The Welsh Conservative Group on Pembrokeshire County Council - have had a ‘Call-In’ accepted, halting the administration's plans to erect a new, social media inspired bridge in Haverfordwest’s town centre, rather than maintain the current footbridge.

The project, which has an approved budget of £6.2 million has faced immense public backlash in recent months.

In a letter to the administration this month, the Welsh Conservative group led by Councillor Di Clements exercised its constitutional right to ask for the decision to award the contract to be scrutinised further saying that “given its sizeable cost estimation and the high public interest in the matter, the Welsh Conservative group believe that this decision deserves full and proper scrutiny at committee level.”

They added: “In the Cabinet meeting on March 11, the Leader, Cllr Simpson said that “It would cost us more not to do this scheme, than it would to do it,” however, we are not aware of any figures, quotes or reports in the public realm of how much it would cost to simply maintain the current bridge and this statement should be further tested by members to ensure it is an accurate one.”

“Additionally, following a significant utilisation in reserves and a lower than expected council tax agreed by council on March 7, there appears to have been no discussion as to whether the use of council funds remain affordable and members of the group are concerned that budget savings throughout the 2024-25 financial year may not be met - based on previous budget out-runs from the cabinet – and that this assurance should be given and explored in the Call-In meeting.”

Commenting on the decision, Cllr Aled Thomas, the Conservative Group spokesman for finance said: “It is deeply concerning that this Labour-leaning administration is hell-bent on pursuing this vanity project, all while cutting services and raising taxes for Pembrokeshire’s residents.”

He added: “In the tough financial times we are facing, the council should ensure that every penny spent is on essential services, not pet projects like this.”

Cllr Rhys Jordan who is the groups spokesman on tourism remarked: “Our County is renowned for its stunning landscapes and historical landmarks, such as the majestic St David's Cathedral, historic Pembroke Castle and the picturesque Tenby Harbour.

“These sites are not just visually breath-taking; they are part of our heritage and a major draw for tourists from around the globe.

“While the idea of adding another potential attraction with an ‘Instagrammable’ bridge might seem appealing to some, we must critically assess our priorities and the true needs of our residents.”

Levelling Up spokesman Cllr Jonathan Grimes said: “Rural areas across Pembrokeshire are crying out for regeneration, and it’s time that this administration stops focussing on projects that they can look out the window at from county hall, and start working on levelling up the whole of the county.”

An extraordinary meeting of the services committee is expected to be held within 10 working days to discuss the matter further.