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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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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor

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A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police

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POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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Polling station changes in Pembrokeshire

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POLLING STATIONS in Pembrokeshire are open today (May 6) but a small number may have changed from the last time you voted.

In Neyland, the polling station will be at the new Community Hub building on John Street.

St Katherine’s Church Hall will be the new host for the station in Milford Haven, having previously been held at the Murray Suite in the town hall.

A polling station will be placed at the leisure centre in Haverfordwest while one at Trecwn has been moved to the Gate, Scleddau.

Voters in the county will be electing for the Preseli Pembrokeshire and the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituencies.

People will also be able to select five MSs to represent the Mid and West Wales Region.

The candidate with the most votes will win the constituency but the ballot for the region will be decided by a different process.

People will be elected according to their share of the vote, using a mathematical process, and gives parties who may have won fewer or no constituencies a better chance of winning regional ones.

It will also be a big day for 16 and 17 year olds as they will be able to vote in Welsh elections for the first time.

The ballots will be counted on Friday (May 7) with results expected to come in from the afternoon.

Polling stations opened at 7am and will close at 10pm.

All those who vote will be required to stick to Covid-19 safety measures including wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Clean pencils will be available but voters can bring their own pen or pencil.

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