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Local councillor quits following Banksy allegations

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Billy Gannon

A PEMBROKE DOCK town councillor has stepped down from their role after repeated claims that he is well-known artist, Banksy. 

Councillor William Gannon worked for the local community as a town representative with Milford Haven Port Authority for some time before becoming a town councillor.

He said in a statement released on Facebook that he is resigning, “with immediate effect”, due to the suspicions that he is graffiti artist, Banksy. 

Town Cllr Gannon, of Pembroke Dock’s Bufferland Ward denies the claims and said the constant allegations against him are undermining his ability to focus on the job.

On Monday, May 23, he stated: “As you may be aware an allegation has been repeatedly made that I am not who I say I am but that I am the Artist Banksy. A number of people believe that this allegation is true.

“This allegation is undermining my ability to do the work of Councillor and Council Rep properly. I do not want this allegation to undermine the reputation of Pembroke Dock Town Council.  Therefore, I have decided to step down as both Town Councillor and Council Rep to The Port with immediate effect.

“Thank you for all of the support that you have given me in the past.”

The letter which was sent to the Town Council, has been shared on Pembroke and Pembroke Dock Citizens Forum Facebook page.

Many have expressed their sadness that cllr Gannon felt that he had no other choice but to stand down from his role in order to deny the claims.

Many members of the group have tagged Dyfed-Powys Police into the post and urged them to step in and investigate the allegations – which they believe are down to an ex-council member who they describe as a ‘controversial’ character.

One user said: “Really sorry to hear this, the bullies have won.”

Mr Gannon, has assured the public that this is not a case of the bullies have won, but gives him more of an opportunity to defend his name and prove that the allegation are false.

He said: “No they have not. This just frees me up to fight back more effectively. As a Councillor I had to protect the dignity of the Office and the Council. As a Community Artist I can engage in the argument in all sorts of creative ways.”

Many others in the group have claimed to be a subject of abuse in the same way as cllr Gannon, claiming to be victims of untrue allegations in order to intimidate them.

Another added: “Very sad to hear this. Billy is a lovely, kind hearted gentleman who will help anyone at the drop of a hat. I do understand why he feels the need to step down as the bullying has been relentless and very personal towards others including myself. I hope the Town Council will seek some kind of support for Billy and use any powers they have to bring in sanctions to combat bullying of this kind.”

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New mobile visitor centre ready to help visitors gear up for the Pembrokeshire Coast

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Park Authority Ranger Richard Vaughan and Summer Ranger Megan Holt with the new information van at Poppit Sands.

PEOPLE visiting some of Pembrokeshire’s top beaches and events may soon encounter a new mobile information centre, with a specially converted van ready to hit the road and help people enjoy their visit.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s new information van will be set up at seaside locations and popular local events, with Rangers on hand to give advice to those who need help and suggest free activities for those looking to discover the area’s wildlife.

National Park Authority Ranger Service Manager, Libby Taylor said: “This new vehicle will help our staff provide a range of information at locations where we know many people head to enjoy the National Park.

“As well as helping people learn more about the area and the different ways they can make the most of their visit, people can also find out how they can make the least impact on the Park during their stay.

“As well as having an awning to provide shelter, the van also includes space for magnetic panels that can be changed so the information that’s most relevant to the location or event can be provided.”

The vehicle, which has been converted by local company Poppit Campers, also includes a solar panel, which will help to power two iPads, which will give members of the public a chance to find further information on subjects such as nearby walks and wildlife identification.

The purchase and conversion of the vehicle was made possible through the support of the Welsh Government.

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Community

Deadline approaching for £500 payment to unpaid carers

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THE DEADLINE to apply for a one-off £500 payment to eligible unpaid carers in Wales is rapidly approaching.

The Welsh Government scheme, administered by Pembrokeshire County Council, is open to all unpaid carers in Wales who were in receipt of Carers Allowance on 31 March 2022.

The deadline to apply is 5pm on 15th July 2022 and those who believe they are eligible are urged not to miss out.

The Council is also sending out 400 letters this week to those they believe may be eligible and who have not yet applied.

The payment is in recognition of the increased financial pressures many unpaid carers experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic and to help with some of the additional costs they have incurred. 

The payment is targeted towards those individuals who care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and have low incomes.

You will not be eligible for the payment if:

  • You have an underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance but do not receive a payment because you are in receipt of another benefit at the same or higher rate; or
  • You only receive the carer premium  

If you have already applied please be assured the Council is working its way through the applications as quickly as possible.

How to apply

Applicants (this should be the person in receipt of carer’s allowance)

are required to complete the online form at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/grants/unpaid-carers-500-pound-payment

Required information is:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and email address
  • Date of Birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Post code
  • A bank statement showing your name, address, account number and sort code

If you are having problems completing the on-line application form please email: UnpaidCarers@pembrokeshire.gov.uk alternatively call 01437 764551 for assistance.

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Crime

Lola James: Two people have denied charges in connection of the death of 2-year-old

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TWO people who have been charged in connection with the death of a Haverfordwest toddler have denied charges.

30-year-old Kyle Bevan of Aberystwyth, denied a charge of murder at Swansea Crown Court.

Lola’s mum Sinead James, 29, denied a charge of causing or allowing the death of a child.

Lola died in Hospital on July 21, 2020, four days after sustaining a severe head injury at her home address in Princess Royal Way, Haverfordwest.

Bevan was remanded into custody.

James was released on conditional bail.

The trial will take place in 2023 and Judge Thomas said it is expected to last four weeks.

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