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Senior Labour councillor ‘under investigation’ by her own party

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Under investigation: Cllr Devichand

THE DEPUTY leader of Carmarthenshire County Council’s Labour Group is the subject of a party investigation, after sharing a post from far-right extremist group Britain First on social media.

Welsh Labour confirmed this morning that after complaints regarding long-serving Dafen councillor Tegwen Devichand were brought to their attention, an investigation was underway.

The post, which has been seen by Herald reporters, shows images of electric chairs and a bed of the kind used in American prisons for administering lethal injections. It includes the phrase: “When a dog attacks a child it is put down. Shouldn’t we do the same with sex predators?”

Speaking to the BBC, Cllr Devichand said she did not remember sharing the post: “I couldn’t put a horse down, let alone a human being,” she added.

She also claimed that Labour had not contacted her about the matter and she had not been told the party was investigating, and added that she was complaining to the police about a ‘hate campaign’ against her.

This is the second investigation launched following claims of local Labour members sharing far-right posts on social media.

As The Herald reported this weekend, another member was suspended after sharing an English Defence League post on Facebook. However, Michaela Beddows told the local media that she was ‘naïve’ when it came to politics, and had not known who the EDL were.

Ms Beddows also contacted UKIP’s Senedd leader Neil Hamilton and invited him to a protest at Llangennech School on February 9. On social media she claimed to be ‘briefing’ the AM with the help of another Labour Party member.

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards, who led calls for a wider investigation into Labour members ‘using the politics of division in our communities’, said that the Llanelli Labour Party was ‘in crisis’.

In an open letter to Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, published in The Herald, Mr Edwards did not name any individuals, but expressed ‘grave concern’ at what was taking place in Llanelli constituency Labour party.

Mr Edwards said: “Not only have Labour activists been colluding with UKIP, over the course of the weekend we have seen Labour members and an elected councillor exposed for sharing the propaganda of ultra-right groups such as the English Defence League and Britain First.  This is in addition to another elected councillor branding Labour’s own education policy as ‘apartheid’.

“How bad do things have to get, and how much more fascist material must Labour representatives share before the party’s Assembly Member, MP and the First Minister put a stop to it?

“There are undoubtedly many honourable Labour members who are as equally horrified as the rest of us that their party’s representatives are involved in such repulsive activities.

“The Llanelli Labour party has deep rooted issues and is clearly in crisis.  Indeed if Llanelli Labour was a public service the First Minister would put it into special measures.  In order to hold on to a shred of integrity, the party’s officials must enforce a zero tolerance policy and implement wholesale suspensions and deselections.

“As it stands, Labour’s campaign against Welsh-medium education appears to be a front for the perpetuation of ugly, fascist propaganda, with elected members using the politics of division in our communities.

“Launching an investigation into Llanelli Labour party is a welcome first step, but the party’s head office must take swift and immediate action to stamp this out this type of divisive campaigning.”

However, it is worth noting that both the investigations have been launched after Llanelli Labour made the national party aware of complaints.

The Herald spoke to Labour Group Leader Cllr Jeff Edmunds, who told us that he was unable to comment on this matter, because it was under investigation. However, he noted that the original post Cllr Devichand shared was dated from December.

Speaking personally, he raised concerns about the security of social media, explaining that someone had tried to gain access to his Facebook page a few weeks ago.

“I received an email saying my account had been compromised,” he added. “I immediately reported this to senior officers at Carmarthenshire County Council and have since reported it to the police.

Cllr Edmunds added that Labour councillors, himself included, had received emails from an individual purporting to be a Labour Party member, asking for statements on certain topics, which had then appeared on blog posts ‘within a matter of hours’.

“Unfortunately, some people responded to this person, believing them to be a Labour Party member,” he said. “This person was not who they said they were.

“It does appear from my perspective that we are being targeted.”

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  1. Avatar

    mg

    February 21, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Most probably been hacked and it easnt her that has done whatever she is accused of doing cant see mrs devi s doing wrong but people arent happy unless they rip into people feel sorry for her and all the things shes done good nobody says about that though only bad things well says it all how awful people can be

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Llanelli: Stop notice issued for school planning application

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A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a new 480-spaced school in Llanelli has been issued a stop notice by the Welsh Government.
Carmarthenshire County Council is proposing to build a new £9.1m school on Llanerch Fields in Llanelli and were looking to determine the planning application in the coming weeks. Welsh Government will now decide whether to call in the application or not.
The new school would accommodate 420 primary and 60 nursery pupils, set over two floors with larger classrooms with integrated IT facilities, a multi-purpose hall and specialist provision for pupils with additional learning needs.
Over recent years there has been much debate in the area on the choice of site for the new school with campaigners arguing that they support a new school, but object against Llanerch fields being built upon. Last year an attempt to get the land designated as a village green was turned down.
In 2017, Ysgol Dewi Sant as the first Welsh medium primary school to be provided by a local authority celebrated its 70th birthday.
Councillor Rob James, local member for Lliedi, stated “From day one I have raised concerns that the Council’s site choice and planning process opened the Council up to the possibility of the Welsh Government calling in the planning application. It is clear that these concerns were not misplaced and there is now a really chance that it will be. 

“As a local Councillor, a school governor and a parent, I am passionate about the need for a new school for the pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant and it is important that local pupils get the benefits of a 21st century school.
“I will now be working with Council Officers to ensure that contingency plans are prepared in case the Welsh Government state that the planning application does not comply with national planning policy.
“I will also work with parents, pupils, residents and interested parties are able to engage with the Welsh Government during this process.”

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Third annual Burry Port Raft Race is eagerly awaited

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THE THIRD ANNUAL BURRY PORT RAFT RACE, organised by Burry Port couple, Craig and Isabel Goodman, will be held on Saturday (July 27).

The event which is held in Burry Port Harbour, raises much needed funds for both Burry Port RNLI and a children’s football academy and primary school the couple support in The Gambia.

The day launches at 12pm with stands, food stalls and children’s inflatable games and rides and these will be available until 5pm. You’ll also have a chance to meet the crews, who’ll be busy putting the final touches to their rafts.

Rafts launch at 3pm, followed by a presentation ceremony, including prizes for first raft over the line, first raft to sink and best dressed raft.

Craig said: ” A huge thank you goes to all our sponsors, including overall sponsor Dawsons, along with continued sponsorship from Celtic Couriers, Parker Plant Hire, Burns Pet Nutrition, Burry Port Co-Op, Llanelli Star, LBS Builders Merchants, Burry Port Marina, First Choice Flooring and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council.

For any further information about the event, please contact 07825 842981.

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Compensation offered after FSCS declares Llanelli firm in default

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CONSUMERS could get back money they have lost as a result of their dealings with a failed regulated firm in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. The firm is Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited formerly Assura Protect, Room 1, 7 Meadows Bridge, Parc Menter, Cross Hands, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA14 6RA.

The firm was declared in default in June 2019 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

FSCS is the UK’s statutory compensation scheme that protects customers of authorised financial services firms that carry out certain regulated activities. A declaration of default means FSCS is satisfied a firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it. This paves the way for customers of that firm to make a claim for compensation with FSCS.

Alex Kuczynski, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at FSCS, said: “FSCS steps in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust. This vital service, which is free to consumers, protects deposits, insurance, investments, home finance and debt management. We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with this firm to get in touch, as we may be able to help you.”

Since it began in 2001, FSCS has helped more than 4.5m people, paying out more than £26bn in compensation.

If you wish to make a claim with FSCS against Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited, you may be able to do so using FSCS’s online claims service at https://claims.fscs.org.uk Or you can contact its Customer Services Team on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100

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