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£3m to prop up Pembrokeshire

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murcoA MULTI-MILLION pound fund to create and protect jobs in Pembrokeshire has been announced following the loss of 340 jobs at the Murco oil refi nery . Economy and Science Minister for Wales Edwina Hart said the government would: “Focus on doing all we can,” to maximise opportunities for those workers from the site. As well as a £3m fi ghting fund, Mrs Hart also said she would explore ‘additional ways’ to improve the A40, ‘including the potential for dualling’. The Minister told The Herald: “I will be introducing a special round of the Welsh Economic Growth Fund that will be open to support businesses in creating and safeguarding employment in Pembrokeshire.

That £3m will sit alongside a £500,000 new round of the SME Growth Fund that I am committing to, aimed at supporting smaller and micro-sized companies to maximise the employment and growth opportunities in the region. We will of course be exploring the use of European monies to meet our goals and be working with the UK Government to consider the use of the EU’s Globalisation Adjustment Fund.  The energy sector is integral to the economic fabric of the local area and is a specific priority of the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone.” Paul Davies, Assembly Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said: “I have campaigned for the dualling of the A40 from St Clears to Fishguard for years and welcome moves to explore its potential.

You can travel along continuous dual carriageway from eastern Europe to Ireland apart from this stretch through Pembrokeshire, which is a barrier to investment and makes it more difficult for West Wales firms to compete. Consideration of dualling and other potential upgrades to the A40 must be concluded as swiftly as possible so work can begin to protect jobs and attract new ones. At this difficult time for Murco workers and their families, we welcome support available for them and hope regeneration funding will be made available to support the jobs dependent on the oil refinery’s supply chain.”

William Graham AM, Shadow Minister for Business, said: “I welcome the Welsh and UK Governments working together to support Murco workers and their families at this worrying time. We welcome consideration of ways to support employment in the West Wales communities affected by the loss of Murco. Workers at Murco and in the supply chain are highly experienced and will need every possible help in identifying new sources of employment to enable them to use their skills to contribute to Welsh industry.” Marc Tierney, South Pembrokeshire Labour Assembly Candidate said: “The Welsh Government Economy Minister has shown her strong support for Murco workers and the local economy this week in the Senedd.

The new appointment of Mr Stan McIlvenny OBE (current Chief Executive and Company Secretary of Port of Waterford Company) as the Chair of Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone reemphasises the focus on securing economic prosperity for Haven communities and the wider west Wales area. The undertaking to look at improving the A40 is an important step forward and it is right that the Welsh Government looks more closely at this now. As part of that process engagement must take place with local communities and organisations representing business, tourism and other local interests.”

William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Regional Assembly Member for Mid & West Wales has told The Herald that he welcomes the £3m fund. The announcement by Economy Minister, Edwina Hart, follows the loss of 340 jobs at the Murco oil refinery in Milford Haven. William Powell has also welcomed the appointment of Stan McIllvenny OBE as Chair of the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone, who has high level international experience in the ports sector. William Powell stated: “We need to do everything possible to develop the local economy to provide high quality jobs to replace those being lost at Murco. That is why I am pleased to hear the Economy Minister’s emphasis on improving transport links including the long overdue dualling of the A40 into the county.

I’ve also urged the Minister to explore innovative sources of funding for infrastructure investment, including the European Investment Bank. This could include both port development and the potential electrifi cation of rail services into West Wales.” He added: “It is also excellent news that the current Murco apprenticeships will be built into the training programme at Valero. This helps to lessen the danger of a skills drain out of the local economy, which we can ill afford, especially in the energy sector.

I commend Valero for their vision and commitment to both Pembrokeshire and the wider Welsh economy.” Joyce Watson AM said: “We should not lose sight of the fact that Pembrokeshire retains a strong energy sector. We have the LNG terminal, the Valero refi nery and Pembroke B – the largest gas-fi red power station in Europe. I would imagine the immediate priority for staff will be to discuss whether there are job opportunities at these alternative sites – because we don’t want to lose these skills in West Wales.” The collapse of the Murco deal will lead to the loss of hundreds of wellpaid local jobs. Mrs Watson stressed the importance of ‘open lines of communication’ with employees: “The last thing they need is to feel they’re being kept in the dark. I have also asked my offi cials to conduct further, urgent work, to explore additional ways to improve the A40, including the potential for duelling. This work will be complete within 6 months,” she said.

