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West Wales: Local residents receive New Year’s Honours

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New Years Honour: Narberth's Pauline Griffiths

New Years Honour: Narberth’s Pauline Griffiths

TWO Pembrokeshire people are amongst several west Wales residents to have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

Richard Graham Tovey Honorary Life Member, The Independent Association of Prep Schools, Leamington Spa who lives Haverfordwest received an MBE for services to education.

Mr Tovey is a retired head teacher who moved to Pembrokeshire two of years ago.

After his teacher training in Oxfordshire, Mr Tovey took his first post at Manorbrook in Thornbury, where he worked for two years.

He then taught near Shrewsbury before becoming head teacher at Tockington Manor School in 1975 where he worked until 2013.

Pauline Griffiths, the curator at Narberth Museum received a British Empire Medal for services to heritage and the community in Pembrokeshire.

She was the driving force behind a campaign to find a new home for Narberth museum, which finally reopened at The Bonded Stores nine years after closing. With a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £586,500, Pauline along with other volunteers made the project possible.

At the time of the museum’s re-opening she paid tribute to the work of local people and an active “friends” group in helping to keep the campaign going.

She said people had thought it would take three years to open a new museum, but it eventually took nine due to the time to raise and source funding.

“It has been an endurance test and testament to the volunteers,” she told The Herald.

In Carmarthenshire, Mrs Rosalie Mary James has received an MBE or services to Agriculture in Wales. She is from Llandeilo.

In local healthcare, Ms Wendy Angharad Churchouse from Carmarthenshire who is an arrhythmia nurse at Morriston Hospital has received a British Empire Medal for services to cardiac patients in south west Wales.

Also in Carmarthenshire, Mrs Erika Walker has received the MBW for voluntary services to the community and Social Enterprises in her home town of Ammanford.

William Bruce McLernon from Swansea has received the OBE for services to Social Care and Local Government particularly in Carmarthenshire.

In Ceredigion, Mrs Maureen Spowart Davies who is the Secretary of Trustees for the HUTS Workshop bas also received an MBE for voluntary service to people with Mental Health Challenges. She is from Newcastle Emlyn.

Also in Ceredigion Miss Valerie Joy Cook has received the British Empire Medal for voluntary service to her local community in Borth.

LOCAL STAR HONOURED
Sian Phillips Receiving her CBE in 2000

Sian Phillips Receiving her CBE in 2000

One of Carmarthenshire’s most famous residents says she is overwhelmed with news of her award.

Veteran actress Sian Phillips has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours. Phillips, who stole the show in The Archers’ version of Calendar Girls this Christmas, has been made a dame, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

The 82-year-old, who says she has no plans for retirement, is one of Wales’ most successful stage and screen stars and swaps her CBE for a damehood for services to drama.

Sian Phillips, who is from Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, near Ammanford, told reporters: “It’s a very nice thing to happen. When I first heard about it I was a bit overwhelmed – it was totally unexpected.

“It’s something I’ve never thought about during my life. I got my first pay check in Wales at the age of 11 and  a damehood  would have been so remote to me as an ambition at that time and that’s the way it’s stayed.

“I just wanted to become an actress and then when I became one I just wanted to get better and better (at the job). I’m not a celebrity – I don’t belong to that culture at all.”

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Primary school teacher described as ‘touchy-feely’ on day two of trial

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher, accused of sexually assaulting his pupils was “very touchy-feely”, Swansea Crown Court heard on the second day of his trial.

James Oulton, 34, of Haverfordwest would put his hands around students’ waists and touch their bottoms, an ex-female pupil said in a video interview played to Swansea Crown Court.

The defendant denies 30 charges of sexual assault at a primary school in Haverfordwest. The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

On the opening day of the trial, court heard that Oulton said the case was a “witch-hunt” and that he always behaved appropriately with children.

On Tuesday, the jury watched the video interview with one of Oulton’s former pupils, who said he was a “friendly person, very chatty and sociable and quite outgoing and wanted to know everything that was going on.”

