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Support for Celtic Freeport bid highlighted to Chancellor by Pembrokeshire politicians

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PEMBROKESHIRE politicians have been urging the government to approve the Celtic Freeport Bid as the decision on the multi-million pound scheme looms.

Stephen Crabb, MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire hand delivered a cross-party letter of support for the Celtic Freeport Bid directly to the Chancellor of the Exchequer ahead of the budget (15th March).

The letter which is signed by MS’s and MP’s from all parties has continued to gather momentum and support since the bid was submitted by the public-private sector consortium which includes the Ports of Port-Talbot and Milford Haven last November.

Now with over 100 supporters from Tata Steel and RWE to Manufacturing Wales and the South Wales Industrial Cluster all backing the bid, the MP was keen to demonstrate to the Chancellor the strengths of the bid and the potential that it has to unlock much need investment in the region.

Recognising the economic potential of the Celtic Freeport bid, the Pembrokeshire MP has been one of its most diligent champions along with the Labour MP for Aberavon. If successful, it will accelerate new green industries such as Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW) in the Celtic Sea and hydrogen production – triggering investment in the region of £5.5 billion and creating over 16,000 high-quality green jobs.

Stephen Crabb MP has spent the last 4 months making the case for securing the Freeport for south west Wales with Ministers, in national media and in the House of Commons. The Conservative Preseli Pembrokeshire MP and Labour Aberavon MP, Stephen Kinnock, co-hosted a drop-in briefing session for MPs and Peers to hear direct about the Celtic Freeport bid which helped secure the signatures on the letter delivered to the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, from cross-party members who attended the meeting.

Stephen Crabb MP said, “I’ve enjoyed introducing fellow MPs and peers to the Celtic Freeport bid, and speaking up about the scale of the opportunity, how the benefits can be secured for Wales and why the case for Floating Offshore Wind is so compelling.”

“I wanted to use the opportunity to meet with the Chancellor to hand-deliver the letter of support signed by both Welsh and Parliamentary colleagues across all parties which is what makes the bid so powerful.”

“We want to secure as many benefits as possible for south west Wales by unlocking investment, jobs and skills to create a lasting economic legacy which will benefit future generations. And the MPs backing the bid so far recognise that this bid is the launch-pad to achieving this new era of manufacturing and green jobs – we just need the Chancellor to recognise it too.”

A cross-party letter of support for the Celtic Freeport bid has been also been delivered – this time to the Office of the First Minister,

The letter, which has been signed by a host of Members of Parliament and Senedd Members, was delivered to the First Minister’s office by Celtic Freeport champions Samuel Kurtz MS, Senedd Member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire and David Rees MS, Senedd Member for Aberavon.

An imminent announcement over Wales’ first freeport is due to be made over the next several weeks by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and First Minister Mark Drakeford.

If successful, the Celtic Freeport is set to deliver £5.5 billion of new investment; 16,000 new high-quality green jobs, and £1.4 billion in port infrastructure facilities across Pembrokeshire and Neath Port Talbot.

Speaking of his support for the Celtic Freeport campaign, local Senedd Member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Samuel Kurtz MS said:

“With a decision due imminently, this is the final push to ensure that decision-makers know of the enormous benefits that a Celtic Freeport will bring to our region.

“Over the last several months, I’ve been fighting hard to make sure that we’re successful. At every opportunity I’ve had, I have been banging the drum for the Celtic Freeport with my colleagues in the Welsh Parliament and the House of Commons.

“If successful, then this bid will transform our communities, bring about thousands of jobs for local people,deliver billions in investment and help us reach our net zero targets. This really is an opportunity that cannot be missed.”

Charity

Calls for help over VHF radio may have been a hoax, say RNLI

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THE ANGLE All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch on service at 10:23am this morning, Monday (July 22).

Following a call to the Coastguard from Milford Haven VTS, the crew were tasked after the VTS operators overheard a female voice calling for help on VHF channel 12.

After narrowing down the transmission to having been received on the Pembroke aerial site, the crew were requested to conduct a search.

Launching at 10:30am, the lifeboat made best speed to the moorings at Hazelbeach, and a hasty search was requested by the Coastguard of any moored vessels. The crew began making their way amongst the moorings, heading up to the moorings off Neyland. With nothing untoward sighted, the crew proceeded to search the moorings off Hobbs Point, Barnlake Point, Burton, Llanion and Rudders Boat Yard.

With nothing found, the Coastguard requested that the crew continue their search up river to Picton Point. The lifeboat continued searching up the western shore encompassing Llangwm before altering course just past Landshipping and searching the eastern shore back down the river, calling in to Lawrenny on the way to check any vessels moored there.

The RNLI said that the search continued back down as far as the Cleddau Bridge.

On Facebook the organisation posted :”Following a thorough visual, communications and radar search the crew were subsequently stood down when no further information or calls had been received.

“The tasking was therefore deemed to be a hoax call.

“The lifeboat was back alongside and readied for further service by 1pm.”

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Crime

Police investigating after man injured during altercation in cemetery

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POLICE have confirmed that they are investigating a report of an altercation which occurred in the cemetery off Gelliswick Road, Hakin, Milford Haven sometime between 4.30 and 5.00pm, Wednesday 17th July, 2024.

Following the incident, a 32-year-old man went to hospital for treatment and was later released.

A 19-year-old male has been arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail pending further police enquiries police have confirmed.

The incident caught the attention of locals, who said there was a large police response to the incident included armed officers.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: 394 of the 17th

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

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Crime

West Wales man jailed for rape after victim’s cries heard

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A WEST WALES man has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for raping a woman in an attack that ended only when her cries for help were heard by others. Charlie Evans, a 22-year-old former Exeter University student, ignored his victim’s repeated pleas for him to stop during the 45-minute ordeal.

The incident took place after Evans and his victim had attended a party, where both had been drinking. The court heard that after kissing, the pair left together, with the woman under the impression that Evans lived in a flat with her friend.

Upon returning to the flat, the woman used the toilet before Evans raped her, despite her repeatedly saying no. The prosecutor described the victim as crying hysterically and added: “She did not want these things to happen.”

During the attack, one student testified they could hear the victim not consenting and begging Evans to stop. Another person said they were so concerned they inquired about what was happening.

Police were alerted after the incident was reported to campus staff, who then contacted the emergency services. Evans was told to leave his flat and was subsequently removed from the university. He denied the offence during his police interview.

Evans, of Victoria Avenue, Mumbles, Swansea, was convicted earlier this year at Exeter Crown Court of rape and sexual assault. He was sentenced on July 12. In a victim statement, the woman said her life had been forever changed by Evans’s actions. She expressed feelings of fear, confusion, and shame during the incident and continues to suffer from nightmares. She now feels distrustful of men and has sought support to cope with her trauma, the court heard.

Christopher Quinlan KC, defending, presented multiple good character references for Evans, describing him as a “kind and respectful” young man who was “always positive, compassionate and thoughtful.” He argued that his client’s life was “in ruins” as a result of his actions.

However, Judge Stephen Climie told Evans he had “completely misrepresented” his victim’s position, adding: “She was so far away from wishing to engage in your sexual activity that the only explanation for your attitude and approach was alcohol that blinded you to what was clearly and obviously the word ‘No’.” He continued: “So far as your life is concerned you will be crushed as a result of the sentence I’m required to impose.”

Following the sentencing, DC Michele Hicks from Devon and Cornwall Police’s major crime investigation team praised the victim for her courage and resilience throughout the investigation. She said: “I hope this case reassures the community how seriously the police take reports of sexual violence against women and girls and gives people the courage to come forward in future.”

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