Pembrokeshire County Council – Leader’s Weekly Coronavirus Update

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Pembrokeshire County Council Leader, Councillor David Simpson, will be providing further coronavirus updates here:

Friday, 23rd October 2020

Yet another week has passed and we continue to be talking and tacking Covid-19.

‘The news we see and read every day, whether on TV, social media or newspapers, continues to highlight the major impact Covid-19 is having on our lives.

‘Indeed, as I write this message, we are just a few hours away from the Welsh Government’s 17-day ‘firebreak’ lockdown.

‘We want everyone to work together to ensure we are all observing with lockdown. I can confirm that officers will be out on the ground to ensure people and business are adhering to the guidance. We will be engaging, explaining and encouraging people to comply and, if we have issues, we will enforce.

‘I’m very aware that people in Pembrokeshire keep saying we are safe here and away from the pandemic. However, the number of cases in Pembrokeshire is rising. Covid-19 does not have boundaries or rules – we are all potentially at risk of catching this virus.

‘I want to emphasise that this week the Pembrokeshire numbers of positive coronavirus tests have risen to over 50 people per 100,000 – the rate at which local lockdown measures would have been considered by the Welsh Government.

Yesterday (Thursday), for example, 18 new positive cases were recorded in our county.

‘It is very simple – we all need to act now and pull together in one direction. We have to stop this virus spreading. It is impacting on lives, key services, economy, health provision and our general way of day-to-day living. Acting now can protect Pembrokeshire.

‘As the local authority, we are closing many services from this evening in line with Welsh Government advice. Primary services closing include:

  • Waste and Recycling Centres
  • Leisure Centres

‘I want to thank all the Council officers who continue to work hard to protect our services. Although in the past few days they have been working on shutting-down services, they will already be planning their re-opening.

‘I suppose some people may read my updates and say “well I’ll just carry on as normal” or “this doesn’t affect me” but it is so wrong to think that way.

‘Everyone – yes every individual – has a crucial role to play. Why be selfish? Why go against the advice? Why risk lives? Please I urge you all to take note of the guidance and pull together. Come on Team Pembrokeshire, together we are stronger.

‘I do find it hard to believe that I have been issuing these updates since March. Since then our lives have become engulfed by the pandemic – the invisible and feared coronavirus that has affected us all.

‘Everyone’s lives have changed and we all need to keep adopting to the changes.

‘I know when I sit at home to reflect on what is happening I feel very grateful for the support I have from colleagues, friends and the huge support that my family give me.

‘We all need support, someone to share our worries with. I know without my family, the days would be much harder.

‘So, I’m asking again for your support, to support each other. Ensure you keep motivated during this difficult period in our lives and keep the pandemic away from your door.

‘This weekend we all get an extra hour in bed on Sunday. Do not forget to turn your clocks back.

‘The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my update last Friday:

  • Phase Two of Freelancer Fund Opens:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/second-phase-of-freelancer-fund-opens

  • Council Considering ‘Firebreak’ Impact:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/council-considering-firebreak-implications

  • Community Hub Remains Open:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/community-hub-ready-to-offer-support-and-assistance-during-firebreak-lockdown

  • Follow Lockdown Rules Urge Leaders:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/follow-lockdown-rules-public-leaders-urge

  • Business Support Details Soon:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/business-support-details-coming-soon

  • WRCs To Close: Household Collections Continue:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/waste-and-recycling-centres-to-close-household-collections-to-continue

  • Library Service Changes:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/firebreak-changes-to-library-service

  • Info For Leisure Centre Users:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/temporary-closure-and-online-exercise-for-leisure-centre-users

  • Car Parks, Toilets, Play Areas Stay Open:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/council-car-parks-toilets-and-play-areas-to-remain-open-during-firebreak-lockdown

  • Building Maintenance And Airport Information:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/building-maintenance-and-airport-firebreak-information

  • Lockdown At Right Time For Pembs:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/firebreak-lockdown-comes-as-pembs-covid-cases-continue-to-rise

  • Helping The Lonely Get Online:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/new-initiative-to-help-lonely-get-online

‘Thank you for reading my updates, stay safe and take care of each other.

Friday, 16th October 2020

Welcome to another of my Leader’s Updates and I hope you are keeping safe and well.

‘As I emphasised in a press release earlier this week, we are approaching a critical phase in the fight against coronavirus with confirmed cases growing steadily in our county.

‘Without wishing to sound alarmist, I described it as ‘crunch time’ because if we don’t follow the safety advice now there is a real possibility of entering an extended nationwide lockdown again.

‘The seriousness of the situation was reinforced at lunchtime today when the First Minister gave notice that Wales faces a two-week lockdown.

‘Describing it as a “fire-break”, Mark Drakeford said it would serve as a short, sharp shock to slow down he spread of the virus. He added a final decision would be made on Monday.

‘Meanwhile, Welsh Government plans to ban entry to people from other areas of the UK with high coronavirus rates come into force this evening

‘These latest developments coincide with Pembrokeshire’s schools breaking up for half-term from today.

‘We want everyone – including our school staff and pupils – to remain safe during the holiday and follow the message of Hands, Face and Space.

‘The number of social contacts we all have needs to remain small if we are to keep the spread of the virus under control.

‘It is vitally  important that during the two week half-term break we all follow the guidelines set out by Welsh Government on visiting other households, a link for which can be found towards the end of this message.

‘The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my update last Friday:

  • Portfield School Closed:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/school-closed-as-precautionary-measure-following-positive-coronavirus-cases

  • Portfield School Update:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/portfield-school-update

  • Pupils Urged To Wear Face Coverings On Buses:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/school-bus-pupils-urged-to-keep-face-coverings-on-for-the-whole-journey

  • ‘Crunch Time’ For Pembs:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/coronavirus-crunch-time-for-pembrokeshire

  • Portfield School Closed All Week:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/portfield-school-to-remain-closed-this-week

  • Local Bus Services Increasing:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/local-bus-services-ramping-up-from-19th-october

  • Ysgol Bro Gwaun Covid Case:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/ysgol-bro-gwaun-year-11-learners-to-work-from-home-after-covid-19-case

  • Second Johnson School Case:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/further-confirmed-covid-19-case-at-johnston-cp-school

  • Enjoy Halloween Safely:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/think-carefully-to-prevent-spread-of-coronavirus-at-halloween

  • Year Groups Self-Isolate At Ysgol Harri Tudor:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/three-year-groups-at-ysgol-harri-tudur-to-self-isolate

  • Second Case At Ysgol Bro Gwaun:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/further-covid-19-case-confirmed-at-ysgol-bro-gwaun

  • Youth Team On The Road:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/targeted-youth-team-hit-the-road

  • No Self-Isolation At Milford Primary:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/milford-haven-community-primary-school-no-need-for-pupils-to-self-isolate

  • No Self-Isolation For Ysgol Harri Tudor:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/ysgol-harri-tudur-henry-tudor-school-update

‘Public Health Wales (PHW) publishes an interactive daily dashboard of data about coronavirus cases across Wales broken down by health board and local authority area, at: https://public.tableau.com/profile/public.health.wales.health.protection#!/vizhome/RapidCOVID-19virology-Public/Headlinesummary

‘PHW also provides a daily update focusing on key public health information and updates at: https://covid19-phwstatement.nhs.wales/

‘Information about coronavirus is available here on the Welsh Government’s website: https://gov.wales/coronavirus

‘Also, please keep an eye on our newsroom at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom

‘For service updates visit: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/emergency-planning/service-changes

‘And to get daily email updates, log onto our website and sign into My Account at:

https://myaccount.pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Friday, 9th October 2020

Welcome to another of my Leader’s Updates and I hope you are keeping safe and well.

