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Bryn to take ‘leave of absence’ following Herald revelations



CEO under fire: Bryn Parry Jones

CEO under fire: Bryn Parry Jones

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’s embattled Chief Executive, Bryn Parry Jones is to step aside, it has been announced today (Aug 15).

Following a series of shocking revelations in this week’s Herald about the CEO’s conduct, IPPG leader Jamie Adams announced the embattled chief exec is to take “a period of absence” from his post.

East Williamston Councillor Jacob Williams was first to break the news on his website this morning when he reported:

“Within hours of today’s Herald going on sale, council Leader Jamie Adams issued the following press statement:

The Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor Jamie Adams, has announced that the Chief Executive, Mr Bryn Parry-Jones, is to take a period of absence with immediate effect.

Councillor Adams said: “This decision has been taken in view of the continuing speculation surrounding the Chief Executive’s position.

“It has been reached by mutual agreement between Mr Parry-Jones and myself and I believe is in the best interests of the Authority at the present time.

“There will be no further statements on this matter.”’

Last weekend Councillor Williams was the first to report on the explosive content of a letter sent to Jamie Adams by former Audit Committee Chair John Evans MBE. In that letter, Mr Evans made a series of allegations about the CEO’s conduct at a secret meeting on May 16 after the Herald revealed the identity of a Council Officer who had interfered with the minutes of a grants panel meeting.

A statement released by Cllr Adams after Cllr Williams and the Herald reported the allegations concerning Mr Evans claimed that the former Audit Chair – a former head of a multinational company – had “misinterpreted” events at the meeting. Cllr David Simpson, Cabinet spokesperson for housing, who was one of two councillors who were actually present at the May 16 meeting in the CEO’s office, told the Herald that his recollection accorded with Mr Evans’ other than in relation to the meeting’s atmosphere of alleged ‘hostility’.

Since Mr Evans’ letter’s online publication and the appearance of a series of articles on the Herald’s own website, momentum has grown for dramatic change at County Hall.

That momentum was increased today when the Herald exclusively revealed that the CEO – a Council employee – had launched an expletive-laden rant at two councillors, former British Lion Peter Morgan and local businessman Mark Edwards, following their support of a motion requesting that the CEO pay back unlawful payments made to him by the Council.

The Herald was contacted this morning by Cllr Mike Williams, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, who said:

“Without your efforts there can be little doubt that the shenanigans of County Hall would not have become so publicly known.

“I have to plead guilty as one of the original members who appointed Mr Parry Jones to his current role in 1995, despite being aware that Carmarthen had failed to appoint him, and having received numerous phone calls from then members of Llanelli Council, who up until then had employed Mr Parry Jones warning me that he had been a disaster with them, and pointing out his autocratic verging on arrogant management style.

“Mr Parry Jones is the senior civil servant in Pembrokeshire. What do the revelations of his conduct tell us about him? Can you imagine any Welsh Government officer speaking to elected members in this fashion?

“I find it alarming that the relationship has become almost incestuous between the controlling group and an officer who is supposed to serve all members, not one group.”

Mr Parry Jones’ “period of absence” is widely thought to be a desperate attempt by the Council’s ruling group to preserve its grip on the levers of power and potentially save the position of Council Leader Jamie Adams.

Councillor Adams has been repeatedly and publicly voluble in his support for the Council’s CEO, to the extent where questions have arisen about the CEO’s alleged involvement in the Council’s political processes. Such is the closeness of their working relationship that it beggars belief that Jamie Adams was not aware of issues surrounding the CEO’s conduct towards Councillors and others when crossed.

With a requisition for an Extraordinary Meeting to vote on no confidence motions against both the CEO and IPPG Leader Adams, Jamie Adams’ own position as leader of the council is hanging by a thread.

The Herald has today revealed that a widespread movement exists for the replacement of Councillor Adams with Councillor David Simpson as Council Leader. Councillor Simpson’s reputation for plain-speaking integrity, as befits a serving Justice of the Peace, is thought to be key to restoring public confidence in the Council.

The Herald’s Assistant Editor Jon Coles said:

“Enough people have “known” what has been going on for years. At last there are people prepared to say in public what they whisper in private. And – importantly – those prepared to publish it.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms



A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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Pembrokeshire residents urged to take a virtual GP consultation when offered



PEMBROKESHIRE residents are being urged to take up the offer of a virtual consultation, over the phone or video call with their GP, to help Keep Wales Safe during the current lockdown ‘stay at home’ restrictions.

