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BRYN VOTE LOST: IPPG Still backing embattled chief executive



listen to the people


PEMBROKESHIRE held its breath yesterday as councillors decided on the future of their chief executive.

Fourteen councillors had laid notices of motion for a vote of no confidence in Bryn Parry-Jones. Many members gave passionate speeches saying that it was the day for change.

At the end of a very long meeting, lasting all day, a recorded vote was taken where twenty-three councillors voted no confidence in the chief executive.

Five councillors abstained; but it was not enough to see off the embattled CEO, the highest paid in Wales.

Thirty councillors voted against the motion meaning that Mr Parry-Jones can stay in his post.

‘Listen to the people’

IN A devastating attack on beleaguered CEO Bryn Parry Jones, leader of the Pembrokeshire Alliance Bob Kilmister highlighted repeated failures in Pembrokeshire County Council’s administration over the last four years and laid the blame for those failings clearly at the door of Bryn Parry Jones.

Hammering home the point, Cllr Kilmister quoted the reports made by Estyn, CSSIW and the Welsh Government into the running of Pembrokeshire County Council and the cosy and complacent culture among senior officers and Cabinet members.

Cllrs Pat Davies and Gwilym Price continued the attack, citing a moral failure of leadership at the top of the Council. Cllr Phil Baker, cited declining staff morale, as the lowest paid had their pay cut while their employer offered tax breaks and the highest pay in Wales to senior officers while the Council lurched from iceberg to iceberg, like the RMS Titanic.

Cllr Tony Wilcox anticipated the line followed by other speakers, as he pointed out to Councillors that the buck had to stop with the CEO when things went wrong.

Cllr Mike Stoddart told a sombre and hushed chamber that there was contempt in the Council for the rule of law: can we get away it is the only question these people ask?

Cllr Jacob Williams told members that the CEO had presided scandal after scandal, and pointed out there had been a complete lack of accountability in dealing with the CEO and that Councillors had the opportunity to represent their constituent’s views.

Cllr Vivian Stoddart, pointed out that the reputation of the Council was in tatters, the reputation of the Council has been on a downward spiral and that downward spiral has been throughout the tenure of the CEO. She pointed out that in excess of £400,000 had been wasted on defending Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court and pointed out the headline “Council put reputation before children”. She quoted Bryn Parry Jones’ own words that “leadership meant taking responsibility” and that it was time for him to face up to that and accept for responsibility for the problems that have engulfed Pembrokeshire County Council under him.

More press clippings

more clippingsANGRY councillors who were prevented from voting at the last meeting of full council made an attempt to turn the tables on the leader of the council, Cllr Jamie Adams yesterday. Cllr Phil Baker stood up waving a envelope saying to the chairman: “I have a brown envelope here filled with clippings from the Western Telegraph”

Next, Cllr Jacob Williams said to the Chairman: “Mr Harding had his arm outstretched to receive the envelope. Should he not be allowed to receive it?”

The chairman barked: “Cllr Williams: We do not have time for this – we have a lot on the agenda to get through; and if you continue these comments I will have to deal with you!”

Opposition councillors booed and jeered. Cllr Jamie Adams then addressed the meeting: “The interview in the Western Telegraph is an accurate reflection of what I said, but I did not write the headline. I have not predetermined the issues in-front of me today.”

Stoddart amends minutes

A ROW broke out at yesterday’s full council meeting at County Hall about the accuracy of the minutes. At last months farcical meeting, opposition councilors were prevented from participating in a vote over suspending the Chief Executive. This was because the Council’s barrister said they had ‘pre-determined’ their views by talking to The Pembrokeshire Herald and the Western Telegraph.

At the start of yesterday’s meeting Councillor Mike Stoddard said that he was unhappy with what was on the record because it had failed to mention that Cllr Keith Lewis had withdrawn from the meeting twice. Cllr Stoddart said: “There are code of conduct issues with what happened after his return to the meeting, and I would like that recorded.”

Cllr Keith Lewis said: “The reason that I returned to the meeting was to make my point absolutely clear.”

However, Cllr Nutting interrupted saying: “Yes, but after returning you spoke again!”

Councillors eventually voted to amend the minutes, so that Cllr Stoddard’s concerns were dealt with.

However, Councillor Jacob Williams was prevented from raising further issues. He wanted to ask questions as to which officer of the council may have shown bias by requesting that two councilors return to the meeting.

Council reveals cost of advice over unlawful payments

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has spent over £27,000 on advice in a desperate attempt to justify the making of unlawful pay supplements to its Chief Executive Officer.

The sum spent was revealed by IPPG leader Jamie Adams, and follows the revelation that the unlawful pay supplement was worth in excess of £45,000 over two years it was made.

