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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 officer was assaulted on Christmas Day

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A 25-YEAR-OLD woman from Haverfordwest appeared before the town’s magistrates on Tuesday (Jan 15) to face a charge of assault by beating against a police officer.

Tiffany Rowlands, of West Court, pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Gareth Potter on Christmas Day.

Prosecutor, Sian Vaughan said: “The officer was at the defendant’s property searching the childrens’ bedrooms.

“Rowlands pushed the officer to the chest, and after she calmed down apologised following the incident.”

Defence solicitor, Mark Layton, said: “There’s no record of any injury. They were upstairs, the lights were off so it was dark, and she realises it was wholly inappropriate.”

Magistrates fined Rowlands £40 for the offence and ordered her to pay £85 prosecution costs and £30 victim surcharge.

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Milford Haven: Booms to be removed following oil spill

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BOOMS installed earlier this month to contain an oil spill in the Milford Haven waterway will be removed tomorrow (Jan 17).

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and partner agencies have continued to survey the affected areas since the incident on 3 January and are satisfied that they have contained as much oil as possible.

Where oil has been found on local beaches, Valero’s clean up team have removed it under advice of NRW officers.

The investigation into how this incident, and the previous oil spill in December 2018, happened is ongoing.

Following further assessments and an inspection of the affected fuel pipelines, Valero now believe that no more than 500 litres of oil was released during the incident on 3 January – significantly less than originally feared.

But the pipelines will remain closed after NRW took action last week to suspend their use. NRW will not allow Valero to reopen the pipelines until it is satisfied they can operate without causing further damage to the local environment.

Andrea Winterton, Operations Manager from Natural Resources Wales, said: “Following a swift response from everyone involved, much of the pollution has been contained and cleaned up quickly, reducing the impact it could have had on wildlife and the environment.

“Along with our partners, we will continue to monitor the situation and will respond to any further reports of oil washing ashore in the coming weeks.

“Valero continue to support our efforts and cooperate with our enquiries into how the incidents happened. Our investigation also continues as we consider what further action we need to take to stop this happening again.”

NRW is asking people who live in the area to report any signs of pollution to their 24/7 incident hotline on 03000 65 3000.

The multi-agency response to this incident has involved the following organisations: NRW, Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Milford Haven Port Authority, Marine and Coastguard Agency, Public Health Wales, Food Standards Agency.

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Fishguard: Sex offender caught trying to flee to Ireland

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A sex offender from Bow Street near Aberystwyth who tried to move to Ireland without telling anyone has been jailed.

Dennis Bull, aged 67, was caught trying to drive a van onto the Fishguard–Rosslare ferry with his belongings in the back ready for a new life in the Republic.

Bull, of Nirmit, admitted failing to comply with the conditions of registration as a sex offender and was jailed for 16 months.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court it was the third time he had breached the order, imposed at Caernarfon crown court in February, 2016, for possessing indecent images of children.

That conviction was on top of earlier offending in New Zealand that included indecent exposure, outraging public decency and gross indecency with a child.

Mr Thomas said Bull had been jailed for 16 months in 2016 and ordered to register with the police. The restrictions imposed included a requirement to tell the police if he intended to change address.

On November 13 last year police at Fishguard harbour became aware of a Ford Mondeo registered to Bull.

A few minutes later Bull was arrested as he attempted to drive a van onto the Stenna ferry, which was loaded with household items.

Bull told the police he had made arrangements to move to Ireland “lock, stock and barrel” because he understood the monitoring of sex offenders was less strict.

In particular, said Mr Thomas, Bull did not like prospective employers being told about his convictions.

Judge Geraint Walters told Bull, “This was a planned and determined attempt to avoid detection. It was only the eagle eyes of the authorities that brought you to book.

“Your record is troubling and you present a risk of committing more offences of a sexual nature.

 “You are defiant of court orders that are there to protect others and it is truly disturbing that you are so keen to breach them.”

Bull was warned that the 2016 order remained in place for a further seven years.

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