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Dyfed-Powys Police and partner agencies tackle metal theft

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Police tape at scene of shooting of WPCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona BoneTHE FIGHT against metal theft continues, and Dyfed-Powys Police in conjunction with our partner agencies, such as the local authorities, Natural Resources Wales and neighbouring police forces, are continuously taking action following information received in relation to this type of crime.

In December 2013 the Scrap Metal Dealers Act came into force, which states that all mobile scrap metal dealers have to register with the local authority in which they intend to collect. They require a licence for each individual local authority area.

Recent operations conducted consist of a cross border visit to a scrap yard in South Wales Police area, and an operation at Fishguard and Pembroke Dock Ports.

DC Jo Grey, from the Environmental Crime Team said: “The cross border visit to a yard in South Wales revealed 27 Dyfed Powys residents, who were not registered mobile collectors with Carmarthenshire, were taking metal regularly into the South Wales area yard. The metal consisted of cable, copper piping, lead and mixed metals. The information was passed onto the local neighbourhood policing teams and home visits were conducted to establish if they were registered collectors elsewhere, any environmental protection act offences, and if scrap metal dealers books/transfer notes were being kept correctly.

“All 27 addresses were visited and advice given to several collectors in terms of registering with the local authority, waste transfer notes and keeping accurate records. It has become evident in subsequent visits at registered collectors that this operation has had an impact within the scrap metal mobile collectors industry, as many of them were surprised that cross border information was acted on, and police were actually visiting home addresses. It has highlighted the fact that they must be registered with the local authority and that police are acting on any information regarding the movement of metal by unregistered collectors.

“The aim of the multi-agency operation at Fishguard and Pembroke Dock ports was to inspect all outgoing and incoming freight to establish the import and export of stolen metal or scrapped metal. Over 100 containers were inspected. Scrapped batteries were found within some, which did not have the necessary relevant paperwork. This was an excellent proactive operation which gave Dyfed –Powys officers, and those of partner agencies, the opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding of metal theft and transfer of waste offences, whilst also sending a clear message to freight carriers that these matters are being pro-actively targeted.”

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Wales’s oldest person, Mary Keir, celebrates 112th birthday

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MARY KEIR, recorded as Wales’s oldest person has celebrated her 112th birthday at Awel Tywi Residential Home in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire where she has lived for the last 12 years.

Surrounded by friends and family, Mary celebrated with a lunch of roast dinner followed by sherry trifle and then a buffet in the evening.

Pupils from Ysgol Ffairfach also visited to celebrate with Mary as well as Dinefwr Male Voice Choir who entertained Mary and all the residents at Awel Tywi with an array of songs.

Mary is still actively involved in life at Awel Tywi, taking part in activities, entertainment and meetings as well as helping other residents. She also remains a keen lover of music, in particular the piano which has been a lifelong passion.

A former ward sister and district nurse who lived in Llansteffan independently just before her 100th birthday, Mary then became a resident at Carmarthenshire County Council’s Awel Tywi Residential Home.

Cllr Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Services said: “Happy 112th Birthday wishes to Mary.  My thanks also to our fantastic team of carers at Awel Tywi for delivering excellent care to Mary as well as all of the home’s residents”.

Her son Robert Keir and daughter-in law Sian Keir celebrated her birthday with her and said: “Mary, our mother and mother-in-law still has a great will and determination. She has received fantastic care at Awel Tywi and we really appreciate everything that the amazing staff do for her every day”.

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Welsh charity’s efforts for independent living earn top UK health award

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CARE & REPAIR CYMRU, a Welsh charity, has been honored with a prestigious national award for its impactful endeavors in aiding vulnerable older individuals and those with disabilities to maintain independent living within their own homes. The judges were notably impressed by the organization’s initiatives to facilitate the smooth transition of older individuals returning home from hospitals, thereby reducing hospital readmissions due to substandard housing conditions and alleviating strain on local NHS services.

Selected from a pool of over 500 charities across the UK, Care & Repair Cymru (CRC) has been named one of the ten winners of the 2024 GSK IMPACT Awards, conducted in collaboration with The King’s Fund. This recognition, now in its 27th year, celebrates excellence within the charity sector, specifically acknowledging the exceptional contributions of small to medium-sized charities dedicated to enhancing people’s health and well-being in the UK.

As a recipient of this esteemed award, Care & Repair Cymru will receive £40,000 in unrestricted funding along with expert support and leadership development opportunities facilitated by The King’s Fund, a leading health and care charity.