‘This week I want to reach out to you all for support and help.

‘As you have seen from media updates, the country is still facing challenges in relation to the ongoing issues with the pandemic.

‘It is very challenging for all of us, however, we as individuals and collectively we can make a difference

‘Therefore, I am asking everyone to continue working hard as a team to ensure we keep this pandemic away from our doors. We all have a duty to pull together.

‘I’m so pleased to see our communities working together to ensure we support each other. Supporting each other also means we keep doing the right things. Letting our guard down or simply doing things against advice has a potential impact on everyone.

‘If we do not work together this will affect our recovery and impact on us all. I’m asking everyone today to pull together keep strong and most importantly keep moving forward in a positive way but remember the basic rules about how to keep Covid-19 numbers down.

‘It has been a very challenging time for me as it has for everyone and I have to remind myself that we will get through this. We all need to keep strong and support each other

‘We hear updates about Covid-19 figures across Wales and how Pembrokeshire has low numbers – we can keep the numbers low if we do the right things. We need to be reminded that we are not through this – keeping our guard up helps keep Covid away.

‘Come on everyone keep working together – please don’t be selfish and let this thing beat us.

‘As in my previous messages, I want to thank everyone for their support. As a county we are acting responsibly and appropriately, to the changes. I’m humbled at times to hear of all the support you re offering each other – fantastic and thank you.

‘The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my update last Friday:

  • ‘Life in Lockdown’ Photo Winner:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/last-life-in-lockdown-winner-announced

  • Freelancer Fund Now Open:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/freelancer-fund-opens-for-applications

  • Blue Badges During Covid:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/appeal-for-blue-badge-applications-to-be-made-online

  • Second School Covid Case Confirmed:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/second-case-of-covid-19-case-confirmed-at-school

  • Silverdale 24-Hour Support:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/council-implements-24-hour-support-at-silverdale

  • Johnston LRC Covid Case Confirmed:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/school-staff-member-covid-19-case-confirmed

  • Remembrance Advice:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/welsh-government-remembrance-advice

  • Covid Scam Warning:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/warning-over-bogus-research-claims

  • ‘Bubble’ Arrangements In Schools:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/bubble-arrangements-and-self-isolation-in-pembs-schools

‘Public Health Wales (PHW) publishes an interactive daily dashboard of data about coronavirus cases across Wales broken down by health board and local authority area, at: https://public.tableau.com/profile/public.health.wales.health.protection#!/vizhome/RapidCOVID-19virology-Public/Headlinesummary

‘PHW also provides a daily update focusing on key public health information and updates at: https://covid19-phwstatement.nhs.wales/

‘Information about coronavirus is available here on the Welsh Government’s website: https://gov.wales/coronavirus

‘Also, please keep an eye on our newsroom at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom

‘For service updates visit: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/emergency-planning/service-changes

‘And to get daily email updates, log onto our website and sign into My Account at:

https://myaccount.pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Friday, 2nd October 2020

Welcome to another of my Leader’s Updates and I hope you are keeping safe and well.

‘This is my 75th message since they began on 9th March. Back then I didn’t for a moment think that, almost seven months later, they would still be published.

‘The bitter truth is that with 16 areas of Wales now in local lockdown the fight against the coronavirus is far from over.

‘To date Pembrokeshire has escaped the reintroduction of restrictions now affecting 2.3 million of the Welsh population and hopefully we will continue to do so.

‘But that will only happen if we stay vigilant, obey the social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings in enclosed public areas as instructed.

‘We all have a personal responsibility to obey these simple rules.

‘Remember, Governments can only do so much and it is incumbent on all of us to follow the advice given and play our part to combat the rise in coronavirus cases.

‘It is hard, I know that. But if we stay united, one day this will all be behind us. Please stay strong.

‘I am pleased to report that figures published earlier today by the Welsh Government show that our schools have the highest attendance in Wales since the start of the new academic year last month.

‘The statistics show that during September, Pembrokeshire’s average daily school attendance was 90.4 per cent – the highest of all Wales’s 22 local authority areas. The Welsh average was 81.1 per cent.

‘My congratulations to pupils – and their families – teaching staff and the Council’s education staff who have made those figures possible.

‘Inevitably, today has also seen our first confirmed case of coronavirus in a school setting in Pembrokeshire, details of which can be found in a press release below.

‘We have been expecting this – other Welsh local authorities have been dealing with similar scenarios – and a series of well-rehearsed procedures have been put in place.

‘The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my update last Friday:

‘Public Health Wales (PHW) publishes an interactive daily dashboard of data about coronavirus cases across Wales broken down by health board and local authority area, at: https://public.tableau.com/profile/public.health.wales.health.protection#!/vizhome/RapidCOVID-19virology-Public/Headlinesummary

‘PHW also provides a daily update focusing on key public health information and updates at: https://covid19-phwstatement.nhs.wales/

‘Information about coronavirus is available here on the Welsh Government’s website: https://gov.wales/coronavirus

‘Also, please keep an eye on our newsroom at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom

‘For service updates visit: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/emergency-planning/service-changes

‘And to get daily email updates, log onto our website and sign into My Account at:

https://myaccount.pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Friday, 25th September 2020

Once again another week has passed and we still face challenges in relation to Covid-19.

I must admit this is a more sombre message that I thought I would be delivering this time last week but the fact of the matter is that we are facing rising cases of coronavirus infections in different parts of Wales.

With six local authority areas in Wales now in local lockdown and restrictions in Llanelli, Swansea and Cardiff to be introduced this weekend, we are facing the possibility of the coronavirus regaining a foothold in our local communities and towns.

However, if we continue to work collectively we can keep the virus away from our homes.

That is why the First Minister introduced new measures which came into force yesterday – including stopping the sale of alcohol in hospitality venues at 10 pm – in a bid to stem the increase of coronavirus cases.

I do not wish to be seen as a doom-monger but it is now more important than ever that we all follow the rules and guidance to protect everyone – we all have a duty and responsibility to tackle this head on.

We should work from home wherever it is safe to do so and only meet six people indoors, ensuring that those six people are all part of your extended household.

I know this will cause grave concern to many but I do not think it is too much to ask that we all observe the two metre safe distancing rule and wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces as instructed by the Welsh Government.

This includes not only shops but also public conveniences and even our two multi-storey car parks in Haverfordwest and Tenby.

Some of our libraries are due to re-open on Monday and the same guidance will apply in those facilities.

