Yepi vs Nopi

I was born in St Davids nearly seven decades ago and have witnessed massive changes here in that time. Agriculture was the main employer in the early days with milk being produced on nearly every farm. Early Pembrokeshire potatoes were in great demand and were grown by St Davids farmers in particular because of the earliness of the peninsula. Another lifesaver for this community was our factory St Davids Assemblies, employing well over 200 in better days and indeed still quite a number due to the high quality of its products.

The hotels of St Nons, Whitesands Bay and Glan y Mor who were also employing local staff are now closed for various reasons.

Sadly agriculture has changed and with milk being produced by 1000 cow herds nearer the big towns, globally sourced spuds, and our own St Davids dairy having its cows milked by a robot.

Tourism has taken over with our visitors given choices of accommodation like never before, I need not got through the list. The problem as I see it is that our season is very short and with most businesses being family run they tend to employ staff only at peak and changeover times.

I am aware that a great many including friends and neighbours, many of whom have children and indeed many are grandparents have signed the Nopi petition and I would like them to ask themselves 'why am I against a Premier Inn?'

Very recently this community got out the banners and marched on county hall opposing the closure of our school. It moved me when I saw what power the parents from the communities of Croesgoch, Solva and St Davids along with villages and farms of the area could achieve.

We are now in a position that if we accept that this area is predominantly tourist driven then we must support Premier Inn's application or else what are the occupants of the new social and affordable housing going to do for year round employment? Where are our children going to go to school? The rugby club is dependent on local youth and is already beginning to suffer.

Employment is critical to every community and we must fight for every single job!

Now is not the time to squabble but when the planners ask for letters of support for the application be sure to mark yours resident of one of the above communities (check the electoral list).

Derek Rees

St Davids