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Snow falls across Pembrokeshire [LIVE UPDATES]

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Pembroke Main Street: No cars could drive through last night (pic. Herald)

HEAVY SNOWFALL across Pembrokeshire yesterday (Mar 1) has resulted in the county waking up to a white wonderland this morning.

All schools are closed today after shutting early yesterday afternoon and are scheduled to re-open on Monday (Mar 5).

​A council spokesperson told the Herald: “Due to the forecast bad weather, all schools in Pembrokeshire are to close from 1 pm today (Thursday, 1st March). They will also be closed tomorrow (Friday, 2nd March) and, it is envisaged, will re-open on Monday (5th March).

“This pre-emptive action has been taken in light of the Met Office forecast of deteriorating weather conditions this afternoon and to avoid unnecessary congestion on the road network.”

The temperature is not expected to rise above freezing all day.

Due to the snow impacting our delivering services, this week’s edition of the Herald is free for all and available to read online.

Milford Haven: Covered in snow last night (pic. Thom James)

MORE SNOW

More snow is falling across the county. Conditions of roads are likely to get worse.

TRAVEL WARNINGS

Pembrokeshire County Council gritting crews have been working non-stop throughout the night to keep the county’s main road network open.

However a section of the ‘mountain road’, the B4329, remains closed as does the B4313 between New Inn and Llanychaer although this is expected to re-open shortly.

Highway crews have been utilising the Council’s fleet of 15 gritting vehicles (fitted with snow ploughs) and two snow blowers to keep main roads open.

Once the primary road network is clear, work will commence on secondary and then minor roads in the county.

The Council has cancelled refuse collection services due today and all schools and main Council buildings remain closed including leisure centres, libraries, day care centres and civic amenity sites.

Darren Thomas, the Council’s Head of Highways and Construction, said that the Authority was prioritising services to those who most required assistance and was working closely with other agencies including health, police, fire and ambulance services.

Snowman: In Tenby (pic. Tenby Island – St Catherines on Facebook)

COUNCIL SWITCHBOARD

Pembrokeshire County Council are only taking emergency calls: “Due to the weather conditions our contact centre are only able to take emergency calls on 0845 6015522”

COUNCIL FIXING BOILERS

Pembrokeshire County Council say they are working on broken boilers: “In the last two days Pembrokeshire County Council has received 407 emergency calls for boiler/heating related problems.

“There were 10 private heating engineers and seven Council plumbers allocated to this work.

“Some 334 cases have either been remedied or, where this was not possible, temporary heating facilities made available.”

ARRIVA CANCEL TRAINS IN SOUTH WALES

Arriva Trains Wales have been cancelled for all South Wales, disrupting many travel plans.

A spokesperson said: “Customers are advised not to attempt to travel on Arriva Trains Wales services for the whole of the South of the network.”

FIRST CYMRU BUS CANCELLATIONS

All First Cymru services are terminated from 6pm.

“A decision has been made to terminate all of our services early this evening#AmmanfordDepot, #Trawscymru #LlanelliDepot & #CarmarthenDepot: Services will be completed & back to the depot by “7.30pm #HaverfordwestDepot: All services will be completed & back to the depot by 6pm

BIN COLLECTIONS CANCELLED

Bin collections have also been cancelled today by Pembrokeshire County Council.

A spokesperson said: “As there was no refuse or recycling collection today, householders are asked to take in any black or orange bags they may have left out. Collection will be arranged for a later date which will be publicised in advance.”

Honeyborough: Sent to us by Katy Alice Buxton

CLINICS CANCELLED

Hywel Dda University Health Board has said that the following clinics are cancelled today:

• Opthalmology, Crymych Health Care Centre, Pembrokeshire
• General Surgery, Mr Beasley, Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen
• Rheumatology, Withybush Hospital, Pembrokeshire

Steve Moore, Chief Executive at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We would like to thank all who have assisted staff and patients today with their travel and we urge everyone to keep safe and warm through this period.”

