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Lend a hand’ first time buyer scheme suspended in Pembrokeshire

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Lend a hand: The Local Authority Mortgage Scheme is a nationwide scheme aimed at helping first time buyers get onto the property ladder

THE LOCAL AUTHORITY MORTGAGE SCHEME is a nationwide scheme aimed at helping first time buyers get onto the property ladder. 

In June 2012 Pembrokeshire County Council and Lloyds Bank (then Lloyds TSB) joined it in a bid to help first time buyers in the area buy a home. This new incentive was called the ‘Lend a Hand’ project. The purpose of ‘Lend a Hand’ was to award prospective first time buyers a much cheaper mortgage rate than they would pay elsewhere. Indeed the deposit required under this scheme was just 5%, with Pembrokeshire County Council providing indemnity of up to 20%. This scheme was great as it allowed young singles, young couples or even young families to get a foot on the property ladder without having to spend several years saving money, borrowing from family or taking out a loan. The offer applied to properties in the local area, up to the amount of £135,000 and could be used for a flat or house. A principal advantage of said policy was that it allowed the County Council to free up social housing, thus ensuring that more people in need of lodging, such as the elderly or the sick, would benefit from it, as well as reducing payments to private landlords. Moreover, the plan also helped to maintain a sustainable housing market in the county, whilst allowing the prospect of home owning (and buying) to become somewhat less daunting and considerably more affordable. The scheme was active for almost a year and made £1 million available for local residents before being fully utilised and closing. Unfortunately it has since been suspended in Pembrokeshire and across Wales, and a year on there are still no plans to re-implement it. The reason behind this suspension remains mysterious; perhaps the government decided it needed the money back in its coffers to deal with the latest expense claims. Whatever the reason this suspension is problematic for the property market in Pembrokeshire, as well as for first time buyers attempting to acquire property in the area. Mortgage rates are back to normal, housing prices will continue to rise and wage hikes are no longer conducive to the rise in interest rates and the boom of property pricings. It is once again going to prove very difficult for first time buyers from Pembrokeshire to get a foot on the property ladder, unless they have a great deal of time to save, work a highly paid job or come from new money. But for most young adults it is back to the post-apocalyptic minefield of the rental market.

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Charity

Generous legacy donation boosts St Davids RNLI lifesaving fund

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A LIFELONG RNLI supporter and fundraiser who enjoyed visits to Pembrokeshire has made a generous donation of £10,000 to St Davids RNLI lifeboat station following his recent death.

John Broadhurst of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire joined the Aylesbury fundraising branch in 1974, volunteering as a committee member and secretary for almost 40 years. In 2013 he was awarded a gold badge for his dedicated support of the charity through his service and fundraising support.

The large contribution will go towards lifeboat station running costs, including essential lifesaving kit and training. The family have also made a donation to the RNLI ‘launch a memory’ all-weather lifeboat to be based at Exmouth.

The Broadhurst family started visiting Pembrokeshire in 1972 when family members moved to the area.

Jo Lynch, John’s daughter, said: ‘Visits to lifeboat stations were always an inherent part of our holidays, and St Davids was always part of that. Dad was a keen sea fisherman, and used to fish regularly from Newgale, Solva and Whitesands. In the early 80’s, mum and dad bought a touring caravan and we used to stay all around the local coast, including at the caravan club site at Lleithyr Meadow near Whitesands on a regular basis. St Davids has always been a favourite part of the county and we continue to holiday in the area.’

Alice Coleman, RNLI Community Manager, said: ‘On behalf of all the crew and members of St Davids lifeboat station I’d like to extend our sincere heartfelt thanks to John and his family for this very generous donation. Knowing John devoted so much time to our charity over many years, and he chose St Davids to benefit from this legacy, is humbling and greatly appreciated. This donation will enable us to continue delivering a lifesaving capability from our lifeboat station.

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Crime

Fines imposed on gardener after Trading Standards investigation

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A LANDSCAPE gardener has been fined after complaints led to a Pembrokeshire County Council Trading Standards investigation.

Complaints were made by customers of Timothy Lovell of Under the Hills, Haverfordwest, after he had carried out work at their homes.

It was established that Lovell had carried out work without providing essential paperwork, including his business address and cancellation rights, which is required under Consumer Protection form Unfair Trading Regulations.

Lovell appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Thursday May 23 and pleaded guilty to two charges.

Lovell was fined £300 for each offence and also ordered to pay £250 costs plus £240 victim surcharge.

Jeff Beynon, Public Protection Manager at Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “We are pleased with the guilty pleas and the level of fines imposed by Magistrates.

“We hope this case will be a reminder that essential paperwork must be provided when work is agreed.”

Anyone wishing to complain about work that has been carried out at their homes should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 (English) or 0808 223 1144 (Cymraeg). This information will then be shared with Trading Standards.

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Entertainment

Live music event for Nia, raising money for the Withybush Hospital Cancer Day Unit appeal

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Twenty years ago, the world lost another star to the clutches of cancer. This particular person was a member of the increasingly successful Pembrokeshire rock band JYlt, and her name was Nia George.

JYlt had been praised by John Peel of Radio 1, completed a UK tour including a performance at Glastonbury, distributed over 20,000 CDs, and were in talks with Sony about furthering their record deal. Nia was just 21 years old when she passed away after battling leukaemia for a year.

This summer, Nia’s life will be celebrated with a gig at HaverHub on August 10th. The event will feature Bryde (former JYlt singer), Tom Jenkins (who recently released his EP ‘Meadows Pt1 & Pt2’ through Xtra Mile Recordings), Persona B (with two other JYlt members), and SLAK, the winners of Pembrokeshire College’s Battle of the Bands 2024. There is also the potential for a special appearance that cannot be confirmed yet.

This event is not just a celebration of Nia’s life. It is also a poignant reminder of how cancer can affect anyone at any time, and it focuses on supporting the remarkable Withybush Cancer Day Unit. All ticket proceeds and donations will be given to this wonderful place that supports so many people during unimaginably difficult times, often resulting in beautiful stories of success. This unit is a lifeline to many, and we aim to give a little back.

Please note, this event is for those aged 16 and over, with a strict ID policy in place.

Event Details:

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