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Motorist in court for alleged driving offences in Milford Haven

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LLANELLI MAGISTRATES’ COURT was the setting for two separate charges involving Mr. Aaron Alexious Desir, a 38-year-old resident of 94 Drakes Way in Swindon.

The charges against Mr. Desir related to driving offences, specifically the use of a motor vehicle without valid insurance.

In the first charge, Mr. Desir was accused of driving a BMW 420D M Sport Auto on the A4076 Steynton in Milford Haven on November 7, 2022, without having the required insurance.

This action violated Section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

The incident took place at approximately 18:29 that day.

Mr. Desir allegedly did not possess insurance at the time of the offence, leading to the charge against him.

The second case, involved a similar offense committed by Mr. Desir.

On November 28, 2022, he was allegedly driving the same vehicle on the A40 Narberth in Pembrokeshire.

Once again, Mr. Desir allegedly failed to have the necessary cover.

The incident occurred at approximately 21:14 on that day.

The charges were referred to a full court hearing scheduled for June 21, 2023, at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court.

Mr. Desir, who was not present during the initial court appearance, will be expected to attend.

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Wales’s oldest person, Mary Keir, celebrates 112th birthday

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MARY KEIR, recorded as Wales’s oldest person has celebrated her 112th birthday at Awel Tywi Residential Home in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire where she has lived for the last 12 years.

Surrounded by friends and family, Mary celebrated with a lunch of roast dinner followed by sherry trifle and then a buffet in the evening.

Pupils from Ysgol Ffairfach also visited to celebrate with Mary as well as Dinefwr Male Voice Choir who entertained Mary and all the residents at Awel Tywi with an array of songs.

Mary is still actively involved in life at Awel Tywi, taking part in activities, entertainment and meetings as well as helping other residents. She also remains a keen lover of music, in particular the piano which has been a lifelong passion.

A former ward sister and district nurse who lived in Llansteffan independently just before her 100th birthday, Mary then became a resident at Carmarthenshire County Council’s Awel Tywi Residential Home.

Cllr Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Services said: “Happy 112th Birthday wishes to Mary.  My thanks also to our fantastic team of carers at Awel Tywi for delivering excellent care to Mary as well as all of the home’s residents”.

Her son Robert Keir and daughter-in law Sian Keir celebrated her birthday with her and said: “Mary, our mother and mother-in-law still has a great will and determination. She has received fantastic care at Awel Tywi and we really appreciate everything that the amazing staff do for her every day”.

The year Mary was born, 1912, was famous for a number of historical moments including:

  1. Sinking of the Titanic: On April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic, a British passenger liner, sank in the North Atlantic Ocean after hitting an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Over 1,500 of the approximately 2,224 passengers and crew on board died, making it one of the deadliest commercial peacetime maritime disasters in modern history.
  2. Founding of the Republic of China: Following the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing Dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China, the Republic of China was founded on January 1, 1912. Sun Yat-sen was the first provisional president, marking the end of over two thousand years of imperial rule in China.
  3. South Pole Expeditions: In 1912, the race to the South Pole concluded as Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian expedition reached the pole on December 14, 1911, followed by Robert Falcon Scott’s British team on January 17, 1912. Scott and his companions died on their return journey.
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Welsh charity’s efforts for independent living earn top UK health award

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CARE & REPAIR CYMRU, a Welsh charity, has been honored with a prestigious national award for its impactful endeavors in aiding vulnerable older individuals and those with disabilities to maintain independent living within their own homes. The judges were notably impressed by the organization’s initiatives to facilitate the smooth transition of older individuals returning home from hospitals, thereby reducing hospital readmissions due to substandard housing conditions and alleviating strain on local NHS services.

Selected from a pool of over 500 charities across the UK, Care & Repair Cymru (CRC) has been named one of the ten winners of the 2024 GSK IMPACT Awards, conducted in collaboration with The King’s Fund. This recognition, now in its 27th year, celebrates excellence within the charity sector, specifically acknowledging the exceptional contributions of small to medium-sized charities dedicated to enhancing people’s health and well-being in the UK.

As a recipient of this esteemed award, Care & Repair Cymru will receive £40,000 in unrestricted funding along with expert support and leadership development opportunities facilitated by The King’s Fund, a leading health and care charity.

