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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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Tenby: Air Ambulance medivac patient with suspected broken leg

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PARAMEDICS asked for assistance, and the Wales Air Ambulance were subsequently tasked with tending to an incident at Tenby harbour on Sunday (Oct 2).

A male required assistance due to a fall around the beach area, and suffered a suspected broken leg.

A spokesperson for the air ambulance said: “Our overnight crew arrived on scene at 8.12 pm.

“Following treatment at the scene from our on-board medics, we airlifted the patient to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Our involvement concluded at 10.31 pm.”

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Cleddau Bridge was closed due to concerns over person in distress

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THE CLEDDAU BRIDGE was closed just after midnight on Sunday morning after reports of concern over a person in distress.

A number of police units attended the incident, and an ambulance was put on standby, but thankfully was not needed. The bridge was closed for around a hour, with a diversion put in place.

Nearby residents noted the flashing lights from multiple emergency services on the bridge and posted statuses on Facebook wishing for the person’s safety.

Some other witnesses on the Pembroke Dock side of the estuary noted activity in the water from small vessels in the area under the bridge, which they believed may have been boats put on standby.

In a statement a spokesperson from the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “We were called in the early hours of Sunday morning at 12:43am to reports of an incident on the A477, Cleddau Bridge.

“We sent one emergency ambulance but were subsequently stood down.”

At just after 1am Sunday the police posted the following on their official Facebook page, confirming that the incident was over: “Cleddau Bridge has now reopened. Thank you for your patience.”

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Thirty bags of cocaine – worth £90m – wash up on west Wales beach

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has confirmed that what is expected to be a large quantity of the class A drug cocaine has washed up on on a west Wales beach this weekend.

The Herald understands that a man walking on Tan-y-Bwlch beach, south of Aberystwyth, made the discovery early on Saturday morning – which at street value could be sold for as much as £90m.

The beach walker found 30 black bags on the sand which had been tied together with a rope and empty gallon jerry cans for buoyancy.

Inside each black bag were 30 x1kg blocks, labelled with the name of fashion brand Dior – the mark of a Latin-American cartel – indicating 100% purity.

A similar brick of cocaine confiscated in Australia (File)

Thinking the package was suspicious, the man called the police.

When the police arrived, one of the bags was cut open and inside was what appeared to be cocaine.

The suspected cocaine was then taken away by officers, and it has now been confirmed that the white powder inside the bags is believed to be cocaine.

A spokeswoman for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “We are investigating the discovery of a significant quantity of what is thought to be cocaine, spotted along the Ceredigion coast this weekend.

“Enquiries are being undertaken to establish how such an unusually large amount of the controlled drug came to wash up on the Welsh shore, following recent storms.

“The precise quantity is still being established and at this time no-one has been arrested in relation to this matter. Officers have thanked those who found the packages and their sensible actions in reporting the matter immediately.”

No arrests have been made.

The UK’s cocaine market is estimated to be worth more than £25.7 million daily, according to the National Crime Agency’s latest strategic threat assessment.

Figures released by the agency earlier this year revealed how cocaine seizures nationwide have soared by 161 per cent between early 2020 and early last year.

A suspected £90million haul of cocaine was found on beach
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