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Councillor Pugh in a stew



pugh in a stewPEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’s Cabinet member Cllr David Pugh has issued an “unreserved apology” over remarks he made during a sustained and savage attack on Hakin’s Cllr Mike Stoddart at last Thursday’s county council meeting when the controversial property grants in Pembroke and Pembroke Dock were debated.

Cllr Pugh asserted that Cllr Stoddart had made false claims on his website ( regarding the area of rendering at the grant-aided project No. 25 Dimond Street, Pembroke Dock.

According to the website, the area of hack off and re-render to the front and rear elevations in the tender (125 sq m) exceed that shown on the drawings (50 sq m) by two-and-a-half times and the area of paintwork to the same render (300 sq m) by six times.

Cllr Stoddart estimated that this over measurement had let to an inflation of the grant awarded by between £7,000 and £9,000.

But Cllr Pugh said he had visited the premises and, on accessing the backyard, discovered that Cllr Stoddart had failed to take into consideration a “third side elevation” measuring 8 m x 7 m which accounted for most of the discrepancy in the tender.

He told his fellow councillors:

“So whether this was a deliberate untruth, or sheer incompetence on his behalf in not checking the facts, I’ll leave you to decide”.

In response to this attack on his honesty and competence, Mike Stoddart posted photographs on his website that proved conclusively that this “third side elevation” to the rear of No. 25 was a figment of Cllr Pugh’s imagination.

He emailed Cllr Pugh demanding that this slur be withdrawn and on Wednesday morning the cabinet member replied admitting that the “third side elevation” belonged to a different building altogether. Cllr Pugh wrote to Cllr Stoddart, copying in all council members, “I freely admit that we made a mistake in looking at the rear of the properties in Dimond Street and confused Nos 25 and 27. I take full responsibility for the genuine error and hereby offer an unreserved apology for the remarks I made in Council regarding the rendering of no 25 Dimond Street.

“Having said that, I hope you will also take the opportunity to put on record that most of your allegations regarding these grant schemes have proved to be without foundation and incorrect.”

Mike Stoddart told The Herald: “It is rather ironic that, after accusing me of incompetence for not checking the facts, we now find Cllr Pugh admitting that his intemperate attack on me was based on the wrong property.

“At least he was in the right street.

“I would have expected him to have been accompanied on this visit by one of the council’s officers involved with these projects, so it is difficult to understand how he came to make such a schoolboy error.

“And it is a strange sort of ‘unreserved apology’ that is conditional on me admitting I was wrong about everything else.

“Cllr Pugh should realise that all I have ever written on this subject has been founded on careful research, including, as he now knows to his cost, my calculations regarding the rendering at No. 25 Dimond Street.

“During his poisonous attack he also accused me of conducting ‘a campaign of innuendo and smear’ and of making allegations ‘without any evidence – just his unjustified opinions and self-proclaimed expertise’.”

“Not satisfied with that, he concluded that I had made ‘many more spurious claims’ and that ‘getting at the truth is apparently not on his agenda’.”

“He even went so far as to suggest I was, like the fictional Don Quixote, afflicted by madness.

“As his apology is restricted only to his false claims about No. 25, none of this has been retracted.

“That is not a situation that I intend should endure.

“Finally, I hope that, having deployed their block vote to reject my notice of motion calling for more information on these grants to be released to elected members, the IPPG’s lemmings are feeling proud of themselves.

“And I have posted further information on the tender for No 25 on my website that Cllr Pugh might find of interest.”

Cllr Paul Miller told The Herald:

“Cllr David Pugh has, over the last few weeks, viciously attacked both Cllr Stoddart and myself for daring to question the oversight he, cabinet and officers have been giving to these grant schemes in Pembroke Dock. He even suggested during Thursday’s council meeting that Cllr Stoddart’s questioning of the rendering to 25 Diamond Street proved that he was either deliberately misleading council or incompetent. Well, this revelation proves two things. (1) That it is Cllr Pugh who is either incompetent or has been deliberately misleading council and (2) That there is indeed an issue with the grant paid for the rending of number 25 Diamond Street.”

He added: “So, over to the Pembrokeshire Public. Do you trust Cllr Pugh and Cllr Adams to get to the bottom of this? I’m afraid I don’t and I’m also afraid that my confidence in Cllr Pugh has been irreversibly damaged by this very unfortunate episode.”

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Pembroke Dock: Man hospitalised after ‘jumping through pizza shop window’



A PEMBROKE DOCK man has been taken to hospital after becoming injured by glass in Pembroke Dock.

According to a passing motorist a male was seen shouting and screaming in the street – he was being restrained by others.

He then jumped into the glass window of the PizzaTime take away in Meyrick Street, cutting his stomach on the glass.

Multiple police vehicles and an ambulance attended the incident which took place at around 15.30 HRS.

The road was temporarily blocked.

Once police car remains on scene (16:49 HRS)


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Welcome for rail investment pledge



TRANSPORT FOR WALES has announced the details of the £194 million investment plan to improve all 247 railway stations across Wales.

The Station Improvement Vision highlights what improvements customers and communities can expect to see at their local stations over the next fifteen years.

