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‘Call-in’ hopes to stop Pembrokeshire Christmas tree collection charge

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A CHRISTMAS tree ‘call-in’ to overturn a “mean-spirited” decision to end the free collection of trees after the festive season is due to be heard at Pembrokeshire’s County Hall next week.

At the November meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, members backed a proposal to introduce a £5 charge for the collection of real Christmas trees after the festive season, previously identified as a potential cost saving of £10,000.

The council introduced a real Christmas tree collection service – backed by grant funding – in 2016.

That funding came to an end in 2020, with the council subsidising the cost, collecting more than 1,800 trees last year.

After making the decision to introduce the charge to save council funds, Cabinet members heard trees could still be disposed of free-of-charge at any of the council’s six waste and recycling centres.

A special extraordinary services overview and scrutiny committee meeting, taking place on November 20 is to consider a ‘call-in’ on the Cabinet decision, made by Councillor Huw Murphy, supported by councillors Vanessa Thomas, Anji Tinley, Alan Dennison, Elwyn Morse, Michael James and Iwan Ward.

Western Telegraph: Cllr Huw Murphy’s Christmas tree ‘call-in’ was supported by councillors Vanessa Thomas, Anji
In his submitted call-in, Cllr Murphy says: “This call-in has been submitted as it’s felt that the merits of introducing a fee for real Christmas tree collection by PCC needs further debate and scrutiny, which was absent at the Cabinet meeting.”

He adds: “This service most benefits lower income households, and its implementation gives the impression of an authority that is mean-spirited at a time of the year when we should be extending goodwill to our residents.”

He warns: “The inevitable consequence of the introduction of a tree collection fee will be more littering and fly tipping of Christmas trees by people who may have no means (transport) to dispose of at a waste recycling centre, where they can still be disposed of for free.

“This will result in more work and cost for PCC in collecting abandoned Christmas trees.”

Cllr Murphy also felt discarded trees may actually result in a danger post-Christmas: “There is an increased risk that Christmas trees previously collected for free may pose a hazard to road and highway users, through being ‘thrown out,’ more so for pedal and motor cyclists if they were to collide with a Christmas tree that has been blown onto a carriageway, especially in receding light or at night.

“There is a cost-of-living crisis, with households having to decide how money is spent. The £5 fee to PCC for collecting their Christmas tree will not be a priority post-December 25.”

He also debates the projected cost savings presented to Cabinet, warning there may actually be increased council costs “through the unintended consequence of this policy being introduced”.

Options for the committee include upholding the Cabinet decision, referring the matter back to Cabinet with any concerns raised, or referring the decision to full council.

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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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