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Private enforcement agents will issue fines for littering

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL have carried out a successful tender to engage an enforcement team to issue fines in order to deal with environmental issues, including dog fouling and littering.

The Authority has awarded a contract to a specialised company District Enforcement. They will be operational on the streets of Pembrokeshire as from September 10.

Uniformed Environmental Enforcement Officers will be operating in all parts of the County on the streets, car parks and on other open land that the public have access to.

Anyone witnessed littering by the officers will be issued with a £150 fixed penalty notice, which will be discounted to £75 if paid within 10 days, the council has said.

The council said: “The Environmental Services team have been working through the mobilisation plan with the company and you will probably have seen the recent press release.

“The contract will deal initially with littering, dog fouling and other anti-social behaviour.

“From listening to residents we know how important it is for our local area to be clean, free from litter and dog fouling and a pleasant environment in which to live. Despite all Pembrokeshire County Council’s efforts to keep the area clean and litter-free some individuals continue to drop litter, fail to clean up after their dog or carry out other anti-social behaviour.

“As part of a continuing commitment to improve the local environment for the benefit of us all this contract will enable us to increase our capacity to deal with environmental enforcement across the County.”

District Enforcement, based in Leicestershire, says on its website: “Dog mess and litter can destroy visitor attractions. Working closely with our Local Authority partners, we have developed a robust process to issue, enforce and ultimately prosecute environmental crime offences.

“Utilising the legal experience of our senior management team, evidence is gathered in accordance with PACE guidelines and ‘ready to prosecute’ files are compiled providing an end to end solution to anti-social behaviour.”

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Cleddau Bridge Hotel fire started deliberately

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A RESPONSE to a Freedom of Information Act request made by Llanion councillor Joshua Beynon reveals that the fire which devastated the Cleddau Bridge Hotel on March 30 this year was arson.

The blaze followed a protracted period during which the hotel had been empty following the refusal of a planning application for change of use to residential accommodation.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that investigators have now concluded the fire investigation regarding the fire that took place at the Cleddau Bridge Hotel on March 30, 2019.

“The investigation determined that the fire was started deliberately, and all relevant information has duly been passed on to Dyfed Powys Police.”

The Herald has asked Dyfed Powys Police to comment on the progress of its investigation.

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No prosecutions in Pembroke Dock grant fraud allegations

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MORE than five years since allegations of impropriety in publicly-funded building restoration grants were taken up by the police, the local force tells Pembrokeshire County Council chief executive, Ian Westley, in a letter circulated to councillors: “The Crown Prosecution Service has determined that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against any of the suspects.”

More details to follow – the matter will also be discussed at this Thursday’s full council meeting.

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Fishguard school last in Wales without broadband

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CHILDREN in a school in Fishguard are excited about next term before the summer holidays have even begun.

Ysgol Llanychllwydog is the last school in Wales without broadband.

The pupils sometimes have to wait half an hour for pages to load. Sometimes videos won’t play. Now the school is looking forward to an ultra-fast future, and for the head teacher the changes cannot come quickly enough.

Currently when the internet goes down Amanda Lawrence has to drive 10 minutes to her other school to send an email to report it.

“It’s frustrating. There are lots of schools that are able to use schemes where you can plan electronically, but it’s difficult for staff here to do that,” she said.

As part of a scheme to target hard-to-reach places, fibre optic cable is being laid along a 15-mile route from Haverfordwest.

Matt Lovegrove, who works for Openreach, admitted it had been ‘a massive challenge’.

He said: “We’ve had to plough 1.5 miles of new trench to put new duct in, we’ve had to put new poles and had to span the cable between 50 poles as well, so a real variety of challenges.

“The product is limitless in terms of speed. It’s gigabit capable, that means they can download music, interactive learning et cetera, and it will be instant for them.”

The wider community will also benefit from the upgrade, he said. “We are looking to work with local government and residents to expand that fibre footprint to as much of the village as possible.”

“They’ll be able to access the high speed broadband and again get all the benefits from that.”

The last school in Wales without broadband

Broadband is a Welsh Government priority. It’s invested £13.8m in school broadband.

But Llanarchllwydog has been a tough nut. It’s taken the efforts of Welsh and UK governments to bring broadband.

“Because of the challenging topography, that we are familiar with, it has taken rather a long time to make sure that every school is equipped with the broadband speeds that they need,” said Welsh education minister Kirsty Williams.

“This means that schools will have the external infrastructure that they need to deliver our exciting new curriculum and I hope to be making an announcement shortly on further investment on kit and equipment inside schools.”

The work is being done through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) £200m Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme.

DCMS minister Margot James MP agrees cooperation between the two governments has helped deliver the project.

“That’s not the end of it for Wales,” Ms James said.

“The other aspects of the rural gigabit connectivity programme is that we are using that £200 million to bring full fibre to local public buildings like hospitals and schools so that they get the gigabit connectivity first.”

The cable has now reached the telegraph post outside the school. The final work will happen over summer.

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