The ambitious programme will deliver free WiFi, improved shelters, CCTV, improved provision for cycle storage and improved passenger information, at every station.

Where possible, Transport for Wales will also create new retail facilities, presenting opportunities for local businesses and work in partnership to develop community spaces at stations.

The improvements include expanding the Secure Station Accreditation programme, a UK accreditation in conjunction with the British Transport Police, which will make stations safer and more welcoming for customers.

Demonstrating their commitment and supporting Welsh Government’s plans to create a more sustainable Wales through deduction in carbon emissions generated through transport, TfW will create at least 1,500 additional car parking spaces across the network, making it easier for people to leave their car and use public transport.

The Vision also highlights how accessibility will be enhanced across the network with the delivery of eleven Access for All schemes by 2024, with the installation of footbridges with lifts or ramps, partly funded by the UK Department for Transport.

As part of their plans to reinvest into the communities they serve, TfW has held events and workshops aimed at small and medium enterprises in Wales, providing opportunities for them to bid for work linked to the Station Improvement Vision.

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said: “Transport for Wales is transforming transport throughout Wales and the launch of our Station Improvement Vision indicates the start of a £194 million investment programme. This investment into all our 247 railway stations will improve the way they look, make them safer and provide more commercial and community opportunities.

“We want to improve the overall customer experience and also work collaboratively to develop partnerships with local businesses and communities.”

Ken Skates, Minister for Economy and Transport said: “I warmly welcome Transport for Wales’ Station Improvement Vision, which will see a £194 million investment in railway stations the length and breadth of Wales and the Borders. Over the next 15 years, this huge investment will vastly improve important gateways to our cities, towns and villages.

“The vision has been launched in Swansea – as it celebrates its 50th year as a City – where it will contribute to the development of a metro system ready to meet the transport needs of the future. There are ambitious plans to deliver an improved railway and public transport network across all of Wales and the investment announced today will be a significant step towards that.”

In July this year, Carmarthenshire County Council leader Emlyn Dole welcomed the announcement of a new parkway station at Felindre.

Speaking at the time, Cllr Dole said: “This is very welcome news, which will benefit Carmarthenshire businesses and residents. An initial 14-minute reduction in journey times to Cardiff and onto London will make a significant difference to passengers travelling that route.

“New infrastructure, with supporting additional rail journeys to West Wales, is essential to boost the regional economic prosperity. And with traffic continuing to grow on key trunk roads across West Wales, an improved offer from rail both in journey time, frequency and quality of service is vital to help tackle congestion and improve connectivity.

Labour Assembly Member, Eluned Morgan also welcomed the investment.

Ms Morgan said: “This is an ambitious plan from the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales to improve the passenger experience at railway stations across the Welsh network. There is a sharp focus on making railway stations cleaner and safer for passengers.

“Lighting is already being upgraded at many stations including Clunderwen and new litter bins and local area maps will be coming – in an answer to calls made to improve Pembroke Dock station.”

Carmarthen station, earmarked as an ‘interchange station’, will benefit from new retail facilities, information screens and accessible toilets for all.

Marc Tierney, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire added: “The announcement today is positive for communities across the area, bringing them up to date and maximising their potential as transport hubs in the heart of our towns and villages. There is also the prospect of a brand new station at St. Clears.

“The Welsh Government feasibility study into reopening a railway station at St. Clears has put plans for the station through to the next stage.

“Re-opening a station at St. Clears would complete a missing piece in the network in West Wales. I trust the UK Government will make the necessary funding available as soon as possible.”

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Haverfordwest’s Regeneration Plans Unveiled



Haverfordwest’s Regeneration will be the order of the day today as Pembrokeshire County Council releases its initial plans for the redevelopment of the town centre.

The consultation event at County Hall (2pm – 7pm) today will enable members of the public to view and discuss the plans with designers and council officers, together with Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Regeneration.

The plans, which include the Ocky White site and the Riverside area of the town centre, have been created to give the public a glance of what can be achieved in Haverfordwest. The Council are also clear that the plans sit at a stage where public suggestions and contributions can influence the final outcome.

“We want to create a new Haverfordwest experience that is for everyone and one that enables residents and tourists to enjoy the experience of a revitalised County Town,” said Cllr Miller.

“Public consultation isn’t lip service – it’s about seeking opinions and feedback on the current plans and encouraging those with great ideas to come forward and contribute to the redevelopment of their town. The opportunity is there and we are looking forward to engaging with those in attendance.”

The project design team will be in attendance this evening, together with representatives from Welsh government; an example that Pembrokeshire’s regeneration plans are gaining traction and awareness on a national stage.

“We are proud of the progress now being made on our county-wide regeneration and we are finally starting to see plans become reality, delivering what we feel is a value-for-money investment in our communities, towns and marketable tourism assets,” said Cllr Miller.

“Regeneration will be inclusive of those who want to work with us to build a new, vibrant and successful Pembrokeshire.”

To attend the event, report to County Hall Main Reception where you will be directed to the Consultation Event. (2pm – 7pm, Thursday 19th September)

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