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Shameful display at full council meeting

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county hall• Angry exchanges at full council
• Grant investigation panel blocked
• Pugh and Adams turn on Stoddart

THE COUNCIL CHAMBER was the scene for a series of bitter and personal recriminations made by members of the Cabinet against Councillors seeking information on the conduct of two grant schemes in Pembroke and Pembroke Dock.

In what appeared to be a concerted effort by the controlling IPPG to undermine those seeking to examine information on how the Council had administered large amounts of public money, Council Leader Jamie Adams and Cabinet member David Pugh were permitted by Chair Arwyn Williams to suggest that Labour leader Paul Miller was a puppet having his strings pulled while Independent Councillor Mike Stoddart was pursuing a hidden agenda and had misrepresented important data.

Miller requests balanced approach In the face of continuing controversy over the Council’s administration of the grant schemes, Cllr Miller made an appeal that a politically balanced panel be formed to look at the way money has been allocated by the County Council.

Cllr Miller told the members: “If funds controlled by this council have in some way been misappropriated then this needs to be looked at. I accept in the recommendation that the audit committee will review this but that is not till the end of February.

“I want a politically balancedpanel to investigate this, nothing is to be feared.

“I am not pushing an opinion on what has or hasn’t happened. This is the quickest way to get to the facts.” Adams attacks Miller Flanked by Cllr Brian Hall, Leader Jamie Adams said:

“Cllr. Miller is quite correct, in his supporting submission, that much has been said by the grant schemes in Pembroke and Pembroke Dock. I concurred that much has been said, but I comment to the chamber: is that much has been said by one person. Who is leading the agenda of the Labour group? It seems to me, Chair that Cllr. Miller is acting in a way that is if you like, strings are being pulled by someone else.

“I would suggest the way that the authority could look to the facts is before us and within our control. The Audit Committee is politically balanced, there are six members. The Audit Committee are in a position to determine its own investigation. The recommendation is clear in that, and on that basis I move the recommendation.

Cllr Mike Stoddart criticised Jamie Adams’ personal attack on the Labour leader:

“The idea that I may be pulling Cllr Miller’s strings is ridiculous. I have little contact with him. He is a highlyeducated man capable of pulling hisown strings!

“In Cabinet last week, Cllr Adams made a slur against me, and now he is attacking Cllr Miller. He needs to deal with the arguments. It’s time to play the ball and not the man.”

Paul Miller continued: “In terms of the Audit Committee the time scales are one of my concerns. I think that it’s critical in restoring the faith of grant funders and the public. All I can say is that I have had 14 phone calls. If he thinks that Cllr Stoddard is the only one interested in this grant scheme he is wrong. I am not going to get involved in the nasty political game that Cllr Adams wants to play. All I know is that my motion gets things done in the quickest way possible.”

After a vote, the Council voted to remit the matter to the Audit Committee in February and Cllr Miller’s motion failed. Pugh continues attack on Stoddart.

The Council then considered Cllr Mike Stoddart’s motion to permit Councillors to inspect the information in confidence.

Responding for the IPPG, Cllr David Pugh suggested that Cllr Stoddart had made leaks to the media and derided Cllr Stoddart’s “selfproclaimed” expertise. He suggested that Cllr Stoddart’s calculations were wrong and the product of “sheer incompetence on his behalf … comparisons on different projects are both wrong and extremely misleading…” Apparently forgetting the major redevelopment scheme in Meyrick Street, Pembroke Dock approved by the Council, Cllr Pugh suggested, “This unseemly campaign has driven away investors.”

Councillor Pugh’s harangue continued amid rising boos, when he suggested that:
“Cllr Stoddart reminds me of Don Quixote, who in his madness tilted awindmills. Sancho was his sidekick, I will leave it to members to work out who Cllr Stoddart’s sidekick is.”

Councillor Paul Miller, interrupting, asked Cllr. Arwyn Williams:

“What on earth is this nonsense? Can you do your job, please, Chair?” Kilmister leads calls for “transparency” Cllr Bob Kilmister of the newlyformed Pembrokeshire Alliance Group followed Cllr Pugh, saying: “I attended cabinet. I witnessed a highly unprofessional spectacle, clear to all to see. The conduct displayed at the meeting has brought the council into disrepute. The issue of this motion was not addressed, if we believe in openness and transparency. Easy words, but we are not walking the walk. If any councillors break the confidence they are allowed they clearly break the code of conduct and are open to sanction, serious sanction. If we have a need to know we have a right to information. You can dispute what Councillor Stoddard says, but if he has the information he can come to a proper conclusion and therefore there is a real risk that we are getting innuendo and intrigue as a result of not giving him information. We have a common law right and need to know. Officers can see documents but councillors cannot. I think that this argument is clearly made.”

