Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

Port promises to work with council to solve Lower Priory flood risk

Published

on

THE PORT OF MILFORD HAVEN has promised to “stand-by and support” the Local Authority and its consultancy firm Capita in carrying out any recommendations made which could mitigate flooding in Lower Priory.

Tom Sawyer, CEO of the Port, said that he recognised that people who were affected by the floods in 2018 were clearly “desperately upset.”

“Its clear that we stopped communicating [with the flood victims]”, he said.

But the Port now has confirmed it is willing to work with its partners, and those affected, to do what is necessary to improve drainage to mitigate future flood risk.

Whist The Port of Milford Haven still denies any liability for the serious flood four years ago, communications had since improved, he said.

“It’s true that every time it rains heavily, I do worry about Lower Priory and Havens Head” – Mr Sawyer said.

But a meeting has taken place at the now renovated Priory Inn public house – which was also flooded to a height just below the downstairs ceilings – to update residents on progress.

The Port’s management have walked around the Priory Pill with residents, The Herald has been told.

In 2019, Members of the County Council’s Services Overview Committee probed the Port Authority’s actions in relation to the lakes.

The Council heard that a report by civil engineering consultants Atkins had concluded that obstruction of trash screens leading from Lower Priory did not materially contribute to the extreme flooding which took place both there and at Haven Head in November 2018.

Over three days of torrential rainfall, fourteen properties were flooded at Lower Priory and there was significant flooding at Haven Head.

An emotional moment in 2018: Stephen Crabb MP with Ian Bannister from Lower Priory clearly upset by the damage caused as his daughter Natalie looks on (Pic: Herald)

The Port Authority continues to deny any liability for damage caused by the flooding.

However, at the time Hakin Councillor Mike Stoddart pointed out that Atkins’ assessment was based on evidence produced by Milford Haven Port Authority.

Councillor Stoddart alleged that Atkins’ finding could not necessarily be relied upon. He noted that the Port Authority had an obvious interest in saying the trash screens were not obstructed in order to support its claim it was not liable for the damage caused by the flood.

Defending the Port Authority’s position, both Andy Jones and Tim Bownes, said the report found that the major factor in the flooding was the large increase in levels of silt in the lakes at Haven Head and Lower Priory combined with high tides and unprecedentedly levels of rainfall.

Under further questioning from Mike Stoddart, Mr Bownes conceded that the electronic flood warning system had been a casualty of the flooding and had stopped recording the water volumes at Lower Priory well before the peak of the inundation.

When one resident produced photographs of a truck tyre in front of a trash screen taken in February which remained in place six months later, he was tersely told that the presence of the tyre did not count as an obstruction of the trash screen.

The resident shook his head in disbelief, while several councillors wondered what did constitute an ‘obstruction’.

It is obvious to this newspaper that the only viable solution to the flood risk problem would be increased capacity for the culverts under Havens Head Business Park – and this could cost many millions of pounds.

Milford Haven Cllr Stephen Joseph has observed that a large amount of infill had taken place at the lakes.

He suggested that this, combined with the development of Haven Head over a former tidal plain contributes to the risk of flooding.

Some of those affected by flooding were not insured, or their insurance companies have refused to pay out.

Those families or individuals still out of pocket years later, including the landlady of the pub where the meeting took place, are still fighting for compensation.

Stephen Crabb MP visits flooded resident (Pic: Herald)
Continue Reading

News

Milford Haven: Police investigating sexual assault

Published

on

POLICE are investigating an incident of sexual assault which occurred in Hakin, Milford Haven.

Milford Haven Police say that the alleged incident took place in Croft Avenue on February 7, 2023 at around 19:50hrs.

If anyone is able to give any information regarding this incident please ring 101 quoting reference DPP/0956/07/02/2023/02/C.

Continue Reading

News

Pembrokeshire County Council faces less bleak finances than previously expected

Published

on

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL faces a less bleak financial position than had previously been expected, to the tune of nearly £10m, members of a schools committee have heard.

At the February 6 meeting of the Schools and Learning Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance Cllr Alec Cormack, presented outline draft 2023-’24 budget proposals to members.

He told members an updated draft budget was to be reported to the February meeting of the council’s Cabinet after a previously feared funding gap of £28m was now smaller, at £18.6m, due to a higher settlement from Welsh Government.

An expected 3.5 per cent settlement ended up being 7.9 per cent, which meant some expected cuts were now unlikely to happen, he told committee members.

“A large number of the most severe cuts are now very, very unlikely; we’re now looking at a deficit of £18.6m, it’s not as severe as it was.

