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A new future for tourism in Pembrokeshire revealed

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OVER the last 12 months the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership (DPP) – comprising Pembrokeshire Tourism, Pembrokeshire County Council, PLANED and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority (PCNPA) – have been working closely together to produce two key pieces of work to drive tourism growth in the County.

The first is a new five-year Tourism Strategy known as a Destination Management Plan (DMP).
Feedback from the trade and other partners through online questionnaires, face-to-face consultations and workshops have helped form the new DMP.

The new plan will run from 2020 to 2025 and will cover the priorities and aspirations for Pembrokeshire as a tourism destination.

The second is an exercise looking at whether some tourism services could be managed more effectively by operating in a different way, with the aim of supporting the multi-million-pound tourism industry.

Currently, a wide range of services are delivered by the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership with each of the partners focusing on different areas of activity.

On Wednesday, 5th February, and Monday, 10th February, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Pembrokeshire County Council respectively approved both the DMP strategy and the proposal for a new Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO).

The resources and staff from the County Council’s Tourism (Destination Marketing) department will be transferred to Pembrokeshire Tourism, the county’s tourism trade organisation, with support and resources also coming from PCNPA and PLANED.

The new Pembrokeshire Tourism organisation will be led by the trade and will be able to deliver a wider range of activities including: destination marketing activity; campaign and project delivery; industry liaison and support; research and intelligence; advocacy, and other activities such as supporting and potentially delivering some events.

Jane Rees-Baynes, chair of Pembrokeshire Tourism said: “We at Pembrokeshire Tourism are delighted that the proposals have been approved by all DPP partners. We believe this is an exciting new start for tourism in Pembrokeshire.

“We will be working hard over the next few months to establish this new trade led organisation as one of the leading DMOs in the UK.
“Our members will continue to receive the same great benefits through the transition and can look forward to an enhanced offering once the new organisation is in full operation.”

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, Paul Miller, said: “Far better than numerous, disparate entities working to support tourism in isolation, we will now have a single, joint plan together with a strong, well resourced, trade led organisation driving the Pembrokeshire ‘destination’.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for the County to further develop our incredible tourism offer and to ensure Pembrokeshire is discovered by even more visitors from right across the globe.”

Iwan Thomas, Chief Executive, PLANED, said: “The delivery of this new strategy clearly demonstrates the commitment to partnership working here by these key organisations within Pembrokeshire.
“PLANED’s role has been to support the voice particularly of communities within the county, and the importance of the tourism and hospitality sector to those communities.
“With this new and exciting approach, we will continue to support our partners and the industry, to promote the alignment of communities to this key economic driver for Pembrokeshire, and the further opportunities this now presents.”

The Chairman of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Councillor Paul Harries said: “We are very pleased to support the creation of the new organisation aimed at improving the county’s tourism offering to enhance our reputation as a leading accessible and sustainable tourism destination.
“We look forward to working with partner bodies and the tourism trade to further develop work in this area.”

The new DMP will be formally launched at the Pembrokeshire Tourism Summit at Rhosygilwen on the 26th February. Contact the Pembrokeshire Tourism office on 01646 622228 to book tickets.

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Police turn away caravans and campervans heading for Pembrokeshire

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PEMBROKESHIRE is currently closed to visitors’ is the message from Dyfed-Powys Police as officers work to prevent the spread of Coronavirus within the county.

Despite the Prime Minister placing the UK under lockdown on Tuesday (March 24), some people continue to flout the rules and are still treating the area as a holiday destination.

Sergeant Hamish Nichols, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said patrols conducted over the last two days had resulted in more than 200 reminders to the public about what currently counts as ‘essential travel’.

“Yesterday we turned away numerous caravans and camper vans whose owners were travelling to Pembrokeshire to self-isolate,” said Sgt Nichols.

“We have also spoken to two campsite owners who have been open for business, and have issued stern advice to them and to all holidaymakers.

“While the majority of local people have taken the government guidelines seriously too many people seem to think the rules do not apply to them.

“The message is clear – this is a lockdown, not a holiday, and anyone who ignores the current restrictions not only puts people’s lives in danger but also risks further action being taken against them.”

Patrols of beaches, coastal areas, and other public spaces will continue this weekend, with officers also conducting increased stop checks on roads across the force area.

Where members of the public refuse to listen to advice, officers will be able to issue penalty notices of £30, which if not paid within 14 days double to £60.

Individuals who do not pay a fixed penalty notice could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose further fines.

If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them.

“Enforcement is a last resort, and officers will always apply their common sense and discretion to every situation,” said Sgt Nichols.

“But the powers are now available and we will use them if we have to.”

Chief Inspector Louise Harries added: “Our staff are working tirelessly in already difficult times and I ask that people adhere to the simple rules set.

“This will enable us to put our resources towards supporting all agencies in response to this crisis and continuing to protect our communities and victims.”

