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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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Community

Cardigan radio back on air after long break

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CARDIGAN’S much-loved local broadcasting station, Cardigan Radio, has made a triumphant return to the airwaves, now operating 24/7 following a short break due to financial constraints. The station’s revival is attributed to the dedication and significant financial backing of its founder, Bobby Kelly, who is also the brain behind the innovative platform, buildaradiostation.com.

In an effort to overcome previous challenges, including a temporary halt in broadcasting brought on by escalating operational costs, Kelly has been at the forefront of reengineering the station’s infrastructure. “From the moment we ceased broadcasting, my resolve was to bring Cardigan Radio back, stronger and more resilient. Our goal is to ensure the station’s longevity, providing our listeners with continuous, high-quality programming,” Kelly stated.

Radio boss: Bobby Kelly

Kelly’s expertise in radio infrastructure is reflected in the station’s unique approach to internet radio, setting Cardigan Radio apart from its contemporaries. “By revamping our backend and opting for highly reputable open-source software over the commonly used inferior software and cloud storage, we’ve enhanced the reliability and quality of our broadcast,” Kelly elaborated. This innovative methodology has been detailed on buildaradiostation.com, aiming to uplift the standards within the internet radio sector.

Cardigan Radio, broadcasting globally, invites enthusiasts from around the world to join its volunteer team. The station is on the lookout for individuals with a passion for radio, regardless of their location, to contribute to its diverse and dynamic team. Prospective volunteers are encouraged to reach out via phone at (+44)01239 543025 or email [email protected].

Listeners can now enjoy a variety of fresh and engaging content around the clock at www.cardiganinternetradio.wales. Cardigan Radio, initially known as Cardigan Internet Radio Limited, has been a pivotal voice in the community for over two years. Despite facing setbacks, including vandalism and financial hurdles, the station’s spirit has never wavered, buoyed by community support and Kelly’s unwavering determination.

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Community

Locals’ petition challenges closure of St Davids Civic Amenity Site

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IN RESPONSE to news of the imminent closure of the St Davids Civic Amenity Site, Pembrokeshire residents have mobilised, initiating a petition to persuade Pembrokeshire County Council to reverse its decision. Launched by Richard Davies on 22 February 2024, the campaign has quickly garnered support, reflecting widespread concern among the community.

The St Davids Civic Amenity Site, regarded by many as a vital community asset, faces the threat of closure, a move that has prompted fears of environmental degradation, job losses, and a decline in recycling efforts. The petition underscores the site’s importance not merely as a waste disposal facility but as a pillar of environmental responsibility and community welfare.

One of the primary concerns raised by the petition is the potential increase in fly-tipping, a problem that has seen a rise across the UK. The absence of a local facility could encourage the illegal dumping of waste, jeopardising the beauty of Pembrokeshire’s landscapes and posing a risk to wildlife and natural habitats.

The closure, coming at a time of proposed council tax increases, also poses a threat to employment for those working at the site. In a region where job opportunities are cherished, the loss could have significant repercussions on families and the local economy. Moreover, the site’s role in facilitating community recycling initiatives stands as a testament to Pembrokeshire’s commitment to sustainable living. Its closure would mark a regressive step in these efforts.

The petition appeals to the Pembrokeshire County Council to reconsider the closure, highlighting the site’s invaluable contributions to environmental protection and community well-being. The community’s message is clear: the St Davids Civic Amenity Site plays a crucial role in sustaining the local environment and fostering a culture of recycling and sustainability.

As the petition continues to attract signatures, it represents a collective call to action from the residents of Pembrokeshire, urging their local council to maintain the operation of the St Davids Civic Amenity Site. The community awaits the council’s response, hopeful for a resolution that preserves this essential community resource.

Richard Davies, Chairman Solva Community Council said: “Please sign and share this petition. St Davids civic amenity site has been earmarked for closure.

“This is a very important site especially with the new recycling law for businesses coming into force in April.”

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Community

Success of People PWR pilot supporting families celebrated

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL and Citizens Advice Pembrokeshire (CAP) are celebrating the success of their welfare rights focused project People PWR (Pembrokeshire Welfare Rights).

People PWR launched in 2023 and is a pilot project that takes a holistic approach to supporting families affected by or at risk of poverty and the associated effects. 

Inspired by the success of Maximise! in Scotland, the People PWR team focus on engaging with families who have school age children, with a clear aim of creating greater financial stability for households, addressing inequalities and improving financial capability. 

Whilst families can self-refer into the project, schools are the main referral route, and the close working links developed between CAP and Pembrokeshire Schools has been key to the success of this project. 

Once a referral is accepted they conduct in essence a financial MOT, focusing on welfare rights and income maximisation, ensuring that clients are claiming all that they are entitled to whilst at the same time helping families to identify and address the underlying issues contributing to hardship.

In 2023, 259 families benefitted from the support of People PWR and the team have realised financial gains for local families of £118, 347 in unclaimed benefits. The average amount gained for each family was £2,878. 

However, it’s about more than just the money, there is also a lasting legacy for families whereby they have a better understanding, improved confidence and often a feeling of empowerment that can help them achieve a more positive financial future. 

James White, Head of Engagement and Communities, said: “I am very pleased with what People PWR has already achieved in its first year.  

“More and more clients are being helped as word about the service has spread, and almost £120,000 has been put into the pockets of Pembrokeshire residents, most of which will be spent locally. 

“For some clients this service has been life-changing.  I look forward to seeing the project continue to grow and further expand its reach in the year ahead.”

Geraldine Murphy, CEO of Citizens Advice Pembrokeshire, said: “In this first year of the project, our team of three advisers are going from strength to strength.  

“They’re enthusiastic about helping parents to find solutions to their financial problems. They have forged strong links with schools and community organisations and headteachers and engagement officers tell us they have already seen the benefit of our service to their parents and children. Together we are building an effective and joined-up approach to helping families.”

If you are a family with a school age child in Pembrokeshire and think that you could benefit from connecting with the People PWR team, please visit the Pembrokeshire CAB website for more project information or email [email protected] to contact the team directly to request support.

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