Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

Pembroke Dock: Local who lost two friends to drugs promotes government inquiry

Published

on

Drugs and alcohol: Tell the government what you think

Drugs and alcohol: Tell the government what you think

A LOCAL man who lost two friends to drugs overdoses is appealing for the people of Pembrokeshire to participate in a government inquiry into alcohol and substance misuse before it’s too late.

The Welsh Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee is conducting a review into the recent surge of ‘legal highs’ in the country, as well as the wider issues of alcohol and substance misuse, and wants to hear the public’s views by January 9.

The committee, made up of ten Assembly Members, is inviting public responses on substance misuse, the law surrounding it and also the support available, and will be publishing its report later this month.

Sean McGhan, aged 25 from Pembroke Dock, suffered two bereavements when his friend Anthony Gammer died on July 26, 2013, aged 27, after taking a concoction of drugs including cannabis, dihydrocodeine, ketamine and diazepam.

Sean McGhan: Urging locals to participate in inquiry

Sean McGhan: Urging locals to participate in inquiry

Mr McGhan’s other close friend, Paul Dalling, died in 2013 at the untimely age of 24 after brewing a deadly tea using poppy seeds. The DJ from Milford Haven thought the drink would induce a pleasant drowsy effect, however after consuming a pint of the concoction his central nervous system shut down and he died in bed.

The inquest into Mr Dalling’s death heard that he drank the infusion and smoked cannabis before going for a night out with friends. The coroner’s conclusion into the unusual death, which warned of the dangerous effects of poppy tea, garnered national press attention when it was published last year.

Mr McGhan believes there is a strong case to legalise certain drugs, to ensure their safety, and says he thinks that providing better education to youngsters would undoubtedly save lives.

Explaining to the Herald why he is so keen for everyone to participate in the Government’s inquiry, Mr McGhan said: “Every experience with drugs is important to the overall decision as to how it’s all governed. We all have our own unique views and many have direct experiences that need to be heard and respected by the government, not just the habitual users but the medicinal users too. For example, my suffering Nan could be using cannabis if not for all the stigma resulting in a huge lack of research.

He added: “Cancer sufferer’s medicines are being used by kids because the patients need money to buy a working medicine like cannabis. Weed is everywhere anyway, just expensive and blatantly funds the black market even here in Pembrokeshire. Hard drugs are being used because users aren’t getting high off the now low quality commercial cannabis, nor are they educated not to use drugs. If it’s blatant to us but not the government maybe we should point it out to them with this unique opportunity they have offered us!”

Tragic: Anthony Gammer, died in 2013

Tragic: Anthony Gammer, died in 2013

“The government are running out of excuses on keeping the drugs stigma going.  It’s true most people who don’t use drugs have absolutely no idea about them but those who use, or used them, know all too well of the dangers that follow drug use.”

McGhan said: “Anyone can send an email to the Welsh Government by January 9 by emailing hsccommittee@wales.gov.uk or you can write to The Clerk, Health and Social Care Committee, National Assembly for Wales, CF99 1NA.”

The terms of reference for the inquiry being conducted in Wales are, to consider:

  • the impacts of alcohol and substance misuse on people in Wales, including young people and university students; older people; homeless people; and people in police custody or prisons;
  •  the effectiveness of current Welsh Government policies on tackling alcohol and substance misuse and any further action that may be required;
  •  the capacity and availability of local services across Wales to raise awareness and deal with the impact of the harms associated with alcohol and substance misuse.
Died after drinking poppy tea: Paul Dalling

Died after drinking poppy tea: Paul Dalling

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “The National Assembly for Wales’ Health and Social Care Committee is a group of ten Assembly Members from across Wales who represent the four political parties who make up the Assembly. The Committee’s job is to hold the Welsh Government to account on health and social care within Wales, including finance, administration, policy and legislation.”

