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Danfo gives toilet update

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danfoCOUNCILLORS at Tuesday’s Environment Overview meeting listened to a presentation from Danfo about its public toilet provision. Danfo was awarded a contract in August to allow them to take over running of some of the county’s public toilets. At Tuesday’s meeting, Managing Director for Danfo, Ross Longbottom, and Pembrokeshire Operations Manager, Jon Mills, updated councillors on their work since being awarded the contract. Ross Longbottom highlighted their vision for Pembrokeshire saying: “We have invested £5m of our own money into local authorities.

We want to deliver high quality and well managed facilities, deliver better services, invest in current infrastructure and develop the contract.” He also spoke of the ‘Loo of the Year’ awards saying he hoped Pembrokeshire would win a few awards at next year’s ceremony. Jon Mills then spoke about the work they have done in the months since taking over the running of the toilets. He added: “There are now ten full time cleaning staff and two wardens. We have issued new vehicles, new kit, new uniforms and each member of staff has a mobile phone. In Narberth and Neyland we have carried out deep cleans to improve the facilities. From August until now we have carried out 365 repairs across the county that includes everything from replacing light bulbs to clearing blocked drains.” Ross continued: “This is part of a £400,000 investment.

There is a shopping list of what is achievable at the busiest sites. This may include charging mechanisms. There are lots of units that will not require any investment. We have expertise in the industry. We are proactive with our maintenance and we are looking at investing in buildings. There will also be employment opportunities, local supplies will be used, changing places facilities will be built and we want to have a strong partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council.” Cllr Peter Stock said: “This is a quality service. Tourism is the backbone of Pembrokeshire. To draw people to the county we’ve got to provide a quality service. This is an important partnership but vandalism is a real problem we’ve got to tackle.” Ross Longbottom responded: “You are never going to have a vandal-proof toilet but a lot of places are judged on the quality of their public conveniences.”

Cllr Lyn Jenkins also asked about the charges that may be introduced. Ross added: “We have looked at a 20p charge and that has been agreed through Cabinet. The charges could apply to any toilet but at the moment around 15-20 is the maximum number. We may be able to charge at other locations.” The council’s acting head of paid service, Ian Westley added: “Danfo has focussed on management, this could easily have been presented on other matters. I have noticed a phrase that has been gaining momentum recently in relation to our cuts and that is ‘salamislicing’. This was the necessary approach this time last year. What we’ve heard today, is the potential to save revenue figures. Our employees that were affected seem to be quite happy with the outcome. Some staff were concerned at Jon’s appointment to Danfo but we were mindful of the situation and I am confident that everything has been done in a proper manner.”

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Community

New Mural at Theatr Gwaun tells multiple stories

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Wide angle shot of the finished mural

THE SCAFFOLDING came down to reveal the new mural on the exterior wall at Theatr Gwaun on Friday 24th September and it has had a very positive reception from the people of Fishguard and Goodwick. 

The mural was commissioned by Ancient Connections, a cross-border arts, heritage and tourism project, linking North Pembrokeshire and North Wexford, funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales co-operation programme.

The mural was created by Grant Radford of Accent London, originally from Port Talbot. He engaged with local schools and community groups linked to Theatr Gwaun before coming up with a draft design. 

This was then further honed and developed through dialogue with the team at Ancient Connections, Theatr Gwaun staff and a public engagement session held at the Theatr.

A simple colour palette of a rich dark purple/blue background, with black and gold images over the top gives the mural an elegant and contemporary feel. 

A silhouette of black birds flocking across the building is layered over with sparkling gold creatures of the sea and figures from folklore, such as a mermaid. 

Another layer of yellow stars presents these figures as constellations, paying homage to the navigation of seas using star maps in times gone by.

An anchor in the bottom right hand corner references Fishguard and Goodwicks’ rich maritime history and trade.

A local resident said:

“It’s fabulous. Relevant, bold yet delicate. I love how the different colours create depth and fluidity and the references to nature.”

A story key at eye level on the wall presents a series of smaller images that touch on significant stories and heritage of the local area, as well as links to Wexford across the water. 

Motifs include the ‘Sgadan Abergwaun’ or Fishguard Herring – as local people were referred to due to their dependence on herring fishing. 

A coiled rope references the traditional ropemaking trade in Fishguard that gave Ropewalk street its name. 

The enormous whale in the main mural and in the motif points to the presence of whales such as minke in the Irish Sea, as well as the famous film of Moby Dick, which was shot in the Fishguard area in 1954 starring Gregory Peck and Orson Wells. 

