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Burry Port Mayor hits back at bully accusations

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FOLLOWING recent accusations of bullying at Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council, the Mayor David Owens and his Deputy have been moved to make an official statement.

Councillors appealed for calm at an extraordinary meeting held a fortnight ago, following scenes at the end of the previous meeting which was suspended.

The Herald attended the extraordinary meeting, at which public and press were issued with guidance on how to behave.

County Councillor for Burry Port John James alleged that Plaid Cymru’s Peter Freeman was ‘trying to get me off the council’ and referred to an email allegedly sent by independent Mike Theodolou accusing him of making malicious accusations.

In their joint statement, Cllrs David Owens and Bob John said: “As Mayor and Deputy Mayor we have maintained a silence in the press and social media in the belief that the responsible thing to do was to deal with confidential staff issues within the Council. Unfortunately Cllr John James’ recent comments, and the recent Star headline, cannot go unchallenged.

“At the heart of the problem is the decision of a member of staff to resign after ​11 months in the post. When he informed the Mayor of his decision he was asked to take 24 hours to reconsider his decision and to also talk to his family. The following day he informed the Mayor that he had decided to go and asked that he be allowed to leave straight away.​”​

It must be made perfectly clear that nobody asked him to resign, in fact the Mayor asked him to consider his actions carefully when he wanted to resign.

“Since that time there has been repeated insistence by the Labour Group that discussions be held in public about his resignation despite the strong advice from the Town Clerk, the County Council Monitoring Officer and the Ombudsman that this should not happen. We must also point out that in the last five years when Labour were in control and Labour Mayors chaired the Council meetings they ended almost every meeting of the Council by excluding the public and the press so that we could deal with staff and ex-staff issues.

“By insisting that we comply with the advice, and that we remain professional and responsible, the Independent Councillors have suffered harassment, personal attacks and verbal abuse. Some Independent Councillors have also reported to us that they have been intimidated and bullied by people who attended the Council meeting on September​ ​
21​. It was for that reason that Police presence was felt necessary at the following meeting on October​ ​13​.​”​

Following his resignation the Council took the opportunity to change the requirements and the status of the job to better fit the growing demands on the Council and advertised the job accordingly.

“A month after he resigned and following some intense interventions on his behalf by some Labour Councillors, the former member of staff informed the Council that he had changed his mind and would like his job back. However, this was a job that no longer existed following the changes by the Council. He was informed that the job had been advertised, meaning that it was open to anyone to apply.

“The former member of staff clearly did not like the Council’s answer and subsequent events suggest that he commenced a campaign with his supporters to intimidate and force the Council to give him what he wanted. It is sad that some Labour Councillors are putting pressure on the rest of us and disrupting the normal work of the Council.

“Members of the public and the press are welcome to attend Council Meetings but as a result of the behaviour of some at the meeting held on September ​21, ​the Town Clerk deemed it necessary to issue Guidance on the admission of the public and press to Council meetings​.

“There are​,​ however​,​ occasions when the public and press are excluded as Cllr John James, a former Mayor, is fully aware and has himself excluded them in almost every meeting during his tenure.​”​

Finally during the meeting of September ​21, ​Cllr John James as the leader of the Labour group on the Town Council attempted to intimidate the Mayor into holding a public discussion on an ex- staff issue while the former member of staff was present in the audience. In his unwise and unprofessional attempt he carried out an attack on the Mayor and the Town Clerk which was unprecedented, disrespectful and insulting.

​”​His behaviour was unacceptable and does not represent the professional way in which the Council should conduct its business. It was for this reason that the meeting was suspended in order to ensure that the Council’s reputation was protected.”

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  1. Avatar

    Kim Dahle

    May 21, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    The herald should do their reasurch much better than they do if you did you would see exactly what nasty lying bullying boards the independent party of Burry port are .

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Llanelli bus depot to close after 100 years

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THE LLANELLI HERALD understands that the Llanelli Bus Depot at Inkermans Street will be closing its gates for good. 

The Bus Depot has served the local community for approximately 100 years, Drivers will now be sent to work from depots in Carmarthen, Swansea and Tycroes. 

All services will remain in the the town, this newspaper can confirm, and our reporter was told that there will not be any redundancies. 

One bus driver told us that he and he co-workers were “not completely happy”, but the unnamed source added “At least we still have jobs to go to.” 

Further updates are expected on this developing story.

