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Setting the scene: Haverfordwest’s new multiplex



The new facilities: What the new complex could look like

The new facilities: What the new complex could look like

HAVERFORDWEST’S latest commercial development, the proposed multi screen cinema and restaurant complex to be sited at Wilko car park, was further discussed by Haverfordwest Town Council (HTC) on Wednesday (Oct 19).

A public presentation by Fairacre, the company behind the ambitious project, was previously held on Monday (Oct 17).

During the presentation on Monday, it was revealed that the development will include a five-screen cinema, as well as four restaurants; building work is set to begin by either autumn 2017 or early 2018. It was also estimated that the development will bring up to 180,000 people to the town each year, and furthermore provide around 80 new jobs.

With reference to the presentation given early in the week, Town Councillors initially appeared to show unanimous support for the build.

Mayor Alan Buckfield said: “It seems to be a very good thing.”

Cllr Roy Thomas echoed this sentiment, adding: “I think we should welcome the whole project.”

While Cllr Barbara Morgan initially appeared of the same opinion, adding: “They were selling it very well,” she went on to raise concerns over the lack of car parking facilities if the development goes ahead. She made reference to the predicted loss of 47 parking bays at the Wilko site, the downsizing of Scotchwell to make way for the newly extended Aldi store, and the proposed restructuring of the multi-storey car park in the town centre.

Cllr Morgan said: “I think we’re going to be a bit short on car parking again.”

Other councillors also raised concern over the increased traffic that the roundabout outside Morrisons will likely experience.

Cllr Chris Blakemore said: “That Morrisons roundabout is already highly dangerous.”

Present at the meeting and attempting to allay the concerns raised by councillors was Head of Highways and Construction for Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC), Darren Thomas.

Mr Thomas (who had also been present at the Fairacre presentation three days before) said: “It’s more than just the Fairacre development.”

He went on to say that the multi-storey car park is increasingly unused by motorists due to the difficulties of navigating the narrow ramps inside (a point which was also raised by members of the public at the Fairacre presentation), and went on to present the proposed renovations to counter this issue, which will involve a £1.2m – £1.5m transformation project.

The project will see parking bays lost in order to improve access and circulation around the ramps of the car park. Mr Thomas also added that if plans go ahead, the car park will receive better signage to the town centre, and perhaps the biggest development of all, a roof over the top floor. With reference to anti–social behaviour, Mr Thomas also added that the project will involve ‘improving stairwells’.

With regard to the Morrisons roundabout, Mr Thomas admitted that the council had, at one point, looked at moving it by around 50 metres; however, the cost associated with such a job would have likely been around £2m, money which Mr Thomas suggested was better spent elsewhere in the town.

He went on to add that lesser improvements will be made, which included ‘regulating the roundabout’ by ‘remarking the lanes to better direct people’.

In his closing statements to councillors, Mr Thomas said: “It’s good to see the Fairacre development coming along. It would be useful to get your understanding so far… we need to prioritise what needs to be done.”

During the Fairacre presentation on Monday, the company proposed incorporating outward facing vistas of the river, something that members of the public raised concern over given the amount of detritus that has become a feature of the river.

Speaking at the presentation on Monday, PCC Leader Cllr Jamie Adams acknowledged the concerns raised about the river and, while he admitted it was neither the responsibility of the County or Town Councils to maintain it, he recognised it as an issue.

With reference to this part of the presentation, Mayor Alan Buckfield said: “We will convene a meeting with all the stakeholders involved.”

He added: “We need to find out exactly who is responsible for maintaining the river.”

The Mayor suggested that the meeting would involve Milford Haven Port Authority and Natural Resources Wales amongst other bodies.

He also appeared eager to receive public opinion on the matter, adding: “Then we can go out to the public.”

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Pembroke Dock: Two in hospital following Fort Road car accident



EMERGENCY SERVICES dealt with what has been described by a witness as a “horrific car accident” in the Pembroke Dock area on Wednesday night (Jun 12).

A 23-year-old woman, driving a black BMW, travelled down Fort Road at speed, hit a low wall, catapulting the vehicle some considerable distance across a picnic area. The vehicle ended up irreparably damaged on the beach – which was luckily not in use at the time – landing next to the old Cambridge Gun Tower.

No other vehicles seem to have been involved, police said.

The driver has been arrested but remains in hospital, one passenger is in a critical but stable condition, in Cardiff, and a second passenger sustained only minor injuries.

