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Hancock: Board must regain public trust



hancockTHURSDAY’S meeting of the Health Board’s executive committee took place against a background of simmering resentment in Pembrokeshire at the fate of health services. New chairman Bernadine Rees told the meeting: “I am happy to be back and I understand the challenges. I want a meaningful engagement with the public.” Chief Executive Karen Howell added: “We want to determine what more can be done. We want to secure the long term sustainability of health services in Wales.” Members of the Board expressed concern that the Board had failed to communicate adequately with the public. Don Thomas said: “We need to listen, listen and act on the important issues. We’re keen to listen and understand what our residents are going through.” Local authority placeman Simon Hancock said: “It’s so important for us to understand how services on the ground are doing.” Independent member Eifion Griffiths said: “We have to make sure we are providing services for the population. We have to work with the whole of Wales. The local population will want to hear about what we are providing for them. Paul Hinge from the CHC added: “These changes have to be deliverable and you have to show them you have the ability to deliver them in a seamless manner.” Don Thomas said: “I hope there is an emerging recognition of the position we are in. The structural deficit in this board does need to be recognised and rectified.” IPPG nominee Simon Hancock drew attention to the serious service deficit in Tenby, the cause of major concern ahead of the main summer tourist season. He added that he was desperately concerned for Tenby describing the situation as critical. Simon Hancock’s concern on the issue highlights the fact that assurances given by the Board before the closure of Tenby’s purpose-built Minor Injuries Unit have been shown to be worthless, as local GP’s failed to sign up to the Board’s service model. Phil Kloer, interim director for primary care, community and mental health replied: “The important question is, why we have only got three GPs in the area.” Orthodontic and community dental care was another cause of concern. Orthodontic services were withdrawn from Withybush by the Board in 2010. It seems that centralising services has failed to deliver improvements. Paul Hinge told the meeting: “There is still an 18-month waiting list for orthodontics, this is unbelievable. They have to wait a long, long time and they are then offered a paying service to jump the queue: that part of it has got to stop. The amount of people who are moving out to other areas just to get a service is unbelievable.” Simon Hancock said: “It is important for this board to regain public trust.”

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Alun Jones

    August 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    What a shame that these Board Members did not make their views known under the previous Chief Exec and Chairman. If they had, then perhaps we would not be in the situation we now find ourselves with the disastrous centralisation of paediatrics, obstetrics and the proposed reduction in such services as A & E. Why is it only now we hear these comments. Were these members too afraid to speak under the previous regime, then it was only the CHC voice we heard speaking against the changes.

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Crabb takes up the reins as Wales Committee chair



PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb has been elected as the new chairman of the Welsh Affairs Committee in Parliament.

Stephen Crabb, who served as Secretary of State for Wales from 2014 to 2016, secured support from across the political divide to be elected unopposed, and is looking forward to taking on the new role.

He received nominations from MPs drawn from of all parties in Wales as well as being supported by numerous other MPs from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The committee examines the work of the Wales Office and other UK departments in Wales. It takes evidence from Ministers, experts and other witnesses in order to make recommendations that benefit Wales and its economy.

Following the announcement, Stephen Crabb said: “This is an exciting opportunity and I’m grateful to have received support from such a wide cross-section the House of Commons, including from Conservative, Labour and Plaid Cymru MPs. By drawing on the knowledge and passion of MPs from all parties, the committee can help to shape a positive and optimistic agenda for Wales at a time of enormous change.

“Post-Brexit trade deals, the Shared Prosperity Fund, infrastructure investment and the climate challenge will all have an impact on Wales in the years ahead. The Welsh Affairs Committee will provide an essential forum for examining Government action in these areas and ensuring that the unique circumstances of Wales are properly understood.”

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Old barracks promised new lease of life



THE COMPANY which has purchased the iconic defensible barracks in Pembroke Dock have promised to breathe new life into the historic building.

The grade II fort was built in the Victorian era to provide a military defence to the Royal Dockyard. It was recently sold for an undisclosed sum to VR1844 Ltd. The company directors are listed as Jonathan McDermott, Emma Jane Morby, Lai Hang Seto, and Iain Trevor Walker.

VR1844Ltd office manager Tanya McDermott said: “VR1844 believe people never truly own a building but are the buildings guardians for a period of time.

“Taking the view that it is only the right development for the right building at the right time it is our privilege to bring the building back into life, repair, nurture and give back to the local community, not to shut the main doors and lock the building away from people who are interested in it and its history.

“VR1844 Ltd who have brought this very under-loved and not looked after building, want to bring the buildings back into life with a mix of community uses, together with a number of dwellings that will breathe life back into the buildings.
“To do this VR1844 are already working hard with CADW, Pembrokeshire County Council and local councillors to bring forward a scheme that all parties can support, and the community can once again be proud of.”

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Town councillors object to hotel on health and safety grounds



TOWN COUNCILLORS in Milford Haven have unanimously voted to object to a planning application my Milford Haven Port Authority to build a 100-bedroom hotel on Milford Docks.
Town Mayor Terry Davies said he had had numerous requests from members of the public to try to get it refused.
Several members of the public were at the meeting to watch, including Ian Bannister and his daughter and James Kershaw – whose homes were seriously flooded in 2018 causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Cllr Lynne Turner told councillors: “We look forward to the development of the marina and the town desperately needs a hotel, but we have been contacted by a number of representatives from the Lower Priory and Havens Head area who are very concerned about the impact on flooding in their villages.
“The sewage waste from this development, and the change to water run-off, unless the Port Authority addresses the culverts in the area, then we have to assume that this must present a big risk to increased flooding.”
“We need to wait for the outcome of a report to see how the hotel will affect the villages”
“Then that report needs to be acted upon, if needs be.”
Cllr Rhys Sinnett said: “It is clear from the representation from the communities affected by the floods in 2018, they are still awaiting answers and actions from Pembrokeshire County Council to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.
“Whilst no action is being taken, I don’t see how we can support anything that might raise water levels and I suggest we need to delay this as long as possible.
“There is no reference in the report to the flooding in 2018 so how can we support an application that has faulty information.”
“We have to object to this application within the scope of planning rules, and I propose that we can object in terms of health and safety.
What happened in 2018 was a had a huge impact on the health and safety of those who were living in Lower Priory and in Havens Head.
Cllr Turner then formally that the town council object, as Cllr Sinnett suggested, to the application on health and safety grounds.
Cllr Sinnett added that because of the controversial nature of the application, he would be strongly suggesting the application go before the council’s planning committee.
“That would be best for local democracy” he said, adding “this application should not be decided by officers under their delegated powers.
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