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Councillors excluded from clinic ceremony



MHAssura Group officially opened its £4.8 million state of the art health centre in Milford Haven today, amongst murmurings from local Councillors that some dignitaries had been snubbed from the launch. Chris Martin, The Chairman and Trevor Purt, Chief Executive of the Local Health Board were there with the Health Minister, Prof. Mark Drakeford and local AM’s Joyce Watson and Paul Davies.

There were also representatives from the Community Health Council and a couple of reporters but the lack of an appearance from the Mayor or County Councillors who represent the 20,000 patients at the new 22,000 sq ft centre was an obvious to anyone who has ever attended a grand opening ceremony.

Town Councillors Stan Hudson and Jon Cole had not been invited either but turned up outside the clinic to voice their concerns to Assembly Members and the LHB about the car parking problem at the new centre.

Speaking from the pavement, Cllr Stand Hudson said “Why weren’t the mayor and Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council invited, or any local Councillors. How many other big health centres have opened like this in the last ten years? None.”

“I’m not willing to make any comment to why I think we were not invited” he added.

Cllr John Cole said “Landowners Assura has promised Milford Haven Town Council, and their Managing Director of Property, Andrew Darke has indicated, that they have no intention to build homes on the fenced of area of the car park and they are willing to lease the spaces to the Local Health Authority. I have passed this information onto our local Assembly Members and to Chris Martin, Chairman of the Local Health Authority.

“The District Valuer has said that only 38 spaces are needed. Experience has shown us that this, plus only four disabled spaces, is wholly inadequate. Patients are having to park on double yellow lines” he added.

Ian Tuddenham from LSP Developments, who developed the centre in conjunction with Assura, said: “The fenced off area of the car park is private land and is therefore not insured for use by clinic patients. We want to avoid insurance claims and claims of ‘posessionary’ title against our land.”

Assembly Member Joyce Watson told The Herald yesterday: “I have had an email from Milford Haven Town Council about the possibility of acquiring additional spaces, but this would obviously come at a cost to the Local Health Board.”

When asked about the fence Joyce Watson said “The fence is dangerous. When you put children into the mix I think we need to start thinking about safety.”

Ian Tuddenham then told The Herald: “It’s difficult when the fence keeps getting vandalised. We had to pay for the fence to be re-erected this morning after it had been knocked down, and driven over by vehicles”

“We know what our land is worth, I’m not going to mention figures now, but if the Council or Health Board wants to approach us then we are open to offers. As a developer we don’t want to be in the situation where we have to keep maintaining fences, it would be easier if we sold the land” he added.

When pressed as to why local Councillors or the Mayor had not been invited to yesterdays official opening of the 22,000 sq ft facility, Beverley Gardener from the Local Health Board said: “As you can see this is a busy working practice. We have to think about patients at the end of the day.”

“Its not about upsetting anybody, but how man people we can fit, especially when showing everyone around” she added.


Milford Haven Central representative Cllr Stephen Joseph was asked by text message by The Herald if he had heard of or been invited to the opening, he quickly replied “Not a word about it.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Health Minister, Prof. Mark Drakeford said: “Firstly a whole series of different players in primary care are here together in this building, all under one roof. I know that physical proximity really matters to people. Everything is here, no more need for phone calls or travelling across the county. Secondly, we know the future of the health service is in primary care. As much as possible this needs to be close to where people live, and what people have in this building is a different world what they had before.”


“Here in Milford Haven people can access a wide range of services and see the future of the NHS. Thirdly and finally, we use our primary care facilities to tackle health inequalities. We at the Welsh Assembly want there to be local services for people who really need them. Tackling health inequality through primary care is one of our key priorities” he concluded.

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Crabb takes up the reins as Wales Committee chair



PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb has been elected as the new chairman of the Welsh Affairs Committee in Parliament.

Stephen Crabb, who served as Secretary of State for Wales from 2014 to 2016, secured support from across the political divide to be elected unopposed, and is looking forward to taking on the new role.

