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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

Man charged with murder after Neath death

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A 38-year-old man has been charged with murder following the discovery of a body at a property in Caewern, Neath on Wednesday (27 April).

Emmett Morrison, from Caewern, has been charged with the murder of Timothy Dundon, 66, in Heol Catwg.

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He was remanded in custody and appeared at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on Monday (May 2).

Mr Dundon’s family has been updated and next of kin continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Darren George, from South Wales Police, said: “Clearly the charging of a person with the murder of Mr Dundon is a significant development in the investigation however I would still urge anyone with information, no matter how insignificant it might be, to please contact South Wales Police.

“I would like to thank the local community for the support they have provided to this investigation to date.

“There has been an increased police presence in Caewern since Wednesday and this will continue over the coming days as enquiries continue.”

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(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Neath

Murder investigation after death of 66 year-old Neath man

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South Wales Police’s Major Crime Investigations Team (MCIT) have launched a murder investigation following the death of a 66 year old man at a property on Heol Catwg in Caewern, Neath.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Darren George, said: “I can confirm a murder investigation is underway following the discovery of a man’s body in Heol Catwg yesterday.

“The community in Heol Catwg is close knit and I would encourage anyone who may have information in connection with the murder to please contact our incident room at Cockett Police Station.

“We are particularly keen to hear from anybody who may have heard or seen anything suspicious in the area between 8am on Monday morning, April 25th and 1pm yesterday afternoon, Wednesday April 27th.

“A police cordon remains in place whilst Crime Scene Investigators and Specialist Search Officers are at the scene.

“There will also be an increased police presence in the area over the coming days as officers continue with their enquiries.

“I would like to thank the local community for their support whilst we continue our investigation. “

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A 38 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody. The 66 year old man has not yet been formally identified.

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Firms reimagine workspaces post COVID thanks to Neath office furniture company

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Neath-based Ministry of Furniture is enjoying a surge in demand for some of its most innovative services on the back of companies reinventing the way in which their offices operate, in a post COVID-restrictions environment.

A shift to hybrid and flexible working arrangements on a long-term basis has prompted many firms to reconsider the very nature of their office environment – and how much space they need. Hotdesking and mixed working environments are being introduced as companies reimagine the office, scrapping outdated principles of set desks and offices.

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This approach is also combined with a growing desire to leverage the principles of the circular economy in all aspects of the design and fit out. Companies are now assessing and monitoring their carbon footprint and want a full understanding of where materials are sourced and the nature of supply chains.

Ministry of Furniture, able to deliver all aspects of an office refit from design stage to manufacture to fitout, has experienced a surge in demand as companies reconsider how and where people want to work.

Its designs incorporate flexible and informal breakout and workspaces incorporating pods and booths, which can also be powered by cutting-edge portable power banks, eclipsing the need for building costly fixed partitions and rewiring buildings based on new sets of plans.

In addition, the company has developed the expertise to upcycle and remanufacture desks and other types of furniture for new uses. For example, old desks can be repurposed as shelving or lockers – another important consideration in an office where employees no longer have a single dedicated desk or workspace.

Its approach always uses a local supply chain for all aspects of the job while leveraging the principles of the circular economy. Much of the furniture will be re-manufactured and upcycled, while it also works closely with Paint 360, a pioneer in the reengineering and reuse of waste paint, to decorate the interior.

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Just some of the companies Ministry has worked with on such projects include Marine Power Systems, Crunch Digital and Mrs Bucket. In the case of the latter, the company said it wanted to provide its growing team with a fresh environment focused on wellbeing and collaboration, and so added more informal space for collaboration and meetings.

The new office space located at Mrs Buckét, focused on team building and inspiration.

Graham Hirst, Managing Director, Ministry of Furniture, said: “The working environment fundamentally changed during the COVID pandemic, but many companies are now embracing the positives of that and want to adjust their working environments long term. With people working from home, companies want their offices to become alternative but inspiring workspaces.

“This ties in perfectly with our offering, whereby we can help clients through each part of the process from concept to completion. This approach also complements our commitment to the circular economy and skillset in remanufacturing and upcycling products. The clients we have worked with recently wanted a more collaborative working environment and I think that the final designs really help facilitate that creative energy.”

Rachael Flanagan, CEO of Mrs Buckét, said: “After a tough two years for everyone, we were keen to refresh our space as more of the team returned to office working. Employee wellbeing is really important to us and so our main goal was to create a modern, fresh environment, a place where people are excited to come to work.

“We consulted with our team from the outset and designed the new offices purely with their feedback in mind. Team building is at the top of our agenda, and we really believe that having an inspiring space for our team to work from will help us in our drive to become one of the foremost employers in the cleaning and facilities management industry.”

Lead image: The reimagined office at Crunch Digital supplied by Ministry of Furniture.

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