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PCC Leaders coronavirus update: Monday 27th April

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Pembrokeshire County Council Leader, Councillor David Simpson,
has provided a further coronavirus update for Monday, 27th April, as
follows:

‘I hope this latest update finds you all well and you are managing
during these unprecedented times. Every day brings new challenges.
However, as I have reiterated on numerous occasions, we have to
stay strong, stay at home and stay safe.

‘I’m sure you will all agree that our frontline services are doing an
amazing job in keeping this country going. Everyone is facing new
ways of doing their roles and to date I am only hearing praise for how
everyone, collectively, is stepping up to tackle this pandemic.

‘I’m also aware that people are frightened and becoming frustrated at
the continued lockdown we face. But we have to continue on this road
to ensure the long-term solution to this awful situation.

‘Who could have imagined, at the start of this year, how 2020 would
pan out. Yes, these are very strange times but please be assured that
we will get through this. We will recover and move forward.

‘I want to highlight that tomorrow (Tuesday, 28 th April) is International
Workers’ Memorial Day. I will be joining thousands of people
throughout Wales in observing a minute’s silence at 11 am to reflect
on those who have died in the coronavirus pandemic.

‘It is also a chance for us to show our respect to all those working so
hard to care for people at this time. I hope you can pause for one
minute tomorrow at 11 am to show your respect
‘Today I want to thank the Authority’s contact centre and our housing
staff.

‘Our contact centre has carried on answering queries and phone calls
throughout the Covid-19 situation and I am sure you will agree that
the way they have undertaken their duties to reassure and guide
people has been a great assistance and strength to many.

‘Our housing team are working together to ensure that we support all
of our tenants and those who are homeless during this challenging
period.
‘Sourcing and preparing accommodation for those who are homeless
– or in an emergency situation – has been challenging. Despite this we
are managing to offer accommodation to those who need it.
‘The officers are conducting welfare calls to all of our 5,550 tenants as
well as to those in temporary accommodation to check on how they
are coping and to link them in to any essential services they might
need.

‘I personally want to thank both these teams for the way they are
professionally dealing with front-line issues. Thank you very much
‘To conclude today I want to reassure you all that as an Authority we
are continuing to deal with Covid-19 issues through our strategic
group.

‘I want to acknowledge the hard work of our strategic lead managers,
Richard Brown and Darren Thomas, for all their efforts and indeed all
the staff and Elected Members within the Council.

‘Every day we are faced with new challenges. However, the Authority
continues to move forward. Remember, together we are strong and
together we will get through this.

‘Press releases issued since my last update on Friday are:
 Council To Resume Grass Cutting:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/county-council-
to-resume-grass-cutting

 Spread The Word On How To Access Help:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/help-spread-the-
word-on-how-to-access-help-during-lockdown

 3D Project Helping To Protect Frontline Workers:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/3d-project-
helping-to-protect-frontline-workers

‘Public Health Wales is updating and adding to their resources
regularly. Please find all assets here:
https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-
covid-19/coronavirus-resources/

‘Also, please keep an eye on our newsroom at:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom

‘And to get daily email updates, log onto our website and sign into My
Account at:
https://myaccount.pembrokeshire.gov.uk

‘Don’t risk catching or spreading the virus, why risk it? Stay Strong,
Stay Safe and Stay at Home. Thank you.’

Useful links:

 www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
 www.sir-benfro.gov.uk/coronafeirws
 https://phw.nhs.wales/
 Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru – Coronafeirws Newydd (COVID-19)
– Cyngor hunan-ynysu
 https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-
19-list-of-guidance

For the latest advice and press releases relating

News

Milford Haven: Concerns over council refuse collection staff using drugs on duty

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL have confirmed that they are conducting an ongoing internal investigation.

The probe is relating to “illegal drug use by on-duty refuge collection crews” operating from the Thornton Refuge Depot in Milford Haven.

The Herald understands that following suspicions being raised, drug testing was carried out on refuse crews on Monday (May 10) – all before they left their depot.

