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Mixed bag for local democracy

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Cllr Jamie Adams: Simpson says he is 'a capable boy with bad judgement'

Cllr Jamie Adams:

A MOTION to be placed before next Monday’s meeting of the council’s Corporate Governance Committee could pave the way for greater accountability and democracy in relation to the position of Council Leader, the post currently held by Cllr Jamie Adams. The proposal, made by East Williamston’s Jacob Williams, calls for the position of Leader to be subject to annual election at the County Council’s AGM. If passed it would come into force at the end of the current municipal year, when current leader Jamie Adams could be challenged for the leadership of the local authority. In his submissions supporting his motion, Cllr Williams makes it clear that he regards the decision as essentially a political one, and not one that Council Officers should take a stance upon.

The supporting statement concludes by saying: “I don’t know which officer of the authority will compile a report on my proposal, however I would like to use this supporting statement to say that I believe it would be improper for the report to conclude with either a recommendation in favour of approval or of refusal.” In an embarrassing turn of events, a motion previously adopted referring to the thorny subject of member-officer and member-tomember relationships has been forced off the agenda. The motion was originally backed by Bob Kilmister of the Pembrokeshire Alliance, the unaffiliated St Davids member David Lloyd and Conservative group leader David Howlett.

Council Leader Jamie Adams had co-signed the motion on behalf of the ruling IPPG group. However, the three opposition signatories have now withdrawn their backing and Cllrs Lloyd and Kilmister were clear that the reason they had pulled their support was due to a lack of trust in Jamie Adams’ good faith. A motion from Labour Leader Paul Miller calling for the extension of democratic scrutiny of the recruitment process for chief officers beyond the end of the current municipal year has been recommended for refusal by the Head of Human Resources.

That recommendation is bound to cause anger among council members who feel that that the scandal over remuneration that engulfed and ultimately put paid to Bryn Parry-Jones could have been avoided had ordinary members been able to vote on the matter. In addition, those who feel that members should take a more active role in the recruitment process and not delegate effectively unchecked powers to officers are likely to question why, if a procedure was appropriate during the current council year, it is not appropriate to continue it in others.

That point is given greater force by Paul Miller’s recent revelation that during the current council, officers have systematically ignored the council’s democratic vote on the subject. In relation to the vexed question of council democracy and executive accountability, Monitoring Officer Laurence Harding – widely regarded on opposition benches as a hanger on from the Bryn Parry-Jones era – has recommended refusal of a motion that seeks to place the whole of debate before the public.

Objecting to Mike Stoddart’s motion that asks only that members read out their questions to Cabinet members, the Monitoring Officer and the Acting Head of Legal Services, Claire Incledon, have instead supported the status quo. Their view is likely to please Cabinet members who can flannel questioners on camera safe in the knowledge that questions are not widely known to the watching public. A motion by Cllr David Bryan to prevent the repetition of a farcical situation which permitted executive members to duck questions when the members asking them were absent from the Chamber has, however, been recommended for adoption.

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Unprecedented demand on health and social care services in local area

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Joint statement by Hywel Dda University Health Board, the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Pembrokeshire County Council, Carmarthenshire County Council and Ceredigion County Council

The urgent statement we have asked to publish is as follows:

THERE is currently an unprecedented demand on health and social care services across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, which is leading to significant delays in care provision. Put simply, the difficulty in discharging medically-fit patients from hospital – many of whom have complex personal circumstances and needs – is leading to significant bed shortages, and consequently, lengthy ambulance waits at the ‘front door’ of A&E departments, which mean that paramedics are unable to respond to other 999 calls in the community.Social care and Health teams are doing everything possible to support people who are well enough to leave hospital but need ongoing care. Priority is being given to the most vulnerable, and alternative health and care packages are being offered as a short-term measure. More carers and health staff are also being recruited to support people in need.

If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is well enough to go home, but is waiting to be discharged with homecare and community health support, you may be able to help them to get home more quickly if you and your family are in a position to support them at home. If your relative is waiting for a formal package of care, you may be able to offer support and care on a short term, temporary arrangement or you might want to consider whether your loved one could be supported in a temporary residential or nursing care setting. If you feel that this is an option that you could consider, please speak to the ward manager or your social worker to explore further.

Spending as little time in hospital is better for patients and means that NHS beds can be freed up for others with urgent care needs. Supporting older patients to get home from hospital efficiently is an important part of their recovery and it also protects them from negative consequences of hospital admission, such as hospital acquired infection, falls and a loss of independence.  You can find out more about the hospital discharge process and guidance here: Inpatient information – Hywel Dda University Health Board (nhs.wales)

Your support not only helps your loved one, but it is a huge support to the NHS and social care services as well.

Thank you.

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Child taken to hospital following collision with car outside school

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AN EARLY morning collision outside Ysgol Harri Tudor school, Pembroke, has seen a child taken to hospital.

The collision happened between a child and a car on Pembroke Road, Pembroke, at approximately 9am this morning.

A secondary school pupil has been taken to hospital via ambulance for what is said to be minor injuries.

Police and ambulance service were on the scene and were helped by school staff to manage the incident.

A police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a road traffic collision involving a car and a secondary school pupil this morning, 21st October 2021. The collision occurred on Pembroke Road, Pembroke at approximately 9:00am.

“The Ambulance Service also attended and escorted the teenage boy to hospital with what are believed to be minor injuries.”

A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there has been an incident outside Ysgol Harri Tudur in Pembroke this morning where a pupil came into contact with a car. 

“The police and ambulance have been on the scene and were assisted by school staff. We are not able to release any further details at present.”

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‘Exercise caution’ say police following altercation with man ‘living in woods’

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POLICE are encouraging the public to ‘exercise caution’ whilst walking in Gwenarth Woods, Little Milford, after multiple reports of an individual acting aggressively.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police has confirmed to this newspaper that they have had several reports regarding an individual that is presumed to be living in the woods, acting aggressively towards walkers in the area.

Some have taken to Facebook to warn others who may walk in the area to be cautious after an altercation with the individual.

Reports suggest that the male has set up camp in the woods and has laid claim to part of the land, blocking footpaths, rights of ways and demanding money from those he feels are ‘trespassing’.

One incident that has been shared across Facebook happened on Sunday, October 17, whilst a mum and her young son were walking through the woods.

The man is said to have become confrontational, following the pair and demanding money after they walked through ‘his land’.

Speaking on the incident the woman said: “He basically told me to “get off his land” to which I replied it was not his etc etc.  He was shouting at me, and I was getting really angry as well. He literally pounced out of nowhere, and to be honest, shocked me a wee bit. Especially as I had my son with me. 

Little Milford: Police said that the public are encouraged to exercise caution if they choose to visit this area

“He followed me all the way to the gate by the stream, which in his mind is the boundary of “his land”. 

“When I say followed, I mean he was inches behind me all the way.

“Then he was demanding money from me as I was on his land. And I am never allowed there again.

“Needless to say, I phoned the police.”

Others took to the post to share similar encounters they have had with the same man.

Police have confirmed that they are working closely with other agencies to come to a solution.

They have asked the public to remain cautious, avoid confrontation and to report any further matters to them immediately.

A police spokesperson said: “Dyfed Powys Police has received several reports regarding a male person causing local walkers concern in Gwenarth Woods, Little Milford, Pembrokeshire.

“Police are working closely with other agencies in order to find a timely solution to this complex matter.

“Meanwhile, the public are encouraged to exercise caution if they choose to visit this area, to avoid confrontation and to report any matters to the Police immediately.”

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