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Drink driver refused breath test

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113363-breathalyzer-muir-was-banned-from-the-road-for-two-yearsA MAN from Pembroke Dock who failed to give a breath sample to officers has been disqualified from driving for seventeen months.

Christian Parnell, aged 34, of Well Hill, pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to provide a specimen at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday (Feb 17).

Parnell had pulled up on the side of the road when he saw the police and then got out and ran away.

When they caught up with him they could tell he was intoxicated but he failed to give a breath test. He was taken to the police station where he was asked if he wanted a solicitor. He said he did and waited for him to arrive before giving the breath test.

However, officers did not tell him that they didn’t have to wait for the solicitor to attend and no effort was made by him to provide a sample.

Prosecuting, Ellie Morgan said: “At 1am on Thursday January 15, officers were on patrol on High Street in Tenby and they pulled up outside the Mountain Warehouse shop. They spotted a woman and Mr Parnell approaching a vehicle but when they spotted the police they walked away from the car. This caused the police to be suspicious and a short while later, they noticed a vehicle approaching which pulled in and parked. They noticed it was the same car as earlier and they spotted Parnell getting out of the car and running away. They found him on Upper Park Road in Tenby and they could tell that he was clearly intoxicated as his eyes were glazed and his speech was slurred. He also had the keys for the car in his possession. He was asked to provide a roadside test but failed to do so. He was taken to Haverfordwest Police Station shortly after 2am but the defendant failed to provide a sample of breath. He was stood next to the intoxilyzer machine with his hands folded. He was warned and asked if he understood what he was required to do and he said he did. However, he made no effort to provide a sample and still refused when the pipe was handed to him. He is a man of good character prior to today.”

Defending, Miss Lewis said: “He has failed to provide a specimen but there were 4 or 5 attempts made at the roadside but there was not a sufficient sample so this is not a case where he has outright refused to do so. He also suffers from a nasty gag-reflex which does affect him. My client was also asked if he required legal advice and he said yes. He thought he needed a solicitor there to tell him what to do. No explanation was given to him that the police didn’t have to wait for the solicitor to attend before he gave his specimen. He thought he could wait for the solicitor to arrive before doing so. It was his honest belief that he was entitled to legal advice. It was honestly held but it was an unreasonable excuse.”

Miss Lewis also told the court that Parnell is not currently working as he is on a course in Cardiff which will enable him to be an ultrasonic testing engineer at refineries.

For the offence Parnell was fined £200 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.

He was disqualified from driving for seventeen months but he was offered the chance to take the drink drive course which will reduce his ban if completed.

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Castell Howell Foods highlights sector concerns over Covid recovery

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THE HOSPITALITY sector may be opening up, but transport and supply issues are hampering the industry’s recovery – according to Castell Howell Foods.

One of the UK’s largest independent food wholesalers, Castell Howell, has taken the step of contacting customers to highlight the significant challenges faced by the sector as it recovers from the pandemic.

While there is relief at easing lockdown and optimism for a busy summer with bookings for UK ‘staycations’ and leisure activities, pressing issues remain.

Shortages of key staff and problems faced by some suppliers have resulted in the Welsh wholesaler being forced to make some “uncomfortable” decisions and changes to its operation, including having to pass on some supply chain price increases.

In particular, a shortage of qualified delivery drivers has meant the Cross Hands based business has had to be resourceful to maintain its delivery frequency to its customers. To help bridge the gap in the short term, other Castell Howell staff who hold an HGV licence have been temporarily redeployed to the transport department. Among them are area sales managers.

Castell Howell Sales Director, Kathryn Jones, said “Unfortunately, due to the drastic reduction in sales in 2020, our workforce decreased by over 100 colleagues. Whilst we now need most to return to the workplace, many have found alternative employment; this is a common theme across the supply chain.

“We have been actively advertising and recruiting for several months. However, as highlighted in the press, there are over 75,000 vacancies across the UK for HGV drivers alone.

