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Badger on the bins

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AFTER trying to find any number of ways to avoid stating what is obvious to everybody about the utterances being evacuated from the mouths of the IPPG at the last Council. Badger decided to have a lie down with a good book and bask In some of the recent good weather. Badger. who is not a creature fond of taking risks. decided to leave his choke of reading material to chance and – with his head turned away -reached into his groaning bookshelves to pull out what he sincerely hoped would he a plum. After picking out Fifty Shades of Beige: the Bryn Parry Jones Story and Jamie Adams’ Bumper Book of Fun with Sums, Badger decided that dumb chance was just that and, with his eyes a-peeping through his paws. Badger reached into the more interesting section of his bookshelf. Imagine his pleasure when he pulled out a battered and weil-thumbed copy of Pembrokeshire Humour by Brian John.

seagulbadgBadger flicked through his volume, chortling away. when one story in particular gave him pause for thought. Summarising a joke is rather difficult, but Badger will have a go A restaurant in Tenby was famed for its rabbit pie. During the myxomatosis scourge, the quality of the pie declined until one customer asked the restaurateur: “Give us an honest answer an you using horse-meat in the pie mixture?’ Answering yes. the restaurateur explained that he was using half and half. “What?” the startled customer asked poking at his rapidly cooling pie. “filly-fifty?’ Replied the restaurateur “That’s right. One horse to one rabbit.” Nowadays, of Mane. such a restaurateur would he hauled off before the beaks for any number of heinous crimes against food hygiene and trading standards.

It is the passing off as one thing as another that exercises Badger. however. When Badger lifts up the crust of an Old Ratty’s Hedgehog and Gravy pie, he expects to find rich wont’ and weasel gravy seething around large chunks of prime hedgehog. Anything else would be just wrong. That is a basic consideration. Badger likes things that – as the advertising slogan goes – do what they say on the tin. Badger loves books. but he would be appalled to open a volume marked “de Bello Civili: Lucan” to discover it was many Katie Price’s Love, Lks & Lipstick. So. when the County Council says that experiments with new gull-proof black hags in Tenby mean that they might be rolled out around Pembrokeshire you have to look al it and think -good news”, But when one peels back the crust of this story, there is more hobbling underneath than you might expect. Pembrokeshire is a coastal county. There cannot be a settlement that is not Happy badgermore than twenty minutes from the sea, Pembrokeshire has lots and lots of sea birds. Lots and lots of those sea birds are gulls. At which point in the year since Pembrokeshire adopted this benighted box-ticking green policy on our behalf did the Council think gull-proof bags might be a good idea? No poop.

Mr Holmes! Since the Council decided upon its policy of collecting black bin hags from louses in Nmbrokeshite, the number of households taking reeking rubbish to the tip has increased. Badger has visited a few tips in the last year and traffic has steadily increased. All the council has done is force people who do 1104 have an airtight outbuilding in which to store rotting garbage to transport the stuff themselves. In addition, and Badger speaks from experience. vermin intrude into garages. sheds and even into homes to pull bin bags apart and get at their contents. The Council has simply shuffled the problem elsewhere and shuffled the money round in inventive ways to get away with it. Bins would he answer. Most councils provide them fur black bag waste. Pembrokeshire doesn’t.

And when one lifts up the  crust of the gull-proof bags story, it is not difficult to find out why that is the CMG. The Council claims: “Research has shown that the quantity of waste collected from households with % wheelie bins is significantly higher than households that use sacks only.” When the County Council introduced garden waste bins to replace green sacks. Tenby ‘s Town Council was most miffed at the thought of residents in the town’s narrow and hustling streets having to haul a wheelie bin through their house instead of a sack of rubbish. In addition, it is thought that tourists – bless their sunburnt little white socks • don’t want to see wheelie bins in the street. It is better to present a romantic. twee and cod-genteel image of Pembrokeshire life to tourists. perhaps. than an accurate picture of living communities. Badger has been told at different nines that it was the National Park Authority or Tenby Town Council that put the kyhosh on thereat of us getting wheelie bins to keep our homes rat-free.