He received nominations from MPs drawn from of all parties in Wales as well as being supported by numerous other MPs from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The committee examines the work of the Wales Office and other UK departments in Wales. It takes evidence from Ministers, experts and other witnesses in order to make recommendations that benefit Wales and its economy.

Following the announcement, Stephen Crabb said: “This is an exciting opportunity and I’m grateful to have received support from such a wide cross-section the House of Commons, including from Conservative, Labour and Plaid Cymru MPs. By drawing on the knowledge and passion of MPs from all parties, the committee can help to shape a positive and optimistic agenda for Wales at a time of enormous change.

“Post-Brexit trade deals, the Shared Prosperity Fund, infrastructure investment and the climate challenge will all have an impact on Wales in the years ahead. The Welsh Affairs Committee will provide an essential forum for examining Government action in these areas and ensuring that the unique circumstances of Wales are properly understood.”

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Old barracks promised new lease of life



THE COMPANY which has purchased the iconic defensible barracks in Pembroke Dock have promised to breathe new life into the historic building.

The grade II fort was built in the Victorian era to provide a military defence to the Royal Dockyard. It was recently sold for an undisclosed sum to VR1844 Ltd. The company directors are listed as Jonathan McDermott, Emma Jane Morby, Lai Hang Seto, and Iain Trevor Walker.

VR1844Ltd office manager Tanya McDermott said: “VR1844 believe people never truly own a building but are the buildings guardians for a period of time.

“Taking the view that it is only the right development for the right building at the right time it is our privilege to bring the building back into life, repair, nurture and give back to the local community, not to shut the main doors and lock the building away from people who are interested in it and its history.

“VR1844 Ltd who have brought this very under-loved and not looked after building, want to bring the buildings back into life with a mix of community uses, together with a number of dwellings that will breathe life back into the buildings.
“To do this VR1844 are already working hard with CADW, Pembrokeshire County Council and local councillors to bring forward a scheme that all parties can support, and the community can once again be proud of.”

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Town councillors object to hotel on health and safety grounds



TOWN COUNCILLORS in Milford Haven have unanimously voted to object to a planning application my Milford Haven Port Authority to build a 100-bedroom hotel on Milford Docks.
Town Mayor Terry Davies said he had had numerous requests from members of the public to try to get it refused.
Several members of the public were at the meeting to watch, including Ian Bannister and his daughter and James Kershaw – whose homes were seriously flooded in 2018 causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Cllr Lynne Turner told councillors: “We look forward to the development of the marina and the town desperately needs a hotel, but we have been contacted by a number of representatives from the Lower Priory and Havens Head area who are very concerned about the impact on flooding in their villages.
“The sewage waste from this development, and the change to water run-off, unless the Port Authority addresses the culverts in the area, then we have to assume that this must present a big risk to increased flooding.”
“We need to wait for the outcome of a report to see how the hotel will affect the villages”
“Then that report needs to be acted upon, if needs be.”
Cllr Rhys Sinnett said: “It is clear from the representation from the communities affected by the floods in 2018, they are still awaiting answers and actions from Pembrokeshire County Council to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.
“Whilst no action is being taken, I don’t see how we can support anything that might raise water levels and I suggest we need to delay this as long as possible.
“There is no reference in the report to the flooding in 2018 so how can we support an application that has faulty information.”
“We have to object to this application within the scope of planning rules, and I propose that we can object in terms of health and safety.
What happened in 2018 was a had a huge impact on the health and safety of those who were living in Lower Priory and in Havens Head.
Cllr Turner then formally that the town council object, as Cllr Sinnett suggested, to the application on health and safety grounds.
Cllr Sinnett added that because of the controversial nature of the application, he would be strongly suggesting the application go before the council’s planning committee.
“That would be best for local democracy” he said, adding “this application should not be decided by officers under their delegated powers.
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