She added: “Mr Oulton often wanted to know a lot of details on what we had done over the weekend, where we had been, and also who they had been with.”

“At the time I just thought he was trying to be really friendly but now when I look back at it now, it does seem odd.”

The witness also described the defendant as a “very touchy-feely teacher”.

She added: “If he was marking your work or if you approached him to ask him a question, he would put his hands around your waist or around your bum”.

“If he was standing by his desk, he would, like, motion to his knee, so he wouldn’t ask you directly to sit on his lap but he would tap his knee.”

Swansea Crown Court heard that the witness eventually came forward and told her parents parents after she heard them speaking about Mr Oulton being suspended from his job.

“Did you feel under pressure to say something had happened to you?” asked Mr Clee.

The witness answered “No”

Oulton, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, previously told the court he had behaved appropriately.

He also believed letters were sent by Pembrokeshire County Council to parents which encouraged “deliberately false evidence” and collusion between pupils.

The trial continues.

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‘We don’t want it’: councillors object to HGV tanker park plans

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PEMBROKE DOCK town councillors have objected strongly to plans to build a HGV tanker park in the town.

The tanker park would be located on the south-western side of Criterion Way, behind the ASDA petrol station.

However, at a meeting of the town council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday, April 13, councillors were in agreement that it would create more problems for the town.

Councillor Jonathan George said: “I’ve noted the public input on this and they don’t seem very happy about where it’s going to be put.

“It is close to a small park area and I don’t think it’s suitable to put this here. I won’t be supporting this.”

Cllr George Manning added: “There are many aspects of this which are totally inappropriate for Pembroke Dock. There are many other sites available but they haven’t looked at any of them.

“This does not do anything for the Future Generations act and it will bring more disruption to the town.

“This does not bring about any improvements to the existing transport infrastructure. There are lots of things about this, we don’t want it. I don’t think they have looked into it in enough detail.”

Cllr Gordon Goff said that the impact it would have on the public and wildlife would be ‘astronomical’.

He went on to say he was not happy with one of the statements in the application and said they ‘don’t want to be blackmailed’.

One of the documents submitted with the application states that if the development was not approved it would mean that the applicants, Certas, ‘will either have to find a different site’ or ‘will have to cease operating in the area’.

Cllr Terry Judkins said that the Port Authority wanted to ‘use Pembroke Dock as a dumping ground’ and added that he could not support it.

Cllr Maureen Colgan added that she was ‘totally against’ the application and said that the area should be kept for leisure and be developed as an area where people can sit and enjoy themselves.

The application is due to be decided by Pembrokeshire County Council at a later date.

Cllr Paul Dowson has already called in the application for it to be debated by the County Council’s Planning Committee.

In his request he states that it is too near habitation, it is within the Pembroke Dock conservation area and that children have been using the area near the bandstand as play area for over 20 years.

The area had also previously been the subject of an application for a marina and other leisure facilities but that investment was written off in 2017.

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Trial of Haverfordwest primary school teacher starts at Swansea Crown Court

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher who is accused of sexually abusing eleven children thinks he is a victim of a witch hunt by the police, a jury has heard.

But at Swansea Crown Court on Monday (Apr 12), the Clare Wilks for the prosecution said that the defendant had “abused the trust of parents and staff” by sexually touching children in his care.

James Oulton, denies 30 charges of sexual assault against the eleven children who were aged eight or nine years old at the time.

The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

The jury heard how the pupils, now aged between 11 and 17, claimed he touched them sexually.

But the court was also told that Mr Oulton claimed he received cards at the end of term, and he believed letters sent by Pembrokeshire council to parents encouraged false complaints and collusion between pupils.

Oulton, 34, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, told the court he had behaved appropriately.

The jury heard how the alleged abuse occurred while Mr Oulton was working at a primary school in Haverfordwest.

Clare Wilks, prosecuting, said some of the children alleged that they had been assaulted on a daily basis, while others had had given statements to say it only happened the one time.

The trial continues.

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