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Adams: ‘We can move on from Bryn controversy’

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Jamie Adams: There is life after Bryn

Jamie Adams:
There is life
after Bryn

THE PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD met with Independent Group leader Jamie Adams on Thursday (Oct 30). In an extensive interview with Herald Assistant Editor Jon Coles, the council Leader spoke about the challenges and opportunities facing Pembrokeshire and its council. The recurrent theme of the interview was the limit on what could be done in a time of long term uncertainty over the council’s future and the constraints placed on the council’s budget. Beginning with how he proposed to move on from the events of October 16, when following an impassioned debate councillors approved a six-figure settlement to be paid to their Chief Executive Bryn Parry-Jones, Councillor Adams said: “There has been a very different feel at County Hall the last few weeks. There has been a storm outside the Council the last few weeks, but there is a sense in itself that the Council is healing from within.

I have had more constructive and positive conversations with members of the opposition. In light of that, I am confident that the council can move on from the controversy involving the Chief Executive.” Looking at the question of the vacancy within his own Cabinet, Jamie Adams told us: “I made it clear when I appointed Alison Lee to Cabinet that I saw it as an opportunity to engage with the wider membership. I have two or three credible options to fill the vacant Cabinet post from both within and outside the Independent group.

I am quite relaxed about where that person comes from but I am determined to get the best person for the role.” The Herald then raised the sore point of the council’s response to the South Wales and West Wales Shoreline Management Plans and the future of Pembrokeshire’s coastal communities: “We are mindful that there are ongoing budget requirements within the council supported by the Welsh Government, but I am afraid funding is not following through. We do not have the capacity to deliver some of the solutions to deliver some of the solutions to protect those communities in peril from rising tides.

Acknowledging the challenge to the main link between Haverfordwest and Saint Davids, deemed unsustainable in even the short term, Cllr Adams said: “The A487 is going to be quite a challenge. We intended to use some of the coastline mitigation funds the council received after last winter’s storms towards resolving the infrastructure issue. But it took a long time to get it through the Welsh Government that this was an urgent requirement. We are going to need a wider consultation on the transport links to the Saint Davids Peninsula, as the current alternative route is proving too difficult for HGV’s and buses.

I am confident the Trunk Road Agency can help us. We have variable message signs on the A40 at Redstone Cross and if we can direct some of the HGV traffic from that point via Letterston then it might help us manage that process. But it is not a great solution, as once we put HGV’s on that road we encounter difficulties.” The problem with local government reorganization was also discussed, The Herald’s question was answered with one from Jamie Adams: “Will services cost less or will they improve?

If we cannot answer either one or both of thus positively, I do not see how we can justify change. I think that it is only the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay that supports Council mergers, the other parties reject it and I am aware of Labour MP’s who are sceptical.” On defending Pembrokeshire, Jamie Adams confirmed that his preferred outcome was no change to Pembrokeshire’s autonomy: “Pembrokeshire is distinct. The brand is strong and synonymous with being a brand of quality. You cannot day the same of other counties.

Pembrokeshire has particular qualities and a defined status that other counties do not.” Jamie Adams revealed that the ongoing public consultations about future services had given members of the Cabinet an insight into the issues that concerned the Pembrokeshire public: “I have to confess that I took part in one on Thursday (Oct 16) (the evening of the vote on Bryn Parry-Jones’ settlement) which was particularly challenging. It has been interesting that the matters which councillors think are important to the public are not always those that people find important.

There are occasions that there have been more robust exchanges between two members of the public with opposing views than there have been between my Cabinet colleagues and the same members of the public. “By and large what has come across clearly are concerns about senior officers’ pay and councillors’ remuneration. There is a commitment to look at the whole cost of senior management. “In terms of where we go, the opportunities to trim around the edges is no longer there, we are going to have to look more dispassionately at the services we provide and what communities can provide” The full interview can be seen online at pembrokeshireherald.com

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Tomos

    November 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    If a crime is committed then there’s no statute of Limitations on that.

