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Leader’s Update: Storm response shows best of ‘Team Pembrokeshire’



THE leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, David Simpson, has given his latest update from county hall:

“Good afternoon everyone, I hope you are well.

I had hoped to issue my latest update on Friday but of course the response to Storm Eunice and then Storm Franklin over the weekend had to be the priority.

I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to all Pembrokeshire County Council staff and our contractors who went above and beyond to respond to one of the busiest periods we have seen in a very long time.
It was truly a team effort.

From the pre-event planning across the Authority, the contact centre starting early to take the public’s calls, the team in the Incident Management Centre overseeing the response, the teams out and about on the ground clearing trees and checking structures, closing roads, managing risks to the public, checking on elderly and vulnerable residents, to the communications colleagues who kept us all updated throughout the weekend.

It was lovely to see feedback from you, the public, thanking all our staff and contractors for their efforts. Even as I speak the crews are out attending to the latest calls and building maintenance issues.

I would also like to thank our partners from across Mid and West Wales for their response. Western Power Distribution described the incident as the worst storm they have ever experienced in the South West Region, that shows the level of challenge we have all faced. Thank you one and all for your efforts.

Since my last update we have again seen a series of announcements from the Welsh Government on the Covid-19 situation.

Thankfully the public health situation is improving to the point that the Welsh Government has announced that some of the last remaining protections can be removed.

From Friday the legal requirement to show a Covid Pass to enter venues such as nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls has been removed.

However, it is worth remembering that events and venues can continue to use the pass if they choose to.

From Monday 28th February, the requirement to wear face coverings will be removed from most indoor public places, apart from in retail, public transport and health and care settings.

However, if the public health conditions continue to improve, the legal requirement to wear face coverings in all remaining settings could be lifted by the end of March.

I know that for many, many people that this will be just the news that they wanted to hear.

It has been a long two years and these announcements are a major step towards the normality we all crave.

However there will also be some, particularly those most at risk from Covid-19, for whom these steps will be a worry.

I would ask everyone to remain cautious, continue to do what you can to minimise the risk of catching and spreading Covid-19 and, at the same time, reassure those people for whom this is a worrying time.

The next three-weekly review of the coronavirus regulations will be carried out by March 3rd, when the remaining measures at alert level zero will be reviewed.

This will be my last Leader’s Update for this Council term as next month we move into the pre-election period.
The Local Government Elections, including elections to Pembrokeshire County Council and local Town and Community Councils will be held on Thursday 5 th May.

If you have not already, you will shortly receive important information regarding the elections arriving on your doorsteps.

Most important of all, these letters will urge you to ensure you are registered to vote do so before the deadline of midnight on Thursday 14 th April. You can register to vote at:

The County Council and Town and Community Councils deal directly with issues that impact on all our lives here in Pembrokeshire. Therefore it is so important that you are able to have your say who represents you.

The Council is particularly keen to ensure that 16 / 17 year olds and foreign nationals are registered to vote for these elections.

Following the introduction of new legislation in Wales, anyone aged 16 or over on 5 th  May and legally resident in Wales can cast their votes if they are registered to do so.

I would also urge anyone who is considering standing for election and doing their bit for their local communities to learn more about the roles.

Our webpage is a good place to start for all information on the elections.

The Council’s YouTube page also features a series of videos from current Councillors explaining more about what the role entails. You can find the videos here:

I’d also like to remind everyone of the upcoming deadline for the Winter Fuel Payment scheme.

This is for eligible households to claim a one-off £200 payment to provide support towards paying their on-grid winter fuel bills. The deadline is Monday, February 28.
See all the information here:

We are now into the half-term break. The Council has set up a host of exciting experiences to ensure
there’s no chance of boredom slipping in. Check out what Scolton Manor has to offer at: (please check in advance to make sure the site is open following the storms).

Pembrokeshire Leisure’s Winter of Wellbeing also has plenty to keep young people fit and happy.

There’s lots going on so check out the website for the latest:

Stay safe everyone and thanks for all the feedback received on this Leader’s Update over the last couple of years.

I hope it has been a welcome source of information and I once again thank Team Pembrokeshire for how you have all worked together during some of the most testing times we have experienced.”


Suffolk man to be sentenced after stabbing victim in the back in knife attack



GARY GRANT, a 51-year-old resident of Briarwood Road in Lowestoft, Suffolk, will soon face sentencing after a vicious knife attack that left his victim with multiple stab wounds. Grant appeared in court on Wednesday (May 24) and entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. However, he did admit to the lesser charge of unlawful wounding.

