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​Council will not recommend special measures for Hywel Dda



PEMBROKESHIRE County Council will not be recommending that Hywel Dda University Health Board should be placed into special measures.

Cllr Paul Dowson’s notice of motion calling for them do so was debated at the Full Council meeting on Thursday (Feb 21).

When it was put to the vote, Cllrs John Cole, Phil Kidney, Stephen Joseph and Jon Harvey were the only four to join Cllr Dowson in supporting his motion.

The motion was previously debated at the Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny meeting in January where it was decided to hold a seminar, closed to members of the public, to discuss it further.

Cllr Dowson had pointed out in his supporting statement that the Health Board had missed a number of targets and has a deficit of nearly £70m.
However it was felt that placing the board in special measures would be a ‘backwards step’ and ‘make the situation worse’.

At Thursday’s meeting, Cllr Vic Dennis said he could not support the motion saying: “It doesn’t do anything to support the morale of staff.”

Cllr Jamie Adams thanked the Scrutiny chair for calling the seminar and said there were assurances that there would be a recovery in the Board’s performance.

He added: “No Health Board is working to budget in Wales, simply suggesting that one of our key strategic partners should be placed in special measures is dangerous. I am amazed that any cabinet member has not taken part in the discussion so far.
“It would be highly detrimental to social care services if Hywel Dda was to be placed in special measures. The lack of confidence it inevitably brings would be difficult to get out of.”

Cllr Jonathan Preston said: “There is very little meat on the bone as to what special measures will look like. We will not be able to call the Health Board in to County Hall, we would lose that control and the dialogue we have with them will be gone.”

Cllr Mike John said: “I have challenged Hywel Dda on many occasions and met with the Chief Executive. I have attended the marches and done what I can for the voice of the people but I can’t see the benefit of handing over control to Cardiff.
“I would rather keep it with Hywel Dda and call them in when necessary. There is a plan in place that would bring children’s services back to Pembrokeshire and I suggest we monitor them closely.”

Cllr Dowson stated that a number of members had been concerned with what it would look like for the Council but said they should be concerned about how it looked to the people of the county.

He also called for a recorded vote but that was not supported.

Council Leader David Simpson said: “If the new hospital was built in Narberth it would be the best thing for my constituents, but that’s not what I want, what I want is for the hospital to be built, I don’t want downgrading of services. What we’ve got at the moment we want to keep.
“I don’t believe putting Hywel Dda in special measures will do us any good, it would be a backwards step.”

Cllr Paul Rapi said: “They are doing their best to put the wrongs right and the clinicians are taking on the role of taking forward the service.
“They are encouraging the type of people they need but they are not being encouraged down the M4 and that leaves us with shortages in the field. Special measures is not going to help, I think it would make the situation worse and have a negative effect.”

It was then put to the vote but a clear majority were against recommending that the Health Board be placed in special measures.


Council’s cannon stolen from outside Cleddau Bridge Hotel



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



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



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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