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Judge orders eggs business to pay over £4,500

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THE OWNER of a Pembrokeshire free-range egg packing station pleaded guilty to three food hygiene offences when he appeared before a Judge at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court last Thursday. 

Havard Evans, 52, was the owner of Pennsylvania Farm Free Range Eggs in Hayscastle when the offences took place in May 2012 and February 2013. District Judge David Parsons fined Evans £1080 per charge and ordered him to pay £1,200 costs and a victim surcharge of £108, totalling £4,548. The business has since been relocated to Crundale where it continues to be operated by Havard Evans and now has the top rating of five under the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The court heard that following a complaint in May 2012, officers from Pembrokeshire County Council’s Public Protection Division visited the premises and carried out a full investigation. They found evidence of significant pest proofing issues within the packing station and rat holes in store rooms directly adjacent to the packing station. The floors, walls and ceiling in the packing station were extremely dirty and there was evidence of dead insects found on the floor. The rough concrete floor covering in the wash up room was impossible to maintain in a clean condition and the wooden wall coverings in the wash up room and the painted wall finish in the packing room were smeared and dirty and could not be maintained in a clean condition. There was also water leaking from the pipes under the sink and the overhead water pipe. Havard Evans pleaded guilty to a failure to ensure that the layout, design, construction, siting and size of his food premises permitted good food hygiene practices, including protection against contamination and, in particular, pest control (in May 2012) and a failure to ensure that his premises were kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition (in both May 2012 and February 2013). After the hearing, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services, Councillor Huw George, said: “All food businesses, including activities such as packing stations, must take all necessary measures to protect food from contamination risks. “The public are not there to see the hygiene standards at the premises and rely on the integrity of the business and the local authority to ensure its regulation, so that the public are protected. “The Authority will not hesitate to take action when serious contraventions of the legislation are discovered.” Following the initial inspection the premises received a zero rating (‘urgent improvements needed’) under the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, and immediate improvements were sought by officers to address the main areas of risk. The premises received a further zero rating at the subsequent ‘rescore’ inspection requested by Havard Evans. Ratings issued after the November 28, 2013, are required to be displayed on food premises by law, allowing consumers to make an informed choice.

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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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