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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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Pembrokeshire residents can quickly check symptoms for variety of conditions on NHS 111 Wales online

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NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker can save Pembrokeshire patients time by helping them find the right NHS service for treatment. Symptoms can be quickly checked for a variety of conditions and advice given on the best way to treat them by visiting www.111.wales.nhs.uk which is hosted by the Welsh Ambulance Service.

The way we access NHS services has changed as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with more options now becoming increasingly utilised, including the NHS 111 Wales online service which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can be used for both health information and advice and to access urgent primary care in Welsh and English.

In a recent YouGov survey, a third of Pembrokeshire residents had not even heard of the NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker and only 19% had used it during the past 12 months.

Andrew Carruthers, Director of Operations at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We are asking everyone to help us by reconsidering the way you access NHS services. The methods available have changed but we are still here for you. It is worth getting to know the different ways you can access the NHS so you can be seen and treated quicker with your first port of call being NHS 111 Wales.”

According to the YouGov survey, carried out for the Welsh Government’s Keep Wales Safe campaign, only 67% of Pembrokeshire residents had heard of the NHS 111 Wales online symptom checker. However, 86% said they felt it was important to have access to the service.   

NHS 111 Wales online can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. The way it works is: You answer questions about your symptoms on the website and depending on the situation you will:

  •           Get self-care advice
  •           Be told how to get any medicine you need
  •           Find out what local service can help you
  •           Be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP
  •           Get a face-to-face appointment if you need one
  •           Be given an arrival time if you need to go to A&E – this might mean you spend less time in A&E

For those who don’t have confidence going online to seek advice, there is the NHS 111 Wales phone service. This is also a free service where patients can contact the NHS by dialling 111 to receive advice on the best way to manage their issue or gain further assistance if needed. The bilingual telephone service is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Eighty-four percent of Pembrokeshire residents had heard of the NHS 111 Wales phone service when asked for the recent YouGov survey but only 20% had used the telephone service during the last 12 months.

 

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Trial date for son accused of killing mum

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THE SON of Judith Rhead, 68, who was found dead in her home in Market Street, Pembroke Dock on Feb 20 will now appear in Crown Court again in October.

Dale Morgan, 43, said to be a scout master, appeared in court only to confirm his name, date of birth and address – which was listed as Honeyborough Green, Neyland.

A plea and trial preparation hearing date was set for March 26 with a provisional trial date set for October 4.

He was remanded in custody.

In court papers it stated that the alleged murder took place between December 10, 2020 and February 21, 2021.

The paperwork demonstrates that the police are unsure of the exact date that Ms Rhead died. The large date range, two months, points to the likelihood that this will be a challenging case for all those involved.

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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