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Sixth form scheme snubbed



6th form in schoolCOUNCILLORS who attended a presentation by pupils of Tasker- Milward and Sir Thomas Picton schools on Wednesday, April 29, were left in little doubt about the strength of feeling and depth of opposition to the local authority’s scheme to strip Haverfordwest schools of their sixth forms.

The presentation, would have made uncomfortable listening for some councillors as student after student made it clear just how important having a sixth form in school was for the school community.

Cory Jenkins, the Head Boy of Sir Thomas Picton School, and Millie Thomas, Deputy Head Girl of Tasker- Milward, coordinated the presentations made by members of the schools, who face losing their sixth forms if the Council presses on with its scheme to site a new single sixth form centre at Pembrokeshire College.

Or at least that is the plan the Council is consulting on.

It appeared from comments made by Cllr David Lloyd near the meeting’s close that the Council has largely abandoned the sole proposal upon which it is now consulting.

Pupils’ impassioned plea

In a moving address to councillors, Cory Jenkins related how the personal knowledge of a teacher who had known him for years, allowed him to look again at his future and reconsider his original decision to attend an NVQ3 course in Drama and Theatre at Pembrokeshire College. He disclosed how polls of students at both Sir Thomas Picton and Tasker- Milward overwhelmingly supported the retention of sixth form education in Haverfordwest’s secondary schools.

Electing to remain in Sir Thomas Picton and study for A Levels, Cory has been offered a place at the London School of Economics. Cory was clear that, as were other speakers, the direct involvement of inspirational teachers with direct knowledge of students gained over a number of years, was something the Council’s plans put in jeopardy.

Luzelle Davies spoke movingly of the importance of the sixth form in delivering assistance and support to younger students. Without sixth form presence in the school, Luzelle stated that the level of pastoral guidance given by post-16 students in school could not be replaced easily, if at all. Highlighting the reading support project within Tasker-Milward School and its importance in developing confidence in younger students and empathetic skills in older ones, Luzelle said that there was no way in which the scheme could be as successful or as rewarding for participants without sixth form input.

Responding to a question as to whether students in Year 11 could provide the support currently given by those in Years 12 and 13, Millie Thomas gave a clear and decisive ‘no’. Explaining how the pressure of working towards GCSE’s at the end of Year 11 meant that such a proposal would be impractical, Millie pointed out that periods in which Year 12 and 13 students were not in class or working in school provided them alone with the capacity and time to engage with younger students and build the school as a living community.

Not only about academics

The Council’s plan for repatriating students to their original schools to participate in sports once they were ensconced in Pembrokeshire College as students was given short shrift by student Tom Harvey. Describing the plans as ‘not very well thought out’, Tom pointed out that it was impractical to simply uproot students and transplant them back without continuity of sports coaching. Tom warned that the most likely result of the scheme was to reduce participation by young people in sport. One councillor in attendance was heard to mutter that the authority’s proposals on sport smacked of ‘back of a fag packet calculation’.

The suggestion that the Council had adequately consulted before it made its proposal was vigorously disputed by Millie Thomas. Pointing out that students learned of the proposals to strip schools of their sixth forms by reading about it in The Herald and other local press, she related how the original proposals were for 11-19 education to remain in schools and the proposal to relocate post-16 education to Pembrokeshire College came out of the blue.

Cory Jenkins took up the baton and demonstrated the Council’s careless use of statistics to back up its claims regarding the success of post-16 school-based education. Pointing out that claims made of superior performance at post-16 by Pembrokeshire College ignored the size difference between schools and the College. 165 students heading off to university from the College in 2014, represented only 1% of its post-16 cohort, whereas 26% of A Level students headed to Russell Group universities alone from the sixth form in Haverfordwest’s schools.

Cllr David Lloyd made an interesting contribution both to the event and to the wider debate about the future of post-16 education.

While he said that councillors would listen to the views expressed by the students, and praised them for their eloquence, he averred that councillors had to look at ‘the broad picture’. In terms, he appeared to tell students that listening to them would not entail acting to allay their concerns in a concrete way.

And then Cllr Lloyd made a revelation.

The plans subject to the consultation, and upon which the Council is spending tens of thousands of pounds of public money and resources, do not seem to be the plans that the Council is promoting in Fishguard and Saint Davids. Instead, taking Cllr Lloyd at his word the Council appears is both promoting and pursuing a multi-site semi-federated strategy allowing some sixth form retention at Ysgol Bro Gwaun and Ysgol Dewi Sant.

The Herald has been able to confirm that is the plan being touted to mollify parents in Fishguard and Saint Davids.

If Cllr Lloyd is correct and that is the Council’s plan, it is not clear what residual legitimacy still attaches to the current consultation.

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Puffin Party fundraising initiative returns for another year



THE Pembrokeshire Coast Charitable Trust is inviting people to host a Puffin Party this July, to celebrate the Trust’s 6th birthday and raise vital funds.

The Trust has raised more than £380,000 from a range of sources since 2018, including projects such as People, Paths & PollinatorsMake More Meadows and Wild About Woodlands.

