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Fears of Traffic Chaos as Debenhams Opening Looms

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PROD_Store_Opening_HaverfordPrendergast Ward County Councillor and IPPG Group member, Mark Edwards, has attempted this week to allay fears that the opening of Debenhams will not see the levels of traffic chaos that could spell months of misery for many of the Town’s motorists.
Speaking with The Herald he discussed his fears, balancing them with solutions he saw as reasons for his Ward electorate to be optimistic. He said,
“Debenhams is in my electoral division of Prendergast and, although I welcome its arrival to the town, it does have major implications for local residents who are my constituents. Plus the size of the car park is insufficient even before Debenhams arrives”.
He went on to explain that the Council’s Head of Highways, Darren Thomas, had spoken with Prupim who own and manage the Withybush Retail Park. In that conversation Mr Edwards alleged that Prupim had confirmed they would use traffic on site stewards to ‘help with the flow of cars’. The management company have also apparently assured customers that staff will have their own car park and when this is full, employees can park in the town car parks and take a shuttle bus, funded by Prupim, to their place of work.
Mr Edwards also stated that discussions were well in advance in relation to Prupim building a multi-story car park to the rear of the Debenhams store.
When asked if the car park on the retail site would remain a free car park, he confirmed this to be the case, prompting the question as to whether customers would, therefore, avoid using paying car parks in town, rather than adopt the common practice of entering the retail park and simply waiting for a space to become free, thus clogging up the car park and surrounding roads. On this point, he conceded that this was a possibilty until a multi-story car park was erected, and said that the suggestion would be made to Prupim that they erect a temporary multi-story facility, similar to that used by Tesco during its redevelopment several years ago. However, when pressed on the issue of a date for completion for any type of multi-story car parking facility, he was unable to provide one as yet.
Len Mullins, Press and PR manager at Pembrokeshire County Council, responded to questions posed to Darren Thomas. When asked about the issues of a multi-story car park, permanent or temporary, and on who would pay for any changes to road structure required to accommodate an increase in traffic volumes, he simply stated that,
“As you will appreciate, Withybush Retail Park is a privately owned site and therefore our options are limited. Discussions on options to address potential car parking issues at the Withybush Retail Park are currently being considered”.
The Herald also contacted Prupim, property managers of the retail park, who advised us that they are in fact called M & G Real Estate, and on this occasion, and at this moment in time, were unable to offer any comment.

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Public urged to take part in Council budget consultation

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MEMBERS of the public are being urged to participate in Pembrokeshire County Council’s budget consultation 2022-23.

Launched this week, the consultation asks the public where they think the Council needs to spend money, and where it can save it.

As part of the process, the Council has created an online budget simulator, which includes videos from Cabinet members talking about the financial pressure in their portfolio areas.
Cllr Bob Kilmister, Cabinet Member for Finance, encouraged all those interested in how the Council spends its funds to take part in the consultation.

“It’s very important that we hear from as many people in Pembrokeshire as possible,” he said.

“Like other Councils, we are once again facing significant budget pressures and understanding community and household priorities is vital in helping us to make the difficult choices necessary in setting the 2023-23 budget.

“We look forward to hearing from you.”

How to take part in the consultation:

Teams Live Stream event
Join a Teams Live Stream event on Wednesday 1st December from 7pm – 8pm. Put your budget questions directly to Cllr Kilmister or the Council’s Director of Resources, Jon Haswell, or listen to the discussion. Questions are welcomed in English and Welsh.

Budget Simulator
Give your views on the budget priorities for 2022–23 by using our Budget Simulator which is available at https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/

Download the survey and return to County Hall
Alternatively you can download and complete our hard copy Information and Response Form. Once complete please return to surveys@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or Pembrokeshire County Council, Policy & Partnerships, County Hall, Haverfordwest, SA61 1TP.

The consultation will end on Wednesday 5th January 2022.

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Milford Haven Council cancels annual Christmas lights switch-on event

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Council cancels Christmas lights

MILFORD Haven Town Council have announced that they will be cancelling the official switching on the Christmas lights event this year.  

The Christmas lights in Milford Haven will be turned on Wednesday, December 1 at 7pm. However, unlike previous years, this will not be an official event. 

In the past, the event would see Father Christmas switching the lights on while on a balcony at the Town Hall. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the official turning on of the lights is unable to go ahead.

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County Hall to be lit up in orange as part of UN campaign

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COUNTY HALL is being lit up in orange tonight (Thursday, 25 November) to highlight the United Nations campaign against gender violence #OrangeTheWorld: End Violence Against Women Now!

The UN is holding 16 days of activism against gender-based violence from 25th November to 10th December 2021 under the global theme set by the UN Secretary General’s UNiTE campaign.

Among the local groups supporting the worldwide campaign are Soroptimists International Haverfordwest which requested the illumination. “This is a campaign that, as a women’s group, we feel it very important to support,” said member Susie Blacklaw-Jones.

Council Leader Cllr David Simpson supported their request, saying: “This is an incredibly important issue and we are grateful to Soroptimist International Haverfordwest for helping to draw attention to the campaign and raise local awareness.”

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