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Badger and the ancient mariner

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badger and the ancient marinerBADGER is, by nature, a terrestrial sort. Subterranean by nature, he does not have much time for what goes on above his head. Cosy and warm in his sett, it seems to Badger that every time he peeks his grizzled snout out of his home he finds something to dislike about whatever it is humanity gets up to on the surface. As he is averse to the world above, imagine what Badger thinks about flying. Thin stuff air. You can’t dig and it’s impossible to find tasty hedgehogs upon which to dine 6,000 feet up. Still less is Badger fond of the sea. Awful stuff, water. It has associations with soap. flannels and rubber ducks. Badger’s acquaintance, Mr Toad. has tried to interest Badger in maritime pursuits. Badger read a book in preparation and discovered that some maritime pursuits are positively alarming.

He declined Mr Toad’s offer politely but firmly. However, while taking a turn around the docks one evening, Badger came across a grizzled old salt who was weary of making tasteless jokes about Captain Pugwash and discussing the impact of the EU’s fisheries policy, quotas and the total allowable catch. Deep in his cups, the sailor told Badger a tale of nautical naughtiness upon the River Cleddau that held Badger’s horrified attention.
“I’ll tell you a tale, said the salty dog As black as black can be Of what happens to those who do business, With the Port Authority.
I’ll tell you of a mighty ship, That brought a company low And how more was spent and wasted. The less we got our dough
“I was not always a sailor” At which Badger expressed surprise: “Once I had a house, a car, And a business that was my pride.
-Then came the Port Authority For credit to extend Saying ‘Trust us, doughty tradesman. Upon us. you can depend.”‘
His face went red, suffused with rage As he remembered the sad day When the Port Authority a-begging came And he didn’t send them on their way.
The sailor wiped away a tear From his pale and weeping eye As he remembered promises made That he’d be paid. By and by.

-Tomorrow!” he yelled. -Tomorrow! Always next month and not this! And every time, each empty word Was a Pembrokeshire promise.
“I believed them, friendly Badger. I took them at their word And now when I think of it It seems to me absurd

-Quite how a public body Worth many million pounds Can stand to see such as me Crushed into the ground.

-They had the same accountants The same directors too They must have known what was going on Before the whistle blew

-They built big shiny offices They paid themselves big pay All before the bubble burst Then they just walked away.
“So join me, good Badger, Let’s look across the water Let’s think of why the Authority Doesn’t do quite what it ought to.
“Greed is good, Wall Street says, Every rich man will want more And the greed of the Port Authority Will keep this poor soul poor.
-They’re dreaming of a revamp To change the Harbour round And the price of all their dreamings Is grinding good men down.
‘They’ll do away with trade and craft” Opined he in a rage “And they’ll have us bowing to tourists Grateful for minimum wage
-They don’t want local people Not like you and me They want visitors and Waitrose Do the Port Authority.
“Weep not for me. young Badger They’ll not catch me again Perhaps if they build their multiplex I’ll find a new job then:’
With that he turned upon his heel And vanished into the gloom While a very troubled Badger Went to his cosy room.
As he sat and pondered Badger thought of the cruelty Of an untrustworthy trust port, Milford’s Port Authority.

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Council’s Planning Committee approves ambitious dockyard plans

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’s Planning Committee this morning (Tuesday, May 18) approved an application for the construction of a new marine engineering project at Pembroke Dock’s Royal Dockyard.
The plans, vociferously opposed by local heritage groups, passed unanimously.

The matter will now go to the Welsh Government, which has reserved its position on the scheme’s approval.
Committee members expressed the view that the balance between heritage and economic development were balanced, with strong views expressed on either side. They decided the balance of the application favoured economic development subject to conditions regarding aspects of the site’s preservation and its ability to be restored in the future.

The Committee members who attended a site visit on Wednesday, May 12, said it was the most informative and best site visit they had this council term. Visiting the site gave them a clearer idea about what was planned and the scale of the project, which would not have been gained from a paper exercise.

While the approval of the scheme was unanimous, one element of the reserved matters caused some members concern: the height and size of the proposed massive new sheds which would be built at a later phase of the project.
Cllr David Pugh, seconded by Cllr Steve Alderman, moved an amendment which would approve the project and delegate reserved matters to officers apart from the sheds’ construction, which would return to the Committee for detailed approval.

Cllr Tony Wilcox and Cllr Mark Carter emphasised the need for certainty regarding the project’s development, a position supported by Cllr David Howlett, Cllrs Pugh, Alderman and Cllr Stephen Joseph said that little delay would be caused to the scheme by bringing the sheds’ development back to the Committee. They noted the significant intrusion of the sheds into the landscape for miles around.

Planning Officer Mike Simmons advised that the project would proceed in five phases and that the applicant, Milford Haven Port Authority, was keen to proceed with the first phase as soon as possible. The first phase would be the infilling of the docks and pool, removing a caisson gate and preserving it, before the building of new slipways.
The Port Authority already accepted the sheds would only be built if there was commercial demand for them.
The amendment proposed by Cllr Pugh passed by six votes to five with two abstentions.

It means before the sheds are built, the Committee will decide the detailed application relating to them.

All other aspects of the development will be decided by officers.

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Business

Further Covid-19 business support packages to become available soon

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PEMBROKESHIRE businesses that remain affected by Covid-19 restrictions can check their eligibility for a new package of support from the Welsh Government.

This latest support package will help those businesses eligible to meet ongoing costs through to the end of June as they prepare for re-opening and more normal trading conditions.

Businesses that stand to benefit include:

  • nightclubs and late entertainment venues
  • events and conference venues not covered by the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF)
  • hospitality and leisure businesses, including restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • supply chain business, which have been materially impacted by restrictions

An eligibility checker has opened on the Business Wales website so businesses can find out how much support they are likely to be entitled to and how to apply.

See more information and check your business’ eligibility at: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/

Funding will be calculated based on the size of the business and the type of restrictions they are under.

Businesses will be able submit applications to the Welsh Government from 24th May 2021 for grants of up to £25,000 and by the end of the month to Pembrokeshire County Council for smaller fixed Discretionary Grants.

To keep up to date and see the future application process for the Discretionary Grants please see: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

The above link will be be updated with the latest information.  

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£50,000 funding windfall for low carbon community projects

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OVER £50,000 of funding has been awarded to local projects through the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF).

Since June 2020, the Fund has focussed on supporting community-led projects that contribute towards a reduction in carbon and help respond to the climate emergency. These 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.

Tenby RFC were among those to benefit from the most recent round of grants with an initiative to install recycling bins and litter pick stations at each of the sports facilities in the town.

There were two successful applications from the Solva area – one for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at Solva Community Clubhouse, and the other from the Community Organised Allotment for Solva Tenants (COAST) to help with set-up costs.

Others to be awarded an SDF grant were the Paul Sartori Foundation and the EcoDewi community group. The Paul Sartori Foundation’s project involved fitting of tracking devices onto warehouse vans to enable route optimisation and increased fuel economy; while EcoDewi secured funding to support a part-time role organising community engagement events and volunteering activities, and developing wider community partnerships.

Jessica Morgan, Funding and Grants Officer for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust said: “It’s been wonderful to see such variety in the applications we’ve received, and the innovative climate emergency solutions suggested by communities in the National Park.

“We look forward to receiving the next round of applications, and would encourage any community-led group or organisation that needs support to fund projects that will help reduce carbon and/or respond to climate change to apply as soon as possible.”

The next deadline for SDF applications is Friday 10 September 2021.

To find out more about SDF grants, and to apply online or download the application form please visit www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/sdf.  

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