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Sea levels threaten Pembrokeshire coast



tiderideON TUESDAY (Oct 28), BBC Cymru-Wales’ Week In Week Out programme covered the threat posed to the Welsh coastline by rising sea levels and the lack of budget available to continue to defend under-threat communities. A BBC spokesperson said “Each of the 48 areas along the coast in Wales have different timescales that estimate when properties are at risk of being lost to the sea. And while the plans are based on scientifi c estimates of future events the impact on home owners is likely to be immediate.” Next week, PCCC is to look at its own strategy on the future of those coastal communities under threat in Pembrokeshire. Bridgend council accepted the shoreline plan almost two years ago.

It told Week In-Week Out it did follow communication guidelines to let people know, and will work with the residents on fl ood defences and coastal change. But a number of Newton residents whose homes are at risk said they knew nothing of the plan or the threat to their homes until Week In Week Out contacted them. However, it appears that communication is a common problem for local authorities. Emyr Williams, a coastal engineer from Pembrokeshire County Council, stated that when a public meeting was called to discuss the council’s managed withdrawal from see wall maintenance along The Strand, no Saundersfoot residents turned up.

The programme made particularly grim viewing for residents and businesses on The Strand in Saundersfoot, as the council’s coastal engineer revealed that the Council anticipated the loss of The Strand to the waves. The Pembrokeshire Herald has taken the opportunity to look at the West Wales Shoreline Management Plan (SMP), to which the council is a key contributor, and has uncovered a worrying picture around the Pembrokeshire coast. The report states: “With increased sea level many of the transport issues will increase, most particularly at Newgale, but also at Little Haven, Broad Haven and Solva.

As sea level rises there would be substantially greater pressure for the coast to roll back with disruption to natural defences at Newgale and the potential for increased loss of beaches where man made defences are in place. Increased risk of fl ooding would also occur to many of the other smaller communities.” The original Shoreline Management Plan suggested that further consideration be given to defence of the coastal road at Settlands, between Little Haven and Broad Haven. The southern part of Pembrokeshire and the Haven Waterway is similarly threatened.

Natural Resources Wales note that Dale, Amroth and Tenby are at signifi cant risk of sea fl ooding and that steps are being taken now to reduce the risk to properties. It seems inevitable, however, that regardless of the short term measures taken to alleviate the effects of fl ooding, the long-term prognosis for Pembrokeshire’s coastal communities is uncertain. In Amroth, in particular, the threat is stark with the policy being to hold the line for as long as possible through maintaining the existing defences to ensure that the risk of erosion is managed, but not to improve the standard of fl ood protection.

Once the defences fail, the shoreline will be allowed to naturally evolve and retreat through no active intervention, with broadly the same policy adopted for the entire coastal area from Amroth all the way round to Saundersfoot, affecting the settlements at Wiseman’s Bridge and Coppett Hall. The plans are due to wind out over periods of time ranging from 0-20 years to – most commonly- 20-50 years. However, that does not mean that defences will be maintained for the whole of that period but that by the end of those periods realignment will have taken place, including but not limited to the redirection of transport links and what is described as ‘relocation’.

Coastal engineer Greg Guthrie said: “There are places where we are saying that continuing to defend is basically daft, that we are actually building up, stacking up problems for the future. We have an opportunity – highlighted by the Shoreline Management Plans – to highlight those areas and say now, while we still have time, we can plan how we get out of the dead-end that we are driving ourselves into.” The new Minister for Natural Resources, Carl Sargeant, claims the Welsh Government has spent £300m on fl ood defences since 2011, but it will be diffi cult to justify defending some areas in future. When asked if people affected would be compensated he said each case would have to be examined individually.

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Crime Commissioner continues to secure funding for organisations that support victims of domestic and sexual violence



THE POLICE and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys Police is again making the offer for organisations that support victims of domestic and sexual abuse to bid for additional funds.

Funding was made available last year, in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on organisations supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence.

