The month of December has been quieter than normal and it was a relief to concentrate on a few issues that have been ongoing for a while. 

It all started with the switching on of the lights of the Sensory Garden. Saundersfoot Community Council take responsibility for this area and it was also great to see the main tree being lit up along with the other lighting on display.  There were also limited lights around the village on a few of the businesses this Christmas.  I’m sure you’re all well aware of the issues that arose on social media during November regarding the village lights.  The village has led the way for many years and the village lights definitely weren’t the same this Christmas.  This hopefully will be a time when this can be reset and a new organisation can come forward with a plan so that the business and residential community can fully support a new initiative. It was great to see Saundersfoot School singing outside the Harbwr bar and everyone coming to see the main switch on of the village Christmas tree. It was disappointing, however, that the main tree which is the focal point of the village display, had electrical issues due to the amount of continuous winds and rain such as a force Majeure.

In the first week of December, I was invited by Saundersfoot School to attend an initiative of walking to school.  Pembrokeshire County Council’s road safety team set up a Junior Road Safety Officer (JRSO) team amongst the year 5 pupils at Saundersfoot School. Several students applied for the role at the start of the term and 5 applicants were successful. It is the JRSO’s job to promote road safety throughout the school and they will have a different topic to highlight each term. This term they focused on getting the message out about being seen and being bright in the dark, winter weather.  The JRSO’s, together with the Pupil Voice, arranged the stride to school and were joined by Road Safety’s mascot, Ziggy Zebra and Charlie Shivers of the New Year’s Day Swim.  In addition to the walk, the JRSO’s held a special assembly a few weeks ago and asked the whole school to wear something bright for the walk to school.  For every child that takes part in either the walk or wearing a bright accessory, they received a high-viz slap band, which has been sponsored by South Hook LNG.  South Hook are very supportive of all things regarding road safety and we are extremely grateful for their input.  The slap bands will really help promote the “be bright, be seen” message throughout the school community.  Well done to all the pupils who organised this and to those walking to school to promote this scheme.

December has been a very wet month and this has caused numerous problems in Saundersfoot and across our county.  We had real issues at the Glen Beach after the recent works on the steps and safety handrail.  I received numerous calls of fast running water heading towards the path onto the beach at the Glen. Such was the force of this water that it washed away all the gravel that had been used to sit on top of recently completed works to improve safety and install a drain. I sent pictures to the team at PCC and they came out the next day to look at the problem.  They soon noticed that drains further up were totally blocked. They unblocked the drains and replenished the stone that had been washed away.  I have visited this site again recently and all the drains are now working as they should be in that area.  

I have also reported on several occasions the standing water below the railway bridge as you enter Saundersfoot from Pentlepoir.  The drains had been cleaned out in November and this is something that will have to be done regularly. It flooded again last week and several vehicles were stranded due to the depth of water.  It was the sheer volume of rainfall in a small space of time that resulted in the recent flooding.  This was acted upon immediately and was soon open again for motorists.  I visited this site the following day and noticed 6 different number plates, along with one front bumper and mud flaps.  These have been left to the side as you’re going up to the platform at the railway station.

The gullies and road at Brooklands was also cleaned up and swept. The residents have waited patiently and it’s now all been cleaned and the drains washed out.  I would like to personally thank the numerous PCC staff that come out in all weathers when we have a problem and try to sort the issues immediately for the residents.

During this month I have reported blocked drains on the Ridgeway, adjacent to Ridgeway Meadow and  numerous drains on the Strand. I also reported fallen road signs at Crane Cross, Devonshire Drive and outside Scar Caravan Park, Frances Road, heading down to Coppet Hall.  It appears one of these signs has been clipped while the other seems to have fallen over.  Both signs should be visible for all motorists as they are warning signs.  I would like to thank the Officer for Beaches, Myrddin Dennis for immediately sorting out the safety buoy on the main slipway to the beach. This was recently damaged and it’s a really important piece of safety equipment to be used in an emergency. A new device has been fitted and ready for use, if needed.  The two disabled bays are completed on Milford Street. These are timed bays and will give opportunities to disabled drivers to park in the centre of the village for a limited period.  

