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Pembroke

Works start at South Quay regeneration site in Pembroke

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Work has started on the highly anticipated South Quay regeneration project in Pembroke.

Ambitious plans by Pembrokeshire County Council will see the site next to Pembroke Castle developed into a Visitor Centre, celebrating the town’s history and heritage and incorporating a new Library and Café.

The scheme will also include major enhancements to the public realm and landscaping improvements and public access to the building’s gardens at the rear.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economic Development, welcomed work starting on site.

“I’m delighted to see work getting underway. These buildings, right in the heart of Pembroke, have been left to rot for more than a decade by previous Council administrations but thankfully no longer. I am committed to Pembroke and am personally determined to help the town see a brighter future.

“Our investment in South Quay is just the first and most visible part of our commitment to the future of Pembroke and I’m looking forward to engaging with the community on the next steps over the coming months.”

The enabling works, undertaken by contractors Lloyd and Gravell are to ready the site for the development contract. They include the clearing and preparation of the site ready for the stabilisation of derelict buildings in Castle Terrace.  

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The South Quay project has secured £901,590 of Welsh Government Transforming Towns funding to support delivery of the first stage enabling works.

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn said: “The regeneration of South Quay is a fantastic example of how support though our Transforming Towns programme can be used to breathe new life into an old building to create a centre that will become as asset to the local community and celebrate the town’s history.  I look forward to seeing how this work progresses.”

Cllr Aaron Carey, County Councillor for Pembroke St Mary South, said it was good to see progress on site.

“No amount of plans or drawings can prepare you for the huge task at hand when the project is seen up close,” he said.

“We as a community are putting our generation’s mark on a thousand year old town and it’s really exciting to see the work being started on site after so many years as an eyesore in the castle’s shadow.”

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Lead Image: Cllr Paul Miller and Cllr Aaron Carey at South Quay in Pembroke. (Pembrokeshire Council)


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Business

Investment releases Industrial Valve Services’ untapped potential

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South Wales-based Industrial Valve Services (IVS) is eyeing further growth as it enters its fifth decade and celebrates five successful years since being acquired by Amcomri Group.

IVS, whose main site is in Swansea, was given a new lease of life when it was taken over by Amcomri Group which acquires and develops quality British engineering and manufacturing businesses.

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Investment in facilities and staff at the 40-year-old company, including the appointment of managing director Steve Jones, has resulted in significant growth.

IVS has seen strong demand for its valve repair, refurbishment and on-site maintenance services as industrial companies seek to extend the life of their existing equipment and monitor its condition.

Turnover has risen by 150 per cent and headcount has increased with IVS acquiring Reliance Control Systems in 2018 and a state-of-the-art workshop facility in Pembroke in 2021.

“IVS was standing still five years ago, but Amcomri Group recognised its potential and by working closely together we’ve taken some big strides forward,” explained Steve Jones.

“A fresh focus on customers, quality and our technical expertise has helped us to attract new business from across the UK and Europe. We’re now looking to build on this very solid foundation.”

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This transformation has been recognised by IVS’s customers, which range from multi-national companies to SMEs operating in industrial sectors including power, chemical, refining and food processing.

Hugh Whitcomb, CEO of Amcomri Group, said: “IVS is a fantastic company and we’re proud of its achievements over the past five years.

“The range of services IVS provides is increasingly relevant as our customers look to maximise both the life and returns of their industrial assets and we look forward to supporting its continuing expansion.”

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Dyfed Powys Police

Manslaughter conviction for Pembrokeshire man who attacked friend in his own home

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A man who inflicted fatal injuries on his friend during a violent attack in his victim’s own home has been convicted of manslaughter following a trial at Swansea Crown Court.

Nathaniel Nuttall, aged 32, of Tenby Court in Monkton, Pembroke, attacked neighbour and friend Lee Thomas in his maisonette – punching him to the floor before stamping on his head ‘several times’ on 13 October 2021.

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Nuttall, who lived above his victim, then called for an ambulance.

During the call, when asked if the patient was breathing, Nuttall replied: “He’s still breathing yeah, no he’s unconscious but he’s still breathing.”

Nuttall was asked what happened, to which he has responded: “Basically he started on me and I just punched him a few times in the face and stamped on his face several times”.

Following the call, the ambulance service contacted Dyfed-Powys Police, whose officers were first on the scene and found Mr Thomas unconscious in the living floor room, laying in a significant amount of blood.

