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FBM Holidays to be main sponsor for TenFoot Swim

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Tim Brace of FBM Holidays, Chris Williams of the TenFoot Swim and Ed Spence, FBM Estate Agents

LOCAL self-catering accommodation provider FBM Holidays are proud to announce that they will take over as the main sponsor for the TenFoot Swim in 2018.

The event which began in 2017 is a 5km open sea endurance swim which begins on Tenby’s North Beach and finishes on Saundersfoot beach – hence the name ‘TenFoot’ – and is organised by a joint committee made up of representatives of both Tenby and Saundersfoot communities and features members who are responsible for the continued success of the New Years Day Swim in Saundersfoot.

The event, which is due to take place on July 21,  2018, will see around 300 competitors take to the water, with all proceeds raised from the event going to charity.

Last year, the event raised £10,000 which was split between two local communities, The Rory Rogers Fund and Bloodwise, but recently lost its main sponsor for the event. FBM Holidays who were keen supporters of the 2017 swim were very keen to be further involved and offered to sponsor the swim event as a whole.

Thom James, Marketing Executive at FBM Holidays, said: “The whole of FBM Holidays is extremely excited to be involved in sponsoring the TenFoot Swim in 2018. As a large accommodation provider in the area, we want to help make this event an absolute must for holiday-makers and locals alike in 2018 and beyond.

“As a local company, it was important that we could help sponsor a local event that has such a good heart. As a charity-minded organisation, the committee do an amazing job of putting on these events which go on to benefit some wonderful causes in the process.”

The 2018 TenFoot swim event will include the TenFoot Trek, which coincides with the swim, and a concert in aid of Wales Air Ambulance and two local charities. Also, for the first time in 2018, there will be the introduction of the StepFoot Run, a 5k family fun run from Saundersfoot to Stepaside, and this is also being sponsored separately by FBM Estate Agents.

For full details of the swim, including more information and how to enter, visit the TenFoot website, www.tenfootswim.co.uk. Details of the local charities that will be represented in 2018 to be announced soon.

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Can Pembrokeshire still afford Wales’ lowest council tax?

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PEMBOKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’S Finance Director, Jon Haswell said council tax would need to rise significantly to meet service needs in the wake of a 0.4% cut in Welsh Government funding.

Although its the smallest cut out of all the councils in Wales, the cut puts the authority £600,000 out of pocket

He was effectively saying that the councils coffers will be empty and that something has to change, and change fast.

Last year Pembrokeshire’s council tax went up by 12.5% – the first double-digit increase in Wales since 2004 – but Pembrokeshire’s Council Tax bills are still the lowest in Wales.

At the Audit Committee meeting on Thursday (Oct 18), Mr Haswell warned that on current predictions, based on the Welsh Government’s standard spending assessment of what it thinks the council needs, council tax would need to rise by 28% or more unless services were cut.

That is 2% less than Plaid Cymru councillor Mike Williams’ said it would be at Full Council the week before (Oct 11), but it’s pretty close.

As we reported on Friday in our print edition, Cllr Williams turned his own fire on the previous administration for placing Pembrokeshire into its current financial position, pointing out that the actual rise in Council Tax needed to address the funding gap in March this year was in excess of 30%.

He said: ‘It’s about time some members had a wake-up call’ as to the current state of the Council’s finances and the previous administration’s totemic policy of having the lowest Council Tax in Wales. Firmly pointing the finger at Cllrs Adams and Davies following their earlier questions, he suggested they needed to look to themselves to find the origins of the authority’s current difficulties.

RECAP – WHAT WE REPORTED LAST WEEK

A 0.5% cut in funding to Pembrokeshire County Council will result in significant and potentially devastating cuts to public services.
As we previously reported, the Welsh Government announced its budget settlement for Welsh local government last week.
While that settlement shows ‘only’ a 0.5% cut in the Pembrokeshire’s Revenue Support Grant, the reality behind that headline figure is grim.
And there is little comfort to be taken in the news that Pembrokeshire’s cut is smaller than that inflicted on neighbouring Carmarthenshire. Pembrokeshire’s budget is far smaller in proportion to Carmarthenshire’s. Our County’s resources are stretched to breaking point following years of the folly of the ‘lowest Council Tax in Wales’ policy in twenty-two years of rule by the ‘Independent’ group, most lately under Jamie Adams.
While money was washing around local government that policy was sustainable. However, once systemic cuts came in 2008 – and persisted for ten years and rising – there was no fat to trim and cuts are now deep into the bone of frontline services.
The Welsh Government funding takes little or no account of the Council’s obligation to pay wage increases negotiated centrally which far outstrips the money provided to meet them, changes in National Insurance, changes to teachers’ pensions, the effects of inflation, and the impact of regulations affecting buildings’ maintenance.
Hit seven ways from Sunday by a barrage of deep cuts to its budget delivered year-on-year for the last decade and in the teeth of the fallout of a Council Tax policy which has left the Council’s cupboard bare, there is no way for the Council to resolve its financial position without making even deeper cuts than those already contemplated and revealed exclusively in this newspaper last week.
The social care budget’s ‘protection’ by the Welsh Government has left all Councils floundering; because Pembrokeshire has a high proportion of older residents, it has been hit hard. The Council has even less money to spend on other services as the proportion of a smaller revenue ‘pie’ is taken up by protected budgets.
The devastation being wreaked by cuts is unsurprising. In 2014 dire warnings were given about the cumulative effects of continuing cuts before that year’s budget. Almost five years’ on, the situation is even worse than predicted.
With the Cabinet unwilling to ask for a further large Council Tax increase for next year, real savings will be hard to find. Something somewhere has to give.
The only hope is that the UK Government actually delivers real relief from austerity instead of tinkering at the edges.

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Man who assaulted Tenby barmaid avoids jail

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A MAN who touched a barmaid’s bottom and then offered her money for sex has been made the subject of a suspended prison sentence.

Mark Adams, aged 55, had denied sexual assault but was convicted by a jury after a trial at Swansea Crown Court.
Today, Adams was jailed for six months, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 20 days of rehabilitation.
He must also pay £3,230 in prosecution costs.
The jury heard how Adams did not dispute that he asked the barmaid in a Tenby pub for a “selfie” as a pretext to get close to her and touch her bottom.
He then offered her £300, and then £400, to spend time with him but agreed that really meant having sex with him.
Adams, of Tintagel Way, Portsmouth, told the jury the approach had worked in the past with other women.
Judge Keith Thomas told Adams he had followed up with sexual assault with a humiliating offer of money for sex.
His behaviour, said the judge, came from an inflated sense of his own importance.
The court heard that his victim no longer felt safe in her place of work or in her home town of Tenby.
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Missing pensioner last seen in Haverfordwest

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is conducting enquiries to find missing 72 year old, Gordon Phillips. He was last seen on the afternoon of Sunday October 14 at the County Hotel in Haverfordwest.

He is described as white, approx. 5’8 tall, has white collar length un-brushed hair, a white beard, and was wearing a shiny black puffer jacket, black baseball hat and baggy blue jeans.

Anyone who has seen Gordon, or has any information about his whereabouts is asked to contact police by calling 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number: 07811 311 908.

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