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Council elects new Chairman and deputy



COUNCILLOR Tom Richards took over as the new Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council from Cllr Arwyn Williams at the annual council meeting Last Friday.

Cllr Wynne Evans will be his new Vice Chairman after he was chosen over Cllr Phil Baker by 40 votes to 15.

Outgoing Chairman Arwyn Williams said: “This is a sad day for me, but it has been a very happy and enjoyable past 12 months. I am pleased to be handing over the role into the very capable hands of Tom Richards”.

Cllr Williams went on to mention various events that he had the privilege of witnessing during his time as chairman – none more so than his visit with the Queen last week.

He also paid tribute to those who had worked tirelessly during the storms at the start of the year.

He concluded by saying: “I want to thank you, the members, I may not have seen eye to eye with all of you but I appreciate your support. I thank you for the honour you bestowed on me 12 months ago, I’ve done my best”.

Cllr Huw George gave a vote of thanks to Cllr Williams saying: “You can look back with pride on what you’ve done. You’ve done a good job, you’ve done it well”.

Cllr Tom Richards said: “I am looking forward to the next 12 months, not only outside but serving here in the chamber. I hope that we can make decisions for the benefit of our county”.

Councillor Tom Richards joined the Council in its inception in 1996 as the member for the Letterston electoral division.

Sixty-year-old Councillor Richards was born in St Ishmaels to a Pembrokeshire farming family which can trace its roots in the county back to the 1700s.

The family moved to farm in Hayscastle in 1963. Councillor Richards attended St Ishmaels and Hayscastle primary schools and later Haverfordwest Grammar School for Boys.

After school, he went back to the family livestock and arable farm in Hayscastle. The 200-acre farm is now tenanted, and Councillor Richards lives in a former rectory nearby with his wife Mel. He also owns a farm in Croesgoch.

Councillor Richards is vice-chairman of the Corporate Governance, Economy Overview and Scrutiny, and Audit committees, as well as being a member of several other committees.

He has also served as a community councillor since his twenties, and is still on Hayscastle Community Council as well as serving as a governor of Ysgol Ger y Llan.

He and Mel, who also comes from an established Pembrokeshire farming family, have two daughters. The eldest, Sophie, is a chemical engineer in France, and the youngest, Julie, is a consultant for Deloittes in London.

Councillor Richards succeeds Councillor Arwyn Williams of Pembroke as Chairman. He was proposed for office by Councillor David Lloyd and seconded by Councillor Rhys Sinnett.

A vote of thanks to the outgoing Chairman was proposed by the Deputy Leader of the Authority, Councillor Huw George.

The Council’s new Vice Chairman is Councillor Wynne Evans who represents the electoral division of Narberth.

Cllr Evans described it as “A very momentous day for me”.

The ceremony in County Hall, Haverfordwest, was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, The Hon Robin Lewis OBE.



Pictured left to right are: (seated) Councillor Arwyn Williams, Chief Executive Bryn Parry-Jones, Councillor Tom Richards, Mrs Mel Richards, Councillor Wynne Evans, The Hon. Robin Lewis, (standing) Mrs Elizabeth Williams, Mrs Sarah Parry-Jones, Councillor Rob Lewis, Councillor Jamie Adams, Councillor Huw George, Mrs Gwyneth John (Vice-Chairman’s Consort) and Mrs Judith Lewis

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Calls for help over VHF radio may have been a hoax, say RNLI



THE ANGLE All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch on service at 10:23am this morning, Monday (July 22).

Following a call to the Coastguard from Milford Haven VTS, the crew were tasked after the VTS operators overheard a female voice calling for help on VHF channel 12.

After narrowing down the transmission to having been received on the Pembroke aerial site, the crew were requested to conduct a search.

Launching at 10:30am, the lifeboat made best speed to the moorings at Hazelbeach, and a hasty search was requested by the Coastguard of any moored vessels. The crew began making their way amongst the moorings, heading up to the moorings off Neyland. With nothing untoward sighted, the crew proceeded to search the moorings off Hobbs Point, Barnlake Point, Burton, Llanion and Rudders Boat Yard.

With nothing found, the Coastguard requested that the crew continue their search up river to Picton Point. The lifeboat continued searching up the western shore encompassing Llangwm before altering course just past Landshipping and searching the eastern shore back down the river, calling in to Lawrenny on the way to check any vessels moored there.

The RNLI said that the search continued back down as far as the Cleddau Bridge.

On Facebook the organisation posted :”Following a thorough visual, communications and radar search the crew were subsequently stood down when no further information or calls had been received.

“The tasking was therefore deemed to be a hoax call.

“The lifeboat was back alongside and readied for further service by 1pm.”

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Police investigating after man injured during altercation in cemetery



POLICE have confirmed that they are investigating a report of an altercation which occurred in the cemetery off Gelliswick Road, Hakin, Milford Haven sometime between 4.30 and 5.00pm, Wednesday 17th July, 2024.

Following the incident, a 32-year-old man went to hospital for treatment and was later released.

A 19-year-old male has been arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail pending further police enquiries police have confirmed.

The incident caught the attention of locals, who said there was a large police response to the incident included armed officers.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at:, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: 394 of the 17th

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting

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West Wales man jailed for rape after victim’s cries heard



A WEST WALES man has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for raping a woman in an attack that ended only when her cries for help were heard by others. Charlie Evans, a 22-year-old former Exeter University student, ignored his victim’s repeated pleas for him to stop during the 45-minute ordeal.

The incident took place after Evans and his victim had attended a party, where both had been drinking. The court heard that after kissing, the pair left together, with the woman under the impression that Evans lived in a flat with her friend.

Upon returning to the flat, the woman used the toilet before Evans raped her, despite her repeatedly saying no. The prosecutor described the victim as crying hysterically and added: “She did not want these things to happen.”

During the attack, one student testified they could hear the victim not consenting and begging Evans to stop. Another person said they were so concerned they inquired about what was happening.

Police were alerted after the incident was reported to campus staff, who then contacted the emergency services. Evans was told to leave his flat and was subsequently removed from the university. He denied the offence during his police interview.

Evans, of Victoria Avenue, Mumbles, Swansea, was convicted earlier this year at Exeter Crown Court of rape and sexual assault. He was sentenced on July 12. In a victim statement, the woman said her life had been forever changed by Evans’s actions. She expressed feelings of fear, confusion, and shame during the incident and continues to suffer from nightmares. She now feels distrustful of men and has sought support to cope with her trauma, the court heard.

Christopher Quinlan KC, defending, presented multiple good character references for Evans, describing him as a “kind and respectful” young man who was “always positive, compassionate and thoughtful.” He argued that his client’s life was “in ruins” as a result of his actions.

However, Judge Stephen Climie told Evans he had “completely misrepresented” his victim’s position, adding: “She was so far away from wishing to engage in your sexual activity that the only explanation for your attitude and approach was alcohol that blinded you to what was clearly and obviously the word ‘No’.” He continued: “So far as your life is concerned you will be crushed as a result of the sentence I’m required to impose.”

Following the sentencing, DC Michele Hicks from Devon and Cornwall Police’s major crime investigation team praised the victim for her courage and resilience throughout the investigation. She said: “I hope this case reassures the community how seriously the police take reports of sexual violence against women and girls and gives people the courage to come forward in future.”

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