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Neath Port Talbot

Tributes paid to Aston Martin factory worker killed in Afan Valley Road motorbike collision

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The family of a 41 year-old man who died after a road traffic collision in Cymmer, Neath, have paid tribute to him.

James Huxtable, who was driving a blue Yamaha motorcycle, died following the collision with a silver Ford Focus car on Afan Valley Road at about 4.25pm on 7 September.

Family picture

Mr Huxtable is survived by his parents, Derek and Eleanor, and his siblings, Thomas and Rachel.

Mr Huxtable’s wife Ashleigh has paid tribute to him: “He was a loving husband, father and step father to Laezena, Dafydd, Duncan, Eleri and Valentine.

“He was a very hard working, passionate, loving and sensitive man who wore his heart on his sleeve.“If you knew him well, you would know how wicked his sense of humour was.

“He loved to go out for a ride on his motorbike, but always said that he loved to be at home with the family who he loved so dearly.“His passing has left a hole in our lives and hearts that was only meant for him.

“He will be sorely missed by all his family, friends and work colleagues at the Aston Martin factory in St Athan.”

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The 43 year-old man driving the silver Ford Focus was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and is currently in police custody.

South Wales Police want to hear from anyone who witnessed, or has footage of the collision, or the manner in which either vehicle were being driven prior to the collision.

You can contact them online, by emailing SWP101@south-wales.police.uk or by calling 101 quoting reference 315460.

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Neath

Persistent vandal attacks plague Gnoll Country Park

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They say Neath’s Gnoll Estate Country Park is currently under regular attack by vandals who are causing extensive damage valued at many thousands of pounds.

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Over the past few months, toilets have been damaged, buildings broken into, the Visitor Centre has been attacked with CCTV cameras smashed, tiles have been torn from the roof, windows broken, and items set on fire.  Also flagstones have been stolen and play equipment vandalised.

The latest vandalism last weekend, saw another building broken into through the roof and items stolen, including the park’s new zero emission all-terrain electric site maintenance vehicle.  The vehicle was driven around the park ripping up the grounds and plants, before being taken on road to Eaglesbush where it was eventually dumped down a ravine.  Also, paving stones have been dug up and found stacked, ready for transport off-site.

Security has been stepped up at the park and South Wales Police, which is putting on extra patrols, is working with the council in an attempt to bring those responsible to justice.

To help protect the park for everyone to enjoy, we are appealing to all those who use the park and who live nearby to help the council and South Wales Police identify those responsible so they can be held accountable.  If you have any information, or see anything suspicious please contact the police.

Cllr Leanne Jones, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Protection, said: “We would appeal to all those who love using the park to help us identify those undertaking all the damage and theft. It is your facility, your place to get away from it all and take a stroll or simply sit and relax, so please help us keep an eye on what is happening there.

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“We would appeal to those responsible to show greater respect for community assets, and members of the community to use their influence to help stop this mindless vandalism.“

Lead image: Gnoll Country Park (Image: Neath Port Talbot Council)

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Neath Port Talbot

One week left on Neath Port Talbot zero percent council tax increase budget consultation

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No increase on Council Tax rates, investment in the recovery of our communities and local economy, and monies to help tackle the climate and nature emergencies locally…these are just some of the proposals in Neath Port Talbot Council’s draft budget for 2022-23.

The council is currently inviting people who live in, work in or visit Neath Port Talbot to have their say on the budget proposals and the draft corporate plan for 2022-27, but there is only a week left. The consultation closes on Tuesday 1 February 2022, the council is urging people to let them know what they think of the proposals as soon as possible.

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Council Leader Ted Latham said: “The pandemic has hit many parts of our communities very hard and in the summer of last year we heard from many residents, businesses and partners through our Let’s Talk campaign. 

“The campaign was aimed at giving people a greater say in where our priorities should lie. People spoke clearly about the things we should concentrate on and what should be done in the near future as we start to recover, reset and renew from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our draft corporate plan now reflects that feedback.” 

Other proposals include an increase in youth and outdoor leisure services to boost the wellbeing of young people and new funding for schools to support children with additional learning needs.  

The council say they also aim to strengthen support for vulnerable people and this includes many who have become lonely and isolated due to the Covid-19 emergency.

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There are also proposals to step up the number of neighbourhood teams as part of a drive to “catch up, clean up and green up” towns and villages right across Neath Port Talbot. 

Cllr. Latham added: “We believe it is very important that people have a say on how our services are planned and run and how their Council Tax is spent so please give us your views.”

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Neath Port Talbot

Police name 18 year-old who died in Swansea Valley crash

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The 18 year-old woman who died in a road traffic collision in the early hours of Sunday morning has been named as Chantelle Thomas from Godre’r Graig.

Chantelle died when the car she was travelling in left the road while travelling along the A4067 from Swansea towards Godre’r Graig.

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Her family has paid tribute to her, saying: “As a family we are devastated to lose our princess Chantelle, she was a much-loved daughter, sister and granddaughter and loved by everyone she met.

“Sleep tight my princess.”

South Wales Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the collision which occurred shortly before 1.30am on Sunday January 23rd.

The single vehicle collision involved a white Citroen C1 which left the road while travelling along the A4067 from Swansea towards Godre’r Graig.

Another 18 year-old woman remains at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff where she is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

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Officers are continuing to appeal to anyone who may have witnessed or has dash-cam footage of the incident or the manner in which the white Citroen C1 was being driven prior to the collision to contact South Wales Police.

(Lead image: Family photo / South Wales Police)

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