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Badger treads Caerphilly



badger_2087377bJAMIE ADAMS, ‘popular’ leader of the IPPG, took to the Western Telegraph this week to deride those councillors seeking to examine the Staff Remuneration Committee’s decision to give Bryn Parry Jones a wodge of Council Tax payers’ cash rather than pay tax on his blue chip pension.
Councillor Adams, who is known to have difficulty remembering when to submit his expenses claims, pronounced confidently on the complex legal issues involved.
Unfortunately, the IPPG’s leader appears to be ignorant of what the Wales Audit Office (WAO) decided in Caerphilly. That Council was subject to a Public Interest Report by the WAO following a probe into payments made to senior officers. It is not suggested that there is any evidence of criminality in the decision made by Pembrokeshire County Council’s own remuneration committee, but elements of the decision-making process seem remarkably similar.
In Caerphilly, Councillors attended a meeting – at which officers were present – and during which officers’ pay and conditions were discussed.
In Pembrokeshire’s case, Councillors attended a meeting – at which officers were present – and during which officers’ pay and conditions were discussed.
In Caerphilly, the officers did not declare an interest and leave the meeting while their pay and conditions were discussed.
In Pembrokeshire, the officers did not declare an interest and leave the meeting while their pay and conditions were discussed.
Of course, one big difference exists:
In Caerphilly’s case, the Council had additional and external guidance to assist Councillors. Pembrokeshire did not. Councillors in Pembrokeshire relied upon an internal guidance prepared by an officer who potentially stood to benefit from the outcome of the Councillors’ decisions.
But even the presence of the independent report did not save Caerphilly Council from the auditor ruling the conduct of the relevant meeting unlawful.
As Jamie Adams appears to be of the opinion that he – and not the auditors – is best placed to determine the lawfulness of the decision-making process, Badger –produces the relevant section of the Auditors’ report on Caerphilly so Jamie Adams can take the time to read and try to understand it:
“Certain officers who were among the beneficiaries of the decision were present throughout the Committee meeting on September 5 2012, and no declarations of interest were made. In addition, the report presented to the Committee was authored by the Chief Executive.
“A person is disqualified from participation in a decision-making process if there is a real possibility that he or she would be influenced by a pecuniary or personal interest in the outcome of the decision as established by case law. Such an interest has to be declared. Individuals having such an interest are not entitled to participate in the decision-making process unless the interest is too remote or insignificant to matter. As such, we would have expected:
* officers to have declared an interest in the proceedings;
* officers to have left the meeting whilst the members of the Committee discussed the recommendations in the Chief Executive’s report and reached their decision;
* the members of the Committee to have approved the terms of reference for the independent advice commissioned into remuneration (AS A MINIMUM –emphases added – in respect of the Chief Executive’s pay).
“… In my view, the participation of these officers in the decision-making process renders the decision of the Committee ultra vires and therefore unlawful, on this further ground.”
Badger is a bit stumped as to how Jamie squares this circle.
As Bryn and the other officers were present, Jamie Adams’ bold assertion in the Telegraph that “the legality of the meeting is not in question” as the officers were “not part of the decision-making process” seems to try and draw a distinction where there is no difference. Council members’ own guidance unequivocally states that the presence of those with an interest in the outcome of meeting – whether they speak or not – is deemed to influence its outcome. How reassuring it must be to Bryn the Merciless to discover that Councillors are accustomed to ignoring him!
If Sunny Jamie and his IPPG cohorts have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear from scrutiny. Instead they are running scared of giving Councillors the advice upon which they state they rely when making assertions of lawfulness and proper process.
When it is the conduct of Jamie Adams and his motley crew which is in question, the public have a need to know and a right to know.
Jamie Adams’ attack on the motives of Labour leader Paul Miller is a crass attempt to deflect criticism and play the man and not the ball. As a transparent and squalid attempt to smear a fellow Councillor, Jamie Adams’ comments are beneath contempt.
Badger asks his readers: why should the people of Pembrokeshire, let alone their representatives, put faith in Councillor Adams’ judgement or that of his discredited administration?

