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Calls for Bryn to resign over council paedophile scandal

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backed brynTHERE are fresh calls today (Tuesday, July 15) for Wales’ highest paid council chief, Bryn Parry Jones, to resign. This time there is mounting pressure on him over the way Pembrokeshire County Council dealt with allegations about a former senior council youth worker who went on to be jailed for six years for sexually abusing a child.

And as a result of a BBC Wales Week In Week Out investigation into the case, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales says he wants to re-open the case files at the Council to discover whether children were left at risk. Children’s Commissioner Keith Towler told the BBC:

‘I’ll take look at it because I think what you’re raising there are very serious allegations. That probably needs an independent look. In terms of my responsibility as Children’s Commissioner, if I take the view that things happened to children in the past could help to improve the lives of children today then I certainly have got the powers of remit to take look at it.’

In 2005 a whistle-blower warned bosses that Mik Smith was behaving inappropriately with children and could pose as a risk – but Smith, from Haverfordwest, was given a verbal warning.

mikeThis month paedophile Smith was jailed for six years for sexually abusing an eight-year-old boy.

The offences happened after he’d been sacked. Whistle-blower Sue Thomas – who originally warned bosses about Smith’s inappropriate behaviour – thinks that the Council made a serious mistake when they gave Mik Smith a verbal warning in 2005:

‘I still can’t get my head round it because there were so many good hard-working professional people that came forward with complaints – I cannot understand why we were not listened to.

I can’t comprehend what type of person in management wouldn’t listen to it and wouldn’t be concerned and wouldn’t want to deal with it – I’m lost for words.’

Further complaints were made about Smith in 2009 and 2011, and he was eventually sacked in 2012 after a re-investigation was ordered by the Welsh Government.

Mik Smith’s recent court case has prompted questions about whether the Council should have sacked Smith sooner and whether it did enough to protect children who he came into contact with.

The Council’s Chief Executive Bryn Parry-Jones said that there were significant failings in the disciplinary standards used to handle the case. The Council says that its investigation at the time revealed no evidence of criminal activity, but it regretted that there were significant failings in the disciplinary standards in its education directorate in 2005 when allegations were made about Smith.

joyceJoyce Watson AM says this is the latest in a series of failures by the Council to properly protect vulnerable children. She wants Bryn Parry Jones – who earns more than the £228,000 a year – to step down. She told The Heralds:

‘I think it’s time for him to go and I’m not shy of saying that – he has been the permanency in all of the negative reports that have been there and there have been a number of them. You cannot be the highest paid Chief Executive in Wales because you are worth that money, and reside over failure. Repeated failure.’

The programme has spoken to an independent social worker who investigated the allegations against Mik Smith on behalf of the Council in 2005. The social worker told the BBC that she was “surprised” that Smith had been dealt with by way of a verbal warning at the time.

Bryn Parry Jones said that the council’s investigation at the time revealed no evidence of criminal activity and that since that time the Council has completely changed its procedures and management of the Education department and is confident that past failings would not be repeated now. The Council also said that no manager from the former Education directorate involved in the decision-making in 2005 is currently employed by the Authority.”

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Helen mills

    July 15, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Mr Parry be true to the wonderful people of pembrokeshire & more so to yourself & step down. No one in the sector you work in should be awarded the salary you take from these wonderful people who pay your salary be honest tell me what you do in a day to get this amount as you have minions that work for you so you sit back feet up as you can all see in this article.
    A young lad scared for the rest of his life but Smiths gratification in minutes & forgotten about until the next time, terror runs through that young lads body how dare you & Smith get away with us h behaviour?
    People of pembrokeshire need to shout louder.

  2. Tomos

    July 15, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Does any one think he’ll do the DECENT thing?

    There’s been no sign of that “weakness” in his personality, just sharp elbows getting to that tax funded trough and s** the weak,the disabled and the poor – who I always thought the state was there to help and support.

