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Motions ‘kicked into the long grass’



County Hall

County Hall

MEMBERS of the Corporate Governance Committee felt that two notices of motion were being ‘kicked into the long grass’ on Monday.

Cllrs Viv and Mike Stoddart both saw their motions sent to the Constitutional Issues Working Group, a group which has not met since April 2014.

The working group was the subject of much debate and Council Leader Jamie Adams stated that he was happy to commit to the group meeting by the end of February but other councillors were not convinced.

Cllr Mike Stoddart proposed that a person putting forward a Notice of Motion, if he/she wishes, could propose that it be debated on the day and the council would vote on the matter.

Cllr Michael Williams said: “I find the recommendation a bit strange because in the leaders’ meeting last week there was a general acceptance that the Constitutional Issues Working Group was at best in a state of complete torpor. When did it last meet? This is certainly a boot into the long grass”.

Acting Head of Paid Service Ian Westley added: “This particular issue was raised by myself because whilst I understand there are issues about how often this group has met and how affective it might have been, the issue that was raised at that meeting was in fact that it is still in place and we should bring it back on track and use it for its intended purpose. This is nothing to do with kicking things into long grass”.

Cllr Kilmister added: “We already have a constitution which says how a notice of motion should be dealt with and that should be that it goes to this committee for a decision and then it goes on to council. This committee is being used in the wrong way. We need to put it back to council and stop referring these things. We shouldn’t be extending this process. We need to determine this and if it goes to the working group it will be lost for months to come. They haven’t once looked at the notices of motion and it is a complete farce!”

Cllr Jacob Williams said: “These issues do not need to go off to a Constitutional Issues Working Group, which is, in my opinion, kicking it into the long grass and I would also disagree that this committee should be able to kick it there without it going back to council”.

Cllr Viv Stoddart proposed that non-executive members should be allowed to ask questions or comment on an agenda item at an executive meeting.

She said: “My motion seeks to close the gap at Pembrokeshire County Council. A non-executive member can send representations to the Cabinet member who may inform the Cabinet of the issues brought to his or her attention. The key word there is ‘may’. Non-executive members should not have their representations subject to the whim of the Cabinet member. This discretion affords the Cabinet member an opportunity to abuse their positions of power.

“If we go back to autumn 2013, when the proposed merger of schools in my ward was on the agenda for the November Cabinet meeting, I emailed my contribution to all members; did the cabinet member raise my email? There wasn’t a word from the cabinet member.

“There is no equality of arms between the non-executive member and the cabinet member. The Cabinet member, during the debate, can make the case for his ward. This gives them an unfair advantage over the non-executive members.

“When it comes to scrutiny, in September, the leader accepted that Cabinet members needed to be more inclusive in the way they dealt with members.

“If this is accepted it will be seen by the public as being more open and transparent”.

Council Leader Jamie Adams said: “We need to recognise that the process of undertaking a complete review of the constitution is the way forward to provide a firm footing for the council to operate.

“The opportunity is with us to shape how we operate in the future; we’ve got an opportunity in our grasp within three months we could have that on the table. I would suggest our efforts be concentrated on that rather than adopting well-meaning aspects of change when we can have a fundamental review”.

Cllr Jacob Williams said: “I completely support the proposal and it is interesting as the leader says it’s got merit so I can’t see why he would be keen to kick it into the long grass. We’ve got to grab the bull by the horns and get on with it”.

Cllr Kilmister stated that Cabinet should be more accessible and that it was time for councillors to speak for themselves.

Ian Westley added: “I share your frustrations. As officers we are being told of the need to redraft elements of the constitution, it’s in all of our interests to do. You’ve heard the leader commit to calling a meeting of the Constitutional Issues Working Group before the end of this month and his commitment to attempt to get the constitution redrafted by the annual council which is not four months away”.

Speaking earlier in the meeting, he stated that he saw the recommendations for the two agenda items as a positive way of moving forward.

Council Leader Jamie Adams added: “It has proved difficult and we’ve probably got bogged down which is why we agreed a set of principles to guide the council forward. If we’re chipping away at the current constitution I don’t believe we would be doing ourselves much of a service and I gave the commitment at the leaders meeting and I am happy to do it again here that I see a real opportunity to get a new working constitution to council by the AGM this year. I’d like to think that is a far better way forward”.

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan



MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link:

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.


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Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence



GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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Appeal from Fire and Rescue Service to install working smoke alarms



AT 01:17am this morning, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, crews from Milford Haven were called to a property fire in the Hakin area of Milford Haven.

The fire was confined to a pan on a stove in the kitchen area and extinguished by firefighters using two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera.

Crews also ventilated the property and fitted smoke alarms within the property.

The Fire Service left the incident at 02:00am.

Watch Manager Alun Griffiths, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “This fire was the result of cooking left unattended. It is so important to remove all pots and pans from a heat source when you are called away from the cooker.

“Thankfully, the occupiers of the property managed to exit the property before our firefighters arrived, but it could have ended very differently as there were no smoke alarms fitted in the property.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of installing working smoke alarms in your homes and testing them regularly. In the dreadful event of a fire, they can alert you to the danger sooner and could mean the difference between life and death.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, we provide Home Fire Safety advice which is free of charge. We also offer Safe and Well Visits which you can arrange by phoning us on 0800 169 1234 or by visiting the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website.”

For further Home Fire Safety advice or to talk about the possibility of a Safe and Well Visit by Fire and Rescue Service personnel, please phone us on 0800 169 1234.​​​ Alternatively please complete an online Request a Safe and Well Visit​ form on the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website:

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