Businesses unite to respond to COVID-19

Businesses in the West of England face a challenge like no other as the national response to the COVID-19 outbreak has taken hold.

Employers across the region have moved quickly to adjust to new measures whilst dealing with a flurry of information and guidance from government about what to do and how to access business support. Concerns about the pressure on the NHS and public bodies combines with anxiety about how businesses can continue trading as the economy is placed into temporary hibernation.

As director of a small and growing business in Bristol, the most striking thing about this crisis for me is that everyone is impacted. Whatever sector we are in, we are indeed all in this together.

The principles of collaboration and working together have never been more important than they are now.

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#Togetherstronger: more than a marketing slogan

After the chaos of Brexit and divisive tone of much of the reaction to the vote, there’s nothing like sport to bring people back together.

And what a rollercoaster of a week it’s been. As a remain supporter and proud Welshman, I was disappointed that so many people in Wales voted to leave the EU.

The prevailing, and sometimes lazy, narrative that has emerged since is one of a nation divided.

Then Friday night happened…

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My resolution for 2013: breaking bad email habits

I’ve a habit to confess to, which I’d like to break this year. Emails have had a hold on me for more than 15 years, arriving and requiring responses at all hours. The more I respond, the more traffic arrives to fill the void. I came into work early this morning after a week or so off to clear out the messages that had landed over Christmas before getting on with the rest of the day.

Driving into the office before 7am after a lovely festive break with family and friends, it is easy to be struck by how maddening this is. As new year’s resolutions go, breaking the cycle of email addiction is one of the better ones I’ve made.

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When will Haven get its hump back?

Ex hump-back bridge in Broad Haven

The freak conditions have claimed a surprise victim in Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire, down the road from where my parents live.

The hump back bridge at the foot of Haroldston Hill has disappeared, swept into the sea by the high tide on Wednesday last week. All that appears left is the wall running parallel to the beach, which now dangles precariously without support over the sea-front.

No more walking across that wall with the kids for a while now, it would seem. Those who live or stay at the bottom of the hill face the inconvenience of a detour around the back roads to get through the village or into town.

Pembrokeshire County Council appears unable to say when the road will be restored. I hope I am wrong, as the Haven can’t afford to have the road closed for long, but my money’s on it taking a while to fix.

Those who wish to make the case for a swift response to the council should drop a line to its transport unit in Haverfordwest, or to Cllr Keith Lewis, who chairs its Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

For Jane

This is a personal post, which I’ve been thinking about for days following the death of someone very special last weekend. Jane Bell, owner of the Druidstone in Pembrokeshire, wife, mother, grandmother and friend to so many (including me) died on 12 August after a battle against pancreatic cancer.

Hundreds of people came to the hotel yesterday from all across the world to celebrate a lady who has spent the last 40 years creating the most remarkable place many of us have known.

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Royal visit brightens a summer deluge

I went to the fantastic Heartlands regeneration project in Pool yesterday, which helped kick off the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall’s three-day visit to the county.

They were greeted by lines of local people who braved the dreadful weather, makeshift rain macs and all, to greet the couple on their visit to the former tin mine, which has been transformed into what’s been described as ‘Cornwall’s cultural playground’.

There was plenty do during their two hours at Heartlands, including a tour of the adventure playground which has been designed by local kids, meeting supporters of the project, checking out the local businesses who make up the market place on the site and unveiling a stone engraved to commemorate the visit and draw links to the area’s mining industry.

Some pictures, which show the weather in its glory, are below. Thankfully, the rain didn’t take the shine off the day for those who were there.

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