CONCERNS have been raised about Haverfordwest Town Council's plans to purchase the Old Wool Market building and turn it into their new base of operations.

Cllr Johnathan Twigg, who represents the Portfield Ward, supported by Cllr Dan Blyth, who represents Priory Ward, raised concerns in an extraordinary council meeting held on September 2.

However the councillor's concerns were dismissed due largely to the fact Cllr Twigg lacked support of a seconder to bring his questions into full discussion - Cllr Blyth was unable to attend the meeting.

Cllr Twigg then issued a statement to the Western Telegraph expressing his concerns about the town council's move.

In it he highlighted points including the recent discussions on climate change, which the Western Telegraph broke in the middle of August, and the fact tax payer's money will be used for the purchase.

Cllr Twigg said: "It was disappointing no other councillor seconded my proposal for a review of the council's pathway for purchasing the Old Wool Market.

"A number of people in the town had expressed their concern to me about issues relating to the purchase and it prompted my resolution to review as we will be committing public money.

"Discussions highlighting climate change have also been in the public domain, which may have an impact on the building, which is on the banks of the River Cleddau.

"There was no expectation other than for the council to review the process thoroughly during a window of opportunity before we have to pay a deposit.

"There is a duty I feel for the council and its councillors to show full transparency and to give best value return for the people of Haverfordwest.

"At some stage a public consultation will have to take place to give the council a mandate to borrow the money to purchase the property. A review would have given some credence to this, where I’m sure a number of the town's people will be asking questions."

Haverfordwest Town Council moved into the Old Wool Market, on Quay Street, at the beginning of December 2020 on a £18,000 per annum two year lease, with a legal agreement attached to buy the building at the end of the rental period - the rough cost to purchase will come in excess of £200,000.

Mayor Alan Buckfield has no qualms about this saying the council looked at many options and that they were bringing a traditional building in the centre of the town back to life.

"We have taken a listed building back into economic use.

"We looked at many other places which were either too small or cost too much. We had a list that included Shire Hall and Foley House but we could not take on those two because of the cost factor.

"We were given options by PCC on our previous place about buying or renting but those were uneconomic.

"What we are trying to do is buy a building that is fit for purpose for public use and allow us to run the council efficiently and safely. We also want community use as well as council use."

When the PCC was asked about why the town council decided to move from renting their premises at Picton Place they said discussions had been held and the property is now vacant.

"Haverfordwest Town Council were in occupation of the council’s property on Picton Place along with other occupants.

"The town council, following discussions with the county council, undertook a review and decided to relocate.

"Terms were offered for a lease or the freehold of Picton Place but this was not their preferred option."