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Badger and the little yellow god

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Badger0THE LONG-FORGOTTEN J. Milton Hayes it was originally who told the story of Mad Carew and his attempt to steal the green eye of the little yellow god. Honestly: Badger had to look it up — especially after the great Keats/ Shelley debacle: Badger thought the tale of Mad Carew was by Harry Champion (who popularised such music hall classics as “I’m Henery the Eighth, I Am” and “Any Old Iron”). For those of Badger’s readers born into the great slough of despond that was education during the last thirty years or so, Badger recommends dipping into poetry now and again. it illuminates and entertains in equal measure.

Sitting in his sett on a chill evening, while above spring has sprung and young rascals take long refreshing walks with their (frequently temporary) beloveds, Badger likes to read poetry. One thing that Badger has realised is that poetry often provides uncanny parallels with life in Pembrokeshire. Who can read the lines “The boy stood on the burning deck, when all but he had fled”, and not be touched by the plight of “popular” one-time yoghurt salesman Jamie Adams as he heads full speed into an iceberg to try and douse the flames? But it is to Mad Carew we turn. Badger does not mean the estimable IPPG member for that ward. Councillor David Neale is a man who listens to his constituents’ his unfailing support for Jamie and the officers’ club that make up Meibion Bryn.

No Badger speaks of the protagonist of Hayes’ verse. You see, in the poem Mad Carew is set a dreadful task to perform by the object of his affections, his commanding officer’s daughter. Braving disaster he acquires the green eye of the little yellow god, only for her to refuse to take it from him and leaving him to a gloomy fate: “the vengeance of the little yellow god”. And so it is, when Badger sat in his sett pondering the words of the poem, he thought about the officers who are involved in the ongoing grants imbroglio that is rumbling its way on to a no doubt messy conclusion involving the weasel words that “lessons will be learned”. Consider them in the role of Mad Carew. Seized by the illusion of their acumen and vim, the County Council sent them out to grab the green eye of European funding.

With a healthy rake off the top for the Council, it was in its interests to encourage the officers to get as much as they could and then hunker down in County Hall while their gains were counted out. They have succeeded handsomely in grabbing oodles of Euro-swag. All in exchange for far too few questions asked. But the cost! What — apart from too-fat salaries, that is — has been Dave Pugh, Jamie-no-mates and the rest of Meibion Bryn to launch their scurrilous and untrue attack upon him in an attempt to stop the truth coming out, breached the code of conduct for Council staff which prohibits favouring one party over another, or acting in a manifestly self-serving way to cover-up their own inadequacies.

Those officers are now left gently swinging in the breeze; hoist by their own arrogance, unjustified self-belief and a failure to tell right from wrong and how many beans make five. Badger has pointed out before the actions of the person at their head, Dr Steven Jones, who was rapidly out of the blocks at January’s Audit Committee meeting to say, in terms, “the buck ain’t gonna stop with me!” Now Badger discovers that officers have been reduced to tampering with minutes of meetings to shore-up their desperate failure to properly scrutinise tenders, documents and bills of quantities: the officers, rather like Mad Carew, have returned panting and tattered from the ordeal of gaining their prize, only to find themselves objects of derision and despair. Desperate to shore up their tattered reputations and cover up further abject failure in scrutiny, officers have “creatively adjusted” the minutes of meetings to make it look as though they undertook scandal overseen by complacent and over-confident officers and a compliant and over-confident IPPG Cabinet, Badger does not know. But one thing is certain, an attempt to rewrite history to exonerate or exculpate officers from the consequences of their (in) actions is unlikely to be smiled upon by the rozzers. Links between evidence are vital in putting together events.

Move a link or adjust its setting, and the whole chain is jeopardised. For self-serving reasons, a senior manager at the Council thought it necessary to fiddle the record and attempt to mislead whoever depended upon the documentary record to make an informed decision. At worst they have tampered with evidence; at least, they are guilty of being idiotically self-centred and arrogant. In Pembrokeshire County Council terms, of course, Badger believes that the officer (and Badger has three strong sources who name the officer responsible) will be regarded as most culpable for getting caught. Much will be Bryn’s displeasure, no doubt. Mighty Bryn’s wrath.

The Eleventh Commandment of the little tin god in County Hall (Thou shalt not get caught) has been broken. it is only by the merest chance that this person’s attempt to establish that scrutiny that he realises with the benefit of hindsight should have been undertaken at the relevant time — i.e. now the grants scandal has been rumbled — was done when it mattered. Hayes’ verse warns that just because something glitters and is valuable, does not make it a prize of worth and prestige. For Hayes’ hero the reward for his exploit in seizing the green eye was a sticky end. Mad Carew, Badger ponders … A person who confuses his own self-interest with the public interest must be off their bloody rocker!

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Tragedy above Milford Haven takeaway

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DYFED POWYS POLICE has confirmed that a 20-year-old male passed away in Milford Haven last Saturday, April 17.

Police were called to the USA Fried Chicken store on Charles Street at around 1:30pm but have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

A Herald reporter was at the scene and witnessed a number of police cars and an ambulance while plain-clothed officers were also seen.

HM Coroner has been informed.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson added: “We were called to Charles Street in Milford Haven on Saturday 17 April at approximately 1.34pm to reports of a medical emergency. We attended the scene with one emergency ambulance where we assisted colleagues from the police.”

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Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

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THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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Joinery learner through to Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year Finals

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PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE joinery learner, Conor Ratcliff has made it through to the final ten in this year’s Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year competition.

Now in its seventh year, the competition celebrates the next generation of tradespeople as they start out on their career. With over 2,500 nominations, Conor was shortlisted to the top 30 where he had to deliver a video presentation to industry-leading judges and trade body representatives. Judged on professionalism, creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and knowledge of their trade, Conor impressed the judges and is now in the final 10.  

Simon Jackson, Screwfix Customer and Digital director, commented: “Every year we are amazed by the outstanding quality of entrants and, this year, we are on the lookout for apprentices who go above and beyond to succeed within their chosen trade.

“We’ve seen how this career-boosting accolade and £10,000 prize bundle helps kickstart an apprentice’s career. I’d like to wish everyone through to this stage the best of luck!”

The prize package includes everything a future tradesperson may need to start up their own business including £5,000 of tools, a £3,000 training budget and £2,000 worth of technology. The college where they study will also receive £2,000.

Conor is thrilled to have made it through to the finals and commented: “I am extremely honoured to have made it this far in the competition and I am very excited for the final event. It would be an amazing opportunity for me, if I won this competition.

“I hope it encourages more people to consider an apprenticeship in a trade, the Carpentry and Joinery department have been incredibly supportive during my studies.”

The Final is due to take place imminently where the judges will conduct an online interview with the ten finalists before selecting and announcing their overall winner.

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