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Police launch ‘Licensing SAVI’ to improve safety for staff and customers

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE have launched a pioneering licensing initiative in bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels. Senior officers say that this demonstrates their commitment to improving safety and security in the night-time economy.

Officers are working alongside venues to launch Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI), which was developed at the request of the Home Office by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), a police-owned organisation which works alongside the Police Service around the UK to deter and reduce crime.


Supporting the hospitality industry, Licensing SAVI is backed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and Project Servator, a police-led vigilance scheme to deter terrorist attacks at crowded places. Its aim is to provide safer and more secure venues for managers, staff, customers and local communities and to reduce the demand on hard-pressed police forces and NHS Ambulance Services and Accident & Emergency Departments.

Available to licensees as an on-line self-assessment, Licensing SAVI covers critical issues like responsible drinking, drugs misuse, violent behaviour and safeguarding vulnerable customers through to preventing opportunist theft and improving physical security, such as lighting and CCTV systems. Most measures included in Licensing SAVI can be introduced quickly and at little or no cost.

Licensing SAVI provides consistent standards, guidance and advice that licensed premises in Wales and England need to meet the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 and promote the four Licensing Objectives: Prevention of Public Nuisance; Prevention of Crime and Disorder; Protection of Children from Harm; and Public Safety. Licensing SAVI also includes a non-assessed guidance section on counter terrorism.

Licensees that complete the self-assessment will receive a Star-Rating and can apply for Licensing SAVI Accreditation and an award for display to show the efforts undertaken to enhance safety.

The initiative is being supported by Home Office funding, secured by Dyfed-Powys Police Safer Communities Hub, giving premises the opportunity to join the scheme as part of the roll out. The fund is available to support projects that help reduce neighbourhood crime, make local areas safer and reduce demand on police forces.

Inspector Reuben Palin, from Dyfed-Powys Police’s Central Prevention Hub, said: “We’re pleased licensed premises from across the force area are working with us to ensure their pubs and clubs are a safe environment for people to enjoy a good night out.

“We would encourage anyone who hasn’t already signed up to get in touch so we can work together for better community safety.”

Mark Morgan, Business Manager for Licensing SAVI, commented: “I’m delighted that Dyfed-Powys Police, using Home Office funding, are supporting the use of Licensing SAVI in premises by enabling licensees to undertake an assessment of the processes and procedures they have in place to maximise safety and reduce vulnerability for both customers and staff. We’re confident that this contributes to raised standards, safer venues, and safer socialising, with the venues being able to display their award to recognise their efforts. It’s great to see that venues across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys have already received our accreditation and we look forward to more doing so in the near future, contributing to a safer Dyfed-Powys.”

Covering a huge geographical area, Dyfed-Powys Police have funded venues across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, and Powys. The following venues were the first in the region to take up the scheme, achieving accreditation and a star award to display to customers and the local community.

In Carmarthenshire The Old Cross Inn, Quay St, Ammanford and Yr Hen Dderwen, 47–48 King Street, Carmarthen are taking part. Moira Williams, General Manager at the Old Cross Inn, said: “I took part in Licensing SAVI and found the process easy to complete. By completing this accreditation, it has made us more aware of extra safety and servility measures for our business and most importantly for our customers.

She added: “We take the safety for our customers seriously and everyone should be able to enjoy and be assured that their safety while socialising comes first. Every public bar selling alcohol should complete this assessment and become accredited. It’s even given us some good insights into how to improve our business. I am so glad I completed this and am happy with my accreditation.”

In Ceredigion THE Cambrian Hotel, Alexandra Rd; Harleys, 21 Eastgate; Royal Pier, Marine Terrace, of course all in Aberystwyth are taking part. Royal Pier Head of Operations, Lee Price, proudly commented: “The Licensing SAVI self-assessment offered an invaluable opportunity to re-visit and health-check operations, assess the effectiveness of their intention, and add more meat to the bones of day-by-day control measures.