GAS SUPPLIES

Wales & West Utilities Gas Emergency service have issued a statement: “Yesterday was a significant challenge for us.

“We received an emergency call once every 16 seconds and responded to more than 1000 gas emergencies.

“The majority of these were frozen condensate boiler pipe issues, which is something we cannot help customers with.

“If you have an issue such as this with your gas boiler or any other gas appliance please call a Gas Safe Registered (GSR) Engineer or your gas supplier.

“For a GSR Engineer in your area call 0800 408 5500 or visit gassaferegister.co.uk.

“You can find the contact details of your gas supplier on your bill.

“Our priority is responding to gas emergencies to keep people safe and save lives, and we really appreciate the support of local people to only call the number if it’s an emergency as we work hard to get to those who are most in need.”

COMMUNITY APPEAL

Kayleigh Kitts messaged us on Facebook to share the news of her appeal to help those in local communities.

She said: “Alot have people have offered to help/visit/check on elderly & Vulnerable people tonight and assist with Transport for those who need to get places!!! with the weather conditions we are in! Snow Likely to be here tomorrow!!!The Following People are willing to visit/check on your family & friends who are alone in an area your unable to get to!!! There are also people with 4 X 4’s are offering help to (have seen Posts on here)xx If you can help, pop your name in comments and areas you can cover!!!!”

You can help by visiting her post here.

ST DAVID’S PARADE CANCELLED

A scheduled St David’s Parade tomorrow (Mar 3) has been cancelled.

COASTGUARD HELPING OUT

Fishguard Coastguard have posted this on Facebook:”Two trips were made into Haverfordwest to ensure hospital staff could get in safely, the main roads are passable but side roads in many areas remain dangerous.

“It’s not all cliffs & beaches for us you know.”

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Multiple RNLI lifeboats launched to aid yacht in distress

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THE NEW QUAY RNLI lifeboat has rescued a stricken yacht, with the casualty evacuated by helicopter. 

On Saturday (May 8) New Quay lifeboat ‘The Frank and Lena Clifford of Stourbridge’, was paged at 9.06am by HM Coastguard to search for a yacht in difficulty 10 miles west of Aberystwyth with two persons on board. 

The Mersey class lifeboat launched at 9.20am with seven volunteer crew members on board to search for the 9m vessel, which had travelled up from Pembrokeshire, in a moderate south-westerly wind. 

The yacht, on passage from Fishguard to Aberystwyth, was experiencing mechanical and communications problems, and had failed to berth in Aberystwyth marina due to the tide. The severely fatigued crew had raised the alarm by mobile phone when they realised they were in trouble, struggling with the winds and poor visibility.  

Daniel Potter, New Quay RNLI Coxswain said, “We proceeded to the position given but on arrival another position was given 10 miles further north, and then again 5 miles north east. We searched for over an hour for the vessel as they had become lost in the deteriorating weather conditions. Barmouth lifeboat was also requested to launch but stood down as we located the vessel.  

“When we located them, we had to act quickly as we found her close to shore and in danger of going aground on the reef near Tywyn. I had one opportunity and we took it, we set up a tow and pulled her into deeper water.  

“We then requested to launch Aberdyfi’s lifeboat to assist us with getting crew on board as we had concerns over the health and wellbeing of the stricken vessel’s crew. Two volunteer crew from Aberdyfi and one from New Quay boarded the yacht. They assessed the casualty and it was decided as a matter of urgency to evacuate one of them. We requested an immediate helicopter evacuation, and HM Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 936 arrived and transferred the casualty to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. 

“It was quite an ordeal for the yacht, but it wasn’t over as we had to get the last of the crew members and the boat to safety. Aberdyfi lifeboat then transferred another one of our crew onto the yacht when they took theirs off and returned to station, and we began the tow to Aberystwyth.  

“On approach to Aberystwyth we requested assistance from Aberystwyth lifeboat who launched and met us outside the harbour to transfer the tow into the marina, and to deliver us much needed supplies, fish and chips! 

