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Any takers for Joseph’s dream?

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Huw George: “No comment”

Huw George: “No comment”

THE ANNOUNCEMENT by Milford Central County Councillor Stephen Joseph that he is to form a new group on Pembrokeshire County Council is reported elsewhere in this paper. 

In an effort to find out how much support Councillor Joseph is likely to gather, the Herald attempted to contact every county councillor to find out where they stood. At the same time, we asked each councillor whether they supported the protest scheduled for County Hall on Friday, August 8. In order to ensure each councillor had the option of declaring their position in the public interest, each of them was also sent two emails, in some cases to multiple addresses, and given two phone calls.

From the 56 councillor’s polled by this paper’s deadline, we had received just 27 replies IPPG uber-loyalist Daphne Bush hung up on our reporter, rather than answer the first question. When rung to answer the second, she hung up again. Based on Councillor Daphne’s demonstrably less than independent turn of mind, we guessed that she did not know how to answer as she had not yet been told what to say. Pearl Llewellyn was more forthcoming. She told us that she had no intention of joining Pembrokeshire First, but did say that she was more than likely to support Friday’s action. Our reporter John Vaughan soon discovered that word had got around amongst IPPG members that these questions were being asked, and it appears the advice given, within the group, was to refuse to answer the key question as to whether or not they supported their workers’ protest.

Former Cabinet member Ken Rowlands hung up when asked about Pembrokeshire First and declined to answer whether or not he supported the workers’ protest. Fellow Labour turncoat Umelda Havard was another to hang up on our reporter when asked about Pembrokeshire First and would not comment on the protest against Bryn Parry Jones. IPPG members Lyndon Frayling and Huw George offered no comment to either question. From the members that were prepared to answer these two simple and direct questions, The Herald received some very strong comments. Councillor Peter Stock said: “As a member of the Pembrokeshire Alliance, we are determined to put Pembrokeshire first, and provide a quality service that the people of our county richly deserve.

So why try to form a new group with a similar idea and objectives?” Jacob Williams responded by stating: “I am not interested in joining Pembrokeshire First. I was elected independent and I will remain independent; as an unaffiliated member.” Predictably, Michael Williams, of Plaid Cymru, claimed Cllr Joseph ‘was deserting a sinking ship’. On the protest he said: “It is a sad state of affairs when we see this type of action, and it shows the failure of the controlling group to get a grip and give some firm political direction. Firstly by suspending the CEO until the investigation is completed. Secondly by admitting their failures and apologising to Pembrokeshire Taxpayers for the continued disastrous news stories that flow from this failing Authority. “I support that staff, and I have great sympathy for them. They see their pay cut or frozen, while the CEO seems to receive huge increases in salary. It is incredible to remember that he was appointed in 1996 on a salary of £60k.

The question must be asked of those that sat on the Senior Staff committee and authorised these obscene increases.” Anthony Wilcox, from the Labour Group, made his position clear: “I have no interest myself in joining Stephen Joseph’s group/party. However, if it leads to the downfall of the current ‘bought and paid for’ mob, I welcome it.” Councillor Tony Brinsden said: “I am an Independent (dictionary definition) member and intend to remain that way. Since being elected two years ago Cllr Joseph has changed his allegiance twice so who knows where he might be in a year’s time.”

Leader of the Labour Group, Paul Miller, confined himself to speaking about the Unison protest, confirming that he would be there to show support: “The joint union ballot and demonstration is an opportunity for staff to express their view on how Pembrokeshire Council is being run. “Many staff have been badly treated in recent years having had their salaries cut, hours reduced or pay frozen. I can only imagine how it felt to find out that, at the same time, the Chief Executive had been paid an additional £45,000 in unlawful pay supplements and that the Council had bought him a Porsche. We simply cannot continue like this. “The Independent Political Group are riding roughshod over the people of this county and undermining democracy at every turn.