Badger offers no opinion on the truthfulness or otherwise of the allegations about Tenhy’s burghers or the Park’s enforcers. If true, however. it is monstrous that those of us who live in areas less adventitiously endowed with otherwise superfluous photogenic attributes. have to lump it as the Council will not provide us with bins and others with bags. Being members of the INC. most Cabinet members are used to being surrounded by rats and other vemiin. But members of Pembrokeshire’s public. those who receive public services provided by the Council, deserve better than walking into a garage to find a rat half way into a can of tuna while maggots happily wave hello from an empty bacon packet. If. like Badger. you are unlucky enough to have a member of the IPPG as your Councillor all one can expect when you complain is the equivalent of a pat on the head and a soothing word that we’re all in the same how.

A year on and a household with children. more than four people in it, or with a baby is lumped in the same boat as the singleton at home with a couple of moggies, the collected works of Polly Toynbce. and self-righteousness for company. That is not right. It is not fair. And the policy is wrung. But – and take a deep breath readers – it is not all the 113136’s fault. Badger realises that this might come as a surprise to some readers – and even some IPPG councillors – but Badger wants to point the finger at the real culprits. The Welsh Government is forcing councils to cut down on black bag collections because it is run by urban quangocrats who have little or no idea of life outside their little magic circle of self-congratulatory chums. And certainly little idea of life north and west of the M4 corridor. They have no idea what it is like to see a week’s rubbish strewn across the street by a hungry fox. In place of incentives, the Welsh Government is using a bloody big stick to beat Council’s unto doing what it wants. it is doing this because it does not believe in local communities’ ability to manage themselves and meet their own needs. It is part of the culture that wants to drag power away from local democracy and force people to do what it thinks is for their own good. Rather like the Tenby restaurateur’s reeking pie, it seems to Badger that the upper crust is well out of it.

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Park Authority Committee tours successful carbon reduction projects

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MEMBERS of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) Committee made a tour of local projects recently that have benefitted from SDF funding.

Since 2000, over 200 projects have been supported by the Fund. Over the past year, the Fund has changed its focus to support community-led projects that mitigate the climate emergency by contributing to a reduction in carbon.

Coppicewood College, which promotes and supports sustainable woodland management, was one of the successful applicants visited by Committee Members. After entering into talks with the West and South Wales Wildlife Trust and securing a new home in Pengelli Forest on a 25-year lease, an application was made for SDF funding to build a workshop using sustainable building methods. Both the College and the Wildlife Trust will benefit from this new partnership, as the College now has a brand new home in a prestigious SSSI woodland and the Trust will be able to have a programme of woodland management tailored to the needs of local wildlife.

SDF Committee Members also paid a visit to Clynfyw Care Farm, where funding has been used to pay for equipment, set-up costs and training in a new vermicomposting (worm composting) project. This creates a sustainable and high quality compost, which can be used to improve soil conditions organically for local vegetable produce growers, while sequestering carbon during the process.

Bwlch-y-groes village hall also formed part of the itinerary for Members, who were shown where the SDF-funded photovoltaic panels and electric vehicle charging point, which are set to complement the new building, will be positioned.

The tour came to an end with a talk from the Cwm Arian Renewable Energy Project, which has received an SDF cash injection to help with the Pembrokeshire Energy Efficiency Programme (PEEP) – a project that aims to engage with communities across North Pembrokeshire in order to understand behaviours in energy reduction.

Jessica Morgan, Funding and Grants Officer for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust, said: “It’s been hugely rewarding to see so many innovative climate solutions coming to fruition as a result of SDF grants.

“We are now inviting applications for the next round of funding. If you are part of a community-led group or organisation based in or around the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and have a project that would help reduce carbon and/or respond to climate change, please consider applying.”

