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Safety concerns prompt tougher security measures at mill

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TOUGHER security and safety measures are to be introduced at an historic mill, which is the subject of ambitious plans to restore it.

Bluestone National Park Resort are sealing off the nearby iconic Grade II Blackpool Mill amid health and safety concerns.

It follows a number of attempted break-ins at the site, which is currently the subject of a planning application lodged with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Under the proposals the Victorian mill, which is disused and in a state of disrepair, would be sympathetically restored to create a Victorian tea room, a milling experience, a history and discovery level, and a creative crafts workshop.

However the site’s vulnerability to intruders, posing a serious a risk to public safety, means it will be boarded up and secured by perimeter fencing.

As well as addressing safety issues, the move is a necessary legal requirement that those responsible for the building must take all ‘reasonable steps’ to secure the area.

It also means a ‘permissive path,’ made available to the public will have to be closed off as part of the measures.

“Following another attempted break in we are taking all necessary measures to secure the Blackpool Mill site,” said Liz Weedon, Head of Projects.

“Regular security patrols of the site are to continue.”

The move comes just weeks after it was confirmed that part of Grade II-listed former hospital in North Wales is to be demolished because of damage caused by a fire, believed to have been caused by vandals.

If the restoration of the 19th century five-storey flour mill goes ahead, it will bring up to 80 jobs to the area and inject £1.6m into the local economy every year.

Two ancillary buildings, including the miller’s cottage, will also be brought back to life, and community and cultural events will be held in the proposed barn.

The application for planning approval, lodged with the Park Authority earlier this year was recently deferred, to give the authority and consultees more time to review all of the submitted information.

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Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

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THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap.

Sam Kurtz will take over the seat from the outgoing Angela Burns who held a majority of 3,400 at the last election.

This time, the gap was just 936 to Labour’s Hassan Riaz who picked up 10,304 votes.

Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell picked up 6,615 votes.

The turnout in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was slightly up to 52.12% from 51.2% in 2016.

However, with a larger electorate thanks to votes for 16/17-year-olds, the number of votes cast went up by almost 3,000.

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Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

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PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency.

He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895 votes for Labour’s Jackie Jones.

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos gained just over 6,000 votes and there were also 1,239 for Reform UK candidate Alan Dennison.

There were over 3000 more votes cast in 2016, down largely in part to the fact that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in this election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received more votes than before while the gap to Labour closed to just 1,400.

After being elected, Paul Davies said he would continue to ‘fight for Pembrokeshire’ and thanked those who had been involved in his campaign.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed

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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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