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Senior council officers’ deal with Dai Boswell exposed

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL reached an agreement with Pembroke St Mary North councillor David Boswell regarding his attendance at Council meetings.

David Boswell, aged 56, has denied a single allegation of the rape of a girl aged under 13. He made his first appearance at the crown court accused of historical rape and indecent assault in October last year.

The offences are alleged to have been committed between February 27, 1991 and February 28, 1994. The case is currently adjourned.

Last weekend, County Councillor Jacob Williams published an extract from an exchange of emails between Tenby County Councillor Mike Williams and Monitoring Officer Claire Jones on jacobwilliams.com.

The Pembrokeshire Herald has obtained the full text of those exchanges.

In an email dated February 26 and addressed to the Council’s Head of Legal, Claire Incledon, Mike Williams asked: ‘Has Cllr Boswell been advised by PCC at any time not to attend council meetings until the ongoing legal process has been completed?’

A reply came on March 15, after councillors had been told that there was no step they could legally take regarding Cllr Boswell’s failure to attend a Council meeting for over six months​.​

That reply read: ‘The Councillor in question is legally represented and was aware that he could not be prevented from participating in any Council activity.

‘He did however AGREE (emphasis added) to curtail certain Council activities … and not to attend certain meetings’.

The word ‘agree’ – as in ‘He did however agree to curtail certain Council activities… and not to attend certain meetings’ – implies a proposal upon which agreement was reached.

We asked the Council the following questions in return to the deal the Council’s officers struck with Cllr Boswell:
What meetings were covered by it?
Which officers were involved in reaching it?
Who proposed such an agreement and who authorised it?

We received no reply.

As the ‘agreement’ went to the heart of the good faith in which Council officers dealt with councillors both before and at the meeting in which Cllr Boswell’s position was discussed, we asked: Was James Goudie QC made aware of the agreed position between the Council and Cllr Boswell when he was first instructed or at all?

We received no reply.

In relation to whether Ian Westley, Council Chief Executive, knew about the bargain we asked:
Was the Chief Executive aware of the agreement between council officers and Cllr Boswell that he would ‘curtail certain Council activities’ and ‘not attend certain meetings?
If he was aware, when was he made aware?

We received no reply.

As the County Council’s Cabinet is widely known to be deeply unhappy about the unfolding drama regarding the competence of the Council’s legal team and its unique and ultimately costly attitude to the law, we asked:
Was the Leader of the Council or any Cabinet member made or other councillor made aware that the Council had agreed with Cllr Boswell that his attendance at ‘certain meetings’ was excused?
If so, when were they made aware?
We received no reply.

As the agreement was a crucial piece of evidence as to the Council’s own approach to its interpretation of the law, which was NOT referred to in the very detailed advices received from one of the UK’s leading local government QCs, we asked:
Did any council officer formally record, minute, record, or otherwise confirm the agreement between the Council and Cllr Boswell regarding his participation in ‘council activities’ or ‘certain meetings’?

We received no reply.

Finally, we asked which other councillors were invited to the event held on 22nd November 2017 attended by Cllr Boswell (the ‘other event’) referred to in James Goudie QC’s advice? We asked for a copy of the invitation/notification for the event.

Even to this – very straightforward – question, we received not reply.

Every single one of our questions was a query on a matter of fact and not one of interpretation.

The Council officers to whom those inquiries were addressed now appear very reluctant to share with the public the details of a deal reached behind closed doors. Moreover, it appears that until Cllr Mike Williams was told of the agreement reached between Council officers and Cllr Boswell’s legal team, they were kept in the dark as to why the Council’s Legal Officers were so keen to defend their position from public scrutiny.

What that says about the confidence councillors can have that they are being told the whole story by council officers or just being given one pitched and spun to conceal officers’ behind the scenes deals is now open to question.

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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor

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A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police

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POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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Polling station changes in Pembrokeshire

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POLLING STATIONS in Pembrokeshire are open today (May 6) but a small number may have changed from the last time you voted.

In Neyland, the polling station will be at the new Community Hub building on John Street.

St Katherine’s Church Hall will be the new host for the station in Milford Haven, having previously been held at the Murray Suite in the town hall.

A polling station will be placed at the leisure centre in Haverfordwest while one at Trecwn has been moved to the Gate, Scleddau.

Voters in the county will be electing for the Preseli Pembrokeshire and the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituencies.

People will also be able to select five MSs to represent the Mid and West Wales Region.

The candidate with the most votes will win the constituency but the ballot for the region will be decided by a different process.

People will be elected according to their share of the vote, using a mathematical process, and gives parties who may have won fewer or no constituencies a better chance of winning regional ones.

It will also be a big day for 16 and 17 year olds as they will be able to vote in Welsh elections for the first time.

The ballots will be counted on Friday (May 7) with results expected to come in from the afternoon.

Polling stations opened at 7am and will close at 10pm.

All those who vote will be required to stick to Covid-19 safety measures including wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Clean pencils will be available but voters can bring their own pen or pencil.

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