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Major parties begin Parliamentary campaigns

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POTENTIAL voters in south Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen west were introduced to their Westminster candidates this week, as election fever builds in the run-up to the May election.

Conservative Simon Hart, the incumbent MP launched his re-election campaign by pledging to continue to provide robust support to people in their hour of need and to put people above politics.

Mr Hart told the Herald:  “In Westminster I have been proud to successfully champion our part of Wales in the heart of Government.

“Since the last election I have dealt with 9,000 inquiries in my office in Whitland, held nearly 40 public meetings, visited countless schools, businesses, clubs and institutions and, most importantly, spoken to literally thousands of local people.

“I am delighted that – despite Ed Miliband’s predictions – unemployment is down over 30% from 2010, that inflation is at 0%, that interest rates are low and that business start ups and growth are at their highest for years. Who would have thought Britain would be the fastest growing economy in the world?

“Locally I have been so delighted to support local projects such as the successful bid to bring S4C to Carmarthen, the campaign to get Network rail to renovate the station buildings in Whitland, to sort out speeding problems in villages across the area and to lead the charge for our tourist industry in getting George Osborne to scrap a higher rate of vat on caravans amongst countless other important local issues.

“There is always more to do, more battles to be fought, but I hope I have been able to convince people that I have a successful track record and deserve another term.”

His rival, Labour candidate Delyth Evans, also launched her campaign this week, in Carmarthen and Pembroke Dock, where former Welsh secretary Peter Hain showed up to offer his support.

Ms Evans spoke confidently about Labour’s plan for the next five years, building a better Britain based on an economy that works for working people, supporting the NHS, creating more apprenticeships and opportunities for young people, and abolishing the Bedroom Tax.

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Among those attending the launch was the local Labour party’s oldest member, 93-year-old Betty Farrar from Amroth.  Backing Ms Evans, Betty said that “our communities need a strong voice in Westminster.

“Times are still tough for families.  I worry for older people like myself that if the Tories get their way, social care will be cut badly taking away the services that people need every day.

“I remember a time before the NHS. People today have no idea what it was like.  I was one of seven children and when we were sick I don’t remember ever seeing a doctor.  So the creation of the NHS was so, so vital. I do worry about the National Health because if the Tories get back in, they will hack away at it.”

Ms Evans told the Herald that Betty’s concerns are widely felt:  “Betty shares many of the concerns that I have been hearing on the doorstep over the last two years. Concerns about austerity and concerns about the public services. Voters in South Pembrokeshire want to be reassured that the next government will work for them and that they have an MP who understands and shares their concerns. This constituency can make the difference as to which party will govern the country. If you want change, you can get change by voting Labour on May 7th.”

The race for the seat looks too close to call, and even LSE analysts, while predicting that the Conservatives may shade it admit they ‘wouldn’t bet the house’ on the result.  In 2010, Simon Hart achieved a majority of nearly 3,500 over Labour’s Nick Ainger, but a stronger showing for Labour and a surge in popularity for UKIP show the Conservative lead slashed from double-figure percentage points down to 0.8%.  The success of these campaigns could very well have a major impact on which party carries South Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen West in May.

Full list of candidates for this seat:

Delyth Evans Labour Party

Elwyn Williams Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales

Simon Hart Conservative Party

John Atkinson UK Independence Party (UKIP)

Gary Tapley Green Party

Selwyn Runnett Liberal Democrats

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Business

St David’s Day boost: Pembs creamery launches new Welsh milk price

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PEMBROKESHIRE CREAMERY, which is set to begin production this spring, has used St Davids’ Day to launch its new milk price for Welsh milk.

Using the industry-recognised Liquid Standard Litre the company has announced an April milk price of 38.5 pence per litre.

Pembrokeshire Creamery will be the only liquid milk bottling facility in Wales certified to supply Welsh supermarkets. Ultimately this will be local Welsh milk, produced, processed and distributed from this new development.

Eliminating the need for transporting milk to England for processing, Pembrokeshire Creamery significantly reduces food miles, streamlines the supply chain, creates new skilled jobs in Pembrokeshire, and bolsters local farming communities. This efficiency enables Pembrokeshire Creamery to offer producers who have already committed, and those following the project as it develops, a competitive milk price from April 2024.

Mark McQuade, managing director, Pembrokeshire Creamery said: “It seemed fitting, on St David’s Day, to launch an April milk price for Welsh milk which we hope will be sufficiently competitive to attract farmers from across the region to consider us as a potential customer.

“We will be the only BRC Certified facility to offer Welsh milk that is also bottled in Wales enabling us to offer an authentically Welsh milk supply for Welsh supermarket stores.

“This unique selling point gives Pembrokeshire Creamery, and the farmers who work with us, a strong point of difference in meeting the needs of both retailers and consumers who increasingly value locally-sourced produce,” he said.

The development of Pembrokeshire Creamery has been supported by the Welsh Government and the EU RDP-funded Food Business Investment Scheme. Additional funding has been supplied by HSBC.

(Cover Image: Mark Sinclair)

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News

Seren shines in shooting sports, breaking records and winning medals

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SEREN THORNE, a young talent from Letterston, has been making waves in the world of 10m air rifle precision shooting. A former student of Ysgol Casblaidd, Ysgol Bro Gwaun, and the sixth form at Haverfordwest’s VC High School, Seren is currently furthering her education in music at Cardiff University. However, it is her achievements in shooting sports that are capturing the nation’s attention.

Seren’s journey in shooting began at the tender age of 8, initially with the pistol as part of her participation in the Pony Club tetrathlon. Her transition to the air rifle in 2020 marked the beginning of an illustrious path in this discipline. Since then, Seren has not only embraced the sport but has excelled at it, demonstrating an exceptional level of precision and composure.

Her hard work and dedication bore fruit in November when she clinched two gold medals at the Welsh Championships. At this event, Seren not only topped the podium but also broke the Welsh and British junior women’s qualification record, setting a new benchmark for aspiring shooters.

However, Seren’s achievements did not stop at the national level. In February, she represented Great Britain at the Junior World Cup in Granada, Spain. There, she added to her medal tally by securing an individual silver medal and breaking the British junior women’s final record. Seren’s success continued as she contributed to a mixed team bronze medal, once again breaking the previous British junior record.

More recently, Seren participated in the British Open Championships, where she was crowned the British junior women’s champion and won the British confined open women’s championship. These victories are a testament to her skill, determination, and the promising future she has in the sport of shooting.

Seren Thorne’s achievements are not just personal victories but also a source of pride for her community in Letterston, her schools, and indeed for the whole of Britain. As she continues to study and train, the nation watches eagerly to see how far this talented young shooter will go.

Seren’s journey in shooting sports is a vivid reminder of the dedication and hard work required to excel at the highest levels, and she is undoubtedly a rising star to keep an eye on in the years to come.

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Crime

Detectives investigating the death of boy, 15, near Lampeter

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Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a 15-year-old boy at a location near Lampeter on Friday afternoon (March 1), the force has confirmed.

The family is being supported by specialist officers.

The death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for H.M. Coroner.

The police issued a statement saying: “We are aware of concern in the community, however as an investigation is ongoing we would ask that support is given to the family by not speculating on the circumstances surrounding the death.”

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