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Vote to elect Council leader fails

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jacob williamsA NOTICE of Motion from Cllr Jacob Williams to elect the Council leader annually was narrowly defeated by one vote of 29 votes to 28 at Thursday’s meeting. Cllr Williams said: “At the moment we elect the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Planning and Licensing heads and this motion seeks to add the leader to that list. The leader is elected at the AGM and he/ she remains in post till he/ she resigns or is no longer a councillor. Any incumbent, if they were unsuccessful in seeking re-election, would only be because a majority failed to have confidence in him or her. Introducing an annual election will address the weakness and accountability of this council. “Some believe it is best to have someone who has been there for a long time and someone that has confidence of councillors. There is a difference – continuity should be earned by an annual election at the AGM. This isn’t extraordinary – we could also add the leader and cabinet members but this is just to elect the leader.”

Council leader Jamie Adams responded: “I am not convinced of the notice of motion. It will always be the largest group that provides the leader of the council, and the best opportunity for influencing the leader of this council would be to join the Independent group. “The role of leader is something that one person cannot commit to for a short period of time. We complete the budget process in March, and would vote for a leader in May, and that is dangerous. “The leader does have to make unpopular, pragmatic decisions, and that requires a longer term.

I remain convinced that the role of leader does require that commitment. My group has the option to remove me if they wish and that provides the democratic accountability. Cllr Bob Kilmister said: “This notice of motion makes it less likely that we will have votes of no confidence. An annual vote will only take place if someone stands against them. This will only take place if there is a chance of a meaningful vote. “At the moment we don’t have the opportunity, we had it when we first formed and from thereon in we are stuck.

I do not think this is democracy and it is not the right way of doing something about it. “If our leader wins the election he will be able to see he has the backing of the council, without that confidence the leader is frightened of being challenged by people in this council”. Cllr Tessa Hodgson said: “I am quite surprised that the leader doesn’t welcome this motion. It suggests that he is not confident that he has the backing of other councillors”.

Cllr Reg Owens said: “When we passed the earlier item 6 on this agenda this was one more step to more openness for Pembrokeshire County Council. Also the exit of the chief executive is going to ensure more openness and this motion will extend that even more. “If the leader is against this then he lacks confidence. If we are brave enough to pass this today, it will only be good for Pembrokeshire”. Cllr Sue Perkins said: “This is the most ridiculous notice of motion I have ever read. Continuity is the most important thing.

There are a huge amount of things to learn, it’s not going to take 2-3 months. Cllr Tom Tudor said: “I can’t see what the problem is here. We should embrace this notice of motion to show the people of Pembrokeshire that Pembrokeshire County Council is trying to get away from the past and be more transparent. I would strongly urge members to vote in favour of this motion and instil some confidence back in the people. Cllr David Lloyd said: “I would invite the leader to take on this challenge and have the courage to do so.

He has nothing to lose. I would ask him to take this challenge and win our support. Cllr Paul Miller added an amendment to the original notice of motion to add the election of Cabinet members as well as the Leader but that was defeated by 37 votes to 20. Cllr Williams summed up saying: “There was talk of continuity. We are talking about Pembrokeshire County Council here. Let us take time to recall that we had 18 years of continuity under the Chief Executive and look where that has led us”. Cllr Williams motion was defeated by 29 votes to 28 with Cllr Steve Yelland casting the deciding vote.

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Tenby: Air Ambulance medivac patient with suspected broken leg

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PARAMEDICS asked for assistance, and the Wales Air Ambulance were subsequently tasked with tending to an incident at Tenby harbour on Sunday (Oct 2).

A male required assistance due to a fall around the beach area, and suffered a suspected broken leg.

A spokesperson for the air ambulance said: “Our overnight crew arrived on scene at 8.12 pm.

“Following treatment at the scene from our on-board medics, we airlifted the patient to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Our involvement concluded at 10.31 pm.”

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Cleddau Bridge was closed due to concerns over person in distress

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THE CLEDDAU BRIDGE was closed just after midnight on Sunday morning after reports of concern over a person in distress.

A number of police units attended the incident, and an ambulance was put on standby, but thankfully was not needed. The bridge was closed for around a hour, with a diversion put in place.

Nearby residents noted the flashing lights from multiple emergency services on the bridge and posted statuses on Facebook wishing for the person’s safety.

Some other witnesses on the Pembroke Dock side of the estuary noted activity in the water from small vessels in the area under the bridge, which they believed may have been boats put on standby.

In a statement a spokesperson from the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “We were called in the early hours of Sunday morning at 12:43am to reports of an incident on the A477, Cleddau Bridge.

“We sent one emergency ambulance but were subsequently stood down.”

At just after 1am Sunday the police posted the following on their official Facebook page, confirming that the incident was over: “Cleddau Bridge has now reopened. Thank you for your patience.”

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Thirty bags of cocaine – worth £90m – wash up on west Wales beach

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has confirmed that what is expected to be a large quantity of the class A drug cocaine has washed up on on a west Wales beach this weekend.

The Herald understands that a man walking on Tan-y-Bwlch beach, south of Aberystwyth, made the discovery early on Saturday morning – which at street value could be sold for as much as £90m.

The beach walker found 30 black bags on the sand which had been tied together with a rope and empty gallon jerry cans for buoyancy.

Inside each black bag were 30 x1kg blocks, labelled with the name of fashion brand Dior – the mark of a Latin-American cartel – indicating 100% purity.

A similar brick of cocaine confiscated in Australia (File)

Thinking the package was suspicious, the man called the police.

When the police arrived, one of the bags was cut open and inside was what appeared to be cocaine.

The suspected cocaine was then taken away by officers, and it has now been confirmed that the white powder inside the bags is believed to be cocaine.

A spokeswoman for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “We are investigating the discovery of a significant quantity of what is thought to be cocaine, spotted along the Ceredigion coast this weekend.

“Enquiries are being undertaken to establish how such an unusually large amount of the controlled drug came to wash up on the Welsh shore, following recent storms.

“The precise quantity is still being established and at this time no-one has been arrested in relation to this matter. Officers have thanked those who found the packages and their sensible actions in reporting the matter immediately.”

No arrests have been made.

The UK’s cocaine market is estimated to be worth more than £25.7 million daily, according to the National Crime Agency’s latest strategic threat assessment.

Figures released by the agency earlier this year revealed how cocaine seizures nationwide have soared by 161 per cent between early 2020 and early last year.

A suspected £90million haul of cocaine was found on beach
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