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Council EU Funding ‘suspended’

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county hallTHE SCANDAL surrounding the Council’s administration of European grant aid in Pembroke and Pembroke Dock has deepened.

The Pembrokeshire Herald can exclusively reveal that the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) has suspended payments due to be made to Pembrokeshire County Council under the Commercial Properties Grant Scheme until an investigation into the scheme is completed.

A spokesperson from the Welsh Government told The Herald:

“As a precautionary measure, WEFO has temporarily suspended EU funds payments to Pembrokeshire Council in respect of its Commercial Property Grant Scheme while the Council’s review of eligibility of expenditure is underway.”

A Council spokesperson responded by telling us:

“This matter is due to be discussed by Cabinet on Monday. There is no further comment.”

The suspension of payments to Pembrokeshire County Council is a further blow to the credibility of the IPPG Cabinet and beleaguered member David Pugh, who has had responsibility for overseeing the scheme stripped away from him. In December, the IPPG repeatedly attacked Councillors seeking to look at documents relating to the scheme, claiming there were no problems with it and claiming that officers had assured them there were no issues with its administration. Those reassurances were repeated to the Council’s own Audit Committee in January, when the scale of any potential issues was downplayed by officers.

Shortly after documents were made available for inspection by all Councillors, an issue was identified in relation to a separate scheme, the Town Heritage Initiative, where it appeared that one contractor was asked to tender on far more preferable terms than others competing for the same contract. Labour leader Paul Miller told The Herald:

“Having seen the statement obtained by the Pembrokeshire Herald I’m extremely disappointed that serious money, allocated to re-generate towns in Pembroekshire, is now in jeopardy and being withheld. Unfortunately though, I’m not surprised.

“Pembrokeshire Council has failed spectacularly to manage the Commercial Property Grant Scheme in Pembroke Dock. When concerns were raised they steadfastly refused to accept even the possibility there could be a problem and attacked those councillors demanding answers.

Leadership in our county council is non existent. It’s beggars belief that Cllr David Pugh continues in his position despite receiving only 22 votes (of 60) supporting him at the last full council.

“Unfortunately for Pembrokeshire, Pugh’s bungling just came home to roost and it can’t be far short of £1m of inward investment that Cllr Pugh’s failings have just put at risk.”

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Teifion

    April 5, 2014 at 9:25 am

    We all think we know what’s going on don’t we?

    Where are the Police in all this?

  2. mary astles

    April 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    this council are not capable of leading a dog, let alone a council to serve the people of pembrokeshire.

  3. TToommy

    April 9, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Jamie couldn’t run a tap let alone a council without the yay or nay from the public servant Bryn, Bryn would want a new tap as this is the only way to ensure that he is retained as the “best Chief Exec” in Wales – said with a straight face!

  4. Robin Howells, Chair, Preseli Pembrokeshire Labour Party

    April 11, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Another fine mess they have got this county into and the sort of investment that’s needed. Fraud, jobs for the boys and the girls, wasting public money on Paul Kerr QC to justify a grave error of judgement with Bryn Parry-Jones and his pension, election fraud – where will all this end apart from making Pembrokeshire County Council look a complete laughing stock and the county with it. Time for a higher authority to step in and clean up County Hall.

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Pembroke: Leave teenage girls alone, sex offender told

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A SEX OFFENDER from Ashdale Lane, Pembroke has been jailed for repeatedly ignoring court orders which were put in place to protect young girls.
Gareth Thomas James Flynn, aged 41, frightened a 14-year-old girl who refused to get off a bus in case he managed to find out where she lived.
41-year-old Gareth Thomas James Flynn scared a 14-year-old girl because she refused to get of a bus, frightened he would learn her address.
He admitted breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was jailed today for a year.
Sitting at Swansea Crown Court, Judge Geraint Walters berated the defendant.  His Honour said that Flynn had shown a complete disregard for the original SHPO.
The judge said: “Leave teenage girls alone. They are scared of you”
He told Flynn he would be on licence for 12 months after his release from prison, and he reminded him that the SHPO remained in place.

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Narberth: ‘My mum’s camper was stolen and found burned out down the road’

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A CAMPER VAN stolen on Thursday night in Narberth was found burned a short distance from where it was parked, the owner’s son has said.

Zachary Bunce posted an appeal on Facebook on Friday morning saying: “Can every single one of my friends please share this my mother’s Ford transit campervan was stolen last night in the Narberth area can people please be on the lookout for this van as my mother is completely heartbroken.”

But three hours later he updated the post to say: “Thank you everyone who shared, sadly my mums van was driven 1.3 miles down the road and driven into a ditch and burnt it out.

Mr Bunce has said on that the incident has been captured on CCTV, and took place at 2.10am in the morning (Jan 24).
Anyone with any information should contact the police on 101.

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Hook: Police and school confirm death of boy, 13

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POLICE are investigating the sudden death of a 13-year-old boy from Hook on Wednesday (Jan 22)

A police spokesman told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 13-year-old boy, from the Hook area of Pembrokeshire.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious at this time. Next of kin have been advised and are being supported.”

A letter was sent out to parents and carers by Haverfordwest High VC School headteacher Jane Harries following the death. The letter reads: “It is with great sadness that I have to inform you about the sudden death of a year nine pupil at our school.

“The children in Year nine were told this morning by myself and other pupils were told by their teachers during their lesson this afternoon. The full detail surrounding the death are not known at this stage – but children have been reassured that this is something that does not happen very often. Your child may or may not want to talk bout it, but it is likely that he/she will need your special care, attention and reassurance at this difficult time.

“We are deeply affected by the death, but we are trying, for the children’s sake, to keep the school as normal as possible over the coming days, whilst allowing the children opportunities to talk about the pupil if they wish to. Trained support staff and counsellors are helping to support us through this difficult time. If you feel that your child needs extra support, please let us know.

“Our thoughts are with the pupil’s family at this difficult time, and the whole school community sends them our sincerest sympathy and support. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s achievement leader, or Miss Thomas, pastoral support manager. Paul Lucas, chairman of the governing body at Haverfordwest High VC School, said: “The governors are shocked at the tragic loss of this young student. The family are in our thoughts at this very sad time.”

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