We must all continue to do everything we can to fight for change!’” Tory Councillor Stan Hudson, a member of the secretive council committee that voted to help Bryn avoid a potential tax liability on his seven-figure publicly-funded pension by making unlawful payments to him, and who has supported the CEO in every subsequent vote even against his own party colleagues, was far less supportive of the workers’ protest against their CEO. Instead, Conservative Stan told us that he would not support the strike as he believed it was a Labour Party publicity stunt drummed up by Labour Leader Paul Miller, arranged for the benefit of what he alleged were Councillor Miller’s union paymasters. Fellow Tory David Bryan, formerly of the IPG until knifed by the group at the last election, offered no comment on either Pembrokeshire First or on supporting the protest against Bryn Parry Jones.

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Permit applications open for Tenby pedestrianisation scheme

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is now accepting applications for vehicle access during this year’s Pedestrianisation of Tenby.

The scheme, which is due to start on Monday, July 5 and conclude on Friday, September 10, will again see the walled town divided into three ‘zones’, each having varying degrees of vehicle access.

Whilst all necessary plans are being put in place for it to start and finish on the above dates, the scheme will remain under constant review in light of Government guidance relating to Covid-19, and the Council will provide any updates as necessary.

Possession of an ‘access permit’ does not provide any exemption from Government restrictions, and any regulations relating to travel and the occupation of holiday accommodation or second homes must be observed at all times.

Following the success of last year, the permit application process will continue online, with paper application forms and guidance notes no longer being delivered to residents and businesses.

The application form and guidance notes are available from pembrokeshire.gov.uk/tenby-pedestrianisation

Residents and business within Tenby are encouraged to complete the application process as soon as possible, to ensure that there is sufficient time for the application to be processed.

Permits will be issued approximately 7-10 days prior to the start of the scheme.

For enquiries, e-mail tenby.pedestrian@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

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Join the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel as an independent member

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THE Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel is looking for two members to join them in their work to support and challenge the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Panel is made of up of members nominated by Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys county councils along with at least two independent members.

Opportunities have now arisen for two independent members to join the Panel and carry out key statutory roles that will support the Commissioner exercise his role effectively.

Members will be expected to attend and take part in regular meetings and take part in decision making, creating reports and making recommendations to the Commissioner.

They will review the Commissioner’s annual draft Police and Crime Plan and annual draft budget, review and scrutinise his decisions and actions, and if necessary review the proposed appointment or removal of the Chief Constable and other senior police force appointments.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they can take a balanced and objective approach in supporting the Panel and the Commissioner, make strategic and well-informed decisions, and interpret and question financial, statistical and performance related information.

They will also need to be able to act as a ‘critical friend’, challenging views or proposals for change constructively.

Applications close on May 31, and appointments to the Panel will be made until October 31, 2024. 

For further information, visit www.dppoliceandcrimepanel.wales

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Successful Fire Service and Health Board partnership to enhance COVID-19 vaccine roll out comes to end

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TUESDAY 11 May 2021 marked the end of a hugely successful partnership between Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Hywel Dda University Health Board, initiated to enhance the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to the communities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Since February, Community Safety Staff from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have transported 125 passengers over 9450 miles to ensure they were able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

Chris Davies, Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Recognising the configuration of our Service, the areas we cover and indeed the people we employee, this seemed an ideal opportunity for us to widen our response to the pandemic and support our partners in safeguarding our communities.

“Whilst we already collaborate with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, this opportunity enabled us to expand our assistance further within the health arena. This partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board was the first of its kind for Fire and Rescue Services in Wales and paved the way for a number of similar partnerships for us and the other Fire and Rescue Services in Wales.

“I am extremely proud of our staff who have participated in this collaboration and have made a huge difference to the lives of so many people. Their contribution has without doubt had a positive impact on our response to this global pandemic”.

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, coordinated the Service’s response to this call for assistance.

“Our communities are at the heart of our core business. Knowing we were in a position to make an impact, we put in place a robust solution in record time, to not only ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, but to also safeguard those who were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, but may have had barriers preventing them from attending their appointments.

“Using this partnership as template within which we could expand, we have since been able to offer our assistance to other Health Boards across the Service area. Indeed, a group of 10 vaccine heroes from our Service have joined Powys Teaching Health Board’s vaccination team, playing their part in distributing vaccines at mass vaccination sites in Newtown and Builth Wells. This is another fantastic example of how working together has been vital in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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