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Rogue Pembrokeshire roofer handed suspended prison sentence

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A rogue roofer who carried out work that wasn’t required on the home of a vulnerable couple and charged them thousands of pounds has been sentenced to a suspended prison term of 15 months.

Toby Price of Broadmoor was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Monday, November 6th following a successful investigation and prosecution brought by Pembrokeshire County Council Trading Standards.

Price admitted four charges of fraud and one offence of engaging in a misleading commercial practice by omitting contractual information including cancellation rights.

The Court heard that Price was trading as ‘Best Price Roofing Services’ when he was contacted by the victim about a slipped roof tile which had caused a damp patch on an upstairs ceiling.

Price visited and quoted £800 for the work, falsely claiming that the high cost was for insurance in case he had an accident.

An independent contractor later said the repair should have cost about £80 plus VAT.

While there Price claimed he had noticed the chimney stack to be leaning or warped and estimated a cost of repair to be £8,000. He told the victim that he would do the work for between £4,000 and £5,000.

When the victim said he would think about it, Price said the chimney stack could fall and potentially injure the victim’s wife who was largely confined to the living room due to health conditions.

The victim felt pressured and concerned about his wife’s safety and agreed to the repair.

Price spent around 30-45 minutes on the roof with a trowel and a bucket of cement. He charged £4,500 for the work.

An independent contractor later examined the chimney and stated that it was safe and not leaning or warped.

Rendering work of poor quality had been carried out and estimated to have cost approximately £100 plus VAT.

The fraud was discovered when the victim’s usual maintenance company later attended and contacted the Council.

A telephone number on a business card provided by the defendant did not work and when contacted by

Trading Standards on another number provided to the victim, the man who answered claimed it was a wrong number.

The impact on the victim and his wife has been profound, causing them stress and concern about a loss of their savings.

Cllr Michelle Bateman, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, said: “I welcome the sentence handed to Price today and thank the Trading Standards team for their diligent work on this prosecution.
“Price targeted a vulnerable couple and charged them an extortionate amount for work that did not need to be carried out.
“The victims have been left badly affected by Price’s actions and I hope this case shows that the Council will not stand for this sort of callous behaviour.”

Price was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

He must carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and 15 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement.

Price must also pay the victim £900 in compensation.

Community

Police launch urgent search for missing 16-year-old in west Wales

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POLICE are actively searching for a missing 16-year-old boy, known only as Kobi, who has not been seen since last week. The teenager has connections across various towns in west Wales, including Llandeilo, Carmarthen, and Cardigan.

Kobi, described as tall with shaved black hair featuring a purple tint, was last spotted in Llanelli. Authorities have urged the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings of the boy immediately.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police issued a public appeal, stating: “Can you help find Kobi, who has been reported missing? Kobi is 16 years old, and described as tall with shaved black hair which has a purple tint.”

Anyone with information on Kobi’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Dyfed-Powys Police without delay, as concerns for his welfare continue to grow.

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Feedback wanted on regional transport vision

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VIEWS are wanted on the future of transport in South West Wales.

Covering Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea, a case for change that’s been developed for a regional transport plan is now open for public feedback until Monday August 26.

The case for change shows how the plan is essential to support the ongoing economic development of the region, while recognising its diverse communities and varying transport needs.

Aims of the plan include improving walking and cycling routes to local services, as well as achieving a shift away from private car usage to more sustainable forms of transport. Affordability will be at the centre of the plan to ensure access to transport is available to all.

Comments on the case for change will help inform a draft regional transport plan that will also be consulted on when it’s ready for feedback.  

Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro plans for an integrated bus and rail network will continue to be developed alongside the regional transport plan’s delivery in future. 

The rail metro elements are projected to add over a million journeys to the rail network, helping move more people out of cars and onto public transport than any other scheme in Wales.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader and Chairman of the Corporate Joint Committee (CJC) for South West Wales, said: “Adding to an outstanding tourism offer, South West Wales is undergoing a time of unprecedented investment, thanks to developments like the Celtic Freeport and £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal.
“These schemes – in combination with many others – will help create thousands of jobs for local people and attract even more investment to South West Wales in future, but we’ve also identified that our current transport network needs significant improvement to keep pace with these developments, while also better meeting the needs of local people in all the region’s communities – both urban and rural.
“The case for change – which also highlights the importance of affordability, climate change considerations and low-carbon transport – is intended as a guide to help inform the emerging regional transport plan.”
Cllr Darren Price, Carmarthenshire Council’s Leader and Chairman of the CJC’s transport sub-group, said: “The transport network is at the heart or our region. It takes us to work, education, healthcare and leisure and social activities both throughout South West Wales and further afield.
“It affects everyone, which is why we’re opening up our case for change for the regional transport plan for public feedback.
“With the population of the region also expected to increase in the coming decades, we need a transport system that accommodates existing and future developments in a way that supports sustainable travel choices, economic activity and social inclusion across the region.”
Head to www.cjcsouthwest.wales/consultation for more information and the opportunity to give feedback.
Email [email protected] if you have any queries.
Paper copies of the feedback form and consultation materials are available at:
Carmarthenshire: Ammanford Customer Services Hwb on Quay Street, Carmarthen Customer Services Hwb on St Catherine’s Walk or Llanelli Customer Services Hwb on Stepney Street.
Neath Port Talbot: Neath Civic Centre, Port Talbot Civic Centre or The Quays on Brunel Way in Baglan Energy Park.
Pembrokeshire: County Hall in Haverfordwest.
Swansea: The Civic Centre on Oystermouth Road.

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Community

Freshwater West named The Times newspaper Beach of the Year

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FRESHWATER WEST has been named Wales’s Beach of the Year, according to the annual best beaches guide by The Times and Sunday Times. The comprehensive guide, now in its 16th edition, lists the top 50 beaches in the UK and will be available in print on 21st July.

Chris Haslam, the award-winning chief travel writer for The Times and Sunday Times, described Freshwater West as “a wilderness of dunes, sand and rocks that draws surfers from across the world to ride its winter waves.” Haslam has personally inspected all 50 beaches on the list over the past eight weeks.

The guide evaluates the stunning beauty of the UK coastline using a meticulous 11-point checklist. This includes water quality, cleanliness, accessibility, parking facilities, lifeguard presence, hygiene standards at restrooms and showers, and dog-friendliness. For 2024, only beaches rated as “excellent” for water quality by national environment agencies have been included, and the guide exclusively covers mainland beaches.

Here are the best beaches in Wales according to the guide:

  • Wales’s Beach of the Year: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
  • Llanddwyn, Anglesey
  • Porth Iago, Gwynedd
  • Penbryn, Ceredigion
  • Mwnt, Ceredigion
  • Manorbier, Pembrokeshire
  • Pendine Sands, Pembrokeshire
  • Mewslade, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Oxwich, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Monknash, Vale of Glamorgan

Chris Haslam reflected on his travels, saying, “My Jack Russell, Dave T Dog, and I have journeyed 5,583 miles and explored 543 beaches. The 50 beaches that made our list are graced with outstanding natural beauty, superb infrastructure, and a clear sense of pride from those who live, work, and play there. I’m still in awe of the beauty of the UK coast. From Kynance to Caithness, and Brancaster to Benone, the beaches of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are the most magnificent on earth.”

For more details, visit The Times and Sunday Times Best UK Beaches.

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