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MP backs first Small Business Saturday

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small businessPEMBROKESHIRE’S local businesses got a day of recognition as part of the UK’s first ever national event to celebrate small businesses.

Small Business Saturday, held on December 6, celebrated the vital role that all small businesses play in the economy and in local communities. MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, Stephen Crabb, hit the High Street in Haverfordwest to show his support for businesses in the county. He spoke to a number of retailers in the town about their businesses including Maggs, The Welsh Bakery, Victoria Bookshop, Just Nice, Coffee Cave and Musician’s World, an independent instrument and music shop on High Street.

During his time in the town centre, Stephen was also able to talk to business owners about the steps announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement which pledged more support to the small businesses community and high-street retailers.

Small businesses in England also received a shot in the arm with the announcement that business rate rises will be capped at two per cent next year, and business rate relief will be extended for another year. There will also be a £1,000 discount on business rates for small businesses.

Stephen has called on the Welsh Government, who has responsibility for business rates in Wales, to follow suit and provide similar help to shops and small businesses on high streets in Wales.

The Government also confirmed that new loans would be made available for start-ups, along with tax relief for investment in social enterprises, and a 50 per cent discount on business rates for the reoccupation of empty shop units.

Stephen has worked hard to champion the needs of drivers in our rural county by calling for the Treasury to take more action to help drivers with the cost of fuel. He welcomed the news that the planned fuel duty rise (of 2p a litre) which was due to come in next year will be scrapped and fuel duty will continue to be frozen at the current level. This will mean that by next year the price of petrol will be 20p per litre lower than had the duty increases planned by the previous Government gone ahead.

Stephen Crabb MP said: “The small business community in Pembrokeshire is vitally important. They are the backbone of our local economy. I’m pleased that the Autumn Statement has reflected the Government’s backing of small businesses by introducing some important business- friendly policies which I hope will make a real difference.”

“Unemployment levels have continued to fall in Pembrokeshire and it is our local businesses that have been helping to get people into work. I’m hopeful that the scrapping of NI contributions for younger people will boost the number of young people in work.”

“Small Business Saturday is a great way to remind people of the importance of shopping locally particularly at a time when they face tough competition online in the run up to Christmas. At the end of the day, people need to remember that when they support their local businesses, the money they spend and the jobs that are created as a result stay here in the community.”

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Charity

Calls for help over VHF radio may have been a hoax, say RNLI

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THE ANGLE All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch on service at 10:23am this morning, Monday (July 22).

Following a call to the Coastguard from Milford Haven VTS, the crew were tasked after the VTS operators overheard a female voice calling for help on VHF channel 12.

After narrowing down the transmission to having been received on the Pembroke aerial site, the crew were requested to conduct a search.

Launching at 10:30am, the lifeboat made best speed to the moorings at Hazelbeach, and a hasty search was requested by the Coastguard of any moored vessels. The crew began making their way amongst the moorings, heading up to the moorings off Neyland. With nothing untoward sighted, the crew proceeded to search the moorings off Hobbs Point, Barnlake Point, Burton, Llanion and Rudders Boat Yard.

With nothing found, the Coastguard requested that the crew continue their search up river to Picton Point. The lifeboat continued searching up the western shore encompassing Llangwm before altering course just past Landshipping and searching the eastern shore back down the river, calling in to Lawrenny on the way to check any vessels moored there.

The RNLI said that the search continued back down as far as the Cleddau Bridge.

On Facebook the organisation posted :”Following a thorough visual, communications and radar search the crew were subsequently stood down when no further information or calls had been received.

“The tasking was therefore deemed to be a hoax call.

“The lifeboat was back alongside and readied for further service by 1pm.”

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Crime

Police investigating after man injured during altercation in cemetery

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POLICE have confirmed that they are investigating a report of an altercation which occurred in the cemetery off Gelliswick Road, Hakin, Milford Haven sometime between 4.30 and 5.00pm, Wednesday 17th July, 2024.

Following the incident, a 32-year-old man went to hospital for treatment and was later released.

A 19-year-old male has been arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail pending further police enquiries police have confirmed.

The incident caught the attention of locals, who said there was a large police response to the incident included armed officers.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: 394 of the 17th

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org

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Crime

West Wales man jailed for rape after victim’s cries heard

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A WEST WALES man has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for raping a woman in an attack that ended only when her cries for help were heard by others. Charlie Evans, a 22-year-old former Exeter University student, ignored his victim’s repeated pleas for him to stop during the 45-minute ordeal.

The incident took place after Evans and his victim had attended a party, where both had been drinking. The court heard that after kissing, the pair left together, with the woman under the impression that Evans lived in a flat with her friend.

Upon returning to the flat, the woman used the toilet before Evans raped her, despite her repeatedly saying no. The prosecutor described the victim as crying hysterically and added: “She did not want these things to happen.”

During the attack, one student testified they could hear the victim not consenting and begging Evans to stop. Another person said they were so concerned they inquired about what was happening.

Police were alerted after the incident was reported to campus staff, who then contacted the emergency services. Evans was told to leave his flat and was subsequently removed from the university. He denied the offence during his police interview.

Evans, of Victoria Avenue, Mumbles, Swansea, was convicted earlier this year at Exeter Crown Court of rape and sexual assault. He was sentenced on July 12. In a victim statement, the woman said her life had been forever changed by Evans’s actions. She expressed feelings of fear, confusion, and shame during the incident and continues to suffer from nightmares. She now feels distrustful of men and has sought support to cope with her trauma, the court heard.

Christopher Quinlan KC, defending, presented multiple good character references for Evans, describing him as a “kind and respectful” young man who was “always positive, compassionate and thoughtful.” He argued that his client’s life was “in ruins” as a result of his actions.

However, Judge Stephen Climie told Evans he had “completely misrepresented” his victim’s position, adding: “She was so far away from wishing to engage in your sexual activity that the only explanation for your attitude and approach was alcohol that blinded you to what was clearly and obviously the word ‘No’.” He continued: “So far as your life is concerned you will be crushed as a result of the sentence I’m required to impose.”

Following the sentencing, DC Michele Hicks from Devon and Cornwall Police’s major crime investigation team praised the victim for her courage and resilience throughout the investigation. She said: “I hope this case reassures the community how seriously the police take reports of sexual violence against women and girls and gives people the courage to come forward in future.”

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