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Safety fears prompt call for ‘gull cull’

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SEAGULLS displaying aggressive behaviour in Tenby have prompted calls for a “gull cull” – amid fears for public safety.
Councillors in Tenby say herring gulls in the town are attacking builders on rooftops and families on beaches.
The town’s Mayor Sue Lane requested that the local authority be approached to see if there was a way of controlling the belligerent birds.
“It’s a dangerous issue health wise and it’s getting out of control,” she said. “So I feel the time has come to get in touch with the county council, to see what control methods can be brought in.
“They were once just sea birds, but now they’re fast becoming land birds and need controlling.”
Businesspeople in the town say incidents of food snatching have become more common as the birds become over-familiar with humans.
Mario Fecci, of Fecci’s Ice Cream Parlour, said the gulls had become skilful opportunist who were now an increasing nuisance.
“We’ve had customers who have bought cream cakes or ice cream and had them snatched right out of their hands.
“There is most definitely a problem with gulls here in Tenby, where it seems they are nesting.
“It’s not just a problem for holidaymakers. Living in the town ourselves, we are quite often woken up around 4am with very loud squawking.
“They have become quite aggressive. You see them walking up to people on the parade and not thinking anything of snatching chips out of their hands.
“They are not scared of people any more. But we all have a responsibility not to feed them. The seagulls are opportunists who are finding it much easier to survive off fish and chips on land instead of finding food at sea, where they should be.”
Builder Andrew Thomas said there had been incidents of dive-bombing.
“If you’re near their territory, and there are chicks in the nest, they can get quite aggressive.
“One of our boys just got out of the van to use the cashpoint, and a gull swooped down at him. He raised his arms and it flew off but you can see how people with young kids would be scared.”
Andrew Davies, Tenby Town Council’s clerk, said the town’s Civic Society had written to Pembrokeshire Council to request seagull-proof bin bags.
“These are bags to put domestic rubbish in that can’t get torn open by gulls. Apparently there have been pilots in the West Country.
“Although the town council and county council encourage residents to cover their rubbish, not everybody does and the gulls are very intelligent birds. They are getting to realise that they can get underneath the covers.”
The RSPB’s Grahame Madge “Gulls are very intelligent and live on their wits.
“They will capitalise on any way they can find food and will try to seize ice creams and fish and chips from people at places like Barry Island, or in cities like Cardiff.”
A spokesman for Pembrokeshire Council said any work to reduce seagull numbers was too late this year.
“We have advised Tenby Town Council that it is now too late in the year to commence a programme of gull control, if that is what they wish to do.
“Any such action would need to commence in January or February.We have also pointed out that any such control work is expensive and no appropriate budget currently exists within the County Council.”

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Health

Give someone “the best gift” this Christmas by giving blood in West Wales

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A MOTHER who needed in-the-womb blood transfusions during her pregnancy and a man who depends on regular, lifesaving blood donations are encouraging communities across Wales to give “the best gift” this Christmas by donating blood.

The Welsh Blood Service is preparing to face Winter pressures on its services and is hoping their new Christmas campaign, “the best gift” will raise awareness about the importance of donating blood and the lifesaving difference it makes.

Last December over 900 donations of blood and blood products were needed across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire to provide care to patients at Prince Philip, Withybush, Bronglais and Glangwili hospital. 

These donations play a vital role by supporting a range of treatments from helping recovering accident victims and patients with blood cancers to supporting mothers and new-born babies during childbirth.

Blood donations were needed during both pregnancies for mother of two, Shelley Parry. After her own life was saved during her first pregnancy, Shelley received several more blood transfusions directly into her womb to keep her youngest daughter alive.

Shelley explains: “Receiving blood is truly the best gift we have ever received. We’re forever indebted as a family to those who have taken the time to donate. Without the generosity of blood donors, quite simply, we wouldn’t be parents. Thanks to their selfless act, we can look forward to Christmas together as a family.

“It only takes one hour of your time to donate, if you can, please consider donating.”

