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Junior Agri-academy fact-finding tour of Brussels



EU HQ: visited by Wales’ Junior Agri-Academy

EU HQ: visited by Wales’ Junior Agri-Academy

FOURTEEN members of Wales’ Junior Agri-academy have taken the opportunity to meet EU politicians, senior commission officials and NFU lobbyists, during a recent study trip to Brussels, thanks to NFU Cymru and its team at the British Agriculture Bureau (BAB) in Brussels. The youngsters, aged 16 to 18, all with a strong interest in developing a career in Welsh agriculture, did a three day tour of Brussels, to gain an insight of the political workings of Europe and the interaction and impact it has on Welsh agriculture, as well as promoting the need for European policy to recognise and help the next generation access a profitable and growing industry.

During a packed few days the Junior Agri-academy members had dinner and a presentation with Welsh MEP, Derek Vaughan, had a guided tour of the European Parliament and visited the Welsh Office. They also received a presentation from senior officials on the links between Welsh Government and the European Commission and how the interests of both Welsh agriculture and wider industry are represented in Europe.

The group also attended and observed the agriculture committee. The group also met with the General Secretary of the European Council of Young Farmers, where they discussed and shared their vision and belief in the future of agriculture and learnt first-hand how youngsters from across the EU are represented and influencing future policy. John Mercer, NFU Cymru Director, also attended the trip. He said: “It was a fantastic few days and a real pleasure to take such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable group of youngsters to the heart of European politics.

“The group saw at first-hand how influential NFU Cymru is within Europe and how important it is for us to have an office and staff representing the interests of Welsh farmers in Brussels, which is based at the heart of the EU institutions.” The group had the opportunity to hear from Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, on two occasions. Firstly, the group sat as observers at the Commissions Agriculture Committee meeting and then they sat in on and observed COPA Presidium with NFU Cymru, whilst visiting COPA COGECA headquarters.

On the second occasion the academy had the opportunity to meet Commissioner Hogan, who stressed that he believed there was a bright future for youngsters across Europe. He later wrote in his blog:“It was inspirational to meet a group of dynamic young farmers from Wales, who were there at the invitation of NFU Cymru.” Junior Agri-academy member, Sioned Davies, said: “European politics plays a significant role in how we farm in Wales today and how we’ll farm in the future. It was a fantastic experience and meeting Commissioner Hogan face-to-face and hearing his views on the future was a real bonus.

We are very grateful to NFU Cymru for giving us the opportunity to see the workings of EU policy making and to Derek Vaughan for sponsoring and helping arrange the visit to the European Parliament.” The final day of the trip saw the group return to London where they met the NFU Parliamentary team in the NFU London office, to learn about their Westminster lobbying role and activities. The group then toured the Houses of Parliament before finishing with a question and answer session with Roger Williams, the MP for the constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire.

Swansea NFU Cymru Group Secretary, Kate Miles,who also travelled with the group representing Wales YFC said: “We are incredibly grateful to Roger Williams for staying on an extra day in London to meet with the Junior Agri-academy members and answer their questions. For the group to see behind the scenes of both the European and Westminster Parliaments within three days is an amazing opportunity and an experience I am sure they will never forget. “This trip, combined with their previous visit to the Welsh Assembly and Welsh Government in Cardiff, has given the group an excellent understanding of the main political factors that shape our industry and this will undoubtedly help them in whatever career they develop and hopefully inspire them to stay within agriculture.”

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan



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:

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


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Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence



GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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Appeal from Fire and Rescue Service to install working smoke alarms



AT 01:17am this morning, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, crews from Milford Haven were called to a property fire in the Hakin area of Milford Haven.

The fire was confined to a pan on a stove in the kitchen area and extinguished by firefighters using two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera.

Crews also ventilated the property and fitted smoke alarms within the property.

The Fire Service left the incident at 02:00am.

Watch Manager Alun Griffiths, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “This fire was the result of cooking left unattended. It is so important to remove all pots and pans from a heat source when you are called away from the cooker.

“Thankfully, the occupiers of the property managed to exit the property before our firefighters arrived, but it could have ended very differently as there were no smoke alarms fitted in the property.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of installing working smoke alarms in your homes and testing them regularly. In the dreadful event of a fire, they can alert you to the danger sooner and could mean the difference between life and death.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, we provide Home Fire Safety advice which is free of charge. We also offer Safe and Well Visits which you can arrange by phoning us on 0800 169 1234 or by visiting the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website.”

For further Home Fire Safety advice or to talk about the possibility of a Safe and Well Visit by Fire and Rescue Service personnel, please phone us on 0800 169 1234.​​​ Alternatively please complete an online Request a Safe and Well Visit​ form on the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website:

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