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Badger and the big lie



brynman and jaminHALLO readers. My word, UKIP supporters are a sensitive souls! Who would have thought a few inconvenient truths would have raised so many hackles. Badger particularly liked the correspondent who told me it was wrong to criticise UK IP’s policies because they had not yet produced their manifesto. How proud he must be to follow a party with no policies (apart from the obvious one). Badger is certain we can all rest assured that as soon as Brother Farage is able to type with more than one finger and work out how to stop spelling ‘banana’ w c will be faced with a literary tour-de-force to rival “Hurrah for Little Noddy”.

Back to matters Pembrokeshire, however, readers. Let’s put the Euro elections back in their empty ballot box. Over the last couple of weeks, while he has been slaving away over Latin epigrams, Badger has read the story of Beloved Bryn’s brush with luxury motoring with considerable bemusement. Not, however, amusement. He’s not even driving the Brynmobile. No readers: we are paying the lease and insurance on Beloved Bryn’s Porsche so Parry Jones junior can tootle to Valero every morning! That, readers that takes the biscuit! Badger has a question for you readers. One he has used before. One that he has been ticked off by his editor for using before. It is a short question. Badger is prepared to take the risk of having to stand in the naughty corner for a while to ask it. WTF?
Readers, even IPPG leader Jamie Adams must be aghast at the CEO’s complete lack of political nous. It appears as though, at least when it comes to insensitivity and arrogance, Jamie takes a distant second place to Bryn. When Jamie told the Full Council that he often popped along to the CEO’s office to engage in “challenging” discussions, when Jamie told the Full Council that he and Beloved Bryn didn’t always see eye-to-eye. did Jamie have in mind how the news that Bryn had availed himself of a Porsche Panamera Hybrid S with a list price of C85.000 would look and sound to a Pembrokeshire public told relentlessly that the Council can’t afford to maintain essential services?

Or was Jamie appeased by a trip around the car park in the Brynmobilc and playing Robin to the CEO’s Batman? Jamie is fond of harping on – like the good Toytown Tory Boy that he is – that all these spending cuts people complain about are the fault of the “Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff Bay”. Well, readers, there are two problems with Jamie saying that: Firstly: you can usually tell when Jamie is spouting (expletive deleted) codswallop. It happens when his lips move. Secondly: Cardiff Bay dots not raise its own taxes. it receives a block grant from the Coalition government in Westminster. With that block grant it has to allocate funding for services across Wales. The Welsh Government is funded nearly entirely by a block grant  The Dynamic Duo: Bryn and Jamie are “on a budget” provided by the UK Treasury.

The change in this block grant is calculated using the Barnett formula, based upon changes in the budgets of Whitehall departments that deliver services for which the Welsh Government are deemed to have responsibility in Wales. Large increases in spending on the NHS and education in England therefore fed through to substantial increases in the amount of grant paid to the Welsh Government in the first decade following devolution. But cuts to government spending as pan of the fiscal consolidation mean that the Welsh block grant has been cut substantially since 2010-11.

The total block grant allocated by the UK government to Wales in 2013-14 is set to be 9.4% lower in real terms than that in 2010-11 (after adjusting for the transfer of funding for council tax benefit to the Welsh Government). Further cuts have been announced for 2014-15 and 2015-16, which, if implemented, would take the cut to 12.2%. So, when Jamie says it is all Welsh Labour’s fault, he really is ejecting a particularly large quantity of a substance with which, as a farmer, he would be intimately familiar. Readers, if Jamie’s was the only whopping porker we had to contend with that would be enough.

But it isn’t. Badger is not talking about the way the Council claims to overpay its officers because to get the best it has to pay the best. Badger isn’t even talking about the nonsense Jamie told Tenby Town Council about the rationale underpinning his decision (made with others) to give Beloved Bryn a whacking big tax break on his pension and to make unlawful payments to the CEO, to boot. Badger wants you to consider the following: Beloved Bryn became CEO of Pembrokeshire County Council in 1996. He was appointed at the top of his then pay grade and received a salary of around f60,000 a year.

The Council’s 2012/13 Accounts show that the Chief Executive received £194.661 in respect of gross salary, fees and other emoluments plus benefits in kind of £11,665. Corresponding figures for 2011/12 were £208,170 and £10,017, plus in that year, employer’s pension contribution to the local government pension scheme of £30,000. Had the lowest paid worker’s wage risen at the same rate as Beloved Bryn’s over the same period, a manual working for the local authority would be on somewhere near £25,000 per year. Care workers would be on around £27,000 per year.

Badger can bet his boots that there are no lowest pay grade workers on that sort of screw. The big lie, readers, is that senior officers have to be paid the same sort of wage as notional equivalents in private industry. However, senior officers in local government have blue-chip, gold-plated pensions funded by tax payers. Senior officers in local government have the type of job security a manager in the private sector can only look at and envy.

