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Setting the scene: Haverfordwest’s new multiplex

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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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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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