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Super fast broadband to come to Pembrokeshire

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superfastcymruSUPERFAST CYMRU appeared in the Pembrokeshire County Council economy overview and scrutiny committee to discuss their Superfast Fibre Broadband, which they hope to be distributed throughout Wales by 2016. 

BT project manager, Martin Jones said: “This is one of the most exciting projects I’ve been involved in. BT with other providers started 4 to 5 years ago pushing fibre technology, and is now is 20 million homes and premises in Wales. It is a commercial investment, but Superfast Cymru is here to deliver BT fibre broadband to rural areas as well as urban. We started out in Swansea, Cardiff, Wreham and Newport but did not want to segregate rural areas, so are pushing to reach as many people as we can. It’s quite a challenge, but eventually, Wales will have better connectivity than Japan. “It’s all about social inclusion. This is a massive engineering project. I was in the Three Mariners yesterday and they said they have very poor connectivity, so I told them about fibre broadband and how it could help their business prosper. We are finding we are having to clear out a lot of water and are finding ducts that have not been opened in 50 years, but we are dealing with it. “There is so much more that can be done with Superfact Cymru. Apps, social media, video calling, file transfers, cloud computing, interconnecting PCs and wi fi are all much better and faster with superfast fibre broadband. The key is happy people. We want to give everybody fast connectivity through BT fibre. “Our network is gaining support and working with Pembrokeshire County Council is great to make sure planning in in place and that we get the timings right due to tourism in the summer. It is an open network, therefore it is available to everything. Some press releases have said that Wales in general has poor connectivity, but we want to get the message out there that this is available. Wales tends to start off slow and figures gradually rise when word gets around. We are on Facebook and Twitter sharing information of the roll out and where it’s going”. Cllr John Allen-Mirehouse said: “Everybody is delighted this is happening. But we must remember that this is not a luxury or an option. It is part of our basic infrastructure. If businesses are going to prosper, they have got to have superfast broadband”. Martin Jones responded: “I think Wales is a massive challenge. As it stands no premises are out of bounds of our scope. All premises should be provided with this by 2016. We’re not finding it a struggle, we’re hitting every target”. Cllr David Lloyd asked: “Is there any part of Pembrokeshire that will not be covered?” Mr Jones replied: “I don’t know. There may be places so remote it may not be economical to reach them. We may know toward the end of the project, but realistically, you’re not going to spend £30,000 on one premises that may not take up our services. It’s all down to cost as this costs a ridiculous amount of money”. BT marketing manager, Ceri Fitzpatrick said: “When an area is about to receive fibre connectivity, we will deliver flyers that say ‘fibre is coming’, and once it has been done send out more flyers that say ‘fibre is here’. We’re very excited – it’s such a great project”.

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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