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Police step up patrols on troubled estate

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milfordestateRESIDENTS of a new Milford housing estate have expressed their anger and frustration at what they say are ‘neighbours from hell’. Jane Jarma, of Wentworth Close on the Fairways Estate in Hakin, spoke exclusively with The Herald about the on-going problem: “We have had a lot of abuse from these neighbours. The police have had seven complaints from us and this couple have already been issued with a harassment warning, not to mention having been arrested and charged for death threats.

I have two children with autism and they have been shouting abuse at them and calling them ‘mongos’ and ‘retards’.” She went on to explain how one worrying aspect has developed: “They are taking pictures of my children out of the window. Why would you do that? The police even said they were allowed to do this. How can that be right? We are getting continual harassment on a daily basis. “The male of the couple is also doing car repairs on his drive, damaging the property in the process, and we have filled out countless logs to Pembrokeshire Housing who don’t seem to be doing anything, even after the other residents have signed a ‘bound over’ agreement and this couple refuse to even turn up to mediation.

Everyone in the community has had a gut’s full.” Tony Craig, another resident of the Milford estate, spoke to The Herald about an incident that occurred on the estate as recently as last week: “On Wednesday of last week a couple were arrested for making death threats to the residents that are causing everyone so much trouble. As I understand, they were taken to Cardigan Police station for several hours, but it turned out that they (the troublesome neighbours) had concocted the whole thing up. “My daughter tried to run off with a knife to commit suicide the very same day, so I called the police and they took her to hospital. As I was pulling out of our drive to follow her, the evil couple yelled out ‘there goes tonight’s entertainment’, whilst laughing their heads off. When we returned from hospital they were hanging from their windows, laughing at my daughter.

What can I do to protect my kids? I am at my wit’s end. Pembrokeshire Housing’s solution? Offering me the chance to move – from my own home – not on my nelly!” He went on to describe the level of abuse, he alleges, he and his family have been dealing with: “My daughter was assaulted a month ago by them, yet no charges were brought despite six witnesses. I have complained to the Chief Constable’s office and a Sergeant Walters is investigating everything that was going on, but we have had no communication with Walters for weeks.

My daughter is 14 and has special needs and this problem of bullying from these neighbours, who continue to shout abuse at her, recently contributed to an earlier attempted suicide. They are taking pictures of kiddies in swimming costumes out of the window. My son (11) is sleeping on the sofa with a hammer he is so scared.” The Herald asked Pembrokeshire Housing to comment on the situation, and the couple that seem to be causing so much trouble to their neighbours. Jane Robinson, Housing Manager, said: “Pembrokeshire Housing is currently working with four families in Wentworth Close to support them in resolving problems around neighbour nuisance and anti-social behaviour which have arisen recently.

“We are working closely with the Police and other agencies to resolve such matters through the Safer Pembrokeshire, Community Safety Partnership. Neighbour nuisance and anti-social behaviour issues are inherently complex and often difficult to resolve. We will continue to work with the residents and the partnership to obtain a positive resolution.” In relation to what action might be being taken over the problem couple, Pembrokeshire Housing declined to comment.

Temporary Chief Inspector Ross Evans, of Dyfed Powys Police, spoke with The Herald, commenting on the latest developments: “Police in Milford Haven are continuing to patrol Wentworth Close regularly and a proportionate amount of resources has been allocated to the area. A dedicated officer has been assigned to investigate. We are working very closely with our partners in Pembrokeshire Housing Association to help resolve issues as a matter of urgency, and a number of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts have been served. “A 42 year old woman was arrested on Saturday, August 9 and subsequently charged with Section 5 Public Order Act. She will appear before Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday, September 2. We would like to reassure residents in Wentworth Close that we will continue to work with them, and additional police patrols will remain in place as part of that support.”

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Education

Delight as foundation phase learners return to class

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PEMBROKESHIRE Headteachers have reported very positive returns to school for Foundation Phase Learners.

All Foundation Phase Learners returned to schools on Monday, March 1st and attendance has been reported at almost 90% since.

The Council’s Director for Education, Steven Richards-Downes, said: “A wide range of council services have worked together to ensure that Foundation Phase pupils have been able to return
safely to school.

“I am particularly grateful to all school staff and families for ensure that learning is now available for our youngest learners face to face.”

Headteachers remarked how schools have filled with smiles and laughter following the safe and phased return of Foundation Phase learners.

Cora O’Brien, Headteacher at Waldo Williams School in Haverfordwest emphasised how quickly learners have settled back in to a routine.

“It has been an absolute joy to hear their laughter in the playground and to observe their love of learning face to face once again. I thank everybody in the Waldo Williams School
community for working so hard to ensure that the transition went smoothly.”

