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Carew scrap yard was ‘dangerously near water source’

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Scrap yard: Did not have correct permits

A BUSINESS trio adopted an attitude of brinkmanship and ran the risk of poisoning thousands of people in Pembrokeshire, a judge heard today.

George Jones, his partner Jennifer Frearson and his son Nening Jones, operated a scrap metal business at Carew Airfield in breach of regulations and close to a water source used as a reserve for supplies of drinking water.

Judge Paul Thomas said at today’s sentencing hearing they ignored letters and advice in the pursuit of “staggering” amounts of money that may have exceeded £1.2m.

Although no actual harm was caused, he added, all three had followed a cavalier attitude of brinkmanship and “pushed matters to the limit.”

George Jones, 57, and Frearson, aged 46, both of Strawberry Fields, Clayford Road, Kilgetty, and Nening Jones, 34, of Sageston near Tenby, admitted or were found guilty after a trial of operating a scrap metal facility without a permit, duty of care offences and failing to keep adequate records.

JONES NEARLY JAILED

George Jones, who had a previous conviction for contravening environmental health regulations, was told by Judge Thomas he had come close to being sent to prison.

He was instead made the subject of a two year community order and told to carry out 260 hours of unpaid work for the community. Frearson and Nening Jones received 12 month orders and told to carry out 160 and 50 hours of work respectively.

Enviroventure Ltd was fined a nominal £1 for each of four offences.

Swansea crown court heard that “further consequences” could follow once a Proceeds of Crime investigation had been completed. That will reveal how much the trio made from the venture and what could be confiscated by way of money and assets.

Danger to water-source: Waste could have polluted drinking water

Danger to heath: Waste could have polluted drinking water

Judge Thomas told the defendants, “The regulations for such matters are there not because someone wants to be picky but for the protection of the environment and, by extension, the welfare of people living in the area.

“There was no actual harm here but there was a risk of harm.”

George Jones, he added, had come across during his trial as a dishonest man.

He had recruited Frearson, added Judge Thomas, as “a face, a patsy” to cover his involvement. And he had used his son Nening Jones as his “apprentice.”

The court heard that Frearson “had absolutely no knowledge” of how to run a waste management operation.

‘BEING A DIRECTOR HAS RESPONSIBILITIES’ – JUDGE THOMAS

But Judge Thomas said that becoming a company director “was not just something that looks good on a passport” but brought with it responsibilities.

Mary Youell, South West Operations Manager for Natural Resources Wales, said after the hearing that the scrap metal operation was still functioning, but in compliance with the regulations.

She said NRW was only too keen to work with companies in the recycling of materials and in the proper disposal of waste. But the regulations had to be abided by.

“We hope the outcome of this case will send out a positive message to the waste industry, that Natural Resources Wales supports legitimate business and will not tolerate those who seek to profit by breaking the law, risking harm to local communities or damaging the environment.

“The motivation behind the crime was financial. The site did not have the necessary permissions and consequently the infrastructure to protect the environment and it undercut legitimate, permitted sites,” she added.

The POC investigation is expected to be completed by March, when a further court hearing will take place.

£660K IN CASH PAYMENTS

The Environment Agency told The Herald: “Officers carried out site visits between May and October 2011 and found numerous breaches of the ELV permit held for the Scrapyard area. This involved the depollution of vehicles on site which did not have the required infrastructure to do so; inappropriate storage of batteries; drainage issues; areas of the site where bunding and concrete was not being maintained.

A spokesman added: “Waste materials such as tyres, waste vehicles and oil drums were also observed being stored outside of the permitted area. Numerous oil spillages were also observed on site. Waste tyres, scrap metal and general skip waste were also stored at the Workshop and Northern Yard areas without an environmental permit and outside the terms and conditions of any registered exemptions. Approximately £660K was paid in cash to Enviroventure Ltd for sale of scrap metal originating from the Scrapyard for the period when they did not hold an environmental permit or exemption to operate a general scrapyard from the site and for the sale of scrap vehicles when they were not compliant with their ELV permit.”

“A total of 20 charges were brought against Enviroventure Ltd and Nenning Jones combined for offences relating to operating outside the terms of an environmental permit and also operating and knowingly causing / permitting the operation of a regulated facility without the benefit of an environmental permit between 1 June 2011 and 31 December 2011.”

 

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Hayley Wood

    October 27, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    How do we know this has not caused any danger to the public? It can take years before any symptoms appear!

  2. ELISA Geo Pugh

    October 29, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    time this company should be shut down for good & any money paid to the courts & other authorities that have been involved in bringing this to trial so the public purse isn’t out of pocket. These people are just a bunch of crooks looking after their own interests

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Business

FBM Holidays Wins E-commerce Award

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FBM HOLIDAYS have won the Pembrokeshire Business Award for E-commerce at a recent ceremony held by Radio Pembrokeshire.

