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Pembrokeshire Catholic schools federations backed

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SENIOR councillors backed the federation of four Pembrokeshire Catholic schools earlier this week.

In April, members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet backed a recommendation for a consultation on federations between Haverfordwest’s Mary Immaculate Catholic School and Tenby’s St Teilo’s Catholic School, and between Fishguard’s Holy Name Catholic School and Milford Haven’s St Francis Catholic School.

Cabinet members previously heard the need for federations were due to various headteacher vacancies and a growing inability to recruit, the Diocese of Menevia expressing a wish to consider establishing federations.

The consultation drew 52 responses, with the majority of the 10 for Holy Name / St Francis views in favour of the proposal, both schools having been in an informal collaboration during the 2022/23 academic year.

The vast majority of responses, some 80 per cent, were opposed to the proposal for Mary Immaculate / St Teilo’s, raising a variety of concerns including distance between the two schools, and that parental views were not sought early enough in the process.

At the November Cabinet meeting, it was recommended that, from April 8 of next year, the two federations take place.

A report for members stated: “As previously outlined to Cabinet in April, the reason for pursuing a Federation model was the need to secure stable and formalised leadership in the four Catholic schools.”

It added: “At the time of the above report, only two of the schools had a substantive headteacher; this has now reduced to one following the departure of the headteacher of Mary Immaculate Catholic School at the end of the 2022/23 academic year.”

It added: “The concerns of Mary Immaculate School parents, in particular, are acknowledged, but it is considered that the advice given to the governing body by the directors of education of the council and the Diocese of Menevia was based on a pragmatic approach to the recruitment challenges being faced.”

Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language Guy Woodham, who moved the recommendation, again stressed the federation route was “not an amalgamation, a takeover, or a route to school closure,” adding the schools would remain as separate establishments.

He was seconded by Leader David Simpson, who recalled the success of the federation of the Tavernspite and Templeton schools in his own ward, where the former was “thriving” and the latter “going down in numbers”.

“It must be about seven or eight years ago we decided to have a federation, there was an excellent response and now both schools are thriving. To me, it is a wonderful way forward; it’s not a takeover, I cannot recommend it more.”

Members unanimously backed the recommendation.

Entertainment

Save the dates: Classic car shows in Pembrokeshire

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THE FIRST of the Summer season of the Classic Car Shows in aid of the Paul Sartori Foundation took place at the Commons Car Park, Pembroke recently.

Organised by Malcom Powell and friends, the show was opened by the Mayor of Pembroke, Ann Mortenson, accompanied by the Ward Ten Withybush fundraiser Ellie Neville.

The rest of the shows are follows

Wednesday 5th June at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 19th June at the Plough Inn, Sageston

Wednesday 3rd July at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 17th July at the Plough Inn, Sageston

Wednesday 14th August at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 18th August at the Plough Inn

All events are at 4pm, except for the final show of the year on Saturday 14th September at the Plough Inn Sageston which starts at 2 30pm.

Pictured is the first show of the year at the Commons,Pembroke.

Pic-Martin Cavaney

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Charity

Royal celebration at Buckingham Palace marks RNLI’s 200th anniversary

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HIS MAJESTY The King has graciously hosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace today to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). This prestigious event brought together approximately 2,500 of the RNLI’s dedicated volunteers, staff, and their families.

The garden party, held in the palace’s magnificent grounds, was marked by the presence of an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, showcasing the RNLI’s modern lifesaving capabilities. The event celebrated the remarkable history and ongoing contributions of the RNLI, which has been saving lives at sea since its founding in 1824.

Among those honoured at the event were representatives from Tenby Lifeboat Station and St Davids Lifeboat Station. From Tenby, the delegation included recently retired Coxswain Philip John, along with Michael Lewis, Daniel Young, Graham Waring, and Peter O’Hagan, all accompanied by their partners. Representing St Davids Lifeboat Station were Will Chant, Jestyn Martin, Ffion Rees, Judd Kohler, Ellen Evans, and their respective partners. These individuals were recognised for their exceptional service and dedication to the institution, trading their RNLI yellows for smart attire on this special occasion.

The RNLI, established in 1824 by Sir William Hillary, has grown into a vital organisation dedicated to saving lives at sea. Over its two centuries of operation, the RNLI has saved more than 142,700 lives, thanks to the bravery and commitment of its volunteers and staff. Today, the RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations and provides a 24-hour search and rescue service around the coasts of the UK and Ireland.

His Majesty’s patronage and the garden party at Buckingham Palace underscore the nation’s deep appreciation for the RNLI’s invaluable service. The celebration not only honoured past achievements but also highlighted the continued importance of the RNLI’s mission as it looks forward to the future.

For more information on the RNLI’s history and its bicentenary celebrations, please visit the official RNLI website.

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Community

The Big Beer Festival returns to Milford Waterfront

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MILFORD HAVEN is set to host the highly anticipated Big Beer Festival tomorrow at Milford Waterfront. Beginning at 12:00 PM on May 25, the event promises a vibrant celebration featuring an impressive array of real ales, lagers, and ciders, along with a prosecco and Pimm’s bar for those with different tastes.

Local bands will provide live music throughout the day, ensuring a lively atmosphere. Headline act 4th Street will be among the performers, with additional acts including After the Fire, Steve Bartram, Two Suns, Tin Man Revolution, and DJ Robzy. Food lovers can enjoy diverse culinary offerings from The Junkyard Dog and Marcela Mexican Cuisine at the Thornton Motors Streetfood Zone. Entry is £20, which includes four drink tokens and a limited edition glass. Each token can be exchanged for a half pint, a glass of prosecco, or a glass of Pimm’s. The festival will run until 11:00 PM.

This event is part of the continued partnership between Milford Waterfront and the Milford Haven Round Table. This collaboration supports a calendar of events throughout the year, raising funds for local causes and creating enjoyable experiences for the community and visitors. Upcoming events include the Milford Haven Carnival on July 6 and the Fireworks Extravaganza on November 5.

As well as local petrol station company The Ascona Group, Howden, a global insurance intermediary group, is a key supporter of the festival. As a deluxe sponsor, Howden is donating £500 towards the event. Gary Stevens, Regional Managing Director, expressed his delight in supporting the Milford Haven Round Table, emphasizing the event’s significance as a fantastic day out for the bank holiday weekend and a means to support the local community.

Milford Haven Round Table, the UK’s largest Round Table with 30 active members, organizes this festival to give back to the local community. All funds raised support local charities, groups, and individuals, including popular free entry events like the town’s annual carnival and fireworks display.

For more details, visit the official event page.

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