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Silverdale residents ‘frightened for their lives’

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A RESIDENT of The Silverdale Lodge, Johnston, has spoken exclusively to The Herald today (Jul 22) to vent his frustrations over the current spike in ‘undesirable’ residents within the lodge.

After becoming increasingly concerned with what he has witnessed at the Lodge, Mark Thornton has set up a committee which he hopes will benefit the residents of the Lodge and those in the wider Johnston community.

The Silverdale Lodge has been a centre of controversy for the local community since the beginning of the lockdown restrictions in March, where it has been used to facilitate the homeless in the county through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Herald has previously reported on the increase of anti-social and criminal activity in the Johnston area, which the community believes is the doing of the residents of The Silverdale Lodge.

Mr Thornton previously gave an interview to The Herald, where he stated at the time he was not aware of any residents causing issues. He insists that this was true at the time, however now he says he has seen incidents himself.

Mr Thornton, who will now lead the group as the official representative of The Silverdale Lodge residents, hopes the Johnston community will band together with him to create a safer environment for them all to live.

Mr Thornton said “We don’t want anymore criminals here and we are going to do our hardest to get the troublemakers removed and ensure they do not return.

“The reason for doing this is to make both the decent residents of The Silverdale Lodge and the Johnston community safe again.

“I have spoken myself with the police today, who have advised me that this is the best way to deal with the issues. I am actively seeking to set up a meeting with the residents of the Lodge, the council, police and the Johnston community.

“Dyfed-Powys Police have assured me they will attend all of the meetings that I arrange.

“Silverdale residents currently feel as if they are in a jail because of the types of people that are being housed here, they need to feel safe and not trapped. We need it to be back to a facility to tackle homelessness within the county.”

Mr Thornton said that it has got to the point where some residents of the Lodge are ‘scared for their lives’, with police in attendance at the Lodge countless times a day to deal with multiple incidents.

Mr Thornton also believes he is being ‘starved into silence’ by Pembrokeshire County Council as punishment for speaking to this newspaper about the ongoing issues at the Lodge.

In the exclusive interview, Mark explains his frustrations about life at the Lodge, his on-going battle with the council and his struggle with receiving food parcels.

As a way to tackle the issues on site a 24-hour security team was placed at the Lodge, however Mr Thornton has told us that this service has now diminished to just a shift covering the evenings.

He added that he spoke to the security team, who have alleged that as of August their service will cease to exist at the lodge, which has infuriated residents who are fearful of the repercussions.

Security guards at Silverdale gave exclusive interview with The Herald

Mr Thornton told The Herald that the only support now available to the Lodge residents throughout the day, is an on-site support worker, which has resulted in residents relying solely on the police for their protection.

The Herald has received reports that on Tuesday (July 21) the police were in heavy presence on two separate incidents at the lodge.

We have contacted Dyfed-Powys Police for a statement, we are awaiting their reply.

The Herald contacted Pembrokeshire County Council with regards to the ongoing issues at the Lodge, a spokesperson said: “ In order to fulfil the Covid-19 guidance from Welsh Government, as a local authority we are required to assist through the provision of accommodation. This is to ensure that individuals are able to comply with social distancing and self-isolate should it become necessary.

“Pembrokeshire County Council is grateful to the Silverdale Lodge in Johnson for supporting the Authority with additional accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Silverdale has individual lodges that allow for social isolation precautions to be applied within individual rooms so we have moved some of our service to this site temporarily.

“We may at times also be working with people who no longer need to stay in hospital but who cannot go home as their property requires some adaptions and we may also have people who need to isolate themselves from vulnerable people they live with.

“The site offers the Council an additional alternative temporary accommodation for people who are in this position.

“It is not a bail hostel nor halfway house.

“At Silverdale we have support on site. Pobl and Goleudy Housing & Support Services are currently offering support for the residents in the Silverdale. The service is available seven days a week from 9 am to 7pm.

“The service is working with the residents to assist with practical,emotional and wellbeing support and to help people develop and maintain the skills and confidence necessary to secure and maintain sustainable housing for their longer term.

“In addition we have security on site to ensure the site is covered across a 24-hour period.

“We also continue to provide support from our experienced homelessness prevention team within the housing department.

“We are unable to comment on specific individual cases but we can confirm that, as a local authority, we do work closely with Dyfed Powys Police.

“We do not have a planned heavy police presence on the site but are grateful to them for their support if needed and for their proactive work to help residents across the county adhere to the current requirements in relation to social distancing and travel.”

Police were made aware of a gathering at Princess Royal Way in Haverfordwest at around 9pm on Tuesday, July 21.

Around 60 people had gathered peacefully to light candles and lay tributes following the tragic death of a two-year-old child.