I was invited to attend a meeting with the new CEO, Harbour Manager and  Marketing Manager, to look at how Saundersfoot Harbour can be more accessible throughout the year for the community.  This was an excellent meeting where we discussed numerous events that had been held in the village and where the harbour has been used to support.  These included the New Year’s Day Swim, Saundersfoot Tri and SaundersFEST, Christmas Markets along with the Big Bang.  I did push that there needs to be better communication with the residents and that we definitely need to look at ways of utilising the events decking.  This could be a fantastic facility for the village open for all.  Personally I would like to see this used over the whole 12 months of the year with different activities for different tastes.  I was really pleased to hear that the harbour would be looking to engage with the community.  I fully understand that they are running a business, but the harbour should be open all year round to everybody and encourage far more use of the decking area.  In the future I hope they will sit down with different organisations to bring ideas to fruition.  I’m really confident about the new team at the helm and hope to see new initiatives on the events decking.

After the meeting I did comment on the state of their ATM machine and stated that an incredible amount of work has been done in this vicinity to improve the look of the surroundings.  I explained that in the 80’s they had traditional red telephone boxes in this area and it would be far better to see one of these installed and used for a cash machine, rather than what is currently in place.

This month I received an email from Claire Williams, Senior Traffic & Road Safety Engineer, asking for support to extend the existing 40mph limit on Station Road and introduce a NEW 40 mph speed limit over the length of Fan Road.  Alec and I have pushed for this together over the last eighteen months and totally support this new initiative. I’m fully behind the proposal to introduce a 40mph limit on the stretch of road heading to and on Fan Road.  There has been an incredible amount of work done in this area to improve safety and link up areas of the village that previously have been difficult to access.  The active travel link is really important to Saundersfoot and all over the village safety has been improved.  This has been long overdue and will certainly slow down traffic entering the village on the Ridgeway.  You have my full support with the 40mph proposal.

The recent bad weather has certainly impacted on the tramway between Coppet Hall and Wiseman’s Bridge.  There have been a few minor rock falls that were cleaned up relatively quickly. Unfortunately the most recent rock fall has been quite significant. Regarding the big landslide they realised that this is a tricky technical matter in terms of the geotechnical aspects. Therefore, Pembrokeshire County Council needed a specialist to survey the site.  PCC is still unclear on the extent of danger or the potential of further rock falls.  With this in mind, initially they put a temporary restriction for pedestrians whilst they evaluate the works.  There’s the proposed access via the path along the top of the cliff but, unfortunately, this access isn’t suitable for all and can be quite challenging.  A week later, on the 14th of December we received the news that the public shared use footpath SP42/P1/3 Coppet Hall to Wisemans Bridge – from Coppet Hall point, northeast to its junction with the access road leading towards Hean Castle, would be fully closed. The footpath potentially could be closed for a period of 6 months to ensure the safety of the public from the eroding cliff face.  The week before Christmas, PCC completed the rock and slope inspection and associated drone survey on the 14th and 15th of December as planned. The provisional conclusions (subject to change during the design stage) are that the existing rock netting system that has failed, will need to be replaced by a new draped rock netting system.  The installation of this will require scaling of the loose blocks/soil material and removal of vegetation currently present on the slope and may require localised rock dowels to be installed to support any remaining large blocks (to be determined during the design stage and supervision of the scaling work).

Alec and I would like to remind everyone that the slope is very unstable and has numerous loose blocks that may fall at any time.  We would personally advise all pedestrians to find an alternative route. The recent weather certainly hasn’t helped matters. We are being told that some pedestrians are ignoring the signage and removing the barriers to gain access.   

We are waiting a full detailed report in January together with detailed recommendations and designs. Until then the path will have to remain closed for the foreseeable future pending permanent remedial works.  I also appreciate that businesses will be affected if this continues to be inaccessible to all pedestrians. We will work closely together on this and keep you updated on new developments.

Following on from the previous communication, Alec and I have been very proactive with the work surrounding the compliance with businesses and holiday lets duty of care and the requirements associated with the workplace recycling regulations that are coming into force in April 2024. Letters in relation to the trial were posted to the Saundersfoot area before Christmas.  The list of properties included in this trial has been prepared by PCC’s Revenue and Council Tax team and this will include all businesses paying NNDR rates registered as self-catering accommodation providers and all properties paying the second home premium and equates to approximately 500 properties in the Saundersfoot area.  As it is just based on Saundersfoot in the address, this will include an element of properties in both wards.  This is the first stage of the process, the second phase will focus on education to all businesses and second homes in 2024 through direct communications, via the website and social media.

The letter briefly detailed that all businesses, self catering accommodation and holiday lets ARE required by law to have appropriate arrangements in place for their waste and recycling.  If you use your property as a business, either letting it out as a holiday home, self catering accommodation or running a guesthouse, you must have commercial waste and recycling arrangements in place.

