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Can pay, won’t pay

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donFURIOUS businessmen have reacted angrily to being left high and dry by the collapse of Mustang Marine. 

• Local businesses out of pocket

• Claims local traders misled

Representatives from several local businesses owed money by the firm, which went into administration at the beginning of March, have approached the Herald about events that have left them among unsecured creditors owed in excess of £3.1m, who are not expected to get a single penny back. Each of those business people made it clear to the Pembrokeshire Herald that the only reason they extended such long credit lines to the boat building company was the repeated assurances given by senior Milford Haven Port Authority figures and former directors of Mustang Marine that their bills would be paid in all eventualities. One trader, who asked not to be identified told us: “I was told again and again that my business would be paid. I was told it by the Port Authority and told it by the directors of Mustang Marine. If I had not been told that I would be paid and led to believe that the Port Authority would make good on what Mustang owed me, I would have pulled the plug and taken my men off site. I know others were told the same thing.” Another businessman told the Herald: “It stinks. I could end up losing everything I have spent years building up. Mustang Marine were taking money from Svitzer intended for contractors working in the profitable part of the business, and instead of paying them the directors were using that money to prop up the losses Mustang was making elsewhere. “Fair dos to Svitzer, though, when they found out what Mustang Marine were up to, they started paying contractors direct and not through Mustang. If they hadn’t I would have gone bust, and so would’ve other people. I still might have to put the business through. “We (me and other businesses) were told that the Port Authority was behind it and there was no risk of us losing out. I think the whole thing needs investigating.” HSBC Bank and former Mustang Director Huw Lewis will receive around £270K and £296K respectively as secured creditors of the firm A claim by the Port Authority to be treated as a secured creditor in respect of combined loans made to Mustang Marine totalling £384K has been rejected by the Administrators, Grant Thornton, who have run up fees in excess of £190K since their appointment on March 3 to date. Former employees of the firm are owed a total of £104,292. Local businesses that have taken the biggest cash hits include, BDS Contract Services of Hubberston are shown as being owed in excess of a quarter of a million pounds, while Pembrokeshire County Council shows up as being owed over £66,000 by the failed company. Port Engineering of Milford Haven is owed in excess of £57,000 and JP Junior Scaffolding over £41K. None of those businesses were available for comment. The Herald put a question to the auditors about the status of a reported status debt of £329K owed by Mustang Marine to Marine & Port Services Ltd. A check at Companies House showed that it Marine & Port Services Ltd.’s address was a PO Box care of Milford Haven Port Authority and that it had been wound up in 2008. The Herald put a question to the auditors about the status of a reported status debt of £329,000 owed by Mustang Marine to Marine & Port Services Ltd. A check at Companies House showed that it Marine & Port Services Ltd.’s address was a PO Box care of Milford Haven Port Authority and that it had been wound up in 2008. A spokesman for the Grant Thornton told The Herald: “It’s simply a clerical error. Trading with MHPA was historically with Marine and Port Services Ltd.” He added “When trading changed to MHPA the clerical staff at Mustang did not update the ledger account name and continued to use Marine and Port Services when in reality they should have changed the account name to MHPA.” “The liability should be recorded in the books and records as MHPA.”

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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Business

Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence

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GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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Appeal from Fire and Rescue Service to install working smoke alarms

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AT 01:17am this morning, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, crews from Milford Haven were called to a property fire in the Hakin area of Milford Haven.

The fire was confined to a pan on a stove in the kitchen area and extinguished by firefighters using two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera.

Crews also ventilated the property and fitted smoke alarms within the property.

The Fire Service left the incident at 02:00am.

Watch Manager Alun Griffiths, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “This fire was the result of cooking left unattended. It is so important to remove all pots and pans from a heat source when you are called away from the cooker.

“Thankfully, the occupiers of the property managed to exit the property before our firefighters arrived, but it could have ended very differently as there were no smoke alarms fitted in the property.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of installing working smoke alarms in your homes and testing them regularly. In the dreadful event of a fire, they can alert you to the danger sooner and could mean the difference between life and death.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, we provide Home Fire Safety advice which is free of charge. We also offer Safe and Well Visits which you can arrange by phoning us on 0800 169 1234 or by visiting the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website.”

For further Home Fire Safety advice or to talk about the possibility of a Safe and Well Visit by Fire and Rescue Service personnel, please phone us on 0800 169 1234.​​​ Alternatively please complete an online Request a Safe and Well Visit​ form on the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website: https://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/eng/your-safety/in-your-home/

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