“It has provided a credible recommendation to display to the public, helping attract a more perceptive customer and offering a competitive consumer edge,” he added

Here in Pembrokeshire five venues are taking part so far – they are:

  • Castle Hotel, Castle Square, Haverfordwest SA61 2AA
  • Eddie Rocks, 4 Quay St, Haverfordwest SA61 1BG
  • Imperial Hall, Hamilton Terrace, Milford Haven SA73 3JN
  • OUT Pembroke, 14 Main St, Pembroke SA71 4NP
  • The William Owen, 6 Quay St, Haverfordwest SA61 1BG

The William Owen’s manager, Jon Blaney, told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “We are proud to have become accredited with Licensing SAVI. The pub takes its responsibilities seriously and works closely with the police to ensure the venue is run to a high standard at all times with staff and customer safety paramount.”

There are six venues in Powys taking part. Chris Thompson, Manager of The Buck Inn and The Pheasant Inn, commented: “I found the [Licensing SAVI] process very easy and quick. It helps publicans highlight where improvements are needed to ensure our customers are as safe as possible. The Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative is a great idea. I highly recommend the scheme!”

Business

Emergency work at Royal Lion Hotel given the go-ahead

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A PROMINENT Tenby hotel, which had an Urgent Works Notice served on it by the national park due to the unsafe condition of external windows, has been given the go-ahead for works.

The poor condition the Grade-II-listed Royal Lion Hotel has recently led to an Urgent Works Notice being served on it by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Safety concerns have been raised in recent months by councillors and members of the public over the hotel, in the town’s conservation area, overlooking the North Beach.

A listed building planning application to reinstate the hotel’s windows was submitted to the authority by South Terrace Developments Ltd.

A spokesperson for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has previously said: “The Park Authority has served an Urgent Works Notice on the Royal Lion Hotel in Tenby.

“The owners acknowledge the risk posed by the windows and have proposed an alternative scheme to begin remedial works, having recently submitted a listed building application to reinstate the windows to the High Street and White Lion Street frontages.”

An Urgent Works Notice can be served by an authority which believes that a building is not being properly maintained. It gives the owner a specific time in which to carry out necessary works.

The plan for the hotel sought consent for replacement bays and windows, insertion of a new door replacing an existing window, and minor ancillary works.

As a consultee to the proposal, Tenby Town Council’s members sought more information as to the materials to be used for the replacement windows.

They were also concerned about the proposal to install a door opening on to White Lion Street.

It was pointed out: “The carriageway is narrow in this location and vehicles often mount the pavement to pass each other which could compromise safety of individuals using this door.”

A report for planners, recommending approval, said: “An Urgent Works Notice is in force with regards to the unsafe bay windows to the front elevation.

“The application relates only to the original hotel building with listed building consent sought for replacement bays and windows, insertion of a new door replacing an existing window and minor ancillary works.

“The proposed scheme is in keeping with the character of the listed building, and its setting in terms of design and form. As such, the application can be supported subject to conditions.”

The application was conditionally approved by officers under delegated powers.

The hotel was rebuilt in the late C18 and extensively altered 1853-4 when the façade was remodelled and raised a storey to four floors with two tiers of canted bay windows, the report for planners said.

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Business

Goodwick horse training school plans denied

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PLANS for a north Pembrokeshire equine training school for a business that doesn’t yet exist on some of the best agricultural land have been turned down by the national park.

In an application submitted to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Mr G W Richards sought permission for a 39-metre-long sand school for use in ‘breaking’ and training horses at Llanwnwr Farm, Trefasser, Goodwick.

An officer report, recommending refusal, said the proposed site was located “within an agricultural field which The Predictive Agricultural Land Classification Map identifies as Grade 3a land”.

