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BADGER AND THE DICTIONARY

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badger_2087377bPEMBROKESHIRE County Council, in common with others across Wales, will need to find a lot of money if it is to balance its budget in light of the Welsh Government’s reduction in money paid over to local authorities.

The size of the savings that needs to be made means that a harsher and more critical light needs to be shone on some on Council spending decisions.

For example, the Council took a punt on acquiring the former tax offices at Cherry Grove, Haverfordwest. Pembrokeshire County Council, with the confidence borne out of its investment in other white elephant commercial projects, has spent over three-quarters of a million pounds buying and tarting-up those premises. It expected that businesses would flock to occupy a refurbished 60’s office block.

The success of its investment can be measured by the number of tenants the Council has managed to attract to justify its investment of public money in the scheme.

In round figures, the number of tenants is precisely zero.

In order to occupy the premises, the Council is to shuffle its own staff into the building.

Is the Cherry Grove project a ringing endorsement of the Council’s business acumen? Badger thinks not.

The Council has spent the last few years trying to dispose of property in order to shore up its accounts and save money. Its track record is not one of unparalleled success. The Council is even now eyeing up schools for closure to go along with the farcical way it has handled the redevelopment of the County Library.

No doubt there will be exciting opportunities for eagle-eyed property developers to cream off the best sites in a transparent and open tendering process. In an infinite universe all things are possible.

The Council leader, ‘popular’ mathematician and one-time yoghurt salesman Jamie Adams, says that the Council’s acquisition and refitting of Cherry Grove represents ‘value for money’.

Badger thinks that Jamie Adams inhabits some strange looking-glass world. In fact, Cllr Adams is rather like Humpty-Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. Carroll wrote:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master-that’s all.”

Those of us familiar with the Council leader’s elastic and idiosyncratic approach to the English language know that his regular verbal contortions are a result of having to stick to a script that allows him neither to admit of fault nor apologize for an error. As the head of the senior officers’ club that passes for the political leadership of our County Council, poor Jamie’s linguistic gymnastics are the result of many hours work on answers that are semantically accurate without in any way addressing the issue the question seeks to illuminate.

So much is, of course, the lot of the politician. While the impulse to be honest in answer to a question may exist (however tiny such impulse might be), any politician must protect his own side and their interests. The issue with the IPPG, of course, is just whose interests they are protecting. Badger can scarcely credit that many IPPG councillors’ constituents approve of their representatives cutting rubbish collections or closing schools and libraries while making sure that senior staff continue to ride the gravy train of high salaries.

Those high salaries are justified on the basis that if you want the best, you must pay for it. Those high salaries are also described as value for money.

Of course, we all understand that when Humpty Adams talks about “value for money” in relation to senior staff salaries he really is making words mean so many different things.

And we all understand whose interests Humpty is sticking up for when he defends cutting everything but the salaries of the Council’s top earners.

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Crime

Letterston woman found guilty of possession of heroin

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A HEROIN supplier from Letterston has been found guilty of possessing heroin with intent to supply at Swansea Crown Court this week. 

Sarah Jane Elyse Badrock, 36, admitted to being a heroin addict and claimed she bought the Class A drug in an attempt to prevent the pain from her injured ankle she acquired following a sprained ankle whilst working as a carer in 2020. 

She also claimed that it was easier to buy the drug than source painkillers via the NHS. 

Badrock appeared in Swansea Crown Court to deny possession of 24.09g of diamorphine heroin with intent to supply, as well as a further charge of being concerned in the supply of Class A diamorphine. 

Badrock made 13 journeys from her home in Jubilee Close, Letterston to Nelson, near Merthyr Tydfil, between October 22 and December 21, 2020. 

On each journey, Badrock bought a 3.5g measure of heroin which she claimed was for her own controlled personal use. 

She said she travelled 200 miles each time as she wanted to keep her controlled addiction a secret. 

Her barrister, counsel Jon Tarrant, said: “It has brought her shame and embarrassment,

“It [heroin] only revealed itself in the confines of her bedroom and it was a private, dark secret which, if it was to be leaked, was going to be life changing.”

Prosecution Counsel, Mr Ian Wright, responded: “Why did she make 13 round trips to the Rhymney Valley that would cost a considerable amount of money in petrol when she claims her heroin addiction was controlled?

“She’s pulling wool over our eyes.”

Badrock was apprehended by police on the A40 near St Clears in the early hours of December 20, 2020. She pulled a condom from inside her bra, which contained a large quantity of heroin which had a street value of £3,000. 