I have asked you all before to support each other and continue to battle against this storm – now is not the time to ease up.

We need to continue to fight and dig deep to ensure we do not go back to the bleak days in April – keep going Team Pembrokeshire.

We have made progress in the past few months and I would despair if we were to throw all of it away for the sake of obeying some simple rules.

This week we have seen a turn in the weather. Autumn is now upon us and we all need to keep our loved ones safe. The autumn and winter can be long months for those living alone, especially this year.

So this weekend I want you all to pick up the phone and say hello to someone. I know I will be encouraging my family to talk to someone. Saying hello can make a huge difference.

I want to thank everyone that gets in touch with me, passing on concerns and compliments on how the Authority is dealing with Covid-19. Thank you very much.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my update last Friday:

Friday, 18th September 2020

Welcome to my weekly update and I hope you are all well.

As in my previous messages I want to thank everyone for their support. As a county we are acting responsibly and appropriately to the changes.

We are all in this together and if we act as one we can move forward. Everyone needs to take responsibility of their actions to avoid further restrictions being imposed on us.

It has been another significant week in the fight against Covid-19 with the wearing of face coverings becoming mandatory in shops and enclosed public spaces and the introduction of a limit of six people (all from the same extended household) who can meet indoors at any time.

And on Tuesday – in common with other Welsh local authorities, the County Council suspended all non-essential indoor visits to care homes in the county.

These changes are a necessary response to the rising virus levels across Wales and is a timely reminder that we cannot let our guard down if we are to defeat Covid-19.

So please obey the new rules for everyone’s sake.

On a more optimistic note I am pleased to report that the third phase of restarting the County’s library service will begin shortly.

From Monday, 28th September our libraries in Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock and Tenby, will welcome customers back to browse their shelves for the first time since March.

For the well-being of all, access will be carefully managed and visits limited to 30 minutes.

For more details, click on the link to the appropriate press release in the list below.

The website Business News Wales has a useful toolkit containing assets available for industry to use.

By clicking on: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/tool-kit you will find downloads on ‘How to Keep Records’ (detailed guidance on keeping records on customers, staff and visitors) and a Maintaining Records poster for hospitality businesses to download and display on their premises for customers to view.

It also includes three easy to read checklists including one on social distancing.

And on 24th of September, the Welsh Government and UK Government will be launching the NHS COVID-19 app across England and Wales. The NHS COVID-19 app is an important part of the Test Trace Protect programme to control the spread of Covid-19.

The more people who use the app the greater the chances of reducing the spread of the virus.

The app – available from next Thursday – will:

  • let you know if you have been near someone who now has coronavirus symptoms
  • give you advice on coronavirus that is relevant to you
  • allow you to check your symptoms
  • take you to a website where you can book a test if you have symptoms
  • provide a self-isolation countdown timer if required.

For more details go to these links: 048 Welsh Govt update NHS Features_What Is App – Pack_17.08.20 (1) (4).pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWBJFScQy68&feature=youtu.be

As always I look forward to the weekends and, with the weather looking settled, an opportunity to enjoy the garden and the start of autumn colour.

Pembrokeshire is a wonderful county and I’m sure you will agree we all need to protect it. So enjoy your weekend and whatever you have planned but, as mention above, protect each other.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my update last Friday:

Public Health Wales (PHW) publishes an interactive daily dashboard of data about coronavirus cases across Wales broken down by health board and local authority area, at: https://public.tableau.com/profile/public.health.wales.health.protection#!/vizhome/RapidCOVID-19virology-Public/Headlinesummary

PHW also provides a daily update focusing on key public health information and updates at: https://covid19-phwstatement.nhs.wales/

Information about coronavirus is available here on the Welsh Government’s website: https://gov.wales/coronavirus

Also, please keep an eye on our newsroom at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom

For service updates visit: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/emergency-planning/service-changes


Friday, 11th September 2020

Welcome to my weekly update and I hope you are all well.

‘This week we have all been starkly reminded that the pandemic has not gone away.

‘Changes in guidance and local lockdowns in some parts of Wales are a wake-up call to all of us of how quickly things can change.

‘As many of you will now know, from Monday there will be changes to how many people we can meet indoors and the wearing of face coverings becomes mandatory in shops and enclosed public spaces.

‘From Monday, a new limit of six people will be introduced on the number of people who can meet indoors at any one time. All six must belong to the same extended household group.

‘These changes have been made in response to rising levels of the virus across Wales.

‘I appreciate that some people say Pembrokeshire has low levels, however we must not become complacent.

‘The changes over the last week have happened very quickly and shows just how fast coronavirus can spread if we drop our guard.

‘In many ways we need to wind the clock back to the key messages from the start of this outbreak: wash your hands regularly and stay 2m apart from other people. This is simple advice and really does make a difference.

‘I have said before every day we were making small steps forward so I urge you all not to do something that will cause huge backwards steps and further constraints on our lives.

‘It does seem very hard to comprehend that this pandemic has been affecting our lives since March and it will continue to impact on us all if people do not adhere to government advice.

‘So this is a plea to you all – please be mindful of your actions as being reckless could impact on you and your family and everyone across Pembrokeshire.

‘Team Pembrokeshire has worked hard to keep our communities safe – let’s continue working together, do not drop our guard – we are not out of this storm yet.

‘The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my last update:


Friday, 21st August 2020

Hello to you all. I hope you are all keeping well.

The last week we have seen mixed weather across our county and we are now seeing Storm Ellen battering our county.

It can be argued that we have been dealing with Storm Covid-19 since March; this has been a long road and testing for all of us.

I do feel the last few weeks has given us all hope and it is nice to see people enjoying themselves across the whole county. However, without sounding to critical or authoritative, we all need to maintain social distancing.

As I said last week, we are all making small steps but these steps are moving us forward to a more normal position.

I suppose going back to normal is something that will take  a long time so we are now carving out for ourselves a new normal and we have to adjust to different ways.

I’m very pleased to hear that visitors are spreading themselves across all of the county and relieving pressures on our traditional tourist “hot spots.” We have a beautiful county, so please explore all of it.

This week as an Authority we have seen some of our services re-opening such as fitness suites at our leisure centres and access to computers in our libraries.

I would like to congratulate all our students, on their recent exam results.

Awaiting the results is always a stressful time, so I want to thank all our students for the way they changed and adapted the schooling regime during Covid-19. As an Authority we are preparing and looking forward to the new school term in September.

I also want to thank the team in our Contact Centre who have carried on dealing with calls, emails and service requests throughout the pandemic.

I appreciate that at times they receive a high volume of calls and customers can be in a queue.

Just to remind everyone, we can also handle service requests via the My Account facility on our website: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/my-account or by asking Penfro, the Council’s chatbot, which appears on all of our website pages.

You can also pay your Council bills online at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/make-a-payment or by using our automated payment line on 01437 775164 available 24 hours, seven days a week.

So once again, we head into another weekend and I hope you all have time to relax and enjoy days out.

