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Council improve report published



Pembrokeshire County Council has become the first local authority in
Wales to publish a Corporate Peer Challenge Report.

The report – compiled by the Local Government Association (LGA) –
will inform measures for the Council’s improvement in the future.
In the past decade around two-thirds of councils in England have
undertaken a Corporate Peer Challenge.

A small team of peer officers and councillors, compiled by the LGA,
spent a week with the Council in mid-February.

The process involved engaging with elected members, employees
and a wide range of people connected with the Authority to get views
and perspectives.

The report highlights a number of areas of good practice while also
identifying areas for improvement.

For instance, the peer team was impressed with the Council’s delivery
in relation to social care integration which the Authority’s partners
view as being ‘leading-edge’ within Wales.

Partners also pointed to an improved set of relationships with the
County Council.

The peer team found that the Cabinet’s Programme for Administration
provided increased clarity around priorities and noted delivery of the

Examples included removing the tolls on the Cleddau bridge; plans to
enhance digital infrastructure and related broadband connectivity
across the county and building new council housing.

The team complimented the Council on how it has addressed the
budget gap to date and the bold decisions taken – including raising
Council Tax – and noted the progress its transformation programme,
especially the technology element and the much-enhanced ability for
staff to work in more agile ways.

The report includes twelve recommendations including building on the
locality planning model used for health and social care; tackling
relationship issues and strengthening corporate processes including
decision-making, transformation, organisational development and

In a joint statement Council Leader, David Simpson, and Chief
Executive, Ian Westley, said: “We are both very grateful to the peer
team for facilitating and sharing the review and making
recommendations that they believe can improve how the Council is
“We are as one in recommending to all senior leaders – members and
officers – that the report and its recommendations should be accepted
by the Council as a whole.

“The team noted the real commitment, extensive goodwill and huge
pride our employees have in serving their communities.
“The current crisis has underlined the dedication of employees and
elected members to Pembrokeshire and its communities. This
dedication, working alongside the resources of our public, private and
third sector partners, cannot be underestimated.”
The statement added: “The peer challenge and the resulting report
has held up a mirror to the Council and highlighted the need for it to
tackle some difficult issues. We know that Pembrokeshire County
Council can, and will, address the report’s recommendations.”
Councillor Neil Prior, Cabinet Member for Transformation and IT,
said: “I welcome the constructive challenge that the report brings and
the Council will develop a detailed action plan to address the report’s
“Of course, at the moment we must devote our efforts to tackling
Covid-19 and keeping all our communities safe but that doesn't stop
us from being absolutely committed to our improvement journey.”
A copy of the report is available at:


Drug drive arrest following routine check



A MALE has been arrested following a positive roadside test.

The vehicle, which was stopped this morning, June 6, by the Pembrokeshire Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) was part of a routine check.

Traffic officers suspected the driver may be under the influence after smelling cannabis coming from the vehicle.

A roadside drug test was performed with a positive result with the drugswab provided. A small quantity of cannabis was also found inside the vehicle.

The cannabis was seized and the driver was arrested, later released under investigation, pending the male’s blood test result for the drug drive offence, out of court disposal for the possession.

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Campers from Cardiff sent packing



PEMBROKESHIRE Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) have this morning, June 5, reported nine individuals for breaching coronavirus regulations.

The occupants of the three vehicles, all from the Cardiff area, had moved barriers that had been in place to close off the carpark to the public and set up camp for the night.

A Pembrokeshire RPU spokesperson said ‘Three vehicles from the Cardiff area located at Abereiddy this morning.

“The occupants of the vehicles, who’d travelled down overnight, had moved the barriers that had been used to close the car park. Having done so they then set up camp nearby.

“All nine persons present were reported for breaching coronavirus regulations. One was further dealt with by means of an out of court disposal for possession of cannabis.

“Rubbish cleaned up, car park closure reinstated, vehicles escorted out of Pembs.”

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Police urge visitors to ‘check the rules’



POLICE in Powys are reminding people to check the rules before they travel, as tourists from the Midlands, London and Bristol continue to visit despite lockdown restrictions.

Last weekend more than 1,000 cars were turned around by police in the Brecon Beacons after visitors attempted to access the area around Ystradfellte known as ‘waterfall country’.

Many of those stopped claimed they thought the rules around travel were the same as in England, while others had deliberately flouted them.

Seventy-two per cent of people reported for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in Powys since March 27 have been from outside the police force area.

“I would like to thank the communities of Powys for their cooperation in recent months in complying with requirements of the Covid 19 legislation and also reassure them we are still working hard with our partners to police the restrictions that remain in place across Wales,” said Superintendent Steve Davies.

“Our officers have worked hard to engage with the public at every opportunity throughout these unprecedented times by explaining what we are doing and why, and encouraging people to make the best choices to protect public health in Wales.

“But where people have clearly flouted the rules we have dealt with them appropriately and issued fines.”

He said officers will continue to conduct stop checks throughout Powys and across the force area this weekend.

In England, people can now travel an unlimited distance for exercise and to access so-called ‘beauty spots’.

But the Welsh Government has said people must remain local – ideally not travelling further than five miles from their home – for exercise or limited leisure pursuits, and this also applies to anyone travelling across the border.

Wales’ three national parks – which include popular sites such as Snowdon, the Elan valley and the Pembrokeshire coast – currently remain closed to the public, as do all National Trust car parks and properties.

The latest Welsh Government advice is available at

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