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Eat Out to Help Out Launches today – with Government paying half on restaurant bills

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FROM today, Monday, August 3, customers will get up to 50% off on bills when visiting participating restaurants, pubs and cafes;

Half price discount will run through August and applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks consumed on the premises – with Pizza Express, Costa Coffee and Nando’s among thousands signed up.

The scheme, part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs, aims to protect jobs in the hospitality sector – which has been hit hard by coronavirus.

Diners across Wales will see their restaurant bills slashed by as much as 50% from today as the government’s landmark Eat Out to Help Out scheme officially opens for business.

Anyone visiting a participating restaurant, café or pub on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August will receive the half price discount – keeping more money in hardworking families’ pockets and giving a vital boost to the UK’s hospitality sector.

The scheme – part of the government’s Plan for Jobs that will spur the country’s economic recovery from coronavirus – applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks, with a maximum discount per person of £10. It could save a family of four up to £40 per meal.

2,084 outlets have so far signed up for the scheme in Wales.

You can check to find outlets in individual towns and cities by downloading the list here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eat-out-to-help-out-scheme-registration-data-for-software-develop

Alternatively, you can use the online restaurant finder to search for participating outlets using a postcode:

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/eat-out-to-help-out/find-a-restaurant

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “Wales has some of the best pubs, cafes and restaurants and our hospitality sector plays a vital role in our economy, employing thousands of people. Recognising the incredible challenges faced by the sector, we are doing everything we can to encourage customers through the door.

“By offering 50% off bills in restaurants, cafes and bars, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme will boost custom, protect jobs and help to kickstart the Welsh economy.

“I hope as many people as possible make the most of this fantastic scheme which is another step in securing the future of Wales’ world-class tourism and hospitality industry.”

More than 72,000 establishments are participating, including independent eateries and family favourites such as Pizza Express, Costa Coffee and Nando’s.

There have already been over 3.3 million hits on the Eat Out to Help Out restaurant finder since it launched last week, which shows what businesses are participating in local areas, and many restaurants have since seen a boost in bookings. Apps like Opentable, Fork and Bookatable are all planning pages to support the scheme.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Our Eat Out to Help Out scheme’s number one aim is to help protect the jobs of 1.8 million chefs, waiters and restaurateurs by boosting demand and getting customers through the door.

“More than 72,000 establishments will be serving discounted meals across the country, with the government paying half the bill. The industry is a vital ingredient to our economy and it’s been hit hard by coronavirus, so enjoy summer safely by showing your favourite places your support – we’ll pay half.”

The scheme will help protect the jobs of the hospitality industry’s 1.8 million employees by encouraging people to safely return to their local restaurants, cafes and pubs where social-distancing rules allow.

Around 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April, with 1.4 million workers furloughed, the highest of any sector.

Many participating restaurants offer healthy and low-calorie options, and the scheme should be enjoyed as part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. No vouchers are needed, with the participating establishment deducting 50% from the bill.

People may be worried about returning to eat out. To address these concerns, businesses have prepared to become Covid-secure through, for example, protective screens, contactless payments, social distancing, one way walking systems, online bookings and reduced capacity.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is one part of the Chancellor’s £30 billion Plan for Jobs, announced last month. Other measures announced to protect, support and create jobs include cutting VAT for tourism and hospitality by 15%, a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme and an £8.8 billion investment in new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects.

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Hakin: Crews put out fire in Observatory Avenue property

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EMERGENCY services were at Observatory Avenue, Hakin, on Wednesday (Sept 16) night responding to a 999 call reporting a domestic fire.

The fire was said to be minor in nature with no injuries reported.

A spokesperson from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said “At 22:21, crews from Milford Haven attended a property fire in Hakin, Milford Haven.

“The cause of fire believed to be related to burnt cooking, which crews isolated and made safe.

“Crews left the scene at 23:08pm”

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Work on new council houses starts in Johnston

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WORK has begun on the first council houses to be built in Pembrokeshire for a generation.

Thirty-three affordable units are being constructed by Pembrokeshire County Council on the site of a former primary school at Cranham Park, Johnston.

They are the first council houses to be built in the County for over 25 years.

Work was held up for a time due to the lock-down but resumed as soon the contractors were able to do so.

The development comprises:

  • 12 one bed flats in three blocks (four flats are identified for assisted living, with communal facilities)
  • seven two-storey two bedroom houses
  • five two-storey three bedroom houses
  • two two-storey four bedroom houses
  • one two-storey five bedroom house
  • four two -bedroom bungalows
  • two bungalows with three or more bedrooms.