The IPPG administration has previously indicated that it intends to revisit the pay policy in an attempt to make the pay supplement lawful. With significant further cost, including further external expert reports (which the Council failed to commission before making the unlawful decision and payments), it seems as though the cost neutrality of the scheme, acclaimed by the IPPG administration – and Cllr Adams in particular – lies in tatters.

The costs included £14,480 for Tim Kerr QC, and £12,562 for Mr. Watson who had prepared an experts report for the Council following the Welsh Audit Office’s report in the public interest.


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Teifion

    March 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Very sad and disappointing for me, I had hoped that there would be some people in the IPPG would vote for decency and honesty rather think of their wallets and handbags first(& their special responsibilty allowances)

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NHS performance: Ambulances tied up as hospitals burst at the seams



  • A NEW set of Welsh NHS performance data was released today (Thursday, June 20), and it contains more bad news.

The Welsh Government described the data as “disappointing”.


Sam Rowlands MS, the Conservatives’ Shadow Health Minister, said: “These atrocious statistics show that the NHS is going backwards under Labour.

“Two-year waiting lists have increased for the first time in two years.

“Keir Starmer has called Labour-run Wales his blueprint for what a UK Labour Government would look like: these figures are a stark warning for the whole UK.”

Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, Plaid Cymru’s health spokesperson, said: “Labour’s complete mismanagement of the NHS in Wales has left us with waiting lists at the highest on record, targets for diagnosis and treatment are being consistently missed, and people are getting stranded in A&E departments for hours on end.

“It’s no wonder that we have such astronomical waiting times when the government has failed to deal with problems in primary care and social care.

“Until the government gets to grip with these fundamental problems, then waiting lists will continue to climb.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We have made it a priority to reduce long waiting times, and today, the Cabinet Secretary for Health met with health board chairs to instruct them to redouble their efforts to tackle these.

“These figures show the NHS is continuing to manage incredible demand for urgent and emergency care – the number of immediately life-threatening 999 calls in May was 25% higher than the previous year, and demand is nearly two-and-a-half times higher than pre-pandemic levels.”


Over 30% of patients waiting to start treatment in the Hywel Dda UHB area have been waiting for over 36 weeks.

The Health Board has the second-highest proportion of the population waiting to start therapy. In practical terms, that means that around 4,000 people are yet to get the therapy they need.

The number of patients told they did not have it fell. However, the number of patients starting treatment has remained stable for years.

With rising demand for cancer diagnosis and treatment and no improvement in the numbers starting treatment, performance against the target for treating cancer dropped.

At least 75% of patients should start treatment within 62 days of first being suspected of cancer.

Only 42% of cancer patients in the Hywel Dda UHB area started treatment within the target time. To meet a revised target of 80% by 2026, Hywel Dda UHB will have to increase its performance by almost 100%.

The Welsh Government’s performance target for patients waiting to start treatment for less than 26 weeks is 95%.

No Health Board is close to meeting that target, although Hywel Dda UHB is the second-best performer—just over 50% of patients start treatment within six months.

Despite a dramatic fall in the number of inpatient beds in Hywel Dda UHB’s hospitals over the last six years, the number of inpatient admissions rose sharply in April, placing even greater pressure on chronically overstretched staff and resources.


The percentage of red emergency calls being met within eight minutes fell across Wales.

The ambulance performance target is for 65% of all red calls to be attended to within eight minutes.

Across Wales in May, there were 5,110 red (life-threatening) calls to the ambulance service, 13.9% of all calls.

45.8% of red calls received an emergency response within eight minutes, 2.2 percentage points lower than in April.

In the Hywel Dda UHB area, 47.6% of red calls received an emergency response within 8 minutes, compared to a sharply reduced number of calls in the red category.

Examining more detailed data for the Hywel Dda UHB area demonstrates the pressure on emergency hospital admissions and the knock-on effect on the ambulance service.

When an ambulance takes a patient to hospital, admission is supposed to take place within 15 minutes of arrival, with the ambulance returning to service 15 minutes after that.

In the Hywel Dda UHB area, ambulances were tied up beyond those markers for almost 4,000 hours beyond expected admission and return to on-call.

Fewer than 18% of patients conveyed to a Major Injury Department were admitted within 15 minutes. For Major Acute Units, that turnaround was even worse, at barely 15.5%.

Once cleared, however, well over 80% of ambulances were back out on call.

Diving deeper into the data, we see that just over 1,700 patients travelled by ambulance to major emergency, major acute, and maternity and mental health units.

By a very crude piece of arithmetic, we can calculate that if those 1700 patients accounted for the 4000 hours of “lost time”, the handover stats would be even more shocking, with an average turnover of over two hours.