‘The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update last Friday:

Public Health Wales is updating and adding to their resources regularly. Please find all assets here: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-resources/

Also, please keep an eye on our newsroom at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom

For service updates visit: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/emergency-planning/service-changes

And to get daily email updates, log onto our website and sign into My Account at: https://myaccount.pembrokeshire.gov.uk

‘Remember, please travel safely.’


Friday, 14th August 2020

Welcome to another of my weekly updates and (dare I say it) little by little our lives are very gradually returning to normal – or what passes for normal these days!

Small steps they may be but steps nonetheless.

The fitness suites at our leisure centres in Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Milford Haven, Pembroke and Tenby will be re-open from Monday (17th August).

You must be a registered user of Pembrokeshire Leisure and book and pay for your gym slot in advance. Slots are one hour.

You can register via the website: https://pembrokeshireleisure.co.uk/ or by calling 01437 775504, Monday to Thursday, 9 am to 3 pm.

For more details please refer to the press release mentioned later in this update.

Monday also sees the re-opening of the popular Manor House attraction at Scolton Manor with measures in place to keep everyone safe.

A booking only ticketing system will be in operation to limit the numbers inside the property at any one time.

And Monday is really a red letter day in Pembrokeshire as it sees the second phase of the re-starting of our library service.

Limited computer access will be available to customers at libraries in Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock and Tenby.

Again to safeguard the wellbeing of customers and staff alike, a booking system will be in operation.

or more details on this – and the Scolton Manor House re-opening – please activate the links below to the respective press releases.

So bit by bit, the services run by Pembrokeshire County Council are being reactivated in a carefully phased manner so as not to jeopardise public health.

However, we must not become complacent. The coronavirus is still very active so please obey all the safety advice issued including that on social distancing.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update last Friday:

‘Remember, please travel safely.’


Tuesday, 28th July 2020

Another weekend has passed and we are heading towards the end of yet another month.

Pembrokeshire is seeing an increase in visitor numbers, as can be expected during our summer season. Over the next few weeks, we envisage even higher numbers of visitors arriving.

However, this summer season is a long way from our normal – and due to restrictions we all have to adjust and keep working together.

I am very pleased to see and hear how our operational teams, such as parking, cleansing, leisure service and the Visitor Welcome staff, are supporting the increased footfall in our communities.

I also appreciate that some issues, such as wild camping and anti-social behaviour, are causing concerns. I want to assure you all that we are collectively working with our partners to tackle these problems.

I’m very pleased to see that our economy is moving forward but we always need to be mindful of acting responsibly during this recovery period.

So what is the Council doing? Briefly we are:

  • increasing waste collection services
  • increasing public convenience cleaning and, where appropriate, extending opening hours
  • ensuring our Visitor Welcome teams are visible providing advice and encouraging social distancing (to support the teams additional signage has been erected)
  • stepping-up traffic (including parking) management patrols to target fly camping; illegal parking etc.
  • working with local hospitality businesses to increase capacity through ‘Café Culture’.
  • reviewing and setting up more social distancing measures in our town centres
  • sending our Public Protection teams to visit businesses over the weekend to provide support, advice and – if necessary – take appropriate enforcement action
  • enforcing litter laws
  • liaising and acting with key partners to ensure we act collectively and collaboratively across the county

Also, I’m aware that Dyfed Powys Police will be deploying additional resources and patrols in accordance with ‘Operation Lion’ targeted at reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.

All of this work will be co-ordinated in our operational room based in County Hall.

I want to assure everyone that our aim is to create a safe environment for visitors and local communities alike. Officers are working very hard across the county.

I want to thank all our staff that are “out and about” – the workers at the ‘coal face’ – who are doing a fantastic job, as they always do. Thank you very much.

We need your support to deliver a safe Pembrokeshire by taking personal responsibility and ensuring you are all familiar and complying with the Covid-19 regulations as they apply in Wales.

So please ‘Team Pembrokeshire’ keep going, keep strong and collectively we can rebuild our county.

My next update will be on Friday so take care everyone. I’m sure like me you are proud of our county so let’s keep everyone safe and welcome our visitors.

‘The following coronavirus-related press release has been issued since my previous update last Friday:

  • Outdoor Exercise Classes To Start:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/outdoor-group-exercise-classes-to-begin


Tuesday, 21st July 2020

‘Hello everyone. I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine and staying safe.

‘The last few months have been very challenging for all of us. Everyone will have a story to tell on how they managed lockdown and dealt with this pandemic.

‘Who would have imagined back in February that our country and our county would come to a grinding halt caused by this invisible virus.

‘The lockdown and the general unrest will have affected us all in different ways. However, we are now starting to rebuild and we can look forward to better days.

‘Like every storm there will be fall-out and damaged caused. Some damage will be very visible and others not so visible. It will take a long time for us to get back to normal.

‘I’m sure we will have to – and need to – change the way we go about our daily lives. The way businesses operate also will change. Changes take time and we all need to be patient and understand that they do not happen overnight.

‘We all need to be tolerant and respect how others feel. Remember, some people will be very nervous about going back out, socialising and reconnecting with people. Please support one another so we can travel on the road to recovery together.

‘Over the last few days we have seen an increase in visitor numbers and day-trippers enjoying out wonderful county. As an Authority we are ensuring we get the message out to respect our county and travel safely.

‘I appreciate that we are not a fully functional county yet. Some businesses have not yet re-opened their doors.

‘Council services are restarting but in a phased manner. This pandemic has not gone away so this approach also needs to be considered when you are heading out by checking to see what is open and planning your journey.

‘On a personal note I am very pleased to hear such positive feedback in relation to our Visitor Welcome teams on duty throughout the county. This is a new initiative for us.

‘Also I want to highlight and thank everyone in our operations room at County Hall who are reviewing issues as they arise. It has been set up to support our communities and their visitors during this summer period.

‘The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Friday:

‘Public Health Wales is updating and adding to their resources regularly.  Please find all assets here: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-resources/

‘Also, please keep an eye on our newsroom at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom

‘For service updates visit: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/emergency-planning/service-changes

‘And to get daily email updates, log onto our website and sign into My Account at: https://myaccount.pembrokeshire.gov.uk

‘Remember, please travel safely.’


Tuesday, 14th July 2020

‘Hello everyone, hope you are all well.

‘This week we have are starting to see changes in our communities following the announcements from Welsh Government last Friday.

‘Cafes, restaurants and bars can now re-open albeit outdoor areas only. This is a phased approach to the re-opening of our hospitality sector.

‘I am very aware that re-opening of different sectors within our communities will require detailed planning. There is also a need for everyone to support each other and be very mindful of how we unlock services.

‘This is not the green light and throw the Covid-19 rulebook out of the window moment. Everyone still has to support each other, support our communities and ensure we behave sensibly.

‘Unfortunately, I have been informed that a minority of people decided to ignore the advice given which has resulted in negative feedback. Please can everyone remain on the road to recovery and consider “doing the right thing and not ignoring the advice.”

‘Over the last few months I have been very proud of Team Pembrokeshire – so please everyone keep working together.

