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Llangennech School crowd-funder disappears

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A CROWD-FUNDING page which purported to be raising money for a legal challenge to Carmarthenshire County Council’s decision to move Ysgol Llangennech along the language continuum to Welsh-medium education from Dual Stream has been closed down without explanation.

Under a headline which asks whether the page as a scam, a statement on Families First’s Carmarthenshire page states:

“At Families like many other news outlets across Wales we received a press release about a very reputable South Wales solicitor firm wishing to challenge that both English and Welsh Medium education in Wales remains in Carmarthenshire and across Wales. Along with further information it included a link to a corresponding crowd funding page hosted on a legit met platform and was stating money being raised was to cover said legal costs for this.

“A written statement was attached from the solicitor firms Watkins and Gunn partner Michael Imperato which we published on this article and was subsequently broadcast on all of our Welsh Families Sites along with the link to the crowd funding page.

“On Saturday 8th April, we received a further email from the same source, requesting if the solicitor firms Watkins and Gunn partner Michael Imperato statement and the information provide could now be retracted as they have decided to close down the crowd funding page. No further explanation was given to why, apart from that they seem to have simply changed their minds.”

The story about the existence of the crowd funding page was given significant prominence by some online news sources, with Wales Online in particular repeating the content of the now-disappeared web page almost verbatim in a news article.

It is not the first time that Trinity Mirror titles have appeared to take sides in the Llangennech debate. The Western Mail was compelled to apologise to Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg after appearing to suggest the organisation was involved in vandalism in the town. A police statement revealed that the incidents of vandalism were not only unconnected with the school controversy, but that the victims of the vandalism did not regard them as being linked.

A check on the link to the crowd-funder page shows the original shrill statement, which was riddled with errors, has been replaced by the following headline – accompanying a picture of Ysgol Llangennech: “Case launching on Friday, 28 April 2017 at 7 p.m. GMT”

The Herald has emailed Watkins and Gunn asking about their involvement in the matter and also sought a comment from Carmarthenshire County Council about the purported threat of legal action.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jane Hopkins

    April 9, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Does anyone know whether the money did go where it said it would?
    Not that I’d consider giving them money but the whole things seems a tad shady.

  2. Avatar

    Stephen Grant-Davies

    April 10, 2017 at 9:46 am

    hi Jason C, I would be interested in an update to this, Cheers!

  3. Avatar

    Rachel

    April 13, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    All sounds very dodgy! The whole campaign against the new school has been based on lies and mistruths so should we be surprised?

  4. Avatar

    Glasnost UK

    April 17, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Nothing sinister or dishonest – To my understanding parents involved decided to cancel the CrowdFunding appeal as soon as they realised that the timing of the campaign was wrong (Easter holidays and the local elections). Inside 48 hours they received circa £1,500 in pledges but no money is paid out unless the target was achieved (No fraud as implied) and the battle for justice will continue.

    People should not lose the focus of the key issue behind the failed/postponed funding project: Carmarthenshire Council, their LEA and the school Governors have disregarded parental wishes by a huge majority to retain the dual language schooling in their village.

    ThePlaid Cymru-controlled Council is hell bent on imposing Welsh Medium education and in the process disregarding a simple and well-established fact that the English language 1 children are damaged in Welsh Medium Education.

    Hopefully, Carmarthenshire people will put the Democracy first and will refuse to vote for Plaid Cymru on 4th May, or any other prospective Councillor who will not respect parental choices and wishes in which language to educate their children!!

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Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach

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THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.

Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.

The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.

Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.

The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.

The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.

In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.

If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.

With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.

If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.

If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.

The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.

Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.

The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.

During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.

They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.

A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.

“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”

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Family tribute to Carole Patricia Fowler

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Carole was a teacher for 30 years at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Llanelli. She loved children and they loved her. 

As one of her past colleagues said: “I know she made such a difference to every child she taught.” She was very popular with staff and well respected and loved by parents. She was dedicated and conscientious, always 100% for the children. She led the music there and was always popular with her guitar accompaniments for services and concerts. 

Likewise, she was a valued member of the choir at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Gendros, Swansea, where she would often accompany hymns with her guitar and gave guitar lessons to the children in the church’s Saturday Music Club. She was also a keen member of Côr Persain, Ammanford. 

She was talented, loved and in demand. A convicted and devout Catholic all her life, through good and bad.

Carole was an avid and very gifted crocheter and was always crocheting or knitting something for someone. She had been spending her time recently, during the Covid crisis, crocheting NHS teddies in scrubs and rainbows, with many given to practising nurses. Carole had recently started learning to make bobbin lace. She was also capable of some very decent sewing, too. 

She was also learning Welsh, doing ‘pilates’ and was considering taking up yoga lessons as well.

She was a busy lady! As one of her work colleagues said of her: “She was wise, strong, beautiful, generous, devout and feisty. And I loved her for all those qualities.”

Above all, she was an immeasurably loved Mam, daughter, sister and a doting Mamgu and so much loved by her fiancé. Having been together for 14 years, they would have been married last July 20th had covid allowed! 

Her premature passing at 61 is tragic and she is already sorely, painfully missed. She leaves behind a huge chasm in so many hearts that cannot be filled.

“Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, may perpetual light shine about her, may she rest in peace.”

If anyone witnessed the collision or may have been travelling on the M4 at the relevant time, please contact the Serious Collision Unit quoting police reference DPP-20210113-317

Police can be contacted either online at: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Tip off leads to pensioner’s drug stash

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A BRIEFCASE full of drugs has been recovered during a raid in Swansea suburb.
Police acting on information provided by a member of the public executed a warrant in Gorseinon and recovered a large quantity of cannabis.
A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of the class B drug, with intent to supply.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “At around 5.40pm on Wednesday, January 6, following an intelligence led operation, a 68 year-old man from Gorseinon was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
“He was taken to Swansea central police station for questioning. He has been released under investigation”.

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