PEOPLE in Milford Haven wanting to join a protest to protect essential services at Withybush Hospital are being invited to contact the town council.

The council has decided to pay for 45-seater coach so that people from the town can take part in the Save Withybush Action Team (SWAT) protest in Cardiff on March 5.

Mayor Cllr Yvonne Southwell is asking anyone interested in a place on bus, which will be travelling directly from Milford Haven to Cardiff, to get in touch as soon as possible.

But, whether passengers will have to make a contribution for the journey to and from the protest has yet to be decided.

At a meeting of Milford Haven Town Council’s finance and general purposes committee on Thursday (February 13), Cllr Stephen Joseph said he wasn’t happy with the idea of ‘subsidising the whole bus’, as many of those travelling would be town councillors.

“We should be putting on a bus, but we should be paying for it ourselves, not asking the people of the town to pay for it,” he said.

Cllr Rhys Sinnett said he sympathised with Cllr’s Joseph’s reservations, saying it was not right for councillors to get a “free ride” using tax-payers’ money.

He added that it was important people on low incomes were able to attend the protest.

Mayor Cllr Southwell proposed paying for bus, and asking passengers who could afford it to make a donation.

After much discussion, the clerk reminded councillors that if transport was not arranged soon, it would be too late, and so the committee resolved to book the bus and ‘iron out the mechanics of payment’ at full council on February 24.

The coach will leave Milford Haven Town Hall at 8.30am, and return from Cardiff at 3.30pm. Seats will be available to people on a first-come/first-served basis, and can be booked by calling the Town Hall on 01646 692505, between Monday and Friday, 9am to 5pm.