The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 state that holiday lets and self-catering accommodation are not permitted to use the local Council’s domestic waste and recycling collection service. This is because waste from a property used in the course of a business (including any “Domestic property used in the course of a business for the provision of self-catering accommodation”) is classed as commercial waste. You are therefore required to have a commercial waste contract. This applies whether or not your property is registered for payment of non-domestic/business rates, council tax or council tax premium.

This does not include the waste and recycling produced when these properties are used as a main residence or second home, which are eligible for the standard domestic waste and recycling collections service free of charge from PCC. 

What are my responsibilities as a business owner?

All businesses including holiday lets are required by law to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place for all waste generated, to be stored, transferred and disposed of correctly and safely, without harming the environment.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 states all businesses have a duty of care for the waste generated from the business.

The duty of care requires the business to ensure – All waste is kept safely and securely in a suitable container; whoever you give your waste to, has the authority to take it i.e. a registered waste carrier.  When your waste is transferred, a waste transfer note must accompany it. Waste transfer notes must be kept for 2 years and be made available to an authorised officer from PCC or NRW upon request. If you dispose of your waste yourself, you must use a licensed facility such as PCC’s Waste and Recycling Centres under a commercial booking. You must be registered as a waste carrier with Natural Resources Wales to transport your waste.

Is my waste covered by rates?
Regardless whether you pay a second home premium, or business rates on your home, whilst your property is being let out as a holiday let, the waste and recycling produced by your guests is commercial waste. The collection of waste from a business is not covered in your rates.

What am I not allowed to do with my business waste?
You are NOT allowed to:  Take your business waste home with you and put it in your household bin; take your business waste to a Waste and Recycling Centre disguised as household waste; place your business waste in any public litter bin or public recycling bank.
For more information go to

Construction of the section between the Saundersfoot Railway Station and Valley Road junction has been substantially completed, site clearance undertaken, ground levels reduced to formation level, with the new construction of the new path, lay-by, verge reinstatement and fencing. Works to Valley Road/ Incline Way junction are well advanced. These improvements will continue at this location and continue towards the junction of Fan Road/The Ridgeway, with construction works including the carriageway surface being renewed. Evening road closures will commence on the 8th of January, for a week.  The junction from Incline Way linking up to the Ridgeway will be a significantly safer for all the residents in this vicinity when  trying to cross the road.  Over the last eighteen months I’ve had numerous conversations regarding access and crossing the road safely as the road traffic is too fast.  This will be a welcome boost to all the residents who walk there regularly.  

Saundersfoot Surgery wanted me to highlight the concerns at the surgery and many others across our county and Wales.

As a GP Practice, we are having to make difficult decisions that will affect the level of service we can deliver to our patients.  The income we receive from Welsh Government to provide medical care to patients is insufficient for us to carry on providing the current range of services.  Regretfully, you will see changes in the way services are delivered and the range of services we can provide.  For every patient registered with the practices we receive just £111.40 each year and in return, we offer unlimited medical appointments and advice to our patients.

Recent activity data shows that last year (22/23) alone, GP surgeries in Wales received a total of 27 million phone calls, with 19 million appointments offered, 1.3 million referrals to secondary care made and a total of 56 million prescription items issued all within a population of 3 million.  For the vast portfolio of services that we offer in general practice in 2020/21 general medical services had only 6.1% of NHS Wales budget. The percentage of NHS funding spent on general practice has fallen by 30% since 2005 from 8.7% to 6.1%, while at the same time the services provided by the practice has increased.  The NHS has been chronically underfunded for years, and in primary care it has gone relatively unnoticed due to the dedication of GPs and practice staff to continue providing a service. The system is, however, on the brink of collapse and we can’t keep making up the shortfall for the NHS, we simply don’t have the capacity to do so. This saddens us as it is something we never thought we’d have to say.

We are, therefore, asking for your help and support. As, given our rurality, there are few other medical services locally to “prop up” the system if we are not here.

Please help us to secure a financial rescue package from the Welsh Government by signing and sharing this petition before it’s too late. You can also help us by contacting your local Member of the Senedd (MS) We have to work together to try to keep our surgery open and enable us to keep providing the current range of service.