The prosecution was granted time to determine whether they would proceed to trial on the wounding with intent charge or proceed directly to sentencing for the unlawful wounding offense. Ultimately, it was decided that Grant’s guilty pleas were acceptable.

During the proceedings, Magdalena Biglou, Grant’s defense attorney, requested a pre-sentence report to be prepared. Biglou argued that the incident was a result of emotional distress and grief experienced by Grant following the death of a family member.

In response to the request, Judge Paul Thomas granted the application but issued a stern warning, stating, “No-one should go away thinking that a non-custodial sentence will be passed.”

Grant was released on bail by Judge Thomas, and his sentencing has been scheduled for July 21.

The case was initially brought before Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court but was subsequently transferred to Swansea Crown Court. Earlier this week, concerns were raised regarding Grant’s fitness to stand trial, but these concerns were ultimately dismissed.

As the sentencing date approaches, the court will carefully consider the circumstances of the case and the severity of the charges against Grant. Justice will be sought for the victim, who suffered significant harm as a result of the knife attack.

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Fenton Vets raises concerns as Guinea Pigs abandoned in Burton and Johnston



FENTON VETS in Haverfordwest has sounded the alarm after discovering a total of 14 abandoned guinea pigs, sparking concerns for their well-being in the current warm weather conditions. The local authorities have now been involved in the investigation.

The veterinary clinic expressed extreme worry about the potential risks these innocent animals face as they are left exposed to the scorching temperatures.

Urging the public to assist in this matter, the firm implored individuals to contact the police or Greenacres if they come across any more guinea pigs.

Furthermore, if anyone suspects that the guinea pigs might be unwell, they are encouraged to reach out to the veterinary clinic directly.

In an update provided on social media at 3pm on Saturday (May 27), it was revealed that the police have now become actively involved in the case.

The distressing situation unfolded with the discovery of two female guinea pigs, found confined in a box in a lay-by in Johnston.

As the investigation progressed, Fenton Vets announced at 12:30 pm that four additional guinea pigs were in their care, while another two were discovered boxed up in Burton.

It has also come to light that there are three more guinea pigs in Johnston, currently being looked after by a local family.

To ensure the safety and well-being of these abandoned animals, Fenton Vets has notified the RSPCA, local veterinary services, and Greenacres, seeking their assistance. The plea from the veterinary clinic is for individuals to remain vigilant and report any suspicious boxes they may come across, emphasizing the importance of not ignoring such signs of potential animal cruelty.

The Facebook post generated a significant response, with users expressing their empathy and concern. One user, Kat Cullen, commented, “Poor babies. I’ll give them a home. This breaks my heart!” Meanwhile, Mandy Feneck voiced her anger at the heartlessness of those responsible for the abandonment, stating, “How cruel some people can be… There is no need for this to happen… They could have been brought to an animal rescue… This makes me so mad… The people who did this are so bloody heartless.”

Mandy also expressed gratitude to Fenton Vets for their compassionate care.

It is important to note that the guinea pigs found in this case are not currently available for adoption. Nevertheless, the veterinary clinic expressed appreciation for the overwhelming support and concern from the community.

As investigations continue, Fenton Vets and concerned individuals hope that justice will be served, and that the guinea pigs will be provided with the care and attention they deserve, free from harm and neglect.

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Pembroke Dock man found guilty of beating woman



LAYON NOLAN, 27, a resident of Ashleigh House in Pembroke Dock, has been found guilty at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court of assault by beating.

The incident occurred on 14th July 2022 at Pembroke Dock.

Nolan had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges but was convicted on 22nd May 2023.

The conviction, which is contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, involved Layton Nolan physically attacking a female, who we have decided not to name.

The court heard evidence presented by the prosecution, led by Ann Griffiths, while Layton Nolan was represented by solicitor Amelia Pike. The magistrates overseeing the case were Mr. J Ross, Dr. R Talbot-English, and Mrs. M Smith.

Following the conviction, Layton Nolan was remanded on conditional bail.

To ensure the integrity of the legal process and prevent interference with witnesses or obstruction of justice, Layton Nolan has been subjected to bail conditions.

He is prohibited from contacting any prosecution witnesses, including the victim. Moreover, he is not allowed to enter Bush Street, Pembroke Dock.

Layton Nolan must reside and sleep each night at Ashleigh House, Victoria Road, Pembroke Dock, SA9 1TJ.

The next hearing is for sentencing and is scheduled for 7th of June 2023

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