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Future of Ocean Lab decided

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Sea Trust’s Cliff Benson announces future plans: A collaboration between Pembrokeshire County Council and Conygar Stena Line has been signed off

SEA TRUST have announced that the future of Fishguard and Goodwick’s Ocean Lab has been secured for at least two years as part of a collaborate partnership.

A two-year lease was recently signed between Pembrokeshire County Council and Conygar Stena Line, for whom Sea Trust manages the Ocean Lab.

It was three years ago when the authority decided to close the Ocean Lab as a part of their ongoing cost cuttings.

With the support of Conygar Stena Line, Sea Trust took it upon themselves to take over the management of the Ocean Lab back in April 2013.

Thanks to Conygar’s involvement, the life of the Lab has been extended under the control of Sea Trust, who have also managed to increase the contributions that the Ocean Lab makes to the surrounding community.

On top of this collaboration announcement, Sea Trust have also been assured that when the development of the marina goes ahead, the Ocean Lab will be involved in the refurbishments to be eventually highlighted as one of the significant features of the marina development.

Sea Trust’s Cliff Benson said: “I was lucky enough to meet with Dafydd Jones, Director of Conygar Stena Line, some years ago when he sponsored a groundbreaking live internet link with Sea Trust and a group of pupils from Ysgol Bro Gwaun and some Marine Educators working on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

“I never thought that 12 years later, I would still be asking for and getting Dafydd’s support.

“Had he and Conygar not backed us, the seafront here at Goodwick would have, by now, been derelict. The windows of the Ocean Lab would probably have been broken and boarded up.

“I should point out that Conygar could easily not have helped us but they gave their word that they would and, as the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding!”

Mr Benson continued, stating that he has read of Goodwick residents who think that the regeneration of the marina will be an eyesore, and are suspicious of the changes that are appearing in the plans. He said: “Anyone who buys a house overlooking a commercial port must realise that change is inevitable and will probably add value to property.”

In the three years that Sea Trust have been working with Conygar keeping the Ocean Lab open as a community asset, it has been used by thousands of residents and visitors each year.

Hundreds of local school children have attended the lab to take part in activities that have been arranged for them.

“There can hardly be a parent or grandparent locally whose children have not been crabbing with us or making sand sculptures or used the soft play area,” Mr Benson added.

The lab is also a meeting place where societies, such as the University of the Third Age (U3A) hold events, and a host of small business meetings happen. Social workers also use the lab to meet clients and researchers sit with a cup of coffee using the lab’s free Wi-Fi.

“I happen to think that the marina is really going to open up opportunities for other businesses to grow in the area. In turn, that will mean jobs and visitors.

“I know Dafydd and the Conygar team are working hard and spending a lot of money to try and move the project on. It is a complex project and inevitably there will be tweaks to the plans.

“So far, in the 12 years I have known Dafydd Jones, he has been completely open and we have been kept informed of developments by Conygar as they have happened.

“In all that time, they have been true to their word. My trust in Dafydd and Conygar is not just blind faith, but built on over 12 years of experience!”

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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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Community

Community Centre thanked for opening toilets to the public

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A COMMUNITY centre is throwing open its toilet doors to enable the public to make use of them.

As a non-statutory service, Pembrokeshire County Council has been under pressure to reduce the budget for public toilets for several years.  Some communities have stepped forward and taken over the running of public toilets, whilst others have helped to meet ongoing costs.

Another way to protect, and even increase, provision is for community venues and businesses to make their toilets publicly accessible. This is where the trustees of Hubberston and Hakin Community Centre have stepped in.

Their toilets will be open to the wider community for a trial period during their normal centre opening hours. The toilets have been redecorated and refurbished recently and are now ready for use.

For those with mobility issues there is ramped access to the centre, and one of the toilets is fully accessible.

More details of the centre can be found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HHCYC/ or contact them on email h.h.ccbookings@gmail.com

The toilets will shortly appear on the map of public toilets on the Pembrokeshire County Council website (https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/map-data/public-toilets-map).

A Hubberston and Hakin Community Centre trustee said: “We had no hesitation in making these toilets available to anyone who needs to use them. 

“It is great to be able to provide a much-needed facility, particularly for those workers who are out and about every day in our community and need such facilities. It will also prove useful for those visiting the area such as walkers and cyclists.”

Cllr Rhys Sinnett, Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “I would like to thank Hubberston and Hakin Community Centre for stepping forward and providing this facility to their wider community. 

“They can clearly see the benefits that making their toilets publicly available can bring not only to the residents they serve but also those who are working in that area. I hope that other community and private settings will see the benefits of doing the same.”

If any community or private venue would like to make their toilets publicly available, please contact Katy Daly, Strategic Business Manager (katie.daly@pembrokeshire.gov.uk).

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