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Two week national ‘Firebreak Lockdown’ announced for Wales from 6pm on Friday

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MARK DRAKEFORD, The First Minister of Wales has announced a two week ‘fire break’ lockdown from Friday October 23 at 18:00 HRS, to last until Monday November 9 at 00:01 HRS

Mr Drakeford said: “This firebreak is the shortest we can make it. It must be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need it to have on the virus.”

All non essential businesses, including tourism businesses will be told to close.

Businesses have been told that they will be given £1000 each automatically to help with the economic impact of the shutdown.

Mr Drakeford added that children will be the priority and that childcare facilities will open as normal. Primary schools will open after half term.

Secondary schools will be closed for a week after half term to help control the virus.

Universities will offer a mixture of face-to-face learning and learning via video link. Students must stay at their university accommodation during the lockdown.

Responding to the Welsh Government’s announcement of a Wales-wide lockdown, Paul Davies MS, the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament, has called the lockdown “not-proportionate” and is calling on the Welsh Government to be “open and transparent” on the evidence to support a lockdown and if the First Minister is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns every month.

Paul Davies MS said: “Sadly, the First Minster has failed to get public support for this second Wales-wide lockdown, failing to be open and transparent about the evidence to justify this lockdown and what his actions will entail for the future.

“The Welsh Government also has to be honest that this road they are taking us down is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns. This is not a two-week break to solve the pandemic, it is likely that we will see regular lockdowns across the rest of the year. The Welsh Government must be clear what actions they are taking during the lockdown to prevent further Wales-wide lockdowns which will have a significant impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

“However, the main concern is that this national lockdown is not proportionate. The impact on businesses in areas such as Powys, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, who have the lowest rate of Covid-19 cases in Wales, will be severe at a time when they are desperately struggling to recover from the pandemic so far this year.

“The First Minister needs to urgently come to the Welsh Parliament and answer these questions, to face effective scrutiny by elected representatives and not run his government by media.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb told The Herald: “The evidence to support an all-Wales lockdown is weak and I am sceptical that this so-called ‘fire-break’ will tackle the situation in those parts of Wales where infection rates have been out of control. The key issue for Welsh Government to address is what will be done differently after the firebreak ends in those parts of Wales where infection rates have spiralled out of control. Otherwise the whole of Wales risks being dragged back into a series of rolling lockdowns.

“As we saw earlier in the year, lockdowns come with huge costs in terms of harm to the economy and to people’s emotional and mental wellbeing. With the Welsh Government asking UK Government to fund this lockdown, I hope that as many businesses as possible get support they need quickly. Pembrokeshire’s hospitality businesses will be hit particularly hard by these latest restrictions and I will be fighting hard again to see that they are protected as the lockdown kicks in.”

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Drakeford to make decision on ‘fire-break’ lockdown in Wales by Monday

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WALES is facing a national lockdown lasting at least two weeks in plans described as a “fire-break” by the first minister.

He said a decision was likely to be made on Monday, while talks continue with health officials, scientific advisors and councils over the weekend.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” he said.

Responding to the speculation First Minister, Mark Drakeford, is set to announce a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in Wales, Welsh Conservative health spokesperson, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “I implore the First Minister to think again before heading down this path.

“The decision to lockdown Wales once again will have devastating consequences – from an economic and public health perspective – and should be the last resort.

“Only yesterday, the former director of communicable diseases at Public Health Wales, Dr Roland Salmon, said a circuit-breaker is likely to fail and the Welsh Labour Government should listen carefully to his warning.

“Earlier this week, Welsh Conservatives called for the urgent resumption of shielding in Wales with a substantial package of support to ensure the financial, physical and mental well-being of those most at risk is protected.

“This should be the immediate action taken by ministers along with prioritising PPE and testing in the problem areas in Wales such as hospitals, care home, universities and meat factories.

“It’s not too late for the Labour Government to reconsider and choose a different approach in Wales.”

Mr Drakeford warned that 2,500 people were now being infected with coronavirus every day in Wales, with critical care units in hospitals full.

“A successful fire-break would re-set the virus at a lower level,” he added.

Together with a new national set of rules for the whole of Wales after the fire-break period we would have slowed the virus down enough to get us through to Christmas.”
Plaid Cymru has been calling on Mr Drakeford to introduce the circuit-breaker without delay, while Labour at Westminster says a similar approach should be adopted in England.

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