    This case though completely legal will NOT be forgotten,

    The IPiG councillors should realise that or they are even more stupid than I thought.

    Even today 28th November we look at the main BBC news website for Wales, the MAIN story for our area?

    we see that Bryn got the £90k Porsche as well – it also took the Beeb a VERY long time to get the info as I guess Jamie was trying to keep that fact quiet as well?

  2. Tomos

    November 28, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    PS Why do we want the A40 made into a dual carriage way – was it as a result of the refinery closing in Pembroke, If so then surely it’s the A478 that should be upgraded or are the councillors in the North of the county more interested in themselves ?

  3. Flashbang

    November 30, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Why is this story appearing (1Dec) now if the interview was on 30/10? There seems to be a problem with this website as all the stories carry todays date even though they were published months ago. Please fix it.

  4. ieuan

    December 1, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Yes there is life after Bryn, there can and I hope life after Jamie and his cowboys in the IPPG.

    I have no faith in ANYTHING this man says!

  5. Ian

    December 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    bet the Lodge, the Police,Jamie, Bryn and their families are worried tonight, BPJ is now one of the biggest stories on one of the most popular websites in the world – I hope the Council , the Senedd and the Police will now feel pressurised into actually doing SOMETHING!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2855841/Council-boss-slashed-pay-1-000-staff-5-000-KEPT-90-000-company-Porsche.html?

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Pembrokeshire cottage letting agency offers free holidays to NHS heroes

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PEMBROKESHIRE-BASED holiday letting agency St Brides Bay Cottages has teamed up with its property owners and Operation Recuperation to offer free holidays to frontline healthcare workers. The family-run firm has announced the scheme to say thank you to the healthcare heroes who are risking their lives to keep the UK safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

The generous initiative will see healthcare professionals enjoy a well-deserved break in picturesque St Davids, Solva, Newgale or Porthgain, after the crisis is over. The scheme is part of Operation Recuperation, a UK-wide campaign launched to gift future stays in beautiful places to frontline healthcare providers.

Sam Sibbald, manager of St Brides Bay Cottages, based in Solva, said: “This is our way of showing our dedicated healthcare workers that we appreciate everything they’re doing in such difficult circumstances.

“I saw first-hand the pressure the NHS is under, when my dad had a stay in hospital last year. I could tell how pushed they were on a normal day-to-day basis, let alone with having COVID-19 to deal with. Now my dad is at home, needing carers every day, and I can see, more than ever, how much we rely on the people who look after us.

“We’re taking part in Operation Recuperation thanks to the generosity of our cottage owners. By gifting stays to these dedicated workers, we’ll be helping them to recover from the fight against coronavirus.”

Several cottage owners, whose properties are let by St Brides Bay Cottages, have come forward to donate stays in their holiday homes.

Among them is Sheila Morgan, who together with her husband Chris, owns The Anchorage, a two-bedroom apartment in Solva. She said: “As a retired nurse with medical staff in the family, I can fully appreciate the strains and stresses all NHS staff are going through at present. Thank you all for your sterling work. Hopefully the peace, quiet and Pembrokeshire air will aid recuperation.”

Debbie and Patrick Bowie-Moore, the owners of five-bedroom holiday home Mount Pleasant, in Solva, said: “The healthcare workers have offered their all, and it’s our privilege to give a family – who may have been kept apart – the opportunity to stay in Mount Pleasant as a massive thank you.”

Simon Baker, who owns Cefn y Mor, a four-bedroom property in Solva, said: “We are backing the Operation Recuperation project because we have family members on the frontline of the NHS, and know what risks they are taking, and what effort they are putting into saving lives. Our only effort is to stay at home and avoid infection. A small price to pay.”

Jim and Maureen Dale, whose three-bedroom holiday home, May Cottage, is situated on a grade II-listed farm, near St Davids, said: “Rarely do we get an opportunity to say thank you to the staff at the NHS – we tend to take the service so much for granted. Now the chips are down and there they all are, on the frontline looking after us all. Thank you all at the NHS.”

