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Council and hospital dominate panel debate

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Bryn Parry-Jones: Still creating a stir

Bryn Parry-Jones: Still creating a stir

CLAIMS made in recent council debates that the general public were uninterested in the scandal and intrigue that has plagued County Hall for the last year, were conclusively proved to be wrong by a vocal and enthusiastic audience at a Question Time organized by Haverfordwest’s Civic Society. Facing around 200 members of the public, Council Leader Jamie Adams was joined on the panel at St Mary’s church, Haverfordwest, by local AM Paul Davies (standing in for Stephen Crabb MP), Labour candidate for Preseli Pembrokeshire Paul Miller, and Hakin councillor and columnist Mike Stoddart.

The panel was closely quizzed on events at the local authority, including the departure of former Chief Executive Bryn Parry-Jones and the £280K+ bonanza he received when he left. While Jamie Adams defended the secrecy surrounding the payoff, other panellists expressed strong views that the public interest in the expenditure of a signifi cant sum of public money outweighed any right to confi dentiality in the agreement’s terms. In particular, Mike Stoddart was critical of the way in which information was not made available to councillors until after the point where they had to vote for or against the settlement.

As this paper revealed previously, selected members of the ruling group had been extensively briefed on the terms of the settlement before a committee convened to investigate Mr Parry-Jones ‘ conduct had the opportunity to reach a decision. Paul Davies made clear his view that the settlement should have been discussed openly and in public and that the whole affair had ‘severely damaged’ the local authority’s reputation. The council also came under heavy criticism for its neglect of Pembrokeshire’s town centres and historic buildings.

With the debate taking place in Haverfordwest, the way in which the council has dealt with the town’s castle came in for adverse comment from the audience. While Cllr Adams tried to place the development in the context of attempts to regenerate the town as a destination for tourism, audience members were unconvinced by his approach to the subject.

Describing the exchanges as ‘robust, though mostly good-natured’, Mike Stoddart afterwards wrote on his blog that Cllr Adams’ claim to the audience that he had refuted allegations he had lied over an issue in the Pembroke Dock grants scandal, while inviting the audience to review what he had actually said, was not borne out by the webcast record.

Responding to a question about the cuts imposed by the Local Health Board, there was near unanimity among the panel that local services should have been retained and must be protected. However, Paul Miller sounded a cautionary note about the issue of health care provision being used as ‘a political football’.

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A40 closed at Scleddau due to collision between car and motorbike

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EMERGENCY SERVICES have shut the A40 at in Scleddau due to a serious road collision.

The accident happened just before 2pm. The Herald understands that the collision involved a motorcycle and car at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

Police said: “Emergency services are currently on scene and dealing with the incident. Please find an alternative route if possible. Update to follow.”

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Moley’s Ambassador March to support those who have lost a child

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ON SATURDAY (Jun 19), Andrew Cole (aka Moley) will set off on a 24 hour walk around Pembrokeshire with the aim of doing as many miles in as little time as possible. 

Moley is proud to have recently been made ambassador of the charity ‘2 Wish UponAa Star’ an organisation dedicated to supporting families that have lost a child under 25 years of age.

He will be setting off at 6am in the morning from Neyland and walking all day and night, finishing at 6am the following morning.

2 wish upon a star was set up by Rhian Mannings, who set up the charity after losing her own son.

By celebrating the lives of those lost, and offering support to families through their grief; Rhian and her team offer an essential service to the community and those families who have suffered the devastation of losing a loved one.

Appealing for support from the people of Pembrokeshire he said: “Please give generously to support the wonderful work of Rhian and her team. Also, if you happen to see me in the day, feel free to give me a beep of encouragement’

“If you would like to donate to Moley, and support the charity, you can visit his JustGiving page.”

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moleycole

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Lifeboats and chopper in major air sea rescue off the coast of Tenby

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TWO RNLI lifeboats from both Tenby and Angle stations have been launched to assist a coastguard helicopter which has been scrambled from MOD St Athen.

It is understood that a search for a missing person or persons is underway.

Paged this morning: Angle Lifeboat is currently involved in the search south of Tenby

The alarm was raised before 10am this morning (June 18).

Tenby’s Y-boat is also involved in the operation, The Herald understands.

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Rescue underway: Coastguard chopper position at 1030HRS on Friday, Jun 18 (Pic MarineTraffic)
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