If the situation doesn’t improve, we fear the surgery will close and the services we provide will be lost, and in a rural community such as ours there are limited alternative services to rely on or to replace us. Sign and share the petition

Further information can be found here

In my previous reports, I highlighted the WALKTALKWALK initiative. This has been so well received amongst our local community.  I would encourage anyone who wants to have a gentle stroll or just have a conversation, to please turn up. This will be a weekly walking group where you will be able to talk and walk in a safe and confidential space.  This will be a gentle 1 hour walk that is accessible to all levels of ability.  We will walk as slow as the slowest walker and no one gets left behind. This group is not just promoting physical health but also nurturing mental and emotional wellbeing in the community.   The surgery are extremely supportive and will have dedicated staff to join the first meeting which will be on Friday 12th of January at 1pm starting at the surgery. Please download the Heylo app prior to the event to register your interest. The staff at the surgery will be joined by myself along with councillor Rhys Jordan the mental and wellbeing champion at Pembrokeshire County Council. Councillor Jordan and I are looking forward to see how this group develops. I have been very pleased with the comments made to me regarding the initial possibility of starting this group. 

I want to encourage residents and the wider communities to be involved in any capacity that they feel they are comfortable with.  The Regency Hall have also come forward and provided a space and a hot drink after the first meeting in January.  This is really positive that the surgery and Regency, among many others,  are throwing their support behind this new venture.  If you have any questions you can email the surgery or myself. Please contact or

At the recent meeting of full council at County Hall, I requested dispensation to speak on the proposed 200% Second Homes Council Tax.  I had disclosed previously to Pembrokeshire County Council and the Standards committee that I had ties to second homes/holiday homes and that I organised major Charity events in Saundersfoot such as the New Year’s Day Swim, SaundersFEST, and the TenFoot Swim.  While these charity events are arranged for the local residents in the village, these events also attract sponsors and individuals from outside Saundersfoot. Ahead of the debate at County Hall I had requested dispensation to vote and speak on any discussions on a tourism levy or the second homes council tax premium.  In my application I stated that I was born and bred in Saundersfoot and fully understand the impact of tourism in Saundersfoot. I also stated that as an organiser of three major events in Saundersfoot that I fully understand that many constituents either work or run businesses in the tourist industry and I felt that I should have been allowed to vote and express my views in the debate.  The point I was trying to get across was that Saundersfoot has developed from the coal industry where the community was employed. When this ceased Saundersfoot developed into a tourist destination that is enjoyed by thousands of people each day throughout the tourist season.  Saundersfoot has developed over the last 25 years trying to extend the season by holding events through the year.  This has worked exceptionally well and people are now coming for short breaks all year round, spending money locally and keeping jobs in place.

I fully support the current 100% Second Home Council Tax, I have talked with many residents and individuals who pay the 100% SHCT.  The vast majority think this is fair and they thought that their SHCT was going to Saundersfoot. Unfortunately this isn’t the case.  Last year, at full council, It was voted that 75% of the SHCT revenue collected locally from second/holiday homes goes into a central pot for Pembrokeshire.  I was one of only 6 Councillors who voted against this decision as I feel that if revenue is collected in Saundersfoot, Tenby, Amroth or Newport, then that community should be able to access those funds for community projects.  I strongly support the village and voted against this vote because Saundersfoot lost out. There is now only 25% available for community grants/improvements.  Another reason as to why I wouldn’t have supported the 200% is as follows.  The legislation set down by the Welsh Government stated “ that discretion will be given to local authorities to charge a premium. This is intended to be a tool to help support local authorities in increasing the supply of affordable housing and enhancing the sustainability of local communities.  Unfortunately since this revenue has been collected, not a single house has been built in Pembrokeshire prior to this council debate.  In my view this is unacceptable that with the money collected that this hasn’t been put into affordable/social housing to support the lower paid and younger families in our communities.  This was Welsh Government’s aim to tackle the housing crisis at tourist destinations.  During the debate I did state that we need stricter planning regulations regarding second homes as well as the need for holiday/second homes to be fully licensed.  I also stated that the second-home owners weren’t fully to blame for the shortfall in school numbers in Saundersfoot School.  I’m fully aware that there is a significant drop over the last ten years but I would also like to state that over the last 10 years in Pembrokeshire, there are just over 2000 less pupils in education. There is also a new Welsh school in Tenby called Hafan y Mor which has a fantastic reputation.  From that school they can then proceed to Crymych, which is one of the top 3 schools in Wales.   Currently in Saundersfoot we have roughly 26% classed as holiday units. The holiday units that are on the Strand were previously built purely for the summer season and short term holidays.  These properties aren’t fit for long term family living.  Taking that into account, the figures drop to just under 20%.  My personal view is that we need to build affordable/social housing to accommodate the younger families in the village and there should be greater regulations on planning and licensing.   We have to find the correct balance. Saundersfoot wouldn’t be what it is today without our coal heritage and now tourism.  Saundersfoot is a thriving village community and the balance has to be right going into the future to protect the residents of the future.   One of the greatest assets to Pembrokeshire is tourism, the stunning scenery and countryside, rugged coastline and our amazing beaches. One of Pembrokeshire’s biggest employers is the tourism industry. My view is that we’re open all year round and attracting new businesses to create sustainable jobs all year round for those who wish to stay and live here.