“We too are currently short of drivers, especially Class 2 HGV. Driving a multi-drop vehicle for Castell Howell is a very different proposition to driving a limited drop schedule. Consequently, as you can imagine, it has been challenging to fill these vacancies.”
Stock availability is also an issue, as some suppliers struggle to manufacture under new social distancing rules. Delivery to Castell Howell from suppliers is also being affected by the UK-wide shortage of haulage drivers.

Kathryn Jones said, “To build up buffer stocks, we are increasing our volume of orders, especially for commodity lines. We aim to mitigate future stock shortages the best we can. We are constantly seeking substitute products from manufacturers who have the capacity to deliver. However, this is becoming increasingly more difficult.”

Castell Howell has made changes to its ordering process to improve its own deliveries, with earlier cut-off times.

“These changes go against the grain and were extremely difficult decisions to take. However, it is imperative to implement these in order to continue operating under these difficult circumstances whilst still maintaining a high level of service. We are very grateful to our customers for their support, patience and understanding.”

For Castell Howell, the difficulties arising from the pandemic were exacerbated by the loss of business with SA Brain & Co. This loss occurred following the Welsh company’s deal with brewery giant Marston’s to operate SA Brains pubs from January 2021.

Before that date, Castell Howell had been the sole supplier to SA Brain since 2008, including supplying 80 of the Welsh brewery’s managed public houses.

Kathryn Jones said, “However, despite the challenges in the supply chain and deliveries, we remain optimistic that the sector in the UK will work together to navigate through these unprecedented times and have a successful summer.”

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Port boss: Pembroke Dock development full permission an ‘important step’

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THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the Port of Milford Haven has welcomed a decision of “non-intervention” by the Welsh Government over plans to re-vamp Pembroke Dock’s historic port facilities.

The redevelopment scheme, approved by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Planning Committee in May, will see some areas such as a dock covered with sand and “infilled”.

Plans also include the demolishing of some buildings, erection of buildings and ancillary works.
Despite planning being granted at council level, full authorisation to go ahead with the development was not to be issued until the Welsh Government made its decision regards the matter.

More about the planning application can be read here: https://www.herald.wales/west-wales/pembrokeshire/major-marine-project-causes-concern-about-visual-impact-and-heritage-loss/

Now that the Welsh Government has decided not to interfere with Pembrokeshire County Council’s grant of planning permission, the Port’s boss, Andy Jones, expressed his delight, saying: “This marks an important step forward in the development of Wales’ clean energy centre at Pembroke Dock.

“It will provide sustainable opportunities for the many people who rely on the activity along the Milford Haven Waterway for employment.

CEO: Port Authority’s Andy Jones (Pic MHPA)

“Pembroke Dock Marine will unlock new opportunities for young people to enter the maritime, renewable and engineering sectors, build resilience within Pembrokeshire’s business community, and make a positive contribution to our natural environment as we transition to a low carbon energy generation.”

Tim James, head of commercial and energy at the Port of Milford Haven called the project a “once in a generation opportunity to improve Pembrokeshire’s economy for years to come”.

Objectors had complained that the plans were too large and would damage the historic dockyard, as well as having a visual impact on the dock.

The was opposition from local heritage campaigners, with complaints over the size of two huge proposed hangars which the project’s critics said would impact adversely the landscape.

The economic benefits of the £60 million marine energy “far outweigh” any impact on the historic environment, a report earlier this year to council planners said.

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Medical evacuation from LPG tanker off St Ann’s Head

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ANGLE Lifeboat was launched on service at 12:59pm on Thursday afternoon (Jun 10) to assist in a medical evacuation from a LPG tanker 13 miles SSW off St Ann’s Head.

The coastguard helicopter from Newquay in Cornwall was also on route. With the poor visibility due to fog, Angle all-weather lifeboat was to stand by the vessel to provide an alternative route for evacuation if needed.

After a choppy route in the poor visibility the RNLI volunteers arrived on scene at 2:07pm.

At the time of their arrival, the paramedic from the coastguard helicopter was aboard the vessel preparing the casualty to be winched to the helicopter.

In less than ten minutes the casualty was winched up to the helicopter and flown to hospital, at which point the lifeboat and crews were stood down and headed back to the station.

After rehousing shortly after 3:30pm the lifeboat was washed fuelled and made ready for service shortly after.

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