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National Parks to merge

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tegryn-jonesSET UP in the 1950s, Wales’ national parks were created to enhance and protect the environment. Around 12 million people visit the three national parks every year. Now the Welsh Government is reported to be considering proposals to merge the three bodies into one and there are fears the review is a pretext to strip away their planning powers and hand them over to local councils. A County Council spokesperson told the Herald: “We recognise there are opportunities to work more closely with the National Park and believe that such a relationship could deliver a more efficient and effective service. This is an arrangement encouraged by the Welsh Government.” Welsh environment minister John Griffiths has revealed that a review will be announced within weeks. Mr Griffiths said: “We’re looking at the governance, whether there may be direct elections for the councillors who sit on the national parks for example or whether there might be one for national parks for the whole of Wales. “As well as the very important landscape issues, and connecting people with national parks, increasingly we’re going to be talking about the social and economic as well as the environmental because they all have to click together.” The threat to the Parks’ autonomy is not new, but pressure is growing on the Welsh Government to merge the Park Authorities’ functions and remove their planning powers. Mr Griffiths would not be drawn on whether the review would tackle planning services delivered by the National Parks, stating that such a bill would be the responsibility of the Welsh Government’s planning minister. Speaking on behalf of National Parks Wales, Tegryn Jones, Chief Executive of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority commented: “The Williams Commission review made a series of recommendations on the role of National Park Authorities in Wales and highlighted the vital role that the Park Authorities play in conserving National Parks and ensuring their future protection and development. “The review also recognised that Wales’ National Parks are important national assets, generating £1billion for the Welsh economy each year and attracting 12 million visitors. “The need for greater collaborative working, as outlined in the review, has already been recognised across the three National Park Authorities, as well as with relevant local authorities and national bodies and joint projects are being planned to provide the best and most efficient use of resources. “The review did not, however, recommend that planning powers be removed from National Park Authorities. “We welcome the Welsh Government’s governance review and look forward to supporting the review process to ensure that National Parks in Wales continue to play a fundamental role in contributing to the success of Wales.” Pembrokeshire Council Leader Jamie Adams has previously made clear his preference for taking on the National Park’s planning powers. At a meeting of the Welsh Local Government Association in June 2013, he said: “You have two organisations, two public bodies providing the same services within the same county. There are opportunities to look at reducing the tax burden on the public of those services.” In Pembrokeshire, that would have meant the County Council having control of its own application to site a rubbish tip next to Brooklands Care Home: a project that the National Parks authority made sure did not happen.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. woody

    August 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Jamie Adams to be in charge of the National Park now…..holy mother mary…..i despair…..will the last person to leave pembrokeshire please turn off the lights.

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Entertainment

Broad Haven’s Music Festival set to rock village

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GET ready for an electrifying day of music and fun as the Havens Events Crew proudly presents the highly anticipated Broad Haven Music Festival. Scheduled for Saturday, July 20, from 3 PM to 11:30 PM, this event promises a vibrant mix of live bands, local talent, and a delightful BBQ, making it an unmissable occasion for music lovers and families alike.

The festival, at Broad Haven School Field, will feature an impressive lineup of performers. Attendees can look forward to the acoustic melodies of Cadence Acoustic, the energetic rhythms of Coastal Horizon, and the dynamic performances by Loose Change. These local bands are set to deliver a variety of genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

In addition to the musical performances, the festival will offer a range of delicious BBQ options, perfect for enjoying a summer evening outdoors. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a visitor, the Broad Haven Music Festival is an ideal opportunity to experience the local culture, connect with the community, and enjoy high-quality entertainment.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase at the Broad Haven Post Office and Lobster and Môr. Early acquisition is recommended to secure a spot at this popular event.

It promises to be a memorable day filled with music, food, and community spirit. The Broad Haven Music Festival is more than just a concert; it’s a celebration of local talent and a testament to the vibrant culture of our town. Don’t miss out on this fantastic event!

For more information, visit the Havens Events Crew’s official website or follow their social media pages for updates and announcements.


Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, July 20
  • Time: 3 PM – 11:30 PM
  • Location: Broad Haven School Field
  • Performers: Cadence Acoustic, Coastal Horizon, Loose Change
  • Tickets Available At: Broad Haven Post Office, Lobster and Môr

Be sure to mark your calendars and get your tickets soon – we look forward to seeing you there!

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News

England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions

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ENGLAND’S Euro 2024 semi-final victory over the Netherlands garnered a peak audience of 20.3 million on ITV, cementing its status as the most-watched television programme of the year. Broadcasters are now hopeful that Sunday night’s final against Spain will attract over 30 million viewers, surpassing the numbers that tuned in for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The overnight viewing figures, provided by ratings agency Digital-i, do not account for the millions who streamed the match on ITVX or watched in public venues. The coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, with the channels alternating first choices for matches in each round. ITV executives celebrated Jordan Pickford’s crucial penalty save against Switzerland, which secured another high-profile England match and delivered a substantial advertising boost to the channel.

Both the BBC and ITV will broadcast the final, with approximately a fifth of viewers typically opting for ITV over the BBC. Euro 2024 has demonstrated the enduring appeal of live sports broadcasting, which continues to draw massive audiences, particularly when the events are free to watch. Even matches not involving home nations have attracted significant viewership, with the Spain v France semi-final on BBC One peaking at 11 million viewers.

The Euros are part of the UK’s “crown jewel” sporting events, which include the football World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, all mandated by law to be shown on free-to-air channels. In contrast, other sports have opted for the higher revenue available from pay TV channels, resulting in substantially lower audiences for international matches. The England and Wales cricket board successfully lobbied in the 2000s to keep England test matches off the free-to-air list. Consequently, Jimmy Anderson’s farewell match against the West Indies at Lords, broadcast behind a paywall on Sky, attracted a peak audience of only about 700,000 viewers.

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Crime

Welsh Snooker star Michael White jailed for assaulting partner

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A WELSH snooker star has been jailed after assaulting his then-partner. Michael White, 33, of Penshannel, Neath Abbey, assaulted the woman, causing actual bodily harm, on two separate occasions. The first incident occurred on February 12, 2022, and the second on December 10, 2022.

White pleaded guilty to the charges. A further charge of intentional strangulation on December 10 was directed to lie on file. White, whose snooker world ranking peaked at 15 in 2016, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

He received a total jail term of 36 months – 19 months for the first incident and a consecutive 17 months for the second. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association has announced that White has been removed from the world ranking list and the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

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