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Any takers for Joseph’s dream?

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Huw George: “No comment”

Huw George: “No comment”

THE ANNOUNCEMENT by Milford Central County Councillor Stephen Joseph that he is to form a new group on Pembrokeshire County Council is reported elsewhere in this paper. 

In an effort to find out how much support Councillor Joseph is likely to gather, the Herald attempted to contact every county councillor to find out where they stood. At the same time, we asked each councillor whether they supported the protest scheduled for County Hall on Friday, August 8. In order to ensure each councillor had the option of declaring their position in the public interest, each of them was also sent two emails, in some cases to multiple addresses, and given two phone calls.

From the 56 councillor’s polled by this paper’s deadline, we had received just 27 replies IPPG uber-loyalist Daphne Bush hung up on our reporter, rather than answer the first question. When rung to answer the second, she hung up again. Based on Councillor Daphne’s demonstrably less than independent turn of mind, we guessed that she did not know how to answer as she had not yet been told what to say. Pearl Llewellyn was more forthcoming. She told us that she had no intention of joining Pembrokeshire First, but did say that she was more than likely to support Friday’s action. Our reporter John Vaughan soon discovered that word had got around amongst IPPG members that these questions were being asked, and it appears the advice given, within the group, was to refuse to answer the key question as to whether or not they supported their workers’ protest.

Former Cabinet member Ken Rowlands hung up when asked about Pembrokeshire First and declined to answer whether or not he supported the workers’ protest. Fellow Labour turncoat Umelda Havard was another to hang up on our reporter when asked about Pembrokeshire First and would not comment on the protest against Bryn Parry Jones. IPPG members Lyndon Frayling and Huw George offered no comment to either question. From the members that were prepared to answer these two simple and direct questions, The Herald received some very strong comments. Councillor Peter Stock said: “As a member of the Pembrokeshire Alliance, we are determined to put Pembrokeshire first, and provide a quality service that the people of our county richly deserve.

So why try to form a new group with a similar idea and objectives?” Jacob Williams responded by stating: “I am not interested in joining Pembrokeshire First. I was elected independent and I will remain independent; as an unaffiliated member.” Predictably, Michael Williams, of Plaid Cymru, claimed Cllr Joseph ‘was deserting a sinking ship’. On the protest he said: “It is a sad state of affairs when we see this type of action, and it shows the failure of the controlling group to get a grip and give some firm political direction. Firstly by suspending the CEO until the investigation is completed. Secondly by admitting their failures and apologising to Pembrokeshire Taxpayers for the continued disastrous news stories that flow from this failing Authority. “I support that staff, and I have great sympathy for them. They see their pay cut or frozen, while the CEO seems to receive huge increases in salary. It is incredible to remember that he was appointed in 1996 on a salary of £60k.

The question must be asked of those that sat on the Senior Staff committee and authorised these obscene increases.” Anthony Wilcox, from the Labour Group, made his position clear: “I have no interest myself in joining Stephen Joseph’s group/party. However, if it leads to the downfall of the current ‘bought and paid for’ mob, I welcome it.” Councillor Tony Brinsden said: “I am an Independent (dictionary definition) member and intend to remain that way. Since being elected two years ago Cllr Joseph has changed his allegiance twice so who knows where he might be in a year’s time.”

Leader of the Labour Group, Paul Miller, confined himself to speaking about the Unison protest, confirming that he would be there to show support: “The joint union ballot and demonstration is an opportunity for staff to express their view on how Pembrokeshire Council is being run. “Many staff have been badly treated in recent years having had their salaries cut, hours reduced or pay frozen. I can only imagine how it felt to find out that, at the same time, the Chief Executive had been paid an additional £45,000 in unlawful pay supplements and that the Council had bought him a Porsche. We simply cannot continue like this. “The Independent Political Group are riding roughshod over the people of this county and undermining democracy at every turn.

We must all continue to do everything we can to fight for change!’” Tory Councillor Stan Hudson, a member of the secretive council committee that voted to help Bryn avoid a potential tax liability on his seven-figure publicly-funded pension by making unlawful payments to him, and who has supported the CEO in every subsequent vote even against his own party colleagues, was far less supportive of the workers’ protest against their CEO. Instead, Conservative Stan told us that he would not support the strike as he believed it was a Labour Party publicity stunt drummed up by Labour Leader Paul Miller, arranged for the benefit of what he alleged were Councillor Miller’s union paymasters. Fellow Tory David Bryan, formerly of the IPG until knifed by the group at the last election, offered no comment on either Pembrokeshire First or on supporting the protest against Bryn Parry Jones.

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Pupils from two Pembrokeshire school’s asked to self-isolate

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FURTHER cases of Covid-19 has been confirmed in Ysgol Harri Tudur/Henry Tudor School (Pembroke) and at Milford Haven School.

As a result, all pupils in Year 11 from Ysgol Harri Tudur and some students from year 7 in Milford Haven have been asked to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days.

Parents of the pupils in those classes have been informed.

Parents and carers do not need to contact the schools to find out if their child has been affected.