    Now we find out our children were not safe, we’ve had enough from the IPG about paying the most to get the best ** HOLLOW LAUGH** , PCC are just going from one calamity to the next –

    surely the memebers of this “party” must be SO ashamed of what has been done (or not done) in their names to get their special responsibility allowances – now they’ve found this sort of information they MUST get a back bone and think about the ppl of Pembrokeshire

  3. Peter Warrender

    July 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I know is salary and pension pot plus car allowance are an abuse to the council tax payers of Pembrokeshire. The councillors who allowed this abuse should be sacked. On the paedophile front the buck should stop with him, he is the CEO so must take full responsibility for what happens within the PCC. What else is he being paid a massive salary for?

  4. Roy Mcgurn

    July 15, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    The Chief Executive is several layers removed from this case. His culpability, if any, stems from his cost cutting of council spending, particularly Social Services. Scandals such as this can hit even high spending authorities, so it is difficult to prove cost cutting is a direct cause of this case. However, in cutting costs, a culture of denial has permeated the authority, as some of their antics do not stand up to detailed scrutiny. (The recent irregularities in grants awarded in Pembroke Dock being an example.)If an investigation did indeed determine that this culture of denial was a primary cause of children being put at risk, then his position should be untenable.

  5. Paul Hill

    July 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    The man has a brass neck, he is’nt going to walk away from his gravy train, he’s surrounded himself with allies and they are all in the trough, they will just ignore this as usual…

  6. Lofty

    July 15, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    I was part of that investigation back in 2005 and witnessed first hand the inappropriate behaviour that monster carried out on our vulnerable young boys in his care. He lied, deceived and manipulated many to serve his own disgusting crime. I am pleased that all those who managed him have been removed from their posts and quite rightly so. We went through hell and lost a good colleague in the process – sacked due to his lies! I just hope and pray that justice will finally be done and BPJ is finally removed from his office too.

  7. Tomos

    July 16, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    I’m not discussing this case, only the principle – It looks as though ppl who did nothing when Cyril Smith or Jimmy saville was guilty of dreadfully corrupt things, may well have their or their families reputations shredded or may even go to jail for doing nothing when they are caught possibly 20/30 years after the guilty are long gone – only warning those who think they afre safe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. woody

    July 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Watched the documentary last night…Unbelievable! That the chief executive on 220k+ huge benefits per annum can wash his hands of this because he stated he was on holiday!!!!….Also he should be on his knees apologising to the very brave whistle blower after writing such a bombastic chauvinistic condescending letter in reply to her concerns. She lost her job over this and had to move out of the County while Bryn just went on holiday..Bryn Parry Jones needs to be pushed as his arrogance won\’t allow him to resign….No other institution in there right mind would leave this man alone in charge of washing dishes let alone being left in charge of managing millions of pounds of rate payers money …..Bryn Parry Jones and his cronies are a shambolic bunch of opportunistic amateurs riding the red wine jus gravy train.This is not the only scandal to hit Bryn and his lap dancing generals at the PCC…..when will the Welsh Assembly take a REAL interest in the internal incompetence and downright deceit that dogs this Council. I know of no one person who has a good word to say about this bunch of cowboys.Also was it true a memo went around the Council that nobody was allowed to talk to Bryn Parry Jones if they passed him in the council corridors as \”his mind was always on far greater and important things\” ?????..And does he really have a private lift installed to his own office????

  9. Milford Matters

    July 17, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Teflon man will escape again – nothing sticks to this guy – he will supported by his Council Cabinet Colleques and survive till the next election.

  10. Keanjo

    July 17, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Failure ,failure ,failure crisis, crisis ,crisis .When will it stop? When will someone assert their authority and help us ?

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Crabb backs veterans of Irish Troubles

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VETERANS of the Northern Irish Troubles have been backed by Preseli MP Stephen Crabb during votes in the House of Commons.

In the absence of a functioning administration in Northern Ireland, Members of Parliament have been voting in an effort to keep Northern Ireland running.

Stephen Crabb co-sponsored an amendment put forward by Johnny Mercer MP which passed. The Secretary of State must now report on the options available to allow veterans of the Troubles to assist in a truth recovery process, for the benefit of bereaved families, without fear of prosecution.

