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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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Police investigate ‘Chinese government vehicle’ spotted near Puma Oil Terminal

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POLICE have confirmed that they are conducting “the appropriate enquiries” after a suspicious vehicle was spotted in the vicinity of Puma Oil Terminal on Saturday afternoon (Aug 8).

Following a tip off a Herald reporter was dispatched to the area, and saw a black Volvo SUV with three oriental looking males inside the vehicle. The vehicle had diplomatic number plates identifying that it belonged to the Chinese government.

However, a DVLA check suggested that the plates were registered to a BMW and not the Volvo they were displayed upon.

South Hook LNG security was notified as a precaution.

A police spokesman said: “Members of the public are advised to contact the police to report any suspicious activity or incidents.”

Both the UK and US governments are currently on alert following incidents of spying relating to key infrastructure, computer systems and state secrets by the Chinese authorities.

[The image used in this report is a computer generated artist’s impression.]

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Milford Haven Street Food Festival Returns To Waterfront This August

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MILFORD Haven Street Food Festival will be setting up camp at Milford Waterfront for the third year running to continue their Summer of street food tour, and with a brand new sponsor joining for the ride! Jubel Beer will be on hand fully loaded with refreshing fruity beers to serve all weekend long.

Street Food Warehouse and their team of feeders are heading back into town this bank holiday weekend, 28th – 30th August.

Cooking up a storm between noon – 10pm, the festival is split into three mouth-watering portions and is the only way to get you in the mood for summer and of course, fill you up to the brim on all of your favourite foodie delights.

You’ll need to grab your tickets beforehand, just make sure you come with an empty belly ready to taste new flavours – the world will really be your oyster. From smokin’ souvlaki to naughty nachos, mouthwatering Malaysian to chocolatey treats. Carnivores, veggies and vegans alike will be able to get their hungry hands on a range of Insta-worthy grub from all over the world!

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten that you’ll need something to tingle your taste buds and wash it all down with! Luckily, The Pop Up Bar Hire Company has got the whole weekend covered, offering all of your favourite beverages ranging from zesty Mojitos to ice-cold pints of Jubel Beer.

Two Lads Kitchen, Spicer’s Meat Wagon, Makasih and Chock Shop are just some of the street food vendors that will be attending the weekend, with many more both local and national vendors to be announced.

Come rain or shine, the event is completely free and family-friendly where you can get your hands on the most vibrant and high quality street food Milford Haven has to offer.

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Tenby: Police investigate overnight burglaries and theft

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POLICE are investigating two burglaries and a theft which occurred sometime overnight 9th/10th August in Tenby.

At approximately 2am this morning the RNLI lifeboat station, on Castle Hill, was broken into and money taken from the charity donation box.

Sometime overnight the padlock on the charity box for the Shipwrecked Mariners Society on Castle Square was broken and money taken from within.

Also overnight a window was forced open at the Denis Café, Castle Beach, and the till was missing. The till was later found with the money removed.

PC Garland said: “The three incidents are currently being linked. Having to close to deal with the clean-up of this type of incident is difficult for any business but especially so at this time. The two charities rely on donations to keep going and being a crew member of the Tenby Lifeboat I know what important work they due for the local community and for visitors who get into difficulty in the sea. I would appeal to anyone with any information to come forward and contact police.”

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