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Broad Haven’s Music Festival set to rock village



GET ready for an electrifying day of music and fun as the Havens Events Crew proudly presents the highly anticipated Broad Haven Music Festival. Scheduled for Saturday, July 20, from 3 PM to 11:30 PM, this event promises a vibrant mix of live bands, local talent, and a delightful BBQ, making it an unmissable occasion for music lovers and families alike.

The festival, at Broad Haven School Field, will feature an impressive lineup of performers. Attendees can look forward to the acoustic melodies of Cadence Acoustic, the energetic rhythms of Coastal Horizon, and the dynamic performances by Loose Change. These local bands are set to deliver a variety of genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

In addition to the musical performances, the festival will offer a range of delicious BBQ options, perfect for enjoying a summer evening outdoors. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a visitor, the Broad Haven Music Festival is an ideal opportunity to experience the local culture, connect with the community, and enjoy high-quality entertainment.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase at the Broad Haven Post Office and Lobster and Môr. Early acquisition is recommended to secure a spot at this popular event.

It promises to be a memorable day filled with music, food, and community spirit. The Broad Haven Music Festival is more than just a concert; it’s a celebration of local talent and a testament to the vibrant culture of our town. Don’t miss out on this fantastic event!

For more information, visit the Havens Events Crew’s official website or follow their social media pages for updates and announcements.

Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, July 20
  • Time: 3 PM – 11:30 PM
  • Location: Broad Haven School Field
  • Performers: Cadence Acoustic, Coastal Horizon, Loose Change
  • Tickets Available At: Broad Haven Post Office, Lobster and Môr

Be sure to mark your calendars and get your tickets soon – we look forward to seeing you there!

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England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions



ENGLAND’S Euro 2024 semi-final victory over the Netherlands garnered a peak audience of 20.3 million on ITV, cementing its status as the most-watched television programme of the year. Broadcasters are now hopeful that Sunday night’s final against Spain will attract over 30 million viewers, surpassing the numbers that tuned in for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The overnight viewing figures, provided by ratings agency Digital-i, do not account for the millions who streamed the match on ITVX or watched in public venues. The coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, with the channels alternating first choices for matches in each round. ITV executives celebrated Jordan Pickford’s crucial penalty save against Switzerland, which secured another high-profile England match and delivered a substantial advertising boost to the channel.

Both the BBC and ITV will broadcast the final, with approximately a fifth of viewers typically opting for ITV over the BBC. Euro 2024 has demonstrated the enduring appeal of live sports broadcasting, which continues to draw massive audiences, particularly when the events are free to watch. Even matches not involving home nations have attracted significant viewership, with the Spain v France semi-final on BBC One peaking at 11 million viewers.

The Euros are part of the UK’s “crown jewel” sporting events, which include the football World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, all mandated by law to be shown on free-to-air channels. In contrast, other sports have opted for the higher revenue available from pay TV channels, resulting in substantially lower audiences for international matches. The England and Wales cricket board successfully lobbied in the 2000s to keep England test matches off the free-to-air list. Consequently, Jimmy Anderson’s farewell match against the West Indies at Lords, broadcast behind a paywall on Sky, attracted a peak audience of only about 700,000 viewers.

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Welsh Snooker star Michael White jailed for assaulting partner



A WELSH snooker star has been jailed after assaulting his then-partner. Michael White, 33, of Penshannel, Neath Abbey, assaulted the woman, causing actual bodily harm, on two separate occasions. The first incident occurred on February 12, 2022, and the second on December 10, 2022.

White pleaded guilty to the charges. A further charge of intentional strangulation on December 10 was directed to lie on file. White, whose snooker world ranking peaked at 15 in 2016, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

He received a total jail term of 36 months – 19 months for the first incident and a consecutive 17 months for the second. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association has announced that White has been removed from the world ranking list and the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

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