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Bluestone National Park Resort is to become a COVID-19 recovery centre

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Bluestone National Park Resort is to become a Recovery Centre for patients in Pembrokeshire, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the wake of the ongoing public health emergency, part of Bluestone’s extensive facilities, as well as open spaces, will be utilised to help treat those in need and those recovering from the virus. Bluestone is joining a local, regional, and national effort to do everything possible to prepare for the unfolding outbreak – and ultimately save as many lives as possible.

Bluestone provides a significant addition to the resources and facilities of Hywel Dda University Health Board, which is responsible for the health and wellbeing of the residents of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Members of the Bluestone Team will continue to provide security and management of some of the facilities on the site, while the Health Board will manage the addition of medical resources, and Pembrokeshire County Council will lead work on the site. The details of additional personnel required to support the effort, under the full guidance of the Health Board, are currently being worked up, and the facility will available to those in need as soon as possible.

Dr Phil Kloer, Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive at Hywel Dda, said: “We have followed the situation in Italy closely to learn where possible and to help our planning. Our European colleagues have provided feedback that patient flow and throughput is a critical factor in response to COVID-19 pressures. Delivering these additional beds for patients will therefore be essential to help us manage patient flow over the coming weeks. We are extremely grateful for all of the support that we are receiving from Bluestone and Pembrokeshire County Council to help make this happen and am confident this facility will offer a good environment in which our patients can recover.”

Speaking following the announcement, William McNamara, CEO of Bluestone said: “We are living and operating in previously unimaginable circumstances. It is moments like these that it’s vital we come together to support each other – as family, as friends and as a community.

“It is right that Bluestone is utilised in this time of great national need. We all want – and need – to do whatever we can to make a difference and contribute to tackling the unfolding coronavirus emergency.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with those who are personally affected by this unfolding situation.”

Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, added: ”We are very grateful to William and the Bluestone Team for coming forward and making the Bluestone site available. The facilities are going to provide significant additional resources to the local area as we battle the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

“I know that this is an uncertain and worrying time for residents across Pembrokeshire and Hywel Dda. The community is doing a truly heartening job of pulling together – and we will get through this together.”

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Be a considerate neighbour during the coronavirus lockdown

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DURING the current lockdown, Pembrokeshire County Council has seen an increased number of complaints from members of the public who are affected by the actions of their neighbours.
While we are all largely confined to our homes, we ask householders to consider the impact of their actions on others, especially the elderly and vulnerable and those on night shifts.
During the first full week of lockdown we have seen some sunny, warmer weather. It has been ideal for spending time in the garden or on balconies but please be considerate and ensure your actions do not disturb your neighbours.
The Council wishes to stress that most activities will not be a problem but we would ask you to think about the volume of your music and the times that you are doing any DIY.

Music:
• consider the volume of any stereo equipment. If it can be heard beyond the boundary of your home/garden, it is too loud and needs to be turned down
• position any speakers indoors, pointing away from neighbouring properties
• don’t put speakers on party walls or floors
• don’t stand outside making noise on balconies or in gardens late at night

DIY:
• is the work noisy? Keep noisy work to a minimum and think about the hours you are undertaking this work. Try not to do this work late at night
• will the work cause any other issues such as dust problems? If outside please think about the wind direction
• is the work on shared walls where neighbours can hear? Consider the time of day when doing this work
• call neighbours and tell them about the work and how long for so they will be aware and can discuss any concerns they may have (they may be on night shifts)

Can I have a Bonfire?

We ask householders to be considerate and think about what you are burning. Serious harm is unlikely if exposure to bonfire smoke is brief but problems maybe caused for asthmatics, bronchitis sufferers, people with heart conditions and children.
Bonfire Guidelines:
When lighting a bonfire please follow the guidelines listed below to prevent causing problems with neighbours or causing a serious nuisance.
• only burn dry material, do not burn damp material – damp material is likely to smoulder and therefore produce more smoke. This will contain pollutants including carbon monoxide, dioxins and particles.
• never burn household rubbish, rubber tyres or anything containing plastic, foam or paint – this not only creates an unpleasant smell but also produces a range of poisonous compounds.
• never use old engine oil, meths or petrol to light the fire or to encourage it
• avoid lighting a fire in unsuitable weather conditions – smoke hangs in the air on damp still days and in the evening. If it is windy, smoke may be blown into neighbour’s gardens and across roads.
• avoid burning when air pollution in your area is high or very high. This information is included in weather forecasts, or you can check by ringing 0800 556677
• never leave a fire unattended or leave it to smoulder – douse it with water if necessary.
Dogs:
Dogs may bark because they are lonely. Constant barking or whining can be disturbing to your neighbours. A well-trained, happy dog will not bark unnecessarily. Please don’t leave dogs outside for long periods unattended. The lockdown is a great time to play with your dog and keep them entertained.

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