Category Archives: Community

Council considers Pembrokeshire City of Culture bid

THE CITY of St Davids, the smallest city in the UK, could soon be in the running to be named as the UK’s City of Culture for 2021.

Pembrokeshire County Council is exploring the possibility of making the bid and a report is set to go before Cabinet on Monday, February 13.

The deadline for registering an interest in applying is at the end of this month.

It had not yet been possible to discuss the matter with all the key partners but steps are in place to do so as soon as possible.

Although any bid will have to involve the local authority, the Council’s Director of Development, Dr Steven Jones, says that St Davids City Council would be an obvious lead organisation.

The City Council is scheduled to consider the City of Culture opportunity tonight (February 6th).

Dr Jones said that initial discussions with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and partners on the Pembrokeshire Public Service Board had been ‘very supportive.’

The report says that the aim of the UK City of Culture programme is to encourage the use of culture and creativity as a catalyst for economic and social regeneration, to promote the development of new partnerships, and to encourage ambition, innovation and inspiration in cultural and creative activity.

Any area outside of London is eligible to apply. Part of the programme can also be delivered in a wider hinterland. However, bids with a strong central focus will be favoured.

In making the case for St Davids, the report states: ‘St Davids is Britain’s smallest city; it is also a spiritual, historical and cultural centre of major significance in Wales.  It is steeped in history and heritage with a remarkable asset base for its size, including for example a fine Cathedral, palace and a national gallery.

‘It has successfully hosted large-scale events such as the annual St Davids Cathedral Festival and the National Eisteddfod which came to the city in 2002.

‘St Davids and the surrounding area also benefits from a number of community and business leaders, and significant social capital from the wider community that could be brought to bear in support of an application.’

Dr Jones says that there is also a case to be made beyond St Davids, perhaps including North Pembrokeshire and as far as Fishguard.

At next week’s meeting, Cabinet Members will be asked to endorse the principle of a Stage 1 application and to begin discussions with a number of stakeholders.

The aim of the City of Culture initiative, which is administered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, is to ‘build on the success of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture 2008, which had significant social and economic benefits for the area’.

Derry, Londonderry was given the first title of City of Culture in 2013 and it was given to Kingston upon Hull for 2017.

Pembrokeshire ranked 5th happiest place in Wales

A NEW study has revealed that Pembrokeshire is ranked 5th on a list of the happiest places to live in Wales.

It ranks behind only Vale of Glamorgan, Anglesey, Powys and Wrexham.

The rankings were based on four questions about personal well-being, which were:

  • Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?
  • Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
  • Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?
  • Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?

The survey asked people to answer on a 10 point scale, with 0 being ‘not at all’ and 10 being ‘completely’.

The full list was:

Vale of Glamorgan 7.68
Anglesey 7.67
Powys 7.59
Wrexham 7.59
Pembrokeshire 7.55
Denbighshire 7.55
Conwy 7.52
Bridgend 7.52
Gwynedd 7.51
Monmouthshire 7.49
Ceredigion 7.46
Swansea 7.46
Carmarthenshire 7.45
Flintshire 7.43
Cardiff 7.41
Neath Port Talbot 7.38
Blaenau Gwent 7.35
Torfaen 7.30
Rhondda Cynon Taf 7.29
Caerphilly 7.28
Merthyr Tydfil 7.27
Newport 7.24

The data was gathered from January to September last year.

Fishguard and Goodwick Round Table hand over £1500 to Paul Sartori Foundation

Fishguard and Goodwick Round Table presented the Paul Sartori Foundation with a cheque for a whopping £1,500 at their recent January meeting.

The tablers met at the Pendre Inn, Fishguard, to hand the cheque over to Paul Sartori representative Ceri Price.

The money was raised through a series of fundraisers including a bed push collection at Withybush hospital, a street collection in St Davids and from the donations taken during last summer’s sea swim at the raft race in 2016.

Local fundraisers are crucial to the Paul Sartori Foundation. If you have an idea for a local fundraiser, but would like some help and advice, the you can contact Toni Dorkings, the Foundation’s Community Fundraiser, either via email or by phoning 01437 763223.

Port of Milford Haven to host £100,000 Powerboat P1 National Championships’s Welsh Grand Prix in July 2017

MILFORD Haven will host an ‘action-packed’ weekend of powerboat racing this summer.

The Powerboat P1 National Championships’s Welsh Grand Prix will take place between July 14 and 16.

Following in the footsteps of Ironman and Red Bull Cliff Diving, the adrenalin-fuelled event is expected to further grow Pembrokeshire’s reputation as a host of world-class events.

Centered around the new Milford Waterfront development, this will be the only venue in Wales to welcome the powerboat racers in 2017.

Neil Jenkins, Destination Director at the Port of Milford Haven, said “Attracting world-class events is a key part of Milford Waterfront’s strategy and we’ve worked closely with Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire County Council to bring the P1 National Championships to Pembrokeshire.

“This will be an outstanding event which will help in drawing international attention to Pembrokeshire and Wales.

“We are looking forward to working with local businesses and community groups in the run up to the event to maximise the economic benefit and to ensure racers and spectators leave wanting to come back.”