It has also provided Force for Nature Grants to help community groups and local organisations boost biodiversity, act on climate change or educate others on these important topics.

Puffin Parties were added to the list of fundraising activities last summer, and proved so popular that they are being brought back for another year.

Director of the Pembrokeshire Coast Charitable Trust, Katie Macro, said: “We are delighted to see the return of the Puffin Parties. These events not only help us raise essential funds but also bring the community together in celebration of our beautiful natural environment.

“Once again, there’s plenty of inspiration on hand to get you started, including some party food recipe cards (with healthier options available), invitation templates and some ideas for party activities.

“We encourage everyone to get involved and help us celebrate by arranging a tea party, coffee morning or cake sale with friends, family, colleagues, or the local community during the month of July. As well as having fun, you’ll be making a difference in protecting our stunning coastline and safeguarding it for future generations.”

The celebratory resources, including invitation templates, new recipe cards, and craft activity templates and instructions are available for download at

To find out more, register your interest and access the special celebratory visit

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RWE launches pre-application consultation for RWE Pembroke Battery



TO support their decarbonisation ambitions as part of Pembroke Net Zero Centre, RWE is progressing proposals to develop a battery energy storage system on its land adjacent to Pembroke Power Station. 

Battery energy storage plays a crucial role in the integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, into the power grid, excess renewable energy can be stored and fed into the grid when needed. Electricity is consumed in real time and this technology will, where possible, enable homes and businesses to be powered by renewable energy.  

The consultation on RWE’s plans launches Monday 17 June 2024 and will end on Monday 15 July 2024. RWE is asking the community for their views on these plans and has launched a consultation where local people can provide feedback on the planning application. 

The proposed development would be located on a 5.1 hectare area to the south of the current power station and would comprise 212 Battery Containers, 106 Power Conversion Systems (PCS) enabling connectivity to the grid, and associated infrastructure. 

The battery would have a maximum charge / discharge power of 350 megawatts and would connect via underground cables to the grid at the adjacent National Grid 400 kV substation. Once fully operational, Pembroke Battery would be capable of storing enough electricity to meet the average daily domestic energy needs of more than 72,0001 typical UK homes. 

In line with RWE’s commitment to protect and enhance local environments, the company has pledged to deliver various biodiversity measures as part of the proposals. Field margins will be enhanced by species-rich meadow planting, native woodland and scrub planting, while a new large pond will be provided and managed to support local wildlife. The periphery of the development site will also be further enhanced with bat and bird boxes, insect hotels and reptile hibernation shelters around the field edges. A Habitat Management Plan will ensure the habitats created are managed sensitively in support of local wildlife for the lifetime of the project.

Commenting on the proposals, Richard Little, Pembroke Net Zero Centre Director, said: “RWE Pembroke Battery represents the next step in our plans to invest in new innovative energy technologies, as part of our vision for Pembroke Net Zero Centre. We would like to thank those who engaged with us in our Green Hydrogen consultation and encourage the community to get involved with the consultation process, learn more about our battery energy storage proposals, and have their say on the proposals.” 

Members of the community can contact the project team and leave feedback via the project website, telephone 01646 370090, email [email protected] or by writing to ’Freepost PNZC Consultation’.  

Local people can also join RWE at an in-person event at South Pembrokeshire Golf Club on 24th June 2024 between 2pm and 7pm to speak with project team members, ask questions and provide feedback. 

Pembroke Net Zero Centre has a critical role to play in Wales’ and the UK’s pathway to Net Zero. By decarbonising its current operations at Pembroke Power Station, while investing in new innovative technologies, such as battery energy storage and hydrogen generation, RWE can establish Pembroke at the forefront of South Wales’ low carbon future.

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Megan’s Starr foundation launches Bottle Top Collection Appeal



THE Megan’s Starr Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting young people’s mental health and combating bullying, has recently launched an innovative recycling initiative and is calling on the community for help. The Milford Haven-based foundation is asking for donations of old bottle tops, both metal and plastic, to be dropped off at the Megan’s Starr Community Coffee House in Milford Haven.

This appeal is part of the foundation’s ongoing efforts to support mental health and community engagement through creative and sustainable projects. Bottle tops collected will be used in various community art projects and workshops, aimed at fostering a sense of togetherness and promoting mental wellbeing.

The Megan’s Starr Foundation was established in memory of Megan Evans, a vibrant 14-year-old who tragically took her own life after enduring severe bullying. Her mother, Nicola Harteveld, founded the charity to prevent other families from experiencing similar heartbreak and to provide much-needed mental health support to young people in Pembrokeshire.

In addition to their recycling efforts, the foundation offers a wide range of services including counselling, educational workshops, and support groups. They also run the Speakeasy Coffee Van, a mobile unit that brings support directly to young people in rural areas, offering barista training and mental health resources.

To contribute to the bottle top collection, community members can drop off their donations at the coffee house or arrange for a volunteer to collect them. The foundation expressed their gratitude for the community’s continued support, emphasising that even small acts of kindness can have a significant impact.

For more information on how to get involved or to learn about the foundation’s other initiatives, visit their website at Megan’s Starr Foundation.

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