Local politicians have vowed to pursue all avenues possible in a bid to safeguard the future of the Dyfed Powys Police Helicopter and its base at Pembrey as MP Jonathan Edwards is set to raise the matter with the Secretary of State for Wales in Parliament on Wednesday.
Jonathan Edwards last week tabled a Parliamentary motion calling on the Westminster Government to intervene and overturn the decision by the National Police Air Service (NPAS) to remove the helicopter from Pembrey as of New Year’s Day 2016.
At the same time Assembly Members Rhodri Glyn Thomas, Elin Jones and Simon Thomas presented a Statement of Opinion in the National Assembly. Both of these measures require fellow MPs and AMs to sign up and support the calls for the government to intervene.
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards said he hopes the Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb, who represents the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency, would back the campaign to protect the Pembrey base given that his own constituents will be impacted by the decision to have it removed.
On securing the question to the Secretary of State, MP Jonathan Edwards said:
“I’m very pleased to have secured the opportunity to question the Secretary of State for Wales in Parliament on Wednesday. This is a hugely important issue which has dominated my mailbag over the last few days. It is clear the residents of Dyfed Powys are deeply unhappy at the news our police helicopter will be lost.
“I hope the Secretary of State will back our campaign to protect the helicopter and the Pembrey site given that he represents Pembrokeshire. The removal of the police helicopter will, of course, impact upon the very people he represents.
“I can assure residents that I and my colleagues will pursue all avenues possible in order to safeguard our helicopter.”
Mid and West Wales Assembly Member Simon Thomas highlighted the issue during First Minister’s Question on Tuesday. Speaking after his question to the First Minister, he said:
“One example of where alleged devolution has been a failure for Wales is the devolution that happened with policing and the creation of the police and crime commissioners. That has led to more of the important decisions for us here in Wales being taken outside Wales. Look at the most recent example: the helicopter in Dyfed-Powys at Pembrey being moved as a result of a decision taken outside of Wales. I called for Wales to have powers over policing following the next Westminster general election.”