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BRYN VOTE LOST: IPPG Still backing embattled chief executive

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listen to the people

COUNCIL IN CRISIS

PEMBROKESHIRE held its breath yesterday as councillors decided on the future of their chief executive.

Fourteen councillors had laid notices of motion for a vote of no confidence in Bryn Parry-Jones. Many members gave passionate speeches saying that it was the day for change.

At the end of a very long meeting, lasting all day, a recorded vote was taken where twenty-three councillors voted no confidence in the chief executive.

Five councillors abstained; but it was not enough to see off the embattled CEO, the highest paid in Wales.

Thirty councillors voted against the motion meaning that Mr Parry-Jones can stay in his post.

‘Listen to the people’

IN A devastating attack on beleaguered CEO Bryn Parry Jones, leader of the Pembrokeshire Alliance Bob Kilmister highlighted repeated failures in Pembrokeshire County Council’s administration over the last four years and laid the blame for those failings clearly at the door of Bryn Parry Jones.

Hammering home the point, Cllr Kilmister quoted the reports made by Estyn, CSSIW and the Welsh Government into the running of Pembrokeshire County Council and the cosy and complacent culture among senior officers and Cabinet members.

Cllrs Pat Davies and Gwilym Price continued the attack, citing a moral failure of leadership at the top of the Council. Cllr Phil Baker, cited declining staff morale, as the lowest paid had their pay cut while their employer offered tax breaks and the highest pay in Wales to senior officers while the Council lurched from iceberg to iceberg, like the RMS Titanic.

Cllr Tony Wilcox anticipated the line followed by other speakers, as he pointed out to Councillors that the buck had to stop with the CEO when things went wrong.

Cllr Mike Stoddart told a sombre and hushed chamber that there was contempt in the Council for the rule of law: can we get away it is the only question these people ask?

Cllr Jacob Williams told members that the CEO had presided scandal after scandal, and pointed out there had been a complete lack of accountability in dealing with the CEO and that Councillors had the opportunity to represent their constituent’s views.

Cllr Vivian Stoddart, pointed out that the reputation of the Council was in tatters, the reputation of the Council has been on a downward spiral and that downward spiral has been throughout the tenure of the CEO. She pointed out that in excess of £400,000 had been wasted on defending Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court and pointed out the headline “Council put reputation before children”. She quoted Bryn Parry Jones’ own words that “leadership meant taking responsibility” and that it was time for him to face up to that and accept for responsibility for the problems that have engulfed Pembrokeshire County Council under him.

More press clippings

more clippingsANGRY councillors who were prevented from voting at the last meeting of full council made an attempt to turn the tables on the leader of the council, Cllr Jamie Adams yesterday. Cllr Phil Baker stood up waving a envelope saying to the chairman: “I have a brown envelope here filled with clippings from the Western Telegraph”

Next, Cllr Jacob Williams said to the Chairman: “Mr Harding had his arm outstretched to receive the envelope. Should he not be allowed to receive it?”

The chairman barked: “Cllr Williams: We do not have time for this – we have a lot on the agenda to get through; and if you continue these comments I will have to deal with you!”

Opposition councillors booed and jeered. Cllr Jamie Adams then addressed the meeting: “The interview in the Western Telegraph is an accurate reflection of what I said, but I did not write the headline. I have not predetermined the issues in-front of me today.”

Stoddart amends minutes

A ROW broke out at yesterday’s full council meeting at County Hall about the accuracy of the minutes. At last months farcical meeting, opposition councilors were prevented from participating in a vote over suspending the Chief Executive. This was because the Council’s barrister said they had ‘pre-determined’ their views by talking to The Pembrokeshire Herald and the Western Telegraph.

At the start of yesterday’s meeting Councillor Mike Stoddard said that he was unhappy with what was on the record because it had failed to mention that Cllr Keith Lewis had withdrawn from the meeting twice. Cllr Stoddart said: “There are code of conduct issues with what happened after his return to the meeting, and I would like that recorded.”

Cllr Keith Lewis said: “The reason that I returned to the meeting was to make my point absolutely clear.”

However, Cllr Nutting interrupted saying: “Yes, but after returning you spoke again!”

Councillors eventually voted to amend the minutes, so that Cllr Stoddard’s concerns were dealt with.

However, Councillor Jacob Williams was prevented from raising further issues. He wanted to ask questions as to which officer of the council may have shown bias by requesting that two councilors return to the meeting.

Council reveals cost of advice over unlawful payments

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has spent over £27,000 on advice in a desperate attempt to justify the making of unlawful pay supplements to its Chief Executive Officer.

The sum spent was revealed by IPPG leader Jamie Adams, and follows the revelation that the unlawful pay supplement was worth in excess of £45,000 over two years it was made.

The IPPG administration has previously indicated that it intends to revisit the pay policy in an attempt to make the pay supplement lawful. With significant further cost, including further external expert reports (which the Council failed to commission before making the unlawful decision and payments), it seems as though the cost neutrality of the scheme, acclaimed by the IPPG administration – and Cllr Adams in particular – lies in tatters.

The costs included £14,480 for Tim Kerr QC, and £12,562 for Mr. Watson who had prepared an experts report for the Council following the Welsh Audit Office’s report in the public interest.

 

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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