The annual awards, hosted at The Pavillion in Haverfordwest were attended by a host of regional businesses all who were nominated for awards in various categories, there to celebrate the diverse and vibrant Pembrokeshire business landscape.

Sponsored by local online letting agents, easyProperty, the E-commerce award, as with the other awards on the night, was judged by an online vote.

Company partner, Tim Brace, said of the awards: “It’s an incredible feeling to have won this award for our investment and advances made in E-commerce, especially as this award was voted for by our customers, who come from far and wide.

“It’s particularly pleasing to have won this specific award, the timing of which is very fitting, as we as a business are less than a month away from delivering a brand new holiday bookings website; one that has been a year in the making, and which we believe will push the company on even further in its online offering.”

Speaking to the awards special guest on the night, local celebrity Connie Fisher, FBM Holidays’ Marketing Executive Laura Mackenzie said: “Being ‘digital and being online’ is the way that things are going these days. It’s becoming very competitive online, and we have to make sure we are at the forefront. Everyone should holiday in Pembrokeshire!”

With a brand new digital offering coming online very soon, FBM Holidays are hoping to press on even further this year, and turn what is already record-breaking booking figures into even more bookings for their owners. Now, with a local award as an accolade, it seems very much that they are heading in the right direction.

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Business

Double acquisition as Certas Energy acquires two Pembrokeshire filling stations

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CERTAS ENERGY has added two West Wales fillings stations to its growing company portfolio with the acquisition of Square & Compass and Letterson Filling Stations, both formerly owned by Roger and Anne Shackleton.

The couple have operated their Pembrokeshire forecourt business for 22 years, its two Gulf branded forecourts are integral to the local community, with large and successful convenience stores and a combined fuel volume of 5.6ml.

“We are delighted to have concluded this deal, it’s a very good fit for our business as we continue to grow our company operation across the UK,” enthuses Richard Billington, Retail Director, Certas Energy. “We already have a strong Gulf presence within Pembrokeshire and these two flagship sites will complement our thriving and expanding Dealer operation.”

“Anne and Roger have put their heart and soul into their business and its standing within the locality is testament to their hard work and that of a very talented team, whom we look forward to working with. We’ll bring the sites into harmony with the rest of our company-owned operation, investing in the latest back-office technology and on-site facilities to future proof the business. We will also remain true to the values established by the Shackletons to be at the heart of the local community.”

Square and Compass filling station in north Pembrokeshire

The two forecourts currently employ 20 people. They are seven miles apart, both situated in the town of Haverfordwest. Dave Morris, Director at specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, acted on behalf of owners Anne and Roger and comments; “The two forecourts presented a great opportunity for a buyer as they are in a good location and well regarded locally. It has been a pleasure to work for Anne and Roger who have been passionate fuel retailers for over 20 years and we wish them all the best with their retirement. Both sites are a good fit for Certas Energy and we look forward to seeing them transition into Certas’ company owned portfolio.”

Reflecting on his departure from the business, Roger Shackleton says: “We have fantastic staff and a successful business that has been nurtured to the needs of our community. I’ve loved every minute of the ever changing environment of forecourt and convenience retailing. I still get up every morning at 4am to prepare for the day ahead but now seems the right time to retire. Certas Energy and Gulf Retail are better suited to unlock the future potential and get the very best out of our two sites. It’s a very emotive time for us both, we regard our staff as family but we know they are in good hands. The Gulf team are genuine, the process has been relatively smooth and David Morris of Christie and Co. has been brilliant, working tirelessly keep the deal progressing and to get us to this place.”

“When we drive past the sites in the future, we may feel saddened that we are no longer at the helm but in Gulf Retail, we are happy that we have sold to the right people.”

This latest acquisition by Certas Energy increases its company portfolio to 35 sites as it continues to grow the Gulf network in size and scale.

Fuel family’s final farewell

IT WAS an emotional farewell at two north Pembrokeshire filling stations this week as the popular owners Roger and Anne Shackleton handed the reigns over to new owners Certas Energy, Britain’s largest independent distributor of fuels and lubricants.

Staff at Letterston filling station say good bye to old owners Roger and Anne

After 22 years, Roger and Anne are looking forward to a more relaxed life on their farm, and to see more of their family, they told The Herald.

In 1997, the couple sold their pedigree herd and bought Letterston Filling Station. In 2007 Square and Compass Filling Station was purchased and plans were made to rebuild the shop into a convenience store to serve the neighbourhood. They were able to provide a wide range of goods and competitive fuel prices over a long period at both sites, an important resource for the local community in both cases.

