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A tribute to thousands of people who have made a difference in their communities

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THE SENEDD will be lit in rainbow colours in the run up to Christmas to pay tribute to thousands of people who have made a difference in their communities this year.

From NHS staff to key workers, front-line services and community groups, individuals and businesses – ordinary people have done extraordinary things to help each other through the pandemic.

To thank them, the Senedd will light up every night until the New Year, including Christmas Day.

Some of the individual stories of care and kindness are celebrated in the Senedd’s gallery of Community Champions after Members of the Senedd were asked to nominate extraordinary local heroes who have helped others in their area.

A poem of dedication has been written especially for them by the National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn, and all their stories and photos are celebrated on social media – #ChampionsGallery

Some of the nominated Community Champions include Mike ‘Puffa’ Jones who has been busy renovating bikes for key workers, children and families in Newport; Northop Hall’s Presbyterian Church’s lunch club, delivering meals to their 30 members, without fail, throughout the pandemic; and Delores Ho Sang in Rhayader who offered her services by doing shopping, collecting prescriptions Brooke Graham, Bangoror simply checking in with a phone call.

Also among the 48 Community Champions are Keyston Young Farmers’ Club, marathon-running fundraiser Ian Turner from Aberconwy and 13-year-old budding ‘Bake Off’ star Brooke Graham from Maesgeirchen, Bangor.

Llywydd of the Senedd, Elin Jones MS, pays tribute to dedicated individuals all over the country: “We have heard countless stories about people’s care and kindness. The Community Champions, nominated by their Members of the Senedd, are just the tip of the iceberg, but they represent the amazing things people have done to care for those around them. Whether it was distributing food parcels to those in need, fundraising for the NHS or keeping people connected during isolation, each one has made a difference. This Christmas we are lighting the Senedd in rainbow colours to thank them and those who are still caring for us – in hospitals, care homes, schools and services across the country.

“We can take inspiration and hope from their stories, and whilst the Christmas period can still be a time of joy, we must not forget our duty to care for loved ones and the vulnerable in our communities. It is more important than ever to show kindness this festive period. Nadolig Llawen.”

More about the Champions:

Mike ‘Puffa’ Jones

Mike ‘Puffa’ Jones believes every child should own a bike, so he has been recycling unwanted bikes and donating them to children and key-workers, making a big difference to young people and families in this pandemic. He has been nominated by Jayne Bryant MS, Member of the Senedd for Newport West to be part of our gallery of community champions

Northop Hall’s Presbyterian Church’s lunch club

Jean, Angela, Jennifer, and Ann of Northop Hall’s Presbyterian Church’s lunch club. The lunch club has been providing lunches to the community’s elderly for six years. This year they went the extra mile and delivered easter lunches and teas to their 30 members. They have been nominated by Hannah Blythyn MS, Member of the Senedd for Delyn to feature in our gallery of community champions.

Delores Ho Sang

“Always cheerful, helpful and efficient Del is a ray of sunshine and a true community champion.” In Rhayader, many older and vulnerable residents say that they might not have gotten through Covid-19 without Del. Del has provided support to them via telephone, and helped with shopping, and collecting prescriptions. Delores Ho Sang has been nominated by Kirsty Williams MS, Member of the Senedd for Brecon and Radnorshire to be part of our gallery of community champions.

Keyston Young Farmers’ Club

Keyston YFC led by, Eleri George ran the community response to Covid-19 and have helped the community on over 120 occasions. They have also held a fundraising walk raising over £2,700 for hospital patients in Pembrokeshire. They have been nominated by Paul Davies MS, Member of the Senedd for Preseli Pembrokeshire to feature in our gallery of community champions.

Ian Turner

Ian has been a figurehead in Aberconwy’s community for decades, as a volunteer of Childline and many cancer charities. He recently completed his 13th London Marathon event in their honour. Ian has been nominated by Janet Finch-Saunders MS, Member of the Senedd for Aberconwy to feature in our gallery of community champions

Brooke Graham

13-year-old Brooke has been busy making and selling cheesecakes and traditional sponge cakes in her community of Maesgeirchen, Bangor. She raises money to purchase much needed essentials for the NHS. Brooke Graham has been nominated by Sian Gwenllian MS, Member of the Senedd for Arfon to feature in our gallery of community champions

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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Milford Haven: Apocalyptic scenes as work truck catches fire in Meyler Crescent

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A MILFORD HAVEN businessman says that he is “absolutely gutted”, after he lost his tipper truck in a dramatic fire overnight.

Callum Hicks, of Meyler Crescent, was woken just after 1am on Monday morning (Mar 1) to see his vehicle in flames, with fuel running down the street on fire.

The apocalyptic scenes brought neighbours out of their homes and the fire brigade was quickly called and put out the blaze.

At this time the police and fire brigade are not suspecting foul play, but in a telephone call to a Herald reporter Callum Hicks said that he thought it was impossible that the vehicle would just spontaneously combust.

Work van: Callum Hicks with his truck, which he says was his “pride and joy”

Explaining that he thought his truck had been set on fire deliberately, he said: “There was CCTV of the fire, but its a football pitch length away, with a white van parked blocking the view of the camera. There was not a clear uninterrupted view.”

“I parked the truck at 2pm on Sunday afternoon so it was 11 hours before the fire started. The vehicle was therefore cold, and locked up.”

Firefighters at the scene

The Herald has asked two mechanics, one of whom has worked on Transit vans for decades. The first said: “It is very unlikely that a vehicle like this would catch fire on it’s own – its impossible – I am 99.9% sure that this was arson.”

The second, a specialist in vehicle electronics said: “There are so many fuses and fail safes its highly unlikely for diesel vans to burst into flames like this without some kind of catalyst.”

Burned out shell: The vehicle after the fire

“There have been issues regarding Transits in the past, even a product recall involving a fire risk from a towing module. But, the chances are a million to one of it catching fire after being parked up for almost twelve hours. It just doesn’t happen.”

The Herald asked Callum Hicks if he could think of anyone who may want to torch his truck. He said that he could not think of anyone who would do such a thing.

Commenting on the police handling of the matter, he said: “They told my missus, Rhianna Pearce, that they were not taking matters further because it was just an accident – its not!”

“I have been in trouble with the police before, and they know I am a bit of a boy, but I think this is the reason that the police are not looking into this properly.

“At the end of the day this was a large fire in a residential area, lives could have been in danger. I have lost thousands because I was insured third-party only and I do not have cover for fire.

Dyfed-Powys Police and Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have been asked for a comment.

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