Extensive research underscores the profound impact of living conditions on health and well-being. Established in 1991, Care & Repair Cymru’s initiatives encompass aiding in hospital discharge processes and averting hospital admissions by enhancing and adapting the residences of those at risk. Their services are comprehensive, person-centered, and tailored to individual needs.

In Wales, where 85% of older people are homeowners, there’s a strong desire among the elderly population to age in place. However, Wales boasts the oldest housing stock in the UK, with over a quarter of all housing built before 1919. Substandard or unsafe housing elevates the risk of falls, with approximately 50% of individuals aged 80 and above experiencing at least one fall annually. Moreover, inadequate housing conditions incur substantial costs to the Welsh NHS, with excess cold, dampness, and mold alone costing over £95 million annually. A significant portion of excess winter deaths among older individuals can be attributed to respiratory illnesses stemming from living in cold homes.

As the national body overseeing the efforts of 13 Care & Repair agencies spanning all 22 counties in Wales, Care & Repair Cymru’s Managing Better program targets some of the most vulnerable older individuals. This initiative offers a range of free services aimed at enhancing the independence and safety of individuals living with conditions such as dementia, sensory loss, or those who have suffered a stroke.

The award judges lauded Care & Repair Cymru for spearheading the Hospital to Healthier Home program, which aims to mitigate delayed discharge from hospitals and reduce readmission rates. Through close collaboration with NHS staff, Care & Repair agencies swiftly identify patients residing in unsuitable housing conditions and promptly implement necessary adaptations, free of charge, ensuring safe and timely discharge.

Additionally, the charity’s advocacy efforts spotlight the housing needs of Welsh homeowners and underscore the detrimental effects of poor housing conditions on the health of older individuals. By collating and presenting data, CRC contributes to evidence-based policy enhancements and actively supports endeavors toward establishing a new right to affordable and adequate housing.

Data compiled by the charity illustrates the substantial impact of their initiatives, with 62,607 older individuals supported to maintain independent living at home in the 2022/23 period. The agencies conducted £18.3 million worth of housing repair and improvement work, completed 20,438 adaptations, and secured £9.5 million in unclaimed benefits for service users.

Katie Pinnock, Director of UK Charitable Partnerships at GSK, emphasized the pivotal role of housing in enhancing people’s health and reducing hospitalizations. She commended Care & Repair Cymru for their steadfast advocacy, collaborative partnerships, and innovative programs that not only support vulnerable individuals but also alleviate pressure on overstretched NHS and social care services.

Expressing gratitude for the recognition, Chris Jones, CEO of Care & Repair Cymru, underscored the organization’s commitment to advocating for healthy homes and providing essential support to thousands of older individuals in Wales, thereby easing the burden on NHS services.

The GSK IMPACT Awards program aims to foster leadership development within the charity sector, and all winners are invited to participate in a tailored leadership development program administered by The King’s Fund.

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Why some want the Falkland Islands flag flown over Pembrokeshire

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A CALL to raise the flag of the Falklands Islands at Pembrokeshire’s County Hall will be heard later this week.

In a submitted question, which will be answered at the March 7 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor Huw Murphy will ask: “Would the Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council [Cllr David Simpson] agree to the raising of the Falkland Islands flag on June 14, 2024, outside County Hall?

“June 14 is Liberation Day within the Falkland Islands to celebrate the return of democratic rule following an illegal military occupation by Argentina. The restoration of democracy to the Falkland Islands on June 14, 1982, ultimately returned democratic rule to Argentina.

“The purpose of raising the Falklands flag at County Hall on June 14 is to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice made by 255 service personnel serving our country during the Falklands war.

“Poignantly 22 of those lost in the conflict were serving on HMS Ardent, a Royal Navy destroyer sunk on May 22, 1982. HMS Ardent has a close association with the county of Pembrokeshire through its affiliation with Milford Haven.

“The raising of the Falklands flag at County Hall will have great resonance for the town of Milford Haven and for members of the HMS Ardent association, in that their service many years ago is still remembered.”

The flag of the Falkland Islands features the Union flag in the top left along with a coat of arms featuring a ram and a ship, The Desire, which discovered the islands.

Cllr Murphy’s call to raise the flag at County Hall, Haverfordwest will be answered at the March 7 meeting, one of 35 items on the agenda, including the controversial potential council tax rise of 16.3 per cent.

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