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Dock’s councillors unite against tanker park plan

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AN IMPASSIONED personal address by Pembroke Dock Central councillor Paul Dowson helped sway Planning Committee members away from backing the creation of a tanker park on Criterion Way, Pembroke Dock.

Councillor Dowson put aside recent controversies to make a cogent and compelling case for rejecting the application, which was supported by the Council’s Planning Department.

Paul Dowson drew attention to the proposed tanker park’s location near a local picnic area and the likely effect of increased traffic to and from the site on Pembroke Dock’s creaking and congested roads.

He observed that the County Council had an unfortunate track record of dumping developments nowhere else in Pembrokeshire wanted onto Pembroke Dock.

Near a local picnic area: Cllr Dowson is against the proposal (Pic BBC News)

He went on to suggest that if there was a development that would create a smell or a public nuisance, it usually ended up in the Town.

Referring jokily to a remark made earlier by Cllr Mark Carter, he suggested that the site’s development would be like storing explosives to break into cashpoints near the town centre.

He found backing from his fellow Pembroke Dock county councillors, Brian Hall and Tony Wilcox.

Speaking with the benefit of forty years in the garage business, Cllr Hall pointed out the proposed tanker park’s closeness to a massive fuel tank at the nearby Asda petrol station, a large tyre business immediate adjacent to the location, a garage nearby, and two supermarkets within fifty yards of it.

Brian Hall said the risk of catastrophic damage to the area in the event of a fire was such that he could not support the proposal.

He insisted that only someone unfamiliar with Pembroke Dock and its huge traffic problems could possibly think locating the site on Criterion Way was a good idea.

As it was impossible for those councillors on the Committee from rural wards, he said that the Committee should come and see the location for itself and assess its suitability for the development proposed.

He also said there was an alternative location, on land already owned by the Port Authority, outside the town at Kingswood.

Cllr Tony Wilcox remarked that he had heard enough to justify rejecting the application without a site visit.

He pointed out that there was more risk from empty tankers full of fumes than there was from full tankers; a provision that formed a key part of the proposals.

He added that on a still day in Pembroke Dock, the smell of nearby refineries and industrial activity pervaded the town.

Cllr George Manning of Pembroke Dock Town Council said the Town’s own Planning Committee was unanimously opposed to the development.

He said that Pembroke Dock’s roads were already struggling to cope with traffic to and from the Port and that, with developments planned for the Royal Dockyard, that traffic would only increase.

There was, Cllr Manning said, a risk of loss of an existing amenity, saying that nobody would choose to go for a stroll or a picnic so near to a truck park.

There would be no economic benefit to the Town. He reminded members that the land nearby was earmarked for leisure and housing development, including the much talked about marina project.
Under questioning from Cllr Mark Carter, the developer’s agent confirmed that the development would create no new jobs for Pembroke Dock.

He added, however, that the scheme would reduce the transit time for deliveries and the number of miles tankers travelled.

Responding to the councillors’ concerns regarding safety, Head of Planning David Popplewell said that potential safety concerns were not a matter for the Planning Committee.

Those issues, he said, were separate considerations with a different set of statutory considerations by other agencies.
Councillors noted that the proposed development also took place in a Conservation Area and questioned the absence of an NRW report on its environmental impact.

David Popplewell explained that no NRW report had been received by the local authority and that there was no indication of when it might arrive.

Councillors remarked that it seemed odd to recommend the scheme’s approval absent an environmental assessment.
Mr Popplewell said that if responsibility for final approval was delegated to officers, the NRW report would be considered at that stage.

He added that even if Planning Committee members were minded to reject the application, the NRW report would still need to come back before them before they reached a final decision.

Committee members decided to go on a site visit to the area before their next meeting in September, at which point they expected the NRW report to be available.

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Covid-19 cases highest in Tenby; lots of new cases in Neyland and Pembroke Dock

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THE NUMBER of Covid-19 infections still taking place in Pembrokeshire is still significant, with the latest figues broken down per town now released.

Tenby has the highest prevalence in the general population at the present time.

The figures show that Pembroke Dock and Neyland have reported the most new cases with 59 and 60 new cases each.

This is the coronavirus rate and number of new cases for every area across Pembrokeshire are as follows:

  • St Davids & Letterston: 30 new cases; a rate of 394.6 per 100,000 people.
  • Johnston, Broad Haven & St Ishmaels: 39 new cases; a rate of 466.6 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Milford Haven West: 49 new cases; a rate of 641.4 per 100,000 people.
  • Milford Haven East: 37 new cases; a rate of 495.4 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Pembroke West & Castlemartin: 34 new cases; 459.8 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Pembroke East & Manorbier: 25 new cases; a rate of 324.8 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Pembroke Dock: 59 new cases; a rate of 610.5 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Neyland: 60 new cases; a rate of 690.4 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Haverfordwest South: 52 new cases; a rate of 727.2 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Haverfordwest North: 47 new cases; a rate of 661.0 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Crundale, Clynderwen & Maenclochog: 64 new cases; a rate of 888.3 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Fishguard: 39 new cases; a rate of 393.6 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Cilgerran & Crymych: 30 new cases; a rate of 353.2 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Narberth: 29 new cases; a rate of 422.0 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Saundersfoot: 29 new cases; a rate of 341.4 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Tenby & Caldey: 40 new cases; a rate of 658.4 cases per 100,000 people.

