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Eat Out to Help Out: 2 million meals claimed for in Wales

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THE CHANCELLOR has thanked Britons for helping protect thousands of jobs across the UK after statistics revealed that more than 100 million meals were eaten as part of the landmark Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Rishi Sunak said the scheme’s popularity had helped protect the livelihoods of the 1.8 million people working in the hospitality sector and drive the nation’s economic recover from coronavirus.

Latest figures show that Eat Out to Help out significantly boosted restaurant bookings during the month of August, with the scheme growing in popularity each week

With the scheme excelling expectations, by midnight on 31 August more than 100 million meals were eaten by diners, with the 84,700 establishments signed up to the scheme making 130,000 claims worth £522 million, meaning more jobs are being protected through people getting out and boosting the economy.

These numbers are likely to grow, with restaurants having until the end of September to claim back the 50% government-funded discount applied to bills.

Secretary of State for Wales and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart said: “This summer diners all over Wales have enjoyed more than two million discounted meals while protecting the jobs of thousands of people who work in our fantastic hospitality sector.

“The Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been hugely important in giving businesses and customers alike the confidence to get back to enjoying the best that Wales has to offer.

“It is just one part of the UK Government’s drive to get Wales’ economy moving again which has included supporting more than 500,000 jobs, providing business loans, launching the Kickstart scheme to get young people into work and a VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sector.”

Praised scheme, Simon Hart MP

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs- and to do this we needed be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before.

“Today’s figures continue to show Eat Out to Help Out has been a success. I want to thank everyone, from restaurant owners to waiters, chefs and diners, for embracing it and helping drive our economic recovery.

“The scheme is just one part of our Plan for Jobs and we will continue to protect, support and create jobs to ensure we come back stronger as a nation.”

According to OpenTable data, restaurant bookings increased by an average of 53% on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the whole of August, compared to the same days in 2019. In July 2020, restaurant bookings were down 54% on average from Mondays to Wednesdays compared to 2019.

On 31 August – the final day of the scheme – bookings were up 216% compared to the equivalent day in 2019.

And early signs show that despite ending, the scheme has continued to boost demand, with a 2 percent rise in restaurant bookings on Tuesday 1 September compared to the equivalent day in 2019, according to OpenTable.

There had been an upward trend in the scheme’s popularity since it launched, with 10.5 million meals claimed for in total in the first week, 35 million meals in the second, 64 million in the third and over 100 million by 31 August.

The scheme was used across the entire UK, with over 6 million meals claimed for in Scotland, over 2 million in both Wales and Northern Ireland and over 51 million meals claimed for in England by 27 August.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is one part of the Chancellor’s 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, which opened for applications this week, and an £8.8 billion investment in new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects.

This support for the hospitality sector comes on top of the government’s unprecedented assistance for all businesses including through grants, tax deferrals, scrapping business rates, the furlough and self-employed support schemes and government-backed loans.

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Siblings raised £600 by Walking 20 Miles for Lifesaving Helicopter Charity

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PEMBROKE DOCK siblings, Harley and Maisie McNally, put on their walking shoes to raise £600 for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity.

The kind-hearted brother and sister walked 20 miles throughout March as part of the Charity’s 20th birthday fundraising challenge My20.

Seven-year-old Harley, and his little sister Maisie, 5, smashed their original target of wanting to raise £50 each.

Wales Air Ambulance marked its 20th anniversary this year and to acknowledge the milestone, the Charity created a new fundraising event called My20. The event allowed the participants to pick their own challenge, task or activity that reflected the number ‘20’.  

Harley is no stranger to fundraising for the Charity. He has previously raised over £300 by taking part in last year’s Saundersfoot New Year’s Day Swim. However, this was little Maisie’s first fundraiser.

Their proud mum, Jessica Hughes, is delighted that the children have raised so much money for the lifesaving charity, she said: “They both loved it. My20 kept them occupied and out of the house. I'm so proud of Harley and Maisie, at quite a young age they know so much about the service and have raised an amazing £600.

“Harley and Maisie understand completely why the Wales Air Ambulance is necessary for everybody and they also know people who have needed the service. This is why wanted to raise money for the charity, knowing its services have helped poorly people!”

Katie Macro, the Charity’s South West Wales Community Fundraiser, said: “A huge congratulations to two fundraising stars, Harley and Maisie, for completing the My20 challenge and raising £600! What you have both done, and the money you have raised, will help us to help others.

“It’s always wonderful to hear stories of children fundraising at such a young age and enjoying the challenge that they’ve chosen. Walking 20 miles is a lot for anyone, let alone when you’re as young as Harley and Maisie. Thank you to everyone who has support the children in their latest fundraiser.” 

There is still time to show your support to the Pembroke Dock Community School Pupils, Harley and Maisie, by donating to their My20 fundraiser via their Just Giving page Harley & Maisie’s My20  www.justgiving.com/fundraising/HarleyandMaisieWalk

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Six-year-old girl raises the alarm to a property fire

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MID AND WEST WALES FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE wish to thank six-year-old Mia, of Milford Haven, for her calm and quick thinking in alerting a neighbour to phone 999 to report a fire in a property.