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Health board: COVID-19 vaccinations will be by appointment only from end of this month

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THE LOCAL health board has announced that from August 31, access to Mass Vaccination Centres (MVCs) in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire for COVID-19 vaccinations will be by appointment only in preparation for the start of the winter vaccine programme.

Anyone wishing to drop-in for their first or second dose during August is advised to check opening times on the day before travelling by visiting hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/covid-19-information/covid-19-vaccination-programme/mass-vaccination-centres or calling 0300 303 8322 as these are subject to change. If you still require a booster, please wait to be offered an appointment.

From 31 August 2022 onwards, please book an appointment by calling 0300 303 8322 or by emailing COVIDEnquiries.hdd@wales.nhs.uk

Bethan Lewis, Interim Assistant Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB), said: “Throughout the vaccination programme we’ve aimed to make the vaccine easily accessible through a combination of drop-ins and appointments. This change will allow us to deliver the COVID-19 in partnership with primary care and minimise the risk of duplication or vaccine waste.

“If you are eligible for an autumn COVID-19 booster, please wait to be invited by either your GP or the health board. Everyone eligible will be offered an appointment by November.

“GP practices are also preparing to invite eligible patients for their seasonal flu vaccine and aim to offer an appointment to everyone eligible by December. Again, please do not contact your GP practice at this time, you will be invited when it is your turn.”

Scheduled drop-in sessions for children and young people who are home-educated or not in education to access childhood vaccinations routinely offered through school nursing teams will continue as advertised at selected MVCs.

The remaining drop-in sessions for children aged 5 to 17 years of age will be held between 12pm and 6pm in the following locations:

Aberystwyth MVC (Thomas Parry Library, Llanbadarn Campus, SY23 3AS) – Tuesday 30 August
Carmarthen MVC (Y Gamfa Wen, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, SA31 3EP) – Friday 2 September
Cwm Cou MVC (Ysgol Trewen, SA38 9PE) – Monday 22 August
Haverfordwest MVC (Pembrokeshire Archives, SA61 2PE) – Wednesday 31 August
Llanelli MVC (Dafen Industrial Estate, SA14 8QW) – Tuesday 23 August
These drop-in sessions are also open to any Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire or Ceredigion school attendees who may have missed their vaccinations.

If you are unable to attend one of these sessions and have any queries or wish for your child to receive their scheduled vaccines, please complete the form available here hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/services-and-teams/immunisation-and-vaccination/childhood-and-young-people-vaccinations/vaccine-access-for-home-schooled-children or call 0300 303 8322 to be contacted by a member of the health board’s immunisation nursing team.

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Police appeal for information after man ‘was slapped on the back of the head’

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POLICE in Pembroke Dock are appealing for information after an alleged assault.

A male was slapped to the back of his head outside Lloyds Bank on Monday, August 8, 2022 between 5pm and 5.15pm following an argument with another male.

If you have any information please contact the Police on 101, quoting reference DPP/3231/08/08/2022/02/C

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Gareth Mann from Milford Haven sentenced to seven years in prison for drug offences

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DRUG dealer Gareth James Mann, aged 46, from Bunkers Hill, Milford Haven has been sentenced to a total of 7 years in prison.

A Misuse of Drugs Act search warrant was executed at Manns’ home address on 17th March 2022, where he was found to have controlled drugs including Heroin, Cocaine, Cannabis, Morphine, Pregabalin, Buprenorphine and Diazepam with a combined street value of up to £3660. Cash totalling £3430 was also found in his possession.

He was arrested and later charged with possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and with possession of criminal property.

Garth Mann: Drugs worth £3660, and cash totalling £3430 was found in his possession.

Mann appeared at Llanelli Magistrates court on Friday, March 18 where he entered a not guilty plea. He was remanded in custody to appear at Swansea Crown Court.

Following a 6-day trial Mann was found guilty of all counts by a majority verdict on Monday 15th August 2022 and sentenced to a total of 7 years in custody.

DS Vinny Barrett said told The Herald: “Tackling the supply of illegal drugs is a priority for police in Pembrokeshire and the misery that illegal drugs bring to local communities will not be tolerated.

“We are taking a positive approach in targeting those that supply illegal drugs, and I would encourage anyone with information about the misuse of drugs to contact police.

“This information will be acted upon and will help us in preventing the supply of illegal drugs and the criminality that can be associated with them.”

To report suspicious behaviour in your community, visit https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, email 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or call 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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