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Police appeal following chapel fire

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Fire: Police cordoned off the area (pic. Darren Harries)

DYFED-POWYS POLICE are appealing for information about a fire at a disused Llanelli chapel on Upper Ann Street on February 14.

A police spokesperson said: “Police are appealing for any information that could with enquiries, and are particularly interested in any information regarding three individuals who were seen in and around the area at the time.

“One male is described as medium build with a beard, wearing a grey tracksuit and a black t-shirt, aged between 20 and 30.

“A second male, who is described as aged between 20 and 30, wearing a dark coloured puffa type jacket, and carrying a bag.

“A female wearing a pink jumper with dark grey tracksuit bottoms and white trainers, also between 20 and 30 years of age.

“Anyone with any information is asked to call PC 1199 Bringloe on 101.”

The fire started in the pulpit of Calfaria Baptist Chapel, at approximately 2:25pm, and a large area was promptly cordoned off by Dyfed-Powys Police. The fire crews left the scene at around 5:45pm.

Fire service: Two crews attended the blaze (Pic. Darren Harries)

Speaking on condition of anonymity the previous owner of the chapel, who disposed of the property twelve months ago told The Herald that the premises were very secure.

Our source said: “After a small fire around four years ago, we took conscientious steps to board the inside and the outside of the property.”

“We have not owned the premises for twelve months, I believe it is now owned by two businessmen in Cardiff.”

“I would now expect the new owners to be lodging planning permission to build flats on the site if the building is now structurally unsound.”

“They would not have been able to do this if the fire had not happened.”

Police: Told locals the fire was under control (pic. Darren Harries)

A spokesperson for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “We had a call at 2.26pm to the chapel.

“It was a fire involving the pulpit area. Two crews from Llanelli attended.

“We used one hose reel jet, four Bas, thermal imaging camera and a safety jet.”

A Llanelli local told The Herald: “Police said it was a small fire, but a large area was cordoned off around the chapel.

“The emergency services were quick to react to the call out. It could have been another chapel burnt out; it was lucky no one was hurt.”

Park Church in Llanelli was completely destroyed by a fire in August 2015.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Marion griffiths

    February 20, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    I live in upper Ann st and it was me who reported the fire four years ago,at this chapel and it was no small fire, it was coming through the roof. I contacted the council with my concerns and it fell on death ears, after the park chapel fire, I became very concerned that this lovely chapel, which I have seen slowly falling into dereliction since it closed, would be next, I contacted the council and Nia griffiths, with my concerns, but nothing has been done, and now this has happened, it’s not a case of when these idiots will try again.putting, homes and freighters lives at risk The council should do more to stop these so called developers buying buildings with only one intention and that is to leave them fall into dereliction, , leaving them vulnerable to stupid idiots to set fire to and then to cash in on the insurance or land value

    • Avatar

      CrazyCatLady

      May 31, 2017 at 11:20 am

      spot on there……Nia Griffiths and the Council should be ashamed of themselves for turning a blind eye when you contacted them….All they care about is the money they get payed for sitting in meetings and the politicians only shift their backsides and do something when there is an election coming up, or it is something that will interest the public and make them look good in the paper. Unfortunately making sure an empty chapel dosent get set on fire isnt something that help to win the votes of the public…….

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Llanelli and Germany meet again for Oktoberfest 2019

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Fans of beer, music and dancing are in for a treat as Oktoberfest comes to Llanelli this October.

Bringing the German beer festival closer to home, Oktoberfest celebrates its first year in Llanelli this 5th and 6th of October. With a Bavarian Oompah band, German beer, food and an Oktoberfest themed venue, it is sure to be a fantastic event.

Popularly known as the world’s largest beer festival, the traditional Oktoberfest is held annually in Munich, Germany. With more than six million people travelling from all over the world to attend the Munich event, Iceqbe Events are now hosting the festival in Llanelli.

Iceqbe plan to bring the Bavarian atmosphere to the same venue that the town was once twinned with Germany in 1989. Taking place in the Selwyn Samuel Centre, the event is hopeful to attract both Llanelli locals as well as those who live further afield, supporting the Welsh town.

In preparation for the crowd, the biggest German beer festival to hit Llanelli will take place in a 220 people capacity venue, with the two-day festival spread into three separate beer-drinking sessions. 

Recently nominated for the Great British High Street award, this up and coming town is overflowing with welsh culture and international events, including Pride which took place in Llanelli earlier this year.

Iceqbe’s Co-Founder and Operations manager, Stefan Diamond, explains why they chose the town to host their event.

“We are thrilled to be hosting our very first Oktoberfest event in Llanelli,” said Stefan.