It adds: “Best and most versatile agricultural land is defined in Planning Policy Wales as Grades 1, 2 and 3a. Land in grades 1, 2 and 3a should only be developed if there is an overriding need for the development. Officers consider that the applicant has not demonstrated an overriding need for the sand school to be located on agricultural land classified as best and most versatile. A recommendation to refuse planning permission is made.

“The proposal is to develop a sand school for use in ‘breaking’ and training horses. The Design and Access Statement states that this will allow the applicant’s son to stay within the area and develop a small business on the family farm. The business does not currently exist.

“The proposed use involving breaking and training horses is a use which typically requires a countryside location. In this particular case however, the proposal is for a business that does not yet exist and very limited information has been submitted to support the proposal.   In addition to the lack of justification for the use, Officers have significant concerns regarding the specific proposed location of the proposal. Planning Policy Wales Edition 12 section 3.58 states that agricultural land of grades 1, 2 and 3a is the best and most versatile, and should be conserved as a finite resource for the future.”

The application was refused on the grounds it would be “an unjustified development in the open countryside which would result in the loss of best and most versatile agricultural land (Grade 3A)” and “The proposed development is not considered to be well designed in terms of place as other land within the applicant’s control is available of a lower grade agricultural land value”.

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Business

Council considering enforcement action against unauthorised wedding venue

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BUSINESSMAN Rhys Owain Lloyd, and his partner Carys Elin Mair Davies have found themselves at the centre of controversy in recent days.

Their operations at Redberth Gardens in Pembrokeshire, where they are running an unauthorised wedding tipi venue, have caught the ire of local authorities and residents alike.

Now the council is considering formal enforcement action, it has been confirmed.

Despite being denied planning permission by Pembrokeshire County Council on April 23, the couple has forged ahead with their venture.

Weddings have already taken place at the venue on May 25, with another booked for June, locals said. Lloyd and Davies, both from Carmarthen, are brazenly advertising and accepting payments for weddings and music events under the guise of Serenity Garden, even though they lack the necessary wedding licence.

The properties they advertise for accommodation—safari tents and glamping pods—do not have the requisite planning permission. Furthermore, the lodges have not been signed off by building regulations, raising serious concerns about their ability to secure insurance for guests.

As if these infractions weren’t enough, ceremonies are conducted on a site not listed on PCC’s approved venue list. Adding another layer of complexity, the land used for these ceremonies is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is under investigation by National Resources Wales due to allegations of land grabbing from a local farmer, which has ignited a legal dispute.

Pembrokeshire County Council responded to the situation with a series of statements sent to the Pembrokeshire Herald by email.

Regarding planning issues, a council spokesperson said, “The planning application was submitted retrospectively following a planning enforcement investigation. The refusal of the application means we are considering formal enforcement action to remedy the breach of planning control.”

The council also noted that a separate planning application for an extension to the holiday accommodation, comprising three glamping pods and six safari tents, was withdrawn in May. “An indication was given that a revised application would be resubmitted,” the spokesperson added.

In terms of marriage ceremonies, the council explained, “The venue applied to become licensed as an approved premise for ceremonies some months ago. As part of the licensing procedure, we require proof of planning and event consent. Neither of these were provided with the application, so we have proceeded no further, pending receipt of these documents.”

The council is aware that the venue continues to take bookings. “Any ceremonies currently taking place are not legal ceremonies or undertaken by the Registration Service; instead, they are non-legal ceremonies conducted by independent celebrants,” the spokesperson clarified.

The saga of Rhys Owain Lloyd and Carys Elin Mair Davies at Redberth Gardens is a stark reminder of the ongoing issues with unauthorised venues and the difficulties faced by local authorities in enforcing planning regulations and ensuring public safety. As this story unfolds, the community watches closely, awaiting the next move in this contentious drama.

Although there is no wedding licence, the council have confirmed that there is a current premises licence issued under The Licensing Act 2003 for the venue, authorising the sale of alcohol and regulated entertainment.

The Herald has tried to contact the business owners for comment.

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