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Questions over Scarlets cash

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scarlets cashHERALD EXCLUSIVE

A CARMARTHENSHIRE Councillor has made a formal complaint to the European Commission that an alleged £20m of funding provided by Carmarthenshire County Council to Llanelli Scarlets was an unlawful state subsidy.

Independent Cllr Sian Caiach took the step in the teeth of a statement by Carmarthenshire County Council that said it had provided no money to the cash-strapped rugby region. It is understood part of the complaint relates to the favourable terms of a loan given by the County Council to the regional side and an agreement that the Scarlets do not have to pay rent in respect of the land upon which Parc-y-Scarlets is built.

If the European Commission takes the view that the funding given by the County Council amounts to West Wales’ rugby region is state aid, the Scarlets could be forced to repay any monies received that the Commission rules are unlawful. Such a move would be devastating for the regional rugby team, widely followed across Pembrokeshire, which has struggled financially for some time.

Carmarthenshire Council has relied on legal advice dated 2007 to support its claim that support given by the Council to Scarlets Regional Rugby Ltd amounts to unlawful state aid. Scrutiny of that advice has been denied to councillors on the basis that it is legally privileged document. The Council has not revealed whether or not it sought advice on any funding or assistance given to the Scarlets after 2007.

An expert interviewed for BBC Wales, Martin Stephens, said “If there isn’t an audit trail then they’re in a position of non-compliance and the aid is therefore in breach of the regulations.”

The complex saga has also taken in the sale of a car park to the Marston’s chain of pubs. Carmarthenshire Council were the freeholders of the property while the Scarlets held a 150 years’ leasehold on it granted by the Council.

The car park was originally ear-marked for a retail development, but instead was transferred to Marston’s for £850,000.

Controversy has arisen in relation to the division of the sale proceeds between the Council and the Scarlets. The Council received £200,000 for its interests and the Scarlets £200,000. Questions have been raised, however, about approximately £280,000 being given to the Scarlets for what are described as “allowable expenses”.

The “expenses” were allegedly used for paying off a commercial loan the Scarlets had taken out to fit out its shop and restaurant within Carmarthenshire County Council’s Eastgate development.

It is believed a reference has been made to the Wales Audit Office in respect of the sale of the land.

Carmarthenshire County Council continues to deny that rules on state aid apply to the funding and assistance they have given the Scarlets.

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Resources for food businesses further updated

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has further updated resources for food businesses ahead of opening or re-opening following the latest easing of lockdown restrictions.
From today (Monday, 13th July), businesses such as pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to open outdoors.
The Council’s Food Safety and Licensing teams continue to update their web pages as a source of advice to enable businesses to review or update their food safety and infection controls with confidence.
Resources include handy posters to display, reminding about social distancing etc.
The links are at:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/food-safety-and-standards/businesses-open-during-coronavirus
Please review the information but if you cannot see the answer to any question you may have about your food business please email foodsafety@pembrokeshire.gov.uk and the team will do their best to assist.
Advice from the Licensing team is available here:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/licensing
If you need more information about Licensing issues which are not covered on the website please email licensing@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

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Young Vlogger proving life has zero limitations

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Jacob Weakley "despite my disability, I'm always moving forwards"

A YOUNG Pembrokeshire local, Jacob Weakley, is on a mission to raise awareness about his disability Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia.

Jacob lives with the clear message that he will never let his disability define him, stating “regardless of my disability, I’m always moving forwards”

Twenty-four-year-old Jacob refuses to let anything get in his way and has a huge passion for travel and to experience the world. Jacob has travelled all over the globe alongside his girlfriend Laira to places such as Budapest, Malaysia and many other beautiful locations.

Through his travels he has shown repeatedly that he will not let anything get in his way.

Jacob and his girlfriend on one of their many adventures

Jacob created the Youtube channel and blog both under ‘theweakleypost’ to show his fun adventures and his fitness journey, after graduating from University after studying Sports Coaching and Development.

The young traveller stays positive about his disability, and keeps his followers up to date on all his latest news and adventures.

Jacob and his friends recently were able to raise money through an online fundraiser to get an essential ‘Triride’ for him to be able to have the freedom to go anywhere he would like to.

He had faced challenges within his local area due to steep hills and uneven roads making it harder for Jacob to have access to different places within Pembrokeshire, but due to his following and the power of social media he has been able to reach his goal.

Although Jacob has reached his goal, he explained that the left over funds raised will go towards helping charities which are supporting others who face challenges with disabilities within their everyday life.

In the future to come Jacob explained to Pembrokeshire Herald: ‘When we are able to travel freely again I look forward to going to even more places and documenting them through my Vlogs.”

To find out more about Jacob and his travels visit: https://theweakleypost.squarespace.com/abouttheweakleypost
Or follow his Instagram/ Youtube channel: theweakleypost

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Haverfordwest: Police appeal for information following high-value theft from Boots

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HAVERFORDWEST Police are appealing for any information following a high-value theft from Boots.

The theft occurred on Tuesday (Jul 7), anyone with information is asked to contact 101.

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