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Carmarthenshire

Llanelli MP and MS voice concern over council’s Mynyddygarreg school closure proposal

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Following Carmarthenshire Council’s intention to close Ysgol Mynyddygarreg near Kidwelly, Nia Griffith MP and Lee Waters MS have voiced their concerns over the proposals

In a statement Ms Griffith said: “We encourage everyone who will be affected by this proposal put forward by the Plaid Cymru Carmarthenshire County Council Cabinet to make their voice heard during the consultation.

“Pupils, parents and staff at the schools, as well as everyone living nearby, have an important role to play in the future of education provision in the area and their input will be vital when any decision is made.

“This is the sort of far-reaching decision which needs proper community consultation, and a realistic appraisal of the needs in years to come. There has been a very large number of new houses built relatively recently on the Mynyddygarrreg side of the by-pass, and full account needs to be taken of the impact of these new developments on future school numbers. Even in a couple of years the situation could have changed significantly.

“Every child deserves the best education and the best start in life that can be provided. This proposal will impact on many future generations as well and needs to be considered very carefully by everyone involved. This consultation needs to be the start of a conversation about what’s best for children in the area and I hope that the Council will listen to what local people have to say about it.”

Lee Waters MS added: “I know this is an issue which the school Governors have wrestled with for some time and there is clearly a delicate balance to be struck between maintaining a strong sense of community with a school at its heart, and allowing children access to the best facilities and a teaching body with enough capacity to give them the best education.

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“It’s important the Council don’t rush into making any decisions here. I’m particularly concerned about the impact closing Mynyddygarreg will have on travel patterns. Just at the moment when we’re trying to help people leave their cars at home more often, the relocation of educational facilities could have the opposite effect.

“The issue of small rural schools and their future viability is a really difficult one. I think the case of Mynyddygarreg is far from settled, so I hope the Council do their upmost to listen to residents.”

The proposal under consideration is:

  • Discontinue Mynyddygarreg primary at the end of August 2021.
  • From September, all pupils to be registered at Gwenllian primary, which would operate on both sites and increase its capacity.
  • Alter Gwenllian primary’s catchment area to include that of the Mynyddygarreg area.
  • Relocate Gwenllian primary to a new site and increase its capacity to 210 pupil and 30 nursery places, with the new school ready in 2023.

The consultation process on the proposal is due to commence on 11th January 2021 for a period of six weeks.


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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Carmarthenshire

Women’s Tour of Britain returns to Carmarthenshire

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The countdown is on before the world’s top women riders will race through Carmarthenshire as part of the Women’s Tour of Britain.

Some 108 cyclists will race through the County to the finishing line on top of the Black Mountain between Llangadog and Brynamman as part of the stage five event on Friday, June 10.

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The route will be starting from Pembrey Country Park at 10.45am and riders competing for the title will go through Pinged, Carway, Pontyberem, Horeb, Llansawel, and Llangadog.

A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route which will come into action at 10.45am until 1.50pm.

Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.

The event will be broadcast on ITV4 and across Europe with a helicopter camera crew following the race.

The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6, and coincides with the final day of a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The race will culminate with a prestigious finale six days later on Saturday, June 11.

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Pembrey Country Park previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters said: “We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host this top cycling event. Previous years have brought an immediate economic boost to the tourism sector as well as providing a great deal of positive media coverage.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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