It is understood the event will cost around £100,000 to host.

To date, the Port of Milford Haven has received backing of £30,000 from the Welsh Government, and £10,000 from Pembrokeshire County Council, plus support in kind.

At its recent precept meeting, Milford Town Council voted to delay making a general donation, and will instead meet with the Port to discuss funding a specific part of the event.

The Grand Prix fits well with the Port’s vision of revitalising the existing waterfront, transforming it into a retail and maritime ‘destination’.

Its plans to redevelop the area are predicted to create around 600 local jobs, and boost the local economy.

Racers will use Milford Waterfront as their base throughout the event, and the Port has said there will also be “exciting build-up activities, events and hospitality” for spectators.

The race itself is set to feature Pembrokeshire’s own Powerboating team, Daisy and Sam Coleman, who are sponsored by Milford Waterfront in 2017.

The team, Coleman Racing, claimed the P1 Superstock National Championship title in Bournemouth last year and were the first team in the series’ history to podium at every event.

They will be using Milford Waterfront as their base for training and testing throughout the winter, as well as hosting experience days in the coming year with a variety of boats and jet skis on show.

Member of Little and Broad Haven RNLI awarded MBE in New Year Honours

A Welsh life-saver has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

Vivienne Grey, a volunteer crewmember at Little and Broad Haven RNLI since 1990, has been involved in more than 120 ‘shouts’ on the lifeboat and is credited directly for saving the lives of eight people.

She has also volunteered with the local Coastguard Rescue Team for the past 10 years.

A highlight during her time with the RNLI was the rescue of a small boy from the foot of cliffs in 2004. In very rough seas, the lifeboat was maneuvered close to the cliff base and she, with the aid of her crew, managed to get the boy on board.


More recently her skills were needed to rescue two young children spotted clinging to an open kayak in St Brides Bay in the summer of 2015. Her knowledge of the coastline and seamanship ensured that they were found moments before drowning, recovered and returned safely to shore.

Since 2008, Vivienne has also held the voluntary role of Lifeboat Training Coordinator at the lifeboat station. She coaches and mentors her fellow crew members, ensuring that the high standards of training are maintained.

She is particularly keen to bring on younger members of the team and her interest in encouraging young people is continued through her full-time job teaching in the local primary school.

She is also a mother-of-two and has enlisted her husband, mother and stepfather into volunteering at the station and fundraising branch.

 Speaking about receiving her aware, Vivienne said: “I am honoured and extremely proud to receive an MBE for my work with the RNLI. I have been on the crew at Little and Broad Haven for over 25 years and I have been very lucky to serve with so many amazing crew and members of the wider RNLI family.

“Little Haven is a small community and this award recognises the hard work of the whole crew and also the support which the village gives the lifeboat. To know that when the pagers go off, we can go to sea and make a difference to someone’s life is why we volunteer and I am thankful and proud to be part of the RNLI.”

RNLI Chief Executive Paul Boissier said: “There is no doubt that Vivienne is a shining light at Little and Broad Haven RNLI, galvanising and motivating the crew, fundraisers, local community and her primary school students with her exceptional dedication and all round wonderful positivity. “She is held in the upmost regard by all the crew and this is due to her extensive experience, knowledge and professionalism – having the highest attendance for shouts at the station exemplifies her dedication.”

Other Pembrokeshire people honoured were  Brian John Harries for charitable services in Haverfordwest and Martyn Lloyd Williams, the chairman of the Saundersfoot Festivities Association, for services to charities in Pembrokeshire.

Both receive the British Empire Medal.

Cyclists’ Children in Need tribute to Sir Terry Wogan


A group of fundraising cyclists will pay a unique tribute to Sir Terry Wogan for Children in Need.

Fishguard and District Round Table members are travelling to the broadcaster’s birth place in Limerick in Ireland on Tuesday, before cycling home to Pembrokeshire.

Sir Terry died in January, aged 77.


He was life president of the charity and had hosted the annual telethon every year from its first appearance in 1980 to 2015.

A round table spokesman said of the fundraiser: “We felt this would be a great tribute to a man who has given so much to the Children in Need charity.”

The group will cycle the 125 miles from Limerick to Rosslare Harbour over two days, before boarding the ferry back to Fishguard.

On the ferry they will use an exercise bike to cover the 55 miles (88 km) at sea.



Thorne Island and Napoleonic fort off the Angle Peninsular goes on sale

A UNIQUE opportunity to buy a ten-bedroom Napoleonic fortress located on an island off the Angle Peninsular has presented itself to a savvy investor.

Thorne Island, which was built in the 1850s to protect Milford Haven from seaborne attacks from the French, has gone on the market for just £550,000.

The Grade II-listed fort is situated a quarter of a mile off the mainland and was designed for a garrison of 100 men.

The historic property was used as a hotel in the 1980s and 90s and has been uninhabited for over ten years. It is now in a state of disrepair.

Ten bedrooms are contained mainly on the ground floor, centred on a large courtyard.

There are also three reception rooms, three bathrooms, a sauna, kitchen and numerous outbuildings.

