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Milford Haven: Fishermen protest at Government restrictions

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FISHERMEN from across Wales gathered outside Milford Haven Port Authority in Hakin on Monday afternoon (Dec 18) to protest against planned fishing restrictions.

Around 30 angered fishermen had hoped to speak to Assembly Member Lesley Griffiths who was attending a meeting at the Port Authority.

Stephen De-Waine of the Pembrokeshire Fishery had wrote a letter to the AM imploring her to open her eyes and meet fisherman to understand the problems that would arise should the restrictions be imposed.

In his letter he also accused the Welsh Government of miss-managing fisheries in Wales and failing to secure adequate deals.

Mr De-Waine, who has been fishing since he was 18, told the Herald: “in 2010 Welsh Government took over responsibility for the fisheries and since then they have been eroding our fisheries. We started off in Wales with seven fisheries, they’ve closed two, they’ve put restrictions and closures on some of the others and they’re looking to put restrictions on the other ones.

“They’re not fighting on our behalf to maintain the industry so we are losing it. This, today, is a protest for the minister to say to her that she’s got to open her eyes and start paying attention to what is going on otherwise she is going to lose the fishing industry.

“They’re saying they are looking to make all fisheries sustainable for the future but in our view we had sustainable fisheries. We own small scale fishing boats, most of us own boats that are under 10m in length so you’re limited by that, you’re limited by tides, limited by what you can fish.

“Our message to the AM is that she has to open her eyes and see what the restrictions she is bringing in place for the fishing industry is doing to the industry because she is driving the industry into poverty.”

It is hoped that inshore fisheries can be restored and that no more restrictions or closed seasons be put in place.

Those who were at the protest held a number of banners stating that the Welsh Government had ruined a number of fishing industries, calling them ‘out of control’ and calling for no more closed seasons adding ‘enough is enough’.

Mark Dellar, of the Teifi Coracle Netsmen Association, told the Herald: “I’m here today because Natural Resources Wales have put a proposal out to restrict our fishing seasons and we believe it’s not justified, they’re trying to restrict us for two months of the season and also to support the rest of the fishing industry.

“We’re also trying to enlighten the minister as to what’s happening as we believe she hasn’t got all the information in front of her.”

The fishermen waited outside the Port Authority offices for over an hour hoping to speak to the minister.

However, when she arrived she was taken down to the main building and only took the letter from Stephen De-Waine before going inside.

It left many fishermen disappointed that they had not had the opportunity to speak to her.

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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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