‘I’m pleased to announce that this week we have redeployed staff from our leisure centres to become “visitor welcome guides.” You will see them out and about, ready to answer questions with a smile and offer advice on where to go.

‘The visitor guides are part of our strategic approach to managing our summer season.

‘As well as the guides, we have set up an operations room in County Hall to monitor issues such as parking, beaches, traffic flows and toilets.

‘We are ensuring that we are proactive and can deal with issues as they arise in order to support our communities and visitors.

‘So please everyone keep on the road to recovery, continue supporting each other and please ensure you consider what footprint you leave behind when you travel. Do not impact negatively on our beautiful county.

‘The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Friday:

 


Monday, 6th July 2020

Today marks the unlocking of local travel restrictions and another move towards unlocking our county. I do appreciate that this change will take time for us to adjust to as we have all been so used to “staying local”.

The lifting of this travel restriction is being implemented as part of the phased approach to unlocking and in line with Covid-19 guidance.

I’m sure you will agree that easing the travel restriction will be a benefit to many although we still need to ensure we travel safely.

Covid-19 has not gone away and we need to continue with the routine of washing our hands regularly to ensure we prevent the further spread of the virus.

July has come around quickly and I am pleased to say that pupils have settled down to the new school regime. The next three weeks will fly by and then we enter the “summer holidays”.

We do need to think differently when we go out and about. So please ensure you pre-book your trip, think of what you need and be prepared for changes as you travel.

Our businesses will look different; they are – or will be – set up to welcome people while ensuring it is safe for everyone. As you go around you will see signs to remind you of the Covid-19 guidance. Take note as you travel.

Our car parks and toilets are now open giving everyone the facilities they need.

And, from next Saturday, our accommodation providers – those who can – will be re-opening subject of course to the Covid-19 guidance. As always, please welcome any visitors with a smile.

From this week I am changing the frequency of these updates. My next message this week will be on Friday and henceforth updates will be on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Friday:

 


Friday, 3rd July 2020

Well another week has passed and we continue to move forward on the road to recovery.

I am very pleased that our schools resumed this week, well done to everyone.

Some of our libraries are now accepting bookings on a ‘click and collect’ basis and the waste and recycle centres have reopened to commercial vehicles. It is so pleasing to see our services reopening in a safe manner in line with Covid-19 guidance.

Next week we will see travel restrictions lifted again – another stage of the unlocking.

Today I was very pleased to sit down with Ian Westley, the Authority’s Chief Executive, to discuss how the Council is progressing through to the next phase.

It was so informative to have his feedback and the reassurance he gave relating to how we continue to ensure we deal with Covid-19 and rebuild our county. For those with access to Facebook or YouTube we have posted our catch up on there for you.

I want to extend my thank you this week to our communications team – they have ensured that everyone has been kept up to date via press releases, social media posts, website updates and now informative animation videos. The officers and Cllr Neil Prior have worked hard to get the messages out to you all – thank you very much.

I really hope that everyone has benefited and been reassured by our messages and we will continue to keep everyone updated.

We are in strange times, every day we seem to face new challenges, however, we have continued to work together and the sense of community spirit and resolve is very uplifting for me – I personally take strength by the way “Team Pembrokeshire” has worked together

I am very proud of our county and I like you look forward to seeing Pembrokeshire rebuilding and once again flourishing.

Thank you again for your support, keep going, travel safely and most of all keep smiling.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Wednesday:

 


Wednesday, 1st July 2020

I hope you are all well.

‘Today is the start of a new month and in July we are expecting to see more relaxations of the Covid-19 restrictions in Wales – although only when and where appropriate.

‘In anticipation of this we have opened up our car parks, toilets and other services.

‘We have recognised the importance for local people to have access to open areas as per the guidance. This phased approached to re-opening our county will assist us all when we once again welcome back visitors and support our communities.

‘It has been a very strange three months as we have become used to staying at home or, more recently, “staying local”.

‘Over the next few weeks we are expecting, and therefore planning, for local travel restrictions to be lifted and to welcome visitors back to our wonderful county.

‘I will keep you updated as more information comes out from Welsh Government.

‘We all have a role to play to rebuild our county, so please keep working together.

‘The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Monday:

 


Monday, 29th June 2020

Pembrokeshire County Council Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further coronavirus update for Monday, 29th June, as follows:

Today marks the restart of school term.

As I sit here, writing this message. I’m delighted to say that our schools are back up and running. This has been a mammoth task by all involved to get the doors unlocked and once again getting our children back into the classroom.

The youth of today should be very grateful to everyone that has supported them – and will continue to do so – through their learning years.

We closed schools back in March but we never stopped the teaching, or offering support. A huge thank you then to everyone involved especially for the way we delivered home learning.

Every day we are seeing changes as we continue to rebuild our county and re-open services as confidence grows.

As residents of Pembrokeshire, we need to be mindful that currently local travel restrictions apply. However, the time will come when Welsh Government will review and relax those restrictions.

Once the restrictions are relaxed, we can expect visitors to revisit our county. I want to assure everyone that we are planning for the return of visitors in a safe manner by ensuring items such as toilets and car parks will be fully open.

We will continue to follow the Covid-19 guidance and change our procedure when the time is right.

My next update will be on Wednesday.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Friday:


Friday, 27th June 2020

Well another week has passed …. where does the time go?

As an Authority, we continue to support our communities and the people of Pembrokeshire.

We have now moved onto further unlocking our Waste and Recycling Centres and, next week, schools will be re-opening their doors to welcome pupils.

Our library and registrar teams are also busy getting ready to welcome people back – albeit on a phased approach.

Staff in other areas of the Council, such as car parks, toilets and street and beach cleaning, are all out and about ensuring our infrastructure and services are available for local use.

Although travel restrictions were relaxed a few weeks ago, this does not give us open access to go anywhere, the pandemic is still around. We still see areas of the country reporting cases of the virus.

None of us need to be reminded of the importance to continue to observe social distancing. Unfortunately it appears that some people are ignoring the guidance and this may impact on us all.

So I implore you, please keep listening to the advice.

As always and like many of you, I look forward to the weekends.

Time with our family is important.

If you are “out and about” this weekend please think about where you are going, plan your trip and be respectful of what you do and what footprint you leave behind.

Please take your rubbish home with you. Looking after Pembrokeshire is the responsibility of all of us.

Do not rely on others to clean-up after you. Ensure your actions do not impact on the hard work we have all done to stop the spread of the virus. We still need to continue to work as a team.

My next update will be on Monday.

‘The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Wednesday:


Wednesday, 25th June 2020

Hello everyone, I hope you are all well and keeping positive.

As you are all aware the schools will reconvene next week, 29th June and there is a phenomenal amount of work going on behind the scenes.

On Monday, non-essential businesses re-opened. These steps are phased approaches to the road to normality, but the road to normality still needs our support.

You will all be aware that the Welsh Government are reviewing Covid-19 restrictions and we are getting regular updates.

The time will come when Pembrokeshire will once again welcome visitors. People will be able to revisit Pembrokeshire once current travel restrictions are lifted.

