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Bryn: How did your councillor vote?

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brynCOUNCILLORS voted yesterday to take no further action to reclaim money paid to chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones under a pension arrangement declared unlawful by the Wales Audit Office.

Before the vote, Cllr Peter Stock told the Herald: “It should be open and accountable, that’s the most important thing. The general public are so interested in what’s happening in Pembrokeshire at the moment, and I don’t believe anything should be done behind closed doors. I do believe that anything that does happen in County Council must be open, and the general public must be aware of the situation and Pembrokeshire County Council must be at all times open to the public for them to see which way this Authority is really being run. These things are happening, at a regular period, and it has to stop.”

The recorded vote of yesterday’s debate on reclaiming Bryn Parry Jones’ pension was taken in three parts.

The first – and key – vote was whether the discussion should be held in secret with members of the public excluded and the webcast suspended.

Voting in favour of secrecy were councillors:

Jamie Adams, John Allen-Mirehouse, Daphne Bush, David Edwards, Wynne Evans, Lyndon Frayling, Huw George, Brian Hall, Simon Hancock, Paul Harries, Umelda Havard, David James, Michael John, Stephen Joseph, Keith Lewis, Rob Lewis, Pearl Llewellyn, Peter Morgan, Elwyn Morse, David Neale, Myles Pepper, Sue Perkins, David Pugh, David Rees, Tom Richards, Ken Rowlands, David Simpson, Rob Summons, Arwyn Williams, and Steve Yelland (all IPPG)

They were supported by unaffiliated Councillors Owen James, Phil Kidney and Conservative councillor Stan Hudson

Voting to allow the public to witness the debate about public money were councillors:

Phil Baker, Roderick Bowen, Tony Brinsden, David Bryan, Pat Davies, Tessa Hodgson, David Howlett, Lyn Jenkins, Bob Kilmister, Alison Lee, David Lloyd, Paul Miller, Jonathan Nutting, Gwilym Price, Rhys Sinnett, Peter Stock, Mike Stoddart, Viv Stoddart, Tom Tudor, Tony Wilcox, Jacob Williams, Mike Williams, and Guy Woodham

Councillor Reg Owens abstained. Councillors John Davies, Mike Evans and Jonathan Preston were absent from the meeting.

The main motion was proposed by Councillors Roderick Bowen, Paul Miller, Mike Stoddart, Tony Wilcox, and Jacob Williams “That council approve action to investigate the recovery of any monies paid under the scheme for senior officers approved at the senior staff committee on 28th September 2011 under agenda item 6.”

That item was subject to an amendment proposed by Plaid Cymru that proposed taking no further action but instead registering an expression of regret at the situation.

An alternative motion proposed by IPPG leader Jamie Adams proposed that no further action be taken at all.

The vote on the Plaid amendment was as follows:

For the amendment: Phil Baker, Roderick Bowen, Tony Brinsden, David Bryan, Paul Harries, Tessa Hodgson, David Howlett, Stan Hudson, Owen James, Lyn Jenkins, Michael John, Stephen Joseph, Bob Kilmister, David Lloyd, Jonathan Nutting, Reg Owens, Rhys Sinnett, Peter Stock, Mike Stoddart, Vivien Stoddart, Jacob Williams, Mike Williams

Against the amendment: Jamie Adams, John Allen-Mirehouse, Daphne Bush, David Edwards, Wynne Evans, Lyndon Frayling, Huw George, Brian Hall, Umelda Havard, David James, , Keith Lewis, Rob Lewis, Pearl Llewellyn, Peter Morgan, Elwyn Morse, David Neale, Myles Pepper, Sue Perkins, David Pugh, David Rees, Tom Richards, Ken Rowlands, David Simpson, Rob Summons, Arwyn Williams, and Steve Yelland (all IPPG);  Pat Davies, Alison Lee, David Lloyd, Paul Miller, Gwilym Price, Tom Tudor, Tony Wilcox, Guy Woodham (all Labour) & Phil Kidney (unaffiliated)

Voting in favour of IPPG Leader’s Jamie Adams’ amendment were:

Jamie Adams, John Allen-Mirehouse, Daphne Bush, David Edwards, Wynne Evans, Lyndon Frayling, Huw George, Brian Hall, Simon Hancock, Paul Harries, Umelda Havard, David James, Lyn Jenkins, Michael John, Keith Lewis, Rob Lewis, Pearl Llewellyn, Peter Morgan, Elwyn Morse, David Neale, Myles Pepper, Sue Perkins, David Pugh, David Rees, Tom Richards, Ken Rowlands, David Simpson, Rob Summons, Arwyn Williams, and Steve Yelland (all IPPG)

They were joined by unaffiliated Councillors Owen James, Phil Kidney and Conservative Councillor Stan Hudson

Voting against the IPPG amendment to do nothing were:

Phil Baker, Roderick Bowen, Pat Davies, Tessa Hodgson, David Howlett, Stephen Joseph, Bob Kilmister, Alison Lee, David Lloyd, Paul Miller,  Jonathan Nutting, Gwilym Price, Rhys Sinnett, Peter Stock, Mike Stoddart, Vivien Stoddart, Tom Tudor, Jacob Williams, Mike Williams, Tony Wilcox, Guy Woodham

Councillors Tony Brinsden, David Bryan, David Howlett, Stephen Joseph, and Reg Owens abstained

There were sharp recriminations after the meeting.

Conservative group leader David Howlett told the Herald:

“With David Bryan, I voted for a public debate which was lost and so we went into private session. We supported a Plaid amendment that it would be foolish to pursue court action due to costs but expressed regret that the money was not being returned.

