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techniPEMBROKESHIRE’S leading business support organisation is facing an uncertain future after the organisation failed to win the renewal a key contact with the Welsh Assembly Government. A top source at the Pembrokeshire Business Initiative (PBI) has told the Herald that from January 2016 they will no longer be delivering

The Welsh Government Business Startup Service, a free of charge range of business skills training designed to give want-to-be business owners the key business skills needed to run their own firm. PBI, based at the Bridge Innovation Centre in Pembroke Dock, has enough reserve funds to continue operations for a maximum of 24 months, the Herald understands, but may close by the end of 2016 if all avenues seeking what is essential funding become exhausted.

Managing Director Paul Lloyd told us: “We have money, we have staff… We may have to accept at some point though, that that’s it. That’s a decision that the board will have to take next year.”


The Herald understands that the PBI is hopeful that half of the thirteen of their staff will be transferred to AnturTeifi but Antur’s Head of Communications, Alwyn Davies did not sound certain that this was a done deal. He said: “This is not confirmed, there is an ongoing process which assesses what will happen.

This is what we are looking into at the moment.” Details of why the PBI have missed out have not yet become clear, but the Welsh Government said they did not apply directly to them for funding for a new contract, nor The Herald understands were they part of the Antur Teifi bid. Changes to the way that the Welsh Government deals with business support funding means that the contacts tend to be bigger and more complex.

What we do know is that there already was a long established working relationship between the PBI and AnturTeifi, going back many years. Asked why AnturTeifi had not included PBI in its partnership bid, Alwyn Davies said: “We cannot comment but it was a commercial decision.”

The Herald asked Mr Davies if the PBI was dumped as a provider purely to save money. He responded: “There were a whole host of considerations to come to this decision.” Adding: “This is a competitive marketplace with businesses bidding for contracts” He was keen to stress that AnturTeifi would provide services of “consistently high standards” for the businesses of Pembrokeshire.


 The news has been met with concern by local politicians, who understand the vital role that PBI is playing in the county to help start and support new businesses. Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb MP said: “Am deeply concerned by this development. PBI has a solid reputation for helping entrepreneurs, and new business start ups over many years, at a time when we are working very hard to revitalise the local economy, and to find new sources of growth.”

Mr Crabb added: “I am worried that the proposed changes could see a step backwards in terms of supporting new local firms.” Local MP Simon Hart told The Herald: “I am surprised and disappointed at this sudden and inexplicable threat to an important Pembrokeshire organisation” “The Welsh Assembly Government’s idea of cuts banks and centralising does not always lead to efficiency and better delivery of services.”

Plaid Cymru Mid and West AM Simon Thomas told The Herald: “It is concerning to learn that the future of Pembrokeshire Business Initiative is in doubt. I have tabled a question to the Welsh Economy Minister to get clarity on the issue.” Labour Assembly Candidate, Marc Tierney, who has accessed PBI’s services in the past said: “I am concerned to hear that there is a real funding threat to the PBI.

For the last thirty years the Pembrokeshire Business Initiative has provided trusted advice to businesses and small enterprises, relying on European and Welsh Government funding to deliver their service. “Whilst I am pleased that some support staff may be transferred to provide business advice through the AnturTeifi contract, I want to be assured that businesses of all sizes get the support they need.

“I understand that businesses with a turnover of less than £80,000 per annum will, in future, access training and support services online. So it is hugely important that local businesses are digitally included and that the momentum to rolling out superfast broadband continues.”

Mr Tierney added: “I am speaking up for local businesses to ensure we use every opportunity available to boost the Pembrokeshire economy. I have written to the Welsh Government to outline my support for the local economy, highlighting the need for all local businesses to continue to have access to the advice and support they need to get on.”


In an official statement AnturTeifi said: “ The new Business Wales service starting on January 4, will be run from four regional hubs in Wales – in St. Asaph, Newtown, Carmarthen and Bridgend. Advisers will be mobile and will be available to meet eligible businesses at their premises. “The team of advisers will be geographically spread throughout Wales and Pembrokeshire will be served by advisers, employed by Antur Teifi, who are knowledgeable about opportunities and services available locally to complement the Business Wales service.

“Businesses in Pembrokeshire that are eligible for direct face-to-face support are likely to receive that support at their premises from a locally-based adviser. The team of experienced advisers will bring a range of skills and will be able to deliver a bilingual service of equal high quality throughout Wales. “In delivering our services to businesses in all parts of Wales, we will be looking to work with local partner organisations that can add value to the service and ensure that businesses get the best possible advice to help them achieve growth for the benefit of the economy of Pembrokeshire and the rest of Wales.

“The Welsh Government has developed the service building on the feedback and assessment of the current service. Business Wales will provide access to a range of relevant, high quality advice for individuals and companies which is accessible online, with additional direct support provided by advisers, determined by the aspiration and growth potential of the business. ”


Phil Thompson, Chairman of PBI said: “We will not be part of the consortium that will be delivering business start-up support nationally on behalf of the Welsh Government next year. “PBI remains committed to providing local, face to face and expert support for new and existing businesses in Pembrokeshire and will continue to do this into the future. “PBI recognises the unique challenges faced by the business community in Pembrokeshire and its founding purpose is to help those in need of assistance and advice here in the county”


 Cllr Jamie Adams, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “PBI have provided an invaluable service to the business community over many years, and we are sorry to hear that they no longer have the contract. However, we look forward to working with the new providers, Antur Teifi.”