His face was swollen and his breathing laboured. Paramedics arrived soon after and began working to save him.

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At this point, PC Cranmer asked Nuttall what had happened, and he replied: “I fing did it”. The officer then asked what had gone on and Nuttall said: “I don’t know, he was just like this stupid little boy and all this and I just went like pffft, f off out my face,” while miming a punching action.

Mr Thomas was conveyed to the Intensive Care Unit, University of Wales Hospital, Cardiff by the Wales Air Ambulance with serious head injuries. He subsequently died on the 10th November 2021 having never regained consciousness.

During a police interview, Nuttall provided a prepared statement and initially answered “no comment”, before stating that Mr Thomas had slapped him across the face, which Nuttall said was why he “punched him to the face a few times”, causing him to fall down.

Nuttall claimed he then kicked and stamped on Mr Thomas’ face approximately five times while he was laying on the floor.

When it was put to him, Nuttall accepted his force was excessive and not self-defence.

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Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police established that Mr Thomas had a number of underlying health concerns, had limited mobility, often requiring a walking stick to get around, with friends and family saying he was too weak to get into a fight, so would not have started one.

Nuttall was fully aware of Mr Thomas’ deteriorating health and claimed to be an ‘unofficial carer’.

The jury at Swansea Crown Court today returned a verdict of guilty for manslaughter after being unable to return a verdict for murder following a five-day trial.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Estelle Hopkin-Davies said: “Nuttall tried to argue self-defence but the level of injuries inflicted on his victim, whose head had been stamped on multiple times as he lay defenceless on his living room floor, just didn’t match his claims.

“This was a serious and prolonged attack that resulted in a 41-year-old man’s death.

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“What makes this case particularly upsetting is that Nuttall was fully aware of his friend’s underlying health and mobility problems but still went on to viciously assault him.

“We’re pleased to have secured this conviction, which we hope will give some closure to Mr Thomas’ loved ones.

“They have gone through an incredibly difficult time but have done so with dignity, which I commend.

“I would also like to thank my colleagues at Dyfed-Powys Police and the Crown Prosecution Service who have worked incredibly hard to secure this convection.”

Nuttall will be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, 6 May.

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(Lead image: Dyfed Powys Police)

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Education

Planning permission granted for new Pembroke Welsh language primary school

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Pembrokeshire County Council’s Planning Committee has approved an application to build a new Welsh medium primary school in Pembroke.

The council say the school, named Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Penfro, will provide Welsh-language education for 210 pupils aged 5-11 along with a 30-place nursery provision and a Cylch Meithrin for children under the age of three.

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It is planned for the school to open in September 2023 and it will be located on the site of the old Pembroke School at Bush Hill, near Henry Tudor School.

Subject to final funding approvals from Welsh Government, construction on the site would commence in May 2022.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Cllr Guy Woodham, said he was delighted the project had received planning permission.

“We’re really excited that this project is progressing and has been granted planning approval,” he said. “It’s great news for Pembroke and surrounding area, and will go a long way towards expanding Welsh language education locally.”

And he said the Council was proud of the achievements made to date in mid and south Pembrokeshire.

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“Having recognised the appetite for Welsh-language education, we opened Ysgol Hafan y Mor in Tenby in 2016 and Ysgol Caer Elen in Haverfordwest in 2018 as a seedling 3-16 school, thereby offering additional secondary provision in Pembrokeshire,” he said.

“In 2023 we hope to open Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Penfro, replacing the dual stream provision at Ysgol Gelli Aur.

“Furthermore, Ysgol Croesgoch is now providing Welsh medium provision and both Ysgol Wdig and Ysgol Ger y Llan in Letterston have become Welsh medium schools.”

Artist’s impression of the new Ysgol Bro Penfro (Image: Pembrokeshire Council)

Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member for Environment and the Welsh Language, echoed Cllr Woodham’s comments in relation to the achievements made to date with regard to Welsh medium education.

“Children educated in Welsh at primary school have a wonderful life skill – the ability to communicate in two languages – as well as the enjoyment of a whole world of Welsh-language culture and great career opportunities when they’re older,” he said.

“It’s a great gift and I’m delighted at the progress being made.”

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Cllr Aaron Carey, Head of the Temporary Governing Body for Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Penfro, said: “I am very pleased that this important milestone has been reached in developing the school. A lot of work has already been put in by officers from PCC and the volunteers of the temporary governing body and I would like to extend my thanks to them all.”

(Lead image: Pembrokeshire Council)

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