“The officer team is looking at how that funding gap could be closed with budget savings and with different levels of council tax.”

Members heard the budget is expected to be addressed through an increase in council tax – potentially in the area of 7.5 per cent – along with significant cost reductions.

Director of Resources John Haswell said: “It was a better settlement, but still an £18.6m gap; this isn’t a one-year issue, this is an issue over the medium-term plan, over £50m over the four-year period.”

He said that Pembrokeshire, having the lowest council tax rates in Wales, meant that each potential percentage increase returned less than other local authorities.

Members heard papers listing the latest budget proposals for Cabinet discussion are expected to be released soon, in advance of the February 13 meeting.

Members agreed to defer making any recommendations to Cabinet, pending the release of the revised papers.

Continue Reading

Business

Welsh Freeport competition heats up with Senedd vote

Published

on

ON WEDNESDAY, the Senedd will hold a debate regarding freeports as the competition for UK and Welsh Government funding nears its conclusion.

Currently, three bids are in from across Wales for a chance to benefit from £26 million of direct UK Government funding, as well as reduced taxes for businesses in the freeport area. A Welsh freeport could see up to 16,000 jobs created and further investment or the local area into the billions.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for the Economy, Paul Davies MS said:

“Benefits of a freeport cannot be understated, bringing much needed jobs and investment into some of the most deprived areas of Wales.

“The UK Government put the challenge to Wales to submit exceptional bids, and Wales has delivered.

“All three bids would help to transform their local communities in different ways. It’s essential that the UK and Welsh Governments work together to deliver that second freeport for Wales, maximising the opportunities that these bids have to offer.”

The three Welsh Freeport bids are:

  • The Celtic Freeport (covering Pembrokeshire to Neath) which has estimated that it would create over 16,000 new jobs and up to £5.5 billion in new investment.
  • The Anglesey Freeport would support up to a £1 billion contribution to UK GDP by 2030, while also creating up to 13,000 new, high salary jobs in Ynys Môn.
  • The Newport Freeport (including Cardiff Airport) is aiming to increase non-passenger revenues to 50%, ending their reliance of passenger generated income.

The UK Government stated that “if a truly exceptional proposal were presented at the bidding stage” than a second freeport would be funded.

The Welsh Conservative debate reads:

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Recognises the opportunities for freeports to energise the Welsh economy, create high quality jobs, promote regeneration and investment.

2. Notes that three bids from Wales have been submitted for consideration by the UK and Welsh Governments.

3. Calls on the Welsh Government to work with the UK Government to deliver two freeports in Wales, recognising the truly exceptional proposals submitted and the transformational benefits they can deliver for the Welsh economy.

Continue Reading

News23 hours ago

Households and businesses off the gas grid to receive energy bill support

£200 energy bill support to begin arriving with households off the gas grid across Great Britain.Businesses using alternative fuels will...

Health1 day ago

Health unions cancel strikes after Welsh Government’s pay offer

HEALTH unions in Wales postponed strike action due for this week following an improved pay offer from the Welsh Government.This...

News1 day ago

Huge 13% rise in fire service costs for council taxpayers in mid and west Wales

TAX payers in Mid and West Wales will pay 13% more towards the region’s fire service in 2023-24 compared to...

News2 days ago

Freshwater West cordoned off over night due to ‘item of ordnance’ being found

EMERGENCY SERVICES were called to Freshwater West on Sunday, after a potentially dangerous item was found. The area remained sealed...

News3 days ago

Community backs fundraiser to help injured Pembrokeshire paramedic

OVER six thousand pounds have been raised to support a local paramedic who was badly injured in a road traffic...

News5 days ago

Wales v Ireland travel advice from Transport for Wales

TRANSPORT FOR WALES is offering rugby supporters rail and bus services for Wales’ opening game of the Six Nations against...

Business5 days ago

Planning approved for change of use in Tenby’s ‘drinking quarter’

THE RESTROSPECTIVE planning applications made by Mike Evans were granted approval by national park planners. A former national park member...

News5 days ago

MP’s call for better County rail links to boost tourism

PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb has called on the Welsh Economy Minister Vaughan Gething to improve rail services into Pembrokeshire as...

News6 days ago

Dyfed-Powys police precept to rise by 7.75 per cent

POLICE and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has announced a 7.75 per cent rise in the Dyfed-Powys Police precept for 2023-24,...

Business1 week ago

Ferry staff concerned over rumours Pembroke Dock to Rosslare route coming to an end

CONCERNS are growing amongst Irish Ferries staff operating out of Pembroke Dock as rumours continue to circulate that the company...

Popular This Week