The spokesman added: “We have recently been doing some work on new psychoactive substances which are sometimes called legal highs – our report will be out in the New Year. We want to build on that work, and so we are now looking into issues of alcohol and substance misuse. As part of our inquiry, we want to know about the effect that alcohol and substance misuse has on people in Wales, how well these issues are currently being tackled, and whether the right local services are in place across Wales to help people and make sure that they know about the possible harms. Giving us your views will help us make sure that we can take into account how alcohol and substance misuse affects real people in Wales on a daily basis.”

Continue Reading
2 Comments

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Three kayakers assisted by St Davids inshore lifeboat crew

Published

on

WHILST on exercise, Tuesday (June 22), St Davids In-shore Lifeboat was tasked by the coastguard at 3:15pm to assist three kayakers off St Davids Head.

The volunteer crew made way to the casualties and once one scene could see that one of the kayakers had made their way around the headland to the safer waters of Whitesands Bay.

The party had paddled out from Whitesands Beach when the tide had been ebbing and made there way North around St Davids Head. When the tide turned a wind against tide situation occurred on the headland causing 1.5m choppy seas and 5 knot current preventing the other two kayakers from returning back into Whitesands Bay, a member of the public had spotted the situation and called the Coastguard.

The crew assisted the remaining two kayakers around the headland one at a time by taking them on-board the lifeboat and around the headland. Once the party was reunited in the safety of Whitesands Bay they were escorted back towards the beach where RNLI lifeguards were informed and expecting their arrival.

The crew returned to exercise and complete its crew assessments with the on board assessor before rehousing at around 4:30pm.

When going out on kayaks always wear a lifejacket, check tides and weather, and bring a means to call for help, on 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Continue Reading

Business

Green hydrogen electrolyser and car refueler arrive at Milford Waterfront

Published

on

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL says it is leading the way in renewable energy with a collaborative £4.5 million project exploring the vital role hydrogen could play in a decarbonised energy future.

Milford Haven : Energy Kingdom (MH:EK) is a two-year ‘detailed design’ project, completing in 2022, exploring what a renewable energy based Smart Local Energy System could look like for the Milford Haven Waterway – including the concept of a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (HFCEV).

The aim is to gather detailed insight into the whole energy system around the Waterway, looking at how to make, using and distributing hydrogen financially viable within the different energy sectors of buildings, industry, power and transport.

The MH:EK team will investigate the potential of local renewable energy, including solar, onshore wind, future offshore wind and biomass for decarbonised gas transition.

One element of the project involves a consumer trial of two Riversimple ‘Rasa’ HFCEV’s. The MH:EK team is building a green hydrogen electrolyser and refueler on Milford Waterfront – and this will be used to produce green hydrogen on site to fuel the two trial HFCEV’s.

The project will demonstrate the practical application of hydrogen technology. The aim is to test the feasibility of two hydrogen powered Rasa cars. They will be built by Welsh company Riversimple, and operate as fleet cars in and around the Haven.

Pembrokeshire County Councillor Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Welsh Language, said: ‘We welcome the progress made by the partnership, particularly in view of recent news that new petrol and diesel cars will not be sold in the UK after 2030. This innovative approach will help us to switch to a low carbon future and promoting sustainable transport as we respond to the climate change emergency.’

Work is underway and should be operational for the trial in July. A hydrogen-ready smart hybrid heating system is also being designed and will be installed and tested in an operational Port building.

Continue Reading

News

Council’s building maintenance teams to resume non-emergency responsive repairs

Published

on

THE HOUSING Building Maintenance teams within Pembrokeshire County Council are now able to re-commence non-emergency responsive repairs to customers’ homes around the County.

Lockdown has prevented tradesmen and women from entering homes to carry out anything other than emergency repairs for many months but the PCC Contact Centre is now able to take calls from customers to request a non-emergency service in their homes once more.

The Contact Centre receives around 38,000 building maintenance related service requests each year and even throughout lockdown Building Maintenance have proudly maintained a 99.2% success rate in responding to emergency repairs within 24hours since restrictions came into force.

Covid has caused a large disruption to the service and while the authority is now in a position to re-open phone lines to routine responsive repairs, a delay in providing that service is inevitable as the backlog is worked through but the authority is working hard to meet the demand.