This newspaper has been told that a number staff, which includes bin lorry drivers, tested positive for drug use, and that the council called in the police.

That information was passed to The Herald by someone who we have confirmed to be a member of staff working at Pembrokeshire County Council, who did not want to be named.

After a request for a statement, a spokesperson for the council has stressed that none of their vehicles were involved, suggesting that, on the day in question, positive tests were arrived at before any bin lorries had left the depot.

As part of the multi-agency operation the police were called and attended Thornton Refuse Depot, but did not make any arrests, and said they had little involvement in the operation.

Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there is an ongoing internal workplace investigation and can clarify that there was no police involvement on the day in question – no Pembrokeshire County Council vehicles were involved.

“We are not in a position to comment any further at this time.”

Dyfed Powys Police told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “At the request of Pembrokeshire County Council, officers attended Thornton Refuse Depot to provide [them with] support on the morning of Monday, May 10.

“Officers attended; however they were not utilised.”

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News

Council’s Planning Committee approves ambitious dockyard plans

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’s Planning Committee this morning (Tuesday, May 18) approved an application for the construction of a new marine engineering project at Pembroke Dock’s Royal Dockyard.
The plans, vociferously opposed by local heritage groups, passed unanimously.

The matter will now go to the Welsh Government, which has reserved its position on the scheme’s approval.
Committee members expressed the view that the balance between heritage and economic development were balanced, with strong views expressed on either side. They decided the balance of the application favoured economic development subject to conditions regarding aspects of the site’s preservation and its ability to be restored in the future.

The Committee members who attended a site visit on Wednesday, May 12, said it was the most informative and best site visit they had this council term. Visiting the site gave them a clearer idea about what was planned and the scale of the project, which would not have been gained from a paper exercise.

While the approval of the scheme was unanimous, one element of the reserved matters caused some members concern: the height and size of the proposed massive new sheds which would be built at a later phase of the project.
Cllr David Pugh, seconded by Cllr Steve Alderman, moved an amendment which would approve the project and delegate reserved matters to officers apart from the sheds’ construction, which would return to the Committee for detailed approval.

Cllr Tony Wilcox and Cllr Mark Carter emphasised the need for certainty regarding the project’s development, a position supported by Cllr David Howlett, Cllrs Pugh, Alderman and Cllr Stephen Joseph said that little delay would be caused to the scheme by bringing the sheds’ development back to the Committee. They noted the significant intrusion of the sheds into the landscape for miles around.

Planning Officer Mike Simmons advised that the project would proceed in five phases and that the applicant, Milford Haven Port Authority, was keen to proceed with the first phase as soon as possible. The first phase would be the infilling of the docks and pool, removing a caisson gate and preserving it, before the building of new slipways.
The Port Authority already accepted the sheds would only be built if there was commercial demand for them.
The amendment proposed by Cllr Pugh passed by six votes to five with two abstentions.

It means before the sheds are built, the Committee will decide the detailed application relating to them.

All other aspects of the development will be decided by officers.

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Business

Further Covid-19 business support packages to become available soon

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PEMBROKESHIRE businesses that remain affected by Covid-19 restrictions can check their eligibility for a new package of support from the Welsh Government.

This latest support package will help those businesses eligible to meet ongoing costs through to the end of June as they prepare for re-opening and more normal trading conditions.

Businesses that stand to benefit include:

  • nightclubs and late entertainment venues
  • events and conference venues not covered by the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF)
  • hospitality and leisure businesses, including restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • supply chain business, which have been materially impacted by restrictions

An eligibility checker has opened on the Business Wales website so businesses can find out how much support they are likely to be entitled to and how to apply.

See more information and check your business’ eligibility at: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/

Funding will be calculated based on the size of the business and the type of restrictions they are under.

Businesses will be able submit applications to the Welsh Government from 24th May 2021 for grants of up to £25,000 and by the end of the month to Pembrokeshire County Council for smaller fixed Discretionary Grants.

To keep up to date and see the future application process for the Discretionary Grants please see: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

The above link will be be updated with the latest information.  

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