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Fight for hospital services: Judicial review lost

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting to retain services at Withybush Hospital have been dealt a huge blow. The judicial review has been lost.

Mr. Justice Hickinbottom has today, at The Cardiff High Court, handed down his judgement in respect of the judicial review by Anthony John Flatley and Hywel Dda University Health Board (The SWAT Judicial Review)

The 47 page document set out the reasons why the Judicial review brought by campaigners fighting to retain services had failed.

 

 

 

hickinbottom

Justice Hickinbottom

Justice Hinkinbottom wrote: “I do not find any of the Claimants’ applications made good. For the avoidance of doubt, whilst I appreciate that the Claimants’ underlying concern and complaint is about the substance of the relevant decisions (a question with which I am not concerned), given that the question of whether a procedure adopted is fair is ultimately a question for the court I should say that, on the basis of the submissions and evidence before me, I am wholly unconvinced that any aspect of the procedure adopted by the LHB or the Minister was unfair, or unlawful.

The conclusion of the report continued: “For the reasons I have given, these claims fail. Formally, I make the following order: Permission to proceed is refused. The substantive application for judicial review is dismissed. The application to set aside the refusal of permission to proceed with the public sector equality duty ground is refused.”

The Justice added: “I dismiss the application for judicial review, and in respect of all other grounds, I refuse permission to proceed.”

Lead campaigner Dr Chris Overton, chairman of SWAT, said: “We must remember that this is not an endorsement of the Health Board and Health Ministers plans for service change. It was simply a legal argument on whether the Health Board followed the rules and on the powers of the Health Minister.”

Campaigner Lyn Neville told The Herald: “This is a blow but it is certainly not the end. We must all keep fighting, this is not over because of the Judgement today. The Judge said the procedures followed by the Health Board and Minister were not unfair or unlawful, it does not mean they weren’t wrong. Pembrokeshire people will still suffer, lives will be lost, we must now fight on Equality and Human Rights grounds. This is not over!”

Read the whole Judgement here:  Judicial review judgement

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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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