I would like to finish on a positive note with the New Year’s celebrations in the village. There was definitely a quieter atmosphere in the village this Christmas period. There were limited Christmas lights around the village and there wasn’t a Christmas Market to start the festivities off in the village.  The weather certainly hasn’t helped but I hope an organisation can come forward and a full meeting can be arranged where residents and businesses can come together with a plan for next year’s Christmas lights.  There were so many positive comments on social media and offers of help from right across the community, that I feel one of these should arrange a meeting at the Regency Hall, where you have 11 months to put a feasible plan together for the village community. This is a big job and I hope a new group comes forward with ideas from the residential and business community.

I would also like to give a mention and appreciation of the community coming together for a Christmas Singalong on the harbour decking and after at the Hean Castle Inn.  There was also a food bank collection organised and it was a perfect example of various community groups working together for the benefit of the village. Thanks to Saundersfoot Connect, Rotary, The Bridge and Choirs for good, for making this a success.  Also thanks to The Regency Hall & Saundersfoot Community Council for holding the senior citizens Christmas Party. This is an opportunity for the residents to get together and have a good old catch up, this wouldn’t be possible without the community councillors, staff at the Regency Hall and The Lions who make this happen.

The New Year started with a fireworks display from Saundersfoot Harbour. A big thanks go to Suzannah from the Hean Castle Inn who organised this event and to all those who assisted in making sure the village saw in the New Year with a spectacular display to see in 2024.  In the morning the New Year’s Day Swim committee were putting the final touches to the event that is 11 months in the making.  The famous Swim had a record number of swimmers and the atmosphere in the village was excellent. This is the first year that we have held a registration and ticketing system to help with the many hidden costs and swimmer safety. Personally this couldn’t have been better received with 2523 swimmers registering to take part.  As costs have increased year on year, it was getting to the point where hosting such a large scale event for free was unsustainable. With the additional income stream from the online ticketing, we are now protecting the future of the Swim and also generating extra money for the many charities and worthwhile causes.  It’s at this point that I would like to thank all the sponsors and businesses for their continued support, which has far exceeded expectation. Without their help it wouldn’t be possible to hold this event and I thank you all personally. The Swim wouldn’t be possible without a dedicated voluntary committee who have all worked incredibly hard all year.  I would also like to thank all the safety marshals and the army of volunteers who assisted on the day with the bucket collections.  There are just over 200 individuals who give their time up on New Year’s Day for the Swim to take place.  Thanks to Tenby Surf & Rescue, Pembroke Paddlers, Saundersfoot Sailing Club, HM Coastguard and the RNLI who provide safety cover, St Johns Ambulance, Tenby Fire Brigade, The Police, Saundersfoot Community Councillors and the village walking football team for handing out the 2523 medals.  Also thanks to the Saundersfoot Harbour Commission and team, Hean Castle Estate, Andrew Evans, Dan Edison, Benny Bond, Rhodri Lewis,  Taf Valley Coaches who provided a free park and ride and Les and Team at First Bus Cymru who provided the bus for the safety team looking over the sea front.  Last big thanks go to Salt on the Strand who have done an incredible job for the swim this year from selling shirts, registering swimmers and handing out sponsor forms. Well done.

The swim is a special day in the village and that can be calculated by the volumes of people either swimming or watching.  The day has evolved over the years and is a time for family and friends to catch up over New Year and then proceed to the village. The driving force has always been the huge number of fantastic causes that benefit.  This year we are uploading pictures and amounts raised onto our FB and website.  We are trying to collate as much information and the benefits of this event on the Saundersfoot Calendar. If you can please email any pictures and amounts raised to or   We fully appreciate that swimmers have sent money already directly to their chosen charities, but can you please send us  a picture with the amount raised so we can be better informed regarding the  Swim’s impact  on charity funding.

Cllr Chris Williams
Saundersfoot South
07979 197936