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Care company denies negligence

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denies negligenceA CONCERNED son is trying to help his elderly parents after they were denied the right to lodge a claim for professional negligence by Pembrokeshire Care.

Graham and Margaret Hughes had a new bathroom installed at their home in Tenby in September 2012, but say that the completed work is substandard.

A report says that Graham and Margaret have been “left with a bathroom that is dangerous, illegal, and not fit for purpose”.

Three separate reports were commissioned to look at the work and all of them found a number of problems with the work. The main issue is with the electric consumer unit for the shower is located in the gas meter enclosure, which is against regulations.

However, in an alleged cover-up by Pembrokeshire Care and Repair, they have been denied the right to lodge a claim for professional negligence and their son Mike is now speaking with police to see if a criminal offence has been committed.

Mr and Mrs Hughes were led to believe that the claim was being investigated and were also offered unsatisfactory resolutions. The project has subsequently been condemned by three separate Independent Professional Surveys. PC&R have since denied liability for the claim and have also described it as “misconceived”.

Mike has contacted the Housing Minister Carl Sargeant and has also spoken to numerous representatives at PC&R.

In a letter to the Housing Minister Carl Sargeant, Mike says: “According to their website ‘Pembrokeshire Care & Repair is a not-for-profit charitable organisation dedicated to assist older and or disabled people to remain in their own homes in comfort, safety and security’. Whereas my parents have been left with a bathroom (which my parents have paid for) which is dangerous, illegal, and not fit for purpose. Pembrokeshire Care and Repair deny liability”.

In an email sent to PC&R Chairman David Bryan, Mike writes: “As an aide memoire, allow me to point to the more egregious half-truths, prevarications, and falsehoods contained in the PC&R letter dated October 11.”

One of the main half-truths is: ‘Your parents consider that the contractor’s works were defective’.

“This fails to mention the critical fact that three independent professional reports, one of which includes the Bullock Electrical Engineers’ report commissioned by Pembrokeshire Care and Repair, have condemned the works.

“Moreover the letter fails to mention – an especially important omission given the profile of the users, and PC&R’s mandated role as protectors of the elderly – the fact that all three professional reports posit in the clearest possible terms that the works, as well as being defective, are also both dangerous and illegal; and should be rectified immediately.

Another half-truth is: ‘The contractor offered to remedy the alleged defects’.

On the matter of the contractor offering to remedy the alleged defects, Mike commented: “Firstly, the ‘alleged defects’ as the letter puts it, are not ‘alleged’. They are attested to by three independent specialist reports – including the Bullock Electrical Engineering report commissioned by PC&R. “Moreover, as you of course know, the contractor’s ‘offer’ referred to, was an eventual; partial; and completely unsatisfactory concession. To wit: Paul Rogers stormed out of the initial meeting with my brother and Scott Nash on October 26, 2012 – and had to be called back by Mr Nash. Paul Rogers subsequently flatly refused in his email, dated October 31, 2012, to rectify the faults identified in the albeit comprehensively and dangerously omissive PC&R snagging list – itself only provided by Scott Nash after the chance intervention of my brother Peter Hughes”.

Mike adds: “However, in the intervening months, far from the claim being properly ‘investigated’ by the insurers – with whom we repeatedly sought, but were denied contact – PC&R were in the process of denying the legitimacy of my parents’ claim, based on provable and wilful falsehoods.

“It is a criminal offence to knowingly make a false insurance claim. Logic dictates that it must also be a criminal offence to knowingly, and falsely, deny a legitimate insurance claim – and in particular, where the wrongful denial not only causes loss; but also places the frail and elderly in danger.

“Whilst it is certain that a civil tort has been committed, I therefore intend to clarify with the police, as to whether the wrongful denial of a legitimate professional negligence claim, through deliberate falsehood, is a criminal offence”.

The letter sent on October 11 also says that the works would be monitored and inspected, but this is contrary to another letter sent on May 9 which says the work was not inspected.

The police have also been made aware of this issue.

Tina Mills, the Agency Manager said:-“Pembrokeshire Care & Repair is a local charitable, not for profit organisation which aims to provide advice, support and assistance to older or disabled persons to carry out repairs, adaptations or improvements to their homes.

“In the past year it has provided a range of services to over 1650 people.

“Customers who told us that they were very satisfied or satisfied with the services provided by Care & Repair – 98% those who would recommend Care & Repair to others –98% and who were satisfied with the standard of work carried out in their homes – 97%.

“We regret that Mr & Mrs Hughes feel that they did not receive the appropriate level of service nor satisfactory completion of the work undertaken.

“We are keen to resolve the issue; the contractor who undertook the work has offered to return to remedy an identified list of defects,

“The electrical sub-contractor who undertook the electrical work has also offered to return to remedy the identified defects.

“The contractor has offered to pay the costs of an electrical contractor of the family’s choosing to remedy the electrical defects

“The contractor has also agreed to participate in mediation, as originally requested on behalf of Mr & Mrs Hughes.

“All of these offers have been rejected.

“Cllr David Bryan, Chair of Pembrokeshire Care & Repair has also visited Mr & Mrs Hughes to discuss their complaint”.

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Climate change protesters pack the streets of Haverfordwest

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Hundreds of protestors flooded the streets of Haverfordwest today to join in one of the biggest global climate strikes to date.

The event took place at County Hall from 11am on Friday, September 20, where hundreds flocked in unison to show their support for the many global activists around the world in protest of the way we live on our planet.

Leading the charge for the world-wide events were multiple organisations including Extinction Rebellion and UK Student Climate Network, as well as 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish activist for the planet’s well-being. Children all across the globe have been puled out of their schools to join the protests for change on how we consume our planet’s resources and these acts have been met with mixed responses.

Some are happy that others are taking a stand for the greater good of our planet, whilst others seem to be disgruntled by all the commotion the protests have caused in their areas.

At County Hall in Haverfordwest, singing and chanting could be heard as the school children, toddlers, pensioners, families and college students all joined the call for imminent action to tackle the climate emergency.

The climate protest was also attended by Cllr David Simpson and director of development Dr Steven Jones, who assured the public that the authority was working towards its zero carbon goal.

In a statement on Facebook, Extinction Rebellion said: “Hundreds turned out to support today’s Global Climate Strike in Haverfordwest alongside hundreds of thousands around the world! A clear message was delivered and responded to by the leader of Pembrokeshire County Council who has invited you to be represented in their work in months to come to meaningfully address the climate emergency in our beautiful county and beyond. The tide is rising, and so are we!”

The protests ended as the groups made their way to Castle Square, where final chants and songs echoed around Haverfordwest.

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Refinery protest over: Two activists arrested at scene, others reported for summons

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THE PROTEST organised by Extinction Rebellion at Valero Refinery came to an end last night (Sept 19).

Specialist officers were deployed to the scene and as a result of that, two protestors were arrested for unlawful obstruction of the highway and transferred to Haverfordwest custody.

Others who took part, police said, decided to end their protest and have been reported for summons and the items used by them have been seized by the police.

Police said: “All protestors have now left the area and police are maintaining high visibility patrols.”

Superintendent Robyn Mason said: “Officers spoke to the protesters and partner agencies throughout the day to ensure a balance was maintained between allowing people the right to peaceful protest and the requirement to ensure the safety of, and minimise the disruption to, business and the community. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

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

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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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