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‘Ambivalent’ label blamed on admin error



admin errorMILFORD HAVEN Councillor, Viv Stoddart has received an apology after her views regarding the amalgamation of Hakin and Hubberston schools were misrepresented by Pembrokeshire County Council.

Cllr Stoddart told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Despite ticking the box for opposing the merger of the two schools, and attendant comments against the proposal, some functionary labelled me in the public document as “ambivalent.” Given the strong feeling amongst my constituents, this label is potentially damaging. The explanation from the Council was an admin error.”

Kate Evan-Hughes said in an email to Viv Stoddart: “Further to your comments regarding misrepresentation of your views in the consultation document, I have now been able to undertake a review of the correspondence and your online submission and can confirm that you did indeed make it clear that you objected to the option to amalgamate Hakin and Hubberston schools. Please accept my apology for this.”

“To remedy the situation the Cabinet member will make it clear at the start of the agenda item that we have received correspondence from you that your views have been misrepresented and that due to an administrative error the report will need to be amended to reflect the error. This will ensure that there is a formal minute of the change and this will then in turn be available publicly via the Council website.”

At the Cabinet meeting on Monday, February 10, Jamie Adams, leader of the Council, told committee members: “I have received a letter from Cllr Viv Stoddart which I will read out to you”.

Cllr Stoddart’s letter read: “The responses the authority has received are articulate, thoughtful, and responsible. Over 90% of the comments from the Hubberston School community are against the proposal to merge the two schools. The proposal needs to be set in context. Hakin and Hubberston are a single community.

“Parents are as one in supporting a long-overdue new build for Hakin Community School. This was promised when Hakin Infants and Juniors agreed to amalgamate in 2010/11 under the umbrella of the 21sC schools programme. The drive to amalgamate Hakin CS and Hubberston VC School came from this authority only last year, not from the community. There is no grass roots support for a merger, which will destroy much-valued parental choice. As the director reports, there is little appetite for the proposal. Hubberston School governors have been steadfast in their opposition to a merger.

“Estyn says that both schools currently offer a sound basis for developing primary education in the area in the future. Large schools do not automatically perform better than small schools. There is ample research to say this is not the case. And within the county Wolfscastle Community Primary School with just 36 pupils was recently ranked fourth amongst the best primary schools in Wales. It was the only one in the county to make the top twenty. Estyn also notes that the key factor in a school’s success is good leadership.

“There is a precedent for maintaining Hubberston as a separate school. Llangwm and Burton schools amalgamated some time ago, and are now housed as Cleddau Reach VC School (193 pupils aged 3-11) in a new building on the edge of Llangwm. Hook (94 pupils aged 3-11) which is less than a mile away from Cleddau Reach chose not to merge.

The authority seems comfortable with this situation, and the education provided by this thriving small school, which is akin to the good education provided by Hubberston VC school (134 pupils aged 3-11).”

The statement concluded: “If the consultation process is to be meaningful, I ask you to fulfil the promise this authority made three years’ ago to the community: to construct new premises for Hakin Community School; and to listen to the many voices in the community who oppose the proposal. They wish for Hubberston VC School to continue as a very successful, all-through primary school.”

There were three recommendations in the report: To establish a single all-through medium school, to retain the status quo and to deliver a new build just for Hakin School.

However, after considering the letter from Cllr Stoddart and the view that there was little support for those proposals, it was decided that they should defer from making a decision to further consider the options available.

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Council to showcase services at County Show