As an authority we are reviewing what needs to be in place for future changes, however, as I write we are still ensuring we support our local communities and the residents of Pembrokeshire.

Over the last three months you have all helped by working together to ensure that Pembrokeshire can rebuild and recover from this pandemic.

We all still need to work together and this continued support will help Pembrokeshire’s future going forward – thank you

Every day we cross a new bridge to normality, step by step we walk together to ensure we beat this pandemic.

My next update will be on Friday

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Monday:


Monday, 25th June 2020

Hope you are all well and feeling recharged after the weekend.

From today non-essential business are allowed to open. This is part of a phased approach to the unlocking of our economy.

I appreciate that, for many, today is a very important milestone allowing people the opportunity to revisit their favourite shops and, most importantly, allowing these businesses to re-open their doors.

Although non-essential businesses are back open, some may be on reduced hours so we still need to be mindful of how we deal with this change. We all have a responsibility to maintain our social distancing and to remain within our local area.

Unfortunately the pandemic has not gone away and we are still collectively responsible to ensure we stop the spread of Covid-19.

We also need to consider our actions and the impact on our families, neighbours, community and Pembrokeshire as a County.

I know Welsh Government has set out some key dates on the path to an eventual return to normality but we still need to heed the advice being offered and ensure we all work together.

Like all good teams and groups, collectively we are stronger.

Earlier today we held a short ceremony outside County Hall, Haverfordwest, when our Chairman, Dr Simon Hancock, raised the Armed Forces flag. He was accompanied by our Armed Forces Champion, County Councillor John Coles from Merlins Bridge.

Normally we invite members of the Armed Forces – both past and present – along with the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed to witness the flag-raising.

Sadly this was not possible this year because of the Covid pandemic and the associated social distancing and travel restrictions.

The flag will be flying outside County Hall for several days to mark Armed Forces Week which culminates with Armed Forces Day on Saturday (27th June).

We have been celebrating this event since its inception in 2009 which is wholly appropriate given Pembrokeshire’s historical links with all three of the Services.

My next message will be on Wednesday.

The following coronavirus-related press release has been issued since my previous update on Friday:

 


Friday, 19th June 2020

Well another week has passed although today we have had an important update from the First Minister in relation to the Covid-19 restrictions.

He announced a series of changes coming into effect from Monday, the main one being that non-essential retail businesses will be able to open.

Other changes include:

  • enabling private prayer in places of worship where social distancing is maintained and gatherings do not take place
  • restarting the housing market by enabling house viewings to take place in vacant properties and house moves where a sale has been agreed but not yet completed
  • lifting the restrictions on outdoor sports courts but social distancing must be maintained. No contact or team sports allowed
  • enabling non-professional elite athletes – including Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls – to resume training.

At the next review on 9th July, the Welsh Government will consider a range of specific options for opening:

  • self-contained holiday accommodation
  • personal care services, such as hairdressing and beauty salons, by appointment.

Welsh Government will also be discussing with the hospitality sector the potential phased reopening of pubs, cafes and restaurants while maintaining strict social distancing.

In the meantime, the County Council will review today’s announcement and the impact it will have on our services and other areas.

Over the last three months, the Authority’s officers have tirelessly worked to ensure the Covid-19 guidelines has been implemented. They will continue to review and implement any necessary changes.

I want to again thank everyone for working together to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. We have been through so much over the last few months and it has affected us all both emotionally and mentally.

We need to ensure we keep strong and share our concerns. We all need to offload at times. I know that, without my family and friends, I would have struggled to deal with everything. We all need someone to talk to.

My next message will be on Monday.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Wednesday:

 


Wednesday, 17th June 2020

This is my mid-week message as we all continue to receive updates in relation to the current situation relating to Covid-19.

It is reassuring that, after this period of lockdown, we are on the right road although we must not become complacent and let all our hard work be undone.

Currently our schools are getting ready to welcome back pupils on Monday, 29th June. I have been linking in with the education team and it is reassuring to see such dedication and commitment to get everything in place for that important date.

Re-opening our schools is impacting on numerous departments within the Council.

Our Signs Unit has been busy making new signs while numerous alterations have to be undertaken within school buildings including the installation of new hand-washing equipment. This work all has to be co-ordinated by our Buildings Covid-19 team – no mean feat.

It is to everyone’s credit that they are all putting in a great effort and pulling together. A sincere thank you to them.

Then we move onto our education officers, headteachers, the teachers themselves, LSA’s and other school staff. What a remarkable job they are doing to ensure we welcome our pupils safely back to our schools.

As Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, I cannot praise everyone enough. Every day our officers have faced new challenges and every day they have delivered.

Our IT and web team have also set up a new webpage dedicated to schools transformation please visit here.

This Friday our Acting Director of Education, Stephen Richard-Downes, will be joining our Chief Executive, Ian Westley, on Ian’s weekly Facebook post.

Please tune in if you can for further education updates. We will of course be issuing further updates in relation to any potential changes to the current restrictions announced by Welsh Government. The post will also be available on our website

I hope you are all keeping well and please stay within five miles of your home. Collectively we need to protect our communities and protect Pembrokeshire. This is our county and its future relies on our help and support.

My next message will be on Friday.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Monday:

‘Public Health Wales is updating and adding to their resources regularly.  Please find all assets here.


Monday, 15th June 2020

I hope you all had a nice weekend and managed to spend time with your family.

As we start a new week, we have the opportunity to look forward and consider how things will pan out.  I am aware that Welsh Government will be issuing further updates this week in relation to potential changes to the current restrictions.

However, as in any amendment made to Covid-19 regulations by Welsh Government, the Authority will need to consider the detail and how we implement changes – especially changes to service delivery

Any adjustments to services need to be considered in a measured and planned way. A good example is the recent re-opening of our Waste and Recycling Centres (WRCs) which was well planned in advance and resulted in a smooth resumption of the service.

I am very pleased that we are receiving compliments relating to the way the WRCs are operating and, more importantly, the positive feedback being received in relation to the staff operating these sites.

I do want to highlight the hard work that is currently being done by the education team to get ready for the reconvening of the school term.

This is a huge service area to re-open and I will be giving further updates as and when matters progress. Our website now has a page for the public to keep up to date on school changes and there are also links on this page to the website of each school.

I’m going to conclude today by highlighting that we all need to continue working together. I do appreciate that this extended lockdown is frustrating at times but we are on this journey for the long-term benefit to all.

My next message will be on Wednesday.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Friday:

 


Friday, 12th June 2020

Another week has passed and I hope you are all keeping well.

It is always a nice feeling to come to the end of the week although I appreciate that, with the current situation, every day seems to be merging into the next.

The normality of weekdays and weekends currently is not clear cut as we would normally expect.

We do, however, need to ensure we have a routine and try to balance our time between family and work. This is especially true for those who are working from home and dealing with home learning.

I know that it is easy to peek at a work email and then maybe respond but we do need to remember to have time to relax and reflect.

My family keeps reminding me to take time to relax so please, everyone, keep yourselves going but remember to take time to recharge your batteries.

