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Members ‘encouraged’ after Riverside purchase call-in

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MEMBERS of the Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee have been reassured following the call in of a Cabinet members’ decision to look into the purchase of Haverfordwest Riverside.

A number of councillors had been concerned about the decision to appoint a consultant to develop and evaluate proposals for the site’s redevelopment because of the Council’s budgetary position.

Cabinet member for Economy and Tourism, Cllr Paul Miller, made his decision at the end of April as part of wider council plans to revitalise the Town of Haverfordwest.

However, on May 3, that decision was called in by Cllrs Jamie Adams, David Pugh, Brian Hall and Di Clements.

A special meeting of the Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee was called for Tuesday, May 14.
During the meeting a number of points were raised but it was highlighted that the money for the consultants would not be coming out the tax payers money.

At this stage the Council would only be looking at whether or not they should purchase the site and are asking consultants to look into it.

Members were reassured by what they had heard and asked for an update at their September meeting.

Cllr Jamie Adams said that there needed to be some understanding of the desire of the people to see council tax money well spent and added that his worry was that they would be further burdening tax payers.

Cllr Miller said he was very concerned that the Pembrokeshire was becoming a disconnected retirement county but highlighted his strategy for improving the county.

He added that he wanted to get Pembrokeshire better connected in terms of broadband, ensuring that Pembrokeshire has an offer adding that although they were ‘well endowed’ with natural assets, it wasn’t enough ‘on its own’.

His third point was to make sure that the county is discovered and said: “Let’s appoint the right people to guide us through this.”

Cllr Bob Summons asked a number of questions including what due dilligence had been done.

Cllr Miller said some had already been done but added that the majority of it would come when the business case would be considered.

Cllr Summons said that town centres were dying because of online shopping and asked what could be done.

Cllr Miller outlined that the area being considered included Haverfordwest Castle, Bridge Street, the Ocky White building, the Riverside Shopping centre and that redeveloping the multi-storey car park was an area of interest.

He went on to say they would be relying on external consultants as they didn’t have the in-house resources to do so.

A report to the committee stated that finance officers had not been involved but when challenged, Council Leader David Simpson said that they had been involved in discussions over the last two years, just not on the specifics of the project.

Cllr Adams added that the meeting to discuss the concept had only happened on Monday, after the call-in, and asked was it a case of the ‘stable door being bolted after the horse is out’.

Cllr Bob Kilmister said a meeting had been scheduled but because he was away it was put back to Monday.

Cllr Adams asked if it had also been discussed at a meeting of the Strategic Asset Management group.

Cllr Paul Miller said it hadn’t but added that when the business case was made they would be involved.

Cllr Adams also asked about further investment in Bridge Street and Cllr Miller said there would be as part of the Castle project.

He went on to say that the Welsh Government were also involved in this and that they had been asking for all sorts of information.

Cllr Brian Hall warned the Cabinet to ‘be cautious’ or risk the situation coming back to bite them.

After hearing what had been said a number of members were reassured by what had gone on and Cllr David Pugh said he admired the Cabinet’s ambition.

Cllr Simon Hancock asked what the consequences would be if they did nothing adding that he was supportive of the Council trying to do the right thing.

Cllr Tony Wilcox added: “To not engage specialists would be remiss of us. We’ve got to at least go through this process.”

Cllr Tim Evans added he was ‘really encouraged’ by what he had heard and added the consultants would tell them whether this was right or wrong saying: “It’s something we’ve got to go through with.”

Members agreed that an update report should be presented to them at their September meeting.

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Haverfordwest: Man detained under Mental Health Act on bypass bridge

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POLICE assisted a man who was sat on the road bridge above Freeman’s way in Haverfordwest on Sunday night (May 19).

He was taken to hospital, as he was believed to be suffering from mental health problems.

A spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police told The Herald: “We received a report concerning the welfare of a man, who was sitting on the bridge above Freeman’s Way, Haverfordwest, at around 10.40pm on Sunday.

“The man was detained under the mental health act a short time later and taken to hospital.“He was not injured. Freeman’s Way was closed for around 10 minutes.”

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Milford Haven: Police called to Charles Street incident

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MILFORD HAVEN police responded to an emergency call from Charles Street in Milford Haven this afternoon (May 20).

Several officers attended following reports of a man injured on the pavement.

Our reporter at the scene said that a male was conscious but nursing injuries to his head

There are over 15 officers at the scene.

A male has been arrested and taken into custody in a police van.

 

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Willy make the council fix the road?

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DRIVERS in and around the Maenclochog area are still recovering today after a hardened vandal spray-painted yellow penises along a stretch of road near Morvil.
The road, just off the B4313, was targeted with graffiti because of the number of potholes scattered along it’s length.
Locals have dubbed the cock-sure artist as ‘Wanksy’ and have discovered that whoever drew the penises also wrote ‘Follow the yellow d### road’.
Some of the penises have been drawn around more sizeable potholes, but simply pointing disapprovingly at the smaller ones.
If you want to report a pothole, the chosen method is still via the Pembrokeshire County Council website.
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