A light aeroplane recalls the first flight over the Irish Sea from Goodwick to Enniscorthy in 1912. A galleon conjures up the infamous pirate Barti Ddi who hailed from Puncheston and sailed the seas in the early eighteenth century.

Ruth Jones, Project Officer for Ancient Connections says:

“We are delighted with the mural, it is stylish and striking, and at the same time speaks of movement and migration across the Irish Sea, which are key themes for Ancient Connections. We hope that it will become a focus point for the twin towns to evoke local heritage and folklore, as well as give visitors an insight to the rich history of this area”.

A forthcoming leaflet will provide more information on Fishguard and Goodwicks’ local stories, folklore and heritage for local people and curious visitors alike. Ancient Connections is led by Pembrokeshire County Council, together with partners Wexford County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Visit Wexford funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales co- operation programme.

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Community

Deadline approaching for Enhancing Pembrokeshire Panel

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THE LOCAL AUTHORITY is urging organisations and community groups to apply for the final round of Enhancing Pembrokeshire grants of the current political administration.

The deadline is 22 November so the council is encouraging those who have thought about applying to do so prior to the closing date.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet will meet in January next year to make its final decision.

The Enhancing Pembrokeshire Grant, uses funds raised via the Second Homes Tax, to provide funding for new projects that help address the negative impact of second homes – and in doing so adds value to our communities.

Cllr Bob Kilmister, the Cabinet Member for Finance, said: ‘I would urge organisations and groups to get in touch and take this opportunity to improve and enhance the services they provide.

‘This fund has been critical to so many projects and has helped to develop incredible and worthwhile initiatives.’

To date, the Enhancing Pembrokeshire Grant has supported a significant amount of people in the county through a variety of projects that focus on connecting people. These initiatives address a range of issues from raising standards of health and wellbeing by providing affordable housing and improving social care – to promoting self-sustained and vibrant communities, regeneration and safeguarding our environment.

Here are some examples of current projects to see how people’s lives have been improved and supported:

Neyland Community Hub Community Interest Company   £46,150.00

This project was to establish a Community Interest Care Company in Neyland Community Hub focussed initially on domiciliary care.

Skrinkle Park Play Area £9,741.00

Providing essential play equipment created a more vibrant village facility supporting the wellbeing of families and children in Manorbier.

Clydau Communty Council  £12,611.00 split between the three wards of Crymych, Boncath and Clydau

The Helping Halls project provided a Project Support Officer who supported volunteers managing community halls in four villages. Working with the volunteers they identified ways to make the halls more resilient to changes in their communities, and more economically sustainable.

Fishguard Sports AFC £13,600

The Project prepared and developed a good quality cricket pitch. This enabled the sports facility to attract more sports participants, families and Fishguard School to enjoy all year round. It will ultimately make the Club more sustainable and help restore vibrancy to a large section of the Fishguard and Goodwick community.

Cantabile Singers of Pembrokeshire £2,377.60

The project was to encourage community participation in isolated areas through singing. Beneficial to those suffering from dementia, mental health issues or loneliness, enhancing the wellbeing of all. The project was for the provision of PA equipment necessary to reach bigger audiences, performance overheads and the purchase of Welsh and English music to support maximum audience.

The Tenby Talking Newspaper (TTN) £5,240.00

The project upgraded their recording equipment. It enabled them to maintain and improve their service to around 75 local people with impaired sight, offering participants news and information via audio extracts from the weekly Tenby Observer newspaper, allowing them to remain part of, and stay in touch with their community.

Cllr Kilmister adds: ‘This round is the final of the current administration so it is even more important to get involved and engage with the process. If you have any questions about how the scheme works please contact the email below and one of the team will call you back and talk you through the process.’

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News

Increase in people hare coursing and lamping without landowner’s permission

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE’S Rural Crime Team is reporting an increased number of calls regarding persons suspected to be Hare Coursing, and/or lamping rabbits on private land, in which permission has not been sought.

The police say they are asking that land owners in rural locations please remain vigilant, ensuring to keep gates and access points secured.

A spokesperson for the police told The Herald: “We urge any land owners that suspect hare coursing is taking place on their land, to report it to the police immediately, as hare coursing is illegal under the Hunting Act 2004. Any land owners that suspect individuals are using their land to go ‘lamping’, without the landowners permission, should also contact the Police.

“We would ask members of the public not to approach any individuals that are suspected to be hare coursing or lamping. Instead, we ask that you contact the Police and provide as much detail as possible.

“You can contact Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”

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