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County Hall to offer space for community banking

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A CALL for Pembrokeshire County Council to potentially change its banking arrangement with Barclays, after it closed its Haverfordwest branch has been turned down, but County Hall is to offer space for community banking.

Barclays Bank, on the town’s High Street, is to close on May 10.

The council has had a banking services contract with Barclays since 2013.

Councillor Huw Murphy, in a notice of motion heard by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet meeting of April 22, asked the council to review its banking arrangements with Barclays following the announced closure.

e said the loss of a branch “not only impacts upon town centres and businesses but also disproportionately impacts the elderly who are less likely to embrace on-line banking options”.

A report for Cabinet members said, in terms of the impact on Pembrokeshire residents, Barclays has said that it is “not leaving Haverfordwest and [will] continue to provide face-to-face support for those who need it” via community locations.

Two options were presented to Cabinet: to retender the banking services contract, and, the favoured, to work with Barclays to ensure a community location is set up in Haverfordwest.

Members heard the costs associated with moving to a new banking service provider could be in excess of £50,000.

For the second, favoured option, members heard Barclays was in discussions with the council about a location for potential community banking.

Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance Cllr Alec Cormack, after outlining the risks in the report for members, and moving the notice be not adopted, said he had “considerable sympathy” with Cllr Murphy’s notice.

He told councillors there was a glimmer of light for banking arrangements in the county, with an agreement now signed for two ground floor rooms at County Hall, Haverfordwest, to be used for community banking.

From April 25, the rooms will be available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, members heard.

Cabinet Member for Planning & Housing Delivery Cllr Jon Harvey also said he had “a lot of sympathy” for the motion, adding: “It’s excellent news a deal has been struck to occupy the ground floor rooms three days a week; hopefully this will mitigate, to a certain amount, the closure.

“If we can work with the respective banks to get a community-type approach let’s move forward.”

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Community

Fleet Air Arm veteran donates ‘a lifetime’s research’ to heritage centre

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A CENTENARIAN Fleet Air Arm Veteran has made a nostalgic return to Pembrokeshire to donate documents, photographs and books – a lifetime of research – to Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre.

Hugh Langrishe, who recently celebrated his 101st birthday, lived in Pembrokeshire for 25 years – initially at Llanfallteg and then at Saundersfoot – with his late wife, Pam, who died last year. Since 1994 he has lived at Bromyard, Herefordshire.

He was joined by his son Jack and partner Julie Cavanagh, and friend Cliff Morris.

Hugh served as an engineering officer in the Fleet Air Arm during World War II and was attached to Royal Navy squadrons at air stations in Australia which supported the British Pacific Fleet. This prompted his research into many aspects of aviation history. When living locally he was a very active member of the Pembrokeshire Aviation Group.

This was his first visit to the Centre and he commented: “I did not expect to find such a professional museum. Everyone involved has done a job which is absolutely outstanding. The result is better than many a professional museum or collection I have seen. It deserves any award it might fetch.”

John Evans, of the Heritage Trust, added: “We were honoured to welcome Hugh back to the county and to be entrusted with his archive which includes a remarkable photographic collection.”

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Community

All aboard for return of summer coastal bus services

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TWO popular bus services will be returning to the Pembrokeshire coast from Saturday, 25th May.

  • The Puffin Shuttle (service 400, operated by Richards Bros) runs between St Davids and Marloes, via Little Haven, Druidston, St Brides and Martins Haven (for boat trips to Skomer Island).
  • The Strumble Shuttle (service 404, operated by Richards Bros) runs via the coast road between St Davids and Fishguard, including Abereiddy (for the Blue Lagoon), Porthgain, and Strumble Head.

The Coastal Cruiser (service 387/388, operated by Pembrokeshire County Council) around the Angle peninsular will also revert to its summer timetable on May 25th.

All three services will run daily from Saturday 25th May until Sunday 29th September 2024.

In addition, the Celtic Coaster (service 403, operated by Sarah Bell) around the St Davids peninsular will run an enhanced (half-hourly) timetable during half term (Saturday 25th May to Sunday, 2nd June) and throughout July and August.

These services are have been developed by the Pembrokeshire Greenways Partnership with funding from Pembrokeshire County Council, the Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Councillor Rhys Sinnett, Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Residents Services said: “Our coastal buses are a key part of our local public transport network, making it easy for both locals and visitors to get around the Pembrokeshire coast without having to use a car.

“We hope as many people as possible make use of these services so that they can have a hassle free way of enjoying our beautiful county.”

Extra services will also be available in the Tenby area this summer.

  • First Cymru’s Tenby Coaster, an open-topped double decker bus between Tenby and Saundersfoot will be returning, daily, between Saturday, 26th May and Saturday, 14th September 2024.
  • Taf Valley will be introducing additional journeys on the 351 service from Kilgetty and Tenby from Saturday, 20th July to Friday, 13th September, including a return journey on Sundays.

More information about these and other bus services which run to and around the Pembrokeshire Coast can be found in the new 2024 Coastal Bus timetable booklet, available soon from local libraries and information centres.

To request a copy, please contact [email protected] or call 01437 764551.

Bus timetables can also be downloaded from the Council’s website.

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Community

Milford Haven to commemorate 80th anniversary of D-Day

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THE Milford Haven Town Council will be holding a Memorial Service to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day on The Rath on Thursday, 6th June 2024, at 8:45 pm. The beacon will be lit at 9:15 pm.

D-Day, which took place on 6th June 1944, marked a pivotal moment in World War II. It was the day when Allied forces launched a massive invasion on the beaches of Normandy, France. This operation, known as Operation Overlord, involved thousands of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and other Allied nations. The invasion was a significant turning point in the war, leading to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation.

The 80th Anniversary of D-Day holds profound meaning for many, particularly for those who lived through the war and the families of those who served. It is a time to reflect on the immense sacrifices made by the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who took part in the operation. It is also an opportunity to honour the bravery and determination of the veterans who survived and to remember those who did not return.

As the years pass, the number of surviving veterans dwindles, making commemorations like these even more poignant. The 80th anniversary serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of those who fought for freedom and the importance of remembering their contributions to history.

The Memorial Service in Milford Haven will provide a moment for the community to come together in remembrance. The lighting of the beacon will symbolise the light of hope and the enduring spirit of those who fought for a better future. The council encourages all residents to attend the service and pay their respects to the heroes of D-Day.

DID YOU KNOW?

During the lead up to D-Day, part of Milford Haven was taken over by the US Navy as a place where they could dock landing craft as well as make repairs to these craft. The crews would also have been stationed nearby in the town, and a Hospital in Hakin was set up with a hut encampment. The nearby Pier at Newton Noyes was also regularly used by the US Navy.

Landing Ship, Tanks (LST) were often put into Dry Docks to carry out repairs and preparation for the D-Day Landings. The base was the largest Advanced Amphibious Base build by the American Engineers and around 1,000 servicemen and women were stationed at the base during 1943 and 1944.

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