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Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest closed to ALL visitors due to COVID numbers

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Hywel Dda University Health Board has announced that Withybush Hospital is closing to all visitors with immediate effect due to increased cases of COVID-19 in the hospital, and the nearby community.

The hospital has said that there will very few exceptions, such as end of life or critical visits – and all visitors will have to take a lateral flow test before arriving.

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Visitors are also being told to wear a face mask to the hospital, which will be replaced with a surgical face mask at the hospital’s reception.

They are also being reminded about the need for social distancing and washing hands as often as possible with soap and water or hand sanitiser.

In an online statement, the health board said: “The situation is being monitored at regular intervals and a further update will be made when visitor restrictions are lifted.

“We thank everyone for your understanding at this time while we work to stop the spread of this virus.”

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Business

Fourth-generation Haverfordwest jeweller invests in 155 year old family business

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Fourth generation jeweller Paul Howells has completed the refurbishment of his 155-year-old family business, bringing an adjoining retail outlet back to life and safeguarding four jobs in the market town of Haverfordwest.

Established in 1866 by Paul’s great-grandfather, Howells Jewellers occupies a prime position on Quay Street in Haverfordwest.

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A six-figure loan from the Development Bank of Wales and funding from Pembrokeshire County Council’s Houses into Homes Empty Property Scheme, designed to bring empty properties back in to use, has enabled the refurbishment of the double fronted shop and creation of four new apartments.

Offering views of the river, each of the two-bedroom apartments are to be rented to local people looking for quality accommodation in Haverfordwest.

Paul Howells said: “We’re really proud of our family business and enjoy the job that we do; helping our customers to choose the perfect jewellery. However, our building was in a bad state of repair and needed refurbishing in-order to secure the long-term success of the business and give the property a new lease of life. The funding from the Development Bank and Pembrokeshire Council has enabled us to restore the building with a smart new shop-front and four new apartments, safeguarding our future and helping the town to prosper.”

Paul Howells, Howells Jewellers

Richard Easton is a portfolio executive with the Development Bank of Wales. He said: “Buying jewellery is still one purchase that most people want to do in person rather than on-line so there remains strong demand for high-quality high street jewellers like Howells.

“With a very loyal following, Howells has been an integral part of Haverfordwest for over 155 years. Our investment has helped to protect this legacy, safeguard jobs, create new homes and support a sustainable and successful future for a long-standing and highly respected local business.”

The Wales Business Fund is part-funded by the ERDF through the Welsh Government. It was created specifically to support businesses with fewer than 250 employees based in Wales and those willing to move to Wales with loans and equity packages from £50,000 up to £2 million.

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(Lead image: L-R Paul Howells, Howells Jewellers, Richard Easton, Development Bank of Wales)

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Haverfordwest

‘Unpleasant’ trader must pay over £19,000 for shoddy shed work

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A man who carried out substandard work on a shed in north Pembrokeshire and became unpleasant when challenged has been ordered to pay over £19,000.

Benjamin Michael Davies, trading as BMD Agricultural Sheds, appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Monday 22nd November, for a case brought by Pembrokeshire Trading Standards.

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Davies, aged 31, was charged with and admitted five offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Davies pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a commercial practice which was a misleading action; one count of engaging in a commercial practice which contravened the requirements of professional diligence; and three counts of engaging in a commercial practice which was aggressive. 

All five offences relate to substandard repairs that were made to a shed roof in in 2020. 

The victim arranged with Davies to carry out repairs to the roof of an outbuilding. 

The work carried out was not of acceptable standard nor in accordance with what was originally agreed.

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When challenged on the standard of the work, Davies became unpleasant. 

An expert report later confirmed the work was not satisfactory and lacked competence, including several areas where water ingress continues.

The court heard the victim was vulnerable due to personal circumstances and the incident impacted their mental health.

The victim had been left with no finances to rectify the work carried out.

Davies, of Tanbank, Prendergast, was fined £6000 plus ordered to pay £2487 costs and a £190 victim surcharge.

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A compensation order for £10,500 to include £500 for emotional distress was also awarded to the victim.

Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Cllr Cris Tomos, said: “This was a very upsetting situation and I am grateful to our Trading Standards team for bringing this case and securing the convictions and the award of a substantial compensation award for the victim.

“When members of the public engage a professional they are entitled to receive a professional service.

“The fact that in this case Davies became unpleasant when challenged on the standard of his work added another level of distress to the vulnerable victim.

“I hope this case and the outcome acts as a reminder that Pembrokeshire Trading Standards will investigate complaints and take the case forward at every possible opportunity.”

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(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Western Quayside demolition underway

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Demolition work is underway at Western Quayside in Haverfordwest (the former Ocky White building) as part of a major construction project to redevelop the site.

Commenced earlier this year, the project will provide a modern and stylish three-storey development, including a food emporium, bar and roof-top terrace.

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The Pembrokeshire County Council scheme incorporates public realm improvements including an attractive waterfront square with space for events which could extend its use into the early evening.

The demolition is due to be finished by mid-December, when works will move on to the installation of the substructure foundations and then onto the steel work installation in the New Year. The project is anticipated to be complete in early 2023.

The scheme is funded by the Welsh Government Transforming Towns programme and the Building for the Future programme through the European Regional Development Fund. The contractors are John Weavers Ltd.  

Rachel Moxey, Head of Economic Development and Regeneration, said the development, combined with its potential for leisure and community use, aimed to encourage greater vitality and resilience within the town centre over time.

“The project is evidence of the Authority’s commitment to support the regeneration of Pembrokeshire’s county town,” she said. “Not only will it help drive footfall to Haverfordwest, it will also support business growth and create an additional community hub.”

Artists impression of the completed project (Image: Pembrokeshire Council)

Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “Our Transforming Towns programme is providing £136 million to further support the economic and social recovery of town and city centres across Wales, building on existing investment of £800 million in over 50 of our towns since 2014.

“Transforming Towns is focussed on improving biodiversity and green infrastructure, repurposing neglected properties, increasing flexible working and living space, and providing access to services.

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“Our town centre first policy means that town centres should be the first consideration for all decisions on the location of workplaces and services. Our town and city centres face many challenges which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“That’s why we are investing heavily to ensure that our towns not only survive but thrive, and we are brave in reinvigorating them into places where people want to spend their time.”

Local County Councillor Tom Tudor welcomed the progress on site: “Combined with other initiatives taking place, I am very optimistic that Haverfordwest Town Centre will become a thriving commercial and residential location of choice, creating a distinct destination and sense of place,” he said.

(Lead Image: Pembrokeshire Council)

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