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‘Time to focus on employment’ says minister



edwina hartEDWINA HART MBE made a statement on behalf of the Welsh Government regarding Murco Refinery: The minister said: “I am today, as agreed, updating Members on Murco Refi nery following my statement last week. This is a diffi cult time for the employees of the company, their families and the wider community in Pembrokeshire. We now need to focus on doing all we can maximise the opportunities for employment at the site, and ensure the employment and skills are retained for the future prosperity of the region.

Yesterday I chaired a meeting of the Murco task force. We discussed a range of issues, including support for the Murco employees and contractors, business support, the role of Enterprise Zones, and issues with connectivity and transport. In terms of support for the employees, we will of course provide support for those facing redundancy through our React programmes. I have been asked by the task force to consider the use of the ProAct scheme which has been used to great effect in the past, and I have instructed offi cials to consider the proposal and provide me with further advice.

We will also be working with the CBI and other business leaders to on opportunities across the sector to bring employers together with prospective employees. We will therefore be holding a series of events, starting with a “Jobs fayre” event on December 10 at the Bridge Innovation Centre. We have taken immediate measures to ensure that the Apprentices on site can continue their learning pathway.

I am very grateful to Valero for agreeing to offer placements to all of the Murco apprentices onto their excellent apprenticeship programme so they can maintain their studies. The task force will also be taking forward a work programme that maximises the skills and training activities on site to support both the employers and the wider contractor workforce with opportunities to up-skill so that that they are able to transfer their skills and enter new sectors. I will be working the Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology to take this work forward. We will also continue to support business growth in the area. Business Wales will offer an enhanced service from their Pembroke Dock offi ces and will be providing an additional presence on the high-street to ensure that we provide advice and support to local businesses to explore new markets and for those wishing to set up in business.

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 £3 million fund will sit alongside a £500,000 new round of the SME Growth Fund that I am committing to, aimed at supporting smaller and microsized 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 specifi c priority of the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone.

Today I am announcing the appointment of Mr Stan McIlvenny OBE as the new Chair of Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone. Mr McIlvenny is the current Chief Executive and Company Secretary of Port of Waterford Company, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the port sector across shipping, logistics, warehousing, rail and fl eet transport. Mr McIlvenny will take up this position with immediate effect and will Chair tomorrow’s meeting of the Enterprise Zone Board.I know Mr McIIvenny will be keen to give early consideration to the boundaries of the Zone and the opportunities it can deliver in light of the Murco announcement.

I am also keen that we look at how we enhance connectivity within the area to promote business opportunities. I have specifi cally accelerated the Superfast Cymru project to bring early benefi ts to the Haven Enterprise Zone. Good progress is already being made with nearly 23,000 premises in the area already able to receive superfast broadband services. We are also fi nalising the details of how we can provide additional telecommunications support to businesses in Enterprise Zones, and the Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology will be making an announcement on this later in the month. In terms of transport links, I have been asked by the task force to consider the issue of the duallling of the A40.

I have instructed my offi cials to accelerate, to the full extent possible, the programme for delivering improvements at Llandewi Velfrey. I have also asked my offi cials to conduct further, urgent work, to explore additional ways to improve the A40, including the potential for dualling. This work will be complete within 6 months. As a government we are determined to do everything in our power to support the workforce and the local economy of Pembrokeshire and will explore every avenue with the company and partners to maximise the economic opportunities for the region. As part of this, I have decided to enhance the Memberships of the task force to bring in additional expertise.

I have asked Roger Evans MBE to Chair the task force. Roger is Managing Director and Plant Director at Schaeffl er and is a member of the St Athan and Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone Board. I am grateful to Roger for agreeing to take up this challenge. I know his years of experience in the sector and personal commitment will provide to drive this agenda forward at pace. I have also asked Emma Watkins, Director of CBI Wales to join the group. Emma’s background and expertise will help us link in with anchor companies across Wales. Roger and Emma will work alongside the existing membership of the task force, which includes representatives from Murphy Oil Corporation, Murco, Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire College, Unite the Union, and the Welsh and UK Governments.

I am grateful for their work to date. The task force will focus on delivery: delivery of a package of support and assistance for those affected and delivery of interventions to support the economic growth of the area. We will continue to provide advice and support for the workforce through our delivery partners and I have asked the task force to extend that support mechanism to the contractor network. We must ensure that all of those affected have the right information and skills to make the diffi cult choices ahead of them. The wider Murco workforce is highly skilled and has an excellent reputation and we will work with businesses partners in Wales and further to identify new employment opportunities for those affected by redundancy.”

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



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 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

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 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’



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



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, email, 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

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