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N​ew fire engine​ airlifted to Caldey Island

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(pic. Roger Thomas / MAWWFRS)

Special delivery: The Rural Response Pump transported by a Chinook (pic. Roger Thomas / MAWWFRS)

THIS MORNING (Jan 24) Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service equipped its fire station on Caldey Island with a Rural Response Pump.

The RRP will join the islands existing fleet of vehicles and has been designed to give crews an alternative choice of vehicle where conditions require 4×4 facilities due to difficult or restricted access.

The transportation of the RRP was made possible thanks to the RAF, who airlifted the new appliance from the mainland to Caldey Island by Chinook Helicopter as part of a test flight.

The test flight had been organised by a specialist team from the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit RAF Brize Norton and had taken four months to plan.

Wing Commander Phil Greville, the RAF Regional Liaison Officer in Wales, said: “Airlifting this type of vehicle underneath a Chinook has not been done before and we were very pleased that the flight trial went according to plan. Once we knew the vehicle was stable in flight and did not present any hazards, the helicopter crew were able to fly over to Caldey Island.

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Preparation: The RRP being prepped for the flight

“This has been a win, win situation. The Fire Service needed to get a new fire appliance out to the island and we wanted to get this type of fire-vehicle approved for airlift by Chinook.

“We now have a safe method of doing that. The Rural Response Pump vehicle is in widespread use throughout the UK and, in the future, we will be able to fly it to where it is needed when responding to major floods and other emergency situations.”

Rob Quin, Assistant Chief Fire Officer from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We have been working very closely with the RAF over the last few months and it really has been a team effort. We are grateful to the RAF and would like to offer a sincere thank you for all their assistance. It has been very rewarding to be involved in the airlift trial and we now have a new fire appliance on Caldey Island.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, we are confronted with a wide range of challenges that make the service area of Mid and West Wales unique. Geographically, we cover the largest service area of England and Wales, which contains Swansea, the second largest city in Wales, and many populous towns.

“We also serve many rural communities. Therefore, ensuring we have the best response vehicles and equipment, tailored to each area’s needs, is important.”

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Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

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THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap.

Sam Kurtz will take over the seat from the outgoing Angela Burns who held a majority of 3,400 at the last election.

This time, the gap was just 936 to Labour’s Hassan Riaz who picked up 10,304 votes.

Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell picked up 6,615 votes.

The turnout in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was slightly up to 52.12% from 51.2% in 2016.

However, with a larger electorate thanks to votes for 16/17-year-olds, the number of votes cast went up by almost 3,000.

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Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

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PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency.

He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895 votes for Labour’s Jackie Jones.

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos gained just over 6,000 votes and there were also 1,239 for Reform UK candidate Alan Dennison.

There were over 3000 more votes cast in 2016, down largely in part to the fact that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in this election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received more votes than before while the gap to Labour closed to just 1,400.

After being elected, Paul Davies said he would continue to ‘fight for Pembrokeshire’ and thanked those who had been involved in his campaign.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed

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THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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