Cllr Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council said on Friday: “I must repeat that Covid-19 has not gone away and the wave of positive cases sweeping across Europe is a concern.
“People continue to catch this awful virus every day. Unfortunately, people are still dying from Covid-19.
“It is human nature to want to forget about Covid as the festive season approaches, I totally understand that.
“Like everyone, I was so disappointed when the tighter restrictions had to be brought in just before Christmas last year.
“And like everyone I’m thinking about buying gifts, planning festive events and looking forward to the celebrations.
“But I would please ask that you also keep in mind the simple things we can all do to give ourselves the best protection against Covid-19 and slow down the spread.”

Council Covid-19 team in Tenby earlier this year (Pic PCC)

Cllr Simpson said that People in Pembrokeshire should continue to work from home where you can, take up vaccination including the booster when offered, keep your distance where possible, use face coverings where required, maintain hand hygiene, meet outdoors when the weather allows and let fresh air in if you are meeting indoors.

He said that Christmas parties is one particular area where I would ask people to take extra care.

Cllr Simpson said: “Please consider smaller group numbers than you might ordinarily and try to avoid mixing with too many other people.”

“Remember that Covid-19 loves busy indoor spaces.

“Please do what you can to protect yourself and others.

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News

Appeal following public order incident in Monkton last month

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POLICE in south Pembrokeshire are appealing for witnesses or anybody with information after a ‘public order incident’ occurred in in Monkton last month.

The incident occurred on Long Mains between 9.30pm and 10pm on the evening of Thursday, October 21.

Dyfed-Powys Police said: “Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

“Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.”

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Health

Hospital visiting restrictions relaxed in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokehire

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FAMILY and friends can now attend hospitals in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire to visit patients on a limited basis with prior agreement with hospital staff in line with Welsh Government guidance.

While the prevalence of COVID-19 has reduced within our hospitals and in the community, the virus has not gone away. Like some other areas across Wales and the UK we are continuing to deal with cases of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections in our hospitals. As a result, visiting arrangements to all hospitals in Hywel Dda UHB are being reviewed regularly and remain subject to change at short notice.

With effect from Monday 29 November, all visits must be pre-arranged with the ward sister or charge nurse to enable us to maintain social distancing in our wards and across our sites. This means that a pre-booked visit for one person daily can be supported, provided your visit has a clear purpose and is in the best interest of the patient, in line with the following guidance:

‘Visiting with a purpose’:

  • End of life – last days of life
  • Carer – you are the carer or the nominated representative
  • Parent/Guardian – children and young people can be supported in an inpatient environment by the identified parent/guardian
  • Learning disabilities (LD) – a patient with learning disabilities may need you as their carer/next of kin to share information about their individual needs and virtual visiting may not be appropriate
  • Dementia – to support a person with Dementia as part of the ongoing support/plan of care
  • Other – for example where it is felt a visit from you may help the patient with rehabilitation, understanding of care/condition, help with dietary concerns. The ward sister may agree visiting outside of this guidance in certain circumstances.

The current visiting arrangements within our maternity services remain unchanged at this time.

Please note that visitors who do not meet the criteria will be asked to use a virtual visiting option instead which is available within the hospital, such as using a tablet or mobile phone. Family Liaison Officers will be available on wards to support access to virtual visiting.

All visitors must carry out a lateral flow device (LFD) test at home and have a negative result from that test prior to travelling to the hospital. Lateral flow self-test kits can be obtained by:

It is recommended that test results – negative or positive – are recorded on the UK Government portal (www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result)

When visiting our hospitals please remember to wear a face covering, this will be replaced by a surgical face mask at reception or ward entrance. Please remember to maintain social distancing and to clean your hands on entering the building and as often as possible using soap and water or hand sanitiser.

Mandy Rayani, Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience, said: “On behalf of the health board I want to express our deepest gratitude to our patients, their families and our communities for their continued understanding and adherence to the very strict hospital visiting rules that we have had to impose throughout this pandemic. 

“We appreciate that it is a difficult time for everyone. We will continue to support the wellbeing of our patients/service users, their families and loved ones in the best way we can, while keeping everyone as safe as possible.

“Our patient support team and family liaison officers can help to deliver essential items to patients from their family and facilitate communication through digital options/telephone; if you need their assistance please call them on and 0300 0200 159 and they will do their best to help you.”

Please do not visit any of our hospital sites if you:

  1. are unwell, have flu like symptoms, currently have or had diarrhoea and vomiting in past 48 hours, have been in contact with anyone with the above symptoms in the last 48 hours have an existing medical condition or are on medication that puts you at risk of infection. Infection control advice – Hywel Dda University Health Board (nhs.wales)
  2. have been asked to isolate by the contact tracing team or if you have any of the three main symptoms of COVID-19 – a new continuous cough, temperature or loss or change of taste or smell. If you experience any of these symptoms please book a COVID-19 PCR test via the UK portal or by ringing 119. You should also book a test if you have mild cold or flu-like symptoms, including runny or blocked nose, sore throat, muscle ache or pain, excessive tiredness; persistent headache, persistent sneezing and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing. When booking your PCR test, you will also be asked about your symptoms: if you have mild cold or flu-like symptoms, rather than the classic three symptoms, choose ‘None of these symptoms’ and then choose one of the following options to enable you to complete the booking:
  • My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms or
  • A GP or other healthcare professional has asked me to get a test.
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