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Haverfordwest: Hospital supporters snub Labour’s Withybush protest

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PRESELI Pembrokeshire Labour Party, who say they are opposed to plans to downgrade Pembrokeshire’s main hospital staged a protest in Haverfordwest on Saturday (Apr 28).

However local Conservative activists have accused Labour of hypocrisy, as it is they who are in charge of health as the party running the Welsh Government. The protest was not well attended, with some locals telling The Herald that they did not want to attend a politically-led protest. Some people took to social media said Labour was just ‘political point-scoring’.

Hywel Dda health board announced proposals to radically alter services at its hospitals under three options. All would involve changing Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest from a general hospital to a community one, with the A&E having to close. A public consultation on the proposed options is to run for 12 weeks.

As The Herald reported on Friday (Apr 27), more than 18,000 people have signed a petition opposing the downgrade of their local hospital.

Shop assistant Myles Bamford-Lewis, the campaigner who started the petition was against Labour’s protest said: “This is quite disappointing, there needs to be a joint effort to protect our services from all parties but this does very much look like Labour are trying to get one up on political rivals in the county as no one outside the Labour Party had been invited.

Taking to Facebook, he added: “I haven’t got time for people who are out for personal gains and that’s why my petition was made with no mention of any single political party. The fight for Withybush needs to be inclusive and not exclusive and by “taking the lead” this will no doubt upset the conservatives and other parties in the county who also feel very strongly about the state of play with our hospital. Divisiveness can only cause divisions in our cause.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire Labour Party group organised the protest on Saturday which comes just over a week after the plans were announced.

A spokesman for the Preseli Pembrokeshire Labour Party told The Herald: “Any such proposal is strongly opposed by the Constituency Labour Party and we will be campaigning against any such moves by Hywel Dda to remove or downgrade current services provided by the hospital and provide them outside of Pembrokeshire.”

There were only up to fifty people at the protest according to those who attended.

Hywel Dda’s chief executive Steve Moore has said the trust, with Wales biggest budget deficit of around £69m, does not have the option of doing nothing, which they had considered.

Hands off our hospital: Local Labour campaigners are opposed to reform (Pic: M Hillen/Herald)

News

New mobile visitor centre ready to help visitors gear up for the Pembrokeshire Coast

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Park Authority Ranger Richard Vaughan and Summer Ranger Megan Holt with the new information van at Poppit Sands.

PEOPLE visiting some of Pembrokeshire’s top beaches and events may soon encounter a new mobile information centre, with a specially converted van ready to hit the road and help people enjoy their visit.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s new information van will be set up at seaside locations and popular local events, with Rangers on hand to give advice to those who need help and suggest free activities for those looking to discover the area’s wildlife.

National Park Authority Ranger Service Manager, Libby Taylor said: “This new vehicle will help our staff provide a range of information at locations where we know many people head to enjoy the National Park.

“As well as helping people learn more about the area and the different ways they can make the most of their visit, people can also find out how they can make the least impact on the Park during their stay.

“As well as having an awning to provide shelter, the van also includes space for magnetic panels that can be changed so the information that’s most relevant to the location or event can be provided.”

The vehicle, which has been converted by local company Poppit Campers, also includes a solar panel, which will help to power two iPads, which will give members of the public a chance to find further information on subjects such as nearby walks and wildlife identification.

The purchase and conversion of the vehicle was made possible through the support of the Welsh Government.

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Community

Deadline approaching for £500 payment to unpaid carers

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THE DEADLINE to apply for a one-off £500 payment to eligible unpaid carers in Wales is rapidly approaching.

The Welsh Government scheme, administered by Pembrokeshire County Council, is open to all unpaid carers in Wales who were in receipt of Carers Allowance on 31 March 2022.

The deadline to apply is 5pm on 15th July 2022 and those who believe they are eligible are urged not to miss out.

The Council is also sending out 400 letters this week to those they believe may be eligible and who have not yet applied.

The payment is in recognition of the increased financial pressures many unpaid carers experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic and to help with some of the additional costs they have incurred. 

The payment is targeted towards those individuals who care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and have low incomes.

You will not be eligible for the payment if:

  • You have an underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance but do not receive a payment because you are in receipt of another benefit at the same or higher rate; or
  • You only receive the carer premium  

If you have already applied please be assured the Council is working its way through the applications as quickly as possible.

How to apply

Applicants (this should be the person in receipt of carer’s allowance)

are required to complete the online form at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/grants/unpaid-carers-500-pound-payment

Required information is:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and email address
  • Date of Birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Post code
  • A bank statement showing your name, address, account number and sort code

If you are having problems completing the on-line application form please email: UnpaidCarers@pembrokeshire.gov.uk alternatively call 01437 764551 for assistance.

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Crime

Lola James: Two people have denied charges in connection of the death of 2-year-old

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TWO people who have been charged in connection with the death of a Haverfordwest toddler have denied charges.

30-year-old Kyle Bevan of Aberystwyth, denied a charge of murder at Swansea Crown Court.

Lola’s mum Sinead James, 29, denied a charge of causing or allowing the death of a child.

Lola died in Hospital on July 21, 2020, four days after sustaining a severe head injury at her home address in Princess Royal Way, Haverfordwest.

Bevan was remanded into custody.

James was released on conditional bail.

The trial will take place in 2023 and Judge Thomas said it is expected to last four weeks.

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