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Council to examine coroners report on tragic death of Derek Brundrett

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL will examine the detailed findings and conclusions made by the assistant coroner who led the investigation into the tragic death of Derek Brundrett.

Derek sadly passed away in December 2013 after two attempts to refer him to mental health services had failed.

The Assistant Coroner for Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire conluded that he intended to take his own life.

A 35-page report of findings and conclusions were made by the Coroner and the Council have said they will examine them to see what lessons can be learnt.

Cllr Josh Beynon asked at last Thursday’s (Feb 21) Full Council meeting, what steps had and would be taken to avoid another tragedy.

Cabinet member for Social Services, Cllr Tessa Hodgson expressed her sympathies and condolences to Derek’s family and gave details of a number of support services that can be accessed by
young people and school-based staff.

Supporting his question, Cllr Beynon wrote: “On (19/02/2019), the inquest into the tragic death of Derek David Brundrett formally concluded in which the assistant coroner for

Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, Mr Paul Bennett stated his narrative conclusion in the case as the following: “That Derek David Brundrett took his own life and intended to do so in
circumstances where despite efforts to refer him for psychiatric support, there was a failure to do so. There was a failure to refer by a social worker following a CPC on 12th June 2013; there was a failure by a General Practitioner to provide additional information when the referrals of the 2012 and 2013 were declined; there was a failure to provide the relevant information on the appropriate referral for relevant to a Looked After Child when the social worker seconded to SCAHMS spoke to Derek’s social worker. His death was in the context that on

November 25, 2013 he had been returned to foster care and was concerned about a return to the pupil referral unit”

Cllr Beynon asked: “Can Pembrokeshire County Council outline what steps they have and will be taking to ensure that they are doing everything possible to avoid another tragedy like this?”

Cllr Hodgson said: “The death of a child is a profound loss and I’m sure that I speak for everyone in this room and all the professionals involved in this tragedy in expressing my great sympathy to Derek’s family and friends.

“I would like to repeat and re-state our sincere condolences to them at this difficult and sad time.

“Derek’s loss is deeply felt by those individuals who had formed close and caring relationships with him. We have thanked the coroner for his thorough investigation and consideration of the case which has taken just over four years to resolve. The inquest hearing itself lasted approximately 16 months. On Tuesday, the assistant coroner for Pembrokeshire delivered a detailed findings and conclusions of over 35 pages.

“We are now considering the issues arising from the decision and what lessons can be learned from the process and what actions can be taken to ensure the safeguard and well-being of all children and young people served by this council.

“The actions will be considered at the earliest opportunity by our local safeguarding group, the Mid and west Wales Safeguarding board, which are both multi-agency, and also it will be discussed at our whole authority safeguarding group.

“The director of education has also provided me with a summary of the support we currently offer to pupils in our schools and this includes a range of support for pupils with mental health issues including the advice and support of a link education psychologist, one to one counselling as well as access to a range of specialist emotional health nurses and therapists through a dedicated emotional health and well-being team.

“In addition the recently introduced early intervention emotional health and well-being panel offers pupils access to a wide range of services to help build emotional resilience.

“Suicide prevention and self-harm training, co-ordinated by the local authority in partnership with the Health Board and designed and delivered by specialist primary mental health nurses, is also offered to all school-based staff. Schools also access advice around mental health issues from the Health Boards’ Primary mental health nurses.”

Cllr Beynon thanked the chair for allowing the late question and Cllr Hodgson for her response, asking if a report could go to scrutiny when ready.

Cllr Hodgson said she was happy to support that.

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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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