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Pembroke regeneration plans are well underway

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screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-48-39PLANS to regenerate Pembroke were further discussed in the latest meeting of Pembroke Town Council’s Regeneration Committee on Monday (Oct 17).

In light of a series of ‘masterplans across the county’, including Haverfordwest’s multi-million pound riverside and town centre development, Pembroke would appear to be next in line to undergo the regeneration process.

The plans for the project are still very much in preliminary stages. A draft plan has been formulated; however, no specific improvements to the town have been firmly established.

Throughout the meeting, councillors emphasised the need for a consultation process which will engage the ‘whole of the town’ and embrace public discussion, with Cllr Jonathan Nutting adding that decisions could not be made ‘without talking to everyone’.

The draft plans state: “Pembroke Town Centre requires a holistic vision looking at its retail and commercial function, its transport and parking systems, its cultural importance, landscape setting and historic built heritage, its public realm and its role as a workplace.”

Making reference to a previous presentation regarding the proposed masterplan for Pembroke, Mayor of Pembroke, Cllr Dennis Evans, said: “It did inspire a lot of us to think that maybe this is the time for Pembroke.”

Echoing Mayor Evans’ comment, Cllr Pauline Waters added: “It’s our turn out of the major towns in Pembrokeshire.”

While many councillors raised concern over the draft, given that it fails to address Pembroke specifically, and in turn, drew many similarities with the plans used for the regeneration of Haverfordwest, Mayor Dennis Evans emphasised: “This is a plan. This is an opportunity for us to move forward.”

Although the draft is not modelled to Pembroke specifically, there is still a clear set of ‘deliverables’ laid out within it. These include the identification of major development opportunities; early stage projects for immediate delivery and a spatial framework which included measures to focus on retail and town centre activity.

Many councillors used Haverfordwest’s efforts in developing its town centre as a positive point of reference, with some calling for Pembroke to adopt the ‘cultural centre’ approach and using terms such as ‘ideal’ to describe the development of the riverside market. Museums and galleries featured prominently in the discussion, as well as more general ‘cultural areas’.

While Cllr Blackburn acknowledged that Haverfordwest is ‘way down the line’ in its regeneration phase, Cllr Waters emphasised that ‘Haverfordwest didn’t happen overnight’.

With reference to St Michaels Church and St Michaels School, Cllr Waters added: “We have to make the best of what we’ve got, we’ve got some great buildings.”

Other members of the meeting emphasised the need to preserve the town’s heritage and raised the prospect of restoring historic sites, such as the old workhouse.

Cllr Nutting added: “We must protect what we’ve got. We have to say in our plan; these things are important and must be protected.”

Cllr Nutting also stressed that the plan should be presented to Pembrokeshire County Council ‘without emphasis on individual buildings’, and instead present a wide range of thoughts and proposals for Pembroke.

Mayor Dennis Evans subsequently suggested that members of the committee should each comprise a list of key buildings around the town and propose what should be done with them.

While the regeneration of Haverfordwest and the efforts of Pembrokeshire County Council in pushing forward with the plan for Pembroke were praised by many – Cllr Wyn Jenkins emphasised the importance of having ‘the authority in Haverfordwest on our side’ – this viewpoint was not shared unanimously.

Cllr Nutting said: “Pembrokeshire County Council has one thing in mind and that is Haverfordwest… a parochial, provincial market town.”

He added: “Pembroke Dock should not be languishing where it is – the money should have gone there.”

Backtracking on his previous remark, Cllr Nutting stated: “Don’t get me wrong, I love Haverfordwest.

“The more we shout, the more we make ourselves prominent and get what we want.”

Also present at the meeting was local architect Alan Collie, who issued words of warning to those present in the meeting.

Mr Collie warned: “Don’t get tied up with these posh consultancy plans. A lot of it is telling you what you already know but in a much longer form.”

Mr Collie also made reference to the amount of derelict buildings in the town, calling it ‘a disgrace’, something many councillors agreed with.

During the meeting, Cllr Jenkins called for original plans of a Pembroke regeneration, formulated some 30 years ago, to be revisited.

This development, named the Pembroke Maritime Village, would have seen a luxury hotel built on the waterfront of Castle Quarry. By dredging the Pembroke River and constructing lock gates and inlets into the quarry, boats travelling from all over the world would have been able to moor up having come through the main haven in Pennar.

The project would have also included the construction of chalets along the waterfront, as well as minor industry to support the river.

After four years of planning, Pembrokeshire County Council rejected the plans due to a local resident who raised concerns over ‘big industrial works’ being developed. Cllr Jenkins said no such industry was ever planned.

Cllr Jenkins said: “It would have made Pembroke and put it back on the map.”

Reflecting on the failed development, Cllr Jenkins described the situation as a ‘Pembroke problem’, adding ‘we can’t seem to get off the ground’.

Many councillors showed their support for the original plans to be ‘resurrected’, with Cllr Waters adding: “We need to capitalise on the waterways around our town.”

Throughout the meeting, the issue of timescales were also raised. Despite Mayor Dennis Evans having pointed out ‘this is not a quick process’, he, along with other members of the council, emphasised the looming nature of deadlines.

Former Pembroke Town Councillor Jan Gigler also raised the point that minutes for the regeneration meetings were not freely available to the public, something that the committee proved eager to address.

A public meeting was scheduled for 7pm on November 8 at Pembroke Town Hall. All local residents are encouraged to attend.