Badrock insisted it was for her personal use and that the Class A drug would help her pain over the 2020 Christmas Covid lockdown. 

Ian Wright asked the jury: “You must bring to this trial your own common sense,

“She claims she bought the heroin because she couldn’t get prescribed medication for her ankle pain.

“Really? We’re all struggling to get appointments with our GPs but do we take the leap to buy heroin?

“This is the real world, so what does your common sense tell you about that explanation? It’s nonsense.”

He also questioned the large amount of heroin that was found in Badrock’s possession when she was apprehended by the police.

“If you’re using a heavily addictive drug such as heroin and you have a large quantity in front of you, can you ration your use and regulate it, or do you just use as much as you can, as often as you can? 

“This is why heroin users only buy small amounts on a daily basis. But the defendant was found in possession of a very substantial amount.

“We’ve heard the defendant say that she has had a difficult life where she was deceiving people about her use of heroin because she was ashamed of what she was doing but this is precisely what she’s doing here today. She’s deceiving you.”

After a three and a half hour deliberation, the jury found Badrock guilty of both counts.

Badrock was remanded in custody to await her sentence which will be delivered on October 14 following a full probation report.

Judge Wayne Beard commented: “This is going to be an inevitable custodial sentence which should begin as soon as possible,

“There is no advantage to be gained by not placing you in custody immediately.”

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Hywel Dda encourages vaccination as flu expected to be a major public health issue this winter

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HYWEL DDA University Health Board is urging anyone who is eligible for a free flu vaccine to take up the offer.

It comes as Public Health experts have warned that they are expecting a significant flu season this winter for the first time since the pandemic.

There are concerns that it may start earlier this year and affect more people.

In addition, the Covid-19 autumn booster programme is now live and many people including everyone over 50 years old, and those at risk of severe disease are among those being offered a Covid-19 booster to reduce their chances of getting seriously ill with Covid-19.

If you are eligible for an autumn COVID-19 booster, please wait to be invited by either your GP or the health board. Everyone eligible will be offered an appointment by November.

GP practices are also preparing to invite eligible patients for their seasonal flu vaccine and aim to offer an appointment to everyone eligible by December. Again, please do not contact your GP practice at this time, you will be invited when it is your turn.

Cases of flu (also known as influenza) are already being detected in Wales. Public health scientists say that the flu season could be as severe as the 2017/18 flu outbreak, where 16.5 thousand people in Wales were diagnosed with flu by their GP, and 2,500 people were hospitalised. There was also a high level of seasonal excess deaths that year – the worst for around 20 years.

Since March 2020, the Covid-19 lockdowns and international travel restrictions have disrupted the amount of respiratory viruses in circulation, but as our lives are going back to normal, viruses are returning in higher numbers. This year, Australia experienced a flu season which was earlier than usual and saw the highest case levels in five years. It is possible that the UK – and Wales – will experience similar flu activity.

With Covid-19 also in circulation, and added winter pressures on the NHS, it is more important than ever that those who are eligible for a free flu or Covid-19 vaccine get vaccinated to help prevent them becoming seriously unwell and protect the NHS this winter.

Dr Joanne McCarthy, Deputy Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Flu is caused by the influenza virus. It can be a very unpleasant illness and also lead to serious problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

“The pandemic has made us much more aware that vaccination saves lives and reduces hospitalisations. Vaccination may not stop you from catching flu or COVID-19, but it makes it far less likely that you will be severely ill or need hospitalisation.”

Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “We are encouraging everyone to get both their jabs this winter, when flu and COVID will be at their peak, to protect themselves, those around them and the NHS during what will be a busy time for healthcare in Wales.”

To promote the vaccinations, Public Health Wales has launched a campaign encouraging those eligible to ‘power up’ their protection against serious illness this winter by getting the flu and Covid-19 vaccines. The campaign launches on 27 September with digital and social content as well as stakeholder outreach and radio adverts.

Vaccination is particularly important for those who are older, pregnant, or have a health condition and are more vulnerable to complications as a result of the infections. It is also very important that frontline healthcare workers and those who work in care homes or providing care in peoples own homes get their vaccines to help reduce spread.

To help stop flu and other viruses spreading, remember to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.’

For more information about how to get the vaccines, please visit https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/flu-vaccine-and-covid-19-autumn-booster/.

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News

Everyone is welcome to the latest Community Open Day at Milford Haven mosque

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FOLLOWING the wonderful success of the open days at Milford Haven mosque on September 10 and 11, Milford Haven’s Islamic community has decided to open the doors once again to those who missed the event due to the death of The Queen, and of course to everyone who came last time who would like to pop in again.