Officers attended to ensure there was no community tension.

Later that night, eight people were spoken to by police following a gathering outside a property in Johnston.

Officers also spoke to a small group which had gathered outside Haverfordwest Police Station shortly after.

All gatherings passed without incident.

Superintendent Ross Evans said: “Pembrokeshire is a close-knit community, and we understand that the death of a child will be a cause for grief.

“However we would appeal to the public to refrain from any actions that could impact the ongoing investigation, including comments shared online and on social media.

“Officers will be more visible in the local area over the coming days as enquiries continue, and any concerns can be addressed through them.”

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Rider of a motorbike taken to hospital following collision with a car

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A COLLISION which involved a car and a motorbike on Friday afternoon (Jun 18) saw one person being transferred to hospital.

Dyfed-Powys Police have confirmed that the collision, which happened at approximately 1.17pm at Dwrbach, Scleddau, involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike.

The Herald understands that the accident happened at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

The incident caused the road to be closed while emergency services dealt with the situation.

The rider of the motorbike was transferred to Glangwili Hospital for treatment.

A Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a two vehicle road traffic collision which occurred in Scleddau, Fishguard early Friday afternoon, June18th 2021.

“The collision involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike. The rider of the motorbike was taken to hospital.

“The road was closed for emergency services to deal with the collision.”

A rapid response vehicle and an ambulance were dispatched to the scene.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called to attend a road traffic collision involving a motorcycle at Dwrbach, Fishguard at 1.17pm on Friday 18 June. We sent one rapid response vehicle and one emergency ambulance. One patient was taken to Glangwili Hospital for further treatment.”

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Residents urged to be alert to Covid-19 symptoms following cluster of cases

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PUBLIC HEALTH WALES, Pembrokeshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board are urging members of the public to be alert to COVID-19 symptoms following the identification of a cluster of cases in the Tenby area.

The 22 confirmed cases are linked to social and sporting events and local schools and have generated a large number of contactssince the first cases were confirmed on Saturday, 12 June. 

A number of individuals, including pupils, are currently isolating and close contacts of the positive cases continue to be traced.

From Monday 21 June to Sunday 4 July, a mobile testing unit will be available for local residents in and around Tenby to access if they have symptoms.

This is based at Salterns Car Park, Marsh Road, Tenby, SA70 8DU.  To book a test visit the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ring 119.

Residents can protect themselves and others from Coronavirus by remaining at least two metres away from everyone else, washing their hands regularly, and by wearing a face covering where required. 

The virus disperses in a well ventilated environment, so opening windows and allowing fresh air to circulate is another way to keep ourselves safe.

Residents should take up the vaccine when offered, and self-isolate and get a test if they or anyone in their household develop symptoms.

As well as the three most common symptoms of Coronavirus – a fever, a new continuous cough, or a loss/change of taste and smell – people with any of the following, wider symptoms that are persistent and/or unusual for them are also strongly encouraged to get a PCR test:

  • Mild summer cold symptoms – including sore throat, runny nose, headache
  • Flu-like symptoms, including myalgia (muscle ache or pain); excessive tiredness; persistent headache; runny nose or blocked nose; persistent sneezing; sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Generally feeling unwell and a history of being in contact with a known COVID-19 case
  • Any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test

If you have any of the above symptoms, even if you have been vaccinated, please stay home and book a PCR test through the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ringing 119.

When booking your PCR test, you will also be asked about your symptoms: if you have wider summer cold or flu-like symptoms as described above, rather than the classic three symptoms, choose ‘None of these symptoms’ and then choose one of the following options to enable you to complete the booking:

• My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms or

• A GP or other healthcare professional has asked me to get a test.

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Paul Davies submits views to Health Board Consultation

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Senedd Member Paul Davies has fed his views into Hywel Dda University Health Board’s consultation, “Building a Healthier Future after Covid-19.”

In response to the Health Board’s proposals, Mr Davies has made it clear that he opposes any movements to centralise or downgrade services at Withybush hospital.

Mr Davies said, “I cannot emphasise how important this consultation is and so I’d urge everyone across Pembrokeshire to read through the Health Board’s proposals and make their views known. In my submission, I’ve made it crystal clear that the people of Pembrokeshire should not have to travel further for vital health services.

“I want to see Hywel Dda start prioritising Pembrokeshire by investing in services at Withybush hospital so that it can support people living and working across the county.

“There’s still time to feed into the consultation and have your say on the Health Board’s plans. The deadline is Monday, June 21 and you can find more information here – https://www.haveyoursay.hduhb.wales.nhs.uk/building-a-healthier-future-after-covid-19.” 

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