As an Authority we continue to move forward, re-opening services in a phased and measured manner and, most importantly, ensuring our actions does not increase the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus.

To do this we need your help so please support our officers and support each other to ensure our communities can recover and come out of this storm. Together we will rebuild and together we will ensure that Pembrokeshire will prosper in the future

I have mentioned previously how proud I am to live and work in Pembrokeshire. I feel very strongly that our county has a strong presence and I am honoured to represent the Council at meetings to ensure our voice is heard.

Our officers are working tirelessly every day and I thank them all.

It is Friday again and time to look forward to maybe sitting outside and admiring the work you have put in on your garden if you are fortunate enough to have one.

So everyone, keep strong, keep smiling and keep supporting each other. We are moving in the right direction and this is down to all of us taking care and making sure we do not spread the virus.

Pembrokeshire is a very special place and your role in ensuring “Team Pembrokeshire” continues to support our county gives me a huge amount of pride

My next message will be on Monday.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Wednesday:

 


Wednesday, 10th June 2020

As I mentioned previously, I will now be submitting updates three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Once again, I do feel that everyone is pulling together to ensure we beat this pandemic. Unfortunately, the pandemic is still around and people lives are being impacted.

I also appreciate that in some cases people are feeling that they can go back to normal but we must remember that the figures issued by the authorities are reducing due to the way we have all worked together to ensure that social distancing is observed.

I want to remind any businesses, eligible for two Welsh Government Covid-19 support grants, that the closing date for applications is 30th June.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak and to support businesses in Wales, the Welsh Government introduced two non-repayable grants.

The grants are available to all businesses who are in receipt of small business rate relief or to those occupying properties that are being used wholly or mainly in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value of £51,000 or less.

If you run a business with an NDR (non-domestic rates) number and are yet to apply, please do so as soon as possible before this deadline. The Council is considering all applications as sympathetically as possible.

Over the last few weeks, we have successfully re-opened our Waste and Recycling Centres (WRCs).

This has been a huge undertaking and I want to thank everyone involved – including those working in the WRCs themselves.

It is evident from the feedback I have received that everything is operating well and the way you are undertaking your duties and giving guidance is much appreciated by the visiting customers.

I have received numerous compliments regarding the WRC staff. My grateful thanks, you are making a difference.

I also want to thank you, the public, for the way in which you have embraced the new WRC booking system and for working with us on this.

For service updates visit here.

My next message will be on Friday

‘The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued since my previous update on Monday:


Monday, 8th June 2020

I hope you are all well and staying safe.

Today is the start of Carers week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring. It highlights the challenges unpaid carers face and recognises the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK and our county.

On behalf of us all, thank you to everyone that is caring for someone.

I’m sure that you will all agree that this year has been very strange. Since March we have all been impacted by this pandemic. Nobody has been immune to some sort of kickback from Covid-19.

We must keep positive and keep focused on working together, as the carers do. Without everyone pulling together, we will not beat this pandemic.

We are seeing small changes which can make a difference such as schools reconvening and we can now travel within our ‘local’ area.

We need to keep smiling and ensure we focus on better times ahead. We should also remember those we have helped and those who have helped us on this journey.

Some people will have made new friends through the lockdown period – hopefully friends you will keep close to going forward.

As the County Council Leader, people do contact me on a daily basis. Some still have concerns, some just want to say thank you and others have questions that are more general.

At times, we are all searching for answers and are still trying to understand how a microscopic virus could have such a massive impact on our lives.

I feel sure we will be asking questions and reflecting on this era of history for a long time, so please do follow guidelines and stay safe.

My next update will be on Wednesday.

The following coronavirus-related press release has been issued today:

Remember: ‘Stay Strong and Stay Local.


Friday, 5th June 2020

Another seven days has passed and we are now heading into our second week in June. Although we are in lockdown, the time seems to be flying by.

How different things are now. This time of year we would normally be looking forward to the summer holidays in July. Instead one of our big priorities now, as an Authority, is on reconvening our schools on the 29th June.

We will be supplying more updates around the schools as we move forward.

So yet another Friday has come around and we have the weekend ahead of us.

It is important that we all have time to relax and spend time with our loved ones. You will all be aware of the new guidance about meeting other households outdoors and remaining within the five-mile radius of your home.

The guidance has been set up to ensure we are all protected, to ensure this pandemic is stopped and to save lives.

We have all been affected by this crisis and I know that we will rebuild, but it will take time. It is so heartening to hear stories about how volunteers are helping throughout our communities.

Like myself, we all need support. We need someone to talk to and to help us get through this. I want to personally thank my wife for being my rock, always there to support me, to listen to my concerns and help me on this long road.

Getting through this crisis needs team work and my wife has been a huge part of my personal team. Thank you.

Volunteers, carer staff and everyone across our county is working as a team, to fight this pandemic and rebuild our lives. Thank you all.

From next week I will be reducing my daily messages. I will still be doing updates but only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Please everyone, keep working together, keep working as a team and keep safe. We all need to ensure the spread of this virus is contained.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued today:

Remember: ‘Stay Strong and Stay Local.


Thursday, 4th June 2020

We all continue to receive updates regarding Covid-19 and the impact on us here in Pembrokeshire.

I am sure you will agree that occasionally there is an information overload and we all need time to pause, consider what has been said and what we should do.

Although we receive regular updates relating to Covid-19, as individuals we all have a role to play to ensure we stop the spread of the virus. So what should we be doing to help?

For me the simple message is: “Stay local and keep Pembrokeshire and Wales safe.” We can also do this by:

  • working from home if we can
  • observing social distancing
  • washing our hands regularly
  • staying ‘local’ and staying outdoors if meeting another household.

Don’t forget though to stay at home if you, or anyone you live with, has symptoms.

The Council’s Care Provider Hub and Community Hub are still doing a fantastic job by supporting our communities.

I am proud at the way the Authority’s officers across numerous services areas are working together to deal with this unprecedented situation.

Some are now working in completely different service areas and have adapted to new working ways, which is a huge achievement by them all. I would like to personally thank everyone within the Authority for supporting our communities.

I am also grateful to the officers who provide me with daily updates, support me in my role as Leader and ensure that the Authority considers items in a pragmatic and strategic manner while prioritising public safety in tackling this pandemic.

Like all good teams we each have a role to play. Please continue to listen to the advice given and do not undertake any thoughtless action or deed which might help the spread of Covid-19.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued today:

Remember: ‘Stay Strong and Stay Local.


Wednesday, 3rd June 2020

Today we have received a further update from Welsh Government in relation to schools.

Our officers are now reviewing the information and update and we will be liaising with all the head teachers across the county.

I appreciate that this update will result in parents and teachers asking many questions on how the school term will resume, how will it work, what impact it will have on my child etc?

I would request that everyone allows our senior team to review the information and once we have more detail we will update everyone in due course.

As has happened over the last three months, the Authority’s officers have worked collectively to support our communities and ensure delivery of service provision in line with Covid-19. Likewise, the re-opening of our schools will be carefully planned and a clear guidance given.

