week ago

Pembrokeshire castle’s ‘I’m A Celebrity’ rumour denied

CAREW CASTLE have denied being in the running to host ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’. Pre-coronavirus, the...

News1 week ago

Milford Haven: Police investigating burglaries targeting the vulnerable

POLICE are investigating a burglary and attempted burglary in Milford Haven. A concerned resident contacted The Herald after what he...

Popular This Week