It was part of a £76 million package of support made available by the UK Government.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “Thanks to this additional funding, we can ensure that victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Dyfed-Powys can access specialist services for support, at a time when they are needed the most.

“Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in domestic violence during the pandemic and victims need help now more than ever and I am grateful for the work of all the service providers across the Force area that help these men, women and families who are most in need.

“I want to reassure anyone who is in an abusive situation or relationship that you do not need to suffer in silence, and I urge anyone to report abuse to the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

“This funding is open both to providers whom I currently commission and those that I do not currently fund. However, unlike the extraordinary Covid-19 funding provided in 2020/21, organisations do not need to be a registered charity, a charitable incorporated organisation, or a social enterprise to be eligible for this funding. They must, however, provide support services which have the purpose of helping victims of sexual violence or domestic abuse cope with the impacts of crime and, as far as possible, recover from the harm they have experienced. We would also encourage applications from small specialist organisations that support groups with protected characteristics.

“If you wish to submit a request for this funding, further guidance is available on my website, and can be requested via the office e-mail address.”

Closing date for submissions is close of play on Friday, March 12, 2021.

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Covid alert level lowered for whole of UK



THE COVID alert level for all four nations of the United Kingdom has been lowered to alert level 4.

The decision comes following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in light of the most recent data.

In recent weeks, the R-rate and the number of covid cases has been on the decline.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton said: “Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the four UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 5 to level 4 in all four nations.

“The health services across the four nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital, however thanks to the efforts of public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.

“We should be under no illusions – transmission rates, hospital pressures and deaths are still very high. In time, the vaccines will have a major impact and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they receive the offer. However for the time being it is really important that we all – vaccinated or not – remain vigilant and continue to follow the guidelines.

“We know how difficult the situation has been and remains to be for healthcare workers, we thank them for their immense effort, skill and professionalism throughout the pandemic.”

Under the Welsh Government’s Alert level 4 restrictions, schools and colleges, places of worship, community centres, playgrounds and public parks are among those that can be opened.

Theatres, entertainment venues, leisure facilities and outdoor visitors attractions are among the places that must remain close while the country is in Alert Level 4.

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Postmaster and politicians welcome Goodwick cash machine U-turn



GOODWICK post office will now be keeping its ATM, after a U-turn by Post Office Ltd.

The machine was due to be removed within months with the post master, Jon Moverley saying that it would be a disaster for the village.

If the ATM had been removed, there would have been just two 24-hour ATMs serving the whole of Fishguard and Goodwick in the short term and three when the Co-op renovations are completed.

Both politicians and local residents then got behind the campaign to keep the ATM

Pembrokeshire politicians Paul Davies and Stephen Crabb have welcomed the news that Goodwick post office is now set to keep its ATM facility. Following representations made by both politicians to the Post Office, it’s now been confirmed that Goodwick Post Office will be included in the rollout of ATM machines across the post office network.

Mr Davies said “This is really welcome news. I’m pleased that the Post Office has listened to the representations made by the local community and decided to retain the ATM at Goodwick post office. The facility is so important for local people and businesses and it’s great that that’s been recognised and the Post Office has committed to keeping it.”

Following the Post Office’s decision to invest in Goodwick’s ATM rather than remove it, Stephen Crabb MP, who campaigned for the ATM to stay, commented: “It’s great news that the Post Office has overturned its own decision and will be keeping an ATM machine in Goodwick.

“Access to cash continues to be incredibly important for a number of people and businesses and I’m pleased to have played my part in working with John from the Post Office in Goodwick, Paul Davies MS and the wider community to highlight the ATMs importance to the area. It shows what can be achieved when we work together.”

The postmaster described the news as ‘brilliant’. Mr Moverley thanked supporters.

He said “Many thanks to all of you who have used the machine and complained to POL about the removal. We were also supported by our MP, MS and mayor, the National Federation of Sub-postmasters and our Chamber of Trade.

“Everyone did their bit, and it says an enormous amount about the strength of the community.

“We are delighted that locals and so many other people have come together to save this essential facility in the village.”

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