Backlog is likely to take several months and is dependent on a number of factors including the numbers of repair requests received, availability of materials and contractors.

PCC currently employs 64 tradesmen and women directly and has a considerable number of contractors on its framework to undertake a wide range of maintenance works and Building Maintenance are in the process of tendering a New Minor Works Framework.

All maintenance employees and contractors will continue to work under strict guidelines in people’s homes to ensure that all safety and social distancing measures are adhered to.

The Housing Building Maintenance service is also in the final stages of implementing ‘Repair Finder’ which will enable Contact Centre staff to diagnose the faults in customer’s homes far quicker and more accurately than before, which will in turn ensure that Building Maintenance are better informed and resourced ahead of arriving at the property to carry out the repair.

This is expected to reduce the length of calls to the Contact Centre and subsequently reduce call-waiting times.

The ‘Repair Finder’ tool is expected to be available later in the year and will soon offer residents direct access to an online version which will enable them to report responsive repairs themselves.

Once trialled and released, service requests can be logged by the tenant via the Council’s ‘Housing Online’ portal.

When residents report a problem within their home via the Call Centre or ‘Repair Finder’, they will receive text message alerts informing them of the timescales within which they can expect the repair to be made.

Cabinet member for Housing, Cllr Michelle Bateman said: “We’re under no illusion that lockdown measures have caused a major disruption to the building maintenance service.

“We’re receiving new requests now on top of those that have been on standby during the Covid restrictions. Pembrokeshire residents have shown tremendous patience and understanding of services that have been stretched throughout the crisis so we’re counting on their ongoing support and we hope they appreciate that it will take a period of time to get back to where we were.

“People can be assured that we are working very hard to bring back the outstanding levels of service we provided before Covid and it’s things like ‘Repair Finder’ that will help make this possible going forward.

“With one in every six employed people in Pembrokeshire working for the local authority, it’s important to remember that we are very much in this together”.

If you wish to report a repair to your home you can call the Contact Centre on 01437 764551.

Continue Reading
News2 hours ago

Three kayakers assisted by St Davids inshore lifeboat crew

WHILST on exercise, Tuesday (June 22), St Davids In-shore Lifeboat was tasked by the coastguard at 3:15pm to assist three...

Business20 hours ago

Green hydrogen electrolyser and car refueler arrive at Milford Waterfront

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL says it is leading the way in renewable energy with a collaborative £4.5 million project exploring the vital...

News22 hours ago

Council’s building maintenance teams to resume non-emergency responsive repairs

THE HOUSING Building Maintenance teams within Pembrokeshire County Council are now able to re-commence non-emergency responsive repairs to customers’ homes...

News1 day ago

NHS Wales announce first and second dose vaccination walk-in clinics

HYWEL DDA UHB is running walk-in vaccination clinics this week. There is no need to contact the health board to...

News2 days ago

Residents urged to be alert to Covid-19 symptoms following cluster of cases

PUBLIC HEALTH WALES, Pembrokeshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board are urging members of the public to be...

News2 days ago

Paul Davies submits views to Health Board Consultation

Senedd Member Paul Davies has fed his views into Hywel Dda University Health Board’s consultation, “Building a Healthier Future after...

News3 days ago

Reminder from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to pre-book for attractions

MEMBERS of the public are being reminded to pre-book their entry tickets before visiting two popular National Park Authority-run attractions....

News3 days ago

Haverfordwest and Cardigan high streets listed as among the ten worst in Britain

TWO west Wales high streets have been listed in a UK wide report detailing Britain’s worst high streets. In the...

News5 days ago

Lifeboats and chopper in major air sea rescue off the coast of Tenby

TWO RNLI lifeboats from both Tenby and Angle stations have been launched to assist a coastguard helicopter which has been...

News6 days ago

Organisers urged to read guidance on holding Covid-aware events

ORGANISERS planning to hold events in Pembrokeshire are being urged to read guidance published by the Welsh Government. The Welsh...

Popular This Week