It is ironic as we start to talk about schools again, the weather has turned wet and cloudy!

Over the last few months, we have been blessed by sunny dry weather and I know that many of you have been working hard in your gardens on a daily basis. I have been told of many people planting their own vegetables for  the first time, which is great news. So although the weather has turned, I’m sure our gardens will love the rain.

As the old saying goes “every cloud has a silver lining”. I’m confident that every day we move forward, step by step, towards recovery and a more positive outlook. It maybe cloudy as I write this but brighter days are to come.

Everyone still has a role to play by ensuring we stay ‘local’. We need to ensure that we reduce the risk of spreading this virus.

From next week my daily updates will be published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only, I appreciate this is reducing the number of updates but I will ensure I keep you all fully informed.

I want to highlight a link to the Welsh Government website, Frequently Asked Questions, in relation to the Covid-19 recent regulation updates. Visit here.

I do appreciate everyone who has contacted me directly. The positive messages I have received in the way the Authority is dealing with Covid19 are very welcome.

I also enjoy hearing about all the good work in our communities. Please keep contacting me, I enjoy reading your comments and emails. Once again thank you to everyone in “Team Pembrokeshire”. What a fantastic county we live in.

‘The following coronavirus-related press release has been issued today:

Remember: ‘Stay Strong and Stay Local.


Tuesday, 2nd June 2020

I want to thank everyone for the continued support to myself, Elected Members and officers of the Authority.

We have all experienced many challenges over the years but this continued struggle is very testing for all. We continue collectively to work together to ensure we, in Pembrokeshire, remain safe and avoid catching Covid-19

It is clear that we still have to remain “local”. There is no remit for travelling outside our local community. You will have read and heard clear guidance on only travelling five miles from home.

As always and where you can, please exercise from your home. The more we can do to reduce the spread of the virus, the better we will all fare in the long term.

I want to highlight that today marks the 50th anniversary of the collapse of the Cleddau Bridge. This was indeed a tragedy as lives were lost and it is a sad chapter in Pembrokeshire’s history.

As in any incident, people can, and do, rebuild and also learn lessons. After Covid-19 the new “normality” will look different from what we were used to. But we will all move forward and regain confidence.

I’m sure, like you, I question how I should be tackling this issue. Should I be doing more? The answer is simple and direct – we need to ensure social distancing is maintained; wash our hands regularly and listen to the advice given by experts.

The following coronavirus-related press release has been issued today:

Remember: ‘Stay Strong and Stay Local.


Monday, 1st June 2020

Here we are at the start of another month. I must confess that the months and year seem to be flying past. It hard to believe we have been in lockdown since the end of March.

Following last Friday’s Welsh Government announcement, officers are reviewing the impact this has on us as an authority. We need to ensure that any changes we make to service delivery are co-ordinated and planned.

I have been very impressed that the way everyone has pulled together and I respectfully ask that this ‘working together’ continues  to ensure we tackle this pandemic together.

Every day we are getting closer to ‘normality’ – however, the social distancing rules still apply and managing these in line with our service delivery takes time to plan and ensure that we have all the procedures set up.

We also need your help, everyone is aware of how they should react and what to do; we all need to act responsibly.

It is frustrating that with this fantastic weather we are unable to enjoy the freedom we are all used to, however, the guidance is clear we need to stay at home or if we do need to travel stay local.

We need to continue to be aware of the impact which Covid-19 has on our lives and ensure that the loss of lives in Pembrokeshire remains low.

The following coronavirus-related press release has been issued today:

  • Virtual Open Week is Up and Running – see here
  • Public Health Wales is updating and adding to their resources regularly.  Please find all assets here.
  • Also, please keep an eye on our newsroom.
  • And to get daily email updates, log onto our website and sign into My Account here.

Remember: ‘Stay Strong and Stay Local.


Friday, 29th May 2020

I am sure some of you will have now had heard, or have read, the update earlier today from Welsh Government in relation to Covid-19 regulations

I can confirm that officers of the Authority will now be reviewing the update in detail and considering any impact on our services and general recovery.

I would like to highlight the fact that, although there is some relaxation of the rules, we still all have a vital role to play in ensuring that the pandemic does not spread.

Everyone has worked so hard to tackle this storm head-on but we need to be mindful that we are not out of the woods yet. We all need to continue working together to ensure we stop the spread of the virus.

I appreciate that at times my updates do repeat the key messages. This is because I want to ensure you all stay safe. As I have mentioned in my other updates, this pandemic is affecting us all – personally, financially and emotionally.

I do get very upset when I hear the impact this pandemic is having across our county. None of us can turn around and say “it did not impact on me.” We have all been affected.

I think we can say that we have started on the journey to gradual recovery and some of the small relaxations announced today are evidence of the route that Wales and Pembrokeshire is on.

However, rebuilding will take time. It will not be as simple as flicking the light switch back on. We need to carefully plan our recovery and think when we eventually re-open facilities.

Welsh Government have also made it clear that beauty and popular tourism spots remain closed.

This week we have re-opened our Waste and Recycle Centres (WRCs) and I am pleased to report that this process has gone very well. A great deal of planning was undertaken before we re-opened our WRCs and this paid dividends.

Well done to everyone involved and a huge thank you to everyone who have used the centre’s this week.

The online booking system is proving very popular and we do have slots available this weekend at Manorowen Hermon and St Davids. Furthermore, there are slots available at all sites next week.

I want to finish today by wishing you all a relaxing weekend and again to thank everyone across our wonderful community for the continued support and efforts you have all made to tackle Covid-19.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued today:

‘Don’t risk catching or spreading the virus, why risk it?  Remember: Stay Strong, Stay Safe and Stay at Home. Thank you.'


Thursday, 28th May 2020

Tomorrow (Friday) we are expecting an update from Welsh Government in relation to the current guidance on Covid-19 and any adjustments to current restrictions.

I would add our officers will be reviewing the update and taking appropriate action as required.

Next week is the start of Volunteers’ Week, which is very timely given the incredible response from volunteers across Pembrokeshire to the current pandemic.

Volunteers’ Week is a UK-wide annual celebration of volunteering which takes place every year.

Each day during the week – which this year runs from 1st to the 7th June – our partners at the Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS) will be sharing stories on Facebook and Twitter, which are all about thanking our wonderful Pembrokeshire volunteers.

It is heart-warming to see how our communities have pulled together over the last few months. Everyone has joined together to ensure we are all supported.

I am aware of community unrest in some areas relating to people traveling from outside the county into Pembrokeshire.

I want to assure everyone that we are reviewing any complaints received. Our enforcement teams do review and enforce (if this falls under our powers) and they liaise with the police as appropriate.

The following coronavirus-related press releases have been issued today:

  • Don’t Be A Loan Shark Victim – more information here
  • Business Grants deadline
  • Public Health Wales is updating and adding to their resources regularly.  Please find all assets here.
  • Also, please keep an eye on our newsroom.
  • And to get daily email updates, log onto our website and sign into My Account here.

Useful links: