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Overwhelming vote of no confidence in Bryn

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brynIT IS LOOKING unlikely that Bryn Parry Jones will be able to survive as the chief executive of Pembrokeshire County Council after he overwhelmingly lost a vote of no confidence this morning (Sept 12).

Having survived his own vote of no confidence, council leader Jamie Adams refused to back the chief, and 46 councillors including senior cabinet then voted to say they had no confidence in Mr Parry-Jones.

The Chief Executive who is currently working from home having returned back to work following three weeks on ‘gardening leave’ was not present at the meeting.

Last month, County Council union members and members of the public protested outside County Hall about the way the authority stumbling crisis to crisis. Many said that they wanted the Chief Executive to be suspended.

A few weeks ago The Herald reported that Mr Parry-Jones angrily confronted two members of the Independent Plus Group – Cllrs Mark Edwards and Peter Morgan – in what was described as a ‘tirade of abuse’ when they failed to support him in a vote.

That revelation brought things to a head and led to the council boss being placed on leave while councillors considered the next steps.

Councillors  are now in private session discussing the way forward in terms of potential investigations and disciplinary proceedings against the chief.

Cllr Brian Hall, Cllr John Allen-Mirehouse, and Cllr Owen James supported Mr Parry-Jones in the vote.

Mr Parry-Jones has been the chief of Pembrokeshire County Council since the authority was being formed in 1995.

 

How could the council get rid of Bryn?

The Herald understands that at the meeting held has night at the request of council leader Jamie Adams, employment specialist Eversheds, whom the Herald believes were instructed by the Welsh Local Government Association, met councillors in a meeting scheduled for one hour, which went on for considerably longer. The key advice given by Eversheds was that if the council wished to commence disciplinary proceedings against Bryn Parry-Jones it could do so on fairly narrow specified grounds. One of those grounds would be if the continuation of the CEO in post would be “reputational damage to the Authority as a whole”

In addition, advice from Eversheds has torpedoed claims made that getting rid of Mr Parry-Jones would cost the council hundreds of thousands of pounds settlement. Eversheds said that this was wrong.  The legal firm also told councillors that in the event that the relationship between Mr Parry Jones had lost the mutual trust and confidence necessary to underpin a relationship between the Head of Paid Service and staff, and the Head of Paid Service and councillors, he could be dismissed on three months’ notice.

The Herald also understands that councillors were advised that as Mr Parry-Jones opted out of the Local Government Pension Scheme – if he lost his post, he would have to wait for his pension payout instead of receiving it automatically.

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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Business

Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence

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GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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Appeal from Fire and Rescue Service to install working smoke alarms

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AT 01:17am this morning, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, crews from Milford Haven were called to a property fire in the Hakin area of Milford Haven.

The fire was confined to a pan on a stove in the kitchen area and extinguished by firefighters using two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera.

Crews also ventilated the property and fitted smoke alarms within the property.

The Fire Service left the incident at 02:00am.

Watch Manager Alun Griffiths, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “This fire was the result of cooking left unattended. It is so important to remove all pots and pans from a heat source when you are called away from the cooker.

“Thankfully, the occupiers of the property managed to exit the property before our firefighters arrived, but it could have ended very differently as there were no smoke alarms fitted in the property.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of installing working smoke alarms in your homes and testing them regularly. In the dreadful event of a fire, they can alert you to the danger sooner and could mean the difference between life and death.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, we provide Home Fire Safety advice which is free of charge. We also offer Safe and Well Visits which you can arrange by phoning us on 0800 169 1234 or by visiting the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website.”

For further Home Fire Safety advice or to talk about the possibility of a Safe and Well Visit by Fire and Rescue Service personnel, please phone us on 0800 169 1234.​​​ Alternatively please complete an online Request a Safe and Well Visit​ form on the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website: https://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/eng/your-safety/in-your-home/

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