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Funding secured for volunteering support at Paul Sartori Hospice at Home

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PAUL SARTORI Hospice at Home, a Pembrokeshire-based charity, is delighted to announce that they were recently awarded £29,814.00 by the Pembrokeshire County Council Enhancing Pembrokeshire Scheme. The charity has been awarded a grant to develop the “We Care: Volunteering Support” project, which will improve the volunteer infrastructure and support the volunteer community.

The project will combat issues around Second Home ownership by increasing community engagement and opportunities to connect people through training, open days, new social events and wider community outreach and communication. The first phase of the project has been completed with the successful recruitment of Eleanor Evans, the We Care: Project Officer. Eleanor joins this part of the charity, on a secondment basis, and brings a wealth of
experience, not only within the charity but also working with volunteers throughout the county.

The charity has experienced challenges over the last 12 months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new project will enhance the existing volunteer structure within the charity, develop incentives to increase volunteer engagement; support volunteers by providing increased training opportunities and develop a new social culture to decrease loneliness and isolation. Recognising that the pandemic has been a difficult time for many, improving and increasing community communication will also be a key aim.

Furthermore, the Sartori Stores throughout Pembrokeshire, have been through a difficult year, closing, opening and closing again. Most volunteers have gracefully assisted the charity, often at the drop of a hat, to open the stores.

Unfortunately, the charity has witnessed a decrease in the number of available volunteers to help, due to the pandemic. So therefore, another key objective will be to recruit and train more volunteers to assist in generating vital income and supporting areas within the clinical services.

“I am very excited to join this area of the charity and am looking forward to this new role. Having worked within the retail sector previously, I know how a lack of volunteers within a store can have a detrimental effect on the opening days and times. This will be where I will be concentrating my recruitment efforts on initially,” stated Eleanor Evans, We: Care Project Officer.

“Here at Paul Sartori we work hard to deliver a rewarding volunteer experience – we
ensure that adequate training is given to all volunteers. Our managers provide training and invest time with our volunteers to ensure they have the skills to work in many areas across the charity. Our stores can be a very busy, fast-paced environment, which offers a great opportunity for the environmentally conscious individual who wishes to help out a local charity selling pre-loved goods,” added Eleanor.

Cllr Bob Kilmister, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said the Council were pleased to support Paul Sartori deliver their We Care: Volunteering Support project.

“This project will add to the wide range of essential services Paul Sartori already provide to people in Pembrokeshire, improve their volunteer infrastructure and support the volunteer community,” he said.

“This is such a difficult time for charities and local organisations to maintain their services and volunteer activities and it is important to support them to strengthen their volunteer base, especially at this time when Covid is increasing the incidence of isolation and loneliness.”

The Enhancing Pembrokeshire Grant, using funds raised via the Second Homes Tax is available to provide funding for new projects that help address the negative impact of second homes and in doing so adds value to our communities.

“This grant has come at a good time for the charity. Assisting our valued volunteers; recruiting more active volunteers and investing more in our existing training programme will ensure that the charity is financially sustained for many years to come,” said Judith Williams, Grants Coordinator at Paul Sartori Hospice at Home.

Paul Sartori Hospice at Home provides a range of services to Pembrokeshire people living in the final stages of a life-limiting illness, including home nursing care, equipment loan, complementary therapy, bereavement and counselling support, under 18’s anticipatory grief and bereavement support, physiotherapy, advance care planning and training.

The services provided by the Paul Sartori Hospice at Home enable people in the later stages of any life-limiting illness to be cared for and to die at home with dignity, independence, pain free and surrounded by those they hold most dear, if that is their wish. All of the services are free of charge and are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, thanks to the generosity of the Pembrokeshire Community. Further information on the charity and its services can be obtained by visiting their website www.paulsartori.org, or by phoning 01437 763223.

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Police at scene of RTC – officers seeking witnesses

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POLICE in Milford Haven are making door to door enquiries in the Great North Road area following an accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle.

It is understood that CCTV in the area was not pointing in the right direction so police are appealing for help with the case.

There is still a large police presence in the area as of 11.20am this morning (Feb 26).

MORE TO FOLLOW…

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Crime Commissioner continues to secure funding for organisations that support victims of domestic and sexual violence

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THE POLICE and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys Police is again making the offer for organisations that support victims of domestic and sexual abuse to bid for additional funds.

Funding was made available last year, in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on organisations supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence.

It was part of a £76 million package of support made available by the UK Government.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “Thanks to this additional funding, we can ensure that victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Dyfed-Powys can access specialist services for support, at a time when they are needed the most.

“Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in domestic violence during the pandemic and victims need help now more than ever and I am grateful for the work of all the service providers across the Force area that help these men, women and families who are most in need.

“I want to reassure anyone who is in an abusive situation or relationship that you do not need to suffer in silence, and I urge anyone to report abuse to the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

“This funding is open both to providers whom I currently commission and those that I do not currently fund. However, unlike the extraordinary Covid-19 funding provided in 2020/21, organisations do not need to be a registered charity, a charitable incorporated organisation, or a social enterprise to be eligible for this funding. They must, however, provide support services which have the purpose of helping victims of sexual violence or domestic abuse cope with the impacts of crime and, as far as possible, recover from the harm they have experienced. We would also encourage applications from small specialist organisations that support groups with protected characteristics.

“If you wish to submit a request for this funding, further guidance is available on my website, and can be requested via the office e-mail address.”

Closing date for submissions is close of play on Friday, March 12, 2021.

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