The estate also includes parking, open space and associated works.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Michelle Bateman, said it was a red-letter day for the Authority.
“The house-building scheme fulfils a pledge made by the Authority’s Cabinet when it took over the administration of the Council in 2017” she explained.
“I am proud and delighted to say that we are now honouring that pledge.”

Councillor Bateman added that other council house-building schemes were lined up for Tudor Place in Tiers Cross and Charles Street, Milford Haven.
The Houses are being built by WRW Construction Limited. As a result of the Covid-19 interruption there has been a slight delay and construction work is now due to finish in December 2021

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Local MP seeks answers from Home Secretary over Penally Training Camp plans

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FOLLOWING the protest which took place at Penally Training Camp, the local member of parliament has said that he is trying to find out the exact details on how the camp will be used, and how long for.

Simon Hart has contacted the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, seeking clarification, he says.

Approximately two hundred people were at the demo at the entrance to the base from 6pm on Tuesday night (Sept 15) – police attended and closed the road to keep the attendees safe. The protest passed peacefully.

Protestors said that they were unhappy with the lack of communication regarding the plans, which could see 250 male asylum seekers staying at the camp, very near to the village of Penally.
Simon Hart MP posted on his Facebook page saying: “I have spoken to the Home Secretary to seek further clarification regarding plans to house asylum seekers at Penally Training Camp.

“Whilst being mindful of our legal obligations and our responsibilities, as well as the extensive powers held by the Home Office on all security and immigration scenarios, I appreciate that residents are concerned about a number of issues so I have included as many of these as possible in our submission.

“For example, I have asked how long the site will be used, what the security arrangements will be and whether the Home Office will be funding any additional costs that Pembrokeshire County Council, Hywel Dda Health Board and Dyfed-Powys Police might incur.

“I also want to know how many people could be housed at one time, what the gender balance and likely age profile could be as well as how local residents’ welfare will be ensured.

“I have enquired about the arrangements for occupants entering or leaving the site and further detailed queries regarding healthcare and COVID testing of staff and occupants.

“I have also asked for an explanation of the day-to-day workings of the site in relation to processing asylum claims.

“As soon as I receive a reply, I shall post it on my website and Facebook page. In the meantime, I am keen to avoid too much speculation in case this causes increased tension and concern.”

Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner,  has added his voice to the row over the cap.  Mr Dafydd Llywelyn has also contacted Priti Patel.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I am deeply concerned about the lack of clarity relating to the proposed arrangements. Greater strategic planning and engagement is needed to ensure we support and safeguard these vulnerable individuals and respond to local concerns.”

In an open letter to the Home Secretary he says: ‘I write in relation to plans being considered to utilise the Ministry of Defence camp at Penally in Pembrokeshire, Wales as emergency asylum accommodation in the near future. I am personally grateful for the actions of your Home Office in Wales Team who coordinating, at short notice, a meeting for an initial discussion with your officials yesterday. I will continue to work with the team on this issue over the coming days and weeks.

‘However, I write to express my significant concerns in relation to the lack of a clear strategy, detail and consultation surrounding these plans. I was not suitably reassured by your officials of the existence of any detailed planning, impact assessment or implementation arrangements on a practical level. Alongside other agencies, a number of practical concerns were communicated to your officials that I hope can be addressed.

‘You will be aware that this evening a protest was held at the proposed site and that since the news has been in the public domain local concerns have been raised. I believe that this largely stems from the lack of consultation and limited information being provided. You will know that in 2016, communities within the Dyfed Powys area successfully supported the Syrian Vulnerable Person Relocation Programme. This was achieved through careful planning and significant community engagement, ensuring that the local community felt a part of the decision making. I repeat to you the comments that I made at yesterday’s meeting in that there is an urgent need for greater clarity on the strategic plan and considerable engagement to ensure we support and safeguard these vulnerable individuals whilst addressing local concerns.

‘I am personally unable to fully understand the rationale for selecting the Penally site and would like clarification on how this decision was reached and how the proposed logistics will work. Asylum seekers, upon arrival at the UK, will have to travel a further 5 hours and 300 miles to a proposed site in Penally, Pembrokeshire albeit there will be no power to detain once at the site. The site and local community is unlikely, in my opinion, to have the necessary infrastructure to support their needs and the location of the site would make accessing services unnecessarily difficult for vulnerable individuals.

‘I fully realise that difficult decisions need to be made in the interests of both those seeking asylum and our local communities and therefore trust that you will understanding and support of my position of wanting detailed planning, community engagement and transparency of decision making.’

Wants answers: Simon Hart MP

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