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No investigation into paedophile youth worker one year on

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AN INVESTIGATION into how a convicted paedophile was employed by Pembrokeshire County Council as a youth worker has yet to have been carried out by the Cabinet.

The head of Pembrokeshire County Council’s youth services department gave paedophile Michael ‘Mik’ Smith a positive reference on an application to register as a foster carer.

The reference was given following two council investigations into Smith’s inappropriate conduct towards children, which had resulted in Smith being given a written warning.

The same council officer gave Smith the positive reference for a 2010 fostering application as had previously handed down Smith’s written warning.

In June 2017 the full report on Smith was made public, following a long campaign by Cllr Mike Stoddart.

However now, nearly one year on, a Cabinet investigation has yet to be carried out.

Cllr Stoddart said at the last meeting of Full Council: “Can the leader give a progress report on the investigation set up by Cabinet in June 2017 into the authority’s failures during its dealings with former youth worker Mik Smith?”

A meeting has been scheduled for June 4, he was told, after a previous attempt to start up a group had failed.

Cllr Neil Prior said: “We will be sitting down with a blank piece of paper to agree terms of reference so we can move forward – it’s been a difficult matter.”

Cllr Prior added that an independent chairman would also be picked for the task.

Cllr Stoddart, who had attended the previous meeting, then queried how much was budgeted for the group, adding: “There were three independent consultants at that meeting. I understand an independent consultant is to be chairman, I don’t recall that in the resolution of cabinet.”

Cllr Prior assured Cllr Stoddart that he will provide full details to all members.

The full report of Mik Smith can be read here.

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Hoax call wastes RNLI time and resources following large search

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A HOAX call left RNLI crews wasting vital time and resources yesterday morning (Jun 23) as they searched for a vessel which they believed to be taking in water.

St Davids RNLI, Angle RNLI and a Coastguard helicopter were involved in the search for nearly four hours.

St Davids RNLI said in a statement on Facebook: “At 06:20 this morning our Tamar launched on service to join in a large-scale search for a vessel which was reportedly taking in water.

“We proceeded at full speed to a position south of Skokholm island and commenced a search of a designated area, which was planned by Milford Haven coastguards.

“Also involved with search was Angle lifeboat and a coastguard rescue helicopter from St Athan.

“After searching for several hours, the coastguards received information that this was a HOAX call.

“This call had tied up vital rescue resources and come at a large cost.

“With this informatio,n all SAR assets were stood down. Our Tamar was rehoused and ready for service at 10:00.”

Among the comments on Facebook, the hoax phone call has been called ‘disgraceful’, ‘disgusting’ and ‘disrespectful’.

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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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