Vicky Hart-Griffiths, Headteacher of Ysgol Hafan y Mor in Tenby, said: “It has been wonderful to welcome all our Foundation Phase learners back to school. They are thriving, being amongst
friends and back to a school routine.  

“All the pupils have spoken about how happy they are to have returned and it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome them back and we can’t wait until we have all our pupils back in school.

“The school feels alive again and there’s a positive buzz and laughter once again echoing throughout the school.”

Gareth Lewis, Headteacher at Broad Haven CP School said children had returned “with real enthusiasm, and have been very keen to meet up with their friends.”

Mr Lewis added: “Our parents have been very supportive and positive about the return, and those with older children are very much looking forward to a wider return to schooling.”

Mr Richards-Downes said plans were now turning to more learners returning to schools in the near future.

“We are looking to the next phases of the re-opening of schools on the 15th of March as long as the government guidelines allow.”

Further details will be released in due course.

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Pembrokeshire County Council: This week’s Leader’s coronavirus update

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further coronavirus update for Friday, 5th March as follows:

‘Welcome everyone to my weekly update.

“It is with rather a heavy heart that I tell you that it’s almost 12 months since my first statement on the coronavirus pandemic.

“On 9th March 2020, I addressed our Cabinet meeting with the following words:

“Further to the news yesterday that two people in Pembrokeshire had tested as positive for the Covid 19 virus, I am sure you will join me in wishing them both a speedy and full recovery.

“I can reassure you that our services will continue as usual, and all our employees can continue to attend to their work, appointments, schools and services as they normally would.

“We should all help protect ourselves and our communities by following Public Health Wales advice, particularly around washing hands and using a tissue for symptoms associated with cold and flu and then safely disposing of it.

“I am grateful to the co-operation and hard work of all of our staff and we will provide further updates and information when we have them.

“In the meantime I can confirm that detailed planning arrangements, both internally, with partner agencies and through the Dyfed Powys Local Resilience Forum, are well underway to ensure that the Council and Pembrokeshire are as well placed as possible for whatever challenges we may face. Thank you.”

“I am sure you will join me while I take a moment now to remember all those people in Pembrokeshire and further afield, who, very sadly, passed away since I made that announcement.

“I continue to be incredibly grateful, as I’m sure you are, to everyone who is helping to beat this pandemic, working so very hard now for over a year.

“We are fortunate now to be in a position where the vaccine programme is protecting older members of our community and starting to roll out among one of the biggest groups – the over 65s and those with underlying health conditions.

“This time next week (12th March) the Welsh Government will have notified us of their plans for the next three weeks.

“In the meantime, we remain in Alert Level 4 and the stay at home message continues to be more important than ever as we reach the threshold of better times.

“I wish you all a good weekend and thank you once again to the vast majority of wonderful Pembrokeshire residents who are doing the right thing and waiting patiently at home for restrictions to lift.

“We do really appreciate your efforts and determination to help bring this pandemic to an end.”

 

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Sergeant Hillier ‘died doing the job he loved’, says his heartbroken father

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THE ARMY SERGEANT who died after being injured in a live firing exercise, has been named locally.

The incident occurred at Castlemartin Training Area, and led to the death of Sgt Gavin Hillier, who was in the Welsh Guards.

In a post on social media, his father wrote: “Absolutely devastated to be writing this post, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

“At 3.45am this morning I received a phone call that will forever change my life. My eldest son Gavin Mark Hillier was in a fatal accident yesterday in the army (the job he loved).

“Sleep tight & rest in peace son. I’m so proud of you. Goodnight and god bless, love your heartbroken dad.”

An Army spokesperson said: “It is with great sadness we can confirm the death of a soldier on March 4.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.

“The circumstances surrounding this death are being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

It is understood that Sergeant Hillier, who served as part of the Welsh Guards’ motor transport platoon, was due to be deployed to Iraq and had previously been awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct medal by Prince Charles, the regiment’s Colonel in Chief, in 2019.

The tragic incident is the latest in a number of accidents at Castlemartin.

In 2017, The Herald reported that two soldiers died in a tank explosion, which a coroner ruled was due to a design flaw.

The following year, an Army captain was jailed in July 2018 after a 21-year-old soldier was killed by a stray bullet during an exercise at the range in 2012.

An investigation has been launched into the death of a soldier at Castlemartin RAC Range following a military exercise.

Police were called to the site at just before 10.45pm on March 4.

Sadly, a man was pronounced dead shortly after. Our thoughts are with his family, who have been informed of the incident and are being supported by specialist officers.

An investigation is underway led by Dyfed-Powys Police. Officers are liaising with the Health and Safety Executive and MoD.

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