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Pembroke Dock: 17-week roadworks ‘absurd’ says AM

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CALLS have been made for roadworks on the A477 in Pembroke Dock to work overnight to reduce disruption.

The roadworks, which started on February 5, will last for 17 weeks in total.

The area, which has seen an increase in traffic since the opening of Aldi last year, will have traffic signal equipment and pedestrian crossing facilities added, and the road is also being resurfaced.

Concerns have been raised by Pembroke Dock Town Council of the disruption that these roadworks will cause local businesses and residents, and now an AM has echoed the concerns.

Neil Hamilton AM, from UKIP, said: “The A477 is a crucial artery into and out of Pembroke Dock. It’s absurd that this project, which involves the installation of new lights and resurfacing is taking so long. These delays are destructive to local businesses, in an area so heavily dependent on transport links.

“There are also concerns about access for ambulance crews based at Waterloo – the local health service already faces challenges and this only increases the difficulties they face.

“I support Clr. Hall’s call for the project to be treated with greater urgency. It’s ridiculous that the contract for this critical project omits work outside of regular hours. They should be working on this around the clock in order to get the job done.

“I call on First Minister Carwyn Jones to work with the Trunk Road Agency so that night and shift work can be undertaken in order to complete the project as soon as possible.”

Prior to the roadworks starting, a Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: “In order to improve road safety, a Traffic Signalisation scheme is proposed at Ferry Lane A4139 with its junction with the TRA477 London Road, Pembroke Dock.

“The Trunk Road Agency scheme will commence on Monday, 5th February, for a duration of approximately 17 weeks.

“It will involve the installation of traffic signal equipment, pedestrian crossing facilities and resurfacing of the area.

“As a result, a permanent ‘Prohibition of Right-Turn Movements’ will become operational whereby vehicles travelling from Ferry Lane will have to turn left and negotiate Waterloo roundabout in order to travel east.

“Temporary traffic signals will be in operation 24-hours with a five day works programme (with potential weekend work).”

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MP calls for cut in beer duty for pubs

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PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb has written to the Chancellor ahead of next week’s Budget calling on him not to increase alcohol duties and to cut the tax on draught sales to help stop pubs going out of business.

Mr Crabb is one of more than a 100 MPs calling for a cut in the ‘keg tax’ to help pubs compete more fairly with supermarket sales of alcohol. 

Currently, beer drinkers have to pay around £1 in tax for every pint they drink in a pub, which is the highest rate in Europe and nearly twelve times higher than in Germany.

Commenting on the letter, Mr Crabb said: “Pubs are at the heart of so many of our communities and when a pub closes down something special is  lost. That is why I am calling on the Chancellor to reduce the beer duty from the keg. A cut will not only bolster our much-loved pubs across our towns and villages, but also have a knock-on boost for British agriculture and employment. 

“Over a hundred Conservative MPs and I hope that after a difficult period the Chancellor will give our pubs and clubs something to raise a drink to this budget.”

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County lines intensification week sees drug supply disrupted into west Wales

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Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police carried out 11 raids during a week of action tackling county lines drug gangs.

COUNTY LINES intensification week (Monday, 11 October to Sunday, 17 October) saw officers carry out warrants, intercepting vehicles potentially involved in the supply of drugs, and working with partners to raise awareness of drug-related crime.

Seventeen people were arrested during the week, with crack cocaine (0.8grams), heroin (77g) and cocaine (6g) seized.

The value of those drugs is estimated to be around £4,500, while officers seized £6,500 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Also seized were an extendable baton and an ammunition magazine.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Cotterell said: “The county lines intensification week was successful for Dyfed-Powys Police, and we had a number of excellent results thanks to the proactive work of officers and police staff across the four divisions.”

As well as the front-line warrants and police work, a lot went on behind the scenes, leading to:

  • More than 2,000 people educated about County Lines and exploitation during the intensification week in the community and partner agencies.
  • Some 50 letting agencies/estate agents educated about the dangers of criminality, such as County lines activity in rented properties.
  • More than 150 businesses educated about county lines, with an emphasis on those who provide mobile top-up services and the use of ‘burner phones’.
  • 50 ‘at-risk’ or vulnerable children, young people and adults received targeted safeguarding support on a 1-2-1 basis and in group settings.

DCI Cotterell added: “Few people are aware of the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to support victims, or the measures we put in place to stop people from becoming repeat victims of drug-related crime.”

“It is very important to us as a force that while we act on all new intelligence to disrupt county lines, we also take a victim-oriented approach to working with those affected by these gangs to protect them from becoming repeat victims.”

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Pembroke Dock: Pensioner sentenced to 20 years for child sex offences

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A PENSIONER from Pembroke Dock has been given an extended sentence of 20 years in prison with a further year on licence after being found guilty of historical rape of a child in the 1980s.

Barry Lake, aged 70, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court today (22 October) having been found guilty of 10 counts of rape of a child and two charges of gross indecency with a child last month.

Lake, now of Newton-le-Willows in St Helens, had denied all 12 charges relating to offences between January 1986 and January 1989.

Lake was first questioned by Dyfed-Powys Police in April 2020 in what would become an intensive and complex investigation.

Investigating officer DC Claire Lewis said: “Lake denied all charges, putting his victim through the ordeal of a trial.

“As they have done throughout the investigation, they showed great courage and dignity in the face of adversity to help us convict their abuser.

“This was a long and intensive investigation with a lot of work to achieve this outcome today.

“This sentence shows that it doesn’t matter how long ago a victim has suffered sexual abuse, we as police are here to listen and take seriously any person who has suffered any form of sexual abuse albeit a day or 35 years after.

“Please do not be scared to come forward, we are here to listen to you.

“Once again, I would like to commend the victim for their bravery for coming forward and achieving this outcome today.”

After serving 20 years in prison Lake will serve another year on licence.

He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register indefinitely and made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

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