Access to the property is only by boat, but one of the previous owners obtained planning permission to build a cable car, linking the island to the mainland.

After going on the market in 2011, the island was bought by businessman James Gardner, of Kent Mushrooms, for £750,000.

Mr Gardner, who collects forts, said: “I bought it on a whim a few years ago. It’s now surplus to requirements.

“It was in a reasonable condition when I bought it and it’s exactly as it was.

“My intention was to use a charter helicopter company to access the island. But it needs a helicopter with two engines and there wasn’t a charter company in Pembrokeshire with two.”

“It’s a magical place and the scale of it is mindboggling.”

A caretaker currently visits the island once a week to keep it in check.

The fortress is powered by two diesel generators that are in need of replacement, according to Mr Gardner.

thorne thorne2


Free parking for Christmas shoppers

CHRISTMAS shoppers in Pembrokeshire are set to receive a festive boost after Pembrokeshire County Council agreed to offer free weekend car parking throughout December.

The move, designed to support town centres by encouraging people to shop locally over the Christmas period applies to all council-run car parks in the County.

“Christmas is the busiest shopping period of the year and we want people to support their local shops,” said Cabinet Member for Transportation and Major Events Councillor Rob Lewis.

“We’re offering free weekend parking in December in a bid to encourage this and the decision also applies to Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.”

Free parking in December will be available on: December 3, December 4, December 10, December 11, December 17, December 18, December 24, December 25, December 26 and December 31.

A Family Affair



Over eighty people joined with Raydene Waters from Begelly recently at the Begelly Arms in raising funds in support of the Chemotherapy Day Unit at Withybush Hospital. An evening of dining, entertainment and fundraising resulted in an amazing £1,905 being raised for local charity Withybush Hospital CDU Appeal on behalf of the Unit. Supported by members of her family, Raydene’s aim was to give something back to the nursing and clinical team at the CDU for their skills and emotional support shown during treatment.

Bernie George, charity trustee who attended the event to receive the donation outlined the efforts of the charity and how it was supporting plans for the new CDU currently under construction. He added “Raydene and her daughter Pauline have worked so very hard to raise this amount which will be used to provide for the practical needs of the nursing team and patients who need to access the services of the CDU now and in the future.”


Pictured are (l-r) Louise Waters, Gwenda Howells, Pauline Davies, Bernie George (charity trustee) Raydene Waters, Teddy and Audrey George

Pembroke: Six-year-old honoured at British Citizen Youth Awards


THE INAUGURAL inaugural British Citizen Youth Awards – honouring young people who have positively impacted society, communities, charities or other good causes – took place at the Palace of Westminster.

Twenty youngsters – from across the country – were honoured, with each having their own unique and inspiring story, including six-year-old Elly Neville from Pembroke.

The medal presentation ceremony, which is in association with Specsavers, cast a light on some of the nation’s brightest stars of the future.

The awards were presented by Kimberly Wyatt of the Pussycat Dolls, whose band has sold over 55 million records worldwide.

Elly Neville, a six-year-old girl from Pembroke, has helped raise more than £50,000 for Ward 10, a dedicated cancer ward, at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest.

Ward 10 is special to Elly and her family because her 54-year-old father, Lyn, needed a bone marrow transplant in 2005 after he was diagnosed with blood cancer. Over the following four years he was a regular visitor to the ward for treatment, and he now visits a London hospital once a year for check-ups.

Despite being told that he wouldn’t be able to have any more children, Lyn’s wife, Ann, gave birth to Elly not long after his treatment ended. This was seen as a miracle considering what they had been through in the very same hospital just years prior.

In April 2015, Elly won £20 in a school competition for her collage of the Pembrokeshire county flag. She decided that she wanted to raffle the flag to raise money to go towards the refurbishment of the Ward 10, which was the start of her fundraising campaign called ‘Elly’s Ward 10 Flag Appeal.’

She has continued to fundraise in the community, with her family organising fun days and local people helping with activities such as bungee jumping off Cleddau Bridge, which have all added to the ever increasing tally on her Just Giving Page.

The money Elly has raised has gone towards improving the ‘patient environment and experience’ at Ward 10, adding in equipment that the Hywel Dda University Health Board couldn’t finance, such as a high-spec ‘Sara Stedy’ enhanced standing aid to allow patients to go to the toilet. The health board has since stated that it will submit a bid to the Welsh Government later this year for funds to refurbish the ward.

Elly’s father, Lyn, said: “Seeing Elly receive her award was inspiring. It was a wonderful way to celebrate all of her fundraising achievements for Ward 10 and it was an honour to meet with other families of young people who have done amazing things to improve the lives of others.”

Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers, said: “The society we live in tomorrow will be shaped by the children of today, which is why championing amazing young role models is so very important.

“The young people that become the recipients of the first British Citizen Youth Awards will, I am sure, inspire other youngsters to emulate their good work and embody the spirit of transparency, integrity, determination and achievement that define these awards.’

“Whatever it is that they have done to make a significant impact on society, their community, a charity or other good cause, it will have been with a selflessness and commitment that deserves to be publically acknowledged. These unsung heroes are the rising stars of the future – let us shine a light on them and celebrate!”