Commenting following the vote, Stephen Crabb MP said: “This is a positive step towards ensuring the hounding of veterans is stopped. The proud, local veteran community, along with myself, have been deeply troubled by the ongoing pursuit of current and former British Soldiers for actions carried out while under orders on active service.

“I have made the point previously to Ministers that we risk a serious breach of trust with our Armed Forces by opening the door to such prosecutions. The pressures placed on a solder in conflict situations are enormous and it cannot be right that actions carried out in these circumstances are re-opened decades later by people with no understanding of what happened on the ground.“

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Identical ‘call-out’ within three days for Fishguard RNLI lifeboat

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FISHGUARD RNLI inshore lifeboat launched on Thursday evening 18 July to the very same inflatable dinghy they rescued on Monday July 15

The inshore lifeboat and three volunteer crew launched at 8.45pm after the inflatable was reported drifting out to sea from Fishguard harbour. The flimsy inflatable and the young men onboard were taken under tow back to the area of Goodwick beach and they were again spoken to regarding the dangers of inflatable craft. On this occasion there was an off-shore wind and an ebbing tide which potentially presented much more dangerous conditions for the persons onboard.

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Rosslare ready to go it alone

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THE UK Government stands ready to revoke legislation governing the relationship between the ports of Fishguard and Rosslare.

The abolition of the current arrangements is a step closer according to Irish newspaper reports of a recent meeting between Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Fianna Fáil’s transport spokesperson Robert Troy and Wexford TD James Browne.

According to the reports, Mr Grayling told the Irish politicians that the UK has ‘no strategic or economic’ interest in keeping the ports’ governance structure.

The Irish Government, meanwhile, regards Rosslare as a major part of its Brexit plans and has acquired further land to provide additional facilities there.

The ports are governed by a UK Act of Parliament from 1888, which created the Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbour Company.

The Act continued to govern the relationship between the Ports, even after most of Ireland secured its independence from the – then – British empire.

However, the old legislation has – in the view of Irish TD James Browne – hindered the Irish Government’s ability to expand activities at Rosslare to the benefit of the local and Irish economies.

Stena Line: Looking at the long term development of both ports

Fishguard and Rosslare ports are part of the one company, namely the Fishguard and Rosslare Railway and Harbours Company set up by an Act of Parliament.

Mr Browne explained to The Herald: “In effect, ownership of the port lies with UK government. But in turn the ports are effectively run as private companies: Irish Rail control and operate the Rosslare end and Stena control and operate the Fishguard side and there is an agreement in place as to the division of profits of the company.

“In Ireland, this complex and archaic ownership model has regularly been cited as an inhibiting factor in the development of the port. In short, no one will invest in a port whose ownership is unclear.”
The opportunity is not, however, all on one side, says the Wexford TD: “The decoupling of the two ports, and the transfer of Rosslare to Irish state ownership would free up both ports from this complex ownership model and allow investment in the ports.”

Mr Browne also highlighted the potential for growth in economic activity in West Wales’ closest trading neighbour: “Dublin Port is so busy that it is turning away business. Rosslare Port is in an ideal geographical location to attract shipping business and to take the pressure off of Dublin. Port. It, in turn, would act as an economic driver for the entire South East of Ireland.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb told us: Stephen: “The importance of the Fishguard – Rosslare ferry connection is unquestionable with 80% of all goods from Ireland passing through Welsh ports.
“However, the historic legal framework for the ports is outdated and does not give either side the freedom they need to develop and innovate. I can well understand why change is being sought at this time.

“I have met with the management on both sides of the Irish Sea to discuss Brexit planning and other aspects of the industry and will continue to do so.”

Ian Hampton, Chief People and Communications Officer, Stena Line said: “Stena Line hopes that by removing the historical legislation that governs the status of The Fishguard Rosslare Railways and Harbour Company it will enable Stena Line and the Irish Government to work closer together creating greater opportunity, such as the options for the long term development of both the respective ports.”

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