 A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The new Business Wales service will start in January 2016, and will continue to provide advice and information to all businesses and people seeking to start a business across Wales, no matter what their size or where they are located. The service can be accessed via the helpline, online or through one of 35 satellite offices located across Wales, three of which will be located in Pembrokeshire. We undertook an open procurement process for the delivery of the new Business Wales services. Pembrokeshire Business Initiative did not submit a bid for the new contract.”

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Buckingham palace announces Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements



PRINCE PHILIP’S royal ceremonial funeral will take place April 17 at Windsor Castle — a slimmed-down service amid the COVID-19 pandemic that will be entirely closed to the public.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, took part in planning his funeral and its focus on family was in accordance with his wishes. The 99-year-old duke, who died Friday, also took part in designing the modified Land Rover that will carry his coffin.

“Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth,” a palace spokesman said Saturday while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson who stepped away from royal duties last year and now lives in California, will attend the service along with other members of the royal family. His wife, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, has been advised by her doctor not to attend.

Palace officials said the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with the British government’s COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals to 30. They declined to say whether the royal family would be required to wear masks.

The palace appealed to the public not to gather in Windsor, and for those who wished to pay their respects to Philips to stay at home instead.

“While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the royal family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects,″ the palace spokesman said. “The family’s wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.”

The announcement comes after military teams across the U.K. and on ships at sea fired 41-gun salutes Saturday to mark the death of Philip, honouring the former naval officer and husband of Queen Elizabeth II whom they considered one of their own.

Batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast — the capitals of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom — as well as other cities around the U.K. and the Mediterranean outpost of Gibraltar fired the volleys at one-minute intervals beginning at midday. Ships including the HMS Montrose, a frigate patrolling the Persian Gulf, offered their own salutes.

“The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the Armed Forces as a whole,” Gen. Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said in a statement. “A life well-lived. His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty.”

Members of the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries headed by the monarch, were also invited to honour Philip. The Australian Defence Force began its salute at 5 p.m. local time outside Parliament House in Canberra, and New Zealand planned to offer its own tribute on Sunday.

Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and once had a promising military career. In 1941, he was honoured for his service during the battle of Cape Mattapan off the coast of Greece, when his control of searchlights aboard the HMS Valiant allowed the battleship to pinpoint enemy vessels in the dark. Philip rose to the rank of commander before he retired from active duty.

Two years after the war ended, Philip married Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. Philip’s naval career came to an abrupt end when King George VI died in 1952 and his wife became queen.

At the queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and settled into a life supporting the monarch. The couple had four children — Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Before he retired from official duties in 2017, the prince carried out more than 22,000 solo public engagements and supported over 780 organizations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people.

Members of the public continued to honour Philip’s life of service on Saturday, leaving flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle despite appeals from authorities and the royal family to refrain from gathering.

“I think everyone would like to pay their respects,” Maureen Field, 67, said outside Windsor Castle. “Because of the virus, a lot of people have to stay away. He didn’t want a big funeral. He wanted a very private time with his family to say their goodbyes. So, we’ve all got to respect that.”

Mike Williams, 50, travelled from his home in Surrey, southwest of London, to Buckingham Palace to honour the prince.

“He’s a massive loss to the country and to the world, I think, so we wanted to come and pay respects,” Williams said. “I don’t know what it achieves, but it just felt like the right thing to do.”

(Associated Press, London – by James Brooks and Tom Rayner)

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Police: RNLI ‘most likely saved man’s life’ following tombstoning incident



POLICE have issued an urgent warning following a tombstoning incident Tenby on Saturday evening (Apr 10).

A multi-agency operation was launched just after 6pm following reports of a man in difficulty after jumping from cliffs into the sea.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys police told The Herald: “We were called to the beach opposite St Catherine’s Island at around 6.15pm today, where a man had got into difficulty after jumping off the cliff into the water.

“On the arrival of officers, RNLI were at the scene and were administering CPR to the 23-year-old who was unconscious and not breathing.

“Fortunately, he regained consciousness shortly after and was taken to hospital for assessment.

Inspector Gavin Howells added: “This incident highlights the serious danger posed by tombstoning or cliff jumping, and the potentially life-threatening consequences.

“We urge people not to take part in this sort of activity anywhere along our coastline, and not to put themselves or the emergency services at risk for a thrill.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the RNLI for their swift response to this incident, and for their actions which most likely saved this man’s life.”

RNLI Tenby posted on Facebook the following: “The Georgina Taylor was launched after person seen in difficulty in water

“Tenby’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at around 6.25pm on Saturday, following a report of somebody in difficulty in the sea off Castle Beach.

“The volunteer crew were quickly on scene and immediately saw the casualty, who had been pulled from the water and was on the rocks.

“The casualty was taken from the rocks and into the lifeboat, where Casualty Care was administered whilst the helmsman made best speed to the harbour.

“As the lifeboat was entering the harbour, an ambulance was arriving at the slipway.

“The crew then assisted the ambulance personnel in getting the casualty onto the stretcher and into the ambulance, before re-housing the lifeboat.

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin



POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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