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Plaid Cymru celebrates Police and Crime Commissioner success

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Dafydd Llywelyn has been elected the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys Police

Dafydd Llywelyn has been elected the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys Police

PLAID CYMRU leader Leanne Wood has thanked supporters after her party won two out of four Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

The Party of Wales’ Dafydd Llywelyn has been elected the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys Police, whilst Arfon Jones has become the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales Police. Plaid Cymru also had strong results in South Wales and in Gwent.

Party leader Leanne Wood said that Dafydd Llywelyn and Arfon Jones would work to deliver improvements in policing in the communities they will serve by increasing transparency and accountability in the police service.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said told The Herald: “People in Dyfed Powys and North Wales police areas have voted for transparency and accountability in their public services. They have voted for the police to come under the jurisdiction of the Assembly.  In all police areas Plaid Cymru has secured strong results, and I offer my particular congratulations to Dafydd Llywelyn and Arfon Jones on their success.

“These elections have been a success for Plaid Cymru. Whilst each of the other main parties in the Assembly lost ground, more and more people voted for Plaid Cymru because they trust us to always stand up for Wales and do what is right for our communities.

“We now have a renewed team of Plaid Cymru elected representatives all across Wales who are ready to work hard for the people of Wales every single day. Arfon and Dafydd will work tirelessly to ensure the full democratic accountability of the police through our elected representatives in the Assembly, as has been agreed by all parties in the Silk Commission process.”

Responding to his defeat in his bid for re-election as Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys, Christopher Salmon said: “Securing a second term was always going to be hard. This was a tough fight. Whatever my personal disappointment, the important thing is that the public have had their say.

“I congratulate Dafydd Llewelyn on being elected. This is a fantastically rewarding job with huge potential to make a difference to our lives. I am sure he will come to see its value.

“I’m honoured to have been the first ever Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys. I hope I have been able to establish this role effectively and to leave behind a new office and governance arrangements which improve how the police can serve our public.

“I am privileged to have worked with many dedicated officers and staff who are so committed to their duty. I hope people will feel that I have done mine.”

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Haverfordwest: Fire crews attend kitchen fire in Abbots Close

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MID and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have issued a statement following a house fire in Abbots Close off Augustine Way in Haverfordwest on Tuesday evening (Jan 31).

The statement reads: “At 7.05pm on Tuesday, January 31st, crews from Haverfordwest and Tenby were called to an incident at Haverfordwest.

“There was a kitchen fire in a private dwelling which was extinguished using 4 breathing apparatus sets, 1 hose reel jet, 1 main jet, 1 positive pressure ventilation fan and short extension ladders.

“The Police and Local Authority were also in attendance.

“Crews left the scene at 8.57pm.”

It is thought there were no injuries as a result of the incident.

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Ferry staff concerned over rumours Pembroke Dock to Rosslare route coming to an end

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CONCERNS are growing amongst Irish Ferries staff operating out of Pembroke Dock as rumours continue to circulate that the company is considering abandoning the Pembroke to Rosslare route.

Several sources state that Irish Ferries is to pull out of Wexford (Rosslare) all together.

Several newspapers in Ireland are reporting that Irish Ferries has failed to reply to queries in relation to future of Rosslare route as concern grows among employees

The company has remained tight-lipped on its plans and despite queries by various reporters to both the Irish Ferries media contact and a senior company official in Rosslare, there was no response from Irish Ferries at the time of publication.

A lot of the concern stems from the fact that customers cannot book passage on the Rosslare/Pembroke route beyond May 31st of this year. Potentially this could be related to the expiry of the company’s charter on the ship currently working the route – Blue Star 1.

The Greek passenger ferry, with capacity for 1,500 passengers, 100 freight vehicles and up to 700 cars, was chartered by Irish Ferries in March of 2021. The company has faced a number of issues with the ship and it was detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) as recently as December after failing a safety inspection.

It is reported that in the past couple of weeks, Irish Ferries staff members have met with senior management to express their concerns and have also reached out to their union SIPTU to put them on notice.

The lack of information being provided by the company is certainly not doing anything to quell rumours.

This is not the first time Irish Ferries has caused a stir in Rosslare. Back in December of 2018, the company announced its intention to axe its service between Rosslare Europort and France in a move that wax described as “a kick in the teeth” by locals at the time.

Since then, thankfully, fortunes at the Europort have drastically turned in a post-Brexit landscape with the port now nearly handling up to 40 sailings per week.

However, the routes operating between Rosslare and the UK have seen more mixed fortune. With Stena

Line operating a route from Rosslare to Fishguard alongside Irish Ferries’ sailing to Pembroke, there has been some debate as to whether there is the trade to sustain both routes going forward.

Stena Line’s ownership of the port in Fishguard means its likely to want to hang in there, while back in 2021, Irish Ferries only signed a 10-year deal with Pembroke Dock.

We asked Milford Haven Port Authority for their view on the ongoing speculation. A spokesperson at the Port of Milford Haven, said: “We were surprised by these press articles.

“We are unaware of the basis of them; but we can confirm that we renewed our contract with Irish Ferries in 2021 and continue to provide excellent port services to support this important UK and International trade route.”

POLITICIANS SUPPORT PEMBROKE DOCK

Calls a year ago (Feb 2022) for Wales to have one ferry port in Pembrokeshire instead of two due to declining trade following Brexit would be a “disaster” for the county, a Senedd candidate  said.

Rosslare in Ireland’s January traffic to the UK was down 49% on last January, with freight direct to the European mainland up 446%.

Glenn Carr, general manager at Rosslare Europort in Ireland, suggested closing either Pembroke Dock or Fishguard ports to compensate.

But the Liberal Democrat Senedd candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire said at the time that would be a “disaster” and called for Welsh Secretary Simon Hart to “take urgent action” to solve the situation.

“Some companies have chosen to take the sea route from Ireland to the European continent rather than going through the UK’s land bridge,” he said.

“They have done this to avoid the trading barriers which have arisen from our hard Brexit. Mr Hart and his government colleagues need to ‘step up to the plate’ and take urgent action to eliminate these trading barriers before we lose one of our precious ferry ports.”

Conservative Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb also has been calling on the UK Government to “get a grip” on the situation.

“There’s now a big fight on to retain competitiveness and win back business that seems to have been lost out of the Welsh ports since the end of the Brexit transition period,” he said.

“So the UK government needs to get a grip on working out simpler, more effective, streamlined procedures for complying with this paperwork, making it less of a headache for doing business through the Welsh ports between the Republic, the UK and the continent.”

Tina Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd Candidate for Preseli Pembrokeshire also said both Fishguard and Pembroke Dock are vital ferry ports to our local community and to local businesses.

“Staff at these ferries have worked very hard to provide an excellent service which also benefits tourism and local trade,” she said.

“The government needs to end its trading barriers with Ireland to avoid the catastrophe of one of these ferries closing.”

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Man sadly passed away in hospital following incident in Haven Drive, Milford Haven

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POLICE and ambulance units were despatched to a residential address in Haven Drive, Milford Haven on Friday following a 999 call from a party concerned with the welfare of a male.

Medics attended, and the man was taken to hospital but sadly died the following day.

The air ambulance also attended the incident, landing at the Milford Haven Rugby Club.

A statement was released by Dyfed-Powys Police concerning the incident: “We attended a property in Haven Drive, Milford Haven on Friday 27th January 2023 following a concern raised for the welfare of a man.

“The man was taken to hospital where he passed away on Saturday 28th January 2023.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.”

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