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Over 900 caught on phone whilst driving

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phonewhiledrivingMORE than 900 motorists were caught using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel during the 2014 All-Wales Anti- Mobile Phone While Driving Campaign last month. The two-week enforcement campaign, which ran between October 9 and 17, involved road safety partners and urged all road users to ‘keep their eyes on the road’ and not be distracted by answering their mobile phone, reading a text or going online. Officers from all four Welsh police forces carried out proactive patrols to target motorists who endangered other road users through this behaviour and educated drivers on the penalties they faced if caught.

Go Safe safety camera vans, that can also enforce mobile phone offences, were used during the campaign. During the campaign, officers detected a total of 914 mobile phone driving offences throughout Wales. North Wales Police issued 53 TORs (Traffic Offence Reports) while in the Gwent area a total of 72 fixed penalty notices were issued to law-breakers. In the Dyfed Powys force area 447 notices were given, while in South Wales 342 offenders were caught and apprehended. TOR’s have now replaced all endorsable fixed penalty notices which means the driver will be contacted with details of how their case will be dealt with – be it an offer of an educational course, a conditional offer of a fixed penalty and/or driving licence penalty points or an appearance at a Magistrates’ Court.

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “It is disappointing that so many drivers chose to ignore our warnings. Even the most experienced or competent of drivers can be easily distracted and a slight lapse in concentration can have serious consequences. Along with drink driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving carelessly, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, whether it be texting, using an app, or making a phone call is classed as one of the “Fatal 5”; the 5 most common causes of fatal road traffic collisions.

With the increased use of smart phones we are seeing drivers being distracted whilst accessing their apps, reading their emails or accessing the internet. Drivers need to be aware that these actions carry the same danger and the same penalty. This campaign is just one part of our continuing effort to target and reduce the number of drivers who risk becoming involved in a serious or fatal collision due to using a mobile phone while driving. This is not a seasonal effort – officers will continue to clamp down on drivers who risk their lives and the lives of others.”

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales and Road Safety Officer for Dyfed Powys Police added: “Driving while using a mobile phone is not only illegal but dangerous. It doesn’t just put your own life at risk but also the lives of your passengers and other road users who may not have a say in your actions behind the wheel. While it’s saddening to see that so many motorists got caught using a mobile phone whilst driving it has also demonstrated the resolve of all the Road Safety Wales partners in tackling this issue and we will continue to work together to drive home the message that you need to switch off before you drive off.” During the two-week campaign officers also detected other offences whilst carrying out checks – including 113 offences of speeding, 64 offences of failing to wear a seatbelt, five offences of no insurance, four disqualified drivers and 31 arrests were made for drink/ drug driving offences.

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Charity

Fishguard RNLI Lifeboat station welcomes new Mechanic  

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CHRIS THOMAS, 41, is to become the new full-time mechanic at Fishguard RNLI lifeboat station after serving as an assistant mechanic for the charity’s lifeboat station for five years. 

Chris will take over from Stephen (Hose) Philips who will retire from his post next month. Stephen, known locally as ‘Hose’ due this former role as  fireman will this month begin a detailed handover to Chris.   

‘Hose’ joined the crew in 1997 so has completed 25 years’ service. He joined the RNLI as a crew member, later became 2nd Coxswain and was made full-time mechanic in Feb 2005.  

Following a family tradition as mechanics for the charity Chris Thomas became the full-time mechanic on 8 August. His father was the assistant mechanic for the RNLI during the 1970s. 

Born and raised in Dinas Cross, near Fishguard and now living in Goodwick, Chris is excited to be the full-time mechanic. 

Speaking about the new role, Chris said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Fishguard lifeboat crew on a full-time basis and to serving the Fishguard & Goodwick community for the foreseeable future.”

Fishguard RNLI lifeboat station has a rich history of outstanding crew with the likes of Coxswain Francis George who was honoured by Her Majesty The Queen, in the 2003 New Year’s Honours List with an MBE for services to the Institution. 

Chris hopes to continue this as he takes on his new role at Fishguard. 

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New ward extension opens at Werndale Hospital

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WERNDALE Hospital opens its £1millon ward extension, featuring a suite of new spacious patient en-suite rooms and additional light and airy ward space for new nurses’ stations, new technology and medical equipment, in pleasant and comfortable spaces. 

Werndale is part of Circle Health Group, the UK’s largest provider of private healthcare. The group is carrying out a £125 million redevelopment programme across its 50 hospitals in the UK.

Werndale has a strong history in the village of Bancyfelin, where is has been serving the local communities of Wales for over 32 years.

James Davies, Wales and Scarlets rugby player, from Bancyfelin, cut the ribbon to mark the official opening on Monday 1st August. His nickname “Cubby”, is reference to his brother’s nickname, “Fox”; this refers to the Fox & Hounds pub their parents ran in Bancyfelin, the village where they grew up. Staff and consultants were given the chance to view the new extension, with a small gathering to mark the occasion and celebrate all the hard work that has gone into this project over the last 12 months.

