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Police reserves will be spent

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Uncertainty over future revenue: PCC Christopher Salmon

Uncertainty over future revenue: PCC Christopher Salmon

POLICE AND CRIME Commissioner Christopher Salmon is to use the Dyfed Powys Police reserves to meet ongoing revenue requirements.

In the Budget report, Mr Salmon says: “I have sought to act prudently and reflect the uncertainty which still remains in relation to future financial settlements for policing the Dyfed Powys area, whilst setting a challenging but achievable cost reduction target for the Chief Constable.”

While the reduction in the central government grant to the Police has gone down by 0.6%, the cut to the overall Police budget will be significantly higher following the Commissioner’s decision to freeze the Force’s Council Tax precept and taxation and national insurance changes.

The actual cut, in money terms, the Commissioner proposes is just over £3m out of a budget of £93m: just under three and a quarter percent

The Commissioner acknowledges that the introduction of a new funding formula, due to be introduced in 2017/18, will provide a period of uncertainty.

However, and notwithstanding such uncertainty, the Commissioner plans to use in excess of £24m of reserves over the next three years. That is as one with the Commissioner’s plans to PCC’s to use reserves to fund an element of the revenue budgets for 2015/16 to 2018/19.

At the end of 2015/16 total reserves are expected to be approximately £30.121m. The Police plans anticipate spending of £24.103m over the coming four years. At the end of 2019/20, the general reserve will remain at £4.5m. Other reserves will amount to £1.518m.

Some of that expenditure, £4m, is necessary to extract the Force from the ruinous PFI contract it entered into in respect of Ammanford Police Station. That contract is one for which Mr Salmon is not responsible and upon which he acted swiftly in resolution

It is the use of reserves to fund £4m of revenue expenditure, and effectively bankroll reducing and freezing the Force’s Council Tax precept is one that is unusual, not least as had the Police moderately increased its precept (as it could have done) the amount taken out of the reserves would have been reduced and operational flexibility maintained.

As plans currently stand, the whole of the capital reserve will be depleted by the end of 2019/20.

The Herald understands the position to be that the reserves constitute money the public have paid, and the plan is to spend the majority of it over the coming years, the Commissioner believes wisely, leaving a much more modest but workable reserve at the end of the process.

In view of the coming election, the issue of the financial prudence of such a move is likely to be a significant issue, alongside the vexed issue of the fate of the Force’s helicopter; a subject that still rankles with the public and is a subject all opposing candidates in the forthcoming election for the position of Police and Crime Commissioner seem likely to attempt to exploit.

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Woman dies following two-car collision

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a two-car road traffic collision on the A470 between Cemmaes and Llanbrynmair.

Police were alerted to the collision at approximately 23:50pm on Saturday (Sept 23).

Sadly the 70-year-old woman driver of a grey Skoda died as a result of her injuries. Next of kin and HM Coroner are aware.

Two passengers travelling in the Skoda, and a man driving a silver Mazda, have been taken to hospital.

Fire and ambulance also attended. The road was closed for several hours while collision investigation took place.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, or was travelling on the road around this time, is asked to report information by calling 101. If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908, quoting reference: 409 of September 23.

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Newcastle Emlyn: Restaurant shut down by Immigration Enforcement officers

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A POPULAR restaurant in Newcastle Emlyn has been shut down by Immigration Enforcement officers, due to its history of employing illegal workers.

On Thursday (Sept 21), officers visited Yasmin’s on Sycamore Street and carried out an immigration check on the employees.

Two men, both 37, had overstayed their visas and were now in detention as they are prepared to be sent back to Bangladesh.

Two more men from Bangladesh were also found to not have permission to work in the UK. They are now being ordered to report to Immigration Enforcement as their cases are reviewed.

Five illegal workers were discovered in two previous visits in 2013 and 2014.

In total, the business has been fined £88,750, however £72,000 remains unpaid. This is now being investigated by the Home Office.

Because of the non-compliance of the restaurant, Yasmin’s has now been shut down temporarily, using powers from the Immigration Act 2016.

Richard Johnson, from Immigration Enforcement in Wales, said: “Businesses that persistently employ illegal workers must face the consequences.

“These immigration powers give us an opportunity to further crack down on those offenders where civil penalties have been issued and not paid.”

 

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Drug dealer who was ‘caught red handed’ jailed for three years

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Swansea Crown Court

A BRYNAMMAN drug dealer who was ‘caught red handed’ with cocaine and cannabis has been jailed for three years today (Sept 19).

Darrian Bointon, aged 21, was told he needed to decide now whether he would continue offending and risk spending the rest of his life in jail.

Bointon, of Brynbrain Estate, admitted possessing both cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply.

Swansea Crown Court heard how police stopped a car he was driving on June 12 and found the drugs already divided into individual deals.

Judge Geraint Walters said it was the third time Bointon had been caught dealing in cannabis but it was his first offence for being involved in the supply of a Class A drug.

At the age of only 21 he had already amassed a considerable criminal record, said the judge.

“You have completely lost your way,” he added.

“Your downfall was the taking of drugs and then becoming addicted to them.

“People who deal in Class A drugs almost always go to jail, it is as simple as that. You must have known that.”

Judge Walters said he accepted that Bointon had not been making huge amounts of money but had been dealing to meet the cost of his own habits.
However, he had been spreading the misery of drug usage just to make a fast buck.
He warned Bointon he would spend longer and longer in jail unless he changed–and the time to do that was now.
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