Cllr Michael Williams from Plaid Cymru told the full Council:

“I wasn’t at the cabinet meeting but what I read in the press was shameful. Cllr Pugh, your outburst this morning was not much better than the Leader shouting people down. Cllr Pugh made a direct accusation that investors have been driven way. But who? That’s a figment of his imagination.

Publish the figures, that would make everyone happy. Publish all the documents not ridiculously redacted reports. Openness and accountability. The ruling group should realise that our job is to hold to account and that they are making that difficult in the way they are operating.

Pembroke Dock Councillor Brian Hall, who has publicly denied any links with developer Cathal McCosker, said:

“The majority of people in Pembroke Dock are delighted with what the grants have done for the town. Because of these innuendos there is a possibility that this could be withdrawn.”

East Williamston Councillor Jacob Williams said:

“There has been enough evidence to suggest that members need to see this information. Cllr Pugh at cabinet raised his voice against Stoddard and it was embarrassing. For Cllr Stoddard to admit errors or mistakes, we need to know that he is wrong.”

Cllr David Lloyd told the meeting:

“We have no greater duty thanto protect the integrity of public expenditure. We can spend a considerable amount of time talking about something I know nothing about. Corruption destroys the organisation which it infests. There is no way we can solve this problem in an adversarial way. May I ask you to be at your best and publish these documents and let’s get to the bottom of it for the good of the people of Pembrokeshire?”

Cllr David Bryan said:

“I, too, was at the cabinet meeting. I was ashamed and embarrassed. The people need to know that we have got control what is going on at Pembrokeshire County Council.”

Senior IPPG member, Cllr John Allen-Mirehouse opposed the motion with a further attack on Mike Stoddart:

“We are losing sight of a key issue. Cllr Stoddard has published that there is impropriety and therefore it should be looked into. He has not produced any actual facts and facts are what we need to go on. I would say to Paul Miller and Cllr Stoddard if there are facts tell us. He (Cllr Stoddart) won’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.”

Pembroke Dock Labour Councillor, Alison Lee, said

“I have found it difficult to get information. How can we fulfil our functions without it? The deck is stacked against those seeking to scrutinise the material. Cllr Mirehouse says we haven’t provided facts, but we cannot get at them. I don’t see what the authority has to lose by the release of this information.”

IPPG suggest calling the Police The Chair, IPPG member Arwyn Williams, then allowed five IPPG members, Jamie Adams, David Simpson, Stephen Joseph, Sue Perkins and Simon Hancock to close the debate: Cllr Perkins told the meeting that she has heard no complaints about the grant scheme and its administration Cllr David Simpson assured members that public scrutiny by them was unnecessary because Cllr David Pugh had discussed any concerns with him and he had also spoken to council officers responsible for the schemes. Cllr. Adams re-iterated his position that the proper forum for scrutiny was the Audit Committee and suggested that Cllr Stoddart should report his allegations to the Police. Spontaneously echoing their leader’s suggestion, Cllrs Joseph and Hancock also suggested reporting the matter to the local constabulary.

Cllr Mike Stoddard asked for a recorded vote of the decision. 32 members voted against the motion to allow Councillors access to information on how public money had been spent and 27 voted in favour.

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Paul Sartori taking action to support climate with National Lottery grant of nearly £14,000

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LOCAL hospice at home charity, Paul Sartori Hospice at Home, is taking action to support the climate with the installation of solar panels at its main head office in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

The charity which delivers end of life care services across Pembrokeshire, has been awarded a grant to fund the purchase and installation of solar panels at Paul Sartori House, Winch Lane. This investment is part of an ongoing commitment to address the climate emergency and the charity joins many others who are taking action. Paul Sartori was one of 35 community groups, who were selected to take part in the Climate Action Boost scheme, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

Working alongside Renew Wales, a partner in the initiative, the group explored methods to help tackle the causes and consequences of climate change, and to operate more sustainably. A number of options were discussed to reduce their impact on the environment and Renew Wales helped the charity to develop an environmental action plan, which is to be implemented over the coming months. The scheme available to cover a variety of environmental reduction activities, including renewable energy, reducing consumption, local food and reduced or less impactful travel.

Paul Sartori Hospice at Home wouldn’t normally be associated with environmental activity. Through regular consultation over many months, the charity has been really encouraged by what they have learnt.

“We have invested a lot of time in developing the plan; discussed a number of alternatives along the way, but feel that the solar panel installation will have the biggest impact for the charity in the long term”, said Sandra Dade, Charity Manager. “The National Lottery Climate Action Boost has really inspired our charity to minimise our impacton the environment and we will continue this journey,” added Sandra.

