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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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Investigation continues into oil pollution along Cleddau estuary

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NATURAL RESOURCES WALES (NRW) is looking into the cause of a pollution incident that has affected several areas along Milford Haven waterway.

Several organisations responded on Friday (Dec 7) including NRW, Pembrokeshire County Council, The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), and Port of Milford Haven (PMH), after reports of oil at Burton Ferry.

Several tonnes of contaminated seaweed and strandline debris were removed on Friday while NRW sampled the site.

Clean up and investigation work continued over the weekend after more oil was reported at Llanreath, Pembroke River, Hazelbeach and Llanstadwell.

It’s thought that the pollution is a fuel oil, the source is being investigated.

So far, around 55 birds lightly contaminated in oil have been sighted but no fatalities or distressed birds have been reported. The RSPCA have checked the area.

Robert Phillips, Team Leader for Pembrokeshire Natural Resource Management for NRW, said: “Protecting Wales’ environment and wildlife is a huge part of the work we do which is why we are contactable 24/7 in case there’s an incident we need to attend.

“The oil pollution in Milford Haven is affecting a few areas and we’re working hard with our partners to find the cause.

“The recent weather should help break up the oil but in the meantime, please report any pollution incidents to our 24/7 incidents line on 03000 65 3000.”

Investigations into the source of pollution are ongoing.

Adam Grogan, Head of Wildlife at RSPCA, commented: “RSPCA Cymru officers are standing by in case any oil affected birds or other animals are brought to our attention so we can provide the appropriate assistance.

“We urge if anyone spots any bird or animal in distress to contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 as they are animals that need specialist care and treatment.

“We continue to liaise with Natural Resources Wales on this.”

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Huge response to PATCH appeal

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“WE’RE going to need a bigger van…..”

That was the first reaction of Tracy Olin – manager of the County-based charity PATCH (Pembrokeshire Action To Combat Hardship) – when she saw the mountain of food products and household items assembled in the reception area of County Hall, Haverfordwest.

For the past few weeks, the headquarters of Pembrokeshire County Council has been utilised as a collection point for goods donated by employees of the local authority to be distributed to needy adults and children this Christmas.

“There was so much I quickly realised that the van we had brought was not going to be big enough,” explained Tracey who quickly made arrangements for a second van to turn-up.

“All I can say is ‘wow’ – and thank you to all the Council people who donated. Their generosity will make Christmas a little more enjoyable for many needy families.”

Council Leader David Simpson – pictured among the donations with Tracy – said that he was proud of the kind-heartedness of Council staff.

“Their response has been amazing,” he added.

All the goods have now been taken to PATCH in Milford Haven for distribution around Pembrokeshire.

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Stereophonics to play Swansea gig

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ONE of Britain’s best live bands Stereophonics has announced a special performance at Singleton Park, Swansea on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

The stadium rockers will perform in their south Wales heartland to celebrate 20 years since the career milestone show in Swansea at Morfa Stadium to 55,000 people and the release of ‘Performance and Cocktails’.

It will be the band’s first time back in south west Wales since their Morfa Stadium show in 1999. This now iconic album, which was the band’s second studio release, gave Stereophonics three straight top five singles in the British charts with ‘The Bartender and the Thief’ reaching No.3, and both ‘Just Looking’ and ‘Pick a Part That’s New’ reaching No.4.

Over the past two decades, Stereophonics have played at some of the biggest venues to fans all across the globe, amassing over 10 million album sales in that time.

More recently in 2018, the band performed to sell-out crowds across the globe, including a huge 15-date arena tour, summer homecoming gigs in Wrexham and Cardiff plus headline shows at Kendal Calling, Y Not Festival and Victorious Festival.

Speaking about the latest announcement, Kelly Jones said: “Performance and Cocktails put us on the world map, and also on the TV and the Radio, which meant a lot of people went back to discover Word Gets Around and made our first album platinum! Morfa Stadium was where we set Performance and Cocktails alight, and it was a one off day that can never be beaten. It was perfect. I’m not a man that likes to go backwards, this event is merely a birthday party, so come along and help us blow out the candles.”

Stereophonics are Kelly Jones (vocals/guitar), Richard Jones (bass), Adam Zindani (guitar) and Jamie Morrison (drums).

Tickets go on sale on Friday (Dec 14) at 10am via www.myticket.co.uk.

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