“We then headed home and returned to New Quay by 6pm, nine hours after launching. It was a very long day in difficult conditions. However, it was a fantastic effort by everyone, and we want to say a big thank you to all lifeboats and crew involved, and the helicopter. It was an amazing team effort by all.” 

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI Operations Manager added, “We would like to give our thanks to all the lifeboat stations involved. It was a great joint endeavour by Cardigan Bay lifeboat stations. The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea and our volunteer crew are on call 24/7. Remember if you find yourself or see anyone else in trouble at sea or on the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.” 

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Health

Update on local vaccinations for residents aged 18 to 39

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ALL adults aged 18 to 39 living in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire will be offered Moderna or Pfizer BioNtech for their first COVID-19 vaccine, Hywel Dda University Health Board can confirm.

Today’s announcement states, as a precaution, unvaccinated adults aged 30 – 39 years who are not in a clinical priority group at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, will be offered an alternative to the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, where possible.  This is already the case with adults under 30 years.

Fewer than 200 people under 39 are booked to receive a first Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine at the Picton Centre on Saturday 8 May. The health board is making every effort to contact everyone affected to offer a new appointment at a session offering the Moderna or Pfizer BioNtech vaccine.

All mass vaccination centres in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire will provide the  Moderna, Pfizer BioNtech and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines. Please attend your appointment as planned as your clinic will have the appropriate vaccine for your age.

Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “We understand that today’s announcement may cause some concern. The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine, cases of blood clots with low platelet counts continues to be extremely rare and is thought to be a reaction to first exposure.  The decision to stop using the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine in those under 40 who have no clinical risk factors reflects the excellent progress we are making in bringing the pandemic under control and the increased supply of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. 

“If you have received a first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine without suffering any serious side effects, it is recommended that you should complete the course and receive the second vaccine when invited, irrespective of age, in line with JVCI advice.”

The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has already saved thousands of lives and remains safe and effective for the majority of the population with over 1 million people have received the AZ vaccine since January.

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Mark Drakeford says: ‘Thank you Wales for going red’

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LABOUR is staying in power in Wales after matching its best-ever Senedd election result. It won exactly half of the 60 seats in the Welsh Parliament with all results now declared

Labour has 30 seats, with the Conservatives on 16, Plaid Cymru on 13 and the Liberal Democrats one.
Mark Drakeford thanked Wales for “going red” and has vowed to be “radical” and “ambitious” in government, as Labour looks to solidify its leadership in Wales.

Labour’s Vaughan Gething, health minister in the Welsh government, told the media that the party didn’t “have to look at a formal coalition” because they had done so well.

“We do, however, have to talk to other groups within the Senedd,” he said.

Mr Gething said Labour had a “strong mandate to govern” with 30 of the Senedd’s 60 seats.

The Wales Green Party failed to win a seat in the Senedd elections but they say they recorded their highest-ever result in Wales. Leader Anthony Slaughter said the “results demonstrate the appetite for change” across Wales.

A very happy Mark Drakeford on Saturday, May 8 (Photo Welsh Labour/Twitter)

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, said: “We seem to be getting votes from all of the parties and support on that regional list as people increase their knowledge of the voting system.”

Adam Price, who held Carmarthen East and Dinefwr with a reduced majority, said he would not stand down as Plaid Cymru leader.

Despite no gains, Mr Price said the party had increased its share of the vote and its stance on independence had been a “net positive”.

“I’m not walking away from anything, because this is the moment when Wales needs leadership,” he said.

“This is a historic challenge, because of the way that the politics is moving in this island, but it’s also a historic opportunity for us.

On the campaign trail, Plaid leader Adam Price (Pic Plaid Cymru)

“We can move our nation forward and I’m looking forward to playing my part, it’s not something that anyone can do on their own.

“I have a role to play, we all have a role to play and that’s what’s exciting about politics at the moment. Wales is on the move Wales is on the march. I’m going to be part of that.”

Later, on social media, Adam Price said: ” I extend my congratulations to Mark Drakeford on securing a mandate to lead the next government. Although disappointed not to be returning more Members to the Senedd, I am proud that we ran a positive campaign based on a transformational programme.

