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Leisure centres and libraries to close

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ALL Pembrokeshire County Council leisure centres and libraries will close at 3.15pm on Friday, 20th March until further notice.

The Pembrokeshire Archives and Local Studies ceased its front-line service at 5pm last night (Wednesday, 18th March).

At Scolton Manor, the Museum, Tea Room and Visitor Centre will close at 3.15pm on Friday, but the grounds and play areas will remain open.

The closures are as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the need to increase social distancing and the requirement to redeploy staff.

  • Leisure

Leisure centre users have been reassured that all existing memberships will be frozen and no further deductions taken from direct debits during the closure period.

Club and pre-paid bookings / will be refunded or alternatively be moved to other suitable, future dates.

  • Libraries

The libraries closure includes the Mobile Library service.

All existing items on loan from the library service will be extended for the period of closure.

There will be no need to return items during the closure period and there will not be any overdue fines for these items once normal service is resumed.

Library users can access ebooks, audio books, emagazines and ecomics online, 24-7 at www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/using-library-services/24-7-e-library

  • Archives

The research room has closed until further notice.

However, the service will continue to respond to remote enquiries and correspondence, although responses may be delayed.

Archives users are encouraged to keep in contact via the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PembsArchives/

 

Paul Miller, the Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure & Culture, said: “I have today, based on the best advice available to me, agreed to the closure of the county’s libraries, leisure centres, and the Manor House museum at Scolton with effect from 3.15pm on Friday 20th March.

In addition, I have also agreed to the closure of the archive search room from 5pm Wednesday 18th March.

This has been done firstly to minimise the risk in relation to the spread of the coronavirus and secondly to enable us to release non-critical staff to support the Council’s wider response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

All leisure members will have their direct debits frozen (we will not collect payment for services that are not available) and these will resume when service is restored. For those customers who have paid for an annual membership, an extension to that membership in line with the closure period has been agreed. We will also refund any payments for bookings which will not now take place.

These closures will be reviewed regularly and services will resume once the advice suggests it is safe to do so.

We will continue to do all we can to keep our communities safe.”

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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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