Connect with us


‘Bigoted, small minded council’ are ‘wrong’ to object to home for the autistic



A COUNTY COUNCILLOR and planning committee member has blasted a community council on Facebook for objecting to a care home being opened in Haverfordwest because there could be too many autistic people near to a school.

A shocked Cllr Joshua Beynon told the Herald: “If this was about black people or Muslims then this would be national news”.

On Facebook the Councillor wrote: “I was outraged to read that members of Merlins Bridge Community Council were concerned about ‘the level of autistic residents’ in their letter objecting to the care home.”

He added: “This bigoted, small minded response should not be tolerated from anyone in the 21st century, especially members of a council and this should be called out at every opportunity.”

Rachel Johnson, Clerk to Merlins Bridge Community Council was asked by its members to write to Pembrokeshire County Council to raise objects to the proposed development. The project is to enable adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder to live in the community, in a caring, domestic environment, with an existing pair of semi-detached dwellings which need little alteration on order to accommodate this change of use.

One of the objections raised in the letter, in addition to the likelihood that property prices would be adversely affected, was ‘concerns about the level of autism that residents are living with’.

The letter of objection added: “This can vary largely and there are worries about the proximity to the school.”
In response, Pembrokeshire County Council Planning Committee member, Joshua Beynon, has written to the community council asking them to explain their bizarre, and potentially prejudicial, objection.

In his email he wrote: “Yesterday we were deciding whether or not to approve the care home at 57 & 59 St Issells Avenue.

Disgusted: Cllr Beynon

“I too researched the business on Companies House and could see the potential home was registered under the nature of business code 87200, meaning those with learning difficulties.

“I was saddened to see the objection from Merlins Bridge Community Council which stated it objected due to the ‘level of autistic residents and close proximity to the school’. Whilst at first I thought I had misinterpreted the statement I found it to be offensive to anyone who would read it as it implies that the council would not want anyone severe on the autism spectrum living in the community.

“I fail to see how ‘level of autistic residents’ could be interpreted in any other way.

“I am hoping the council can address this at the next council meeting as other members of the wider community feel the same way.

The planning application for the care home development has been brought by James Ross Donald of C & C Pembs Limited. The company was incorporated in August last year, but Mr Donald says that he has many years’ experience in the care field.

The applicant said: “Care in the Community at this level has no detrimental impact on surrounding areas and the integration of the residents of the proposed home will have a positive bearing, not only in their own lives, but also on the community as a whole.”

Lee Hind, Chair of the Pembrokeshire Sibling Group – who work with a lot of families with autistic children – said: “I am stunned that these attitudes still exist in 2018!

“The idea that disability should be used as an objection in this way is abhorrent to me and works against the ethos of inclusion that every public body should be working towards.

Ward member, County Councillor John Cole told The Herald that it was he who called in the application to full planning committee therefore preventing its approval by officers under delegated powers. Cllr Cole also sits as a member of the community council.

Speaking on Wednesday (Mar 14) he said: “I called in the application because I was asked to by residents to do so. I do not have any objections myself personally to this application but I must represent the people of my ward. There has been a petition with 29 signatures on it against the home.”

He added “I do not feel that the community council had enough information in front of them at the time they made the decision to object to the application.

“For example, they did not have the main document ‘Design and Access Statement’ explaining exactly what the application was about.

“I am going to ask the Clerk of the Council to get this information for us in time for the next meeting tonight.”

When asked if the community council would not have objected had they had all the documents, Cllr Cole said he was unable to comment.

A mother of autistic teenagers who attended the meeting said that, after listening to councillors, she felt that their position had been misrepresented.

Lisa O’Sullivan of Pembroke Dock told The Herald: “The Community Council have no objection to any cared for individual being in the community. The original document sent to the County Council has been paraphrased and their concerns’ emphasis misplaced.

“Their main concerns are the safety of their residents from badly planned increases to traffic flow and the dangers this will increase on the residents living nearby. They feel there would be other, much more suitable buildings within the community

“The main thing I took away from meeting was they seemed upset that any offense had been caused.

“Obviously there are documents mentioning autism – they’re sorry for that as it was never meant to be a factor.

“I went there as an unknown with a massive autism mom bag on my shoulder. I don’t think anything about autism was supposed to be put across, and if it was it was done mistakenly – more as them wanting information what was going on.

“I have been shown certain documents which would suggest a low level of care as there’s only going to be one support worker through twilight hours.

“This would suggest a high volume of visitors etc, as it will be like my boys having a flat there with support in day.

“I think all documents are available online but whether county council kept original one that I was shown I don’t know, but they should be held accountable for stirring up a witch hunt.”


Funeral of Kiara Moore to take place on her birthday



Jet Moore: With his daughter, Kiara

THE FUNERAL of Kiara Moore, the two-year-old who tragically died in the River Teifi in Cardigan on Monday (Mar 19), will take place on Tuesday (Mar 27).

The date would have been her third birthday.

Announcing the funeral on Facebook, her father, Jet Moore, said: “Kiara’s funeral and party will be held on the 27th March.

“Myself, Kim and family would like to invite you all to either the funeral and party for her happy life and birthday! (or just be have a thought for her on this day and make some one happy).”

“Please bring kids if you can! We are keeping it a happy celebration.”

The funeral will take place at Parc Gwyn Crematorium in Narberth, then the Fostrasell Arms in Llandysul.