The way we access local NHS services is changing, with more ways in which you can consult your doctor or nurse. Most surgeries now offer telephone as well as electronic advice consultations in the first instance. Following your advice call, a face to face appointment may be organised, but video consultations are also available. You can now speak to a doctor or healthcare professional using the video camera in your smartphone, tablet or computer and a connection to the internet. This is often more convenient and can save you time, as you will not need to travel for a face-to-face appointment. The system used is confidential and secure.

In a recent YouGov survey carried out for the Welsh Government’s Keep Wales Safe campaign only 27% of residents in Mid and West Wales had made use of the GP virtual service over the past 12 months with just 57% having heard of the service. However, 88% believed it was important to have access to a remote GP consultation once they had learnt of its existence.

Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care, Community and Long Term Care at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “If you are offered a video consultation appointment this is because your Health Care Professional has indicated that is it safe and appropriate to do so. Your video appointment will be confidential and will not be recorded. If you require support please contact your GP surgery using the number provided in the appointment confirmation.”

She continued: “By putting off small problems or regular appointments you could potentially be putting more strain on NHS emergency services so please, help us to help you, do not put anything off. Local GP surgeries are open and are there to offer medical advice and consult patients.”

After being offered a video consultation you will be sent a letter, email or text with details of your appointment. This communication will contain details of the service that has requested to see you by video and have provided a web address link. You can type or copy the web address link into a web browser via an internet enabled device and this will take you to the video clinic waiting area.

  • In order to access your virtual appointment, you will need:
  • Access to a device that will allow you to access the internet. You should use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge web browser on a desktop or laptop, or on an Android tablet or smartphone or Safari web browser on an Apple iMac, MacBook, iPad, or iPhone.
  • Your device will need a webcam (camera), speakers and microphone.
  • A good internet connection (if you can watch a YouTube video, this is good indication that you have a good connection).
  • An internet usage plan that is sufficient to cover the data consumption of a video call – ideally use a Wi-Fi connection if you have this available.

Sixty two percent of those surveyed by YouGov in Mid and West Wales said they will continue to access NHS services using the new ways that have been introduced as a result of the pandemic. The new methods include making more use of pharmacists; virtual GP consultations and using the NHS 111 online and telephone services.

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‘Cautious optimism’ for county’s tourism sector – but clarity still needed



‘GIVE us clarity’ is the overriding message from the County’s tourism and hospitality businesses as the sector looks forward with cautious optimism to another busy season.

In a meeting hosted by Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb, thirty key local businesses were able to share their views with Paul Davies MS, Pembrokeshire County Council, the National Park and Visit Pembrokeshire.

The meeting focussed on the need for business support measures so long as uncertainty remains over the timetable for re-opening the economy in Wales.

Stephen Crabb said: “There is a lot of belief around that this summer will see another ‘staycation’ boom so long as the vaccination programme continues to make good progress and infection rates fall. Pembrokeshire has had a lot of national media coverage in recent months and could experience a bumper season but it’s crucial we get the re-opening right. There is a clear need for some kind of timetable to help businesses prepare appropriately and for clear rules to avoid confusion and contradictory messages.”

Paul Davies said: “It was a pleasure to hear from tourism businesses across Pembrokeshire about some of the challenges that they’re currently facing. The message was pretty clear – they want clarity from the Welsh Government and some timescales by which they can start to plan for reopening. I’ll certainly be taking back the concerns highlighted during the meeting and raising them with Welsh Government Ministers at the Senedd.”

Emma Thornton from Visit Pembrokeshire added: “Great to attend the Hospitality and Tourism Round table event today and to have the opportunity to discuss the ongoing challenges our industry faces over the coming months but also to share a collective optimism for what we believe will be a really strong year for tourism in Pembrokeshire when we are able to reopen and welcome our visitors back.

“Visit Pembrokeshire as the new Destination Management (DMO) for Pembrokeshire will be working closely with local stakeholders and businesses to help realise this opportunity in a sustainable and responsible way mindful of protecting what makes our beautiful county so special”

Stephen Crabb: Wants clarity for tourism businesses

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