“Our Senedd group will bring renewed energy and fresh ideas and I look forward to working with all my colleagues as we continue to build the case for independence. We will be a constructive but forensic opposition as we enter a crucial period of pandemic recovery.

“However, the sixth Senedd will be poorer without one of Wales’s most remarkable politicians. No one has given more to the party or to her community than Leanne Wood – an inspiring role model for so many.

“Leanne’s commitment to the Rhondda is unparalleled and I know she will continue to make an important contribution to the future of our nation and the pursuit of social justice which always has and always will drive her politics.

“Westminster’s attack on devolution is only just beginning and Wales needs a plan – that plan must focus on taking our own future into our own hands so we can build a nation that is fair and free.

TORYS CLAIM BEST RESULT EVER

The Welsh Conservatives say that they have secured the party’s best ever result in a Senedd election, winning 16 seats in the Welsh Parliament.

In a statement to the press the party said: “Today’s final election results have seen the Welsh Conservatives secure two regional list seats in both South Wales Central and South Wales East.

“Welsh Conservatives polled 289,802 votes (share up 5.0) across 40 constituencies – 26.1% of the vote – winning eight seats including gains in both the Vale of Clwyd and Brecon and Radnorshire.

“On the five regional lists, Welsh Conservatives secured 278,560 votes (share up 6.3), winning eight seats. The result will see the Senedd return its first ever female from a BAME background, with Welsh Conservatives’ Natasha Asghar making history with election in South Wales East.

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies with Joel Williams on election day (Pic RT Davies/Twitter)

Commenting, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies said: “Firstly, I’d like to say a huge thank you to our outstanding set of Welsh Conservative candidates, activists and staff who’ve worked incredibly hard throughout this campaign and secured the party’s best ever Senedd result.

“The team has gone above and beyond and deserve great credit for the positive campaign we’ve run right across Wales, and I am thrilled to see Natasha Asghar make history in South Wales East by becoming the first female from a BAME background to be elected to the Senedd.

Newly elected Conservative member of Senedd, Sam Kurtz, talking to BBC reporter Aled Scourfield (Pic J Coles/Herald)

“As a party we are also delighted to have secured constituency seats in the Vale of Clwyd and Brecon and Radnorshire, and increased seats on the regional lists, resulting in our highest ever representation in the Senedd with 16 members.

“It’s been an unconventional campaign and it’s clear incumbency and continuity has played a significant part. To that end, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour on a successful campaign.

“The election has been fought in good spirit by political parties in Wales and I would like to pay a final word of thanks to the many officials across the country who’ve allowed this election to take place in a safe and effective manner.”

IMPACT OF PANDEMIC

Ian Price, director of CBI Wales, congratulated Labour. He said: “This is a critical time for the Welsh economy and the new parliament must have a laser-like focus on rebuilding from the devastating impact of the pandemic,” he said.
“That means all parties pulling together and working with business to protect jobs, rebuild livelihoods and create a fair and sustainable recovery that addresses the longstanding structural challenges our economy faces.”

Royal Town Planning Institute, largest professional body for town planners in the UK and Europe, commented on the election result saying: “The Welsh Labour Manifesto meets many of the issues raised by the RTPI, including tackling climate action, investing in public transport and active travel, and the delivery of quality affordable homes, including a focus on strengthening Welsh language communities.

“The manifesto commits to strengthening the autonomy and effectiveness of local government to make them more successful in delivering services. We have highlighted the need to invest in planning services to enable the delivery of Welsh Labour’s priorities.”

LABOUR “RESILIENT”

Speaking to the BBC, political commentator Prof Roger Awan-Scully said: “I think it’s been an astonishingly resilient performance by the Welsh Labour Party, amidst disasters for Labour elsewhere in the UK.

“The Conservatives are also performing strongly, but not quite bringing it home in terms of the number of constituency victories that they might have expected.

“For Plaid Cymru I think this has to be said to be a deeply disappointing election.”

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