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Extended hours for Circles



New hours: Circles in Milford Haven

New hours: Circles in Milford Haven

AN APPLICATION from the owner of Circles nightclub, also known as The Basement, to extend the opening hours to 9.30am has been approved. 

The application was heard by the Council’s Licensing Sub Committee, which met on Friday (Jul 1).

It means that the nightclub, located on Victoria Road, Milford Haven, can now open from 6pm until 2.30am on Monday and Tuesday, until 6.30am on Wednesday and Thursday, until 8.30am on Friday, from 1pm to 8.30am on Saturday, and between 1pm and 6.30am on Sunday.

As well as that, the club will also be allowed to open to 9.30am for Bank Holiday Sundays and New Years Eve.

There had been concerns from residents in the area that problems such as noise disturbance and disorder would worsen if the new hours were approved.

One resident who wrote to the council stated: “When I am going out on Saturday and Sunday mornings, the amount of drunk people that are in the road is ridiculous. Not only is it a danger to drivers, I have had to stop the car before now to avoid a drunk woman actually sitting in the middle of the road.

“I have also been flagged down and had a lift home demanded of me as there are no taxis available at this time.”

However, the committee felt that such problems would not arise and decided to grant the application.

It was also highlighted that there had been no responses from the police or from the Council’s pollution control team in respect of the application.

Nightclub owner, Mr Mark Thomas, said: “It has been a nightclub for the last 20 years but times have changed.

“People’s habits have changed and, in the business, we’ve got to move with the times. At the moment we are open until 5am, but we’re in a position where the trade warrants going over that time and unfortunately we don’t tend to get people in until half past two.

“We have had another premises open in the town as competition to ourselves and this does change the amount of people we see.

“It’s a well-attended premises on a Saturday evening. On Friday evening we see 50-100 people, on Saturday we would see probably 150- 200 and we want to be in a position when people do attend that we are able to benefit from their attendance for a little longer.

“On many occasions the additional hours may not be used. However, on occasions when we have got sufficient business, there then we would like to make the most of it.”

Eric Harries, Milford Haven Town Councillor, also attended the meeting to give the Town Council’s support to the application.

Councillor John Davies asked if the extended hours would worsen the quality of life experienced by residents in the area. Mr Thomas said that there were limiters in the property to control the noise levels and that there are doormen on the front of the premises who make sure patrons leave the premises in a quiet and orderly manner.

Mr Thomas added that there had not been any complaints regarding noise or disorder from the public or police when the nightclub had been open late in the past due to Temporary Event Notices (TENS).

He concluded that if problems did arise from the new hours, he would be happy to enter discussions about resolving the issue and if the problems persist, he would revert the club back to its previous hours.

After half an hour discussing whether to allow the application, the committee returned to deliver its verdict, stating that the application was granted and that doormen should remain present for a minimum of 30 minutes after closure to dispel noise or disorder.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed



THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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Dyfed-Powys Police criticised for failing to record thousands of crimes



A SHOCKING new report says that Dyfed-Powys Police failed to record thousands of crimes, despite being told to improve two-and-a-half years ago.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found the force had documented just 87.6% of reported crime – meaning upto 4,400 crimes are not recorded each year.

The report highlighted that of violent crimes, 85.4% were registered, which means about 2,400 went unrecorded, some involving domestic abuse or the vulnerable.

The force said it had “plans in place to improve its crime recording.”

HMIC reached their conclusion by comparing the number of reports to the police with recorded numbers. About 35,900 were reported.

In 2018, HMIC found that our local force was too often not recording crimes. And in 2014 it was reported the force was one of the worst in the UK at recording crimes. 

Dyfed-Powys Police T/Chief Constable, Claire Parmenter was quick to respond to the shocking finding. In a statement emailed to The Herald she said: “We accept the concerns and recommendations published by HMICFRS in respect of crime data integrity. As an organisation, we are firmly committed to supporting victims and putting them at the heart of everything we do. The force has plans in place to improve its crime recording and I am determined we will get this right.

“Since the previous HMICFRS inspection in 2018 we have made significant improvements in our response to Domestic Abuse victims, creating the vulnerability desk which provides real time intelligence to officers attending incidents of Domestic Abuse and ensuring that safeguarding arrangements are in place through a new partnership hub. Recent audits in April evidenced we were achieving a 98% compliance for the completion of risk assessments. This ensures that every Domestic Abuse victim is looked after and kept safe.

“We have a programme of change already in place which will deliver significant process and cultural change. The elements of this programme will improve the forces’ ability to manage demand, support victims, improve the timeliness and quality of investigations and supervision of crime. HMICFRS were unable to take this project into account as part of this inspection. Delivery plans commence next month (June 2021).

“Since the date of this inspection, we are already seeing improvements as a result of the swift additional action we have taken, achieving 100% crime recording compliance in respect of anti-social behaviour for February and March 2021 which is positive.”

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Firefighters extinguish blaze at St Catherine’s Fort, Tenby



A CONTROLLED wood fire earlier in the day caused a fire to break out on Tenby’s St Catherine’s Island on Thursday (May 6).

Heat that was caused by a wood fire earlier in the day caused a ignition on the unburned wood nearby that was needed to be extinguished by Tenby fire crew.

Taking to their Facebook page, St Catherine’s island thanked Tenby Fire Brigade for their assistance.

No serious damage was caused by the incident.

The spokesperson said: “A massive shout out to Tenby Fire Brigade last night who were called to the Island last night after we left following a long day working on the Fort and burning off all the old flooring, having now replaced it all. 

“We had spent at least half an hour making sure that our controlled barrel fire was out. Unfortunately the ground was so hot it transferred to the rest of the unburned wood. 

“Thanks to our amazing local Fire Service, they were on hand to help us out and no damage occurred.”

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