The idea that there are companies battering down the council office doors to get at the senior staff and spirit them away to the private sector is a lie of such size and magnitude that it even dwarfs the lie by implication that Bryn would have run away from Pembrokeshire if he hadn’t been given unlawful payments by his employers. Readers, if a senior manager in the private sector had presided over the number of crises and cock-ups that Bryn Parry Jones has, do you think he would still be in a job? If your name is Jamie Adams or Suc Perkins and you answered “yes”. please lie down. The nurse will be with you shortly to show you to your room.

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Buckingham palace announces Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements



PRINCE PHILIP’S royal ceremonial funeral will take place April 17 at Windsor Castle — a slimmed-down service amid the COVID-19 pandemic that will be entirely closed to the public.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, took part in planning his funeral and its focus on family was in accordance with his wishes. The 99-year-old duke, who died Friday, also took part in designing the modified Land Rover that will carry his coffin.

“Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth,” a palace spokesman said Saturday while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson who stepped away from royal duties last year and now lives in California, will attend the service along with other members of the royal family. His wife, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, has been advised by her doctor not to attend.

Palace officials said the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with the British government’s COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals to 30. They declined to say whether the royal family would be required to wear masks.

The palace appealed to the public not to gather in Windsor, and for those who wished to pay their respects to Philips to stay at home instead.

“While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the royal family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects,″ the palace spokesman said. “The family’s wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.”

The announcement comes after military teams across the U.K. and on ships at sea fired 41-gun salutes Saturday to mark the death of Philip, honouring the former naval officer and husband of Queen Elizabeth II whom they considered one of their own.

Batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast — the capitals of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom — as well as other cities around the U.K. and the Mediterranean outpost of Gibraltar fired the volleys at one-minute intervals beginning at midday. Ships including the HMS Montrose, a frigate patrolling the Persian Gulf, offered their own salutes.

“The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the Armed Forces as a whole,” Gen. Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said in a statement. “A life well-lived. His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty.”

Members of the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries headed by the monarch, were also invited to honour Philip. The Australian Defence Force began its salute at 5 p.m. local time outside Parliament House in Canberra, and New Zealand planned to offer its own tribute on Sunday.

Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and once had a promising military career. In 1941, he was honoured for his service during the battle of Cape Mattapan off the coast of Greece, when his control of searchlights aboard the HMS Valiant allowed the battleship to pinpoint enemy vessels in the dark. Philip rose to the rank of commander before he retired from active duty.

Two years after the war ended, Philip married Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. Philip’s naval career came to an abrupt end when King George VI died in 1952 and his wife became queen.

At the queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and settled into a life supporting the monarch. The couple had four children — Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Before he retired from official duties in 2017, the prince carried out more than 22,000 solo public engagements and supported over 780 organizations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people.

Members of the public continued to honour Philip’s life of service on Saturday, leaving flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle despite appeals from authorities and the royal family to refrain from gathering.

“I think everyone would like to pay their respects,” Maureen Field, 67, said outside Windsor Castle. “Because of the virus, a lot of people have to stay away. He didn’t want a big funeral. He wanted a very private time with his family to say their goodbyes. So, we’ve all got to respect that.”

Mike Williams, 50, travelled from his home in Surrey, southwest of London, to Buckingham Palace to honour the prince.

“He’s a massive loss to the country and to the world, I think, so we wanted to come and pay respects,” Williams said. “I don’t know what it achieves, but it just felt like the right thing to do.”

(Associated Press, London – by James Brooks and Tom Rayner)

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Police: RNLI ‘most likely saved man’s life’ following tombstoning incident



POLICE have issued an urgent warning following a tombstoning incident Tenby on Saturday evening (Apr 10).

A multi-agency operation was launched just after 6pm following reports of a man in difficulty after jumping from cliffs into the sea.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys police told The Herald: “We were called to the beach opposite St Catherine’s Island at around 6.15pm today, where a man had got into difficulty after jumping off the cliff into the water.

“On the arrival of officers, RNLI were at the scene and were administering CPR to the 23-year-old who was unconscious and not breathing.

“Fortunately, he regained consciousness shortly after and was taken to hospital for assessment.

Inspector Gavin Howells added: “This incident highlights the serious danger posed by tombstoning or cliff jumping, and the potentially life-threatening consequences.

“We urge people not to take part in this sort of activity anywhere along our coastline, and not to put themselves or the emergency services at risk for a thrill.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the RNLI for their swift response to this incident, and for their actions which most likely saved this man’s life.”

RNLI Tenby posted on Facebook the following: “The Georgina Taylor was launched after person seen in difficulty in water

“Tenby’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at around 6.25pm on Saturday, following a report of somebody in difficulty in the sea off Castle Beach.

“The volunteer crew were quickly on scene and immediately saw the casualty, who had been pulled from the water and was on the rocks.

“The casualty was taken from the rocks and into the lifeboat, where Casualty Care was administered whilst the helmsman made best speed to the harbour.

“As the lifeboat was entering the harbour, an ambulance was arriving at the slipway.

“The crew then assisted the ambulance personnel in getting the casualty onto the stretcher and into the ambulance, before re-housing the lifeboat.

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin



POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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