2009

15 October 2009

Pembrokeshire’s AMs Urge People To Get Free Energy Advice Booklet

Pembrokeshire residents are being urged by their AMs to get hold of a free booklet to help them save money and stay warm this winter.

The "Little Book of Energy" is full of practical tips and advice that can help people cut their energy bills.

"By calling the freephone number 0800 33 66 99 anyone can get hold of a copy," said shadow Welsh Environment Minister and South Pembrokeshire AM Angela Burns.

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Pembrokeshire Schools Left In Disrepair As Budget Slashed

Pembrokeshire's school buildings may be left in disrepair because the improvement budget for Welsh schools has been slashed by ore than a third.

The figure set aside for repairs to Welsh schools has gone from £99 million to £65 million in the recent local government settlement.

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies fears that the number of school buildings in the county needing repairs will only increase.

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School Buildings Budget Grant Cut By A Third

THE schools building improvement grant has been slashed by more than a third in the recent local government settlement.

The figure has gone from £99million to £65million.

Shadow Local Government Minister Darren Millar said:

"In 2000, the Assembly Government made a commitment to get all school buildings in Wales into good physical shape by 2010.

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14 October 2009

Pembrokeshire Businesses Facing Business Rates Time Bomb

Pembrokeshire's small businesses have been handed a business rates time bomb, say the County's Conservative Assembly Members.

Shops, restaurants and hotels across the county have been getting new rateable valuations in the post in the past few weeks.

"I have had an avalanche of calls from worried businesses, some have been told their valuation has increased almost three‐fold," said Mrs Burns.

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Tough Times Ahead As Council Deals With One Of Lowest Budget Increases In Wales

Pembrokeshire's Conservative AMs are warning of tough times ahead as the county council deals with one of the lowest budget increases in Wales.

Pembrokeshire County Council has been awarded a 1.4% yearly increase in its budget by the Welsh Assembly Government‐ compared to a Welsh average of 2%.

Angela Burns and Paul Davies now fear that local authority jobs or front line services may have to be cut to meet any shortfall– or council tax bills raised.

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11 October 2009

AM's Concerns As Volunteer Ambulance Service Faces Uncertain Future

Pembrokeshire's volunteer car ambulance service is facing an uncertain future, Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies can reveal.

The service relies on an army of volunteers to ferry patients without cars or access to public transport to and from hospital.

But it is now facing cutbacks because the service has been giving more lifts than it was contracted to provide.

"It seems there has been a fairly major cutback in the number of miles per week that the service has been told it can provide," said Mr Davies.

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09 October 2009

Lapse In GP Out-Of-Hours Cover Worries AM

An admission that Pembrokeshire was left without GP cover overnight once last month is of great concern to local AM Paul Davies

The GP who was due to look after the county at the end of September was sick so cover was provided instead by a GP in Ceredigion.

Until last October there were three GPs based in Pembroke, Tenby and Haverfordwest who provided cover for the county through the night and at weekends.

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02 October 2009

Almost Every Planning Decision In Pembrokeshire Is Made By Unelected Officers

A U‐turn on cuts to Pembrokeshire's volunteer car ambulance service has been welcomed by Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies.

The service relies on an army of volunteers to ferry patients without cars or access to public transport to and from hospital.

But it was told at one point that it would have to dramatically reduce its mileage because it was giving more lifts than it was contracted to provide.

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25 September 2009

Findings Of Haverfordwest Access Study Revealed At Welsh Assembly

A major study into accessibility carried out in Haverfordwest has revealed that disabled people are still excluded from many high street shops.

Disability Wales chose the Pembrokeshire town to carry out the research for its "Streets Ahead" survey earlier this year.

The organisation sent 38 disabled mystery shoppers into the town centre during March and April. They discovered problems with physical access, staff attitudes and communication.

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Paul Davies AM Calls For Crippling Business Rates To Be Cut

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies is calling for business rates to be cut by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Mr Davies is supporting Fishguard Town Council's bid to get a 12‐month business rate holiday to help them survive the recession.

He is also supporting the many other traders throughout the county who have told him that business rates are crippling them.

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Fear Of Uncertain Future Under Glastir Raised With Minister

The Welsh Rural Affairs Minister must spell out the details of the Glastir programme as soon as possible, says local AM Paul Davies.

Mr Davies has written to Elin Jones to pass on the concerns of farming groups that not enough is known about the new land management scheme that's due to come into operation from 2012.

The £89 million a year Glastir programme will replace the existing Tir Gofal, Tir Cynnal, Tir Mynydd, the Organic Farming Scheme and Better Woodlands for Wales schemes.

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24 September 2009

Blood Pressure Check For AM As Part Of Stroke Campaign

Paul Davies AM has had his blood pressure checked as part of a stroke awareness campaign.

The test was carried out by the Stroke Association as part of Healthy Living Week.

"Many people are suffering from undiagnosed high blood pressure and this is the single biggest risk factor for stroke," said Mr Davies. "Getting your blood pressure tested is quick, simple and painless."

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23 September 2009

Childrens Learning Threatened By Fresh Funding Concerns

COMMENTING on today's report that teachers are concerned about the future funding of the Foundation Phase early years learning programme, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies AM said:

"Teachers, parents and pupils have every reason to be worried.

"There have been concerns over funding for this initiative ever since it was launched. It's almost as if through her own incompetence, the minister was setting it up to fail.

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11 September 2009

Pembrokeshire Business Hit By Funding Fiasco

Pembrokeshire businesses are being hit by a funding fiasco which means that European grant aid is getting tied up in Cardiff Bay. EU aid used to be handed directly to initiatives in target areas. But now it is paid via the Welsh Assembly Government in Cardiff Bay with the result that it is being delayed by bureaucracy.

"It is quite clear that this money is now taking longer to get to the areas that most need it," said South Pembrokeshire AM Angela Burns. She and Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies were briefed on the situation by board members of Pembrokeshire Business Initiative at a recent meeting.

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Ambulances Still Taking Too Long To Reach Emergencies

Pembrokeshire's Conservative Assembly Members are worried that four in ten ambulances in the county are taking longer than eight minutes to respond to emergency 999 calls.

New figures show that 59.5 per cent of ambulances called out during July arrived on the scene within the target time of eight minutes.

"Our ambulance crews are doing a great job but many are still not reaching emergency call outs such as suspected heart attacks within eight minutes," said Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies.

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