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Haverfordwest

Kilgetty to Tenby bus service withdrawn due to driver shortages

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Taf Valley Coaches has confirmed that the 352 bus service between Ryeland’s Lane, Kilgetty and Tenby is to be temporarily withdrawn.

The last day of operation will be this Saturday, 6th November.

The service is operated commercially by Taf Valley Coaches and the operator has cited a driver shortage as the reason for the service being withdrawn.

Notices are being displayed on the buses used on the 352 service to inform existing service users.

The bus operators’s 381 service (Haverfordwest to Tenby) operates on an hourly basis and covers all of the 352 route, apart from Ryeland’s Lane and Sandy Hill Road.

The latter is covered by the 351 service (Tenby to Pendine).

It is hoped that 352 service will return once sufficient drivers are available.

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The news comes as operator First Cymru has also withdrawn a number of routes across South West Wales due to the driver shortage.

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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.

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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Haverfordwest

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.

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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New community cafe to provide ‘opportunity’ for people of Haverfordwest

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A new community space has opened at the former Wimpy in Haverfordwest’s Riverside Shopping Centre

@No5 Riverside offers a community café, ‘Library of Things’ and employment support – all in one town centre location.  

It follows a 6-month renovation project by Norman Industries as part of its supported employment programme, with funding from Welsh Government.

“The café will be a fantastic resource offering dedicated sessions to a wide range of community groups, including people with dementia or a learning disability, carers, and gentlemen’s groups,” said Cllr Tessa Hodgson, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services.

Known as ‘Caffi Cyfle’ (cyfle is the Welsh word for ‘opportunity’) the café is open 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. It is fully inclusive – please ask how to book a quiet time or about suitable food options.

Karen Davies, Programme Manager, said the café menu has been designed by Pembrokeshire’s neuro diverse community.

“The simple hot menu is designed to provide meals suitable for people of all ages removing the food that is often left on the side of the plate,” she said. “The small plate option recognises that people with small appetites want to be able to buy an appropriately sized meal saving money and food waste.”

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The café will also offer training and employment to people with barriers to employment including people with neurodiversity conditions.  

“We know that the hospitality sector has challenges recruiting staff and yet there is a large pool of people who could work in this industry given the right training and support,” said Karen.

“People with impairment and difference make excellent employees with low levels of absence and high levels of commitment. We already run a café in Milford Haven run by people with learning disability. We want to show the sector how this can be achieved in a busy town centre café environment.”

Library of Things (Image: Pembrokeshire Council)

The Library of Things offers people the opportunity to borrow items that they can’t afford or don’t want to buy. 

People can borrow a wide range of things such as a gazebo, lawnmower, pressure washer, wheelbarrow, children’s games or fancy dress.  

Cllr Cris Tomos, Pembrokeshire Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “We all have items that we have bought for one job, which have then sat in our cupboards gather dust never to be used again.

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“Now we have the opportunity to reduce the use of precious resources by borrowing the item rather than buying it for a fraction of the cost.

“The Library of Things is a fantastic opportunity for people in Pembrokeshire to contribute towards actions for the environment.”

The unit at No.5 Riverside stood empty for a number of years and took a significant investment to bring it back to life. Financial support was provided by a Circular Economy grant to support town centre regeneration from the Welsh Government.   

Caffi Cyfle (Image: Pembrokeshire Council)

Riverside Shopping Centre Manager Nigel Stroper said he was delighted to welcome @No5 to the Riverside Shopping Centre.

“I have been so impressed with the efforts of all concerned with this enterprise which brings real points of difference to both the shopping centre and town centre, the staff are so enthusiastic – they are a credit to the work done by Norman Industries,” he said.

“I am confident this is a great step forward in the regeneration work beginning in our lovely little town.”

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Local County Councillor Tom Tudor said it was a great initiative. “This is an excellent facility and very much welcomed for the centre of town,” he said. ”We wish it every success.”

Also based @No5 are the staff from Employability Pembrokeshire. During the day, the upstairs space will be used as a drop in space so that people can meet with the mentors from a wide range of employment projects that support progress into work. 

The team at Employability Pembrokeshire can help with training, work experience and getting paid work.  For people with a disability they can also help to assess and put in place support to ensure people have success in the work place.  

To borrow an item from the Library of Things you can visit www.pembrokeshirecircle.org and follow the share link. Items can also be booked at the counter in @No5.

Things that still work or could be repaired can be donated to the library so that others can use them. Items are repaired, tested and made available to others reducing waste going to landfill. Items can be dropped off @No5 or at Norman Industries.

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Lead image: (left to right): Jonathan Griffiths (Director of Social Services); Cllr Cris Tomos; Matthew Page, Café Assistant; Cllr Tessa Hodgson; Karen Davies and Marty Andrews, Café Manager. (Image: Pembrokeshire Council)

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