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Council leader will be elected ​​ biennially

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sized_39916601THE LEADER of Pembrokeshire County Council will be elected biennially, despite a bid to have the leader elected for a full term of Council.

At Thursday’s (Jul 7) Extraordinary Council meeting, Councillors discussed the constitution of the Council and a number of issues that were still outstanding.

Councillor Jacob Williams had called for the leader to be elected  annually, saying it would improve accountability, but his amendment was defeated.

Deputy Leader, Councillor Keith Lewis, felt that due to the amount of work the leader undertook, the leader should be in office for a full term of Council.

However, his amendment was also defeated and the leader will still be elected biennially, as agreed by the Constitutional Issues Working Group.

Cllr Jacob Williams said: “This isn’t a process of challenge for challenge sake every year. If the leader incumbent is the only one put forward for nomination then of course there will be no contest  – it’s just so there is a regular interval for the leadership of the Council.

“Two years ago, we had some arguments stating that continuity is key. Well, I say that you should have to earn continuity by having the support of your council.

“I think it would improve accountability because the leader isn’t voted for by the public and it will only take place at the AGM for an incumbent if he or she is challenged.”

Councillor David Lloyd seconded Cllr Williams, stating: “The argument behind it is purely one of openness and confidence. The leader has nothing to fear, as I’ve said before, and I think it adds a spirit of engagement with the workings of this authority and the leader should accept that.”

Cllr Keith Lewis said there needs to be a reasonable period for which a leader is elected, adding that there was a significant amount of work that the leader carries out.

He also moved an amendment that the leader should be in post throughout the full term of the Council.

Councillor Mike Stoddart said he supported an annual election, while Councillor Bob Kilmister said having the possibility of an election strengthened the leader’s position.

When it was put to a recorded vote, 18 councillors voted in favour of an annual election,  but 28 voted against.

Speaking on Cllr Lewis’ amendment, Cllr Jacob Williams said: “The status quo from the Constitutional Issues Working Group was once every two years that the leader would be elected at the AGM, so Cllr Lewis’ suggestion would be an even more retrograde step.”

Cllr Lewis’ amendment for a termly election was then defeated, with 20 voting in favour but 24 voting against.

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Appeal after woman sexually assaulted on cycle path near Haverfordwest

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POLICE officers in Haverfordwest are appealing for witnesses after a woman was sexually assaulted at approximately 4.30pm on Sunday (May 16).

The woman was walking along the cycle path between Haverfordwest and Tiers Cross when she was approached by a man who threatened and assaulted her, before walking away towards Haverfordwest town.

The male is described as a white male, between 5ft 4 and 5ft 11 tall , normal build with a welsh accent. He has short dark hair, a beard and a moustache, brown eyes, and wearing light blue jeans, navy/dark blue jersey with grey sleeves. Anyone who saw a man matching this description in the area between 3.30pm and 5pm in the afternoon.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested and is currently in police custody.

The cycle path is currently closed while the investigation continues.

Detective Superintendent Jayne Butler, who is leading the investigation, said “Incidents of this nature are extremely rare in the Dyfed-Powys area. The public may see an increased presence of police officers in the coming days as police investigate the incident. Anyone with concerns or information that could help our enquiries can speak to those officers or contact police. While a man was quickly arrested we would still like to speak to anyone who saw a man matching the above description in the area yesterday afternoon.”

Anyone with information which could help the investigation is asked to contact police. This can be done online at bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet endorses STEP Fusion application

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’S Cabinet have today endorsed proposals from Cllr Paul Miller (Cabinet Member for Economic Development) to further progress the nomination of a Pembrokeshire site to host a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) fusion power station in the county.

Working with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the proposed site is adjacent to the existing energy facilities on the South Shore of the Haven waterway.

If approved, the facility will initially host research with the ultimate aim of developing this technology which could offer a virtually limitless source of clean electricity by copying the processes that power the sun.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “I am pleased my Cabinet colleagues endorsed this important programme of work. The Haven Waterway has provided livelihoods, underpinned by fossil fuels, for thousands of Pembrokeshire families, mine included, for more than 50 years. It’s my job to help ensure the waterway continues to provide high skilled, engineering, science and technology jobs for the next generation of this county – and so linked to our focus on climate change (and in addition to our existing multi-million pound commitments to supporting wind, wave and tidal clean power generation) my team have been exploring whether we can also support the development of clean, green fusion technology.

“It’s very early days in the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s site selection process but we’ll provide regular updates as things progress.”

•       STEP is an ambitious programme to design and build a prototype fusion power plant;
•       It is a UKAEA programme, currently with £222m funding from the UK Government to produce a concept design by 2024: https://step.ukaea.uk/

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Re-opening of indoor hospitality and attractions at Milford Waterfront

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RESTAURANTS and indoor visitor attractions in Milford Waterfront are welcoming the return of indoor services from today.

The re-opening of indoor dining allows all restaurants at Milford Waterfront to seat customers indoors. As well as all restaurants on the Waterfront now being able to offer this service, the brand-new Foam Domes overlooking the Milford Haven Waterway are able to open, with bookings being taken from the 19th May.

Indoor visitor attractions are also allowed to re-open. This includes the Waterfront Gallery, which is open today and Phoenix Bowl & Pirate Pete’s Adventure Play which is making preparations to open from Wednesday 19th May. Also, Milford Museum, which has had a new rendered exterior finish, is preparing to open for the end of May.

Lucy Wonnacott, Marketing Manager for Milford Waterfront commented: “We are delighted to see the re-opening of indoor hospitality and visitor attractions here at Milford Waterfront. Each business has their own safety and social distancing measures in place and we kindly ask that you respect and adhere to these for your own safety, and that of others. We hope you enjoy your visit to Milford Waterfront and stay safe!”

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