Jemma Nurse, Funding Manager at The National Lottery Community Fund said, “The climate emergency is everyone’s business, which is why The National Lottery Community Fund is acting to support and inspire communities to minimise their own impact on the environment. We are proud to be a significant funder of environmental projects and Paul Sartori Hospice at Home, along with the other groups participating in Climate Action Boost, will play a valuable part in building our knowledge so we can share our learning with other funders across Wales and the UK.”

The services provided by the Paul Sartori Hospice at Home enable people in the later stages of any life-limiting illness to be cared for and to die at home with dignity, independence, pain free and surrounded by those they hold most dear, if that is their wish.

All of the services are free of charge, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, thanks to the generosity of the Pembrokeshire Community. Further information on the charity and its services can be obtained by visiting their website www.paulsartori.org, or by phoning 01437 763223.

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New nursing service to support carers of people living with dementia

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HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD, in partnership with Dementia UK, is launching a new nursing service to support carers of people living with dementia.

The Admiral Nurse service will be a significant addition to the current support available to people living with dementia and their carers. The initiative is in line with the Dementia Action Plan for Wales 2018-2022, a Welsh Government strategy that aims to recognise the rights of people with dementia, make them feel valued, and help them live as independently as possible in their communities.

The team will cover Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire with a focus on delivering person–centred and relationship-centred dementia care. The Admiral Nurses will work collaboratively in a family-centric manner, across health and social care pathways, to provide support, expert guidance & practical solutions to enable families/carers, including the person living with dementia, to maximise their wellbeing and improve the experience of those affected by dementia.

Dementia UK is the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting families affected by dementia through dementia specialist Admiral Nurses.  When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, Admiral Nurses work alongside them, giving the compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions that can be difficult to find elsewhere. They are a lifeline, helping families to live more positively with dementia in the present, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with more confidence and less fear.  

The service launched on 29th March 2021 and is now accepting referrals.

Charlotte Duhig, Admiral Nurse Clinical Lead, said: “I am honoured to be leading this new service to support carers and families of people living with dementia across the counties served by Hywel Dda University Health Board. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly challenging time for people living with dementia and their carers but I’m confident that this much-needed service will make a difference to the lives of those affected by dementia.

“Having previously set up an Admiral Nurse Service, I know the benefit of working as an Admiral Nurse as families can get the emotional and practical support to allow them to plan for the future. Health and social care professionals can also take advantage of our in-depth knowledge of dementia.”

Dr Hilda Hayo, CEO and Chief Admiral Nurse at Dementia UK, says: “We are delighted to announce this new Admiral Nurse service in partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board. The fact that this service extends to a large rural area within West Wales, with the support of two Welsh-speaking Admiral Nurses, means that we are improving access to dementia specialist support for families.”            

To be able to access this service, the following referral criteria applies:

  • The person being supported/cared for by the carer has a diagnosis (or likely diagnosis) of dementia.
  • The person with dementia and/or carer lives in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire (or is registered with a GP in those areas).
  • The carer agrees to their referral to the Admiral Nurse
  • The carer should have identified need(s) that impact upon their caring role or as a consequence of their caring role*

If you are a health or social care professional or 3rd sector working with someone you believe this service could benefit, or you are a carer of someone living with dementia and would like to be referred to the service, please contact a health or social care professional who can refer you. 

For further information, contact the nursing team direct:

Clinical Lead: Charlotte.Duhig@wales.nhs.uk

Admiral NurseContact detailsLocality covered
Bethan BulmanBethan.Bulman@wales.nhs.ukCeredigion North
Donna Phillips Ceredigion South
Emma VenablesEmma.Venables@wales.nhs.ukPembrokeshire North
Rosie BellRosie.Bell@wales.nhs.ukPembrokeshire South
Siriol DyerSiriol.Dyer2@wales.nhs.ukCarmarthenshire (3Ts)
Liz WrightElizabeth.Wright@wales.nhs.ukCarmarthenshire (Amman Gwendraeth)
Donna OwensDonna.Owens2@wales.nhs.ukCarmarthenshire (Llanelli)
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Police looking for a couple with a dog after teenage girl bitten in Haverfordwest

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POLICE hunting for the owners of a ‘pitbull’ type dog which bit a teenage girl in Haverfordwest last month.

Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating an incident which occurred at about 6.15pm on Tuesday 6th April 2021.

As two teenage girls were walking along Barn Street, Haverfordwest a dog has bitten one of the girls leaving visible marks and bruising.

The dog was accompanied by a man and a woman, both described as approximately 30 years old. 

The man is described as white, bald, a jaw line beard, big build wearing camouflage trousers and a jumper.

The woman is described as white, with black hair, medium to large build and shorter than the man she was with.

Their dog is described as a pitbull type dog, ginger in colour with black markings.

Anyone who has witnessed the incident or anyone who has information that could help the investigation is asked to contact PC David Norman 227 by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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