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29% of tyres replaced in Wales are already illegal

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screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-12-31-30A RECENT survey, compiled by TyreSafe, of over 25,000 tyres as they were being replaced at Welsh tyre outlets, showed that 29.1% were illegal.

October has been Tyre Safety Month, and Road Safety Wales Partners have been highlighting the importance of tyres to safer motoring through social media. It has been disappointing to note that two recent police campaigns highlighted problems with tyres on a number of vehicles. Drivers who fail to comply with the regulations face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre. Leaving your tyre checks until the MOT is due could be an expensive decision.

Motorists can help reduce the risks to themselves and other road users by carrying out tyre checks every month and before long journeys. The air pressure in each tyre should follow the vehicle manu facturer’s recommended settings, and tread depth should be well over the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm, roughly the same as the rim of a 20p piece. If a 20p piece is inserted into the tread and the rim is visible, the tyre may be illegal. However, professional advice is to replace your tyres ideally as soon as they reach 3mm. While checking tread depth, also look out for any lumps, bumps, signs of ageing or scuffing on the tyre which may indicate internal damage.

As the winter weather begins to take a hold on the country, adequate tread depth is essential for good grip, especially on wet roads where the tread pattern helps to remove water from between the tyre and the road surface. Drivers with insufficient tread depth face longer stopping distances, reduced grip and an increased risk of aquaplaning.

Road Safety Wales has recently lent its support to TyreSafe, the UK’s charity dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of correct tyre maintenance and the dangers of defective and illegal tyres. All Partners in Road Safety Wales are committed to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads of Wales, and are pleased to be working with TyreSafe to raise awareness of the preventative steps road users can take to stay safe.

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales, said: “Every day on Welsh roads, people are taking chances with their lives by driving defective vehicles. During the winter period, it is more important than ever that vehicles are roadworthy, legal and safe. Don’t forget that your tyres are the only parts of the vehicle which are in contact with the road, and safety in acceleration, braking, steering and cornering all depend on a relatively small area of road contact. Correct tyre maintenance and care is critical for your safety, no matter what type of vehicle you are driving.”

Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, said: “TyreSafe’s tread depth survey highlighted the poor attitude towards tyre safety among Britain’s motorists, and Wales actually recorded worse results than the national average. While the need to carry out many of the maintenance checks has decreased as vehicles have become more reliable, tyres are in direct contact with the road and can be damaged, lose pressure or wear between service intervals or MOTs. The only way to be sure your tyres are roadworthy is to check them at least once a month and before long journeys. That’s why this year’s Tyre Safety Month message of ‘Don’t chance it, check it’ is relevant all year round.”

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Education

Delight as foundation phase learners return to class

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PEMBROKESHIRE Headteachers have reported very positive returns to school for Foundation Phase Learners.

All Foundation Phase Learners returned to schools on Monday, March 1st and attendance has been reported at almost 90% since.

The Council’s Director for Education, Steven Richards-Downes, said: “A wide range of council services have worked together to ensure that Foundation Phase pupils have been able to return
safely to school.

“I am particularly grateful to all school staff and families for ensure that learning is now available for our youngest learners face to face.”

Headteachers remarked how schools have filled with smiles and laughter following the safe and phased return of Foundation Phase learners.

Cora O’Brien, Headteacher at Waldo Williams School in Haverfordwest emphasised how quickly learners have settled back in to a routine.

“It has been an absolute joy to hear their laughter in the playground and to observe their love of learning face to face once again. I thank everybody in the Waldo Williams School
community for working so hard to ensure that the transition went smoothly.”

Vicky Hart-Griffiths, Headteacher of Ysgol Hafan y Mor in Tenby, said: “It has been wonderful to welcome all our Foundation Phase learners back to school. They are thriving, being amongst
friends and back to a school routine.  

“All the pupils have spoken about how happy they are to have returned and it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome them back and we can’t wait until we have all our pupils back in school.

“The school feels alive again and there’s a positive buzz and laughter once again echoing throughout the school.”

Gareth Lewis, Headteacher at Broad Haven CP School said children had returned “with real enthusiasm, and have been very keen to meet up with their friends.”

