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The devil is in the detail

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astonishingDOCUMENTS OBTAINED by Hakin Cllr Mike Stoddart and seen by The Pembrokeshire Herald seem to show an astonishing irregularity in the tendering process for works done under the Town Heritage Initiative and Commercial Property Grants Scheme in Pembroke Dock.

On this page are two tender documents for the same job. One is the tender document provided to local firm G & G Builders, the other one provided to others tendering for the same contract.

The documents suggest that Kinver Kreations, the firm which prepared the tender documents, provided G & G with a massive competitive advantage in the tendering process by only asking them to tender for a fraction of what their competitors were being asked.

G & G were selected for the contract even though they were not the lowest bidder. However, the tender documentation shows that a number of arithmetical errors totalling £11,500 are made in their tender submission. Combined with the difference in tender documentation, the firm’s bid would have been the second most expensive had they been asked to do the same job as their competitors.

Time to stop pussyfooting around”

Councillor Stoddart told The Herald:

“These documents provide the clearest possible evidence that the tender process had been slanted to favour of G&G.

“On Tuesday afternoon I came to the conclusion that I had unearthed some documents that were conclusive proof of the malpractice that I have long suspected and it was time to stop pussyfooting around.So, armed with the evidence, Cllr Jacob Williams and I presented ourselves at the offices of the Director of Finance.

“We left the director of finance’s office with a firm assurance that, first thing in the morning, the matter would be reported to the police and that an email would be sent to all members and the relevant officers apprising them of the situation. Indeed, at one time during the meeting it was even suggested that the police should be contacted there and then, but that was rejected because it was already past 5.00 pm.

“When the email failed to appear in my inbox the following morning, I immediately suspected that someone had decided on a change of plan. We are now told that the police have been “informed” and if evidence of fraud emerges a formal complaint will be lodged.

“If this patently corrupt tender process isn’t evidence enough of fraud, then I give up. I suppose news of another police investigation on top of the one announced into the pensions’ business would not be a welcome development. However, I am not happy with these delaying tactics hence my decision to put the facts into the public domain.”

HERALD COMMENT

The news is sure to be a body blow to the already damaged credibility of Cllr David Pugh and his leader Cllr Jamie Adams, who have both repeatedly ridiculed Cllr Stoddart and those seeking to probe the apparent scam.

The IPPG spent December’s Full Council meeting seeking to deny access to the documents on this page, even on a confidential basis.

We can all now see why they were so anxious.

The delay in referral to the Police can only be because of political considerations affecting the IPPG ahead of today’s crucial debate on the future of embattled CEO Bryn Parry Jones, the beneficiary of an unlawful IPPG-backed scheme to avoid tax on his pension.

In light of the seriousness of the allegations, The Herald has provided a copy of this material to Dyfed Powys Police and asked them to examine the issue as a matter of urgency.

Something doesn't add up, the Tender documents obtained by Councillor Mike Stoddart

Something doesn’t add up. The Tender documents obtained by Cllr Mike Stoddart.

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Death on Freemens Way

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A 56-YEAR-OLD man has died following an incident on Freemens Way, Haverfordwest, on Wednesday night (Jul 15).

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “A 56-year-old man has died following an incident at Freemens Way, Haverfordwest, last night.

“He was taken to hospital with severe injuries, but sadly passed away.

“His family has been informed and is being supported by local officers.

“An investigation is ongoing but the circumstances are not believed to be suspicious.

“HM coroner has been informed.”

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Two arrested for shouting racist comments at BLM protest

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TWO teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of shouting racist comments at Black Lives Matter protestors, at the latest event in Haverfordwest on Wednesday night (Jul 15).
Commenting on the incident, Superintendent of Pembrokeshire division, Ross Evans said: “On Wednesday evening (July 15) a peaceful protest took place on Picton Fields, Haverfordwest, as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The demonstration, which was attended by around 70 people, was overseen by local officers as part of appropriate plans in place to allow for peaceful protest.

“Sadly, officers present observed a man and a boy shouting a number of racist comments towards those attending the demonstration, and promptly arrested both, one aged 19 and the other 14, on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences.

“The comments understandably caused a great deal of upset and distress to those from the demonstration who heard them.

“The two men arrested have been taken to Haverfordwest custody, where they remain currently. Anyone who witnessed the incident and has any information is asked to contact police by emailing us at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or call 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311908.”

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Local bus firms in protest drive over uncertainty

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HONK for hope is being backed by the coach operators surrounding the South West Wales area.

They took to the roads around Haverfordwest, Carmarthen, and Cardigan in peaceful protest to support the call for help by coach operators during the corona virus pandemic.

Honk for hope is a national campaign to draw the public’s attention to the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the industry. It seeks to draw Governments attention to the dangerous position the coach and travel industry has fallen under, asking for them to take action.

Local coach companies, including Midway Motors, took to the roads to show their support to the campaign and to highlight the impact the pandemic has had on the industry and to ask for more support from the Government.

The coaches and supporters met at the Carmarthen Park and Ride on July 14 at 11am to begin the drive. On the trip they visited Carmarthen at around 11.15am then headed to Haverfordwest for noon, finally reaching cardigan at 1.30pm.

Midway Motors spoke on their social media page: ‘Amazing to see so many local companies turning up to travel around Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. Nice to see so many people along the roadsides as well. Let’s hope for some good news from the Government in Westminster tomorrow.”

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