Everyone is welcome from all over Pembrokeshire and beyond – this is not only a Milford Haven event – The Herald has been told.

The Mosque said it understands that some people stayed at home following the loss of The Sovereign, and others may have thought that the event had been cancelled, as many events across the UK had been cancelled during that weekend.

The poster for the event

The next open day will take place on Sunday October 2 and the venue will be open between 12pm to 5pm.

During the Open Day there will be an exhibition of Islam, and food will be provided for guests.

There is no need to book if you would like to attend, and women are respectfully requested to consider their dress is appropriate when attending the mosque.

View inside: Mosque in Milford Haven was recently rennovated

DEFINITION OF ISLAM

A way of life that leads to peace by keeping the commandments to attain submission to the one and only God.

In Islam belief in the one and only God is fundamental. Associating anyone or anything else with God is a mortal sin.

THE DEFINITION OF A MUSLIM

A Muslim is a person who believes in the religion of his father Abraham, believing in the one and only God and in all the prophets and messengers. A Muslim is one who submits his will to the will of God.

WHO IS ALLAH

It is the proper name for God in Arabic.

Christians whose mother tongue is Arabic refer to God as Allah.

WHAT MUSLIMS BELIEVE 

Muslims believe in all the Prophets from Adam through to Moses and Jesus; they believe Muhammad is the last Prophet sent by God to mankind.

WHO IS MUHAMMAD

He is the descendant of Ishmael son of Abraham.

Prophesised by:

-Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15 “The Lord thy God will raise up on to thee a prophet from the midst of thee of thy brethren like unto me unto him ye shall harken”.

-Jesus in the Gospel of John 14:15-16 “if you love me keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father and he shall give you another comforter”.

WHO GAVE THE MESSAGE TO MUHAMMAD.

Angel Gabriel visited Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years revealing the Quran in stages.

The same Angel Gabriel who announced to Mary that she was to have a holy son named Jesus.

THE MESSAGE OF GOD THROUGH MUHAMMAD IS THE QURAN

The Quranic message is the same as the message of all the prophets sent by God.

That message is to believe in the one and only God and his prophets or Messengers.

For example,

– Deuteronomy; the message of Moses in 6:4 “Hear O’Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is one”.

-The Gospel of Mark; we find the message of Jesus, “Hear O’Israel the Lord your God is one God”.

-The Quran chapter 112 “Say He Allah,  Allah the Eternal, Absolute’.

WHO DOES THE QURAN ADDRESS

The Quran addresses:

-Mankind, stating that the Quran is a mercy to all mankind.

The Quran also states that Muhammad is a mercy to all mankind.

Most of mankind have not read the Quran, yet God addresses them directly and indirectly.

-The scientific community to include embryologists, oceanologists, astrologers and others.

-People of different beliefs:

Addressing the Jews, as “Children of Israel” and the Christians as “people of the Gospel” and others.

THE MUSLIM RELIGION

When addressing Muslims in Chapter twenty-two, the Quran informs the Muslims that their religion is the religion of their father Abraham who did not join gods with God.

Abraham’s religion was belief in one God.

In Chapter three the Quran informs mankind that Abraham was not a Jew nor a Christian, for neither Moses nor Christ had appeared.

The Quran informs us that Abraham was a man true in faith and submitted his will to the will of God.

THE STORY OF ABRAHAM BEING ASKED TO SACRIFICE HIS SON

The Bible and the Quran tell the story of how Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son.

Abraham submitted to the one and only God and God replaced his son with a lamb.

ABIDING BY THE COMMANDMENTS

Abiding by the commandments is submission.

The Quran instructs Muslims to obey Allah and obey his messenger.

This is the same as The Old Testament at Genesis 26:5 “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.”

In the Gospel of John, Jesus informs his followers at 14: 15 “If you love me keep my commands”.

Matthew 5:17 “do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them”.

Quran 5:46 “and in their footsteps (that is the footsteps of earlier prophets) we sent Jesus the son of Mary confirming the law that came before him, We sent him the Gospel; therein was guidance and a light and a confirmation of the law that had come before him; a guidance and an admonition for those who guard against evil”.

PEACE/SALAM

The word Islam comes from the same root letters as the word peace. Thus, submission to the will of Allah brings about a state of peace by way of submission.

CONCLUSION

Muslims believe in:

-God.

-the same God who Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus believed in.

-that Muhammad is the last and final prophet.

-the commandments of all the prophets from Adam to Muhammad.

-the day of Judgement.

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