Mr Lewis added: “Our parents have been very supportive and positive about the return, and those with older children are very much looking forward to a wider return to schooling.”

Mr Richards-Downes said plans were now turning to more learners returning to schools in the near future.

“We are looking to the next phases of the re-opening of schools on the 15th of March as long as the government guidelines allow.”

Further details will be released in due course.

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Pembrokeshire County Council: This week’s Leader’s coronavirus update

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further coronavirus update for Friday, 5th March as follows:

‘Welcome everyone to my weekly update.

“It is with rather a heavy heart that I tell you that it’s almost 12 months since my first statement on the coronavirus pandemic.

“On 9th March 2020, I addressed our Cabinet meeting with the following words:

“Further to the news yesterday that two people in Pembrokeshire had tested as positive for the Covid 19 virus, I am sure you will join me in wishing them both a speedy and full recovery.

“I can reassure you that our services will continue as usual, and all our employees can continue to attend to their work, appointments, schools and services as they normally would.

“We should all help protect ourselves and our communities by following Public Health Wales advice, particularly around washing hands and using a tissue for symptoms associated with cold and flu and then safely disposing of it.

“I am grateful to the co-operation and hard work of all of our staff and we will provide further updates and information when we have them.

“In the meantime I can confirm that detailed planning arrangements, both internally, with partner agencies and through the Dyfed Powys Local Resilience Forum, are well underway to ensure that the Council and Pembrokeshire are as well placed as possible for whatever challenges we may face. Thank you.”

“I am sure you will join me while I take a moment now to remember all those people in Pembrokeshire and further afield, who, very sadly, passed away since I made that announcement.

“I continue to be incredibly grateful, as I’m sure you are, to everyone who is helping to beat this pandemic, working so very hard now for over a year.

“We are fortunate now to be in a position where the vaccine programme is protecting older members of our community and starting to roll out among one of the biggest groups – the over 65s and those with underlying health conditions.

“This time next week (12th March) the Welsh Government will have notified us of their plans for the next three weeks.

“In the meantime, we remain in Alert Level 4 and the stay at home message continues to be more important than ever as we reach the threshold of better times.

“I wish you all a good weekend and thank you once again to the vast majority of wonderful Pembrokeshire residents who are doing the right thing and waiting patiently at home for restrictions to lift.

“We do really appreciate your efforts and determination to help bring this pandemic to an end.”

 

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Sergeant Hillier ‘died doing the job he loved’, says his heartbroken father

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THE ARMY SERGEANT who died after being injured in a live firing exercise, has been named locally.

The incident occurred at Castlemartin Training Area, and led to the death of Sgt Gavin Hillier, who was in the Welsh Guards.

In a post on social media, his father wrote: “Absolutely devastated to be writing this post, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

“At 3.45am this morning I received a phone call that will forever change my life. My eldest son Gavin Mark Hillier was in a fatal accident yesterday in the army (the job he loved).

“Sleep tight & rest in peace son. I’m so proud of you. Goodnight and god bless, love your heartbroken dad.”

An Army spokesperson said: “It is with great sadness we can confirm the death of a soldier on March 4.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.

“The circumstances surrounding this death are being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

It is understood that Sergeant Hillier, who served as part of the Welsh Guards’ motor transport platoon, was due to be deployed to Iraq and had previously been awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct medal by Prince Charles, the regiment’s Colonel in Chief, in 2019.

The tragic incident is the latest in a number of accidents at Castlemartin.

In 2017, The Herald reported that two soldiers died in a tank explosion, which a coroner ruled was due to a design flaw.

The following year, an Army captain was jailed in July 2018 after a 21-year-old soldier was killed by a stray bullet during an exercise at the range in 2012.

An investigation has been launched into the death of a soldier at Castlemartin RAC Range following a military exercise.

Police were called to the site at just before 10.45pm on March 4.

Sadly, a man was pronounced dead shortly after. Our thoughts are with his family, who have been informed of the incident and are being supported by specialist officers.

An investigation is underway led by Dyfed-Powys Police. Officers are liaising with the Health and Safety Executive and MoD.

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