Jet went on to say that the family want to set up a trust in Kiara’s name to ‘support people who are sad (metal health) and the outdoor environment’.

He added: “So please do not buy flowers but donate money to this and we will make happy experiences for 100s and 1000s I hope!”

Dyfed-Powys Police have said that enquiries are ongoing into the incident, and have warned online ‘trolls’ to be aware of what they post.

A spokesperson said: “Enquiries are continuing to fully understand the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.

“Examination of the vehicle will form part of these enquiries.

“We can also confirm that the vehicle had not been stolen.

“We are aware of potentially malicious comments relating to the incident on social media. These are being reviewed and action may be taken where appropriate.”

Continue Reading


Audit Committee will not make police response public



MEMBERS of the Audit Committee have given an undertaking not to disclose a letter from Dyfed-Powys Police relating to the Commercial Property Grants Scheme in Pembroke Dock.

The Committee met today (Mar 23), where it discussed the response from Dyfed-Powys Police after they agreed to write to them, complaining about the delay in the investigation.

At their previous meeting in January, the committee also resolved to ask a member of the police force to attend the next meeting to give an update.

Detective Super Intendent Shane Williams attended the meeting and asked members not to disclose the letter to the wider public as it may prejudice the criminal proceedings or the right to a fair trial.

However the Council’s Head of Legal Services, Mrs Claire Incledon, told the committee that, in her opinion, the letter was in the public domain and that they would not be able to withhold the letter should an FOI request be made.

Members of the committee resolved that they would not make the letter available to the wider public.

DSI Shane Williams told the committee of a number of interviews that had taken place and said: “Fraud is sometimes complex and does take some time. I am not saying that 25 months is acceptable.”

He went on to say that a meeting was held with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in November 2017 when they asked for further work to be done.

DSI Williams said that the work was nearing completion and that another meeting would be arranged ‘sooner rather than later’ to discuss whether or not to press charges.

He added: “The investigation has taken longer than anticipated but we will be putting some impetus behind this. This is a CPS decision but it is public money and there has been an indication dishonesty or fraud and there should be prosecution.”

Cllr Jacob Williams referred to the letter on several occasions which states that WEFO are the victims in this case but DSI Williams added that Pembrokeshire County Council were also the victims.

When pressed for a response as to why only WEFO were included as victims, DSI Williams said: “From the initial complaint WEFO were the victim but we became aware that that PCC were paying back grant money and therefore had a claim as the victim.”

Audit Committee chairman Tony Baron said it was his impression that they were weeks away from a conclusion and that they should take a view that the letter should not be published until that time.

Chief Executive Ian Westley said it was an ‘option’ for members as there might not be a robust legal defence if they were asked to circulate the letter and they refused.

Cllr Cris Tomos moved that a vote be taken on keeping the letter private but members indicated they would not be prepared to take such a vote.

The Committee resolved to thank DSI Williams for attending and gave an undertaking that they would not make the letter public.

Continue Reading


Milford Haven: Police appealing for information after window smashed



POLICE are appealing for information after a glass window was smashed at a Milford Haven property.

On Tuesday (Mar 20) at approximately 7:30pm, an object was thrown at the front ground floor window at a property on Priory Road, Milford Haven, causing the outer glass panel to smash.

Police say a large number of youths were seen in the area when the incident occurred.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Anyone with information is asked to contact Milford Haven police station via 101.”

Continue Reading
News1 day ago

Funeral of Kiara Moore to take place on her birthday

THE FUNERAL of Kiara Moore, the two-year-old who tragically died in the River Teifi in Cardigan on Monday (Mar 19),...

News1 day ago

Audit Committee will not make police response public

MEMBERS of the Audit Committee have given an undertaking not to disclose a letter from Dyfed-Powys Police relating to the...

News2 days ago

Haverfordwest Museum under threat as Town Council pull plug

HAVERFORDWEST MUSEUM faces an uncertain future, The Herald can reveal. At a meeting of Haverfordwest Town Council at which funding...

News2 days ago

Fishguard: Rise in parking charges branded ‘an absolute disgrace’

RESIDENTS of Fishguard have been debating the recent price hike for parking charges at the West Street car park, with...

News2 days ago

Police warn online trolls over ‘malicious’ Kiara comments

DYFED-POWYS POLICE have warned online trolls that they may take action against malicious comments relating to Kiara Moore, the 2-year-old...

News2 days ago

Cabinet supports three-weekly waste collections

PEMBROKESHIRE ​COUNTY COUNCIL’S Cabinet has unanimously supported the move to a three-weekly waste collection service. Cabinet members met on Monday...

News4 days ago

Two-year-old’s mother says she will ‘live with guilt’ following tragic death

THE MOTHER of Kiara Moore, a two-year-old girl who sadly died following an incident in the River Teifi in Cardigan...

News4 days ago

Pembroke Dock police urge caution following vehicle thefts

PEMBROKE DOCK police officers are investigating a number of reports of stolen vehicles and thefts of property from inside unlocked...

News4 days ago

Man charged with charity box theft

DYFED-POWYS POLICE have charged a Pembroke Dock man with the theft of a Morgan’s Fight charity box. Robert Williams, aged...

News5 days ago

Child airlifted to hospital after stolen car ends up in River Teifi

A THREE-YEAR-OLD is receiving medical attention in Cardiff after being in a car which was stolen in Carmarthenshire, and which...

Popular This Week