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Narberth Town Council hits back

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THE CLERK of Narberth Town Council dropped the following statement into The Herald, following thr article in last week’s paper regarding Colin Williams. The Editor agreed to print the statement in full. Mr Montgomery raised a few issues in last week’s edition of the Pembrokeshire Herald, dated February 27. Narberth Town Council would like to answer Mr Montgomery’s concerns.

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Narberth Town Hall

Firstly, the advice the Town Clerk, Mrs Caroline Coaker gave to the Council was correct as a Councillor can only cease to be a Councillor under the following circumstances:

• Death.

• Resignation.

• Disqualification.

• Suspension (by the legislative process)

• Removed by the electorate As the councillor mentioned by Mr Montgomery wished to stay in post that is his concern.

It would have been wrong for the clerk to advise the council that the councillor should ‘step aside’ as there is no lawful power for this. The clerk has to ensure that the council acts within the law at all times. In fact, in May 2013, Daventry Town Council was taken to Court for suspending a councillor without lawful authority and it cost the council nearly £8,000 in damages.

With reference to Mr Montgomery’s comment on the Welsh Assembly’s Good Councillor’s Guide (2012) Part 2 (Due Care and Attention) (4) The rules and the Town Council’s obligation to demonstrate that ‘they have identified and managed the risks to public money arising from their work’, the Town Council consider their Risk Assessment Policy annually and at no time has the council’s finances ever been at any risk as stringent measures are in place to ensure the safety of the council’s finances.

Finally, in relation to Mr Montgomery’s comment regarding the town clerk’s statement that the council is unable to make any comment at this stage, clerks are unable to speak for the council and as the clerk was asked this question by the media within several hours of a guilty plea being lodged at Swansea Crown Court, the clerk was unable to gain the full council’s opinion and thus was unable to make any comment. The councillor in question has now resigned from Narberth Town Council and any questions in relation to him should be made direct as he is ultimately responsible for his own actions.

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Ongoing incident closes busy Haverfordwest road

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A MAJOR road in Haverfordwest has been closed due to a police incident this afternoon (May 5)

A man was seen holding onto the outside railings of a bridge, talking to police officers.

The police said: “We are dealing with an ongoing incident, with concern for the welfare of a male, which has meant the A487 between Cartlett Road and Thomas Parry Way in Haverfordwest has been closed.

“Motorists are asked to avoid the area and find alternative routes.

There are reports of long queues for motorists in and around Haverfordwest with some drivers messaging The Herald saying “Town is gridlocked.”

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James Oulton found not guilty of 30 counts of sexual assault against 11 ex-pupils

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JAMES OULTON, 34, the primary school teacher who was accused of 30 charges of sexual assault against pupils has been found not guilty of all charges at Swansea Crown court today, following a lengthy trial (May 4).

The charges, now dismissed, had related to his time as a Haverfordwest primary school teacher, between 2012 and 2018.

Mr Oulton had described the accusations as a “witch-hunt”.

He confirmed he had made a formal complaint against one officer involved.

Speaking after the verdict, James Oulton said: “I am glad two years and eight months of hell for my family, colleagues and friends has come to an end.”

“I’m just glad it’s over and that the jury came to the right verdict.”

The press was only able to report on the prosecution case, but not the defence case – because Oulton him self via his barrister had made an application to the court for a press restriction.

The Herald feels that this press restriction on the reporting of both sides of the case, once granted, was unlawful, and is appealing to the Court of Appeal on a point of law.

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Nineteen arrests and weapons seized during knife crime action week

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NINETEEN people were arrested and a number of weapons were seized as police took part in a national week of action against knife crime, police have said.

Dyfed-Powys Police has released its results from Op Sceptre, which ran from April 26 to May 2, during which officers across the force took part in activity to crack down on crime involving blades.

The week was led by the force’s roads policing units (RPU), with a focus on targeting operations in key areas throughout the four divisions.

Neighbourhood policing teams were instrumental in engaging with shopkeepers, creating educational videos for communities on social media, and working with RPU on joint patrols in crime hotspots.

Inspector Andrew Williams said: “There have been some excellent results forcewide  from this year’s Op Sceptre, and as a result of the increased proactivity in key areas, there has also been a vast amount of other offences detected.

“This was thanks to some outstanding work by roads policing units, neighbourhood policing teams, the joint firearms unit and response officers.

“Our approach was to educate our communities on the laws around carrying and selling knives, and the dangers associated with having a blade on your possession, which was backed up with operational activity across the force.

“This has been very well received, and will be continued during the next operation.”

During the week 20 stop searches were carried out, resulting in seven arrests and numerous weapons being seized.

Twelve people were arrested for drug driving following stop checks on vehicles, one of which led to the discovery of a cannabis cultivation in the Cardigan area.

Traffic offence reports were issued to 41 drivers, and two people will be dealt with for failing to stop for officers when requested.

Neighbourhood policing activity saw engagement with 95 shop owners and community leaders, with officers and PCSOs reassured to find that most businesses were complying with the Challenge 25 policy. Those who were not will be dealt with accordingly.

Insp Williams said: “Our work to tackle knife crime will continue as we consider intelligence logs that were submitted during the operation and develop targeted plans to deal with concerns in our communities.

“We would also like to remind people that while our knife amnesty has now concluded, the best way to dispose of an unwanted blade is to take it to your local recycling centre.”

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