Extensive research underscores the profound impact of living conditions on health and well-being. Established in 1991, Care & Repair Cymru’s initiatives encompass aiding in hospital discharge processes and averting hospital admissions by enhancing and adapting the residences of those at risk. Their services are comprehensive, person-centered, and tailored to individual needs.

In Wales, where 85% of older people are homeowners, there’s a strong desire among the elderly population to age in place. However, Wales boasts the oldest housing stock in the UK, with over a quarter of all housing built before 1919. Substandard or unsafe housing elevates the risk of falls, with approximately 50% of individuals aged 80 and above experiencing at least one fall annually. Moreover, inadequate housing conditions incur substantial costs to the Welsh NHS, with excess cold, dampness, and mold alone costing over £95 million annually. A significant portion of excess winter deaths among older individuals can be attributed to respiratory illnesses stemming from living in cold homes.

As the national body overseeing the efforts of 13 Care & Repair agencies spanning all 22 counties in Wales, Care & Repair Cymru’s Managing Better program targets some of the most vulnerable older individuals. This initiative offers a range of free services aimed at enhancing the independence and safety of individuals living with conditions such as dementia, sensory loss, or those who have suffered a stroke.

The award judges lauded Care & Repair Cymru for spearheading the Hospital to Healthier Home program, which aims to mitigate delayed discharge from hospitals and reduce readmission rates. Through close collaboration with NHS staff, Care & Repair agencies swiftly identify patients residing in unsuitable housing conditions and promptly implement necessary adaptations, free of charge, ensuring safe and timely discharge.

Additionally, the charity’s advocacy efforts spotlight the housing needs of Welsh homeowners and underscore the detrimental effects of poor housing conditions on the health of older individuals. By collating and presenting data, CRC contributes to evidence-based policy enhancements and actively supports endeavors toward establishing a new right to affordable and adequate housing.

Data compiled by the charity illustrates the substantial impact of their initiatives, with 62,607 older individuals supported to maintain independent living at home in the 2022/23 period. The agencies conducted £18.3 million worth of housing repair and improvement work, completed 20,438 adaptations, and secured £9.5 million in unclaimed benefits for service users.

Katie Pinnock, Director of UK Charitable Partnerships at GSK, emphasized the pivotal role of housing in enhancing people’s health and reducing hospitalizations. She commended Care & Repair Cymru for their steadfast advocacy, collaborative partnerships, and innovative programs that not only support vulnerable individuals but also alleviate pressure on overstretched NHS and social care services.

Expressing gratitude for the recognition, Chris Jones, CEO of Care & Repair Cymru, underscored the organization’s commitment to advocating for healthy homes and providing essential support to thousands of older individuals in Wales, thereby easing the burden on NHS services.

The GSK IMPACT Awards program aims to foster leadership development within the charity sector, and all winners are invited to participate in a tailored leadership development program administered by The King’s Fund.

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Why some want the Falkland Islands flag flown over Pembrokeshire

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A CALL to raise the flag of the Falklands Islands at Pembrokeshire’s County Hall will be heard later this week.

In a submitted question, which will be answered at the March 7 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor Huw Murphy will ask: “Would the Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council [Cllr David Simpson] agree to the raising of the Falkland Islands flag on June 14, 2024, outside County Hall?

“June 14 is Liberation Day within the Falkland Islands to celebrate the return of democratic rule following an illegal military occupation by Argentina. The restoration of democracy to the Falkland Islands on June 14, 1982, ultimately returned democratic rule to Argentina.

“The purpose of raising the Falklands flag at County Hall on June 14 is to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice made by 255 service personnel serving our country during the Falklands war.

“Poignantly 22 of those lost in the conflict were serving on HMS Ardent, a Royal Navy destroyer sunk on May 22, 1982. HMS Ardent has a close association with the county of Pembrokeshire through its affiliation with Milford Haven.

“The raising of the Falklands flag at County Hall will have great resonance for the town of Milford Haven and for members of the HMS Ardent association, in that their service many years ago is still remembered.”

The flag of the Falkland Islands features the Union flag in the top left along with a coat of arms featuring a ram and a ship, The Desire, which discovered the islands.

Cllr Murphy’s call to raise the flag at County Hall, Haverfordwest will be answered at the March 7 meeting, one of 35 items on the agenda, including the controversial potential council tax rise of 16.3 per cent.

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