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Answers demanded over Council’s five week police complaint delay

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THE LEADER of Pembrokeshire County Council is expected to give answers to a number of questions surrounding the letter of complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct at tomorrow’s (Feb 21) Full Council meeting.

The letter of complaint related to the police’s handling of the Pembroke Dock Grants scandal but there was a five week delay in that letter being sent, and councillors have since been searching for answers.

At a recent meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee in January, Cllr Jacob Williams said the picture painted was one of ‘headless chickens’ and said the Chief Executive did not want to send the complaint because of his ‘cosy relationship’ with the police.

The Chief Executive distanced himself from that and stated he did have a ‘good’ relationship with them.

Cllr Mike Stoddart has submitted three questions asking which officers were involved in deciding who would draft the letter, why there was a lack of clarity as to who the letter should be addressed to and when former Council Chairman, Cllr Paul Harries, rediscovered a rejection letter from Dyfed Powys Police.

When a rejection letter was finally received by then Chairman, Cllr Harries, he simply put the letter in his briefcase and it was not sent out more widely.

When questioned about this in January, Chief Executive Ian Westley did not want to put blame on anybody adding he wanted to focus on getting it right.

It was also revealed that there was a five week delay in sending the complaint, for which the Chief Executive apologised for, but when quizzed about which officers were involved he said it was difficult to say.

Cllr Stoddart’s third question asks why there was confusion in who the letter should be addressed to when it was clear from the council resolution the Independent Office for Police Conduct was identified as the body the letter should be directed to.

A question has also been tabled by Cllr Ken Rowlands relating to those comments made by Cllr Williams. Cllr Rowlands asks the leader if he agrees with Cllr Williams comments.

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Council’s cannon stolen from outside Cleddau Bridge Hotel

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A LARGE cannon has been stolen from the now closed Cleddau Bridge Hotel in Pembroke Dock in the last few days.

A local councillor and the police have appealed for information which will lead to the safe return of the gun.

Ward councillor Joshua Beynon said: “Dyfed-Powys Police have just telephoned me to say they are investigating the cannon that was stolen from the former Cleddau Bridge Hotel. It is believed to have gone missing sometime between the evening of Wednesday 20th March to the morning of Thursday 21st March.”

The police said in a statement: “If anyone has any information then can I urge you to call the police on 101 and quote the crime number: DPP/0064/21/03/2019/01/C as soon as possible.”

The cannon, one of two dug up from the ground at Hobbs Point and later restored, used to stand outside Llanion Park, the former offices of South Pembrokeshire District Council, which is now the head office of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

The canon is the property of Pembrokeshire County Council and was given to the hotel on loan.

The hotel’s management neglected to make arrangements for its return to the local authority on closing down.

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How to get a refund for unused Cleddau Bridge tickets after April 1

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has announced details on how it plans to refund Cleddau Bridge users left with unused books of bridge tickets after it becomes toll-free.
From 1st April until 30th June refunds will be available from the Cleddau Bridge office itself and the North Wing Customer Service Centre in County Hall, Haverfordwest.
Refunds for all three classes of tickets will be available at the Cleddau Bridge office.

The classes are:

Class A blue-coloured tickets (for motorcycles)
Class B red tickets (cars and light commercial vehicles)
Class C orange tickets (HGVs).

Refunds at the office will be available round-the-clock from 12 noon on 1st April and will be paid – wherever possible – back to the original debit/credit cards up to a maximum of £150 with cash refunds up to £30.

Any refunds over £150 will be made by BACS transfer unless otherwise agreed in advance.

Only Class B red tickets will be refunded at the North Wing Customer Service Centre in Haverfordwest.

Here, refunds will be paid back to the original debit/credit card up to a maximum of £90 (ie three books of 50 tickets)

The maximum cash refund at this location will be £30 (ie one book of 50 tickets).

Refunds at the North Wing Customer Service Centre will be available weekdays between 9 am and 1 pm and 2 pm until 5 pm.

Organisations which have previously purchased tickets with a value exceeding £400 will be contacted during the week commencing Monday, 25th March with instructions on how to reclaim their refunds on an appointment basis at the Cleddau Bridge office.

The County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Paul Miller, said: “I am delighted to announce that bridge users who have unused tickets due to the cessation of tolls will be reimbursed and not find themselves out of pocket.”
Those who qualify for refunds are asked to wait a few days before making a claim so as to avoid a long wait. This particularly applies to refunds at the Cleddau Bridge office.

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Council issue ‘rave alert’ to farmers, landowners and local communities

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL and Dyfed-Powys Police are asking farmers, landowners and local communities to be on alert over the coming weekend (23rd and 24th March) for warning signs of any illegal raves planned for their land.

Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to the police, especially if there are unusual numbers of vehicles – in particular, camper vans, vans or trucks – seen in the locality.

Illegal trespassers may recce sites in advance of any rave, or people may approach landowners and ask around for land, in the guise of hiring it for acceptable activities such as gymkhanas or scout camps.

Raves can cause anxiety to the community they are held in and, if not dealt with swiftly, are difficult to stop due to the sheer numbers of people involved. There is also a safety concern involved in breaking up such events.

Anyone with concerns should call Dyfed Powys Police on 101 and ask to speak to the Duty Sergeant or Duty Inspector at Haverfordwest Police Station.

Alternatively, please call Pembrokeshire County Council’s out-of-hours service on 01437 775522.

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