On a Sunday afternoon, March, 28, 2021, Mia was passing the rear of a flat when she noticed smoke coming from the property. Having been taught the importance of reporting a fire, Mia immediately knocked on a neighbour’s door to inform them. The neighbour then called 999 and asked for the Fire Service.

At 05:52pm, Joint Fire Control received the call and deployed crews from Milford Haven to attend the property fire in Milford Haven.

The fire was confined to the kitchen area of the ground floor flat and had originated from a tea towel left unattended on an electric hob.

Firefighters extinguished the fire using two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera.

The Fire Service left the incident at 07:03pm.

Crew Manager Rob Makepeace, Milford Haven Fire Station said “Because of Mia’s fast actions we were able to attend quickly, and the fire wasn’t allowed to escalate. She’s a local hero and an example to everyone.

The sooner you report a fire the quicker the Fire Service can attend to put the fire out and stop it from spreading.

Luckily, on this occasion, Mia was on hand to spot the fire and tell someone to phone 999 but I would urge everybody to install working smoke alarms in their homes and test them regularly. A working smoke alarm can alert you of a fire sooner and allow you to get out, stay out, phone 999 and ask for the Fire Service.”

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 0800 169 1234.​​​ Alternatively please complete an online Request for 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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Tenby left ‘strewn with rubbish and smelling of urine’ after hundreds party

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TENBY was left with empty cans, broken bottles and fast food wrappers strewn everywhere, after over two hundred young people gathered to enjoy the weekend – perhaps expected whilst pubs remained closed.
Licensed establishment have not yet been able to open in Wales, but they are open in England for outdoor refreshments.

There were reports of young people walking through the town with boxes full of alcohol on Saturday night (Apr 17), with other people buying takeaway drinks from licensed premises before making their way to the harbour.
The sheer number of people meant people were urinating in the streets, some residents told The Pembrokeshire Herald.

Unlawful gathering: Party in full swing in Tenby as pubs remain closed (Image: Pure West Radio)

Facebook comments from people concerned included Larry Lambert who said: “Most of these are probably around my age, have some respect for the place, you all wouldn’t like it if this happened outside your house and left all the rubbish for you to wake up to, disrespectful!”

Kyle Scourfield said : “Aw guys. We’re literally on the track where we can see light at the end of the tunnel, don’t ruin it now. More importantly, pick up your rubbish and look after our coast. I’m bloody dying for the nightclubs so seriously, take it down a notch!”

Danny Wilson who took the below photo said on social media: “This [photo was taken] after nearly two hours of cleaning up. Completely blame the government for this if pubs were open there would be next to no take outs and 20 odd doormen keeping an eye on things every weekend, but that’s no excuse to act like absolute savages with zero respect for anything.

“I’ve never seen as much broken glass like there was today! Definitely give the harbour and castle hill a swerve for a couple of days if you’ve got kids or dogs.”

Tenby on Sunday morning (Apr 18) (Image: Facebook/Danny Wilson)

Pembrokeshire County Council operatives have been working since earlier this morning to remove rubbish in various locations in the town, including piles of bottles and other litter under picnic tables at the harbour.
The Tenby Observer has reported that in correspondence sent to Pembrokeshire County Council’s licensing department, county councillor for Tenby’s North ward Clr. Michael Williams said: “From as early as late afternoon, the situation at the harbour has become threatening with residents feeling unsafe due to the considerable numbers of individuals in the area consuming large quantities of alcohol.

“Police Officers appear to be overwhelmed by the numbers and are unable to take the necessary firm action to disperse a crowd that I estimated to be about 200. These kind of events are becoming a regular occurrence and action must be taken to address it.

“We appear to have taken several steps backwards to where we were a number of years ago when Tenby was becoming regarded as party central for groups of stag and hen events.

“Certain parts of the harbour estate are being used as a public urinal causing distress to families attempting to lawfully use the area.”

One local, who did not wish to me named said: “The police operation last week, which was widely publicised, seems to have failed miserably.

“Instead of going out last week when police were out in force, the youth of south Pembrokeshire seem to have waited until this weekend and have partied twice as hard.

“I understand that resouces are stratched but where were the police this weekend?

“Something needs to be done, we don’t want a third wave.”

Over the Easter bank holiday officers seized alcohol from young people, moved them on and prevented clashes between groups from escalating.

Speaking just ten days ago Sgt Stuart Wheeler said that there was concern from the Tenby community and that police were ‘keen to avoid a repeat of this behaviour’.

“This type of behaviour is distressing for people living and working in Tenby,” he said.

“We understand that the past few months have been difficult, and that children want to see their friends, but remember that only six people from two households can meet outdoors still.

“Please do your best to ensure your children are adhering to regulations that are in place for all our safety.”
The police have been contacted for an updated comment.

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