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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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Union wants council investigation into Councillor Paul Dowson’s conduct

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PEMBROKESHIRE County Councillor Paul Dowson’s public statements criticising the Black Lives Matter movement should be formally investigated by the council, according to UNISON.

The trade union said Mr Dowson’s use of a phrase adopted by the racist Klu Klux Klan was deeply offensive when people around the world were united in protest at police brutality and the murder of George Floyd.

UNISON questioned whether the councillor is fit to hold public office.

Mr Dowson used his Facebook page to attack Labour councillor Josh Beynon’s suggestion Pembrokeshire County Hall could be lit up in support of Black Lives Matter’s commemoration of Mr Floyd’s death.

Cllr Dowson posted that “White lives matter” a White supremacist phrase which originated in 2015 as a racist response to protests against police brutality against Black-Americans in the USA. Councillor Beynon received an online torrent of racist and homophobic abuse.

Manuela Hughes, UNISON Pembrokeshire branch chair said: “The Black Lives Matter movement has shown everyone that racism is rife in society. Black people are more likely to have been subjected to police brutality, more likely to live in poverty and more likely to be unemployed as a result of systemic racism. Their contribution is often written out of the history of this country.

Black workers have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and in the NHS, care and transport sectors, Black people have paid with their lives for caring for the whole community.

“This is the climate in which Councillor Dowson made his comments. He has brought Pembrokeshire County Council into disrepute. It is important that everyone stands together against racism and the council must formally investigate his behaviour.”

Mr Dowson was criticised for his Facebook comments in April last year that former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, should commit suicide.

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Advice for businesses re-opening

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AS LOCKDOWN restrictions are expected to ease, businesses and building owners are reminded to check the maintenance of their premises as they re-open.

People who manage or own buildings are being asked to follow the latest advice from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Health and Safety Executive (CIEH).

Particular attention should be paid to water systems not used during the lockdown to help minimise the risk from Legionella bacteria as they prepare to reopen following the lockdown period.

Legionnaires’ disease can be contracted by breathing in small droplets of water suspended in the air which contain Legionella bacteria. Symptoms include fever, a non-productive cough and pneumonia.

Prevention work includes flushing through cold water systems with fresh mains water as well as increasing the temperature of hot water systems to above 60°C if possible to achieve thermal disinfection of the hot water system.

This should be undertaken as part of a thorough risk assessment and may require other works to be done.

More information is also available from the Health and Safety Executive website.

The Food Standards Agency also has guidance for food businesses re-opening their operations. It includes information relating to food safety issues as well as COVID-19 expectations. The link is: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/reopening-checklist-for-food-businesses-during-covid-19

To confirm your business has taken the necessary measures and is operating in line with the Government guidelines click on:

https://goodtogo.visitbritain.com/your-business-good-to-go-wales

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Man charged with two robberies a day apart

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A MAN has been charged with two attempt robberies in Pembroke Dock a day apart.

Jamie Rawlinson, of Colley Court in Monkton, is alleged to have committed the second offence just three hours after being released from police custody.

Dyfed-Powys Police arrested the 28-year-old on June 26 on suspicion of attempted robbery after receiving a report he had demanded a man give him money. It was reported that he held a sharp object against his chest. Searches were carried out, but no weapon was found.

Rawlinson was bailed with conditions for the offence, but less than three hours later, police were approached by a vulnerable man who said he had tried to rob him.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted robbery. He has been remanded to appear at Swansea Crown Court on July 31.

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