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£5m Pembrokeshire council budget overspend on cards



A MORATORIUM on non-essential council expenditure is now in place as cash-strapped Pembrokeshire is on course to overspend its budget by nearly £5m this year.

Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, meeting on September 4, will hear a report on the quarter one figures for the 2023-24 budget, highlighting an expected overspend of £4.8m.

A budget of £287.6m was approved by council on March 2, but he projected outturn – based on the latest figures – is £292.4m.

Pressures include a projected £8.7m overspend in School ALN provision, Children’s Services, Adult Services and Homelessness, partly offset by a projected underspend of £3.5m in Capital Financing Costs and Investment Income.

The report also highlights a bleak longer-term picture for council finances.

The 2023-24 budget identified a potential funding gap of £33.1m over the period 2024-25 to 2026-27; with £15.9m in respect of 2024-25, to be funded from a 7.5 per cent council tax increase, and £10m of budget savings.

That is expected to increase to £37.3m 2024-25 to 2026-27, and £ 46.9m up to ’28, with £20m in respect of 2024-25.

In the report, the council’s Interim Director of Resources Paul Ashley-Jones states: “The projected overspend of £4.8m for 2023-24 is very concerning.

“There is still a high degree of uncertainty around pay awards, inflation, interest rates, service demand and Welsh Government funding which could have a further detrimental impact on this position as the year progresses.

“The majority of schools continue to set budgets that exceed the funding received in year, with school balances projected to reduce by a further £4.877m during 2023-24 to £1.005m.  This is not a sustainable position and will require continual review of school staffing structures and organisation over the medium term.

“Current levels of increased demand, complexity and cost of packages within School ALN, Children’s Services, Adult Services and Homelessness have resulted in material projected overspends in each of these areas for 2023-24 which are likely to continue into future years.

“It is critical that packages are continually reviewed to identify more cost-effective provision to pull back these overspends for 2023-24, and reduce the pressure on 2024-25 and the medium term financial plan.

“The overspends outlined have been partially offset by higher levels of investment income and delayed borrowing costs resulting from slippage of the 2022-23 Capital Programme.

“However, if interest rates remain at current levels, or increase, this will put further pressure on Capital Financing costs in 2024-25 and future years.  For those schemes that have not commenced, potential delay to the start on site will need to be actively considered.

“In line with the approved Budget Strategy for 2023-24 and beyond, a moratorium on all nonessential expenditure is now in place.  The aim of this is to try to bring the budget back into balance by the year-end, with any use of reserves only being a last resort.”

The interim director added: “Financial pressures experienced during the first quarter of 2023-24 are going to continue into 2024-25 and the medium term, so there are going to be some significant financial challenges to be addressed, and difficult decisions to be made.”

Members are recommended to note the report and cost-saving works.

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Count down is on for the opening of new venue HANGAR in Milford Haven



MILFORD HAVEN’S entertainment scene has been taken to new heights with the highly anticipated opening of HANGAR! This extraordinary venue promises an unparalleled experience for all attendees, setting a new standard for event spaces in the area.

Located at Thornton Industrial Estate, HANGAR boasts an impressive 5000 square feet of space. Inside, visitors will find a fully stocked bar, catering to their beverage needs, and a remarkable 6-meter by 3-meter LED screen that is guaranteed to leave them mesmerised. The sheer scale and technology of this LED screen make it a one-of-a-kind attraction in Pembrokeshire, setting HANGAR apart from any other venue, but the little things haven’t been forgotten with plenty of heating and seating across the venue.

“Milford Haven is undoubtedly experiencing an upward trajectory, and HANGAR is far more than just an ordinary event space,” said Steve Bartram, Project Co-ordinator and popular local musician. 

“We have really kept the local community in mind, the venue’s location has been meticulously selected to guarantee minimal disruption for residents of the town while ensuring easy accessibility for all visitors to HANGAR from Milford, Neyland, Pembroke and beyond” said Steve

Organisers have expressed to not wait too long to experience this limited-time gem! HANGAR will only host a handful of exclusive events this year, making securing tickets a priority before they disappear!

GRAND OPENING: The Big All-Day FanZone Area + Oktoberfest Extravaganza – Saturday, 7th October

As the Rugby World Cup action continues to heat up, the party at HANGAR keeps going strong! The Fan Zone area will be alive with the vibrant sounds of 

Throughout the day, visitors can catch THREE thrilling home nations rugby games on HANGAR’s spectacular 6 by 3-meter LED video wall, complete with comfortable seating for the ultimate viewing pleasure. Live music performances during half-time breaks will keep the spirit alive and kicking.

Hungry attendees can indulge in authentic German street food served by specialised traders, perfectly complemented by a selection of traditional German beers to enhance the atmosphere.

But the excitement doesn’t stop there! After the rugby matches, Oompah Cymru, Wales’ finest Oompah band will take to the stage promising an unforgettable Oktoberfest experience for all attendees leading lively dancing and crowd participation, creating an atmosphere that Milford Haven won’t forget.

🎟️ Don’t miss out on this event! Secure your tickets now at: or you can pay on the door.



FLAMINGO BINGO – 16th December



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Baby loss remembrance service resumes at Withybush Hospital



THE ANNUAL baby loss remembrance service will return on Thursday 12 October 2023 at St Luke’s Chapel in Withybush hospital in Haverfordwest at 7pm.

The ‘Forget Me Not’ service coincides with Baby Loss Awareness week (9-15 October) and is arranged by Midwifery and Bereavement teams and led by the Spiritual Care Department (Chaplaincy).

The service has long been a source of comfort for parents and families and provides an opportunity for people to reflect and to come together to pay respects and write a message in a safe space.

Euryl Howells, Senior Chaplain at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “This service of remembrance is an important moment for parents and families who have been affected by the very sad experience of babies who have passed away.

“Infant and pregnancy loss is a very lonely grief. This space is a time to gather and remember precious little ones whether the loss was recent or in the more distant past.”

In recognition of Baby Loss Awareness week, Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen and Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth will have pink and blue lights in the Chapel/Quiet Room. The week culminates in a ‘Wave of Light’ on 15 October, which is recognised across the world.

A candle (battery operated) will be lit at 7pm by the Senior Chaplain in memory of all the babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.

If you are unable to attend the service and wish to commemorate your loved one, please send a message to [email protected] by Tuesday 10 October 2023

Should you require further information please contact Euryl Howells by telephone or email 01267 227563 or [email protected]

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Councillors elected to Haverfordwest Town Council



The declaration of results for by-elections to two Haverfordwest Town Council Wards
are available on the Pembrokeshire County Council website.

The elections to the Priory and Portfield Wards took place on September 19 th , 2023.

Cllr Peter Lewis and Cllr Tasha Jones were elected to the Priory Ward and Cllr Roy
Thomas to the Portfield Ward.

Returning Officer Will Bramble made the declaration of results at the Picton Centre,
Haverfordwest, following the closure of polls and counting.

The full declarations are available on the election results page of the Council’s

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