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Pembrokeshire residents head to the polls for The Local Government Election 2022

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THOUSANDS of voters across Pembrokeshire will head to the polls on today to have their say on who they want to represent their local area for the next five years.

The election will determine who will lead Pembrokeshire County Council, which is responsible for a large number of vital services for people and businesses such as rubbish collection, managing schools, providing social care and housing to name just a few.

Local elections: Thousands of People in Pembrokeshire will be heading to the polls today (Image: File)

There is no election in 19 council wards due to those seats being uncontested. Pembrokeshire has the second highest number of uncontested council seats in Wales, after Gwynedd. People in those wards have received a letter from the council explaining there is no election in their areas.

Some people have already had the chance to cast their vote in today’s election via a postal vote.

For everyone else, polling stations will open across the county opened at 7am and, they will remain open for fifteen hours – closing at 10pm.

For the first time, those aged 16-17 will be able to take part and vote in the local government election.

EU citizens are permitted to vote in the election.

Some people could have two votes, for example if they live in two Local Authority areas (for example students or because of work).

Voters will get a ballot paper to select which candidates they want to back.

If there is more than one councillor in a ward (Dual seat ward) voters will get more than one vote.

It is first past the post, so the winners in the ward are the candidates who win the most votes.

HOW TO VOTE

Polling stations will open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, May 5, 2022.

You don’t need your poll card to vote.

You must vote at your assigned polling station.

If you are registered to vote, but you don’t have your poll card, you can go to the polling station and give them your name and address.

In Wales, you don’t need any form of ID.

Once the polls close ballot boxes will be delivered to The Parkhouse Centre, Withybush Showground, Haverfordwest in preparation of the count which will start at 9am on Friday.

It is estimated first Council ward declaration will be at around 10am, the full council declaration is estimated at 2pm.

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Pembrokeshire man accused of ‘sexual activity’ with stepdaughter

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A PEMBROKESHIRE man has appeared before magistrates charged with committing sexual acts against his step-daughter.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of engaging in ‘adult sexual activity’ with the girl between January 1, and June 4, 2021.

The acts included sexually touching the child, who was 16 or over at the time of the alleged offences, with his finger.

He faces a total of four charges of engaging in sexual activity with his family member.

No pleas were entered by the defendant when he appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday morning.

Following a request by the Crown Prosecution Service, magistrates declined jurisdiction in the matter, which will now be heard at Swansea Crown Court. Proceedings will commence on March 28.

The defendant was released on unconditional bail.

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Senedd Member Paul Davies visits Dale Fort Field Centre

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PRESELI Pembrokeshire Senedd Member has recently visited Dale Fort Field Centre, a residential centre in the south of the County that hosts school and university trips. Mr Davies met with Tom Stamp, the Residential Centre’s manager to learn more about its operations and to discuss the proposed Outdoor Education (Wales) Bill, which has been introduced by fellow Senedd Member Sam Rowlands MS.

Mr Davies said, “Dale Fort Field Centre is an impressive site that caters for school and university groups and provides an opportunity for children and young people to experience an outdoor residential as part of their educational journey. The facilities at the site are first-class and the staff are passionate about ensuring children have the opportunity to take a residential trip.”

He added “We also discussed the proposed Outdoor Education (Wales) Bill, which my colleague Sam Rowlands has been advocating at the Senedd. The Bill seeks to make it a statutory obligation for local authority-run and grant aided schools in Wales to be provided funding to ensure the opportunity for at least one week of residential outdoor education for young people at some stage during their school years.”

Mr Stamp said, “We were really pleased Paul could come to Dale Fort to see first-hand what we offer the c.3000 visiting students we host in Pembrokeshire each year and hope to welcome him back soon.”

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Petition to rescind 20mph law in Wales fast approaching 50,000 signatures

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A SENEDD petition, calling for the Welsh Government to rescind and remove the 20mph law, is fast approaching 50,000 signatures. The petition had been signed by 555 people in Preseli Pembrokeshire and 521 people in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire had signed.

Dropping the speed limit from 30 is unpopular, polls show, but the Welsh Government claims 10 lives per year will be saved.

However carers, emergency service personnel and delivery drivers have all said that it will make their jobs harder.

The Conservatives argue it will cost the Welsh economy billions of pounds with the Welsh shadow transport minister, Natasha Asghar, calling the rollout “madcap, ludicrous” and Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the House of Commons, attacking it as “absolutely insane”.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Transport Minister Natasha Asghar, MS said: “The new blanket 20mph speed limit has been in place for just one day and already people have had enough of it. For more than 45,000 people to sign a petition within 24 hours shows the extent of public outrage towards Labour’s madcap policy.

“This highlights that there has been little to no consultation with the general public, the Labour Government have clearly avoided all public scrutiny in a bid to get their socialist agenda pushed through.

“Labour and Plaid Cymru have refused to listen to public opinion and are continuing to wage their anti-worker, anti-road and anti-motorist agenda. With this ludicrous policy forced on the people of Wales, Labour can still U-turn on this disastrous rollout and deliver what Wales wants by scrapping blanket 20mph zones across Wales.”

RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said: “The findings of this study are surprising, as they appear to suggest that drivers on 20mph roads in Belfast hardly slowed down at all, despite the lower speed limit, which is at odds with other reports.

“It seems there is a serious problem with compliance, as we would expect that – even without enforcement – average speeds would drop. Consequently, the study may demonstrate a need for councils to find other ways to get drivers to slow down, whether that’s through enforcement or modifying road design with traffic islands, well designed speed humps or chicanes.

“It’s also important that 20mph limits are used in places where they stand to make the biggest positive impact, such as in built-up areas and in locations where there are large volumes of motorised traffic, cyclists and pedestrians – but clearly that depends on a meaningful drop in overall vehicle speeds. Equally, our research shows drivers are less likely to comply with a lower limit if they don’t believe it’s appropriate for the type of road.”

The link to the petition can be found here.

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