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Local MP leads debate on dairy crisis

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THE CRISIS facing Pembrokeshire’s dairy farmers was the topic of a special Westminster debate led by Simon Hart MP. South West Wales has the highest concentration of dairy farmers in the UK and many of them are now being paid less for their milk than it costs them to produce – with little prospect of improvement. Mr Hart led the Westminster Hall debate in Parliament last week which was attended by 26 MPs from all parts of the UK. He told them: “If we’re lucky, we might need a doctor, an accountant or a lawyer once or twice a year, but we need a farmer three times a day.

Fluctuating prices, tensions between farmers and processors, and criticism of retailers, especially supermarkets, are nothing new in agriculture,” he added. “But what is completely unsustainable is the long-term prospect of having to sell its milk for less than the cost of generating it in the first place, and the extraordinarily short notice that some producers get of significant price changes, about which they can do nothing but sit back and take the pain.” The MPs scrutinised the role of the groceries code adjudicator and wording of the dairy code of practice.

He added: “The industry recognises that overproduction is a problem and affects price. The industry also recognises reduced demand as a result of changing buying habits in China and of Russian sanctions.” He told MPs that 50% of British milk is sold at home and that its price is a straightforward consequence of the relationship between UK-based retailers and the processors. Solutions that he suggested included identifying and exploiting new markets; accessing more EU funding to promote dairy products and greater collaboration between farmers.

He also mentioned some short term proposals that could help including improving food labelling and procurement policies, fighting TB and deregulation. “Regulation is simply an added cost to farmers and there are not necessarily any positive benefits,” he said. “There is layer upon layer of regulation, so the more we can strip away, without compromising food safety or animal welfare, the better.” Mr Hart has also organised a Public Meeting on the dairy crisis which will be addressed by former farmer and MEP Neil Parish who is now MP for Tiverton and Honiton and chairman of the Dairy All Party Parliamentary Group. All welcome. The dairy crisis meeting with Neil Parish MP is taking place at the Plas Hyfryd Hotel, Narberth at 8pm on Thursday (Dec 11).

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A40 closed at Scleddau due to collision between car and motorbike

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EMERGENCY SERVICES have shut the A40 at in Scleddau due to a serious road collision.

The accident happened just before 2pm. The Herald understands that the collision involved a motorcycle and car at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

Police said: “Emergency services are currently on scene and dealing with the incident. Please find an alternative route if possible. Update to follow.”

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Moley’s Ambassador March to support those who have lost a child

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ON SATURDAY (Jun 19), Andrew Cole (aka Moley) will set off on a 24 hour walk around Pembrokeshire with the aim of doing as many miles in as little time as possible. 

Moley is proud to have recently been made ambassador of the charity ‘2 Wish UponAa Star’ an organisation dedicated to supporting families that have lost a child under 25 years of age.

He will be setting off at 6am in the morning from Neyland and walking all day and night, finishing at 6am the following morning.

2 wish upon a star was set up by Rhian Mannings, who set up the charity after losing her own son.

By celebrating the lives of those lost, and offering support to families through their grief; Rhian and her team offer an essential service to the community and those families who have suffered the devastation of losing a loved one.

Appealing for support from the people of Pembrokeshire he said: “Please give generously to support the wonderful work of Rhian and her team. Also, if you happen to see me in the day, feel free to give me a beep of encouragement’

“If you would like to donate to Moley, and support the charity, you can visit his JustGiving page.”

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moleycole

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Lifeboats and chopper in major air sea rescue off the coast of Tenby

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TWO RNLI lifeboats from both Tenby and Angle stations have been launched to assist a coastguard helicopter which has been scrambled from MOD St Athen.

It is understood that a search for a missing person or persons is underway.

Paged this morning: Angle Lifeboat is currently involved in the search south of Tenby

The alarm was raised before 10am this morning (June 18).

Tenby’s Y-boat is also involved in the operation, The Herald understands.

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Rescue underway: Coastguard chopper position at 1030HRS on Friday, Jun 18 (Pic MarineTraffic)
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