Jacky Jones, Executive Director of Werndale Hospital said: “The investment programme is an exciting opportunity to expand what we can offer to patients at Werndale. Our staff and consultants are delighted with this expansion which will allow us to meet the private healthcare needs of patients and families in Wales and will decrease waiting times which will positively impact the patient’s experience. Having the new patient rooms here increases our ward capacity by 20%, it is a great investment”.

Gaynor Llewellyn, Director of Clinical Services said: “At Werndale we are committed to continuous improvement of clinical facilities and services. We continually invest in the hospital so that we can offer our patients and consultants reassurance when they visit us for treatments”.

Werndale Hospital is seeing increased demand for its services across all specialities particularly orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, and general surgery. Nearly 4,000 patients had surgery at Werndale Hospital, Bancyfelin during 2021 and the new investment will enable ward capacity to be increased by 25 per cent.

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Next week’s Pembrokeshire County Show promises to be an action-packed two-day event

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WALES’ largest county agricultural show, Pembrokeshire County Show, promises to be action-packed next week. The event, taking place on 17 and 18 August at Pembrokeshire County Showground in Haverfordwest, will have something for everyone.

Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society are pulling out all the stops to make the new style two-day event better than before with new attractions and a new showground layout will make the 2022 show one to remember.

Enjoy listening to the all-day entertainment from the music stage, tickle your tastebuds at the fabulous food court, marvel at the livestock classes, be wowed by the showjumping, explore the horticulture, arts and crafts area, shop til you drop in the NEW Country Market area, showcasing over 40 quality local and award winning product and craft stalls.

Mansel Raymond, Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society President said, “We are very excited about the prospect of seeing our wonderful members, competitors, trade stands, sponsors and community coming together once again next week. Whether you’re a Pembrokeshire local or visiting we’re sure you’ll have a fantastic day out. This year’s show is jam-packed with great attractions and events meaning so there’s something for everyone.”

Thousands of visitors are expected to see some of the best livestock, taste fabulous local food and drink, experience country life and enjoy a wealth of entertainment.

Every day, there will be live entertainment from 6am until 7pm from the Pure West Radio stage. Together with broadcasting live from the show both days there will live music, choirs, special guests, competitions, workouts, arts, dance and performances.

There truly will be something for everyone at next week’s show with over 300 trade stands to explore. Entertainment also includes: Sheep dog trials display, vintage demo and static displays, Classic Cars, Zip Wire, Little legs football, Funfair with promotional discount tickets with thanks to Andrew Holmes Funfairs, Pembrokeshire Food Court, Craft & Horticulture, eggs and pigeon show, cattle on the Wednesday, Children’s calf showing; Children’s equine ring, sheep and pigs showing on the Thursday, horses both days, Dog Agility and the Country Market.

There’s always an emphasis on great Welsh produce, celebrating the show’s ethos of ‘field to fork’ and ‘soil to spoon’. Visitors will be able to tickle their taste buds at the huge food court, sponsored by Castell Howell, which celebrates the very best local produce on offer.

In the Countryside Park there will be BASC Wales displays by gun dogs and retrievers; Canine displays by specialist search and detection dogs; live talks and demonstrations timetabled throughout the day by Old Park Apiaries, beekeeping/honey production/pollinator support. There will also be a chance to try your hand in the BASC Air Rifle target shooting range, learn about the British Bird of Prey Centre, White tailed Eagle project, watch Brendan Rocke’s chainsaw sculptures and carvings demonstrations and enjoy Body Canvas, Stilt walking & Balloon sculptures.

The Community Zone, supported by South Hook LNG, brings together a number of voluntary and community groups. Coordinated by Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS) the marquee is an opportunity for organisations, who might not normally be able to have a presence at the show, to promote their activities in Pembrokeshire. From giving advice, supporting those in need or providing training and volunteering opportunities.

Getting around at an agricultural show can sometimes be difficult, however at the Pembrokeshire County Showground there is a good network of tarmac making conditions underfoot easier for visitors with limited mobility. Parking is available for Blue Badge holders and we have disabled toilets and Mobiloo at this year’s show. Mobility scooters and wheelchairs hire are available to hire from Advanced Mobility Solutions please visit the website for bookings: www.pembshow.org

To get to the Showground: for SatNav, use the following address: County Showground, Withybush, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 4BW. The show is signposted from the main A40 trunk roads. Please look for the ‘P’ signs for public parking.

Dogs are very welcome at the show provided they bring their responsible owners with them! Dog drinking bowls are available around the showground. Dogs must be kept on leads.

Tickets are available on the website: www.pembsshow.org and for up-to-date details of this year’s event follow Pembrokeshire County Show on facebook, twitter or Instagram.

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