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Money for the boys: The mega salaries of our top council officers revealed

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THERE are nine council workers earning over £1,000,000 in wages between them at Pembrokeshire County Council, according to new figures released by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Each of them on over £100,000 a year.

But in Carmarthenshire County Council there are even more high earners, with 23 of its employees on a six-figure pay deal – that’s more than any other local authority in Wales.

While cuts are being made to local services, there are still plenty of officers with eye watering salaries it seems.

A shocked Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Local authorities that are providing more for less and delivering council tax cuts clearly have talented people at the helm, but taxpayers living in poorly performing areas will be furious at the scale of some of these massive pay awards.
“After more than a decade of reckless spending and council tax hikes, local politicians now have to make necessary savings and the pay and perks for the town hall elite have to come under the spotlight.
“We all deserve to know how our money is being spent, and taxpayers should have the right to decide if they are getting value for their money from public servants.”

The figures released cover the period 2013-14.

On the list is Pembrokeshire’s own Bryn Parry Jones, the former Chief Executive and Retuning Officer of our Local Authority who had a whopping pay package of £204, 795.

In the same period this was topped by only one other council employee in wales – the former Chief Executive of Gwynedd, Harry Thomas, who was on a staggering £306,813.
In the same year, Carmarthenshire County Council’s top officer – Chief Excecutive Mark James had earned £184, 473 – more than the prime minister.

A Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) spokesperson said they recognise that at a time when councils are making deep cuts to services it’s right that top pay should come under scrutiny.
A WLGA spokesman told The Herald: “Local government senior pay is not disproportionately high or ‘out of control’ and the TaxPayers’ Alliance’s figures show Wales is near the bottom of the league table on senior council pay.
“While we recognise that a salary of over £100,000 per annum is considerably more than many people earn, these are some of the most demanding public service jobs in Wales and council chief executives are responsible for managing incredibly complex, multi-million pound businesses in the most challenging period for public services in recent times.”

Bryn Parry Jones had a salary of £204, 795 when he quit his post

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Redberth: Police appeal following fatal crash

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POLICE are appealing for information following a fatal crash yesterday evening (Nov 21) on the A477 at Redberth.

The crash happened on the stretch of road between Pembroke Dock and Kilgetty and involved a red Renault Clio and Red Mazda 6.

The incident happened at approximately 6:40pm.

Tragically, the 80-year-old driver of the Clio died.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “At approximately 6.40pm on Tuesday, November 21, a fatal road traffic collision occurred between two vehicles on the A477 at Redberth between Pembroke Dock and Kilgetty.

“A red Renault Clio travelling towards Kilgetty, and a Red Mazda 6 travelling towards Pembroke Dock have collided, and the driver of the Clio sustained fatal injuries.

“Anyone who witnessed this incident is asked to contact PC 1049 Griffiths of the Roads Policing Unit on 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”

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High winds could cause disruption to travel

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DRIVERS have been warned that high winds which are hitting the county today (Nov 22) may lead to the closure of the Cleddau Bridge.

Pembrokeshire County Council has said that a closure for high-sided vehicles is likely. A full closure to all vehicle is ‘less likely’, it was said.

The sustained high winds may also cause debris to be blown onto roads causing delays.

Drivers are advised to take caution at all times.

A spokesperson for Pembrokeshire County Council said: “Pembrokeshire is forecast to be hit by strong winds over the next 48 hours.

“With a view to helping road users plan any journeys during this period, and given that the disruption may extend through the peak commuter times, please be advised of the following:

“Looking at the current forecast for the bridge, it is thought likely that the bridge will be closed to high sided vehicles tomorrow morning (Wednesday, 22nd November) possibly from as early as 7 am or 8 am, and lasting through the majority of the working day untill say 5 pm or 6 pm.

“Please note that this information is indicative only and it is impossible to give any guarantees. A small change in wind direction may result in no closures being implemented.

“A full bridge closure is not anticipated, at this time.

“Road users are advised to monitor the situation carefully and adjust travel plans accordingly.

“It is stressed that the above information is based on current information and experience and provided to give maximum notice of possible disruption. However, the bridge status can change at any time, and no guarantees can be given.”

To check Cleddau Bridge closures either:

· Visit www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/bridge
· Text BRIDGE or PONT to 80039. (Texts are charged at standard network rates)

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Saundersfoot: Hampshire man admits sexual assault following plea bargain

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A MAN who was accused of raping a woman in Saundersfoot has this week admitted a charge of sexual assault (Nov 20).

Fritz Ortega, aged 35, was warned by a judge at Swansea Crown Court a prison sentence could still be the outcome.

Ortega, from Farnborough in Hampshire, had been due to go on trial today for rape, which he had denied.

The Crown Prosecution Service introduced a lesser charge of sexual assault, to which he pleaded guilty.

Nicola Powell, prosecuting, said the charge represented the full extent of Ortega’s offending as alleged by the prosecution

Ortega will be sentenced on December 11 after a probation officer has prepared a report into his background.

He was granted bail until then, but warned by Judge Heywood that prison could still be outcome.

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