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Haverfordwest: Road to be closed this month for bridge replacement

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RESIDENTS in Haverfordwest are being reminded by Network Rail that essential work to replace Pembroke Road railway bridge will be completed later this month.

As part of the £4.25m upgrade project, Network Rail engineers will demolish the existing railway bridge deck – which carries the South Wales Main Line – and install a new, more resilient structure as part its Railway Upgrade Plan to improve the reliability of the railway. The 80-year-old bridge deck requires replacing as it is nearing the end of its lifespan.

To ensure the core work is carried out as efficiently and as safely as possible, part of Pembroke Road will require a short, temporary closure between the railway bridge and Merlins Bridge Welfare Hall.

The road will be closed to through traffic and pedestrians from 8pm on Friday, January 18 until 6pm on Monday, January 21. Clay Lane will also be temporarily closed to all through traffic during this time.

The official diversion route will be fully signposted for Pembroke Road, and motorists are advised to allow additional time for their journeys. A courtesy shuttle bus service will be in operation for pedestrians and cyclists during the essential work.

A bus replacement service will be in operation between Whitland and Milford Haven for rail passengers on January 19-20 and passengers are advised to check with their train operator before they travel.

The essential replacement of Milford Road railway bridge will take place next month. The A4076 at Milford Road railway bridge will be closed from 7pm on Friday, February 15 until 6am on Monday, February 18.

Residents and local businesses wishing to find out more about the work to the bridges are invited to attend ‘drop-in’ events on January 10 and 31 from 3pm to 6pm at the Merlins Bridge Welfare Hall, Pembroke Road, SA61 1JW. No appointment is necessary and representatives from Network Rail’s project team will be on hand to provide information and answer any questions.

Rhys Howells, scheme project manager for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said: “We understand that closing the roads for any length of time is inconvenient and we thank the local community and road users for bearing with us whilst we complete these essential upgrade works to replace Pembroke Road railway bridge.

“We have been working closely with Pembrokeshire County Council and other partners to minimise disruption, and to develop the diversionary routes. I would encourage anyone wishing to find out more to attend one of the ‘drop-in’ events, where we will be happy to answer your questions.”

Preparatory work is now underway on Pembroke road railway bridge and a single lane traffic management system will be in operation on Pembroke Road, at the railway bridge from 10pm on Saturday, January 12 to 10am on Sunday, January 13.

To ensure Network Rail teams can complete finishing work safely, a single lane traffic management system will also be in operation at the bridge, from 10pm on Saturday 26 to 10am on Sunday 27 January and from 10pm on Saturday 2 to 10am on Sunday February 3.

For more information visit www.networkrail.co.uk/merlins-bridge

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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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Dyfed-Powys Police criticised for failing to record thousands of crimes

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A SHOCKING new report says that Dyfed-Powys Police failed to record thousands of crimes, despite being told to improve two-and-a-half years ago.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found the force had documented just 87.6% of reported crime – meaning upto 4,400 crimes are not recorded each year.

The report highlighted that of violent crimes, 85.4% were registered, which means about 2,400 went unrecorded, some involving domestic abuse or the vulnerable.

The force said it had “plans in place to improve its crime recording.”

HMIC reached their conclusion by comparing the number of reports to the police with recorded numbers. About 35,900 were reported.

In 2018, HMIC found that our local force was too often not recording crimes. And in 2014 it was reported the force was one of the worst in the UK at recording crimes. 

Dyfed-Powys Police T/Chief Constable, Claire Parmenter was quick to respond to the shocking finding. In a statement emailed to The Herald she said: “We accept the concerns and recommendations published by HMICFRS in respect of crime data integrity. As an organisation, we are firmly committed to supporting victims and putting them at the heart of everything we do. The force has plans in place to improve its crime recording and I am determined we will get this right.

“Since the previous HMICFRS inspection in 2018 we have made significant improvements in our response to Domestic Abuse victims, creating the vulnerability desk which provides real time intelligence to officers attending incidents of Domestic Abuse and ensuring that safeguarding arrangements are in place through a new partnership hub. Recent audits in April evidenced we were achieving a 98% compliance for the completion of risk assessments. This ensures that every Domestic Abuse victim is looked after and kept safe.

“We have a programme of change already in place which will deliver significant process and cultural change. The elements of this programme will improve the forces’ ability to manage demand, support victims, improve the timeliness and quality of investigations and supervision of crime. HMICFRS were unable to take this project into account as part of this inspection. Delivery plans commence next month (June 2021).

“Since the date of this inspection, we are already seeing improvements as a result of the swift additional action we have taken, achieving 100% crime recording compliance in respect of anti-social behaviour for February and March 2021 which is positive.”

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Firefighters extinguish blaze at St Catherine’s Fort, Tenby

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A CONTROLLED wood fire earlier in the day caused a fire to break out on Tenby’s St Catherine’s Island on Thursday (May 6).

Heat that was caused by a wood fire earlier in the day caused a ignition on the unburned wood nearby that was needed to be extinguished by Tenby fire crew.

Taking to their Facebook page, St Catherine’s island thanked Tenby Fire Brigade for their assistance.

No serious damage was caused by the incident.

The spokesperson said: “A massive shout out to Tenby Fire Brigade last night who were called to the Island last night after we left following a long day working on the Fort and burning off all the old flooring, having now replaced it all. 

“We had spent at least half an hour making sure that our controlled barrel fire was out. Unfortunately the ground was so hot it transferred to the rest of the unburned wood. 

“Thanks to our amazing local Fire Service, they were on hand to help us out and no damage occurred.”

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