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Mammoth effort behind the scenes to prepare for return of pupils

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LEARNERS return to schools across Pembrokeshire from today (Monday) following a mammoth effort behind the scenes to prepare.

Fourteen thousand signs, 1,500 litres of hand sanitiser and 1,270 paper towel holders are among the items that have been distributed to schools by Pembrokeshire County Council.

A huge amount of work has been going on for several weeks to ensure pupils are welcomed back in as safe a manner as possible and in line with Welsh Government social distancing and Covid-19 hygiene guidelines, including routine health and safety checks at schools and testing water supplies.

Staff from different departments across the Local Authority have worked with a dedicated team of 30+ at Thornton to source and supply schools with essential items.

Fourteen thousand bi-lingual signs of 70 different designs – such as handwashing messages, canteen specific signs, floor stickers marking social distancing etc – have been distributed to schools.

The signs have been designed by PCC’s graphic team and printed by the Council’s Signs Unit.

The work the length and breadth of Pembrokeshire has included sourcing, delivering and installing:

• 1227 wall mounted sanitizer and soap units
• 1279 wall mounted paper towel dispensers
• 2046 floor mounted litter bins
• 530 Table top sanitiser units
• Delivery of 250 x 1 gallon sanitiser

The teams have also decommissioned 556 hand driers and 86 water dispensers and assisted schools to remove furniture to make space for social distancing.

Thirty-one storage containers have been delivered to schools to enable them to store school furniture and equipment.

Preparing schools for re-opening and meeting social distancing and Covid-19 has been a huge logistical effort.

Tens of thousands of PPE items have been distributed to schools, including the 13 hub schools that have operated for the children of key workers throughout the lockdown period.
Welsh Government guidelines advise that in general PPE is not required when undertaking routine educational activities in classroom or school settings, but there may be a need for it if staff are involved in washing, toileting, or first aid with pupils.
The effort to prepare schools has been hailed by the Council Leader, Cllr David Simpson.
He said: “The amount of work that has been going on behind the scenes to ensure we can welcome pupils back to schools warmly and safely is remarkable.
“Staff from across the Council have worked together and extremely closely with our schools to ensure that everything schools need, they get.
“Things will look different in some ways when pupils return with measures like social distancing in place but I hope that the huge efforts of everyone over the last few weeks helps bring a level of reassurance that everything that can be done is being done to make schools as safe as they possibly can be for our learners.”
Cllr Guy Woodham, the Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, added: “The teamwork to prepare schools to welcome back our learners has been fantastic to see.
“The dedication from the staff in schools and the many Council departments involved in this huge effort has been incredibly heartening.
“Things will look different, things will be different within our schools but we are preparing for the new normal for our learners with the safety of pupils and staff at the heart of everything we have been doing.”

Pembrokeshire County Council at Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi, preparing for the re-opening.

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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Business

Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence

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GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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Appeal from Fire and Rescue Service to install working smoke alarms

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AT 01:17am this morning, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, crews from Milford Haven were called to a property fire in the Hakin area of Milford Haven.

The fire was confined to a pan on a stove in the kitchen area and extinguished by firefighters using two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera.

Crews also ventilated the property and fitted smoke alarms within the property.

The Fire Service left the incident at 02:00am.

Watch Manager Alun Griffiths, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “This fire was the result of cooking left unattended. It is so important to remove all pots and pans from a heat source when you are called away from the cooker.

“Thankfully, the occupiers of the property managed to exit the property before our firefighters arrived, but it could have ended very differently as there were no smoke alarms fitted in the property.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of installing working smoke alarms in your homes and testing them regularly. In the dreadful event of a fire, they can alert you to the danger sooner and could mean the difference between life and death.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, we provide Home Fire Safety advice which is free of charge. We also offer Safe and Well Visits which you can arrange by phoning us on 0800 169 1234 or by visiting the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website.”

For further Home Fire Safety advice or to talk about the possibility of a Safe and Well Visit by Fire and Rescue Service personnel, please phone us on 0800 169 1234.​​​ Alternatively please complete an online Request a Safe and Well Visit​ form on the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website: https://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/eng/your-safety/in-your-home/

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