Pembrokeshire County Council, Public Health Wales and Hywel Dda University Health Board are working with the school to ensure that all possible precautionary measures are being taken to minimise risk of transmission of the virus.

Parents/guardians have been given the following advice by Hywel Dda University Health Board:

If a child/parent/household member develops symptoms of Covid-19, the entire household should immediately self-isolate, and book a test for the individual with the symptoms. It is unnecessary to test the entire household if they are not symptomatic.

The Covid-19 symptoms are:
● a new continuous cough
● a high temperature
● loss of or change to sense of smell or taste

Booking a Covid-19 test:
Hywel Dda University Health Board recommends testing only for those with a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or loss of or change in the sense of taste or smell.

If a child does not have symptoms of Covid-19 but has other cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, they do not need to be tested and they and you do not need to self-isolate. Your child can go to school if fit to do so.
If a Covid-19 test is required, this should be arranged via the UK Booking Portal, https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-test or by ringing 119. Testing is available within Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire or via a home testing kit delivered to and collected from your home. The Covid-19 test is undertaken via a throat swab or combined throat and nose swab.

 Self-isolation:
It is essential that people who have Covid-19 symptoms, or who share a household with someone who has symptoms, must self-
isolate, even if your symptoms are mild. To protect others, you must not attend school, nursery, other childcare settings, work, or go to or to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started. They can return to school or work after 10 days if they are well enough to do so. A pupil must remain fever free for at least 48 hrs.

Anyone in the household who does not have symptoms must self- isolate for 14 days from when the first person in the home started having symptoms.

If a parent thinks their child has symptoms BUT chooses not to put them through a test all household members must remain in self-isolation for 14 days from the onset of symptoms.

If you receive a positive test result, you will be contacted by the Test, Trace, Protect Team who will advise you further.

Non-household members/contacts:
If a person has been in contact with an individual experiencing symptoms, they should carry on as normal until that individual
receives their test result. If this is positive, the Test, Trace, Protect Team will contact those people identified as contacts and advise accordingly.

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Jessica ready to help in access officer role

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Pembrokeshire County Council has a new Access Officer.

Jessica Hatchett took up the role earlier this month and has always
been passionate about disability equality in Pembrokeshire.

Jessica, from Neyland, has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and uses a
wheelchair or a walking frame to get around.

She believes her experiences as a disabled person will give her a
different perspective on the role which aims to build on the Council’s
commitment to making Pembrokeshire an accessible county to all.
A founder member of the Young Voices for Choices youth forum,
Jessica has previously featured on the cover of two access guides, as
well as the cover of a Bus Buddies project leaflet.

And Jessica is hoping to continue the good work of her predecessors,
Trever Owens and Alan Hunt.

Jessica said: “This job is an absolutely fantastic opportunity to help
make Pembrokeshire even better.

“Inclusive, accessible designs don’t just benefit disabled people –
they make life easier for parents with buggies, people with broken
legs or anyone who might not be steady on their feet.

“Simple design changes make a world of difference to someone with
additional needs.”

The Access Officer role involves responding to requests, comments
and concerns on accessibility issues; liaising with community access
groups; ensuring the Authority’s duties and responsibilities with
regard to the Equalities Act (2010) are met; supporting the work of
Pembrokeshire Access Group and giving advice on all access design
issues such as ramps, disabled parking bays, welfare facilities and
much more.

Jessica, a former journalist with the Western Telegraph, added: “I’m
really looking forward to meeting new people and giving them the best
advice that I can – and if I don’t know the answer I will find someone
who does.

“Also, whilst I am going to investigate good practice collaboratively
with other Local Authorities, I am keen for Pembrokeshire to set the
standard for access issues and introduce new and innovative ideas to
improve people’s quality of life.

“I’m also looking forward to doing my first site visit. I know I have an
important job to do and will take it seriously, but I can’t wait to see
what I look like in a high-vis jacket and hard hat!”

To get in touch with Jessica, call 01437 775148 or email
jessica.hatchett@pembrokeshire.gov.uk.

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Pembrokeshire County Council Brexit update

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AS THE Brexit transition period draws to a close in the New Year, Pembrokeshire County Council is working closely with the Welsh Government, the Welsh Local Government Association and other organisations.

The Authority’s aim is to minimise any potential for Brexit to negatively affect Council services and the county’s businesses and residents.

The transition period ends at 11pm on December 31, after which many changes come into effect.

To this end, the Council is publicising a number of websites providing Brexit information. 

They include:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support/pembrokeshire-preparing-for-brexit

https://gov.wales/preparing-wales/

https://www.gov.uk/transition

EU and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens who need to apply for Settled Status can find support from Welsh Government and Home Office-funded organisations here: http://www.eusswales.com/en/index.html

Meanwhile, public-facing frontline staff working in support organisations and local authorities throughout Wales are being made aware of the issues involved.

This will enable them to direct EU/EEA nationals and their family members who have queries to the appropriate specialist staff.

For public information on the Settlement Scheme go to: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

Pembrokeshire County Council also has a generic Brexit enquiry email address at: brexit@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

 

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