THE SHOW IS BACK – and following a two-year absence, this year’s event will be the first open to the public since 2019.
As a celebration of rural life in the county, the show is the perfect platform to engage with both local communities and visitors.
This year, the largest county agricultural show in Wales, will be held over two days, on 17 and 18 August – and the Pembrokeshire County Council is attending the event to highlight the work they undertake, support available and the employment opportunities they have to offer.
To ensure the Local Authority provides information on a wide range of our services, this year our Social Services team are in a stand-alone marquee, enabling people to visit a one-stop-shop of support.
We will also give visitors the opportunity to join us in the corporate marquee to engage with Cabinet Members, the Chief Executive and a whole host of interesting and innovative projects happening across the county.
Pembrokeshire County Council Chief Executive Will Bramble said: “Our teams are excited about engaging with the public and having the opportunity to demonstrate what they do – and highlight the wealth of support available along with the wide range of career opportunities we have to offer.
“This will be my first Pembrokeshire Show as Chief Executive and I am looking forward to engaging with the rural and wider communities of this fantastic county.
“The Pembrokeshire Show is the perfect platform to celebrate the amazing produce we have to offer – and to meet new and old friends. Please come and visit our marquees and discover more about the support available and the transformational projects we are doing, which will improve the lives of our communities and visitors. I look forward to meeting you at the show.”
Among those joining the team will be the Broadband project, the Haverfordwest Regeneration work and the fascinating ongoing archaeological dig exhibition with Dyfed Archaeological Trust. Visitors will also get the chance to engage with Cabinet Members who will attend across the two-day event.
In the Social Services marquee will be Foster Care, Carers Support and the recruitment team who will be able to discuss how you can start your career in social care, and join the team making a real difference to the lives of people in our communities.
Cllr Paul Miller: Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change, added: “The County Show is a well-loved and important celebration of rural life in Pembrokeshire, and we are delighted to be part of the event once again this year. Our staff and members will be chatting to lots of people from communities’ right across Pembrokeshire: please do drop into our stands and say hello – we’re looking forward to meeting you.”

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RNLI help firefighters control island blaze



ST DAVIDS lifeboat volunteers provided support to local fire crews tackling a wildfire on Carreg Fran off Porthlysgi beach on Monday, (Aug 8).

The fire on Carreg Fran Porthlysgi beach is suspected to have started from the remnants of wild camping on the island.

St Davids fire service requested the assistance of the all-weather lifeboat Norah Wortley to transfer staff and equipment following reports of people swimming to the island in an attempt to extinguish the blaze.
Seven fire crews used a featherweight pump and hoses to douse the island with sea water in an operation lasting over seven hours.

This is the second time St Davids lifeboat volunteers have been called to wildfire concerns at Carreg Fran within the last month.

Despite earlier attempts to control the fire, the islands’ peat surface has continued to smoulder.

Will Chant, RNLI Coxswain for St Davids RNLI lifeboat, said: “St Davids fire station requested our logistical help to safely transport their crew and equipment to Carreg Fran.

“We stood by in support whilst the fire crew tackled the wildfire.

“Despite their best efforts, the fire reignited the next day, so we urge members of the public not to attempt to access the island as they are putting their own lives at risk.”

Since the start of summer, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue have attended 280 grass fires that have either been started deliberately or were accidental.

Richie Vaughan-Williams, Arson Reduction Manager, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Its everyone’s responsibility to protect our countryside from wildfires.

“Many of the fires are set deliberately but some occur through negligence or boredom.

“This is frustrating when our fire crews can then get detained for hours in difficult conditions trying to stop the damage, meaning that they are then sometimes delayed in attending other emergencies.”I would encourage everyone to consider their actions when enjoying the countryside and avoid lighting fires at all.

“We need to work together to support our communities, to ensure the safety of our family and friends, neighbours, members of the public and our Emergency Services.”

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Pembrokeshire County Council issues dog boarding kennels warning



PEMBROKESHIRE dog owners and those visiting the County with their pets are being reminded that any individuals offering to board their dogs must be licensed by Pembrokeshire County Council.The message comes from the Council’s Animal Health and Welfare Team following an increase in ‘dog boarding’ advertising on Facebook.
Cllr Michelle Bateman, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, said: “While we enjoy the summer, we want to remind all dog owners, whether you are a resident or in Pembrokeshire for a holiday, that those offering to accommodate your dog must hold a licence from the Council.
“This is required by law under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, whether it be in a home, kennels or a day care environment, and is irrespective of the period of time required.”
All dogs must also be up to date with their vaccinations, which includes Kennel Cough.
The Animal Health and Welfare Team would also like to advise dog owners to be diligent when engaging dog walking only services to ensure that those offering

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