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Pembroke: Mayor’s Parade criticised as homeless issues arise

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Homeless man: In a tent on The Green, the same weekend as the Mayor's Parade

THE TIMING of Pembroke’s Mayor Parade on Saturday (May 12) was seen by many users on social media as controversial this weekend, as the event, which is paid for by the taxpayer, coincided with the appearance of a homeless man on The Green in the town.

The event marked Linda Brown becoming the new Mayor of the town, a role previously held by Dai Boswell.

Many locals felt it was inappropriate for the event, which included a parade through the town and a meal, to be using public money when the issue of homelessness was front and centre in the town.

Christopher Lawton, a member of the Facebook group Pembrokeshire Council Watch, posted a letter to Pembroke Town Council which read: “Today, Saturday 12th May 2018 you have a homeless man sleeping in a tent in the town, he is currently opposite the Green Garage.

“As I know today is ‘Mayor Making Day’ and there is a council tax payer funded event to hand out free lunches I think it fitting that a Councillor should go and invite this man to have lunch with you all, maybe the incoming Mayor could drive by and invite him? I am sure the council tax payers of Pembroke would happily give him a free lunch rather than the Town Councillors and incoming Mayor.

“I hope this act of human compassion can be carried out, please let me know if it can.”

Comments on the post included sentiments such as ‘I’d rather pay to feed a person in need than some shiny arsed bureaucrat’ and ‘you’ve more chance of flying’.

However, the Mayor of St David, Bethan Thomas Price, hit back at claims that nothing was being done about the man, claiming that she and several others brought him food and water after the event.

She said: “I am Mayor Of St Davids not Pembroke and had no idea about this until towards the end of the event and then on my way home I stopped and took him food and water so did many others.”

Amanda Evans from Homeless Pembrokeshire added that the man has turned down accommodation: “We were made aware of this gentleman yesterday and he was offered a room for the night but he sadly declined. He did, however, take a tent and sleeping bag including a list of contact details that he may find useful.

“We do have an emergency pack which includes a small stove, food items, toiletries and new underwear to make his life a little more comfortable in the short term.

“He has also been offered further accommodation today if he wishes for the remainder of the weekend and food from a local bakery.

“We do have to remember to respect his wishes and if he would rather use the tent he can or take up the option of accommodation. We are all here in one way or another to offer support if he so wishes.”

As of this morning (May 14) the man remains on The Green.

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Police call for vigilance to report illegal raves

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is asking farmers and local landowners to be on the alert over the next few months for warning signs of any illegal gatherings planned for their land over the summer.

Gatherings – such as illegal raves – can cause considerable anxiety to the community and if they are not dealt with swiftly, they are difficult to stop or otherwise control, due often to the sheer numbers of persons involved and the safety aspects surrounding breaking up such an event.

Superintendent Robyn Mason said: “There is little doubt that these type of events are very well planned, organised and that local knowledge is important in drawing down the main group to a particular ‘vulnerable’ field, or area of land which has been targeted previously as a suitable venue.

“Farmers, landowners and local communities are encouraged to report any suspicious activity immediately to the Police; this may be an unusual numbers of vehicles, especially camper vans, vans or trucks in the locality, illegal trespassers who may be doing ‘recce’ of sites in advance of the event.

“I can assure local communities that Police will take the appropriate action to deter illegal gatherings and deal robustly with any criminal offences discovered or disclosed.”

Members of the public are also urged to be vigilant of persons who approach landowners or enquiring for land, in the guise of hiring for apparently acceptable activities such as gymkhanas and scouts/guides events.

Please contact Police on 101 with reports on any suspicious activity.

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Discover Coast and Cleddau boat trips launched at Milford Waterfront

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A NEW way to appreciate the spectacular Pembrokeshire coast has been officially launched at Milford Waterfront.

Discover Coast and Cleddau offers two exciting boat trips; ‘Discover Coast’ takes passengers on a guided tour around Skomer Island to see the array of wildlife while ‘Discover Cleddau’ explores the more tranquil waters around Benton, Cosheston Woodlands and Lawrenny.

Both trips celebrate the rich history of the Waterway. Suited to all ages from five upwards, what makes these trips unique is that all passengers are seated comfortably inside a heated cabin.

Director of Property and Tourism at the Port of Milford Haven which owns and operates the vessel, Clare Stowell, said “There is so much to see within the Milford Haven Waterway and out towards the islands that we’re confident both trips will be really popular. The trips form part of our wider strategy to transform Milford Waterfront into a vibrant destination where visitors will enjoy a memorable leisure experience.”

As well as the regular boat trips, a number of special tours will be publicised throughout the summer such as photography expeditions.

Excursions can be booked by calling the Skipper Gareth Light on 01646 696370; tickets are £25.00 per person with the boat departing from Mackerel Quay at Milford Marina.

For the latest information on Discover Coast and Discover Cleddau please follow Milford Waterfront on social media.

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Man who gets ‘a sexual buzz’ from touching bottoms avoids prison

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A HAVERFORDWEST man who cannot stop grabbing women’s bottoms has today (Jun 22) received a suspended prison sentence.

John Robert Hancox told police he could not understand where the urge had come from at the age of 66.

Hancox, of Hanover Court, was arrested on May 15 for touching the bottoms of two women in the town. Police cautioned him and released him.

Helen Randall, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that just eight days later Hancox said hello to a 23-year-old woman walking along Milford Road and then grabbed her bottom.

The following day he approached a 16-year-old girl who was clearly wearing a school uniform in the car park at Tesco, Haverfordwest and did the same to her.

Miss Randall said her friends spotted a police van and alerted the officers, who happened to be looking for Hancox for the offence the previous day.

Hancox admitted sexually assaulting two females.

During police interviews he said he got ‘a sexual buzz’ out of touching his victims and felt embarrassed.

His barrister, Carina Hughes, told the court: “These urges are recent in his life and he is crying out for help.”

The judge Mr Recorder Peter Griffiths told Hancox he presented a problem to the court as the public needed protecting but he needed help.

Hancox was jailed for two months, suspended for two years, and placed under supervision for two years coupled with an order to complete up to 30 days of a rehabilitation activity designed by the probation service.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order under which he must not approach girls aged under 18.

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