“Some IPPG members supported this and had Labour members also supported it, we would have won. Because Labour did not support the Plaid amendment, we had another vote to take no further action, from which I abstained.

“Labour’s stance meant the end result was no further action would be taken. I have to ask whether (Labour leader) Paul Miller sees this as a result, because that is what he and his group made sure happened.”

Labour leader Paul Miller responded:

Labour leader Paul Miller told us:

“On principle, the Labour group decided not to accept anything less than the Chief Executive being forced to pay back the money unlawfully paid to him.

“The vote today is not the end of the matter and I still firmly believe that the Council must take action to get the money back.”

Commenting on the debate, Cllr David Howlett, Leader of the Conservative Group on Pembrokeshire County Council said “I believe in transparency and openness so I voted for the debate to be held in public. Unfortunately that vote was lost so the debate was held in private.”

“During the debate that was held in private, many opposition Councillors voiced concern that given any legal action was not guaranteed to succeed, pursuing this would not be sensible given the costs that would be incurred could be substantial. This was a view I shared, and I voted in favour of an amendment supported by the majority of opposition parties that while a line should be drawn under this matter it was with regret that the monies had not been repaid by the two senior officers. This vote was lost by 34 votes to 23 due to the fact that the Cllr Paul Miller and his Labour group voted against this. This lost vote meant that we then voted on a proposal from the Leader, Cllr Jamie Adams that simply no further action would be taken, without any additional comment or regret at what had happened. I could not support this bland proposal.”

“Again the Labour group voted against this. I find the voting strategy of the Labour group under the Leadership of Cllr Paul Miller bizarre and naive. Had Cllr Miller come up with a proposal I would have considered the merit of it.  However to come up with nothing, vote against everything and complain about the turn of events shows inexperience. Had the Labour group voted for the amendment that was supported by the vast majority of opposition Councillors, we would have emerged with a far stronger statement. They didn’t and the actions of the Labour Group have resulted in an unsatisfactory outcome in my view.”

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Appeal after woman sexually assaulted on cycle path near Haverfordwest

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POLICE officers in Haverfordwest are appealing for witnesses after a woman was sexually assaulted at approximately 4.30pm on Sunday (May 16).

The woman was walking along the cycle path between Haverfordwest and Tiers Cross when she was approached by a man who threatened and assaulted her, before walking away towards Haverfordwest town.

The male is described as a white male, between 5ft 4 and 5ft 11 tall , normal build with a welsh accent. He has short dark hair, a beard and a moustache, brown eyes, and wearing light blue jeans, navy/dark blue jersey with grey sleeves. Anyone who saw a man matching this description in the area between 3.30pm and 5pm in the afternoon.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested and is currently in police custody.

The cycle path is currently closed while the investigation continues.

Detective Superintendent Jayne Butler, who is leading the investigation, said “Incidents of this nature are extremely rare in the Dyfed-Powys area. The public may see an increased presence of police officers in the coming days as police investigate the incident. Anyone with concerns or information that could help our enquiries can speak to those officers or contact police. While a man was quickly arrested we would still like to speak to anyone who saw a man matching the above description in the area yesterday afternoon.”

Anyone with information which could help the investigation is asked to contact police. This can be done online at bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet endorses STEP Fusion application

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’S Cabinet have today endorsed proposals from Cllr Paul Miller (Cabinet Member for Economic Development) to further progress the nomination of a Pembrokeshire site to host a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) fusion power station in the county.

Working with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the proposed site is adjacent to the existing energy facilities on the South Shore of the Haven waterway.

If approved, the facility will initially host research with the ultimate aim of developing this technology which could offer a virtually limitless source of clean electricity by copying the processes that power the sun.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “I am pleased my Cabinet colleagues endorsed this important programme of work. The Haven Waterway has provided livelihoods, underpinned by fossil fuels, for thousands of Pembrokeshire families, mine included, for more than 50 years. It’s my job to help ensure the waterway continues to provide high skilled, engineering, science and technology jobs for the next generation of this county – and so linked to our focus on climate change (and in addition to our existing multi-million pound commitments to supporting wind, wave and tidal clean power generation) my team have been exploring whether we can also support the development of clean, green fusion technology.

“It’s very early days in the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s site selection process but we’ll provide regular updates as things progress.”

•       STEP is an ambitious programme to design and build a prototype fusion power plant;
•       It is a UKAEA programme, currently with £222m funding from the UK Government to produce a concept design by 2024: https://step.ukaea.uk/

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Re-opening of indoor hospitality and attractions at Milford Waterfront

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RESTAURANTS and indoor visitor attractions in Milford Waterfront are welcoming the return of indoor services from today.

The re-opening of indoor dining allows all restaurants at Milford Waterfront to seat customers indoors. As well as all restaurants on the Waterfront now being able to offer this service, the brand-new Foam Domes overlooking the Milford Haven Waterway are able to open, with bookings being taken from the 19th May.

Indoor visitor attractions are also allowed to re-open. This includes the Waterfront Gallery, which is open today and Phoenix Bowl & Pirate Pete’s Adventure Play which is making preparations to open from Wednesday 19th May. Also, Milford Museum, which has had a new rendered exterior finish, is preparing to open for the end of May.

Lucy Wonnacott, Marketing Manager for Milford Waterfront commented: “We are delighted to see the re-opening of indoor hospitality and visitor attractions here at Milford Waterfront. Each business has their own safety and social distancing measures in place and we kindly ask that you respect and adhere to these for your own safety, and that of others. We hope you enjoy your visit to Milford Waterfront and stay safe!”

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