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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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Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

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THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap.

Sam Kurtz will take over the seat from the outgoing Angela Burns who held a majority of 3,400 at the last election.

This time, the gap was just 936 to Labour’s Hassan Riaz who picked up 10,304 votes.

Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell picked up 6,615 votes.

The turnout in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was slightly up to 52.12% from 51.2% in 2016.

However, with a larger electorate thanks to votes for 16/17-year-olds, the number of votes cast went up by almost 3,000.

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Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

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PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency.

He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895 votes for Labour’s Jackie Jones.

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos gained just over 6,000 votes and there were also 1,239 for Reform UK candidate Alan Dennison.

There were over 3000 more votes cast in 2016, down largely in part to the fact that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in this election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received more votes than before while the gap to Labour closed to just 1,400.

After being elected, Paul Davies said he would continue to ‘fight for Pembrokeshire’ and thanked those who had been involved in his campaign.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed

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THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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