A spokesperson for Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 10.45pm on Wednesday night (Jun 23), to reports of a road traffic accident near the Fort Road car park in Pembroke Dock.

“We attended the scene with one rapid response vehicle, two emergency ambulances and our Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service.

“Two people were taken to University Hospital Wales, Cardiff for further treatment.”

The police are appealing in the media for information following the crash.

An official statement from the police reads as follows: “We were called to Fort Road, Pembroke Dock, at around 10.45pm on Wednesday night to reports of a single-vehicle collision. Ambulance and fire service also attended.

“A 19-year-old man was taken to the Heath Hospital in Cardiff and remains in a critical but stable condition.

“A second passenger attended hospital for minor injuries but has since been discharged. A 23-year-old woman was arrested, and currently remains in hospital.

“Anyone who witnessed the collision but who has not yet spoken to us should get in touch by emailing, visiting our website, or calling 101.

UPDATE: 24.06.2021, 15:47HRS

On Thursday (Jun 24) said that the female who was arrested was de-arrested because of the need for medical treatment, and is “no longer under arrest at this time.”

The police also added that their investigation was “still active”.

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Pembrokeshire call handler helps deliver Llanelli couple’s new baby



A 999 CALL HANDLER from Pembrokeshire has helped deliver a Llanelli couple’s baby.

Father-of-two Chris Bassett, from Hook, answered the call from the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centre in Carmarthen, and whose instructions on loudspeaker enabled the pair to deliver their 8lb 1oz new arrival safely.

Thanks to Chris, Troy Smith, 34, and partner Abigail Jones, 33, delivered baby Arabella Dilys Smith in the bedroom of their Llanelli home.

Troy said: “I’ve never felt adrenaline like it but I knew I had to focus on the situation for Abigail and the baby’s sake.

“It all happened so quickly, but Chris’ voice on the other end of the phone kept us calm.”

Abigail, a teacher at Ysgol Carreg Hir in Briton Ferry, went into labour at around 10.00pm on Thursday, June 3, and made a trip to hospital, where nurses confirmed she was in the early stages.

The couple returned to their Pwll home, but their soon-to-be daughter had other ideas.

Troy said: “At around 4.30am, Abigail developed a lot of pain and said she had an urge to push.

“I thought, ‘Right, this is happening’ and phoned an ambulance because I knew I’d be delivering the baby right there and then.”

It was Chris, a former RAF Aerospace Systems Operator, who picked up the call in the early hours of Friday, June 4.

The 29-year-old, who has been with the Welsh Ambulance Service for 18 months, said: “As soon as I answered the call, it was obvious that Troy and Abigail were in distress, as anyone would be in that situation.

“The priority was to get Abigail in a comfortable position to deliver the baby safely.

“For me, it was about giving them clear instructions while trying to keep them both calm.”

Troy added: “I just did what came naturally. When you’re in that situation, you just do it.

“As soon as Arabella came, I felt this wave of relief and I just couldn’t believe how gorgeous she was.

“Chris was so professional and handled the situation really well.

“He gave us all the information and kept us calm.”

Ambulance crews arrived soon after, and took Abigail to Carmarthen’s Glangwili General Hospital, where she was treated for shock before being discharged the following day.

Abigail said: “The whole thing was petrifying because I just never expected to be having the baby at home, but we’re so grateful to Chris for helping us to deliver Arabella safely.”

Chris added: “In your role as a 999 call handler, you’re helping people in their darkest hour, but I’m just glad this call had a happy ending.

“This is the third baby I’ve helped to deliver during my time at the ambulance service, but the first one I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.”

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Covid causes partial school closure at Haverfordwest High VC



A PARTIAL school closure is in force today at Haverfordwest High VC school after a pupil in year 9 has tested positive for coronavirus.

All students in year 9 must stay at home , isolate and await further instruction while the school completes all of the necessary Track and Trace processes.

In a statement released by the school, they said: “We have been informed that a Year 9 pupil has tested positive for COVID-19.

“We wish them a speedy recovery.

“As a precautionary measure and to enable us to complete all of the necessary Track and Trace processes, the school will be closed to Year 9 Pupils today.

“The school remains open to all other year groups.

“Until further notice, Year 9 students should stay at home and isolate until further instructions are given. Lessons for all other year groups will continue as usual. Unless your child is in Year 9 they should attend school.”

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