Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

City Deal scheme uncertainty as Port and Council argue over interest payments

Published

on

TIME is fast running out for vital funding for Pembrokeshire’s part of the controversial Swansea Bay City Deal.
The deadline for obtaining European funding, upon which the Pembroke Dock Marine project depends, is December this year, when European funding ends. The final business case for it is yet to be submitted, let alone approved.
If the business case is not approved by then, the future of the project – or at least its size – will be cast into doubt.
Next week, the County Council’s Cabinet is likely to approve the submission of the project’s business case.
The Port of Milford Haven, in partnership with Marine Energy Wales, ORE Catapult and Wave Hub, aims to develop what it calls ‘a world-class centre for marine energy research and development, fabrication, testing and deployment’.
History is not in its favour.
A key project at Ramsey Sound, Delta Stream, failed catastrophically. The submerged device claimed to be the forerunner to a major tidal power investment stopped working after three months. The company behind it, Tidal Energy Ltd, went bust. The scheme was extensively supported by the Welsh Government and EU funding.
A briefing document shows consideration of the Pembroke Dock Marine project has now become time-critical because of the probable loss of significant European funding if the project is not fully approved by the end of the calendar year.
A source close to the City Deal told The Herald getting the business case fully approved before the December deadline is ‘unrealistic’.
The Council will have to borrow up to £28m for the Pembroke Dock Marine project and will be ‘paid back’ (capital only, no interest by the Governments) over 15 years, with payments ‘theoretically linked to delivery and performance’.
The cost of borrowing for the Pembroke Dock Marine project is estimated to be £2.35m.
Wrangling between Milford Haven Port Authority and Pembrokeshire County Council over the interest on the money the Council will borrow to bankroll the Port Authority’s £76m Pembroke Dock Marine project has caused rancour between the partners.
The Port Authority says it cannot afford the interest charges, while the Council faces having to put money intended for other projects into the pot to make up the shortfall.
It is little secret Council leader David Simpson has misgivings about pouring such a large sum of public money into a single project instead of using the money to regenerate the wider local economy.
His concerns are shared by others involved in the City Deal’s governance and underlined by views expressed in the Deal’s external review that little evidence existed to show proposed projects would deliver the tangible benefits the Deal originally intended.
Certainly, Pembrokeshire will get the least out of the City Deal whether it succeeds or fails.
The City Deal, which is in the middle of reorganisation and is yet to recruit a programme director, has been plagued by governance problems and scandal almost since its outset.
An external review, by consultants appointed by the Welsh and UK Governments, concluded the City Deal’s governance system was unfit for purpose. It also found the Deal’s central control was so lax that incomplete proposals were treated as fully worked up plans.
A report prepared by Pembrokeshire County Council found failure by some City Deal participants to declare either personal or corporate interests and concluded: ‘It was evident through meetings with stakeholders that there is insufficient trust within the Partnership’.
The re-arrangement of governance and the need to build bridges left broken by internal strife across four local authorities, mean not a single penny of the millions promised by the UK and Welsh Governments has been received for any of the projects under the City Deal.
Individuals and companies formerly involved in Carmarthenshire County Council’s controversial Llanelli Wellness Village are under investigation by Tarian, the Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Health

Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

Published

on

THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

Continue Reading

News

Joinery learner through to Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year Finals

Published

on

PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE joinery learner, Conor Ratcliff has made it through to the final ten in this year’s Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year competition.

Now in its seventh year, the competition celebrates the next generation of tradespeople as they start out on their career. With over 2,500 nominations, Conor was shortlisted to the top 30 where he had to deliver a video presentation to industry-leading judges and trade body representatives. Judged on professionalism, creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and knowledge of their trade, Conor impressed the judges and is now in the final 10.  

Simon Jackson, Screwfix Customer and Digital director, commented: “Every year we are amazed by the outstanding quality of entrants and, this year, we are on the lookout for apprentices who go above and beyond to succeed within their chosen trade.

“We’ve seen how this career-boosting accolade and £10,000 prize bundle helps kickstart an apprentice’s career. I’d like to wish everyone through to this stage the best of luck!”

The prize package includes everything a future tradesperson may need to start up their own business including £5,000 of tools, a £3,000 training budget and £2,000 worth of technology. The college where they study will also receive £2,000.

Conor is thrilled to have made it through to the finals and commented: “I am extremely honoured to have made it is this far in the competition and I am very excited for the final event. It would be an amazing opportunity for me, if I won this competition.

“I hope it encourages more people to consider an apprenticeship in a trade, the Carpentry and Joinery department have been incredibly supportive during my studies.”

The Final is due to take place imminently where the judges will conduct an online interview with the ten finalists before selecting and announcing their overall winner.

Continue Reading

News

Warrant without bail issued for Milford Haven man who failed to attend court

Published

on

A WARRANT without bail has been issued for a Milford Haven man who failed to appear in court yesterday.

Gareth James Mann, 45, of Bunkers Hill was stopped in his VW Golf on October 31, 2020 in Milford Haven.

Mann is accused of driving without a licence, insurance, under the influence of cocaine and whilst in possession of an ounce of cannabis.

Police are now instructed to find Mann, arrest him and bring him before the courts.

Continue Reading
News3 hours ago

Joinery learner through to Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year Finals

PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE joinery learner, Conor Ratcliff has made it through to the final ten in this year’s Screwfix Trade Apprentice...

News6 hours ago

Pembroke Dock: Trial date set in historical rape case

A 69-YEAR-OLD man, charged with nine counts of raping a girl under the age of 16 in Pembroke Dock, will...

News6 hours ago

Milford Haven man admits string of sexual assaults at Crown Court

A MILFORD HAVEN man has pleaded guilty to five sexual assaults, four involving a girl under the age of 16...

Community7 hours ago

Pembrokeshire RNLI crew member completes seven marathons in seven days

BYRON GREY, 21, an RNLI volunteer at Little and Broad Haven has run 186 miles across the Pembrokeshire coast, raising...

News1 day ago

Volunteers needed to stop wallies ‘harassing’ Walrus

A LOCAL marine wildlife group has issued a social media plea for people to come forward and help protect ‘Wally...

News1 day ago

Police confirm they are investigating fatal house fire in Haverfordwest

A HOUSE fire in Siskin Close, Haverfordwest last night sadly resulted in a fatality, Dyfed-Powys Police have confirmed. A spokesperson...

News2 days ago

Multi-agency response to house fire in Siskin Close, Haverfordwest

FIRE crews are attending a domestic fire in a property on Siskin Close, Haverfordwest. As of 11.45pm on Monday evening...

News2 days ago

Outdoor hospitality given go-ahead and rules on mixing outdoors relaxed in Wales

SIX people will be able to meet outdoors in Wales from Saturday 24 April while outdoor hospitality will be allowed...

News2 days ago

Police ‘enforcement and engagement’ to curb anti-social behaviour in Tenby

POLICE in Tenby will be using enforcement and engagement in a bid to curb future incidents of anti-social behaviour, they...

News2 days ago

Press gagging order granted in James Oulton case by Crown Court judge

THE CROWN COURT judge presiding over the James Oulton trial has issued a reporting restriction to the press, which local...

Popular This Week