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Carmarthenshire

Felling work underway in Carmarthenshire to tackle ash dieback disease

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Felling work is underway in Carmarthenshire to remove diseased ash trees which are a risk to road users.

Works are being carried out in the Llandeilo, Llandovery, Talley and Cwmann areas to remove a number of trees affected by ash dieback disease.

The trees, which are the responsibility of Carmarthenshire County Council, are showing at least 50 per cent dieback in their crown and are being felled as they are at risk of falling on the highway.

Works are being carried out:

  • A482 Capel Dewi to Maestwynog – February 2
  • A482 Llwynygroes – February 3 & 4
  • A482 Pontcwm Llynfe – February 9
  • B4302 and B4337 Edwinsford – February 10
  • A476 Golden Grove – February 16,17 & 18

Traffic management will be in place whilst the works are carried out which may cause some disruption.

Where mature trees are removed, bat boxes will be installed on adjacent healthy trees to help mitigate against the loss of potential habitat.

Ash dieback is a fungal disease which attaches itself to the leaves of ash trees and spreads through to the branches, causing the tree to die. Dead branches and entire dead trees can become very brittle and fall, posing a serious risk to the public.

The majority of diseased ash trees adjacent to the highway are privately owned and the council is working with landowners to encourage them to take the necessary action to remove any trees which pose a similar risk to the public, and for which they are responsible.

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Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: “Ash dieback is a serious issue for councils and landowners across the UK; it is estimated 90% of ash trees could die from this disease with currently no known treatment.

“Unfortunately, the council has no choice but to remove infected trees if they are in a location which poses a risk to public safety. We will try to minimise the disruption to road users as much as possible.”

The removal of trees with ash dieback is a dangerous and specialised job and should only be carried out by experienced tree surgeons.

Executive Board Member for Biodiversity Cllr Philip Hughes added: “We are doing all we can to mitigate the effect on our wildlife, for example, where we have to remove diseased trees, we are putting up a number of bat boxes in healthy trees to provide new roost sites for bats.

“We will also be carrying out a programme of tree planting to help make up for the loss of ash trees in the county.”

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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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