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Airport a ‘huge asset’ to county

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‘Come and see’: Jonathan Rees wants the council to visit the airport

‘Come and see’: Jonathan Rees wants the council to visit the airport

FLY WALES’ Jonathan Rees wants Pembrokeshire County Council to come down to Haverfordwest airport to see what it is all about.

The council has recently approved a consultation on the future of the airport but Jonathan Rees told the Herald that closing the airport would have a big impact on Pembrokeshire.

Jonathan has invested heavily into the business and says that the airport is an asset not just to businesses but to the people of Pembrokeshire as well.

One option that was mentioned at the cabinet meeting in April was the possibility of using Brawdy as an alternative but that idea was also dismissed by Jonathan.

He said: “No one has taken the time to know what is actually going on here, so for them to say this needs to be closed, they should at least come up to the airport first to see what is going on and the jobs it has created and if it did close, the jobs that would be lost directly. We do a lot of NHS work which involves a lot of organ flights all over the UK from Haverfordwest. We may go to pick up surgical teams from London or Newcastle to fly out to wherever the donor is, retrieve the organs and go back to where they are needed. Haverfordwest is able to offer a 24- hour service because we’ve already got the infrastructure of the lighting as a lot of the organ retrievals are done in the evenings. On Saturday evening there was an organ which left here at 11.30 and that was flown to Edinburgh and another that went to Edinburgh on Tuesday morning. The Charter also flies companies around Pembrokeshire. The LNG oil refinery does use this facility and it does use it to fly in people whenever something major is happening. When Marks and Spencer was being built in Haverfordwest, they were flying in and out as well. The packaging companies that are processing, they use us to fly in the buyers for Tesco, Morrisons and Asda. All these companies are quite large employers for the county of Pembrokeshire. We also do work for the MOD in Aberporth. Whilst there is an airfield at Aberporth it is used for the UAV’s which means they can’t use commercial transport. We’ve seen an increase of over 300% in Pilot training, up on where we were last year, bearing in mind we are coming out of one the most severe recessions. We are actually now attracting people and we’ve got students coming over to learn to fly at Haverfordwest from Hong Kong in May. As well as being good for the economy of the airport this will also be good for the local economy with accommodation and services that are provided being used. People do use the facility for pleasure flights whilst on holiday and one comment I’ve had is that it was the icing on the cake of their holiday and they would want to come again.”

He continued: “Brawdy is not an option because, going back to the charter, from the minute we have a phone call, until the craft is airborne, has to be 45 minutes and that’s 24- 7. For us to be out in Brawdy, there are no lights, there is no runway lighting, no control tower, and no security facility. The infrastructure at Brawdy means it is just not an option. The airport has made a loss of £46,000 but my view is that whilst we are getting busier, we are going to be buying more fuel, we are going to be making more profit so that loss will slowly diminish. The airport shouldn’t be looked at as a separate entity because other jobs are supported by the airport. It isn’t just a playground for people. It is a proper business.”

Jonathan also revealed that the area in which they operate could soon be expanding to areas in Iceland, Russia and Yemen.

He continued: “Before the council talks about closure and before they suggest something like Brawdy, why don’t they come up and see what really happens at the Haverfordwest Aerodrome. What I would like is for the council to come up to Haverfordwest airport to have a discussion about what the airport does, what services go from here and who it is provided for. It is a huge asset for the businesses and even to the people of Pembrokeshire and it is a huge asset to encouraging investment. If the airport was to close it would definitely have an impact. I would close the aviation site and I wouldn’t relocate as it wouldn’t be viable. It works here because we can guarantee that aircraft will be airborne within 45 minutes. Everything is close at hand and this is why we are very good at what we do.”

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No action at Cardiff Airport over virus

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THERE were no checks or screening at Cardiff airport this morning (Jan 23) as international concern continues to grow about the coronavirus which has killed 17 people and infected hundreds in a central Chinese city.

A Herald journalist landing at 5:30am on a flight from Doha, said that passengers arriving from China or other Southeast Asian were not questioned or screened, despite other airports including Heathrow taking action.

The twice daily Doha flight, which was launched with the help of the Welsh Government two years ago, connects travellers from many destinations from South East Asia, including from China. A connection between Beijing and Cardiff is offered with a 10 hour stop over at Hamad International Airport in Qatar.

The outbreak of the virus is centred on the city of Wuhan. Travellers from Wuhan change at Beijing. At this time of year there is an increased number of travellers between China and the UK due to the Chinese New Year celebrations’

The Guardian reported today (Jan 23) that a sense of panic has spread in the central Chinese city of Wuhan as the city of 11 million was put on lockdown in an attempt to quarantine a deadly virus believed to have originated there.