Moreover, localised data shows that 35.6% of all people who are attended by an ambulance go to a hospital using other means of transport.


The issue could not be clearer: delays at hospitals are keeping ambulances off the road.

The upward pressure on A&E services caused by the collapse of out-of-hours primary care (GPs, etc) is driving up attendance at all hospital A&Es.

The lack of beds is driving up a backlog of treatment. The lack of clinical staff means more junior staff fulfil tasks -including initial diagnoses- formerly taken by clinicians and registered nurses. Consolidating rural services on an urban model is making things worse.

Whatever the cure for the disastrous condition of the Welsh NHS, money will not be enough to turn around decades of decline.

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New health concerns over Withyhedge Landfill site emissions



LEVELS of a potentially harmful gas emitted by the Withyhedge Landfill Site have been recorded above World Health Organization (WHO) guideline levels, according to a recent report. Public Health Wales (PHW) conducted a health risk assessment on air quality data collected between 1 March and 3 April 2024 in the surrounding area.

The data indicates that during March and April, hydrogen sulphide, a colourless gas with a distinctive “eggy” smell, exceeded the WHO’s odour annoyance guideline. PHW warns that exposure to such odours can cause symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, watery eyes, stuffy nose, irritated throat, cough or wheeze, sleep disturbances, and stress.

PHW stresses the importance of addressing the source of these offsite odours to mitigate potential health impacts on the local community. Despite an enforcement deadline passing last month, residents continue to report gas and odour issues in their homes daily.

“These are common reactions to unpleasant smells, and these effects should usually pass once the odour has dissipated,” PHW stated. “The long-term health risk is low.”

In response to the health risk assessment, PHW advises residents to keep doors and windows closed when the odours are present and seek medical advice if they feel unwell. However, they caution against blocking windows or vents completely, as these are crucial for ventilation and controlling dampness. Once the outdoor smell subsides, opening windows and doors can help eliminate any remaining odours inside.

Work to cap the landfill site has been completed, and PHW has welcomed plans to install static air monitoring equipment around the site to capture more detailed data. Dr. Sarah Jones, a consultant in environmental public health for PHW, acknowledged the stress and anxiety local residents are experiencing due to the odours. She emphasised the importance of resolving the issue swiftly and assured that the health risk assessment would be updated as new data becomes available.

Gaynor Toft, Chair of the Air Quality Group for the Multi-Agency Incident Management team, noted that the risk assessment from PHW is being used to refine and develop the air quality monitoring programme. Suitable locations for static monitoring equipment are being identified to ensure robust data collection for future assessments.

Huwel Manley of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) confirmed that NRW would continue to use its regulatory powers to drive improvements at the site and address the causes of the odour affecting the community. NRW had given RML, the company operating the landfill, until mid-May to undertake several remedial actions to control gas emissions.

The Pembrokeshire Herald has reached out to NRW for a detailed update on the current situation at the site. The community remains hopeful for a swift resolution to these ongoing health and environmental concerns.

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Local projects benefit from Sustainable Development Fund grants



SEVEN local projects have benefited from over £70,000 of funding through the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF).

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund supports community-led projects in and around the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park that contribute towards a reduction in carbon and help respond to the climate emergency.

In the latest round of funding, grants were awarded to Southern Roots Organics, Narberth Museum, and the Crymych Arms Community Pub to install Solar PV systems. Additionally, the Narberth and District Community and Sports Association received funding to upgrade their existing Solar PV system and improve the energy efficiency of their squash court lighting. As well as generating new low-carbon electricity and offsetting higher carbon grid electricity consumption, these projects will reduce ongoing electricity costs for these organisations.

Cosheston Community Hall was another beneficiary, receiving support from the Fund to construct a bike shed. This project aims to encourage more people to cycle to the Hall, promoting sustainable travel within the community.

In Marloes, SDF funding has paved the way for the village clock to be retrofitted with low-energy and Dark-Skies-friendly illumination, which will reduce both energy consumption and light pollution in the area.

The VC Gallery also received funding to upgrade to more energy-efficient windows and doors, which will create a warmer community space and contribute to lower carbon emissions.

Jamie Leatham from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority said: “These grants represent our continued commitment to addressing the Climate Emergency, supporting community-led projects that improve sustainability and reduce carbon emissions.”

“By funding initiatives like Solar PV installations, energy-efficiency upgrades, and sustainable transportation solutions, we are helping our communities to reduce emissions, generate their own low-carbon energy, and raise awareness to promote a greener, more resilient future for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.”

The Sustainable Development Fund consists of money allocated from the Welsh Government Sustainable Landscapes Sustainable Places Fund.

Further information can be found at

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