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Hundreds of county businesses eligible for rate relief

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MORE than 500 small and medium-sized businesses in Pembrokeshire can apply for rate relief of up to £2,500 thanks to a new scheme approved by Pembrokeshire County Council’s cabinet on Monday.

The extended High Street Rate Relief Scheme for 2019-20 will be funded by the Welsh Government and administered by Pembrokeshire County Council.

It aims to provide targeted support for businesses affected by the independent revaluation and by the growth of Internet sites.

The Council estimates that 534 occupied high street businesses and retail properties such as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments will be eligible to apply.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said: “It’s obvious to everyone that the retail landscape in particular is changing and taxes on bricks and mortar retail premises are, without doubt, in need of review given the dominance of internet shopping.

“As an administration we are committed to supporting the Pembrokeshire Economy in every way we can. Working with our partners in Welsh Government, we are able to offer up to £2,500 rate relief to retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 of less. That’s in addition to Small Business Rate Relief for those businesses with a rateable value of £6,000 of less.

“Business rate relief is not a magic bullet and we are committed to doing far more to support enterprise through our ambitious economic development programme. This relief will however, provide some immediate support to business in Pembrokeshire.”

Unlike previous years, the 2019-20 scheme is not limited to high street premises but will include all properties meeting the wider retail criteria.

The level of support will be up to £2,500 towards non-domestic rates bills for retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less on the 1st April 2019 subject to State Aid limits.

Those with a rateable value of £6,000 and below will receive Small Business Rate Relief.

For more information on the scheme, please view https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-rates/wales-high-street-rate-relief-scheme

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Appeal after woman sexually assaulted on cycle path near Haverfordwest

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POLICE officers in Haverfordwest are appealing for witnesses after a woman was sexually assaulted at approximately 4.30pm on Sunday (May 16).

The woman was walking along the cycle path between Haverfordwest and Tiers Cross when she was approached by a man who threatened and assaulted her, before walking away towards Haverfordwest town.

The male is described as a white male, between 5ft 4 and 5ft 11 tall , normal build with a welsh accent. He has short dark hair, a beard and a moustache, brown eyes, and wearing light blue jeans, navy/dark blue jersey with grey sleeves. Anyone who saw a man matching this description in the area between 3.30pm and 5pm in the afternoon.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested and is currently in police custody.

The cycle path is currently closed while the investigation continues.

Detective Superintendent Jayne Butler, who is leading the investigation, said “Incidents of this nature are extremely rare in the Dyfed-Powys area. The public may see an increased presence of police officers in the coming days as police investigate the incident. Anyone with concerns or information that could help our enquiries can speak to those officers or contact police. While a man was quickly arrested we would still like to speak to anyone who saw a man matching the above description in the area yesterday afternoon.”

Anyone with information which could help the investigation is asked to contact police. This can be done online at bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet endorses STEP Fusion application

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’S Cabinet have today endorsed proposals from Cllr Paul Miller (Cabinet Member for Economic Development) to further progress the nomination of a Pembrokeshire site to host a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) fusion power station in the county.

Working with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the proposed site is adjacent to the existing energy facilities on the South Shore of the Haven waterway.

If approved, the facility will initially host research with the ultimate aim of developing this technology which could offer a virtually limitless source of clean electricity by copying the processes that power the sun.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “I am pleased my Cabinet colleagues endorsed this important programme of work. The Haven Waterway has provided livelihoods, underpinned by fossil fuels, for thousands of Pembrokeshire families, mine included, for more than 50 years. It’s my job to help ensure the waterway continues to provide high skilled, engineering, science and technology jobs for the next generation of this county – and so linked to our focus on climate change (and in addition to our existing multi-million pound commitments to supporting wind, wave and tidal clean power generation) my team have been exploring whether we can also support the development of clean, green fusion technology.

“It’s very early days in the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s site selection process but we’ll provide regular updates as things progress.”

•       STEP is an ambitious programme to design and build a prototype fusion power plant;
•       It is a UKAEA programme, currently with £222m funding from the UK Government to produce a concept design by 2024: https://step.ukaea.uk/

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Re-opening of indoor hospitality and attractions at Milford Waterfront

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RESTAURANTS and indoor visitor attractions in Milford Waterfront are welcoming the return of indoor services from today.

The re-opening of indoor dining allows all restaurants at Milford Waterfront to seat customers indoors. As well as all restaurants on the Waterfront now being able to offer this service, the brand-new Foam Domes overlooking the Milford Haven Waterway are able to open, with bookings being taken from the 19th May.

Indoor visitor attractions are also allowed to re-open. This includes the Waterfront Gallery, which is open today and Phoenix Bowl & Pirate Pete’s Adventure Play which is making preparations to open from Wednesday 19th May. Also, Milford Museum, which has had a new rendered exterior finish, is preparing to open for the end of May.

Lucy Wonnacott, Marketing Manager for Milford Waterfront commented: “We are delighted to see the re-opening of indoor hospitality and visitor attractions here at Milford Waterfront. Each business has their own safety and social distancing measures in place and we kindly ask that you respect and adhere to these for your own safety, and that of others. We hope you enjoy your visit to Milford Waterfront and stay safe!”

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