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Badger’s Easter message

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badgerseastereggsHELLO, READERS. Badger begins this week by acknowledging a grave error In last week’s column. In that article. Badger described the IPPG Cabinet as “a gang of time-serving nincompoops.” He apologises: Shelley wrote Ozymandias, not Keats. You know how it is. readers: distracted by the sheer commonplace idiocy of Jamie Adams saying that -change is never popular- (think winning the lottery. bucko!) Badger got his nineteenth century poets confused. Readers of Badger’s past columns will recall that he has. occasionally, expressed views which might lead his readers to suggest that while he appreciates and understands that others are possessed of religious faith. Badger is rather more sceptical. Badger is sceptical about many things: UFO’s. ghosts, the Loch Ness Monster, and conspiracy theories of any stripe.

Simply because some things are on the periphery of understanding does not mean that they cannot or could not be explained. With the caveat that Ken Rowlands clearly defies explanation. Every year. in December. national newspapers of a certain type produce acres of newsprint bewailing the loss of the spirit of Christmas. At some point in such an article painted wooden soldiers. nutcrackers. tangerines and the words “traditional Christmas fayre” appear with startling regularity. Along with an exhortation to say “Hurrah for the Black Shirts!” Easter is different. For an event that should be a celebration. there’s an awful lot of moping around and glumness. One expects on or around religious festivals a given number of (necessarily) pious pronouncements by Church leaders. a reaching for meaning and relevance.

But readers , are you ready for the zillionth showing of The Robe. Quo Vadis. The Greatest Story Ever Told, or Ben Hur as TV networks try to strike the right note of constipated cinemascope solemnity/ When he attended secondary school. Badger remembers one fervently devout teacher espousing the opinion that the television series Jesus of Nazareth, starring Robert Powell. was a blasphemous trivialisation of the message of the Gospels. Even then, Badger remembers thinking that this was a pretty rum position: now. Badger thinks it ignores – providing one believes in an all-knowing and all-powerful God – the likelihood that such a deity would be as much behind the making of television programmes and popular entertainments as he would be behind the oscillations of the stars in the heavens and the existence of the beasts of the field.

And that. for Badger, sitting in his sett and occasionally scratching his head, is at the heart of Badger’s Easter message. If you are inclined to believe in a deity. your faith does not exist in a vacuum. The world changes: faith – does not necessarily change but the context in which one exercises it does. A god – or gods. whatever one believes – did not create an unchanging world. The world might be “without end” but it is not pickled. Change, if one is inclined to believe Jamie Adams (please see above. then take two of the 80mg tablets and go for a lie down), is never popular. Badger could not agree less. Change for the better, whether personal or collective is always popular. It isonly with some people that some change is unpopular. For example the National Health Service is a jewel in the crown of public welfare provision. When it was first proposed it was as unpopular with the BMA as free thought is the County Council’s Cabinet.

The medical profession attended the NilS’s inception in the same way as – according to the Christian bible – Pharisees and Sadducees regarded the person of Jesus. Or as the !PPG greets scrutiny. Badger believes that change is the motor that drives us all forward: a necessary part of living; an essential pan of our growth as human beings. Badger notes that if you are a Christian. your faith is rooted in a radical change in Judaism that your belief tells you took place two millennia ago. While religious faith might he “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”, scripture is itself endlessly changeable. Politics – both worldly and ecclesiastical – as much as faith were behind the collation of the New Testament in the third and fourth centuries and the finalization of the Old Testament around the same time.

The same considerations underpinned the creed at the heart of the Christian faith. As Badger has noted before: words, even ones supposedly divinely inspired. are slippery and elusive. In such a way, doctrine and dogma change while faith can remain constant. Direction of travel remains the same. even when the highway code changes. And so it is with marriage. There’s been an awful lot of hullabaloo about same sex marriage in the sort of papers that buy into Christianity periodically and selectively. At the same time there has been an outpouring of outrage by those who regard the idea of changing the institution of marriage as a sign of the approaching end of times. Badger’s readers might know that before 1753 there was no statutory law underpinning marriage. The absence of banns or a licence – or even the fact that the marriage was not celebrated in a church – did not render the marriage void.

Then Parliament regularised and regulated marriage by statute. Statutes are drawn up and passed – however one regards George Osborne – by humans. And it is by humans they are changed. Human-made law governs the worldly actions of all of us. We render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Badger remembers reading that somewhere. Since 1753. it is the law of the land that has governed marriage. And now the law has changed. It has
changed because the: ad has changed and so has society. Put it this way, if the English language had not mutated and evolved we would have no way of describing how we live. We would be like the French: fighting a losing battle against the modern world of le weekend, e-mail. le parking and le budget. And readers, nobody – surely, nobody! – wants to be like the French.

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Castell Howell Foods highlights sector concerns over Covid recovery

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THE HOSPITALITY sector may be opening up, but transport and supply issues are hampering the industry’s recovery – according to Castell Howell Foods.

One of the UK’s largest independent food wholesalers, Castell Howell, has taken the step of contacting customers to highlight the significant challenges faced by the sector as it recovers from the pandemic.

While there is relief at easing lockdown and optimism for a busy summer with bookings for UK ‘staycations’ and leisure activities, pressing issues remain.