Projects can include:

·       Installing renewable energy generation facilities, such as solar panels, to a community building

·       Transport initiatives that promote reduced carbon emissions

·       The installation of community facilities that minimise waste, such as water fountains

·       Any other community-based carbon reduction initiatives.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 10 September

Further information on how to apply and an application form can be found at www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/sustainable-development-fund/.

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Firefighters respond to industrial unit fire at Rope Walk, Hakin, Milford Haven

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EMERGENCY SERVICES are responding to a fire at an industrial unit off the Rope Walk in Hakin, Milford Haven this morning (Tuesday, July 27).

The fire broke out just after 10am. Witnesses at the scene told our reporter that they beleived the fire was linked to welding work which going on a the time on the premises.

Three fire applicances are engaged with fighting the fire.

Another person close to the scene said: “Black smoke could be seen from quite a distance, and there were popping sounds and small bangs coming from inside the warehouse as the fire took hold.”

No injuries have been reported.

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Trial bathing water testing project makes a splash

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A TRIAL project is making waves in the way the quality of bathing water is recorded and how that information is presented to those thinking of taking a dip.

Launched during the baking hot weather and at the start of the school holidays, the project run by Pembrokeshire County Council aims to develop an information platform for local people, visitors and activity groups to detail the bathing quality away from Blue Flag beaches.

As an Authority, Pembrokeshire County Council is very proud to have the most Blue Flag beaches in the whole of the UK, and this is testament to the fantastic water quality that we have.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the coast is blessed with these conditions and water quality can change on a regular basis

For the project, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Pollution Control Team will take up to six samples, across the period of the school summer holidays.

The team will then provide weekly information on bathing water results, framed against the EU Bathing Water Standards.

Pollution Control Lead Officer, Nathan Miles, said: “To achieve Blue Flag status, it is pretty well known that beaches must meet strict criteria on bathing water quality.

“But we understand that people like to swim right around our coast, not just at Blue Flag beaches, so we thought this trial could provide the bathing water quality information where there’s interest in open water swimming.

“The project is centred around water quality and water safety and linking up with local community councils and interested groups such as the Bluetits Chill Swimmers.

“We are looking for community partners or local councils to develop signage and noticeboards as well as use social media to provide information on water quality and safety in their area.”

Members of the Bluetits were on hand this week to launch the project as Council Pollution Technician Scott Findlay took a sample from Solva Harbour.

That sample will be analysed in the lab and the Bluetits informed of the water quality at the harbour.

Bluetits Chill Swimmers Director Sarah Mullis, said: “We as an organisation believe in giving swimmers the information and tools to increase their knowledge of their local waters in order for them to make choices and take responsibility for their own safety so that they can access all of the benefits that we know open water swimming brings. 

“Up until now this has been in the form of short films on rip currents, waves, tides etc. The data that has already come from this water testing scheme, and talking to Scott about what affects the readings has been fascinating, and we are learning new things about the water we swim in every day.

Pollution Technician: Scott Findlay takes a sample for testing from Solva Harbour (Pic PCC)

“We intend to share this knowledge with our community of 15,000 Bluetits, so this scheme won’t just help Solva Bluetits, but those worldwide to be aware of what may affect the quality of the waters that mean so much to us.”

Cllr Mark Carter, County Councillor for Solva added: “It is great to see this initiative between PCC and the community of Solva that gives local and visiting open water swimmers the information and confidence to make the most of the beautiful area that is Solva harbour.” 

Bruce Payne, Clerk of Solva Community Council said water is the driving force of nature and Solva’s bathing water is precious and must be protected.

He added: “The water testing scheme is very important to the community council. It helps safeguard the water quality for everyone.

“Water sports is also a vital component of village and harbour life. We care about our shared harbour environment and want everyone to be safe and to enjoy the clean seawater of Solva.”

For more information and to get involved in the trial project, contact Nathan Miles on 01437 764551.

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