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Withybush protesters organise fun day

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THE SAVE WITHYBUSH group is hosting a fun day to raise funds as they continue to campaign against the proposed downgrade to a community hospital in the Hywel Dda consultation.

The event is set for Saturday, June 16, at Haverfordwest Football Club, starting with a march at 11:30am to the town centre. There, it is hoped that the public will interact with the group, and petitions will be signed.

The group have invited a brass band to perform, with Peter Stock arranging the provision of Pembrokeshire flags, and there is an invitation for individuals to bring along their own, non-political banners. The march is anticipated to last around one hour, and from 12:30pm the Football Club will host live entertainment, arts & crafts and a mini food festival, with some of the best food Pembrokeshire has to offer.

There will also be fancy dress and prizes for the best costumes. The fun day finishes at 5pm and serves as a chance to hand in completed petitions and letters for the board.

The first activity trader has been announced as Pembrokeshire Bouncy Castles, who are providing their services and equipment completely free of charge, in support of the attempt to try and save their A&E Department.

The group have said: “We appreciate free is a big ask but this proved a massive success at the North Wales event so if we can mirror that it would be great, whilst at the same time you will be playing an integral role in the campaign which we can win if we all stick together.”

Those who provide activities free of charge will be advertised on a special page on the Save Withybush website and will have the opportunity to hand out flyers and cards on the day.

Catering will have charges due to the costs for caterers, who will donate a percentage of their profits to the fundraising pot to finance posters and banners.

The group plan to hand in the petition to the Welsh Government on the steps of The Senedd in Cardiff on July 6.

The logistics are still being figured out, with plans for a pay on the day system where coaches ferry people to Cardiff. From there the group will meet with a senior member of the petitions committee on the steps and hand over the petition, with photos and press coverage.

A traditional political demonstration outside Withybush hospital is also being planned for July 7, to further remind politicians of the opposition there is in the county.

The group also plan to visit the Health Board HQ in Carmarthenshire between July 13-27 to hand them a copy of the petition, as well as the many letters sent in by members of the public. This trip and its logistics are also being worked out, but as some of the fun day’s fundraising is being put aside to finance the trip’s coaches, it is hoped to be a free journey.

All who are interested in taking part or have queries should email help@savewithybush.wales

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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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Dyfed-Powys Police criticised for failing to record thousands of crimes

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A SHOCKING new report says that Dyfed-Powys Police failed to record thousands of crimes, despite being told to improve two-and-a-half years ago.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found the force had documented just 87.6% of reported crime – meaning upto 4,400 crimes are not recorded each year.

The report highlighted that of violent crimes, 85.4% were registered, which means about 2,400 went unrecorded, some involving domestic abuse or the vulnerable.

The force said it had “plans in place to improve its crime recording.”

HMIC reached their conclusion by comparing the number of reports to the police with recorded numbers. About 35,900 were reported.

In 2018, HMIC found that our local force was too often not recording crimes. And in 2014 it was reported the force was one of the worst in the UK at recording crimes. 

Dyfed-Powys Police T/Chief Constable, Claire Parmenter was quick to respond to the shocking finding. In a statement emailed to The Herald she said: “We accept the concerns and recommendations published by HMICFRS in respect of crime data integrity. As an organisation, we are firmly committed to supporting victims and putting them at the heart of everything we do. The force has plans in place to improve its crime recording and I am determined we will get this right.

“Since the previous HMICFRS inspection in 2018 we have made significant improvements in our response to Domestic Abuse victims, creating the vulnerability desk which provides real time intelligence to officers attending incidents of Domestic Abuse and ensuring that safeguarding arrangements are in place through a new partnership hub. Recent audits in April evidenced we were achieving a 98% compliance for the completion of risk assessments. This ensures that every Domestic Abuse victim is looked after and kept safe.

“We have a programme of change already in place which will deliver significant process and cultural change. The elements of this programme will improve the forces’ ability to manage demand, support victims, improve the timeliness and quality of investigations and supervision of crime. HMICFRS were unable to take this project into account as part of this inspection. Delivery plans commence next month (June 2021).

“Since the date of this inspection, we are already seeing improvements as a result of the swift additional action we have taken, achieving 100% crime recording compliance in respect of anti-social behaviour for February and March 2021 which is positive.”

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Firefighters extinguish blaze at St Catherine’s Fort, Tenby

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A CONTROLLED wood fire earlier in the day caused a fire to break out on Tenby’s St Catherine’s Island on Thursday (May 6).

Heat that was caused by a wood fire earlier in the day caused a ignition on the unburned wood nearby that was needed to be extinguished by Tenby fire crew.

Taking to their Facebook page, St Catherine’s island thanked Tenby Fire Brigade for their assistance.

No serious damage was caused by the incident.

The spokesperson said: “A massive shout out to Tenby Fire Brigade last night who were called to the Island last night after we left following a long day working on the Fort and burning off all the old flooring, having now replaced it all. 

“We had spent at least half an hour making sure that our controlled barrel fire was out. Unfortunately the ground was so hot it transferred to the rest of the unburned wood. 

“Thanks to our amazing local Fire Service, they were on hand to help us out and no damage occurred.”

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