Today, Chinese authorities banned all transport links from the sprawling city, suspending buses, the subway system, ferries and shutting the airport and train stations to outgoing passengers.

Nearby Huanggang also suspended its public bus and railway system by the end of the day.

In Wuhan, it has been reported that supermarket shelves were empty and local markets sold out of produce as residents hoarded supplies and isolated themselves at home. Petrol stations were overwhelmed as drivers stocked up on fuel, exacerbated by rumours that reserves had run out. Local residents said pharmacies had sold out of face masks.

The incubation period for the virus is said to be five days according to experts.

The Welsh Government has been asked for a comment.

Spencer Birns, Chief Commercial Officer at Cardiff Airport, told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Cardiff Airport is closely following guidance provided by the relevant authorities in relation to screening procedures for Coronavirus. Port Health advice as of 1200 on 23rd January 2020 is to operate business as usual, with no additional screening. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update our customers as required.

“The safety and security of our team and customers is our number one priority.”

A spokesperson told The Herald that Chinese nationals arriving in Cardiff on international flights are not being asked if they originated in Wuhan despite the crisis.

“We have not been told to do different to normal,” the spokesperson said.

Pictured above: Regular flights: Qatar Airways plane at Cardiff Airport this morning • Peter Sinclair from Milford Haven lives in China and taking precautions

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Elin Jones congratulates Ceredigion Talking Paper in National Assembly

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AM marks 50 years of service by local news service for the blind

Elin Jones AM has congratulated the Ceredigion Talking Newspaper in a statement in the National Assembly for Wales, marking 50 years of service to blind people in Ceredigion and beyond.

In her statement on Wednesday the 20th of January, Elin Jones said:

“Fifty years ago, in January 1970, an innovative charity was established in Ceredigion for blind people, offering the first service of its kind in Wales and the United Kingdom – a service that would enable the blind people of Ceredigion to hear the latest local news in the press.

“That innovative scheme was the Ceredigion Talking Newspaper.

“The talking newspaper was set up by Ronald Sturt, a lecturer at the College of Librarianship in Llanbadarn. Initially, the recordings of local voices reading articles from the local press were on tape cassettes and provided to 18 people.

“Nowadays, the recordings are on a USB, and there are over a hundred regular listeners of the talking newspaper and more than 60 volunteers contributing regularly. The recordings are published weekly and the coverage includes the Cambrian News, Golwg and Y Cymro.

“One reader, Eileen Sinnett, has volunteered continuously for fifty years. What a contribution she has made!

“I would like to congratulate the Ceredigion Talking Newspaper for breaking new ground in 1970, for 50 years of service and for bringing the news, in both Welsh and English, to those who cannot see or read it in Ceredigion and beyond.”

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Community

Young People raise money for local charities

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On 10 December 2019, young people from Ysgol Henry Richard’s Cooking Club hosted a Christmas Fayre stall, selling cakes and donated bakes from the local community to raise money for young people receiving care at Angharad Ward, Bronglais Hospital and West Wales Domestic Abuse Service. The club was led by Ceredigion Youth Service and raised over £400 for the charities.

The young people learnt how to make and produce different products, sell and raise money for charity. This gave the young people the opportunity to feel a sense of achievement by giving to others.

Ruby Cook from Ysgol Henry Richard’s Cooking Club said, “Our Cooking Club is made up of young people from Ysgol Henry Richard who attend the after school cooking club. The club focuses on cooking and leaning new life skills. It also gives young people an opportunity to socialise with their friends. We had a great time working on this project, where we baked cakes and had fun in the Christmas Fayre selling them. We would like to thank the local businesses which also donated to our stall. With your support we were able to raise more funds and give more young people gifts this Christmas.”

Mrs Ffion Davies, Ysgol Henry Richard said, “It was a lovely evening seeing the Cooking Club members have fun while making and selling cakes for worthy causes. The enthusiasm the young people showed when giving up their own time to help others at what can be a vulnerable time of year for some was inspiring. Thank you and well done to Ceredigion Youth Service and the Cooking Club members.”

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I want to congratulate the Cooking Club for their hard work and great achievement. I’m delighted that they not only raised a good sum for charity, but had fun and learnt at the same time. I’m grateful to the Ceredigion Youth Service for their continued good work and support of young people in the county.”

Ceredigion Youth Service is the designated Service for young people aged 11-25 in Ceredigion, dedicated to supporting young people’s personal, social and educational development through specialised support and open access provision. Provision includes School Based Youth Work, Outreach Youth Work and Youth Clubs. For more information or to find out what opportunities are available to you, head over to their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages at @GICeredigionYS.

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