Connect with us


Democracy is there for the benefit of the country not the politicians”



democracy benefitsTHIS WEEK The Herald spoke with Preselli Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb. He started by saying:

“Back in my school days at Tasker Milward I asked if we could have a daily newspaper in the sixth form common room and they gave us ‘The Independent’. I think the teachers were keen that we got a balanced view and rightly so!

“That developed into an interest in practical politics later on, after university, when I was living and working away in London. My mum brought me and my brothers up on her own in a council house and I found it really rewarding working with youngsters that I could relate to. I was then asked to become a governor of a large inner city primary school, and from there I started taking a closer interest in political issues – especially those concerning young people, education and poverty.

“I remember sitting next to a Labour MP at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1996 and he advised me that if I wanted to do anything in politics I had to join a party and get stuck in. I took his advice, but didn’t join the party he suggested. He is still an MP and we have become very good friends since then”.

He went on to describe his week, saying:

“My typical week involves leaving Pembrokeshire either on a Sunday night or early Monday morning. I get back to the constituency late on a Thursday night. At the moment, because of the Wales Office job, once every couple of weeks I also do a mid-week visit to Cardiff to meet with Welsh Government ministers and others.

“Every Friday and most Saturdays are working days in Pembrokeshire doing surgeries and meeting with local businesses and other groups. I try to keep Sundays completely clear. The amount of time I have for constituency duties has not changed – that is protected time in the diary.

“I am incredibly fortunate to represent the seat where I grew up and being the local MP is, and always will be, the most important aspect of the job”.

The Herald asked Mr Crabb what were the key issues and events from last year in which he was involved, and what he thought 2014 would bring:

“The biggest issue facing our county last year, as now, was the threat hanging over Withybush Hospital. In 2013 I was also very busy with the decisions being taken by the Ministry of Defence over Cawdor Barracks, the home of the 14 Signal Regiment.

“Again, this was an issue where we knew that the desire to move the base had been around for some years. I fought very hard first of all to try to hold off that decision, but when it became imminent my priority was to secure an agreement from ministers that the Regiment wouldn’t move before 2018.

“I was able to get that agreement and that’s provided an important opportunity to ensure that we are not suddenly left with a hole in the local economy when the Signals move up the road to St Athans.

“On a happier front, I was closely involved with HSA in seeing the Haverfordwest Skatepark project clear its final hurdles and construction underway. To see to it finally open at the end of the year was thrilling for everyone involved.

“I want to see the country continue to improve, the economy to get stronger, and for Wales and Pembrokeshire to continue to feel the benefit of that. If that happens, it means my work both as a Wales Office Minister and as MP is bearing some fruit”.

On what the best and worst aspects of the job are, and how he felt about elections, he said: “I’ve fought three general elections now. I’ve lost one and I’ve won two and I definitely know which feeling I prefer. Democracy is there for the benefit of the country and the people; it’s not there for the benefit of politicians.

“In terms of what’s really fulfilling, unquestionably it’s when I see hard-work paying off and results coming through, whether for individual constituents and businesses, through casework, or at a community level working in partnership with others to secure more investment in Pembrokeshire. Perhaps the worst aspect of the job is the number of hours of my life I now spend travelling each week. I have come to dislike driving very much”.

Finally, we asked the MP when we might be treated to seeing him on Question Time, to which he said: “I was just wondering the same thing!”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Body found in missing person search in Carmarthenshire



IN THE LAST few moments, Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm that a body has been found this afternoon, Wednesday, November 29, during the search for Angharad, who had been reported missing.

Formal identification has not yet taken place, however Angharad’s family has been informed of this development.

Police said: “Our thoughts remain with the family at this difficult time.”

Continue Reading


Excellent progress on construction of new Welsh medium primary school



A CELEBRATION event was held on the site of the new Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Penfro in Pembroke on Tuesday 14th November to mark the reaching of the highest point of the building, traditionally known as the ‘topping-out’ ceremony.

The event was hosted by Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd and attended by pupils and staff from Ysgol Gelli Aur, the Executive Headteacher of the new school, governors of the Temporary Governing Body of Ysgol Bro Penfro, Cabinet members, senior Council officers, and a members of the project team.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and the Welsh Language, Cllr Guy Woodham, said that he was extremely pleased with progress at the site.
“Whilst I was unfortunately unable to attend the ceremony, my Cabinet colleagues have shared with me their experience, and the excellent progress being made on the new school.
“I am particularly pleased that the project remains on budget, and on programme, which means that Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Penfro will be in a position to admit pupils in September 2024.”
Members of the school’s Temporary Governing Body expressed their delight with the building.

The Executive Headteacher of Ysgol Bro Penfro, Mr Dafydd Hughes, confirmed that pupils and staff thoroughly enjoyed the event and that everyone connected with the school is excited at the prospect of moving to the new school next year.

“The fact that a new Welsh medium primary school is being built in Pembroke is an important and exciting development on so many levels.