Giggs and his daughter

Also supporting the campaign is blood recipient Giggs Kanias. Since birth, Giggs has received over 1,000 blood transfusions as part of his treatment for beta thalassaemia major, a severe blood disorder. Thanks to blood donors, Giggs is looking forward to celebrating Christmas with his family.

Giggs said: “I am so thankful to the incredible people who give blood. When I’m in hospital, I stare at the bags of blood being transfused into me and always wonder, who is the person that has helped me?

“I know the difference these people have made to my life and I’m so grateful to each and every one of them. Without their generosity, I wouldn’t be here today, I wouldn’t be a dad, or have had the opportunity to see my daughter grow up. Receiving blood is truly the best gift anyone could ever receive.”

Alan Prosser, Director of the Welsh Blood Service, said: “For patients like Giggs, receiving blood will be the best gift they receive this Christmas. It truly is the best gift you can give.

“Blood products have a short shelf life and is needed by hospitals 365 days a year, including Christmas day, to help support patients in need, which is why we can’t stop collecting.”

The Welsh Blood Service provides lifesaving blood products to 20 hospitals across Wales and four Wales Air Ambulance aircraft for use in emergencies.

Alan continues: “It is critical the service prepares. We need to build up blood stocks ahead of a potentially challenging winter, where seasonal illnesses and Covid-19 may exacerbate the usual winter pressures faced by the NHS.

“We are reaching out to communities across Wales to ask them to make a lifesaving blood donation and give “the best gift” this festive season.”

Do something amazing this Christmas. Give someone the best gift. Give blood. If you are aged 17 or over, book to give blood at: www.wbs.wales/Xmas21 or call 0800 252 266 today.

Appointments are available in Pembrokeshire on 7 December and January 6 and 20 in Tenby, 16 December and 27 January in Crymych, 20 December and 17 January in Haverfordwest, 10 January in Letterston Village Hall and 21 January in Milford Haven. 

Appointments are available in Carmarthenshire on 10 December in Pontyberum, 29 December and 13 January in Carmarthen, 28 January in Kidwelly Community Hall, 23 and 24 December and 4, 12 and 25 January in Parc Y Scarlets and 31 January in Llandeilo.

Appointments are available in Ceredigion on 14 December in Newcastle Emlyn, 14 January in Aberaeron and 18 January in Lampeter.

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News

Children are invited to join the festive fun with the Language Charter’s Virtual Welsh Advent Calendar

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Day 1 of the Advent Calendar

SEREN a Sbarc are inviting children in Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire to join the celebration of Christmas with a host of activities through the medium of Welsh.

Daily surprises will be shared on the Shwmae Pembrokeshire Facebook page and Ceredigion Cardi Iaith Facebook page from 1 until 25 December 2021.

A wide range of Welsh language activities will be hiding behind the calendar doors – for example the Cyw Christmas Story and Decorations with Elin Haf Jones a presenter from Ceredigion, a clogging session, poetry and much more.

The virtual advent calendar has been created by Language Charter Leaders in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.

Visit www.facebook.com/shwmae (Pembrokeshire) and www.facebook.com/cardiiaith (Ceredigion) to be part of the excitement and remember to share your pictures and videos to spread the festive fun!

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Entertainment

Côr Dyfed to perform Messiah

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Côr Dyfed

A PERFORMANCE of possibly the greatest of all choral works, Handel’s Messiah, is something to look forward to, especially after the hiatus caused by Covid.

This immensely popular work will be sung by Côr Dyfed Choir in St Davids Cathedral on Saturday December 11th at 7pm.

Acting Music Director Luke Spencer will conduct the choir, with four renowned soloists:

Ros Evans, soprano

Ralph Thomas Williams, countertenor

Peter Wilman, tenor

Stephen Hamnett, bass

With the acclaimed British Sinfonietta accompanying, this opportunity to begin celebrating Christmas in spectacular surroundings promises to be a very special occasion.

Tickets: Front Nave £22, Rear Nave £18, Side Aisles £12 unreserved (Under 16 free)

Available online at www.dyfedchoir.co.uk

Telephone Ticket Source 0333 666 3366* or 01348 840312* (Mon – Sat 10am – 1pm)

*All telephone and online ticket purchases subject to a booking fee

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