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Council counters in Fishguard, Neyland and Milford Haven to shut

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL will be closing its customer service centres in Fishguard, Neyland and Milford Haven at the end of June.

It follows a decision by the Council’s Cabinet on 11th March.

Employees will be given the opportunity to be re-deployed and it is hoped that no staff will be made redundant.

Centres at Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock will remain open for the foreseeable future.

Cllr Bob Kilmister, Cabinet Member for Finance, said the move was part of a bid to encourage residents to use the many alternative ways to access services or make payments, which are already in place.

“Over time, many of our traditional customer service transactions such as paying housing rent or council tax have fallen, as customers opt to go online or set up a direct debit,” he said.

“This has proved more convenient for many people. Nearly 60% of people pay their Council tax by direct debit now, for example.”

He said there were four easy ways to pay council bills; setting up a direct debit, paying online, calling the telephone payment line, or speaking to someone in the contact centre.

“However, we are aware that for some people, the closure of their local centre may cause concern,” he added.

“We urge them to contact us on 01437 764551 so we can let them know all about the different ways they can access services or make payments.”

Orange and food waste bags will be available from local libraries until later this year, when the revamped household waste and recycling collection service is launched with its new collection containers.

For blue badge renewals or applications, customers can carry out the whole process online at www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge or visit the customer service centres at Pembroke Dock and Haverfordwest.

The opening hours of Neyland Library, which is currently a shared facility with Neyland Customer Service Centre, will be unaffected for the time being. New community supported library facilities are being developed for the town, as part of the Neyland Community Hub project.

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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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