Shortages of key staff and problems faced by some suppliers have resulted in the Welsh wholesaler being forced to make some “uncomfortable” decisions and changes to its operation, including having to pass on some supply chain price increases.

In particular, a shortage of qualified delivery drivers has meant the Cross Hands based business has had to be resourceful to maintain its delivery frequency to its customers. To help bridge the gap in the short term, other Castell Howell staff who hold an HGV licence have been temporarily redeployed to the transport department. Among them are area sales managers.

Castell Howell Sales Director, Kathryn Jones, said “Unfortunately, due to the drastic reduction in sales in 2020, our workforce decreased by over 100 colleagues. Whilst we now need most to return to the workplace, many have found alternative employment; this is a common theme across the supply chain.

“We have been actively advertising and recruiting for several months. However, as highlighted in the press, there are over 75,000 vacancies across the UK for HGV drivers alone.

“We too are currently short of drivers, especially Class 2 HGV. Driving a multi-drop vehicle for Castell Howell is a very different proposition to driving a limited drop schedule. Consequently, as you can imagine, it has been challenging to fill these vacancies.”
Stock availability is also an issue, as some suppliers struggle to manufacture under new social distancing rules. Delivery to Castell Howell from suppliers is also being affected by the UK-wide shortage of haulage drivers.

Kathryn Jones said, “To build up buffer stocks, we are increasing our volume of orders, especially for commodity lines. We aim to mitigate future stock shortages the best we can. We are constantly seeking substitute products from manufacturers who have the capacity to deliver. However, this is becoming increasingly more difficult.”

Castell Howell has made changes to its ordering process to improve its own deliveries, with earlier cut-off times.

“These changes go against the grain and were extremely difficult decisions to take. However, it is imperative to implement these in order to continue operating under these difficult circumstances whilst still maintaining a high level of service. We are very grateful to our customers for their support, patience and understanding.”

For Castell Howell, the difficulties arising from the pandemic were exacerbated by the loss of business with SA Brain & Co. This loss occurred following the Welsh company’s deal with brewery giant Marston’s to operate SA Brains pubs from January 2021.

Before that date, Castell Howell had been the sole supplier to SA Brain since 2008, including supplying 80 of the Welsh brewery’s managed public houses.

Kathryn Jones said, “However, despite the challenges in the supply chain and deliveries, we remain optimistic that the sector in the UK will work together to navigate through these unprecedented times and have a successful summer.”

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Port boss: Pembroke Dock development full permission an ‘important step’

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THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the Port of Milford Haven has welcomed a decision of “non-intervention” by the Welsh Government over plans to re-vamp Pembroke Dock’s historic port facilities.

The redevelopment scheme, approved by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Planning Committee in May, will see some areas such as a dock covered with sand and “infilled”.

Plans also include the demolishing of some buildings, erection of buildings and ancillary works.
Despite planning being granted at council level, full authorisation to go ahead with the development was not to be issued until the Welsh Government made its decision regards the matter.

More about the planning application can be read here: https://www.herald.wales/west-wales/pembrokeshire/major-marine-project-causes-concern-about-visual-impact-and-heritage-loss/

Now that the Welsh Government has decided not to interfere with Pembrokeshire County Council’s grant of planning permission, the Port’s boss, Andy Jones, expressed his delight, saying: “This marks an important step forward in the development of Wales’ clean energy centre at Pembroke Dock.

“It will provide sustainable opportunities for the many people who rely on the activity along the Milford Haven Waterway for employment.

CEO: Port Authority’s Andy Jones (Pic MHPA)

“Pembroke Dock Marine will unlock new opportunities for young people to enter the maritime, renewable and engineering sectors, build resilience within Pembrokeshire’s business community, and make a positive contribution to our natural environment as we transition to a low carbon energy generation.”

Tim James, head of commercial and energy at the Port of Milford Haven called the project a “once in a generation opportunity to improve Pembrokeshire’s economy for years to come”.

Objectors had complained that the plans were too large and would damage the historic dockyard, as well as having a visual impact on the dock.

The was opposition from local heritage campaigners, with complaints over the size of two huge proposed hangars which the project’s critics said would impact adversely the landscape.

The economic benefits of the £60 million marine energy “far outweigh” any impact on the historic environment, a report earlier this year to council planners said.

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Medical evacuation from LPG tanker off St Ann’s Head

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ANGLE Lifeboat was launched on service at 12:59pm on Thursday afternoon (Jun 10) to assist in a medical evacuation from a LPG tanker 13 miles SSW off St Ann’s Head.

The coastguard helicopter from Newquay in Cornwall was also on route. With the poor visibility due to fog, Angle all-weather lifeboat was to stand by the vessel to provide an alternative route for evacuation if needed.

After a choppy route in the poor visibility the RNLI volunteers arrived on scene at 2:07pm.

At the time of their arrival, the paramedic from the coastguard helicopter was aboard the vessel preparing the casualty to be winched to the helicopter.

In less than ten minutes the casualty was winched up to the helicopter and flown to hospital, at which point the lifeboat and crews were stood down and headed back to the station.

After rehousing shortly after 3:30pm the lifeboat was washed fuelled and made ready for service shortly after.

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