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Council election kick-off marred by mishap



THE 2017 local elections process got off to a calamitous start on Wednesday (Mar 22) as Pembrokeshire’s polling officials were unfamiliar with correct procedure for vetting candidates’ nomination papers.

The Herald understands the opening day of the two-week window for county and community councillor hopefuls to put themselves forward, was bustling with attendees who unwittingly filed invalid and incomplete papers totally unnoticed by election staff.

The candidates had left County Hall in the belief that they had been accepted as validly nominated candidates, after being told the same by Pembrokeshire County Council Chief Executive Ian Westley, in his capacity as Election Returning Officer.

But it transpired that polling boss Westley and his colleagues had inadvertently overlooked a key requirement of the nominations process.

Alongside nomination forms setting out their own particulars and the signatures of their nominees from the electoral roll, candidates must also submit a separate, signed agreement called the ‘Consent to Nomination’.

As the title suggests, the Consent to Nomination sets out candidates’ willingness and legal eligibility to stand, and their agreement to adhere to legislative provisions governing the electoral process.

However the Herald has learned that many candidates were unaware that, as well as a signed declaration, the Consent to Nomination must also be accompanied by printouts of the legislation candidates agree to be bound by.

Most embarrassing for the Pembrokeshire County Council bureaucrats overseeing the elections is that this ignorance of the rules also afflicted the authority’s elections team.

The awkward oversight came with big consequences as all candidates whose nominations were wrongly accepted had to be contacted to explain the clerical cock-up.

Red-faced officials had the unenviable task of informing candidates that if their nomination papers weren’t resubmitted with the requisite legal paperwork attached, they wouldn’t be standing.

It’s not the first time the Herald has reported on unsettling electoral errors in Pembrokeshire.

At last year’s Welsh Assembly poll, postal voters in the Ceredigion, Preseli Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituencies had to be re-issued with new ballots after the originals contained wrong instructions.

The blame for that costly howler, according to Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive Mark James in his capacity as the region’s returning officer, was pinned on ‘a computer error by printers.’

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Milford Haven: Police called to Charles Street incident



MILFORD HAVEN police responded to an emergency call from Charles Street in Milford Haven this afternoon (May 20).

Several officers attended following reports of a man injured on the pavement.

Our reporter at the scene said that a male was conscious but nursing injuries to his head

There are over 15 officers at the scene.

A male has been arrested and taken into custody in a police van.



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Willy make the council fix the road?



DRIVERS in and around the Maenclochog area are still recovering today after a hardened vandal spray-painted yellow penises along a stretch of road near Morvil.
The road, just off the B4313, was targeted with graffiti because of the number of potholes scattered along it’s length.
Locals have dubbed the cock-sure artist as ‘Wanksy’ and have discovered that whoever drew the penises also wrote ‘Follow the yellow d### road’.
Some of the penises have been drawn around more sizeable potholes, but simply pointing disapprovingly at the smaller ones.
If you want to report a pothole, the chosen method is still via the Pembrokeshire County Council website.
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Hakin: Young male arrested following allegation of assault



FIVE police vehicles descended on a property in Hakin at lunchtime today following a 999 call reporting an assault.

Officers entered the property in Observatory Avenue and after about ten minutes a young male was brought out in handcuffs.

A spokesman from the police press office told The Herald: “Police were called to Observatory Avenue to a report of an assault at around 1pm today (Monday, May 20).”

The spokesman added: “A 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and is currently in police custody.”

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