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Council ‘frozen’ over ice cream van



picCONCERNS have been expressed that Pembrokeshire County Council has ‘turned a blind eye’ to an unlicensed seaside trader operating at Freshwater West this summer.

A source who has approached the Herald but who did not wish to be named, claims that a Saundersfoot-based ice cream van trading under the name ‘Holly’s Lollies,’ has been operating from the roadside at Freshwater West for months without a trading license. It is also claimed that the local authority has done nothing to intervene, despite being aware of the situation.

Photographs that were sent to us show the ice cream van trading at Freshwater West on 23rd July, details which can be corroborated from an RNLI safety information noticeboard placed on the verge which the van pulled up alongside.

A license of the type required to trade from an ice cream van could cost in the region of £4,000. It is claimed that Pembrokeshire County Council, the licensing authority responsible for issuing licenses and regulating trading activity, was made aware by a member of the public about the unlicensed trading some weeks before the photographs were taken.

The van was also seen operating at the same spot opposite the Freshwater West car park by a Herald correspondent as recently as last week.

A spokesperson for the council, Len Mullins, denied that the council was turning a blind eye, and said: “The Authority is aware that ‘Holly’s Lollies’ has been street trading without the appropriate consent. We have written to the owner and he has attended a meeting in County Hall which highlighted the illegal trading.”

Mr. Mullins claimed that the council had ‘intervened’ and ‘issued appropriate warnings to the owner,’ however when asked, he revealed that no application for a license had yet been received by the authority.

We also asked what stance the council took on unlicensed trading activity, and were told: “Unlicensed trading will be reviewed and appropriate action will be taken. Current street trading policy has been in force since 2011. To date no prosecutions have been brought for illegal trading.”

In response to whether the authority would consider offering recompense to traders who had paid their necessary trading license fees, no response was received, however the Herald has been told that ‘the issue at Freshwater West is under review.’

Hollys Lollies boss Kevin Goldsworthy told The Herald: “I don’t need consent to sell Ice Creamat Fresh Water West if doing so is part of my mobile rounds. I have been inspected by the Environmental Health and have been selling ice cream for thirty years. If there are new rules how am I supposed to abide by rules that I don’t even know about.”

He added: “The Council told me that even if I was willing to pay £1,500 for a licence to sell icecream at Fresh Water West they wouldn’t grant me one. The Council are in with the National Trust and would prefer that there was no ice cream van, so people can pay £6 for a burger at the cafe instead”

Mr Goldsworthy concluded by saying “Mobile rounds are obviously allowed so how long am I actually permitted to stop for, and how will they enforce the rules? Are they going to get a traffic warden to follow me around?”

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Crabb takes up the reins as Wales Committee chair



PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb has been elected as the new chairman of the Welsh Affairs Committee in Parliament.

Stephen Crabb, who served as Secretary of State for Wales from 2014 to 2016, secured support from across the political divide to be elected unopposed, and is looking forward to taking on the new role.

He received nominations from MPs drawn from of all parties in Wales as well as being supported by numerous other MPs from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The committee examines the work of the Wales Office and other UK departments in Wales. It takes evidence from Ministers, experts and other witnesses in order to make recommendations that benefit Wales and its economy.

Following the announcement, Stephen Crabb said: “This is an exciting opportunity and I’m grateful to have received support from such a wide cross-section the House of Commons, including from Conservative, Labour and Plaid Cymru MPs. By drawing on the knowledge and passion of MPs from all parties, the committee can help to shape a positive and optimistic agenda for Wales at a time of enormous change.

“Post-Brexit trade deals, the Shared Prosperity Fund, infrastructure investment and the climate challenge will all have an impact on Wales in the years ahead. The Welsh Affairs Committee will provide an essential forum for examining Government action in these areas and ensuring that the unique circumstances of Wales are properly understood.”

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Old barracks promised new lease of life



THE COMPANY which has purchased the iconic defensible barracks in Pembroke Dock have promised to breathe new life into the historic building.

The grade II fort was built in the Victorian era to provide a military defence to the Royal Dockyard. It was recently sold for an undisclosed sum to VR1844 Ltd. The company directors are listed as Jonathan McDermott, Emma Jane Morby, Lai Hang Seto, and Iain Trevor Walker.

VR1844Ltd office manager Tanya McDermott said: “VR1844 believe people never truly own a building but are the buildings guardians for a period of time.

“Taking the view that it is only the right development for the right building at the right time it is our privilege to bring the building back into life, repair, nurture and give back to the local community, not to shut the main doors and lock the building away from people who are interested in it and its history.

“VR1844 Ltd who have brought this very under-loved and not looked after building, want to bring the buildings back into life with a mix of community uses, together with a number of dwellings that will breathe life back into the buildings.
“To do this VR1844 are already working hard with CADW, Pembrokeshire County Council and local councillors to bring forward a scheme that all parties can support, and the community can once again be proud of.”

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Town councillors object to hotel on health and safety grounds



TOWN COUNCILLORS in Milford Haven have unanimously voted to object to a planning application my Milford Haven Port Authority to build a 100-bedroom hotel on Milford Docks.
Town Mayor Terry Davies said he had had numerous requests from members of the public to try to get it refused.
Several members of the public were at the meeting to watch, including Ian Bannister and his daughter and James Kershaw – whose homes were seriously flooded in 2018 causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Cllr Lynne Turner told councillors: “We look forward to the development of the marina and the town desperately needs a hotel, but we have been contacted by a number of representatives from the Lower Priory and Havens Head area who are very concerned about the impact on flooding in their villages.
“The sewage waste from this development, and the change to water run-off, unless the Port Authority addresses the culverts in the area, then we have to assume that this must present a big risk to increased flooding.”
“We need to wait for the outcome of a report to see how the hotel will affect the villages”
“Then that report needs to be acted upon, if needs be.”
Cllr Rhys Sinnett said: “It is clear from the representation from the communities affected by the floods in 2018, they are still awaiting answers and actions from Pembrokeshire County Council to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.
“Whilst no action is being taken, I don’t see how we can support anything that might raise water levels and I suggest we need to delay this as long as possible.
“There is no reference in the report to the flooding in 2018 so how can we support an application that has faulty information.”
“We have to object to this application within the scope of planning rules, and I propose that we can object in terms of health and safety.
What happened in 2018 was a had a huge impact on the health and safety of those who were living in Lower Priory and in Havens Head.
Cllr Turner then formally that the town council object, as Cllr Sinnett suggested, to the application on health and safety grounds.
Cllr Sinnett added that because of the controversial nature of the application, he would be strongly suggesting the application go before the council’s planning committee.
“That would be best for local democracy” he said, adding “this application should not be decided by officers under their delegated powers.
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