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Council’s discharge response

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gully tankerAN INVESTIGATION into a suspected pollution incident at Hobbs Point, Pembroke Dock, has cleared the local authority of wrongdoing.

Last month, the Pembrokeshire Herald published a photo of a County Council gully tanker which appeared to be emptying its load into the Haven.

Following a complaint by a member of the public, Natural Resources Wales launched an investigation to establish what had been discharged into the Cleddau. That investigation has now concluded.

In response a spokesman from the County Council said:

“A report of a discharge from one of the County Council tankers into the estuary area at Hobbs Point, Pier Road, Pembroke Dock, was received on the afternoon of November 13. The operative has confirmed that he had undertaken a cleansing operation of a gully and that he had followed the normal operating procedure. Having enquired into the matter the Manager was satisfied that the person reporting the issue had seen a discharge of muddy/ discoloured water from a surface water discharge very close to the gully being cleaned and that it was a direct result of the operation that was being undertaken and regarded it as understandable that it may have appeared to a member of the public as a deliberate discharge from the tanker.

“The driver has confirmed that he completed some paper work whilst parked up at Hobbs Point and that he also undertook a phone conversation. This appears to be confirmed from zooming into one of the photos taken by the complainant, where the driver can be observed in the side mirror, and does appear to be on the phone. The driver cannot be sure how long he was parked up for but has conceded that it probably was in excess of 20 minutes.”

Local photographer, Mike Hillen, who captured the images of the tanker at Pembroke Dock, still believes that there was something wrong.

He said: “There was far too much dirty black water being discharged into the Haven, for it to be a simple cleaning exercise.

This week, we witnessed the same lorry cleaning a gully in Milford Haven. The time taken was about 5minutes to do that job, compared to 20- 30 minutes at Hobbs Point. When the lorry went, the discharge stopped”.

A spokesperson from Natural Resources Wales said:

“We investigated these reports fully with Pembrokeshire County Council who were fully co-operative throughout. We found that the material discharged was the content of the surface water drain and contained no additional polluting matter.

“Although unsightly, it is not an offence to discharge material already lying within the drain and it has little or no impact on the environment.

“However, we are grateful for this matter being brought to our attention and encourage people who see pollution or possible dumping of waste to contact us on 0800 80 70 60.”

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North Pembs Schools update

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FIVE of the six north Pembrokeshire Schools closed as a precautionary measure due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the Cardigan Area will re-open fully tomorrow (Wednesday, November 25).

They are Ysgol Clydau, Ysgol Eglwyswrw Ysgol Llandudoch, Ysgol Y Frenni and Ysgol Y Preseli.

Pembrokeshire County Council is extremely grateful to everyone for their patience while this situation has been resolved.

Ysgol Cilgerran will be partially open on Wednesday, November 25 as two classes have been identified as contacts of positive cases.

Foundation Phase classes will reopen tomorrow.

The school will provide further detail on its website.

Pembrokeshire School transport will return to normal, including college transport routes which revert back to normal starting points.

However, affected Ceredigion Schools remain closed and the corresponding Pembrokeshire School Transport will remain suspended for these schools.

Crymych Leisure Centre is also to re-open on Wednesday.

Classes must continue to be booked in the usual way.

 

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Milford Haven: Footage of police pursuit released as dangerous driver is jailed

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POLICE have released footage of a drug driver who drove through a stretch of roadworks on the wrong side of the road, putting other drivers and pedestrians at risk.

Christopher John Brown led Dyfed-Powys Police officers on a pursuit through Milford Haven, endangering lives, hitting a parked car, and eventually trying to hide from officers.

The 31-year-old drive so dangerously that Pembrokeshire Roads Policing Unit officers were no longer able to follow him for fear that he could cause a serious collision.

Brown appeared at Swansea Crown Court onm Monday, November 23, where he was sentenced to 14 months in prison.

The incident unfolded on Friday, October 23 when an RPU officer attempted to stop Brown as he drove out of The Mount estate at speed.

He failed to stop, and proceeding to drive on the wrong side of the road to get away from officers.

Pembrokeshire RPU PC Richard Mycroft said: “This was an incredibly dangerous pursuit, which saw the defendant drive into the path of oncoming vehicles at a set of temporary traffic lights, and through a stop sign.

“An off duty officer was forced to take action to avoid being hit as Brown drove towards him, and we had no option but to stop following when he swerved into a coned area of roadworks where a number of people were working.”

It is footage of this action that Dyfed-Powys Police has released in a bid to show the danger Brown posed to members of the public that day.

The defendant went on to collide with a parked car, causing more than £900 of damage, before getting out of his car and laying on the ground in an attempt to hide from police.

PC Mycroft added: “A witness told officers her children had been playing outside, and fears if Brown had driven around the corner seconds before, he could have hit them.

“This manner of driving is completely reckless, totally unacceptable, and could have had a tragic outcome.

“The number of lives Brown put in danger through driving into oncoming traffic, through roadworks and into residential streets at speed is beyond comprehension.”

Brown was charged with dangerous driving, driving with no insurance, driving while disqualified, failing to stop when requested by police, and possession of cannabis.

His vehicle, which had no insurance, tax or mot, was also seized.

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison at Swansea Crown Court on Monday, November 23, and has been disqualified from driving for 43 months.

“We would like to thank members of the public for their assistance in tracing Brown on the day, when we made the decision to end the pursuit,” PC Mycroft said.

“Their help was invaluable.”

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North Pembrokeshire school closures explained

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PEMBROKESHIRE’S education chief has explained the decision to keep six North Pembrokeshire schools closed today (Tuesday, 24th November).

The schools – which were also closed on Monday following the increased spread of coronavirus in South Ceredigion – are:

• Ysgol Preseli
• Ysgol y Frenni
• Ysgol Llandudoch
• Ysgol Eglwyswrw
• Ysgol Cilgerran
• Ysgol Clydau.

The Pembrokeshire schools are closed as a precaution as they share services – such as transport – with the Ceredigion schools.
Pembrokeshire County Council’s Director of Education, Steven Richards-Downes, said the decision to keep the schools closed was
based around a series of meetings yesterday involving the Authority, Ceredigion County Council and Public Health Wales.

He explained: “Due to the sheer volume of contact tracing work the Cardigan situation has resulted in – and the widespread nature of the cases now across the town – many contacts remain to be spoken to.

“The view of the Incident Management Team in Pembrokeshire was to keep the schools closed to allow the contact tracing teams time to get hold of everyone they needed to and then review the decision later today.

“Everyone can be assured that it is our intention to re-open the schools at the earliest opportunity once we are satisfied that there will be no individuals within school setting who should be self-isolating.

“There will be an announcement this afternoon about the status of the schools currently closed and teaching staff will be in touch with families to arrange blended and distant learning.

“Officers are working hard dealing with this situation and we do appreciate the inconvenience caused. However, our priority has always been tackling this pandemic and ensuring that we stop the spread of the virus.”

Mr Richards-Downes added that he was grateful to teaching staff, parents and pupils for their co-operation in what had been a challenging few days.

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