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International White Ribbon Day service

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white ribbon dayANTI-VIOLENCE campaigner Joyce Watson AM hosted a candlelit service at St Davids Cathedral on International White Ribbon Day, Monday, November 25.

Over one hundred people came together in St Davids Cathedral to support the Light a Candle service, and many took the opportunity to sign the White Ribbon pledge. Sam Walsh of St Davids School read from the gospel of Matthew, then later helped Joyce Watson AM light candles in the shape of a white ribbon.

Mrs Watson said that in the last ten years there had been 12 homicides in the Dyfed Powys area, of which seven involved domestic abuse.

Chief Inspector Simon Prince said that, while Dyfed Powys is one of the safest parts of the UK, domestic abuse still happens too often, and he pledged the force to tackling it.

Organisations including the WI, Pembrokeshire’s Youth Offending and Prevention Service, St David’s School, St David’s City Council, Mothers’ Union, Pembrokeshire College and Merched y Wawr worked with Mrs Watson on the event.

The event was part of two weeks of Not in My Name campaign activity organised jointly by Mrs Watson and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) – Wales.

Not in My Name recruits male ambassadors to urge people to support a simple pledge: to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. Men across Wales, from choirs to workplaces to sporting stars such as the Wales rugby squad, have signed up to this pledge.

Pembrokeshire-based Assembly Member Mrs Watson said: “I am grateful to St Davids Cathedral for agreeing to hold this service for the first time. We hold similar services in Llandaff and Brecon cathedrals, so I’ve been keen that people are able to come together in Pembrokeshire, particularly in our historic city, to mark an issue which affects so many.

“By signing the Not in My Name pledge and wearing a white ribbon, people send out a powerful message – that abuse in its many forms is never acceptable, should never be ignored and must never be excused.”

In Pembrokeshire in the past 12 months charitable housing association Hafan Cymru has provided refuge for 36 women and 35 children, and supported a further 11 women and 21 children to move on from their refuge.

Ann Sherwood of Hafan Cymru said: “In total Hafan Cymru supported over 2,500 individuals to escape abusive relationships across Wales last year. We strive to prevent abuse and promote independence. We cannot do this on our own, We need men to speak out and pledge never to commit or condone or remain silent through the White ribbon campaign.”

Ann Jones, Chair of NFWI Wales added: “It is unacceptable that violence against women persists in today’s society and that one in four women in Wales will experience domestic violence at the hands of a partner their lives. It is vital that men speak out to help create a culture change where violence against women is not tolerated.”

This year’s campaign is focused on younger women and girls, and is working with schools and colleges to help create a culture where violent behaviour towards women and girls is unacceptable.

People can get involved by signing White Ribbon posters, organising or attending events, and by sending messages of support.

Further details are available from Joyce Watson on www.joycewatson.org.uk/ 029 2089 8972, or the NFWIWaleshttp://www.thewi.org.uk/wiin-wales

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Public urged to take part in Council budget consultation

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MEMBERS of the public are being urged to participate in Pembrokeshire County Council’s budget consultation 2022-23.

Launched this week, the consultation asks the public where they think the Council needs to spend money, and where it can save it.

As part of the process, the Council has created an online budget simulator, which includes videos from Cabinet members talking about the financial pressure in their portfolio areas.
Cllr Bob Kilmister, Cabinet Member for Finance, encouraged all those interested in how the Council spends its funds to take part in the consultation.

“It’s very important that we hear from as many people in Pembrokeshire as possible,” he said.

“Like other Councils, we are once again facing significant budget pressures and understanding community and household priorities is vital in helping us to make the difficult choices necessary in setting the 2023-23 budget.

“We look forward to hearing from you.”

How to take part in the consultation:

Teams Live Stream event
Join a Teams Live Stream event on Wednesday 1st December from 7pm – 8pm. Put your budget questions directly to Cllr Kilmister or the Council’s Director of Resources, Jon Haswell, or listen to the discussion. Questions are welcomed in English and Welsh.

Budget Simulator
Give your views on the budget priorities for 2022–23 by using our Budget Simulator which is available at https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/

Download the survey and return to County Hall
Alternatively you can download and complete our hard copy Information and Response Form. Once complete please return to surveys@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or Pembrokeshire County Council, Policy & Partnerships, County Hall, Haverfordwest, SA61 1TP.

The consultation will end on Wednesday 5th January 2022.

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Milford Haven Council cancels annual Christmas lights switch-on event

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Council cancels Christmas lights

MILFORD Haven Town Council have announced that they will be cancelling the official switching on the Christmas lights event this year.  

The Christmas lights in Milford Haven will be turned on Wednesday, December 1 at 7pm. However, unlike previous years, this will not be an official event. 

In the past, the event would see Father Christmas switching the lights on while on a balcony at the Town Hall. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the official turning on of the lights is unable to go ahead.

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County Hall to be lit up in orange as part of UN campaign

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COUNTY HALL is being lit up in orange tonight (Thursday, 25 November) to highlight the United Nations campaign against gender violence #OrangeTheWorld: End Violence Against Women Now!

The UN is holding 16 days of activism against gender-based violence from 25th November to 10th December 2021 under the global theme set by the UN Secretary General’s UNiTE campaign.

Among the local groups supporting the worldwide campaign are Soroptimists International Haverfordwest which requested the illumination. “This is a campaign that, as a women’s group, we feel it very important to support,” said member Susie Blacklaw-Jones.

Council Leader Cllr David Simpson supported their request, saying: “This is an incredibly important issue and we are grateful to Soroptimist International Haverfordwest for helping to draw attention to the campaign and raise local awareness.”

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