The staff at Square and Compass filling station

Roger and Anne said in a statement: “We would like to thank our suppliers, and the loyal and long-standing customers for their support over the years. A final thank you goes to the staff, past and present that have helped make the business what it is today.

They added: “We would like to extend our best wishes to Certas Energy for success in the future with both Letterston and Square and Compass Filling Stations.”

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Solva: Farm’s new ice cream enterprise is a family affair

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WITH views over the stunning Pembrokeshire coastline, Pointz Castle Ice Cream’s new on-farm parlour is the perfect place for a refreshing treat on a hot summer’s day.

Pointz Castle Ice Cream is a family collaboration spanning four generations, located on the Lawrence family’s farm located between the fishing village of Solva and the expansive sandy beach of Newgale, on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Richard and Gill Lawrence and their son William, daughter Rachael, daughter-in-law Lydia, and son-in-law Thomas all bring a range of skills which enabled them to establish and run the new business.

While the critical job of tasting the final product is down to the youngest – and oldest – members of the family: grandchildren Charlie, Freddie, Rhodri, Rebecca and Beatrice (who range in age from one to seven-years-old), and Gill’s father Leslie.

Rachael with Beatrice, Lydia with Rebecca, and William. (Pic Coleman Communications)

The step into making ice cream is a new chapter for the family, explains William, who with his sister Rachael makes the ice cream.

“Against a backdrop of continuing volatility in the dairy sector, coupled with the uncertainty created around Brexit, we decided to fulfil a long-term ambition for adding value to the milk we produce. Based on our coastal setting and growing tourism industry, ice cream was the natural fit.

“Located on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, this corner of Wales possesses both a fantastic climate for producing grass for the milk required for our ice cream and in an area of spectacular scenery and coastal walks for our visitors to relax and enjoy.”

Visitors to the ice cream parlour can enjoy a complete cow to cone experience, enjoying the creamy, smooth texture ice cream and sorbets in some of the 70 different flavours.

Says William, “We use locally sourced ingredients such as cream, and Halen Dewi- St Davids Sea Salt to create some of the flavours which include Blueberry Pannacotta, Strawberry Cheesecake and Lemon & Mascarpone as well as the firm favourites Vanilla, Raspberry Ripple and Chocolate. The flavours on display in the cabinet alternate regularly and may well include a seasonal special such as Welsh Cake, Pumpkin or Mince Pie flavour.”

As well as ice cream, coffee and cake can be enjoyed in the traditional stone built converted cow shed with wooden beams and whitewashed walls or just sit and relax outside in the sun trapped courtyard watching the cows coming in for milking.

As the café is set within a working farm, this provides an opportunity to explain to visitors what farming entails.

Says William, “We calve in the spring and autumn, and that has been a real attraction for people who have different levels of knowledge about farming. It sparks all sorts of questions and helps people connect to where their food comes from. They come away knowing that the grass the cows were grazing today will produce tomorrows ice cream.”

As well as the on-farm cafe, the business takes their ice cream on the road with a converted vintage trailer available for all occasions from weddings to festivals.

The family has had help with its new venture from the Food Centre Wales at Horeb, and from Cywain – a Menter a Busnes delivered project that supports the development of growth orientated businesses in the food and drink sector in Wales.

“Setting up a new business has had its challenges,” says William, “but Cywain has been great. They have excellent contacts and have been able to put us in touch with people who have helped us to launch the business.’. They have kept us going and signposted us to any assistance and training we’ve needed.”

Steeped in history, the dairy, beef and arable farm is on the site of a Norman castle, with the raised mound of the original motte-and-bailey castle still visible while a public footpath links the farm to Porthmynawyd, a small cove west of Newgale Sands.

But it is not only the ice cream and café side of the business that has attracted visitors in their droves. Should the weather prove to be less than perfect Pointz Castle has got it covered – literally!

The area is popular with holidaymakers, many of whom are families drawn by Pembrokeshire’s magnificent beaches and lush countryside. Therefore, with the enjoyment of children – and parents – in mind, the Lawrence family recently created indoor play facilities at Pointz Castle.

There children can enjoy farm-themed activities including riding on toy tractors and diggers, as well as view the young dairy calves.
Continuing the educational theme, customers are also able to try milking a life-sized model cow for themselves in the play barn.

Says William, “In Pembrokeshire, we’re not guaranteed good weather, so we created the play area in the barn to give families another entertainment option. Our children have been very much involved in building it, and it is proving very popular!”
Said Lowri Davies of Cywain, “We are delighted to be part of the Pointz Castle story. By diversifying into producing ice cream the family is helping to showcase the flavours of Pembrokeshire, and at the same time opening a window for visitors on dairy farming in Wales.”

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