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Grinch protest at MP’s office over pay cap

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Protest: Unison members outside Stephen Crabb’s office

PROMINENT Welsh Conservative MP Stephen Crabb received a visit from a group of Grinch lookalikes outside his office in Haverfordwest this afternoon (Dec 12).

Public service workers, angry at the UK government’s continued seven-year pay cap, invoked the fictional character who famously wanted to ruin Christmas time. They are warning the MPs not to ‘steal our pay rise’.

Healthcare and local authority staff dressed as the Grinch are presenting giant Christmas cards on behalf of Wales’ 390,000 public service workers at the constituency offices of Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP, Guto Bebb MP, Stephen Crabb MP and David Jones MP.

The message inscribed reads: “Public service workers deliver essential services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year but the government pay freeze has seen their pay cut by over a fifth. This Christmas support public service workers and stand up for your community.”

The Christmas-themed stunts have been organised by UNISON and the trade union has promised a colourful and loud presence outside the constituency offices, with the assembled crowds singing Christmas carols featuring alternative lyrics to reflect the deep frustration of public service workers and their families.

Margaret Thomas, UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary said: “When thousands of people in your community are in a desperate situation, that’s when you need your MP to stand up for them. After seven years of pay caps and freezes have reduced public service workers’ pay by a fifth, people are really struggling to pay the bills.

“Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns should be banging the Cabinet table, telling the Prime Minister people here are suffering. We need to hear the voices of Guto Bebb, Stephen Crabb and David Jones. None of them made any contribution to last week’s Parliamentary debate on public sector pay. By staying silent, they are failing to represent their constituents.

“An immediate end to the pay cap would transform thousands and thousands of lives in Wales and that means more money on Welsh high streets for local businesses too. That is the message Welsh Conservative MPs must tell their government this Christmas. Public service workers are the just-about-managing families that Theresa May promised to stand by and we want her to make good on her promise.”

UNISON has drawn attention to the fact that the number of its members in the constituencies of Alun Cairns, Stephen Crabb and Guto Bebb are greater than the majorities held by the MPs.

The trade union has warned the politicians they ignore public service workers at their peril.

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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor

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A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police

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POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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Polling station changes in Pembrokeshire

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POLLING STATIONS in Pembrokeshire are open today (May 6) but a small number may have changed from the last time you voted.

In Neyland, the polling station will be at the new Community Hub building on John Street.

St Katherine’s Church Hall will be the new host for the station in Milford Haven, having previously been held at the Murray Suite in the town hall.

A polling station will be placed at the leisure centre in Haverfordwest while one at Trecwn has been moved to the Gate, Scleddau.

Voters in the county will be electing for the Preseli Pembrokeshire and the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituencies.

People will also be able to select five MSs to represent the Mid and West Wales Region.

The candidate with the most votes will win the constituency but the ballot for the region will be decided by a different process.

People will be elected according to their share of the vote, using a mathematical process, and gives parties who may have won fewer or no constituencies a better chance of winning regional ones.

It will also be a big day for 16 and 17 year olds as they will be able to vote in Welsh elections for the first time.

The ballots will be counted on Friday (May 7) with results expected to come in from the afternoon.

Polling stations opened at 7am and will close at 10pm.

All those who vote will be required to stick to Covid-19 safety measures including wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Clean pencils will be available but voters can bring their own pen or pencil.

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