“I’ve lived here for seven years now and know first-hand what a great atmosphere this town brings to events like this. 

“With the town’s connection to Germany, it felt like the obvious choice for our event location. We can’t wait for beer-lovers across the UK to come together for a weekend of dancing, food and fantastic Bavarian beer!”

Co-founder of Iceqbe events, Luke James, explains what they’re hoping to achieve from the event.

“As the majority of event companies continue to outsource their staff, customer service levels have dropped whilst food and drink prices have skyrocketed,” he said. 

“We want to change that. We manage everything in-house which allows us to have full control over everything, from the venue to staffing. Our priority is to provide an amazing, safe and great value experience.”

Oktoberfest is sure to have people flocking in, with the opportunity to win tickets for you and five friends via their social media channel. To find out more about Oktoberfest, visit https://www.iceqbe.com/.

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PH Balance help arrest alleged sex offender

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A 51-YEAR-OLD male was arrested in Llanelli last Sunday (Sept 08) in connection to an alleged sexual offence.

Paedophile Hunting group PH Balance South Wales admitted to being involved with trapping the suspect through the use of a decoy. According to PH Balance’s recent Facebook post, the man had arranged a meeting with PH member Dobby who was acting as as a 14-year-old boy online. The man had shown up to the Llanelli town centre to allegedly take the young boy shopping. 

Dyfed-Powys Police arrived swiftly on scene and placed the alleged offender in handcuffs before taking him to the station in the back of a police vehicle.

A spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police told the Llanelli Herald: “On Sunday, September 8, we received allegations from a group in respect of a man in the Swansea area, which related to offences involving children. Officers arrested a 51-year-old man on suspicion of meeting a child following grooming, at Eastgate Llanelli, the same day.”

The spokesman added: “The man has been bailed from police custody with conditions.”

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Becoming Deputy Chief Constable ‘a huge privilege’

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CLAIRE PARMENTER has been announced as the new Dyfed-Powys Police Deputy Chief Constable, describing it as a ‘huge privilege’.

DCC Parmenter, who grew up in Llanelli but now lives in Carmarthen, has worked her way through the ranks since joining the force as a PC 26 years ago.

She said: “Becoming the Deputy Chief Constable within my home force is a huge privilege for me, I hope this will inspire other officers and staff to achieve whatever they want across the service.”

Her policing career began in Ammanford in 1993, having just completed a BA (HONS) degree in Education at Cardiff.

“I was thinking of a career in teaching or policing, and decided to do my degree before making the choice,” DCC Parmenter said. “Policing was always in my heart, so when it came to it, it was an easy decision.”

As well as serving in a variety of uniform roles, DCC Parmenter has undertaken a number of secondments across UK Policing and beyond.

These include a role as national field officer with the National Policing Improvement Agency, becoming operational Chief Inspector in Avon and Somerset Police, and contributing to the national implementation of neighbourhood policing, for which she received a chief constable’s commendation.

She was promoted to Superintendent in 2010 and became lead for the Joint Emergency Services Group in Wales, leading and developing a number of blue light collaboration and resilience programmes, working closely with Fire and Rescue, Welsh Ambulance Service Trust and Welsh Government.

“I’ve always tried to look at the wider landscape of policing and how we work with partners to improve services to our communities,” she said. “These secondments have given me exposure to different ways of working and has broadened my outlook.”

DCC Parmenter returned to uniformed policing in 2012 and took up the role of Superintendent of specialist operations.

She later took over as BCU Commander for Carmarthenshire and Powys, and later took up the post of Chief Superintendent Head of Uniformed Policing for the force.

She is an accredited Strategic Firearms and Gold Public order commander and has won a Stonewall National award for her support of LGBT staff.

A mother of two, DCC Parmenter’s drive and dedication has not only led her to become a chief officer, but has also had a positive influence on her teenage daughters.

DCC Parmenter said: “My youngest daughter is 14 and she’s also keen to join the police. It’s nice to know that she looks at my career positively and can see how policing can make a real difference.

“I’m very proud to be a chief officer in the force I am from. Being able to effect the delivery of services in my home area, and to serve people in the area I live ensuring the best possible service, is a huge privilege.”

Looking ahead, DCC Parmenter’s aims are to keep delivering across Dyfed-Powys Police, and to ensure the force continues to improve and innovate.

She added: “I know Dyfed-Powys communities and staff very well, and I think we have got all the ingredients to be an absolutely outstanding force. I look forward to being a part of the chief officer team to deliver that.

“I’m really grateful to our staff and colleagues across the force, who have supported me throughout my career.”

Chief Constable Mark Collins said: “Claire has shown outstanding commitment to our communities over many years and I am delighted to have her as my Deputy Chief Constable.”

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