David and Judith James, who are offering a free stay at their converted watermill, Melin Llanrhian, near Porthgain, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support Operation Recuperation as a very small thank you to everyone in the NHS who has worked so hard in such challenging circumstances.”

Operation Recuperation is collecting donations – in room nights and cash – to give free stays to frontline healthcare staff, once the virus restrictions have been lifted.

Rachel Sherwood, who launched Operation Recuperation, said: “A huge thank you to St Brides Bay Cottages for proudly supporting Operation Recuperation and to the cottage owners who have donated stays in this stunning part of Wales, despite very challenging times.

“Sometime in the not-too-distant future, a number of our frontline healthcare staff will be enjoying long clifftop walks, fresh seafood, lazy days on the beach and cosy evenings in sea-view cottages.”

To find out more about St Brides Bay Cottages and Operation Recuperation, visit: https://www.stbridesbaycottages.com/, email enquiries@stbridesbaycottages.com or call 01437 720027.

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Council pays out £2.5m in business grants to date

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has revealed that since Wednesday, 1st April, it has already paid out £2.5 million in grants to local businesses.

The Authority’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Paul Miller, said Council staff had been working hard to make the Covid-19 business grants payable as soon as possible

Explained Councillor Miller: “Payments started on Wednesday this week for those who qualify for grants linked to the National Non-Domestic Ratings (NNDR) system. We have already paid out around £2.5 million in grants to local businesses.

“Daily payment runs are being made in order that these can get into business bank accounts as soon as possible.

“We cannot unfortunately acknowledge receipt of applications but, once authorised, businesses will be emailed and the grant will be paid within two to three working days.”

Councillor Miller added: “If there are any issues with a grant application, or information is missing, a Council officer will be in touch to discuss the matter. A dedicated team has been set up to do this.”

For further business advice refer to the Council’s Business pages which can be accessed via the following link: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

This will enable access to the application form for the above grants, provide answers to frequently asked questions and links to further sources of advice through HMRC, Welsh Government, Department of Work and Pensions, Public Health Wales and other organisations.

For further enquiries not answered through the business pages, email: covid19@pembrokeshire.gov.uk and an officer will respond. Please view the business pages first.

For those who don’t qualify for the grants, Welsh Government will soon be making details available of how business can access other funding through an Economic Resilience Fund.

Details will be available on the Council’s business pages as soon as they are released by Welsh Government.

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Man issued with two COVID-19 fines in 24 hours as police thank those following new legislation

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A man has been issued with two fines in 24 hours for flouting Coronavirus legislation, as police thank those who are following the new rules.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers in Carmarthenshire stopped the 22-year-old from Llanelli twice for being out of the house without a reasonable excuse.

A report was made on April 1 that three men were breaching the COVID-19 legislation by gathering in Llanstephan. A woman who had attempted to film the men reported that they had stolen her phone and driven away.

Officers quickly linked the car to a suspect and traced it driving towards Carmarthen and then Llanelli, and a roads policing unit was directed to the area.

The car was stopped, and the two occupants – a 22-year-old from Llanelli, and a 18-year-old from Carmarthen – were arrested on suspicion of theft. They were also both issued with tickets for COVID-19 offences.

T/Chief Inspector Tom Sharville said: “We are taking the new legislation seriously, and would like to thank the majority of people who are staying home to keep others safe.

“The measures are difficult to adapt to, but it is important that we stay at home to save lives.

“However, there is a minority out there who are under the impression the legislation does not apply to them, and are flouting the law.

“This was the second fine one of these men was issued with in 24 hours, after he showed a clear disregard for all guidelines.”

The men were arrested on suspicion of theft of a mobile phone, and were released under investigation pending further enquiries.

For information about the COVID-19 legislation, and answers to many frequently asked questions, visit https://bit.ly/DPPCovid19

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