“As Executive Headteacher of Ysgol Bro Penfro I am committed to ensure that when the school opens its doors in September 2024 every pupil will be given opportunities to flourish and thrive in a welcoming Welsh medium setting. I am also focused on ensuring that the whole Pembroke community takes great pride in the school.”

Pupils were very excited to see the new school. Among the comments received were: “We loved signing the steels, it will help us to remember when we came here when our school was being built and we will always be a part of our new school”

“I can see that everyone is working really hard to build us our school. The school is so much bigger than we expected and can’t wait to start learning in our new classes”.

The project is being funded by Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire County Council, and will provide a significant contribution to the Council’s Welsh in Education Strategic Plan.

Continue Reading


County mourns loss of revered priest and community pillar, Father McGreal



THE CATHOLIC community in Pembrokeshire is in mourning this week after the passing of one of its most well-known priests, Father Owen McGreal, aged 88, former parish priest of St Teilo’s Catholic Church, Tenby and former governor of Mary Immaculate RC School in Haverfordwest.

It is understood that Father Owen passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning (Nov 28).

Although he had retired from his role as parish priest in 2014, he remained active in the community, serving as a cover priest. He attended a Paul Sartori event in Haverfordwest just a few weeks ago.

In 2009, family, friends, civic guests, clergy, religious, and parishioners gathered together at St. Teilo’s Catholic Church, Tenby, to attend a Concelebrated Mass of Thanksgiving for the Golden Jubilee of Father Owen’s ordination to the priesthood.

His brothers, Lt. Col. Patrick McGreal and Mrs. McGreal, Fr. Michael McGreal (who passed away last year, aged 92), and many nephews, nieces, great-nephews, and great-nieces came from Ireland to celebrate this great event. Among the guests were Rt. Rev. Bishop Thomas Burns SM, then the recently appointed Bishop of Menevia; Bishop Emeritus Rt. Rev. Daniel Mullins, former Bishop of Menevia; and fellow clergy.

In 2014, on his retirement, there was a concert at St Teilo’s bidding farewell to Father Owen after a total of almost 25 years of dedicated service.

Father Owen had dedicated a large part of his life in the church to the service of young people, so it seemed fitting, many said, that the concert included young talented musicians from not only Tenby but also from as far away as Norway and the USA.

On the news of Father McGreal’s passing yesterday, Leanne Prevel, Acting Headteacher of Mary Immaculate RC School, said in a letter to parents and guardians: ‘It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the death of Father McGreal, former parish priest, school governor, and long-term supporter and champion of Mary Immaculate School.

‘We understand that this news will have come as a shock to members of our school community.

‘Should you or your family need any support at this time, please do not hesitate to contact the school, or the Parish…’

‘Our Mass planned for December 8 will now be for the repose of the soul of Father McGreal. We also intend to hold a gathering at the school to remember and celebrate his life in the next couple of weeks. Further details will be shared with our school community in the coming days.

‘We remember in our prayers, Father Owen McGreal, and those impacted by his death.'”

Continue Reading

News3 hours ago

County mourns loss of revered priest and community pillar, Father McGreal

THE CATHOLIC community in Pembrokeshire is in mourning this week after the passing of one of its most well-known priests,...

Sport4 hours ago

This week’s Pembrokeshire rugby round up – 25/11/23

THERE was plenty of rugby to choose from up and down the county last weekend. We round up the latest...

News24 hours ago

Police investigating after van and bike collide in Dale

DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a collision which occurred at approximately 10am on Monday, October 23 2023. A bike and a...

News1 day ago

Officers investigating a serious assault have made an arrest

A 21-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested on suspicion of assault. He has been released on bail pending further police enquiries....

News2 days ago

Chance for local craftspeople, artists and producers to sell their goods in Tenby market

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is seeking expressions of interest for table-top pop-up offerings within the popular indoor market in Tenby. It...

Business2 days ago

Communities get outdoors thanks to grants from broadband provider Ogi

COMMUNITY groups across south Wales are embracing the outdoors this autumn, thanks to almost five thousand pounds from Ogi –...

News5 days ago

Petition praised as Welsh Government agrees to Fingerpost junction changes

SENEDD members praised the friends of a man who died at the notorious Nash Fingerpost during a debate on Wednesday,...

News5 days ago

Festive films return to Carmarthen Showground with street food cinema drive-in

A FESTIVAL of festive films is coming to Carmarthen Showground in December with the return of Street Food Cinema’s Christmas...

Community5 days ago

A night to remember at the PAVS Pembrokeshire Volunteering Awards 2023

PEMBROKESHIRE volunteers were celebrated at a gala dinner and awards ceremony held on November 16 at The Queen’s Hall Narberth. ...

Education5 days ago

Cash-strapped school support staff in Wales are ‘paying for pupils’ essentials’

SCHOOL support staff across Wales are using their own money to help pay for pupils’ food and clothing, even though...

Popular This Week